Roundtable: Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Like She Talks; Bill Livingston, sports columnist, The Plain Dealer; David Arredondo, vice-chairman, Lorain County Republican Party.
Spisak Execution—Frank Spisak, 59, was put to death Thursday morning for the racially-motivated murders of three Clevelanders in 1982. Spisak spent 27 years on death row, longer than any other convict, and died less than a day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stay his execution. He claimed hatred of blacks, Jews and gays and his neo-Nazi leanings fueled the shooting rampage. Judges rejected his claim that mental illness was the source of his hatred.
Richmond Heights Coach—high school basketball coach Jason Popp was relieved of his coaching duties this week following player and parent complaints that he used racial slurs as part of his instructions to the team. Richmond Heights was undefeated when school officials acted to remove Popp for unprofessional conduct. The action applied to the athletic arena but not the classroom. For now, Popp is still employed as a teacher.
Personnel Changes—Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald fired four top officials, two of whom held elective positions made appointive by the recent charter change. Those departing county government included coroner Frank Miller, engineer Robert Klaiber, Children Services director Deborah Forkas and director of senior and adult services Susan Axelrod. County council this week approved the appointment of Bonnie Teeuwen as public works director.
Pitchers and Catchers Report—Major league battery mates reported to spring training sites in Florida and Arizona this week as pro baseball begins gearing up for the 2011 season. The Indians open spring training hoping to improve on 2010’s 69 and 93 record, but beset by the uncertain health of their few proven players and competing in a division when the top teams have much larger payrolls.
Public Broadcasting, Arts on Budget Bubble—U.S. House Republicans, as promised, are pushing for federal budget cuts that threaten government spending for the National Endowment for the Arts along with public radio and television. All that is lumped in with a $1.2-trillion package that would also pay for national defense, the military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and other so-called ‘discretionary’ spending. Debate on the measure has entered its third day.
You can tune in as follows and toward the end of next week, video will be online:
Friday 8:30 PM
Sunday 11:30 AM
The Ohio Channel
Monday 1:30 PM / 9:30 PM
Tuesday 5:30 AM
Thanks as always for the invitation to appear and to those who helped me prep.