The iOpener: Medina Passes LGBTQ Protections; Rock Hall's Jim Henke Dead

A rainbow flag flutters in the wind.
A rainbow flag flutters in the wind. [Natasha Kramskaya /]

Good morning, iOpeners.  it's Tuesday, July 9, 2019.  Major League Baseball's All Stars play tonight at Progressive Field. 

Medina City Council passed two ordinances prohibiting discrimination to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people before an overflow crowd.  More than 150 people attended the hearing at City Hall.  At least a dozen people spoke in support of the ordinances, stretching the meeting to more than three hours.    

Akron’s City Council has given the green light to more than $19 million in public works projects.  They include the reconfiguration of the Interstate 77 interchange with Vernon Odom Boulevard to accommodate additional truck traffic. The Rolling Acres Mall nearby is to be turned into an Amazon fulfillment center. 

The state's budget director is asking state agencies to hold off on new projects and new hires as Ohio enters the second week of its new fiscal year without a budget. Lawmakers failed to pass a new two-year budget by the June 30th deadline. They passed a 17-day extension of the current budget to give themselves more time to reach an agreement. Sticking points include the extent of tax cuts and whether the aid cap should be lifted for wealthy schools that are seeing student population increases.  

Thousands of people live closer to underground gas wells than previously thought, including an estimated 30,000 Ohioans. Most of the wells are more than half a century old. The Harvard University study was conducted to better understand the populations at risk of a gas well failure. One that took place in southern California in 2015 temporarily displaced more than 11,000 people. 

Rolling Stone writer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chief curator Jim Henke has died. The Bay Village native died Monday of complications related to dementia. He was 65. Henke worked at Rolling Stone from 1977 to 1993 and was an early champion of U2 and The Smiths. He became chief curator at the Rock Hall in 1994 and worked in that position until 2012. He played a crucial role in encouraging musicians to donate their personal artifacts to the museum. 

New York Mets rookie phenom Pete Alonso won the 2019 Home Run Derby, and $1 million, at Progressive Field. Alonso outlasted fellow rookie and Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the final round, clobbering 23 homers to Guerrero’s 22.  The prize money nearly doubled his 2019 salary.

Indians first baseman Carlos Santana hit 13 home runs in the Home Run Derby. He was eliminated by Alonso in the first round. Santana has 19 homers this season.

Weather forecast for Cleveland: Sunny, high 82. Tonight, mostly clear, low 72. Tomorrow, a chance of showers and thunderstorms developing in the late afternoon. Mostly sunny, high 86.

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