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Morning Headlines: Kent State Expands COVID-19 Testing; State Nursing Home Deaths Top 3,000

photo of a walker in an empty hallway
More than 3,000 Ohio residents in long-term care facilities have now died with coronavirus. The 58 additional deaths reported Wednesday puts the total at 3,046 since the state began tracking nursing home cases in April.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, October 1:

  • Kent State expands on campus COVID-19 testing
  • Ohio nursing home deaths top 3,000
  • Cleveland extends emergency order through end of October
  • Main Street reopens to two-way traffic in downtown Akron
  • Cuyahoga Co. BOE manager resigns following poll worker email error
  • Committee adjourns on eve of deadline to repeal bailout law
  • Officer on leave after alleged gesture to protesters
  • Indians swept out of the playoffs

Kent State expands on campus COVID-19 testing
Kent State University has announced it will begin expanded COVID-19 testing on campus. The university, along with the city of Kent and state of Ohio, will bring in the National Guard to conduct free testing for a selected, higher-risk student population on Friday, Oct. 2. The university says it will be offering numerous testing opportunities in the next few weeks, including options for faculty and staff. Several dozen Kent State University students are quarantined in two dorms after they were potentially exposed to the coronavirus. The university has so far only reported cases of people who were voluntarily tested at the university health center or from those who self-reported.

Ohio nursing home deaths top 3,000
There have now been more than 3,000 Ohio residents in long-term care facilities who have died with coronavirus. The 58 additional deaths reported Wednesday puts the total at 3,046 since the state began tracking nursing home cases in April, representing 63% of the deaths reported to date statewide. Seven counties have had at least 100 nursing home deaths - including Cuyahoga (315), Summit (167), Mahoning (191), and Stark (115).

Cleveland extends emergency order through end of October
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is extending the city’s civil emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic through Oct. 31. The proclamation is a formality, allowing the city to better work across departments to address needs during the pandemic and issue directives and spend money without council approval. This is the seventh time the proclamation has been extended since it was first issued March 11.

Main Street reopens to two-way traffic in downtown Akron
Downtown Akron’s long-running construction project has reached a milestone. Mayor Dan Horrigan says Main St. from Cedar St. to Mill St. is now open to two-way traffic. Horrigan says pedestrian access on the West side of Main St. will be substantially complete in two weeks with some additional work remaining along the east sidewalk. The only other work remaining in the Main Street Phase I project is final landscaping, lighting, and signage/signalization. A Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) along the Lock3/Akron Civic Theatre block of downtown Akron opens tomorrow, October 1st. Residents can purchase alcoholic beverages from permitted establishments and consume them outside, within the district.

Cuyahoga Co. BOE manager resigns following poll worker email error
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections manager responsible for an erroneous email that went to as many as 1,000 potential poll workers telling them they weren’t needed on Election Day has resigned. Cleveland.com reports Henry Curtis, co-manager of the department overseeing poll worker recruitment, told the board he was accepting a job in the private sector. Board Director Anthony Perlatti declined to identify the worker who actually sent the emails or whether the worker or any others would be disciplined. The website reports the board also sent follow-up emails that failed to acknowledge the first emails were in error. The board meanwhile this week is launching a publicly-accessible dashboard showing the status of poll worker recruitment and other open positions related to the Nov. 3 election.

Committee adjourns on eve of deadline to repeal bailout law
The Ohio House committee set up to determine the fate of the law now tainted by a $60 million federal bribery investigation adjourned for the coming weeks with no immediate plans for repeal in place. Lawmakers left Wednesday’s hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight with no projected timeline of repealing or replacing the bailout legislation. The law will add a fee to every electricity bill in the state starting Jan. 1, and direct over $150 million a year, through 2026, to two Ohio nuclear plants. Lawmakers had until Thursday to repeal the law in order to avoid the fees that will begin to come out of 90% of the state’s electric consumers.

Officer on leave after alleged gesture to protesters
An officer accused of having made an obscene gesture at a group of protesters while driving a security vehicle as part of a presidential debate security detail has been placed on administrative leave. Shaker Heights police said the unidentified officer was removed from the detail after the alleged gesture to Black Lives Matter protesters in Cleveland was reported Tuesday night. Police said they opened an investigation and placed the officer on administrative leave effective Wednesday afternoon. Cleveland.com reported that an officer in riot gear driving a Shaker Heights police van made the gesture while driving past demonstrators marching Tuesday night.

Indians swept out of the playoffs
DJ LeMahieu’s tiebreaking single in the ninth inning off closer Brad Hand sent the New York Yankees into the AL Division Series with a wild 10-9 win over the Cleveland Indians in a Game 2 that started in September and ended in October. At 4 hours, 50 minutes — even without two rain delays totaling another 76 minutes, it was the longest nine-inning game in major league history. The Yankees will play the rival Tampa Bay Rays in a best-of-five Division Series next week in San Diego. Gio Urshela hit a grand slam for the Yankees. They rallied for two runs in the ninth against Hand, who went 16 of 16 on save tries during the season.