Morning Headlines: Fully Vaccinated Ohioans Don’t Need to Quarantine; Ohio Supreme Court Orders Summit GOP Chair Back on Elections Board
Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 28:
- Fully vaccinated Ohioans don’t need to quarantine
- Supreme Court orders Summit GOP chair back on elections board
- Wolstein Center, Summit Fairgrounds open for vaccine walk-ins
- Ohio legislative leaders may advance map-making date changes
- Ohio will allow changes to gender on birth certificates
- Late taxes another troubling sign for electric truck startup
Fully vaccinated Ohioans don’t need to quarantine
Gov. Mike DeWine says the rising number of vaccinations means fully vaccinated Ohioans must no longer quarantine themselves if they're exposed to someone with the coronavirus. DeWine says the change also means teens who are vaccinated can participate in sports and other activities even after exposure. He says the change applies to all adults except those in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other group care settings. The Health Department says 4 of every 10 people have received at least one vaccine dose.
Supreme Court orders Summit GOP chair back on elections board
The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered Secretary of State Frank LaRose to reappoint Summit County GOP chair Bryan Williams to the Summit County Board of Elections. In early March, LaRose stopped Williams from serving another term on the board and put the BOE under administrative supervision, citing failures in removing dead voters from the rolls, an alleged “politically charged environment” and other management issues. The Summit County GOP sued. The high court’s ruling Tuesday states that “LaRose’s concerns about a dysfunctional board culture remain the product of rumors and suspicions.” In a statement, a LaRose spokesman said his office is disappointed in the court’s ruling, and the elections board remains under administrative oversight.
Wolstein Center, Summit Fairgrounds open for vaccine walk-ins
Vaccine supplies in Ohio are outpacing demand. Gov. Mike DeWine and health officials are increasing efforts to convince all Ohioans over the age of 16 to get their shots. DeWine on Tuesday spoke from the Wolstein Center on the Cleveland State University campus. He says the mass vaccination site will remain open an extra four weeks and accept walk-ups. Meanwhile, beginning this Saturday, the Summit County Public Health Department will resume offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its mass vaccination clinic at the county fairgrounds. The site also will offer walk-ups.
Ohio legislative leaders may advance map-making date changes
Ohio’s legislative leaders are negotiating a potentially fast-moving constitutional amendment that would allow September deadlines for making state political maps to be extended because of pandemic-related delays in the 2020 Census. Republican Senate President Matt Huffman told reporters Tuesday that he has convened two meetings since last week with GOP House Speaker Bob Cupp, Senate Democratic Leader Kenny Yuko, and House Democratic Leader Emilia Sykes to discuss the idea. A three-fifths majority of both chambers would need to agree to the proposal by next week in order to get it on the August special election ballot, he said.
Ohio will allow changes to gender on birth certificates
The Ohio Department of Health will not appeal a federal court ruling that barred the state from not allowing people to change the gender listings on their birth certificates. The agency is instead working on a process for people to request the change and expects to have it in place by June 1. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported the decision Tuesday, citing a court filing made Thursday. The court ruling issued last December came in response to a lawsuit brought by four transgender people. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found the state’s rule that prohibited making a change to a person’s gender on their birth certificate was unconstitutional.
Late taxes another troubling sign for electric truck startup
An Ohio-based electric truck startup has failed to pay real estate taxes in what appears to be another troubling sign for the fledgling company. The Tribune Chronicle reports Lordstown Motors Corp. outside Youngstown owes $570,000 for first half taxes and a 10% penalty for failing to make payment in early March. The company which plans to build electric vehicles in a massive former GM plant has been barraged by bad news in recent months. That includes a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry and potential class-action lawsuits. A spokesperson called the non-payment an administrative oversight and said the company is in the process of paying the taxes and penalties.