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Morning Headlines: Cuyahoga County Passes LGBTQ Ordinance; Cedar Point Fined

Equality Ohio pushes back on controversial LBGTQ bill.
Quinn Dombrowski
Equality Ohio pushes back on controversial LBGTQ bill.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 26:

  • Cuyahoga County passes LGBTQ ordinance;
  • Cedar Point fined for safety violations;
  • Cleveland agrees to pay $3.7 million to family of Euclid man shot by off-duty officer;
  • University of Akron receives grant for sexual misconduct prevention programs;
  • Advocates raise concern over now-closed psychiatric unit Aultman Hospital in Stark;

Cuyahoga County passes LGBTQ ordinance

Tuesday night the Cleveland City Council passed an ordinance protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination. Cleveland.com reports the council also created a three-person Commission on Human Rights to level fines in cases where discrimination is found. The measure passed council 8-3 and adds LGBT protections to those already in place against discrimination based on age, race, religion and gender. Cuyahoga County joins 20 other municipalities across the state with similar LGBTQ protections. The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County opposed the legislation, while the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party supported it.

Cedar Point fined for safety violations

Amusement park Cedar Point's parent company has been fined more than $140,000 for safety violations. The Blade reports the fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration stems from an April 11 incident where an employee was seriously injured in a fall from a park building. According to OSHA, the worker fell through a skylight and landed on a concrete floor. Officials said the park didn't provide the injured worker and the other two crew members working on the roof a guard rail or restraint system. Authorities said the workers hadn't been trained to recognize falling hazards either. Cedar Point said it is reviewing the documents and may contest the inspector's findings before a review commission.

Cleveland agrees to pay $3.7 million to family of Euclid man shot by off-duty officer

The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay $3.7 million to the family of a Euclid man who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in 2012. Cleveland.com reports three years ago a jury found officer Roger Jones used excessive force when he shot Kenny Smith in downtown Cleveland. After originally awarding Smith's family $5.5 million, a federal judge decreased the amount to $4 million. The attorney for Smith's family said they agreed to $3.7 million to end the court battle with the city. The payment is one of the largest in Cleveland history for a use-of-force case. The largest could be the city's settlement with the family of Tamir rice for $6 million. Rice was 12 when police shot and killed him in 2014.

University of Akron receives grant for sexual misconduct prevention programs

The University of Akron has announced it will receive a $300,000 federal grant to help support programs to prevent sexual assault and harassment on campus. The funds come for the Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women through its program to reduce sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on college campuses. UA said the three-year grant will provide new mandatory sexual harassment and violence training for staff and students.

Advocates raise concern over now-closed psychiatric unit at Aultman Hospital

Mental health advocates in Stark County are raising concerns now that Aultman Hospital has closed its psychiatric inpatient unit. TheBeacon Journal reports the hospital closed the unit earlier this month citing lack of patients and changes to government regulations. Officials said those experiencing behavioral health issues will be routed to the emergency room or to outpatient clinics. Most patients who need inpatient mental health services will likely be transferred to hospitals in other counties. Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery said Aultman’s lack of mental health inpatient services creates challenges for continued care.

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Mark has been a host, reporter and producer at several NPR member stations in Delaware, Alaska, Washington and Kansas. His reporting has taken him everywhere from remote islands in the Bering Sea to the tops of skyscrapers overlooking Puget Sound. He is a diehard college basketball fan who enjoys taking walks with his dog, Otis.