Newsmaker: Sheila M. Wright, executive director, Cleveland NAACP
The national organization held its convention in Orlando, FL days after a court found former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman innocent of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. The verdict sparked widespread protests and organizations including the NAACP want the Justice Department to bring civil charges. The Justice Department has agreed to review evidence in the case and Attorney General Eric Holder, addressing the convention, praised the mostly-peaceful post-trial demonstrations.
Roundtable: Harry Boomer, reporter, 19 Action News; David Arredondo, vice-chairman, Lorain County Republican Party.
A Controversial Verdict
When the verdict came back, the jury of six women had found George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter. The roundtable continues discussion of a case that raised issues beyond the scope of criminal justice.
Renew the Sin Tax?
Cuyahoga County's sin tax expires in 2015 unless voters agree to renew it. So far, they haven't been asked but the trial balloons have been launched. The tax on alcohol and cigarettes paid for construction of Progressive Field, FirstEnergy Stadium and Quicken Loans Arena. Now, there's talk the tax should be extended to provide money for upkeep of the buildings. It raises between $15 and $20 million per year.
Fat Boy Scouts Left at Home
The Boy Scout motto is 'be prepared.' But some Scouts may not have been prepared for a health requirement that barred severely overweight boys from attending the group's annual jamboree. Those with a BMI of 40 or higher were ineligible. Local scout leaders say no one from here was rejected, perhaps because they took note of the restrictions and didn't apply.
Newsmaker: State Senator Shirley A. Smith, D-Cleveland
Smith is one of three candidates who've announced they are running for Cuyahoga County executive. The seat is open because current executive Ed FitzGerald is running for Governor. Smith is serving her second term in the Senate after spending eight years in the Ohio House.