Morning Headlines: Thousands Enter Ohio's $1M Vax-a-Million Lottery; $2B Plan for Cleveland Hopkins Airport Unveiled
Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, May 20:
- Thousands enter Ohio's $1M Vax-a-Million lottery
- $2B plan for Cleveland Hopkins Airport unveiled
- President Biden to visit Cleveland
- GOP Reps. Gonzalez, Joyce break party lines in insurrection commission vote
- 7 fraternity members plead not guilty in Ohio hazing death
- Man who plotted attack on Ohio synagogue pleads guilty
- OSU AD Gene Smith gets contract extension
Thousands enter Ohio's $1M Vax-a-Million lottery
The state says hundreds of thousands of people have entered Ohio's lottery that will award five $1 million prizes and five full-ride college scholarships in a promotion to increase vaccinations. The Ohio Department of Health website for the lottery, ohiovaxamillion.com has more than 25 million page views. The first winners will be announced Wednesday. Preliminary data show there were 113,000 first vaccine doses in the week since Gov. Mike DeWine announced the drawings. That’s about double the previous week.
$2B plan for Cleveland Hopkins Airport unveiled
Cleveland officials on Wednesday got a first look at a 20-year master plan for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The $2 billion plan includes five concourses, instead of three, an expanded terminal, more parking, relocated customs, centralized security, and a new exit off I-71. Overall, the scenario recommends rebuilding about 71% of the airport. There are big questions about how to pay for the project. The first phase of the plan, which would cost an estimated $780 million, wouldn’t begin until 2026.
President Biden to visit Cleveland
President Joe Biden plans a trip to Cleveland next week for a speech on the economy, the White House announced Wednesday evening. Biden will travel to Northeast Ohio on Thursday. The president’s office did not release any more details. It will be Biden’s first visit to Cleveland since the final days of the 2020 campaign when he touched down at Burke Lakefront Airport for a pre-Election Day rally. In March, Biden spoke at The Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital in Columbus. Biden will visit Cleveland as city officials draw up plans for spending $511 million in federal aid passed by Congress this year.
GOP Reps. Gonzalez, Joyce break party lines in insurrection commission vote
Two Ohio Republican Congressmen broke party lines Wednesday in voting to create an independent bipartisan commission to probe the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River and Dave Joyce of Bainbridge Township were among 35 Republicans who voted to pass the measure, which now faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Gonzalez has faced backlash from the party after he voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the insurrection.
7 fraternity members plead not guilty in Ohio hazing death
Seven men have pleaded not guilty to charges in the fraternity hazing death of a Bowling Green State University student. The indictment says 20-year-old Stone Foltz was blindfolded and told to drink an excessive and ultimately fatal amount of alcohol during an off-campus hazing ritual. The charges vary by student and include involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, felonious assault, hazing, and violating state alcohol laws.
Man who plotted attack on Ohio synagogue pleads guilty
Federal prosecutors say a man who plotted an attack on a Toledo-area synagogue has pleaded guilty to related charges. Damon Joseph, also known as Abdullah Ali Yusuf, was arrested in 2018. Prosecutors say the 23-year-old drew attention after posting photos of weapons and vows of support for ISIS on social media. The plot was uncovered during Joseph's conversations with undercover FBI agents.
OSU AD Gene Smith gets contract extension
The Ohio State University is giving athletic director Gene Smith a four-year contract extension that would keep him in place into 2026. Under new terms that begin in July, Smith will make more than $2 million each year in base salary and supplemental compensation for media, promotion, and public relations. He’s also in line for hundreds of thousands in bonuses. Meanwhile, Ohio State’s athletic department is projecting a $50 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends next month, about $20 million less than projected amid the pandemic.