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Morning Headlines: Gov. DeWine Calls Coronavirus Spread “Shockingly High”; State Gets New Health Director

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Dan Konik
Gov. Mike DeWine called Thursday’s COVID-19 numbers “shockingly high.” The state recorded nearly 5,000 new cases, and 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties are now on red level 3 on the state’s color-coded alert map.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, November 6:

  • Gov. DeWine calls coronavirus spread “shockingly high”
  • State gets new health director as virus rages
  • COVID-19 cases climbing in K-12 schools
  • Summit County halts trials for the rest of the year
  • COVID-19 cases rise on UA’s campus
  • First-time jobless claims spike
  • Akron’s police chief to retire
  • Diebold explores relocating to Hudson
  • Court rejects request for Dayton gunman school records
  • Indians begin shopping Lindor
  • NBA, Cavs to begin season Dec. 22

Gov. DeWine calls coronavirus spread “shockingly high”
Gov. Mike DeWine called Thursday’s COVID-19 numbers “shockingly high.” The state recorded nearly 5,000 new cases, and 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties are now on red level 3 on the state’s color-coded alert map. That amounts to 86% of Ohio’s population, which is the most since the state rolled out the system. The state also continues to break its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 2,075 currently hospitalized, and a record 541 are in intensive care units.

State gets new health director as virus rages
Gov. Mike DeWine has appointed a new health department director and brought on a chief medical officer as the coronavirus rages in the state. DeWine announced that Stephanie McCloud, current director of the state insurance fund for injured workers, will lead the state health department. He also appointed OhioHealth hospital system executive Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff as the agency's chief medical officer.

COVID-19 cases climbing in K-12 schools
COVID-19 cases are rising in Ohio’s K-12 schools. State data show more than 1,000 new cases in students this week for the first time since the state began tracking the numbers in September. About 35% of the nearly 2,800 schools or districts listed in Ohio’s database have reported cases since Sept. 7. The Beacon Journal reports the Tallmadge School District is currently seeing an outbreak, as three staff members have tested positive in last week, resulting in more than 75 students and six bus drivers placed under a two-week quarantine.

Summit County halts trials for the rest of the year
It looks like trials in Summit County Common Pleas Court are off for the rest of the year. An order Thursday from administrative judge Amy Corrigall Jones halts trials through Dec. 31 unless she gives authorization. The Beacon Journal reports that would include all parties being willing to proceed and to follow the required safety protocols. The order also applies to civil trials. Most other court proceedings are being done via video or phone.

COVID-19 cases rise on UA’s campus
The University of Akron saw an increase in COVID-19 cases in the past week. The university on Thursday reported 27 new cases, up from 16 the week before. The Beacon Journal reports three are related to the football team. Kent State this past week reported 56 new cases.

First-time jobless claims spike
The number of people filing first-time unemployment claims spiked in the past week. Ohio officials say more than 21,000 Ohioans filed initial jobless claims last week. That's a 21% increase. Nearly 266,000 Ohioans remain jobless, according to continuing claims filings. The state has paid-out more than $7 billion to more than 833,000 Ohioans since the start of the pandemic.

Akron’s police chief to retire
Akron’s police chief has announced he’s stepping down after three years. The Beacon Journal reports that Ken Ball will retire in February after a three-decade career in law enforcement. Mayor Dan Horrigan says Ball revived the police academy, improved recruitment and hiring, and seized record numbers of illegal guns. Ball replaced former chief James Nice who resigned amid allegations of using a racial slur and other wrongdoing. The city says it will conduct a national search for its next police chief.

Diebold explores relocating to Hudson
ATM maker Diebold-Nixdorff may be planning a move a little to the north. Diebold's headquarters are listed as in North Canton but sit in Green. Hudson City council this week presented a resolution to offer Diebold a 50% tax credit over 10 years to lure the roughly 300 employees to a business park in that city.

Ohio court rejects request for Dayton gunman school records
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a request by news media groups seeking school records of the man who gunned down nine people in Dayton last year before being killed by police. Media groups including The Associated Press argued the records could provide information on whether authorities properly handled warning signs from gunman Connor Betts. The Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local Schools district said Betts’ records are protected by student privacy laws. The Ohio Supreme Court rejected the request in a 6-1 decision Thursday, saying state law is “unambiguous” in preventing the disclosure of such records.

Indians begin shopping Lindor
The Cleveland Indians reportedly are making it clear that star shortstop Francisco Lindor will be traded before the start of the next season. USA Today reports that the Indians have made other teams known that Lindor will be on the market. Lindor earned $17.5 million last season and is projected to earn about $21 million in salary arbitration in his final year before free agency. The Indians, at the low-end of Major League Baseball payrolls and reeling financially from the pandemic, won’t be able to afford re-signing Lindor, and will want to get value in a trade rather than letting him walk away in free agency.

NBA, Cavs to begin season Dec. 22
The NBA has a start date for the next season. The Cavs, who have been sidelined since the season was halted in March, will begin play December 22nd. The Cavs were left out of the Orlando bubble restart that wrapped up less than a month ago. The league plans a 72-game schedule, ending in mid-May. The players and owners will now finalize things including health and safety protocols and whether fans will be allowed in arenas.