Here’s a look at some of Northeast Ohio’s biggest stories from 2022.
Even though researchers in recent NPR history would tell you that time is an illusion Indeed, another year has passed. And with that, we have the opportunity to wrap up some of Northeast Ohio’s top stories for 2022.
These include local stories that have made national news, global stories that have had a local impact, and, of course, sports headlines. This is Ohio, after all.
So, before time jumps to 2023, let’s recap the news from last year.
Ukrainian Americans in Greater Cleveland show support for Ukraine as Russia attacks
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February drew attention to the Ukrainian community in northeastern Ohio, one of the largest in the United States. As noted in Ideastream’s The Sound of Ideas.After the invasion, and even long before, Ukrainian Americans rallied for peace and increased Western pressure to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin. Local residents and businesses have joined in supporting the Ukrainian people with demonstrations and fundraising by region.
For the Ideastream Arts & Culture team, Carrie Wise spoke about how members of the Ukrainian Bandura Choir of North America serve as ambassadors for both music and culture tied to a traditional Ukrainian stringed instrument. Dave DeOreo also highlighted the special tradition of Ukrainian Americans in Northeast Ohio in this story about exhibition of intricate Easter eggs in the Ukrainian Museum-Archive in the Tremont area of Cleveland.
Akron police shot and killed Jayland Walker. Anger, grief and political action follow
After Akron Police fatally shot by Jayland Walker in late June, members of the community, outraged by the murder of a 25-year-old black man, protested and demanded police reform. Calls for change continued unabated in the weeks and months that followed.
As protesters took to the streets immediately after Walker’s murder, Mayor Dan Horrigan imposed a nighttime curfew in downtown Akron and activists accused the officers of harsh response to peaceful protestsusing tear gas and physical force. Hundreds attended Walker’s funeral at Akron City Theater July 13, which Akron City Council has declared a “citywide day of mourning”.
The main demand of the demonstrators was the creation of a council to oversee the civilian police. This requirement was implemented when the voters accepted the 10th edition in November. Anna Huntsman of Ideastream reported that charter amendment will replace the previous plan for a civic review board, which was proposed by Horrigan and approved by the city council in September.
Ohio reacts to Rowe’s overturning Supreme Court decision
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, and with it the constitutional right to abortion, Ohioans across the state reacted with a sense of delight and devastation.
This was reported by Amy Eddings from Ideastream. at the Cuyahoga Falls Abortion Clinic on the day of the decision, where employees such as Sherry Grossman expressed a wide range of emotions. “I feel it in my gut, just impending doom. A little rage. Maybe a lot of anger. Sadness. Just… on the spectrum. Everything,” said Grossman, executive director of the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center.
Ohio’s six-week abortion ban went into effect shortly after the SCOTUS decision, but it remained blocked due to a preliminary injunction issued by the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Ohio’s First Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the so-called heartbeat law. The Ohio Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case in 2023.
Guardians in awe of historic post-season run
In their first season under the new name, the Cleveland Guardians defied the odds of finishing with a 92–70 regular season record and the AL Central Division title. The youngest baseball team in the playoffs Defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in the second game of the best-of-three wildcard series. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Mike Joyce told Ideastream’s Yigal Kaufman. “That was incredible”.
The Guardians advanced to the American League Division Series, where they were eventually defeated by the New York Yankees. Sportscaster Terry Pluto urged fans to consider the big picture: “Game 5 with the Yankees in the divisional playoffs in the Bronx? Are you kidding me? How did they get to this point?”
Browns QB Deshawn Watson suspended and fined for sexual harassment
In August, the National Football League announced that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshawn Watson would be suspended for 11 games, pay a $5 million fine and undergo a behavioral treatment program.
25 massage therapists accused Watson of sexual harassment. Two Texas grand juries refused to bring criminal charges against him, and Watson settled 23 of 24 civil suits against him. The other one was dropped. Watson apologized, but also pleaded not guilty.
Watson was initially suspended for six games. But, according to NPR, NFL files appeal seeking longer ban facing criticism that the punishment was too light.
Ohio turned out to be a key battleground in the midterms
Ohio was once again a state that could be watched as voters went to the polls, this time with Congressional control hanging in the balance. US Senate race between longtime Mahoning Valley spokesman Tim Ryan and venture capitalist JD Vance attracted the attention of the whole country, and the race in 13th District of Ohio also watched closely.
Statewide Republicans representative races sweptwith incumbent governor Mike DeWine handily wins re-election over former Mayor of Dayton Nan Whaley. And the results of the state Supreme Court race will prove important on some contentious issues, namely legislative change in constituencies and access to abortion.
Transitions abound in education, politics and the police
The past year has seen several upheavals among key leaders and institutions across the region.
In September, Cleveland High School CEO Eric Gordon announces he is retiring at the end of the academic year, after 11 years, he led the district. According to Ideastream’s Conor Morris, Gordon has seen a significant transition and improvement in CMSD.
And in November Democrat Chris Ronaine has won his race to become the next Cuyahoga County Executive.by defeating Republican Lee Weingart. Ronaine will replace two-term Democrat Armond Budisch, whose second term was marred by a series of deaths in county jail and a corruption investigation against members of his office.
In terms of law and justice, in March, the federal judge overseeing Cleveland’s federal consent order cleared the way for a new Community Police Commission with extensive police powers.
COVID drags on as other health concerns emerge
The COVID-19 pandemic continued to hit Ohioers throughout 2022, but not only.
There was a smallpox outbreak in northeast Ohio. (previously called monkeypox) cases, prompting local health authorities to issue warnings and make vaccines available to those at risk of contracting the disease.
Because COVID is still prevalent, the respiratory syncytial virus known as RSV has been rampant among children. Ohio has also experienced a spike in flu cases. Result? Hospitals across the state – especially those treating children – became waterloggedThis was reported by Stephanie Chekalinsky from Ideastream. Doctors have urged the public to take action to prevent the spread of these viruses.
However, there is (relatively) good news: Northeast Ohio doctors say COVID is in plateau period that may continue. Whether due to a vaccine or infection, widespread immunity from the omicron variant (combined with the lack of other major competing variants currently circulating) “has really slowed down the cycle of spikes and collapses,” says Dr. Arthur Lavin, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital. . The hospital is Beechwood, said Ideastream’s Taylor Wiesner.
MetroHealth Board of Directors fires CEO Boutros
The Board of Trustees of the MetroHealth System took an unexpected turn of events. fired Dr. Akram Boutros in late November, alleging that the longtime CEO had improperly authorized almost $2 million in bonus payments to himself without the knowledge of the board. Boutros denies any wrongdoing.
hospital system released an investigation report by a third-party law firm that found that MetroHealth’s board had the right to fire Boutros because of their employment contract and suggested that the former CEO could face criminal charges for “violating Ohio’s ethics, employee theft, and other related laws.” According to the report, Boutros paid off bonuses with interest and reported the situation to the Ohio Ethics Commission.
Boutros has subsequently sued MetroHealth. His attorney called the hospital system’s actions “reckless, illegal and destructive.”
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