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 - July 18, 2019

Big Pharma launches an opioid epidemic, Sherrod Brown gets rejected at the border, Sheriff Cliff Pinkney refuses to answer questions and much more – This Week in the CLE

Episode Notes

Big pharma’s showering of Ohio and the United States with highly addictive pain pills, leading to an epidemic of addiction and death while generating huge profits, became much more clear this week with the release of previously secret DEA database, and that is where we begin the conversation on the midsummer episode of This Week in the CLE.

Federal Court reporter Eric Heisig discusses what the database reveals about our opioid epidemic in the podcast discussion of the news by the reporters and editors of

Politics reporter Seth Richardson talks about his trip to the Mexican border with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who was denied entry to camps where immigrants are being detained. He also ponders whether Brown made the trip to gather information or to raise his profile as presidential candidates consider running mates.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Cliff Pinkney refused to answer dozens of questions from the county council about the controversies at the jail, and reporter Courtney Astolfi discusses the ramifications.

Seth brings us up to date on changes to the proposed law to honor Aisha Fraser, who police say was killed by her former husband, former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Lance Mason. A whole lot of extras have been added to the bill, which originally was about a simple assessment to determine whether accused abusers should be kept in jail to protect their victims pending trial.

Seth also talks about the state budget, which the Legislature passed well beyond its deadline, and some of its pieces and parts, including the changing of the legal age for smoking to 21.

Eric discusses his story this week on Reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s efforts on behalf of a former Ohio Death Row inmate.

Reporter Pete Krouse analyzes a plan by judges in Cuyahoga County to create a special docket for domestic violence cases.

Seth discusses a new revelation from the 2016 presidential election involving a sleight of hand by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Courtney updates a couple of stories involving unusual developments with tech contracts with the Cuyahoga County government, one that abruptly ended and one that has overrun its budget considerably.

Reporter Mary Kilpatrick lays out how Ohio State University is one of the many organizations trying to distance itself from financier Jeffrey Epstein following his new charges of sexually abusing underage girls.

A bunch of elected Republicans took the unusual step of criticizing President Donald Trump this week about what many see as racist Tweets, and Seth offers thoughts on what is driving Trump’s fellow party members to take a stand against him.

A former NFL player and high school football coach was sentenced to six years in prison this week for sexually abusing a student, and reporter Cory Shaffer describes the odd sentencing hearing that ensued before the coach was taken away.

Reporter Adam Ferrise updates the case of a former Cleveland police officer who was fired for failing to disclose crimes he committed in Norway. The update is about his membership in the Hells Angels Motorcycle gang.

Anyone heading to University Circle from Interstate 90 will want to hear reporter Bob Higgs’ details about the construction planned for the highway intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulvard, which eventually will make the commute easier.

Mary talks about the heat wave and what you can do to save a few dollars on air conditioning bills.

And reporter Marc Bona explains how he puts together the annual list of recommended brunch places in Cleveland, with some insights on breakfast burgers and winning bloody Mary concoctions.