Morning Headlines: Progressive Field, Canal Park to Expand Capacity, Drop Masks; State Reports 100 New COVID Deaths, 5M Vaccinated
Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 19:
- Progressive Field, Canal Park to expand capacity, drop masks
- State reports 100 new COVID deaths, 5M are vaccinated
- Black faith leaders, lawmakers, push to end death penalty
- Many Ohio cities getting less stimulus funding than estimated
- Judges send Ohio's case against Census back to lower court
- West Side Market getting $2.1M in repairs, upgrades
- Bike safety activists rally in Cleveland
- Shooting on Metro bus critically injures man
Progressive Field, Canal Park to expand capacity, drop masks
A number of entertainment venues are making adjustments following new CDC guidelines. On Tuesday, Cleveland's Progressive Field announced baseball games will return to full capacity starting June 2, and that masks will be optional. Canal Park issued the same announcement, saying RubberDucks games will be back to full capacity of more than 7,600 fans. The Akron and Cleveland Metroparks zoos are no longer requiring masks. Another business, Giant Eagle, announced it will no longer require vaccinated customers and workers to wear masks in its grocery stores beginning Monday.
State reports 100 new COVID deaths, 5M vaccinated
The state on Tuesday reported another 100 Ohio residents died with COVID-19 since Friday. The state is now updating death figures twice a week. Cases, which are reported daily, continue to trend below average. There were 993 on Tuesday. The Department of Health reported that 5 million Ohioans have received at least a first dose of vaccine, which is nearly 43% of the population.
Black faith leaders, lawmakers, push to end death penalty
A coalition of Black ministers, lawmakers and national activists have announced a new effort to end the death penalty in Ohio. Two bipartisan bills in the legislature are being backed by members of the Ohio Black Legislative Caucus and the Ohio Council of Churches. The groups say momentum is on their side and point to Virginia, which ended the death penalty in March, the first southern state to do so. There are 29 men on Ohio's execution schedule through 2025, with the first scheduled in January, 2022. Gov. Mike DeWine has said the state can’t get the lethal injection drugs it needs, so the legislature needs to decide what to do.
Many Ohio cities getting less stimulus funding than estimated
The amount of money coming to some cities under the latest federal stimulus plan has been adjusted downward. Cleveland.com reports that Cleveland will receive $511 million, around $30 million less than the Congressional Research Service estimated before the package was signed into law. Cleveland is still receiving more than any other Ohio city. Akron is receiving $145 million, 5% less than projected. While the vast majority of Ohio cities are receiving less than originally predicted, some, including Lorain, will receive as much as 5.6% more than estimated.
Judges send Ohio's case against Census back to lower court
An appellate court has sent a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Census Bureau’s delay in releasing data used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts back to a trial court and ordered a judge to come up with a remedy between the statistical agency and the state of Ohio. A panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati said Tuesday that Ohio had standing to sue the Census Bureau over its decision to delay the release of redistricting data from March 31 to mid-August. A lower court had previously ruled that Ohio lacked standing and had dismissed the case.
West Side Market getting $2.1M in repairs, upgrades
Cleveland’s historic West Side Market is in line for much-needed repairs. City Council has approved spending $2.1 million to upgrade the electrical system, install new vendor booths, and implement better refrigeration and food preparation areas, among other improvements. Some vendors have left the market in recent years following complaints about everything from a poor electrical system and plumbing issues, to outdated coolers and a leaky roof.
Bike safety activists rally in Cleveland
Bicycle safety activists are holding a rally today to honor cyclists killed or injured by motor vehicles. Last year, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reported 1,077 crashes between cars and bikes. Fifty-five of those cyclists died, an 88% increase over 2019. The Ride of Silence is a global event that this year will not include a mass ride due to the pandemic. Individual cyclists will still meet on Public Square for the event.
Shooting on Metro bus critically injures man
A shooting broke out on an Akron Metro bus on Tuesday, critically injuring a 21-year-old man. The victim, whose name has not been released, is in critical condition, and two suspects were taken into custody near the scene at the transit center in downtown Akron. It’s unknown what caused the gunfire to erupt.