Cleveland nears halfway through paying income tax refunds: The Wake Up for Friday, August 26, 2022
My husband and I filed our tax returns in March, like every year. But this year, since I hadn’t worked more than a few hours in Cleveland, I took on the daunting task of seeking reimbursement from the city. This required writing a large check to RITA for my suburban income tax, since I would no longer be eligible for a credit, and filling out a complicated form for Cleveland, complete with company documentation.
Six months later, like thousands of other northeast Ohioans, I am still waiting for my refund from Cleveland.
Apparently the pace is picking up. I hope the check is in the mail.
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Tax refund: Four months after Tax Day, more than half of the estimated 5,000 people who applied for refunds in Cleveland for 2021 are still waiting. Courtney Astolfi reports that the Central Collection Agency in Cleveland has now issued 2,330 refunds to individuals, totaling $3.4 million.
Crime Concerns: Senior city officials defended their public safety strategy while acknowledging that more can be done to tackle lawlessness in the west side of the city during a meeting with several dozen residents. John Tucker reports that the event was organized by Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, who said security concerns have become the top reason for calls to her office over the past year. The meeting, she said, was “a call to action”.
Today in Ohio: Ohio Democrats are trying to put daylight between themselves and President Joe Biden, as well as other national Democrats, as they campaign. We talk about the strategy and how it could work in November in Today in Ohio, cleveland.comhalf-hour daily news podcast.
Student loans: U.S. Representative Tim Ryan’s criticism of President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in unpaid federal student loan debt for eligible borrowers is a change from his past enthusiasm for student loan forgiveness . In 2021, Ryan said it could be “great for people who have these student loans and families who have these student loans, including mine,” reports Sabrina Eaton.
Biden’s visit: President Joe Biden will travel to Ohio on September 9 for a groundbreaking ceremony for Intel’s sprawling computer chip manufacturing complex in the Columbus area. Andrew Tobias reports that the president will speak about the CHIPS Act, bipartisan legislation that Biden, a Democrat, signed last month that will subsidize the plant, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill he signed in February. .
HB6: A FirstEnergy official testified in a deposition that former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, former top state regulator Sam Randazzo, former FirstEnergy CEO Chuck Jones and former chief lobbyist of FirstEnergy Mike Dowling appear to be the people who conspired with FirstEnergy on House Bill 6. Jeremy Pelzer reports that this goes beyond what FirstEnergy admitted last year in a deferred prosecution agreement with prosecutors federal.
Tax freeze? Cuyahoga County executive candidate Lee Weingart has repeatedly planned to freeze property tax bills for seniors over 60 with annual household incomes below $50,000. Kaitlin Durbin reports that the problem is that Weingart does not have the power to unilaterally freeze property taxes for anyone, even if elected.
prison review: About 100 Cuyahoga County residents attended a community meeting Thursday to speak out against a new jail they say they don’t want. Kaitlin Durbin reports that residents have asked dozens of questions about why a new prison is the best use of half a billion public dollars, how a new building will address some of the inhumane conditions they believe have stemmed from leadership and personnel issues, and what the long-term ramifications could be if mitigation systems intended to protect the community from on-site toxins fail.
bridge repair: The Cedar Point Highway Bridge in Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Reservation will be closed for repairs several months longer than originally planned because part of the substructure is more deteriorated than expected. Zachary Smith reports that this is the second time the county has significantly altered construction plans due to discoveries made after work began on the bridge.
Weekly cases: Ohio’s weekly COVID-19 case count continues its trend, dropping for the fourth straight week. Julie Washington reports that the state has 23,436 new cases of COVID-19 in its weekly dashboard update, down 631 from a week ago.
Monkeypox: The Ohio Department of Health launched a monkeypox data dashboard on Thursday, showing cases statewide and by county, and by age group, sex, hospitalizations, deaths and other information, reports Laura Hancock.
Outbreak of E. coli: Nearly 50 more cases of E. coli infection have been reported in four states, including Ohio, as the Centers for Disease Control continues to try to confirm what is responsible for the spread. Cliff Pinckard reports that the CDC says there are now at least 84 people infected, with 23 confirmed cases in Ohio, but the number of actual infections is likely higher.
Gas prices: Many petrol stations display two different prices. Why? Sean McDonnell reports that participating in rebate programs could save the typical driver $60 to $180 per year, whether that’s a penny per gallon at Circle K or up to 30 cents per gallon at Giant Eagle’s. GetGo stations, to name a few examples in Greater Cleveland.
Flight delays: What does an airline owe you when it delays or cancels your flight? Susan Glaser reports that the US Department of Transportation recently announced plans to create an online airline policy dashboard, outlining exactly what each carrier promises its passengers when things go wrong.
credit scam: Former Woodmere Mayor and Florida Marlins pitcher Charles Smith will spend nearly three years in federal prison for buying hundreds of stolen credit card numbers from the dark web and using that information to pay more than $10 $000 worth of gas for his Amazon delivery truck. Adam Ferrise reports that Smith, 52, served as mayor of the small eastern suburbs of Cleveland from 2009 to 2017 and returned as an alderman in 2019, around the same time investigators said he kicked off his scheme.
Trafficking charges: Complaint filed this week by Ohio Supreme Court disciplinary attorney reveals new details in case of Independence attorney jailed earlier this year for buying drugs and sex from a teenager, reports Cory Shaffer. Shawn Romer, 41, forced a 15-year-old girl to take cocaine with him after taking a shower with her and used Venmo to pay the man who trafficked her to perform a sex act on her, according to the complaint.
Science Ambassador: Browns defensive end Myles Garrett will be the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s first Community Science Ambassador. Marc Bona reports that the collaboration aims to make Garrett “a leader in promoting the importance of science and STEM careers, especially for those underrepresented in the field.”
Fahrenheit: The building that houses Fahrenheit in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood is up for sale but expected to have little to no effect on restaurant owner Rocco Whalen, who previously announced plans to move the restaurant to downtown Cleveland . Marc Bona reports that the Public Square project has a target opening date of 2023.
“Hamiltons”: Don’t throw your shot at getting tickets to “Hamilton” when the musical comes to Cleveland for only the second time, starting in December. Joey Morona reports that single tickets for performances from December 6, 2022 through January 15, 2023 will go on sale Thursday, September 8.
Thanks for joining us this week in our revamped Wake Up format. We appreciate the feedback you provided on our new look. Don’t forget you can always find the latest Cleveland news by visiting cleveland.com. If you appreciate the hard work of Cleveland journalists, consider subscribing to cleveland.com.
— Organized by Laura Johnston with contributions from Cliff Pinckard
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