What Happened Now? A Cleveland Newsletter

Issue 443, October 3, 2023

"What Happened Now?" is Joe Donatelli's lively roundup of the top stories of the day in Northeast Ohio. It's like getting the news from a friend who would drive to Cincinnati to see the Foo Fighters but doesn't think he should have to. Subscribe Here.

Bre's parking spot at Mapleton High School.

🏫 Possible cause of death of senior who collapsed before homecoming game: A preliminary report from the coroner indicates she had severe heart damage from a previous condition that was undetectable, Mapleton High School’s principal told Bob Jones. Ashland County residents and students have rallied to support a grieving school and family in the wake of the tragic and unexpected death of Bre McKean. A memorial service will be held for her this weekend.

—> Cleveland skipped again: The Foo Fighters are the latest major music act to skip Cleveland. This is officially a thing now. Here are all the bands that are choosing to go to lesser cities such as Cincinnati and Detroit rather than come to Cleveland:

  • Foo Fighters
  • Taylor Swift
  • Beyonce
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Olivia Rodrigo

I hope the Foo Fighters eventually add Cleveland, which could still happen. Their lone Ohio stop is in Cincinnati, and I don't want to drive to Kentucky (you read that correctly) to see them.

—> As Cleveland loses some of the big event momentum it had built in recent years: Cleveland City Council is making moves to help bring large-scale events to town, green-lighting a $2 million Cleveland Major Events Fund, reports Mike Holden. This grant program will help the city score and invest in major national sporting, lifestyle, arts and recreational events, as well as conferences. Will it work? It’s hard to have too much faith in anything the city does when you have to ask…

—> How is it 2023 and we still have a lead crisis in Cleveland? It’s not like any of this is a surprise at this point, and it’s not like we don’t have the money. Joe Pagonakis – the city’s indispensable reporter on issues that matter to Clevelanders – has an update on Cleveland’s ongoing lead crisis. He got his hands on a study from Case Western that says the city is losing the battle to get lead out of Cleveland’s homes and away from children’s bodies. The stats are totally depressing. Here are the takeaways: the city isn’t doing enough to reach landlords, say activists, and the entire process is mired in bureaucracy. These are things that can be fixed.

—> Hello, police, I would like to report a murder: Marilou Johanek responds in the pages of the Ohio Capital Journal to a “news” website launched by Ohio Senate Republicans.

—> Breaking news for your 6-year-old but also secretly you: The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad North Pole Adventure returns this holiday season, and tickets go on sale Wednesday.

—> New book from Calvin and Hobbes author: It doesn’t look hilarious or heartwarmingly nostalgic, but it could be … interesting? Maybe? It’s hard to tell. Ideastream says Bill Watterson’s latest is an “adult picture book” with “imagery reminiscent of Tim Burton movies and Neil Gaiman books. Press materials describe the story as ‘speaking to our current climate crisis’ and ‘our collective anxiety about the environment.’” Got it. Set your expectations on any Calvinball content to zero.

—> Why the whole Deshaun Watson not playing thing was so weird: Everyone thought he was going to play. He was cleared to play. He said he would play. He didn’t play. Camryn Justice gets into it.

—> Best haunted houses to visit this fall: Once again, as he does every year, former goth teen turned News 5 newsman Drew Scofield has lovingly crafted a list of must-visit haunts.

—> This is the last newsletter of the week: I’ll be back Monday, October 9. For the latest news, visit the News 5 app, website, or watch our shows. ☮️


Joe Donatelli is the digital director at News 5. Email: joe.donatelli@wews.com. Twitter: @joedonatelli.