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Morning Headlines: Governor Offers Grim Outlook On Pandemic; Streetsboro Teachers, Staff Issue Strike Notice

photo of Mike DeWine
ANDY CHOW
/
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO
Gov. Mike DeWine is telling Ohioans to be diligent about wearing masks and social distancing this winter as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to climb.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, October 14:

  • Gov. DeWine offers a grim outlook on the pandemic
  • Streetsboro teachers, staff issue strike notice
  • Ohio’s early voting numbers are breaking records
  • Ohio is back on New York travel advisory list
  • UA is buying out former president Proenza
  • To-go cocktails become permanent in Ohio
  • Ohio ranks 20th for childhood obesity
  • Tremont’s Sokolowskis closes after nearly a century
  • Cuyahoga settles inmate wrongful death lawsuit for $950K
  • Ohio State settles more doc abuse cases; total tops $46M

Gov. DeWine offers a grim outlook on the pandemic
Gov. Mike DeWine is telling Ohioans to be diligent about wearing masks and social distancing this winter as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to climb. DeWine said Tuesday that Ohio has averaged nearly 1,500 cases per day in the last week, compared to an average of approximately 1,000 cases per day only two weeks ago. Ohio's current positivity rate is 4.1 percent as compared to 2.7 percent on September 23. A total of 51 counties are at Alert Level 3 on Ohio's Public Health Advisory System. DeWine said things will get worse before they get better.

Streetsboro teachers, staff issue strike notice
A contract dispute at the Streetsboro School District could result in a teacher strike. The two unions representing teachers and support staff have voted in favor of approving a 10-day strike notice. Another vote would be required to begin the strike. The most recent contract expired on June 30. The Record Courier reports union members cite a lack of support when it comes to student discipline, specifically when staff are assaulted by students; years of pay freezes or raises that are not line with cost of living increases; and increased work load and expectations during the pandemic. Both the Ohio Education Association and the school board have filed unfair labor practice complaints against each other.

Ohio’s early voting numbers are breaking records
Ohioans are voting early at a record pace. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office says nearly 200,000 Ohioans voted in person during the first week of early voting. That’s more than triple the nearly 65,000 voters who cast an in-person ballot at the same time in 2016. Absentee ballot requests are also breaking records. As of Tuesday, nearly 2.5 million ballot applications have been received by elections officials in Ohio, up from 1.2 million at the same point in 2016.

Ohio is back on New York travel advisory list
Ohio is back on New York’s travel advisory list amid the spike in COVID-19 cases. That means Ohioans traveling to New York are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Ohio has been on and off New York’s list since mid-July, and was most recently removed on September 15.

UA is buying out former president Proenza
A former University of Akron president is getting bought out from the remaining years of his six-figure contract. The Beacon Journal reports Luis Proenza will give up a guarantee of about $2.5 million for a one-time payment of $850,000 covered by The University of Akron Foundation and The University of Akron Research Foundation. Proenza stepped down as president in 2014. He remained on staff as faculty and was guaranteed annual payments through 2027 of nearly $350,000, plus a $50,000 administrative stipend that was privately funded. He is on leave this semester and will retire effective Jan. 1.

To-go cocktails become permanent in Ohio
Take-out alcoholic beverages are here to stay in Ohio. On Tuesday Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation making Ohio the second state to make to-go cocktails permanent. DeWine allowed bars and restaurants to begin the service as a way to help boost sales during the coronavirus shutdown in March. Customers may order up to three drinks to go with a food order. Drinks are to be sealed before sale and cannot be consumed on the premises.

Ohio ranks 20th for childhood obesity
Ohio ranks 20th in the nation for childhood obesity, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Nearly 16% of kids ages 10 to 17 in Ohio are obese, which nearly matches the national average. The report also says the COVID-19 pandemic could be contributing to obesity rates. Some risk factors include decreased physical activity, an unhealthy diet, more screen time and a poor sleep schedule. Many kids learning remotely are also missing out on healthy meals at school.

Tremont’s Sokolowskis closes after nearly a century
A popular Northeast Ohio restaurant is shutting down after nearly a century. WCPN reports that Sokolowskis, located in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, will close permanently after being shuttered by the pandemic back in March. The family owned restaurant that specializes in Polish and Eastern European cuisine opened in 1923. It won the 2014 James Beard “American Classics” Award.

Cuyahoga settles inmate wrongful death lawsuit for $950K
Cuyahoga County Council has agreed to pay the estate of an inmate who killed himself at a troubled jail $950,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. Attorneys for the estate of Gregory Fox, 36, sued the county last December, claiming Cuyahoga County Corrections Center personnel ignored his medical needs despite his having told them he previously was suicidal. Fox was the second inmate to die at the jail in four days. Nine inmates died there in 2018 and 2019. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Ohio State settles more doc abuse cases; total tops $46M
Ohio State University says it will pay $5.8 million to settle lawsuits by about two dozen more survivors over decades-old sexual abuse by a now-deceased team doctor, Richard Strauss. The Tuesday announcement brings the total to $46.7 million in settlements so far in cases involving 185 survivors. Nearly 400 men have sued the university over its failure to stop Strauss during his two-decade tenure despite students raising concerns with various school officials back then. Lawsuits by more than half of those accusers remain pending. Many say they were groped during exams at campus facilities, an off-campus men’s clinic or Strauss' home.