Morning Headlines: 10 Rescued After Being Stranded on Lake Erie Ice Floes; 12% of Ohio Population Has Started COVID Vaccine
Here are your morning headlines for Monday, February 22:
- 10 rescued after being stranded on ice floes in Lake Erie
- 12% of Ohio population has started COVID vaccine
- State to host COVID vaccine town halls for minorities
- YouTube removes Ohio committee video, citing misinformation
- Dark money group admits racketeering in Ohio bribery case
- Kroger: Some pharmacy customer data impacted in vendor hack
- Customs inspectors find cocaine-coated corn flakes in Ohio
- Cleveland Public Library branches reopen to the public
10 rescued after being stranded on ice floes in Lake Erie
Authorities say Coast Guard and fire department crews rescued 10 people who were stranded on ice floes in Lake Erie in Cleveland. Coast Guard Great Lakes said in a Twitter post that an ice rescue team and local agencies responded at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday to a report of 10 people stranded on two separate ice floes near Edgewater Park. A helicopter was dispatched from Air Station Detroit for air support. The Coast Guard said six people were rescued via an ice skiff and fire department rescuers escorted the other four people off the ice. The National Weather Service Cleveland office posted a satellite photo earlier Sunday afternoon, showing cracks in the ice near the Lake Erie shore.
12% of Ohio population has started COVID vaccine
Ohio reported just under 1,500 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and 67 deaths. Sunday’s case count is about half of the 21-day rolling average, which currently sits at 2,761. The state says as of Sunday, a total of around 1.4 million vaccines have been started in the state, representing just over 12% of Ohio’s population. A total of just over 650,00 vaccinations have been completed.
State to host COVID vaccine town halls for minorities
The Ohio Department of Health is hosting a series of COVID-19 vaccine town halls for several specific communities over the next two weeks. The state says the town halls are designed to separate fact from fiction about the COVID-19 vaccines. Each event will feature panelists including medical experts, faith leaders, public health professionals, and community leaders. They will be livestreamed on The Ohio Department of Health’s Facebook and YouTube channels and at coronavirus.ohio.gov/townhall:
- Monday, Feb. 22, 6:30 p.m. – African-American Ohioans
- Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. – Hispanic/Latino Ohioans
- Monday, March 1, 6:30 p.m. – Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
- Tuesday, March 2, 6:30 p.m. – Rural Ohioans
To accommodate those Ohioans without internet access, the town halls will air on public access television on the Ohio Channel. Ohioans can find their local channel by checking with their PBS station or television provider. Dates and times to watch include:
- Saturday, Feb. 27, 6 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for African-Americans
- Saturday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Hispanic/Latino Americans
- Sunday, Feb. 28, 2 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for African-Americans
- Sunday, Feb. 28, 3 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Hispanic/Latino Americans
- Saturday, March 6, 6 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
- Saturday, March 6, 7 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Rural Ohioans
- Sunday, March 7, 2 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Ohioans
- Sunday, March 7, 3 p.m. – Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall for Rural Ohioans
YouTube removes Ohio committee video, citing misinformation
Legislative testimony made in support of a GOP-backed effort to limit public health orders made by Ohio’s governor was removed from YouTube after the service deemed it contained COVID-19 misinformation. The Google-owned platform says Friday it removed content that was uploaded this week to The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom channel for violating the company’s terms of services. The video showed an attorney for a citizen group testifying with a number of debunked or baseless claims, including that no Ohioans under the age of 19 have died from COVID-19. That claim has been debunked by state data.
Dark money group admits racketeering in Ohio bribery case
A political dark money group that authorities say was used as part of a $60 million bribery scheme to pass nuclear bailout legislation in Ohio pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge on Friday. Generation Now Inc. also agreed to forfeit $1.5 million. U.S. District Judge Timothy Black delayed a pre-sentence investigation and sentencing until after cases for all of the defendants are resolved. Also Friday, the vacancy created when then-Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo resigned inched closer to being filled. A nominating panel sent four new finalists for the job to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.
Kroger: Some pharmacy customer data impacted in vendor hack
Kroger Co. says personal data including Social Security numbers of some of its pharmacy and clinic customers may have been stolen in the hack of a third-party vendor's file-transfer service. It says it is notifying those potentially impacted customers, offering free credit-monitoring. The Cincinnati-based grocery and pharmacy chain says it believes less than 1% of its customers were affected as well as some current and former employees because a number of personnel records were apparently viewed. Kroger said it was among victims of the December hack of a file-transfer product from Accellion, a California-based company. Other victims include the University of Colorado and Washington State's auditor.
Customs inspectors find cocaine-coated corn flakes in Ohio
Customs authorities in Ohio say they intercepted a shipment of cereal earlier this month with a special frosting — cocaine. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati reported finding 44 pounds of cocaine-coated corn flakes that had been shipped from South America to a Hong Kong home. Officials said a narcotics detection dog named Bico was checking out incoming freight from Peru on Feb. 13 when he alerted officers to the package. Officers found that the cereal contained white powder and the flakes were coated with a grayish substance, and both tested positive for cocaine.
Cleveland Public Library branches reopen to the public
Cleveland Public Library is reopening more than two dozen branches for in-person visitors. That includes the main branch downtown. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Curbside and walk-up services will still be available. All branches had been closed to walk-in visits since November due to the pandemic.