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Morning Headlines: Cleveland Police Kneel, Pray with Protesters; Ohio National Guard Sent to D.C.

Protesters in Cleveland following the death of George Floyd.
Protesters in Cleveland following the death of George Floyd.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, June 3:

  • Ohio National Guard deployed to D.C.;
  • Cleveland police kneel, pray with protesters;
  • University Hospitals cuts doctors' pay;
  • Cuyahoga sheriff: Department was unprepared for protests;
  • DeWine, Portman say no military help needed;
  • DeWine expects schools to reopen in the fall;
  • Akron-Summit County Public Library to reopen in phases;
  • Akron mayor supports declaring racism a public health emergency;
  • Cleveland mayor extends curfew;
  • Cleveland Hopkins airport revives some flights;
  • Brown criticizes Trump's handling of protests;
  • Akron Community Foundation distributes another round of grants;
  • Hiram College's first woman president to step down;

Ohio National Guard deployed to D.C.

Nearly 100 of Ohio's National Guard members have been sent to Washington D.C. to patrol protests and riots following the death of George Floyd. Ohio National Guard Adjutant Gen. John Harris said U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper requested the assistance President Donald Trump mobilized the military on Monday to control the demonstrations. Many cities including Washington D.C., Cleveland and Columbus have been the site where peaceful protests turned chaotic, resulting in police throwing tear gas and damaged buildings. The National Guard is currently deployed in Cleveland and Columbus to enforce curfews and have also been helping at nursing homes and hospitals in the wake of COVID-19.

Cleveland police kneel with protesters

Protesters and Cleveland police kneeled and prayed together during a protest over the death of George Floyd on Tuesday. Cleveland.com reportsprotesters outside the First District police headquarters on West 130th Street called on law enforcement to discuss systemic racism and law enforcement accountability. First District Commander Daniel Fay, Deputy Chief Wayne Drummond and six other officers discussed with demonstrators, eventually leading to a prayer. Protesters than marched throughout the city and into Lakewood, where police also took a knee with demonstrators.

University Hospitals cuts doctors' pay

University Hospitals (UH) is temporarily cutting doctors' pay, including those on the frontlines of the pandemic. Cleveland.com reports doctors treating patients will see a 7% reduction and 10% for any administrative work they do. Clinical leaders will receive a 10% pay cut. The hospital system said the move is due to a budget shortfall and that the $85 million in federal relief funds won’t cover it all. In April, UH cut hours and pay of more than 4,100 workers not directly involved in patient care by 20% for a little over two months.

Cuyahoga sheriff: Department was unprepared for protests

Cuyahoga County’s sheriff said his department was unprepared for the large-scale protests last Saturday. Cleveland.com reportsSheriff David Schilling said he severely underestimated the number of people who would attend. More than 3,000 showed up as the protests turned violent, leading officers to use pepper spray to disperse crowds. Many downtown buildings were damaged and looted. Schilling blames the destruction on groups that came in from out of town. However, Cleveland.com reports the nearly 100 people arrested were all from Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

DeWine, Portman say no military helped needed

Ohio’s governor and a U.S. senator said the military shouldn’t be sent into their home state. Both Gov. Mike DeWine and Sen. Rob Portman said it should be up to mayors and state leaders to decide what's needed to restore order. Portman said the National Guard can handle Ohio's situation. President Donald Trump has vowed to send the military into states to quell protests if state authorities don’t restore order. Protests have swelled nationwide over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis after a police officer used a knee to pin him by the neck until he stopped moving. DeWine said he thinks cities have done a good job so far handling the protests. 

DeWine expects schools to reopen in the fall

Gov. Mike DeWine said the state fully intends for schools to reopen in the fall. The governor said Tuesday the goal is to have kids back in the classroom. The date for when schools could start is completely up to local school boards. The state will provide districts broad health guidelines while recognizing that districts have different needs and are in different situations. He also said health care providers can also resume all procedures and surgeries that were postponed during the coronavirus pandemic, including ones that require overnight stays.

Akron-Summit County Public Library to reopen in phases

The Akron-Summit County Public Library will open in phases starting at the end of the month. People can return materials to the book drops at all branches starting June 15. All items will be quarantined for three days. On June 29, outdoor pick-up service will begin at some locations including the main library for items on hold. There will also be drive-up window service at the main library and phone service will be restored system-wide. The library has been closed since March and said 300,000 items are currently checked out. The date for returning thems has been extended to mid-July.

Akron mayor supports declaring racism a public health emergency

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan wants racismto be declared a public health emergency. Cleveland.com reports the declaration would have to be signed by Horrigan and city council, which could happen in a few weeks. Then the city would be required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take action to combat racism. Horrigan didn't talk about the specifics. Meanwhile, Summit County Council members signaled broad support for legislation introduced Monday by Councilwoman Veronica Sims that would prompt recommendations by the end of this year. Cleveland City Council will likely pass similar legislation as early as Wednesday. 

Cleveland mayor extends curfew

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson extended downtown's curfew through early Wednesday morning and is prohibiting access to the area from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Friday. Residents in the area are encouraged to stay home but are permitted to come and go with a valid ID. Essential personnel are allowed in the area, as well as the media. The restricted area encompasses the central business district of downtown Cleveland and in Ohio City between Detroit and Lorain avenues.

Cleveland Hopkins airport revives some flights

Cleveland Hopkins airport is gradually adding back flights with the help of leisure travelers.Cleveland.com reports Allegiant, Spirit and Frontier airlines will begin flying to Myrtle Beach, Savannah, Nashville, New Orleans and several other locations this summer. The routes are subject to change because of the pandemic. Many flights still have no plans to resume, including to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International airports.

Brown criticizes Trump's handling of protests

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown criticized President Donald Trump's handling of protests after ordering that peaceful protestors be tear gassed so he could takepictures at a church near The White House. Brown on Tuesday said Trump turned his back on the people he should be protecting. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman had a different view, and said Trump was bringing awareness to the destruction caused and sending the message it will no longer be tolerated. Portman is calling for a national commission on race to combat attacks on the African American community.

Akron Community Foundation distributes another round of grants

The Akron Community Foundation is distributing nearly $120,000 in grants to nonprofits helping the community during the pandemic. It's the third round of funding from the Community Response Fund. Cleveland Clinic Akron General is getting $5,000 grant to distribute COVID-19 educational kits, and $5,000 will go to H.M. Life Opportunity to provide housing and support services for Akron’s homeless population.

Hiram College's first woman president to step down

Hiram College President Lori Varlotta is stepping down at the end of September. The school said she’ll become president of California Lutheran University. Varlotta was hired in 2014 as Hiram's first female president and has led to the process for the college to become a model for the New Liberal Arts, combining contemporary and classic majors. 

Editor's note: This post has been updated. 

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Amanda Rabinowitz
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition, which airs on WKSU each weekday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene.
Lydia Taylor is a news intern for WKSU. She is a junior multimedia journalism major at Kent State University with experience in print and visual journalism. She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism. During the school year, Taylor works for Kent State Student Media in The Kent Stater and KentWired. She is currently an assigning editor and a reporter in the Kent State University Student Media Newsroom for the spring semester.