Gov. Mike DeWine skips Ohio’s first redistricting hearing, where residents call for fair maps: The Wake Up for Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021

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Temperatures will exceed 90 degrees today, with a heat index near 100 degrees. Mostly sunny skies are expected. It will remain clear overnight with temps around 71 degrees. Read more.

DeWine absence: Gov. Mike DeWine skipped the first of the state’s redistricting commission’s 10 statewide public hearings Monday in Cleveland to attend Cincinnati Bengals practice. Six other redistricting commission members — including Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Robert Cupp – also did not attend and had designated representatives in their place. Andrew Tobias reports DeWine previously had scheduled his appearance at the Bengals practice and that, historically, similar redistricting meetings were attended by governor’s staff.

Redistricting: Frustrated Ohioans called on the state’s redistricting commission to draw political maps that fairly represent their communities. Attendees said the hearing was not scheduled far enough in advance to provide adequate notice to the public and was difficult for working people to attend, reports Cameron Fields.

Cuyahoga County trial: Cuyahoga County’s former director of corrections Ken Mills is set to stand trial today on charges that accuse him of mismanaging the jail and lying to County Council in the run-up to a historic series of inmate deaths in 2018. The trial, which is expected to last three weeks with testimony from county Executive Armond Budish and other high-ranking officials, will be a public airing of the years-long deterioration of conditions in the jail, reports Cory Shaffer.

Stimulus watch: Cleveland City Council held a special meeting Monday to discuss council members’ priorities for spending hundreds of millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan, but the conversation concluded without an outline of spending areas or how much stimulus money would be dedicated to each. Robin Goist reports council members floated ideas including addressing food insecurity, expanding broadband access, lead paint mitigation, eliminating blight and boosting the housing stock, and investing in public safety, parks and recreation. Bridging the digital divide and supporting local economic development were two of the most popular proposals among Cleveland’s mayoral candidates for stimulus spending.

Ken Johnson: Former Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson’s felony convictions strip him of his eligibility to serve in public office. But his name remains on the ballot in Cleveland’s Ward 4. Johnson won’t be sentenced until at least Oct. 8. Robert Higgs reports that if past election results and his abiding popularity among his constituents are indicators, Johnson might still breeze through the primary.

Long Sault Dam, a spillway for the Moses-Saunders Power Dam along the border near Massena, New York, and Cornwall, Ontario on in January 2020. The dam system helps control the flow of water leaving the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Rive. For the past few months, operators have allowed unprecedented volumes of water through the system.
Cory Morse |

High water: When Lake Ontario was flooding in 2019, ports were concerned that commercial shipping in an out of Cleveland could be seriously impaired if the International Joint Commission decided to increase the flow rate of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam near Massena, New York. The lake level would go down, but it would affect the St. Lawrence Seaway, possibly exposing shoals and lowering the draft in the shipping channel upstream while creating dangerous currents by raising the river level downstream, Peter Krouse reports.

This Week in the CLE: While Democrats are planning to run for the U.S. Senate and governor in 2022, no Democrats are publicly exploring campaigns for attorney general, state treasurer or state auditor in 2022. We’re talking about why on This Week in the CLE,’s daily half-hour news podcast.

Postal overload: The United States Postal Service will use about 400,000 square feet of a former General Motors transmission plant in Parma to store and process mail during the holiday season, hoping to prevent the weeks-long delivery delays many customers experienced in the final months of last year, Eric Heisig reports.

Cedar Point: An L-shaped metal bracket, approximately the size of a man’s hand, flew off the moving train of Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster on Aug. 15. The victim has been identified as a 44-year-old woman from Swartz Creek, Michigan, northwest of Detroit, but her condition is unknown, reports Susan Glaser. The train was likely traveling at its maximum speed – 120 mph – when the part flew off, but officials could not say where exactly it came off or how close the victim was to the train.

Hollie Maloney

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was granted full FDA approval on Monday.AP file photo by Robert F. Bukaty

Pfizer approval: Health experts are optimistic that the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine Monday will make more people comfortable with getting immunized and prompt more employers to require workers to get vaccinated. Julie Washington answers questions about the vaccine and authorization.

LaRose challenger: A former state lawmaker from Western Ohio says he’s challenging Secretary of State Frank LaRose in next year’s Republican primary election to be Ohio’s top elections official. Jeremy Pelzer reports John Adams of Shelby County is running on an “elections integrity” platform, a sweeping term often used by those who believe elections are marred by fraud, even though studies repeatedly have found it to be rare.

Critical race theory: Two left-leaning groups are hosting an hourlong discussion online Tuesday evening, saying that they need to correct misinformation that critical race theory is being taught in Ohio public schools. Laura Hancock reports the Speak Out for Honesty in Education event, hosted by the Ohio Federation of Teachers and Innovation Ohio, will also caution attendees against two bills in the Ohio House that would ban teaching critical race theory, as well as prohibit teacher and staff professional development and training if it goes over concepts that are prohibited in the bills.

Booster shot: While the governor of Maryland is urging federal health officials to allow seniors and others vulnerable to the coronavirus to get booster shots now, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine isn’t joining in that call, reports Jeremy Pelzer. The DeWine administration is following guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control that, for the next month or so, only immunocompromised people should get a third COVID-19 shot as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus spreads.

Home sales: The number of homes sold in Ohio in July was lower than the same month last year, potentially a sign that the hot housing market that buyers have encountered in recent months is cooling off. Statewide, 16,374 houses and condominiums sold last month, 3.8% lower than the 17,017 that sold in July 2020, according to a news release the Ohio REALTORS trade association sent Monday, Eric Heisig reports. The average sales price was $252,162, an increase of 12.9% from the same month in 2020 but slightly lower than the $256,094 from June of this year.

Officer charged: A Cleveland police officer, who was reinstated after he was fired for his role in a police chase that ended in the fatal shooting of two unarmed people, is accused of possessing a loaded gun while drunk in a Cuyahoga Falls bar. Adam Ferrise reports Det. Christopher Ereg, 50, is charged with possessing a gun in a bar, a third-degree felony, and carrying concealed weapons, a fourth-degree felony.

Adam Rodriguez sits in court

Adam Rodriguez is sentenced to 17 to 19 1/2 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer and abducting a Cleveland high school girl on her way home from school in 2019.

Child abduction: A judge on Monday ordered a Cleveland man to spend nearly two decades in prison for posing as a police officer and abducting a girl walking home from school in 2019. Cory Shaffer reports Adam Rodriguez, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping, impersonating police and weapons charges, followed the girl in a decommissioned police car before he pulled up beside her, told her he was a cop and ordered her to get in his car.

$100 gift card: Summit County Public Health is offering a $100 Visa or Mastercard gift card for Ohioans who receive the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine starting Aug. 27. Megan Becka reports the promotion kicks off Aug. 27 from 1 to 7 p.m. at a vaccination clinic at 1867 W. Market St. in Akron, with all three vaccine options available.

Hidden sports: Cleveland sports fans, even the die-hard variety, will undoubtedly learn something new in Marc Bona’s new book, “Hidden History of Cleveland Sports.” The tales include iconic-but-forgotten innovations to sports, such as the first football pass and the first slider pitch in baseball, along with triumphs and tragedies that have forever altered the landscape of Cleveland sports, reports Megan Becka.

Condiments: Has run-of-the-mill mayo become boring? Is that bottle of store-bought French dressing begging for an upgrade? Watch as our chefs take six classic condiments and elevate them into something special in this video from’s sister site, Bon Appetit.

One World: The Cleveland Cultural Gardens will come together for One World Day on Sunday, Aug. 29. The free festival, now in its 75th year, kicks off with a Naturalization Ceremony at Centennial Peace Plaza. Then a parade of flags will take over MLK Drive at noon, starting at the Irish Garden and heading to the Italian Garden, reports Anne Nickoloff.

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