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Morning Headlines: Barberton Backs Students Kneeling During Anthem; I Promise to Get Apartments

Barberton High School
Barberton High School

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, January 13:

  • Barberton backs students kneeling during anthem;
  • Apartments will help house I Promise families;
  • Lieutenants file discrimination lawsuit against Cleveland Fire Department;
  • Weather Service reports two tornadoes near Dayton;
  • 75,000 Cuyahoga kids to get free books as part of state program;
  • Parents of opioid-dependent children ask to be included in lawsuit;
  • OSU suspends three fraternities;
  • Browns hire Vikings offensive coordinator as head coach;

Barberton backs students kneeling during anthem

Barberton school leaders took to Facebook over the weekend, saying they won't discipline student-athletes for kneeling during the national anthem. The announcement comes after two basketball players decided to kneel in recent games, taking part in a national push for policing reform. The school explained the actions are free speech and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Superintendent Jeff Ramnytz told the Beacon Journal that although many might disagree, it's the law and the students' rights.

Apartments will help house I Promise families

The city of Akron is making way for an apartment complex that would largely serve I Promise School families. The Beacon Journal reports the city plans to sell two acres of vacant land along Maple and Cedar streets to the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation for $1. The three-story apartment complex would create up to 55 units and offer priority renting to families with kids in the I Promise School — a partnership between The LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools. The first units could be available as early as next year.

Lieutenants file discrimination lawsuit against Cleveland Fire Department

A group of Cleveland Fire Department lieutenants has filed a lawsuit claiming black candidates were favored for the promotion to captain. Cleveland.com reports the lawsuit was filed by 24 mostly-white lieutenants. The city administered a captain’s exam in 2017, which 66 people completed. Most were white and 14 of them were black. The city promoted a total of 22 lieutenants. Eight of them were black. The group who filed the lawsuit claimed that the exam had a disparate discriminatory impact on white lieutenants since only 22% of them got a promotion. They're asking a judge to award them back pay and an unnamed amount in damages.

Weather Service reports two tornadoes near Dayton

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down north of Dayton on Saturday. The tornadoes in Miami County were on the ground for about three miles. They were considered weak with top speeds of 80 mph. There were no injuries reported. Last May, the Dayton area suffered extensive damage, a man was killed and more than 200 injured after more than a dozen tornadoes hit. 

75,000 Cuyahoga kids to get free books as part of state progam

Nearly 75,000 Cuyahoga County children under the age of 5 can receive a free book in the mail each month starting next week. It's an expansion of the newly-launched Ohio's Imigantion Libary, in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program. The book-gifting program enrolls thousands of children each year to encourage them to read. Fifty-five Ohio counties currently offer the program. Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine's goal is to expand it to all 88 counties. The program got $5 million from the state budget to provide a dollar-for-dollar match to local affiliates over the next two years.

Parents of opioid-dependent children ask to be included in lawsuit

Attorneys representing guardians of children born dependent on opioids are asking a federal judge in Cleveland to include them as a group in a class action lawsuit against the pharmaceutical industry. The motion was filed on behalf of guardians caring for children with neonatal abstinence syndrome from Ohio and California. An attorney said around 400,000 such children have been born in the last two decades. The motion asks the judge overseeing the lawsuit to create a registry to identify children diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, and form a medical panel to determine best practices for treatment.

OSU suspends three fraternities

Ohio State University has suspended three fraternities for hazing, alcohol use and other violations. The Columbus Dispatch reports the school last semester suspended its Sigma Pi and Zeta Beta Tau chapters through August 2023 and its Phi Delta Theta chapter through August 2024. Ohio State issued a blanket suspension for all 37 of Interfraternity Council's members in 2017 after 11 chapters came under investigation for their behavior earlier that year. The three suspended chapters previously had been placed on disciplinary probation in recent years for various violations.

Browns hire Vikings offensive coordinator as head coach

The Cleveland Browns are hiring Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their coach. Stefanski accepted the position a day after Minnesota lost in the playoffs. Stefanski, 37, was one of eight candidates to interview with the team. They fired Freddie Kitchens after going 6-10 this season. Now the Browns will look to pair him with a new general manager. The team has requested permission to interview Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Andrew Berry, who spent three years in Cleveland.

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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.