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Morning Headlines: Ohio Sees More Than 11,000 New COVID-19 Cases; DeWine Extends Overnight Curfew Into New Year

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has extended the state's overnight coronavirus curfew into the New Year. The curfew first enacted last month runs from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. It restricts movement outside homes but allows multiple exceptions for work, grocery shopping, medical emergencies and religious services.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, December 11:

  • Ohio sees more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases
  • DeWine extends overnight curfew into New Year
  • Akron will not renew cap on private gatherings
  • Family: Ohio deputy shot Black man in the back several times
  • Ohio joins Trump effort to overturn election results
  • New Ohio unemployment claims up 30%
  • Many Ohio restaurants may be on brink of closure
  • Ohio law on ballot box limit quietly clarified as suit ends
  • Governor was warned of would-be regulator's ties to utility
  • Ohio Supreme Court upholds death sentence for man who killed 5

Ohio sees more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases
Ohio saw another jump in new coronavirus cases Thursday. Health officials reported more than 11,700 new cases, the fourth highest daily tally. An additional 450 people were hospitalized in the past 24 hours, reflecting a steady rise in those needing advanced medical care.

DeWine extends overnight curfew into New Year
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has extended the state's overnight coronavirus curfew into the New Year. The curfew first enacted last month runs from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. It restricts movement outside homes but allows multiple exceptions for work, grocery shopping, medical emergencies and religious services. Some epidemiologists have questioned its effectiveness. DeWine and a dozen medical practitioners on Thursday urged Ohioans to do everything they can to slow the spread of the coronavirus leading up to Christmas. Ohio's seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks to 11,741 new cases per day on Dec. 9.

Akron will not renew cap on private gatherings
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said an ordinance that limits the number of people permitted in private gatherings will not be renewed. In a statement Horrigan said that the rule limiting guests to no more than six people will be allowed to expire on Dec. 16. The private gathering ordinance passed last month by Akron City Council drew sharp criticism from a small, but very vocal group that launched protests outside the homes of city officials. Horrigan says the rule “was an attempt to disrupt complacency,” and he reiterated that data shows that “the spread of COVID-19 is happening at home.” The private gathering ordinance carried with it a $150 fine, but Horrigan said, so far, no fines have been issued.

Family: Ohio deputy shot Black man in the back several times
An attorney for the family of the Black man killed by an Ohio deputy said the preliminary autopsy shows clear signs of the victim being shot in the back multiple times. Attorneys and relatives of Casey Goodson Jr., 23, say he was killed Friday by Franklin Sheriff Deputy Jason Meade in the doorway of his grandmother’s house in Columbus as he walked through the front door. Final autopsy results aren’t expected for at least three months. The family announced Thursday that they will also be conducting their own, independent autopsy. An attorney for Meade said his client has given authorities full cooperation and disputes claims made by Goodson’s family.

Ohio joins Trump effort to overturn election results
Ohio on Thursday joined other Republican-led states in backing GOP President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the outcome of the presidential election. In an amicus brief, Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost urged the Supreme Court to accept the lawsuit led by GOP Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The suit seeks to invalidate Electoral College votes in battleground states Trump lost. Ohio joined over a dozen other GOP-led states that have signed on. The Trump challenge rehashes numerous disproven and unsupported allegations of illegal voting. It has been dismissed by legal experts as frivolous and criticized by some state officials.

New Ohio unemployment claims up 30%
New unemployment claims in Ohio jumped last week by more than 30%. 36,000 new jobless claims were filed, the highest number since the spring lockdown. The number of ongoing jobless claims also rose by nearly 6% after falling in recent weeks with more than 270,000 Ohioans continuing to draw unemployment. Since the start of the pandemic, the state has paid out more than $7.4 billion in unemployment compensation, and nearly 2 million Ohioans have filed jobless claims.

Many Ohio restaurants may be on brink of closure
A recent survey by the Ohio Restaurant Association says three out of five Ohio restaurants will likely close if a new relief doesn’t arrive soon. The survey conducted earlier this month shows that around 80% of restaurants are seeing a sales drop, and for more than a third of them sales are less than half what they were a year ago. 17% of restaurants nationally have closed and around half of those owners say they’re closed for good. The industry group is calling on Congress to pass another coronavirus relief bill. The survey of Ohio restaurants finds that 60% of owners say they will close in the next 6 months if conditions continue as they are.

Ohio law on ballot box limit quietly clarified as suit ends
A lawsuit challenging an Ohio order that restricted counties to one ballot drop box location during November’s election quietly ended Thursday, leaving in place court rulings that said Ohio law does not require such a limit. The Ohio Democratic Party, which brought the suit against Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, seized on the litigation’s ending as clearing the way for multiple drop boxes in future elections. Democrats said this allows for multiple drop boxes in future Ohio elections. Curbside ballot drop off grew in popularity across the U.S. this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor was warned of would-be regulator's ties to utility
Gov. Mike DeWine disregarded a last-minute plea from Republican insiders last year in selecting a utility lobbyist as the state’s top utility regulator, according to the Associated Press. Former PUCO chairman Samuel Randazzo is now under legal and financial scrutiny. The AP reports that a newly revealed document shows fellow Republicans tried to warn DeWine that Randazzo was unsuitable because of questionable ties to the state's largest utility, Akron-based FirstEnergy. DeWine this week again defended his pick in an AP interview. Randazzo resigned last month after FBI agents raided his home.

Ohio Supreme Court upholds death sentence for man who killed 5
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for an Ohio man who was convicted of killing five women and the abduction and rape of a sixth over a 10-year period. Shawn Grate is on death row for the killings of two of the women in Ashland County in north-central Ohio. The 44-year-old Grate is also serving three life sentences for the killing of the other three women. A unanimous Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentences for the women whose bodies were found during a 2016 search of a vacant house in Ashland where Grate had been living. The court rejected arguments that Grate's attorneys were ineffective during his trial.