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Morning Headlines: DeWine to Give 2nd Statewide Address as Virus Surges; Cleveland Mayor to Residents: 'Stay Home'

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
City of Cleveland
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Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is encouraging residents to stay home as the city hit a single-day record of 146 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, November 11:

  • DeWine to give 2nd statewide address as virus surges
  • Cleveland mayor to residents: “Stay home”
  • Portman issues statement supporting President Trump’s right to contest election results
  • FirstEnergy braces from financial hit in bribery scandal fallout
  • Amazon opens fulfillment center at former Rolling Aces Mall site
  • Ohio Senate names new leadership
  • Cleveland offering businesses another round of loans and grants
  • Greater Cleveland’s COVID-19 fund awards nearly $600,000
  • Drive-thru flu shot clinic offered today in Akron
  • Relative of 8 slaying victims files wrongful death lawsuit
  • Ohio Supreme Court dismisses Toledo bullying lawsuit

DeWine to give 2nd statewide address as virus surges
Gov. Mike DeWine will give a statewide address Wednesday night, making it the second time he will make a public appeal about the severity of the coronavirus’ spread since the pandemic began in March. Early on DeWine stood out as a rare GOP governor ringing the alarm on the virus and enforcing aggressive precautions statewide. Ohio has remained under a statewide mask mandate since July. The state recorded a record-high 6,508 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

Cleveland mayor to residents: “Stay home”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is encouraging residents to stay home as the city hit a single-day record of 146 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. That represents the sixth time in the last seven days that Cleveland reported more than 100 cases.

Portman issues statement supporting President Trump’s right to contest election results
Ohio Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman has issued a statement about last week’s election supporting President Donald Trump’s right to contest the results. In a statement, Portman did not congratulate President-elect Joe Biden for his win, but did acknowledge that he leads the vote count. Portman did say that the Trump campaign has an obligation to come forward with evidence to support any allegations of election fraud. Gov. Mike DeWine congratulated Biden on Monday, while stating that Trump “has every right” to pursue irregularities involving the election.

FirstEnergy braces from financial hit in bribery scandal fallout
Akron-based FirstEnergy is preparing for an expected financial hit related to the federal bribery tied to nuclear bailout legislation. Crain’s Cleveland Business reports that the utility is looking for ways to cut its operational costs if federal authorities issue fines and penalties. The SEC’s Public Finance Abuse Unit is investigating the utility. In an investor call earlier this month the company said it is reducing planned spending by $250 million due to the impact the scandal has had on its balance sheet, and $1.2 billion in equity is also at risk. FirstEnergy has ousted former CEO Chuck Jones and four top executives.

Amazon opens fulfillment center at former Rolling Aces Mall site
Amazon has officially opened its new fulfillment center in Akron. The 640,000 square-foot facility at the former Rolling Acres mall site has begun processing orders. It’s one of eight Amazon fulfillment centers in Ohio. The new facility is expected to employ around 1,500 workers who will receive inventory, pack and ship orders alongside robotic technology and coordinate delivery logistics. Employees are paid a $15 minimum wage.

Ohio Senate names new leadership
Republican lawmakers have selected Matt Huffman of Lima as the next Ohio Senate President, replacing Larry Obhof of Medina. Cleveland.com reports that Huffman is a solidly conservative voice who’s long championed school vouchers, and has been a vocal opponent of Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus policies. Huffman drew criticism in 2018 for making a vulgar joke about a woman candidate. Canton Republican Kirk Schuring will be the next Senate Majority Floor leader. The House has yet to choose its next leadership team.

Cleveland offering businesses another round of loans and grants
The city of Cleveland is offering a total of $2.5 million in loans and grants to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. One program offers loans of up to $10,000 for emergency capital needs, along with covering the costs to purchase personal protection equipment or make safety improvements. A second program will offer grants tor restaurants to help pay for changes to allow outdoor dining to continue through the winter.

Greater Cleveland’s COVID-19 fund awards nearly $600,000
A fund to help nonprofits affected by the pandemic has awarded another round of funding totaling nearly $600,000. The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund is issuing grants every two weeks for a year. Groups awarded funding in this round include $335,000 for Neighborhood Connections to provide community groups with PPE to distribute to residents. United Way of Greater Cleveland will receive $100,000 for academic learning pods to provide remote learning support to nearly 800 Cleveland Metropolitan School District students. Contributions to Phase II of the fund have exceeded $3.2 million. Nearly $9 million was awarded in the first round through July.

Drive-thru flu shot clinic offered today in Akron
Summit County Public Health is offering drive-thru flu vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today. The clinic will be held at the department’s Fairway Center location on W. Market St., Akron. Registration is recommended, but not required. Quantities are limited and the shots are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Relative of 8 slaying victims files wrongful death lawsuit
A man who lost several relatives in a mass killing in southern Ohio more than four years ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against suspects. Tony Rhoden Sr. is the brother of Gary Rhoden and Christopher Rhoden. Both were killed along with Christopher Rhoden's three children and his ex-wife and two others in 2016. Six members of another family who knew the Rhodens were charged and four are awaiting trial. Attorneys for Tony Rhoden filed a lawsuit Tuesday in a Pike County court seeking unspecified damages.

Ohio Supreme Court dismisses Toledo bullying lawsuit
The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously sided with three Toledo public school employees in a lawsuit brought by the parents of a kindergartener alleging that the employees acting recklessly by not preventing bullying by another student. The Blade reports that the parents of the child sued teacher Amanda Lute, Assistant Principal Cynthia Skaff, and Principal Ralph Schade for allegedly failing to intervene to prevent an alleged series of bullying incidents from escalating. The parents claim that their child's cheek was punctured by a pencil. Justice Patrick Fischer wrote in the ruling issued Tuesday that the appellants presented evidence that they took steps to prevent bullying in the classroom.