The iOpener: 22-year-old Cleveland Marathon Runner Dies; Dems Hope New Districts Will Boost Turnout

Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper.
Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper. [Jo Ingles /Statehouse News Bureau]

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Monday, May 20, 2019.  

A 22-year-old Medina native and recent graduate of Walsh University collapsed near the finish line of the Cleveland Marathon Sunday and later died at the hospital. Taylor Ceepo played soccer at Walsh and also St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron. The cause of death is unknown but runners told media outlets the conditions were unseasonably warm and humid. A mass is scheduled for Monday morning at St. Vincent-St. Mary.

The clock is ticking toward the deadline for Ohio lawmakers to redraw a new congressional district map that can be used for the 2020 election. A federal court has given the state until June 14th to do that, but Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s office is appealing the decision. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says he hopes the ruling will stand and state lawmakers will have to draw new maps. He says the current maps are so heavily gerrymandered to benefit Republicans that many voters lose faith in the electoral process.

“So, if you have fair maps in 20, I think it lifts Democratic turnout higher than it would normally be because, for the most part, people in most of these districts think their vote didn’t matter and that’s exactly what the gerrymandering was intended to do.

Pepper says Democratic voters are also excited about the choices they have for the top of the ticket. At least 23 Democrats have announced they are running in the party’s primary for president.

Bedford Police say they shot a fugitive after he jumped out of a window and landed on a bail bond agent Sunday morning. Police say 27-year-old Charles Jones Hill was wanted on felony weapons charges and has a long criminal history including kidnapping and robbery. Jones Hill was shot in the lower back after a struggle after trying to disarm an agent according to officers. He was taken to Metro and is expected to recover. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to terms with J.B. Bickerstaff to become the team’s associate head coach under John Beilein. Bickerstaff was most recently the Memphis Grizzlies head coach for nearly two seasons after a stint as Houston's interim coach. Bickerstaff has been an NBA assistant since 2004. His father, longtime NBA coach Bernie Bickerstaff, is a Senior Basketball Advisor for the Cavaliers.

The Indians Shane Bieber pitched his first career complete game, striking out 15 in a 10-0 shutout of Baltimore. Cleveland took three of four in the series. The homestand continues tonight against Oakland, first pitch at 6:10 at Progressive Field.

Weather forecast: Mostly cloudy today, high 62 Mostly cloudy and cooler tonight, low 47 Tomorrow Sunny with a high of 59. Partly cloudy tomorrow night, low 50

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