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Morning Headlines: Ohio Records 1,855 New COVID-19 Cases Sunday; Ohio Lawmaker Proposes Tougher Voting Restrictions

The Ohio Dashboard of Key Indicators for COVID-19.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The state reported more than 1,800 new COVID-19 cases Sunday. That’s on par with the state’s 21-day average as virus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise again.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 12:

  • Ohio Records 1,855 New COVID-19 Cases Sunday
  • Ohio Lawmaker Proposes Tougher Voting Restrictions
  • Cleveland Orchestra to Return to Blossom
  • Gov. DeWine Delays Remaining 2021 Executions
  • Ohio Supreme Court Delays Execution of Inmate Who Slipped Through Cracks
  • Charges Delayed for Former Cleveland Schools Employee Involved in Capitol Insurrection
  • Think Tank Sues Cleveland for Taxing Doctor Working Remotely
  • Health Alert Issued for Ground Turkey Products

Ohio Record 1,855 New COVID-19 Cases Sunday
The state reported more than 1,800 new COVID-19 cases Sunday. That’s on par with the state’s 21-day average as virus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise again. Ohio has recorded more than a million cases, 54,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 19,000 deaths since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

Ohio Lawmaker Proposes Tougher Voting Restrictions
Ohio could soon join the Republican-led states that have enacted tougher voting restrictions. Ohio elections officials had defended Ohio’s current system of voter roll purges, and absentee and early voting rules as a balance between election security and access to the vote. Now, Cleveland.com reports prominent GOP lawmakers are crafting a measure that would remove or modify some of the voting options for Ohioans. Bill Seitz, of Cincinnati, said he is not revealing details of the plan but has said it will make it tougher to vote absentee, ban ballot drop-boxes, and eliminate some days of early voting. Ohio also has relatively generous early-voting policies, including regular statewide absentee ballot application. Republican Sec. of State Frank LaRose has defended Ohio’s voting system and calls claims of widespread voter fraud that have surfaced following Donald Trump’s election defeat a mix of “conspiracy theories.” Seitz said legislative leaders are still in talks about what voting changes will be proposed before the next election.

Cleveland Orchestra to Return to Blossom
After last year’s concert series was canceled due to the pandemic, the Cleveland Orchestra announced it will return to Blossom Music Center this summer for a 10-week season featuring 11 concerts. Capacity will be determined by state guidelines, but the Orchestra estimates they’ll be able to accommodate about 3,500 people on the lawn and 1,500 people in the pavilion. The Blossom concert series kicks off July 3.

Gov. DeWine Delays Remaining 2021 Executions
Gov. Mike DeWine delayed the three remaining executions that were scheduled for this year. The Republican governor is making good on his promise of no executions in 2021. He cited no source for lethal injection drugs and lack of movement by lawmakers in making a switch in execution method a priority. DeWine has said he believes lethal injection is no longer an option for Ohio executions, and lawmakers must choose a different method of capital punishment before any inmates can be put to death in the future. All three executions have been rescheduled for the year 2024.

Ohio Supreme Court Delays Execution of Inmate Who Slipped Through Cracks
The Ohio Supreme Court has delayed the execution of a convicted killer whose case federal public defenders said slipped through the cracks of the legal system. 36-year-old David Martin had been scheduled to die May 26. The Associated Press reported last year that Martin went without a lawyer for over a year after his sentence was upheld in 2018 and missed a chance to make a customary federal appeal. Justices stayed Martin's execution until his legal options are exhausted. He was sentenced in 2014 for fatally shooting 21-year-old Jeremy Cole during a robbery in northeastern Ohio two years earlier.

Charges Delayed for Former Cleveland Schools Employee Involved in Capitol Insurrection
The filing of charges against a former Cleveland Schools employee arrested for taking part in the January attack on Congress has been delayed. Cleveland.com reports that federal investigators have asked for a two-month continuance in the case against former school career counselor Christine Priola. The FBI identified Priola from a news photo showing her joining insurrectionists in the US House chamber. Priola resigned after the January 6th riot claiming she was dedicating her career to a list of Qanon-based conspiracy theories. Federal investigators say they are overwhelmed with the number of cases stemming from the Trump-inspired attempt to block the counting of electoral votes. Priola is one of 15 Ohioans and one of more than 300 people arrested so far in the attack.

Think Tank Sues Cleveland for Taxing Doctor Working Remotely
A right-leaning think-tank is suing the city of Cleveland for levying taxes on a doctor working remotely during the pandemic. Cleveland.com reports that The Buckeye Institute filed the lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Manal Morsy who works for a Cleveland company but lives in Pennsylvania and paid taxes in both places. It’s one of several lawsuits the Institute has filed against cities seeking to fill budget holes created by the lockdown and revenue loss. A judge in Franklin County ordered Columbus to refund city taxes paid by a suburban resident working remotely. GOP lawmakers are considering a bill that would rescind a current law that protects municipal income tax collection from remote workers.

Health Alert Issued for Ground Turkey Products
USDA has issued a public health alert for more than 211,000 pounds of ground turkey. Officials said products produced by Plainsville Brands, LLC with January sell-by dates could be linked to salmonella. Products under the brand name "Nature's Promise" may also be affected. Officials are currently investigating an outbreak of salmonella illness in 12 states. The USDA says a recall wasn’t issued because the product is likely no longer for sale, but it could still be frozen in people’s freezers. The Canton Repository reports affected ground turkey products were processed between Dec. 18 and Dec. 29th.