Police, Fire departments see
shortages across USA
Mayor Jane Campbell calls police and firefighters
part of the nation's ''domestic army'' -- the troops who
will be called upon to respond to the next terrorist
attack. But in Cleveland and many other financially
troubled cities, the ranks of those first responders are
At least two-thirds of the nation's fire departments are
understaffed, according to the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA), which sets firefighting codes and
standards. The shortage is worst in rural volunteer
departments that have trouble recruiting new members.
But many big and medium-size cities that are more likely
to be terrorist targets are also short-handed. From
House of Blues Officially Opens
The new House of Blues in Cleveland is officially open,
after an invitation-only event last night. Hundreds of
people packed the restaurant and concert hall, and were
greeted by actors Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi,
co-founders of the restaurant. Cleveland city officials
say the entertainment complex on Euclid at East 4th has
already sparked a revitalization of the downtown area,
with hotels reporting dozens of new advance
reservations. The House of Blues Cleveland has already
created 300 new jobs.
Dan Ackroyd and Jim Belushi were
gracious hosts as the entertained over 1000 people. The
food was great, it included
Fresh Catfish, Jambalaya, Pulled Pork, and Crab Cakes.
All of HOB executives were on hand
to welcome the crowd. We look forward to going back to
the HOB Cleveland and recommend that you do as well.
Ohio Big City Mayors Meet In Cleveland
The mayors of Ohio's largest cities will be in Cleveland
today to unveil their plans for the coming year. Their
focus will be on lobbying efforts before state and
federal lawmakers. Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell will be
joined by Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and the mayors of
Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and Dayton for their
afternoon news conference.
Cuts Avoided By Cleveland, Cuyahoga County
Despite year-end deficits expected in the budgets of
Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, officials say they will
not have to make drastic cuts. Both entities say layoffs
are unlikely as they tighten their belts. Tax revenues
are still flat, while the cost of doing government
business is rising, but one-time expenses are expiring,
freeing up some cash. While city and county officials
consider the smaller deficits to be good news, they're
bracing for 2005, when the shortfalls are expected to
Could Casino Fund New Convention Center?
The search for a site for the new Cleveland Convention
Center continues and so does how it will be funded.
Cuyahoga County commissioner Peter Lawson Jones says the
best option for the funding for the new facility would
be a casino, since Mayor Jane Campbell said she would
not give her support for raising taxes. The problem is,
casino gambling is illegal in Ohio.<
Auditor's Office Suspends Five Employees
commissioners have suspended five employees at the
county auditor's office, amid allegations of going to
bars and other errands while on the clock. An
investigation is underway after a television station
followed employees at the auditor's satellite office on
Puritas Avenue to a bar and visits to family members.
County human resources officials say when their
investigation is complete, they'll send the findings to
Auditor Frank Russo for discipline.
Cleveland Hopkins Rated One Of
The Federal Aviation Administration says Cleveland
Hopkins International Airport is one of the nation's
safest. The airport received a superior ranking from the
FAA after inspectors looked at everything from the
condition of the runways to the security checkpoints.
Cuyahoga County Election Results
Clevelanders vote in record numbers
U.S. House Incumbents Win In Landslides
Ohio Senator George Voinovich will return to Washington
for a second term, after the state's voters
overwhelmingly showed their support. Voinovich took 64
percent of the vote to defeat Democratic challenger Eric
Fingerhut. The people representing northeastern Ohio in
the U.S. House will not change. Dennis Kucinich soundly
defeated two challengers for his west side congressional
seat, while Steve LaTourette had little trouble getting
enough votes to defeat political newcomer Capri Cafaro.
Congressman Sherrod Brown also kept his seat with a
Other School Issues Fail
Cleveland Municipal School officials will go back to the
drawing board, after voters rejected the district's
request for new money. Issue 112 failed by more than 17
thousand votes. More cuts are expected to fall on the
financially-strapped district. A more dire situation
faces the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake school system in
Lorain County. Officials there say a state takeover is
likely after voters turned back another levy try. Across
northeastern Ohio, more school levies failed than passed
at the ballot box.
Yes To Metroparks
countywide issue facing Cuyahoga County voters has been
approved in convincing fashion. A ten-year tax levy to
fund conservation, maintenance, and growth in the
Cleveland Metroparks took 59 percent of the vote.
Search below to
find it on Cleveland Press.com