This Week in the CLE
A review and analysis of the week's news in Northeast Ohio
3 years ago

This Week in the CLE - Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019

Is the sheriff a victim or stooge, do we want front license plates, and is Mike Dewine soul-searching or playing politics on executions – This Week in the CLE

Episode Notes

So many states seem to get by just fine without front license plates on cars, but in Ohio the debate about them rages, with law enforcement saying the plates are vital for crime solving and auto lovers saying they’re ugly and unnecessary.

License plates are where we begin the latest episode of This Week in the CLE, the podcast discussion of the news by the best-informed news team in Ohio, the reporters and editors of

Politics Editor Jane Kahoun takes the lead on the license plates and also explains the goal for The Flyover, a newsletter we launched this week to talk about politics in the heartland, where voters will decide the next presidential race.

Cuyahoga County beat reporter Courtney Astolfi outlines the statements of Cuyahoga County Sheriff Cliff Pinkney when he finally answered questions about the embattled jail. He said he was excluded from many of the decisions that should have been his to make, which raises a question of whether he was a victim of manipulation by administrators or someone who was duped into not doing the job prescribed in state law.

Criminal Justice editor Kris Wernowsky explains how the investigation that Pinkney promised in December - of the jail warden’s withholding of food from inmates and other actions – never happened and likely will not.

Kris also explains why a Cuyahoga County judge threatened to hold jail administrators in contempt of court because inmates were not showing up for court.

Public impact editor Mark Vosburgh lays out the Editorial Board’s thinking in taking the extremely rare step of opposing a proposed tax increase.

Kris talks about why bicyclists in Northeast Ohio and elsewhere are increasingly frightened of sharing the road with cars, and he discusses the week’s most-talked-about story, about the sentencing of a 79-year-old woman to 10 days in jail because she fed stray cats.

Federal courts reporter Eric Heisig explains why Parma Police and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor tried to criminalize social media satire and how the satirist could win compensation for the legal overreach.

Courtney takes us into Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, where a top official of the Regional Transit Authority was charged with stealing benefits. She also describes how RTA might add buses to its most popular routes. Headlines this summer described an across-the-board income tax decrease that Ohio legislators say they gave to Ohioans, but Jane explains how the Legislature’s action since January actually has increased taxes for people on the lower end of the economic scale.

Cleveland City Hall reporter Bob Higgs lays out the case of a landowner who claims Cleveland built a park near Progressive Field that effectively stole the land and wants millions of dollars in compensation.

Jane takes a look at a recent poll showing Ohioans oppose the heartbeat bill the Legislature passed this year to restrict abortion in the state. The poll also shows strong support in the state for universal background checks for gun buyers.

The traffic camera debate never seems to end in Ohio, and Jane provides detaisl on the latest battleground.

Wine expert Marc Bona wraps up the podcast with a look at 25 years of Vintage Ohio and how Ohio winemakers have steadily improved. He predicts that Ohio wines will compete with the best in the not-distant future and offers advice on how best to sample wines that the Vintage Ohio wine event in Lake County.