For a fourth time, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled new maps for the state's legislative districts as invalid. In a 4-3 decision handed down yesterday, the court said the latest maps were unconstitutional and did not meet the anti-gerrymandering reforms passed by voters.
Voting activists had argued the fourth version of the maps were basically the same maps that were struck down on the third attempt by the Ohio Supreme Court. Because the process is so behind schedule, voters in the May primary will not vote on those races and will instead cast ballots in those primaries at a later date.
The Easter and Passover holiday weekend will be off to a busy start in Cleveland. The Guardians will make their home opener debut against the San Francisco Giants at Progressive Field before a sellout crowd. Next door at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, the Cavaliers will play for the final spot in the NBA playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks.
With both teams in play, the Gateway District neighborhood and its bars and restaurants will be busy. Parking restriction on the streets surrounding the stadiums will go into effect Friday afternoon. The Guardians are telling fans on its website that parking will be limited and to be ready for heavy traffic. Cleveland Police will dispatch traffic officers to keep busy intersections moving. Fans who can use public transportation are being encouraged to do so. It feels like another milestone in the return to normalcy.
Let's talk about where we are with the pandemic. In Cuyahoga County, health officials held a briefing Wednesday and reported that the county has not recorded a COVID-19 related death in three weeks.
The transmission rate of the virus has been dropping for 10-weeks. The CDC lists Cuyahoga County and the other 87 counties of Ohio has having a low level spread of COVID-19. But statewide, the number of COVID-19 cases is up from last week and that is the case in Summit, Portage and Wayne counties as well. The BA-2 subvariant of omicron is now the dominant strain for infection here and nationwide.
Marlene Harris-Taylor, Managing Producer for Health, Ideastream Public Media
Glenn Forbes, Supervising Producer for Newscasts, Ideastream Public Media
Andy Chow, Correspondent and News Editor, Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio/TV