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Here are some of today's top stories from around the area, including a protest at a Cleveland abortion clinic over an allegedly fatal botched abortion, a cancelled busing "rehearsal" in Mogadore School District, questions of nepotism arise in the Mayfield Heights Service Department.
MAYFIELD HEIGHTS SERVICE DEPARTMENT: Mayfield Heights city officials have expressed concern over four members of the Fornaro family employed in the city's Service Department, questioning whether they are violating state nepotism laws, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Three generations of the Fornaro family have worked in the Service Department, including Service Director Andrew Fornaro, hired in 1960; his brother Ronald Fornaro, hired in 1961; Ronald's son Joseph Fornaro, hired in 1985, and Ronald's grandson, Bobby Fornaro, hired in 2001. Andrew and Ronald still work for the city but have retired and are receiving state pensions, while Ronald and Bobby are part-time employees. Former Law Director Leonard Carr believes he was not reappointed in January because he alerted Mayor Anthony DiCicco when DiCicco became mayor last year. Public officials are prohibited by Ohio ethics laws from hiring, overseeing, disciplining and evaluating family members. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.
BEREA MAYOR: Berea police released dashboard camera video from an incident Thursday in which Berea Mayor Cyril Kleem followed a Seven Hills man in his vehicle, telling police the man was driving erratically, but the man said Kleem followed him after he gave the mayor the middle finger, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The 19-year-old Seven Hills man told police that Kleem had tried to pass his car between his car and a parked car while he was dropping his off his girlfriend on School Street, and the mayor followed him to a Baldwin Wallace University parking lot and parked behind him, blocking him in, until police arrived. The man submitted a three page account of the incident at the police station, but no charges were filed by police. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.
CANCELLED BUSING: The Mogadore School District cancelled school busing for 170 students for a week as a "rehearsal" of what will happen if a 5.9-mill levy does not pass in May, and to raise awareness of the levy, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The 170 students were those who live within 2 square miles. A 5.9 mill would raise taxes for the owner of a $100,000 home by about $180 per year. The district has operated at a deficit for the past three years, and a failed levy would also result in a $100 pay-to-play fee (which would be capped at $250 per family), closing school gyms and fields to the public during the summer, losing free athletic event passes for employees and senior citizens and cutting the print version of the school newsletter. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
INDIANS FAN: Northfield Center native Greg Pennypacker, 23, will get to throw out the first pitch of the Sept. 6 Indians' game, for designing the shirt that won the "Fan-Designed T-Shirt" contest earlier this year, according to the Nordonia Hills News-Leader. Pennypacker's design was voted on by fans as the best of about 200 entries, and his shirt will be passed out to the first 10,000 fans at the Sept. 6 game. Pennypacker is a University of Akron graduate and works at the Dolphin Family Restaurant in Northfield Village, but has designed pamphlets and posters for a friend's company. The shirt features a big "C" filled with Indians historical events from 1901 until the present day. Click here to read more at the-news-leader.com.
ABORTION PROTEST: Anti-abortion protestors gathered at Preterm Abortion Clinic on Shaker Boulevard Tuesday to demand the clinic shut down until an investigation is completed on the death of 22-year-old Lakisha Wilson, who they say died as a result of a botched abortion at the clinic last month, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. On March 21, an emergency crew transported Wilson from the clinic to University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and she died five days later. A 9-1-1 call from the clinic that morning reported a patient who was not breathing, although the call does not name Wilson and does not say what procedure was being performed. Ohio Right to Life officials say they spoke with Wilson's family, who say she was there for a late-term abortion, and sent a letter to Governor Kasich's office claiming that Wilson was turned down by several other abortion clinics. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.