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Editorials from around Ohio

September 24, 2018

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

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The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sept. 19

The recent deaths of five inmates in Cuyahoga County custody — who were being held in either the County Jail or in the Euclid Jail, which is now run by the county — should prompt a deeper investigation, along the lines of one recently undertaken in Summit County, to examine underlying problems for possible preventive measures and programs.

Cleveland.com’s Adam Ferrise recently reported that the five deaths represent the largest number of Cuyahoga County inmate deaths in a single year since 2009.

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All told, ten inmates in county custody have died since the beginning of 2009, including one in 2017, Ferrise reported. Meanwhile, jail officials have told Cuyahoga County Council hearings that a shortage of nurses has contributed to unsafe conditions at the jail.

But it could be that other issues are at work, including impacts of the opioid crisis on the jail population, possible overcrowding, or lack of adequate assessment and treatment protocols for potential mental health and drug problems among inmates.

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Cuyahoga County should borrow a page from Summit County and empower a similar task force to take a deep dive into conditions at County Jail to recommend improvements.

Online: https://bit.ly/2MW4XGA

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The Vindicator, Sept. 24

Few debilitating medical conditions find themselves shrouded in as much mystery as multiple sclerosis.

What medical professionals do know, after decades of research, is that MS damages the insulating covers of nerve cells, causing disruption to the central nervous system and unleashing a range of physical, mental and psychological problems. MS owes its name to the multiple scars or sclerae that develop on the white matter of the brain and spinal cord.

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What medical professionals do not know, however, is what causes that damage to the nerve cells in the first place. Nor have they discovered any successful cures for MS. In addition, because the disease is not a mandated reportable condition in the U.S. or many other countries, we’re also left in the dark in efforts to accurately measure the scope and incidence of the disease.

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In the Mahoning Valley, the Multiple Sclerosis Services Agency has worked vigilantly to assist those living with all forms of the disease for decades. Its 27th Annual MSSA Super Walk, the group’s signature fundraising event of the year, will take place 9 a.m. Saturday at the Greenway Trail in Lisbon.

The walk provides a perfect opportunity for Valley residents to take valuable steps in the movement to better understand the many dimensions of MS and to assist those dealing with it on a daily basis in our region.

Online: https://bit.ly/2Nz9XX0

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The Lima News, Sept. 22

Lima needs to be able to attract the best possible candidates when an opening occurs for either the police or fire chief, yet it has closed the doors for allowing that to happen.

The city remains entrenched in a system that allows it to hire only internal candidates. No one from outside the departments can be considered for the job.

Last week, Fourth Ward Councilor Rebecca Kreher called for that to change. We urge the rest of council to follow her lead, as such a move is long overdue.

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What we see as a much better system is to take the chiefs completely out of civil service, making them appointees by either the mayor or council. The new chief would be hired on a contract basis. At the end of that contract, his or her performance would be evaluated for renewal.

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The bottom line is the applicant pool for such important jobs should be as broad as possible. The increased competition for the top jobs would benefit Lima taxpayers, with more people bringing new ideas, attitudes and experiences to the interview process. There’s no reason to think an internal candidate wouldn’t be selected, but no one should automatically expect to be the next in line in either department.

Online: https://bit.ly/2DyCwyS

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The Marietta Times, Sept. 24

An organization founded by families of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting knew they needed to try something different — something a whole lot of other adults had ignored — if they were to make a difference in kids’ lives.

“We empower and help one population to prevent these events — students, young people like you,” said Andrea Plant of Sandy Hook Promise, during an assembly at Fort Frye High and Middle School last week. We know “that you know things far in advance of anyone else.”

And so, the goal is to give students tools to reach out to those who are isolated, to prevent depression, violence and bullying well before those problems have reached a stage that could be stopped with security protocol, armed guards and locked doors.

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Working to prevent social isolation is important at any age. It can be the start to eliminating a host of other challenges.

“It’s the easiest thing people can do, and they can do it now, it’s a way to start,” said sophomore Lydia Klinger. “You can’t change everything right away, but this is the thing that’s most modifiable.”

Online: https://bit.ly/2zqpqjf

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