Lake links and bike paths: Cleveland sees generational shift toward public spaces: The Wake Up for Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

1 month ago

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For generations, Cleveland viewed public space as an afterthought, something to consider after designing buildings and planning traffic patterns.

Now, with a new class of civic leaders and a crop of big-dream developments, Cleveland aims to brand itself as a Great Lakes city with livability.

Projects include a land bridge from downtown to North Coast Harbor, an expansion of Tower City Center with a new Cuyahoga River park, and 815 miles of bike lanes and off-road trails.

Making them reality will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and require a whole lot of will.

-LauraOvernight Scores and Weather

Northeast Ohio Tuesday weather forecast: Chilly and breezyTop Stories

Big developments: As spring approaches, Cleveland is awash in big ideas for reshaping everything from waterfronts to parks, streetscapes, and even zoning — the regulatory code that determines how buildings interact with the surrounding environment. Steven Litt writes that the common denominator is an emphasis on improving public space as a principal driver of economic development, not as a frill or an afterthought.

Oakwood explosion: One person was killed and at least dozen people were injured Monday afternoon in an explosion and fire at an Oakwood manufacturing company, reports Molly Walsh. Fire departments across Cuyahoga and Summit counties responded to I. Schumann & Co. to extinguish the fire at the metal and paint plant on Alexander Road. Steven Mullins, 46, of North Ridgeville, was killed in the explosion, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Today in Ohio: A new report by the U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives shows more people are legally buying guns and handing them off to those who are barred from owning them, sales known as straw purchases. We’re talking about how criminals who aren’t allowed to buy guns can get them through others on Today in Ohio,’s daily half-hour news podcast.

Statehouse and PoliticsLarry Householder

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, shown in 2019, currently is on trial in Cincinnati. (John Minchillo, Associated Press file photo)AP

Term limits: Before his stunning political downfall, Larry Householder was moving in secret to execute a complex plan to help him avoid term limits and remain Ohio House speaker well into the 2030s. Andrew Tobias and Jake Zuckerman report that Householder’s ongoing corruption trial shows the attempt was much more carefully orchestrated than was previously known.

Inaugural ball: Ohio’s Rutherford B. Hayes never had an inaugural ball after he was sworn in as the nation’s 19th president in March 1877. Sabrina Eaton reports Hayes fans in his Northwest Ohio hometown will make it up to him this year by holding an inaugural ball from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on March 4 at the Neely Center at Terra State Community College in Fremont. The event is among festivities the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums have planned to honor the 200th birthday of Hayes.

Cincinnati water: The city of Cincinnati is again taking in drinking water from the Ohio River after it closed its intake valves amid concern about East Palestine chemicals headed downstream, reports Jeremy Pelzer. The announcement comes after more than 150 water samples taken by the Greater Cincinnati Water Works showed no sign of four chemicals spilled from a Feb. 3 train derailment about 300 miles upstream from the city.

Mandel campaign: Josh Mandel’s campaign is blaming a former treasurer after the U.S. Federal Election Commission fined him for misreporting contributions toward his unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate last year. Andrew Tobias reports the FEC said Mandel’s campaign failed to promptly report 75 contributions totaling $147,601 made to Mandel and his affiliated committees ahead of the May 3, 2022, primary election.

Highway funding: Ohio lawmakers could earmark $1 billion for rural highways and throw up a road block to Cleveland’s plan to build bike lanes down the middle of Superior Avenue under the latest version of the state’s two-year transportation budget bill. Other new language in the bill, released Sunday, would allow Ohioans to enter neighboring countries with a “Real ID” driver’s license or ID card instead of a passport and ban counties or townships from running traffic-camera programs, Jeremy Pelzer reports.

Northeast Ohio News

Police review board: Ohio lacks a uniform body that monitors officers from the state’s more than 800 police departments and some say that such an agency would go far in gaining accountability and residents’ trust. Olivia Mitchell reports it could oversee training and boost the standards for those in leadership, while offering transparency.

Cleveland's Promise

Almira Elementary School's fifth-graders must adjust to switching classrooms and all the responsibilities that come with being another year older.

Cleveland’s Promise: Students at Almira Elementary are used to being broken into two classes, just as they were last year in fourth grade, but in fifth grade the two classes will be taught by both teachers, the students switching rooms halfway through each day. As fifth grade starts, the first few weeks of ushering students through the midday switch is a challenge for the teaching team, reports Hannah Drown in our ongoing Cleveland’s Promise series.

Rental fees: The price to rent a car at Cleveland Hopkins is set to increase by as much as $8 per day, adding to the already high cost of airport rentals. But Susan Glaser reports the city officials and airport-planning experts believe the price hike is worth it to bring the car rental facility, currently located about two miles north of the terminal, back to the main airport campus.

Public art: A Cleveland artist who filed a lawsuit on Feb. 14 over the destruction of an artwork intended to act as a 50-year time capsule in Ohio City said construction workers rebuffed him last year when he asked why they were mistreating the work. Steven Litt reports Loren Naji grew alarmed last July when friends sent him photos of an outdoor sculpture he had created in 2011 for long-term display next to the West 25th Street rapid transit station.

Business and Healthcare

Sports betting: Gamblers placed $850,000 on bets at 772 sports gambling kiosks around the state, making the three kiosk vendors involved about $88,000, reports Sean McDonnell. An Ohio Lottery Commission study found bettors got about $722,000 back in prize money. The state’s gross sports gaming revenue was $116,040, and $28,376 of that revenue went to the Lottery Commission.

Drug-resistant fungus: The multi-drug resistant fungus known as Candida auris causes serious complications in critically ill patients and death in up to two-thirds of those it infects. Now researchers at Case Western Reserve University are making strides to combat the deadly fungus by testing a new potential treatment, thanks to a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, reports Gretchen Cuda Kroen.

Robotic surgery: Mercy Health’s Lorain hospital now offers robotic assisted surgery. The hospital recently acquired the Intuitive da Vinci Robot, and Dr. Jeffrey Landers, bariatric surgeon, performed the hospital’s first robotic surgery on Tuesday, reports Gretchen Cuda Kroen.

Auto Show: The Cleveland Auto Show comes to the I-X Center from Friday through Sunday, March 5. This year, visitors will see a different floorplan in the sprawling complex as they move amongst a lineup of new vehicle brands, with more than 500 vehicles and several Ride N’ Drive experiences with two indoor tracks and six outdoor ride-and-drive opportunities, Paris Wolfe reports.

New flight: Allegiant will offer a nonstop flight from the Akron-Canton Airport to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, reports Sean McDonnell. For a limited time, flyers can get a one-way ticket for $39.

Crime and Courts

CMHA police: A Cleveland man sued Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority police after he spent 518 days in jail on attempted murder charges that prosecutors ultimately dropped because they had no evidence he committed the crime – or that a crime even took place. Adam Ferrise reports Juan Taylor, 40, accused detectives of using “junk science” and lying during the investigation that led to charges of arson and attempted murder of his former girlfriend and four children.

Drug trafficking: A Cleveland man who gained notoriety nearly two decades ago after false links to a high-profile abduction is back on police radar, this time facing drug trafficking charges. Matthew Hurayt’s criminal record stretches to the 1990s, when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting two boys and labeled a sexual predator by a judge, reports John Tucker.

Arts and Entertainment

RV Rocking: During a recent stop in Las Vegas, Jeff and Patti Kinzbach had the chance to meet and speak to a couple who’ve been on the road with their children for more than seven years. Jimi and Sandi Falin, who document their family’s adventures on social media as “Try N Something New,” create a living and build their brand while travelling around the country.

Maple syrup: Maple syrup season in Geauga County traditionally begins on Presidents Day weekend, when syrup makers start collecting sap from local maple trees and boil it to concentrate the sweetness, Paris Wolfe reports. If you don’t have a personal maple syrup connection, head to the West Side Market, where Dave and Donna Divoky of Maple Valley Sugarbush in Chardon have been selling maple syrup since 2011.

You’re all caught up

Thanks for joining us this week in our redesigned Wake Up format. We appreciate the feedback you provided about our new look. Don’t forget, you can always find the latest Cleveland news by visiting If you value the hard work of Cleveland journalists, consider becoming an subscriber.

— Curated by Laura Johnston with contributions by Cliff PinckardOther Top Stories

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Teen ‘possibly abducted’ in Cleveland’s North Broadway neighborhood, police say Read more

Shaker Square’s new owners hit the roof with capital needs assessment Read more

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