Morning Headlines: Ohio to Move to 2nd Phase of Vaccine Distribution This Month; DeWine Defends Signing 'Stand Your Ground' Bill
Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, January 6:
- Ohio to move to 2nd phase of vaccine distribution this month
- DeWine defends signing 'stand your ground' bill
- At least 4 Ohio Congressmen will object to certifying Electoral College votes
- Audits: Ohio made near-perfect tally of presidential results
- Sharpton: Firing officer who killed Andre Hill is not enough
- Summit County’s first female sheriff sworn in
- Browns lose coach to virus for Steelers
- Former Browns linebacker among 15 HOF finalists
- Reported virus issues at Ohio State raise specter of CFP delay
Ohio to move to 2nd phase of vaccine distribution this month
Gov. Mike DeWine says the state will move to the second phase of vaccine distribution in about two weeks. The Phase 1B populations include 2.2 million teachers and other school employees, people older than 65 and those with severe medical disorders. DeWine said Tuesday the state expects 100,000 vaccines for the first week of the new phase with the amount to be ramped up. DeWine has said that with more than 60% of skilled care nursing homes already receiving visits from pharmacy vaccination teams, only 40% of employees are volunteering to receive the shot. Ohio reported more than 7,500 new COVID-19 cases, 104 deaths and 538 new hospital admissions on Tuesday.
DeWine defends signing 'stand your ground' bill
Gov. Mike DeWine has defended his decision to sign into law a gun rights bill eliminating Ohioans' duty to retreat before using force. The measure expands the so-called “stand your ground” right from an individual’s house and car to any place a person lawfully has the right to be. His signature came after months of declaring that any new gun legislation should include his own proposals for toughening background checks and boosting penalties for felons committing new crimes with guns. DeWine said Tuesday he'd promised to sign such a bill and will continue pushing for his own priorities. In a statement, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said that the legislation “will make Ohioans, including law enforcement officers, less safe by encouraging and justifying armed vigilantism in our communities.” A statement from Cleveland City Council calls the legislation dangerous and members said, “We are disappointed and we won’t forget this.” Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes also harshly criticized the measure and the governor's signing it.
At least 4 Ohio Congressmen will object to certifying Electoral College votes
At least four Ohio members of Congress will join the dozens of Republicans in the House who will challenge today’s presidential electoral vote counts. The 6th District’s Bill Johnson of Southeast Ohio and Warren Davidson of Western Ohio’s 8th District announced Tuesday that they’ll join Jim Jordan of the 4th District and Bob Gibbs of the 7th in objecting to Congress’ acceptance of Electoral College votes from several states. Republican Sen. Rob Portman and GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River issued statements on Monday that said they would not support the objections.
Audits: Ohio made near-perfect tally of presidential results
County post-election audits show Ohio’s 2020 votes were tallied to near perfection, the state’s elections chief said Tuesday. Secretary of State Frank LaRose said counties that used percentage-based assessments saw accuracy rates of 99.98% in presidential results. The announcement came a day before a brewing showdown in Congress over the outcome of the race between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Trump has refused to concede and continues, with the help of allies, to pursue challenges to Biden’s victory. The effort hasn’t targeted Ohio, which Trump won by more than 8 percentage points.
Sharpton: Firing officer who killed Andre Hill is not enough
The life of Andre Hill was commemorated Tuesday morning as family and lawmakers called for justice to be brought against the white Columbus police officer who fatally shot the 47-year-old days before Christmas. Inside the church, a photo of Hill surrounded by the faces of Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and the other Black people killed by authorities in recent years leaned against the stage next to his open casket. The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered Hill's eulogy. Columbus has been shaken by the December killings of 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. by a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputy and Hill by a Columbus police officer.
Summit County’s first female sheriff sworn in
Summit County’s first female sheriff has been sworn into office. Kandy Fatheree will oversee more than 330 deputies and 100 civilian employees. Her goals include stemming the opioid epidemic, improving community engagement, and expanding diversity in recruiting and hiring. Fatheree credits her training at the FBI's National Academy for Executive Leadership for helping her succeed in a male-dominated field.
Browns lose coach to virus for Steelers
Two days after celebrating their return to the NFL playoffs, the Cleveland Browns have been knocked flat. Coach Kevin Stefanski has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Cleveland’s first playoff game since 2002. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will be the acting head coach Sunday. Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge also tested positive along with two more assistant coaches. NFL rules state that anyone testing positive must sit out at least 10 days. The league says the status for the game in Pittsburgh has not changed.
Former Browns linebacker among 15 HOF finalists
Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time. The 15 finalists for the shrine in Canton were revealed on Tuesday. Matthews played 16 seasons with the Browns from 1978-93. Other finalists include quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, defensive back Charles Woodson and defensive end Jared Allen. The Hall’s 48 selectors will hold a virtual meeting on Jan. 19 to vote on the 2021 class. No more than five modern-era finalists can be put in.
Reported virus issues at Ohio State raise specter of CFP delay
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock says the national championship game between Alabama and Ohio State is still a go for Monday night. AL.com is reporting that Ohio State has been in contact with CFP officials about possible player availability problems related to COVID-19 that could force the game to be delayed. Those discussions have been confirmed by The Associated Press. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says the Buckeyes continue to follow the same protocols they have all season and plan to play Monday in suburban Miami.