Cleveland Catch Up

Sen. Rob Portman named ‘beer champion’

The Beer Institute, a national trade association for the American brewing industry, honored Ohio Senator Rob Portman as a “beer champion” on Wednesday, reported.

The senator was named one of four honorees for supporting policies that provide tax relief for brewers and beer importers. CEO and President of the Beer Institute, Jim McGreevy, praised Portman for promoting innovation from breweries and importers.

The Ohio Republican was the first Ohio politician to receive the award.

Cleveland Hopkins launches navigation system

Later this month, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport plans to launch a new navigation system in hopes to innovate satellite-based navigation, according to

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-regulated change is part of its Cleveland/Detroit Metroplex project, which will integrate coordination in regional air traffic. In addition to Cleveland and Detroit area airports, the project includes 10 other small airports.

The FAA said the project will increase the number of entry and exit points within Cleveland/Detroit airspace. This will mark the 10th region to switch to satellite navigation in the United States.

The project is associated with the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, an effort to foster safety and efficiency improvements in airports nationwide.

Corn maze pays tribute to Indians shortstop

According to, Brunswick, Ohio’s Mapleside Farms recently unveiled a seven-acre corn maze in honor of Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor.

The maze was launched in preparation for Mapleside’s fall festival and Pumpkin Village, which begins today.

From an aerial view, an outline of Lindor is clearly visible, along with the Indians “C” logo and the words “Go Tribe.” In the past, the farm has paid homage to other Cleveland athletes, including the Browns’ Joe Thomas and LeBron James.

Gay health pioneer dies at 70

“The Gay ’90s with Buck Harris” host, Buck Harris, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the age of 70, according to

Born in Lakewood, Harris worked in Greater Cleveland’s Family Planning Association and Planned Parenthood and taught sexual education at the Cleveland Health Museum.

Harris was believed to be the nation’s first state consultant on gay health in 1984 under Gov. Richard Celeste and, despite many critics, preached safe sex practices at gay bars and bathhouses.

After giving up alcohol, he learned how to needlepoint and spread the hobby to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Harris also used his responsibility as a gay health consultant to develop a training program for HIV counselors, which he perpetuated throughout the state and beyond.

In 1993, he launched what is said to be the United State’s first “gay radio show” on WHK-AM. After the first show’s airing, he received a bomb threat and was escorted into a police car with his colleagues. Regardless, the successful broadcast received a myriad of sponsors, including the Cleveland Orchestra.

Harris founded Bridge Brigade on Bridge Street, his home neighborhood, which battled crime and poverty. He also helped found the Ohio AIDS Coalition.

In his later years, Harris taught naked yoga classes for largely male audiences.