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Morning Headlines: 6,808 COVID-19 Cases, 59 Deaths Reported Sunday; DeWine Talks Vaccines, Election Security on CNN

photo of Mike DeWine
DAN KONIK
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Gov. Mike DeWine talked about the coronavirus and politics on CNN’s “State of the Union” show on Sunday. DeWine said that the state has completed 150,000 COVID-19 vaccinations so far, which represents less than 2% of Ohioans.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, January 4:

  • Ohio reported 6,808 COVID-19 cases, 59 deaths Sunday
  • DeWine talks vaccines, election security on CNN
  • Brunner sworn in as new Supreme Court justice
  • Next phase of downtown Akron road construction project begins
  • Ohio GOP Rep. Jordan reportedly set to receive Medal of Freedom
  • Browns end long playoff drought, survive late Steelers rally

Ohio reported 6,808 COVID-19 cases, 59 deaths Sunday
Ohio added about 6,800 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 59 deaths. COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide rose by 165 on Sunday, which is lower than the three-week average. The state reported more than 14,000 cases combined for New Year’s Day Friday and Saturday. The state ended the year with its deadliest month of the pandemic. December accounted for more than 28% of all coronavirus deaths since March.

DeWine talks vaccines, election security on CNN
Gov. Mike DeWine talked about the coronavirus and politics on CNN’s “State of the Union” show on Sunday. DeWine said that the state has completed 150,000 COVID-19 vaccinations so far, which represents less than 2% of Ohioans. DeWine also said that as of Saturday night, 61% of nursing home residents statewide had received their first dose of a vaccine. He got into a heated exchange with host Jake Tapper over the election. DeWine endorsed an idea by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman to create a commission to study voter security, saying that there are a lot of people who are questioning the election. Tapper pushed back, saying some Americans question the integrity of the election because of baseless accusations of fraud made by President Donald Trump and Republicans.

Brunner sworn in as new Supreme Court justice
The Ohio Supreme Court now has three Democratic justices for the first time since 1994. On her family's Columbiana County farm, Democratic former Secretary of State and appeals court judge Jennifer Brunner took the oath as justice from Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor on Sunday, creating a new balance of four Republicans and three Democrats on the Ohio Supreme Court. Brunner defeated Judi French, who’d been on the Court since 2013. Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy was re-elected in the other Supreme Court race in November. She’s said to be looking at running in 2022 to replace O’Connor, who must retire because of age restrictions in the Ohio constitution.

Next phase of downtown Akron road construction project begins
Road closures in downtown Akron begin again Monday with the second phase of the $14 million Main Street project. The closures between Market and Mill Streets will last through Memorial Day. The city is offering free two-hour parking vouchers to patrons of local businesses who might be impacted – something which became an issue during the previous phase of construction. To see what the rest of Main Street looks like after being reconstructed, visit wksu.org.

Ohio GOP Rep. Jordan reportedly set to receive Medal of Freedom
Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, who has been a loyal supporter of President Donald Trump, is in line to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Washington Post reports Jordan of Urbana is expected to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor sometime next week. Jordan is among a group of dozens of Republican representatives who plan to challenge Congress’ certification of the Electoral College results confirming Joe Biden’s presidential election victory on Wednesday.

Browns end long playoff drought, survive late Steelers rally
The Cleveland Browns are back in the playoffs. They qualified for the first time since 2002 by surviving a late Pittsburgh rally for a 24-22 win over the Steelers, who rested quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and several other starters for the postseason. The Browns nearly blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. Nick Chubb ran for 108 yards and a TD and Baker Mayfield threw a TD pass for Cleveland. The Browns earned a rematch with the Steelers in the Wildcard Round on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at 8:15 p.m.