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Morning Headlines: Ohio Names 3rd Vax-a-Million Winners as Vaccinations Drop; Renacci to Challenge DeWine for Governor

A picture of Jim Renacci
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Former four-term Congressman Jim Renacci of Wadsworth plans to challenge Gov. Mike DeWine in next year's Republican primary. Renacci ran briefly for governor in 2017 before then-President Donald Trump backed him to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, June 10:

  • Ohio names 3rd Vax-a-Million winners as vaccinations drop
  • Renacci to challenge DeWine for governor
  • Censored veteran will get another chance to give speech
  • 3 Columbus police officers charged in 2020 protest response
  • Ohio Senate approves its $75 billion, two-year budget
  • Senate passes bill protecting athletes' religious expression
  • 3rd solar panel plant to open in Ohio, bringing 500 jobs
  • Cavs’ G-League team Charge to leave Canton for Cleveland

Ohio names 3rd Vax-a-Million winners as vaccinations drop
The state has announced the third pair of Ohio Vax-a-Million winners even as the initial bump from the incentive program fades and the vaccination numbers continue to drop. Mark Cline of Richwood in Union County won the $1 million prize and seventh-grader Sara Afaneh of Sheffield Lake in Lorain County won the full-ride college scholarship. More than 3.3 million Ohioans entered their names for a shot at the $1 million prize, slightly up from the 3.2 million registered for last week’s drawing. Scholarship entries were up by about 10,000 over last week. There are two more weekly drawings.

Renacci to challenge DeWine for governor
Former four-term Congressman Jim Renacci of Wadsworth plans to challenge Gov. Mike DeWine in next year's Republican primary. Renacci ran briefly for governor in 2017 before then-President Donald Trump backed him to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. Renacci faced criticism for a number of campaign finance irregularities during that campaign, which he lost. The businessman and former Wadsworth mayor has criticized DeWine's COVID-19 restrictions, as well as the governor's economic and immigration stances.

Censored veteran will get another chance to give speech
A retired U.S. Army officer is getting a chance to deliver his speech about freed Black slaves who honored fallen Civil War soldiers. The American Legion Department of Ohio says it has invited retired Army Lt. Col. Barney Kemter of Hudson to speak next week at an event hosted by the organization. Kemter was speaking at a Memorial Day event hosted by the local American Legion post when his microphone was turned off as he talked. Two of the event’s organizers later resigned and the post is closed.

3 Columbus police officers charged in 2020 protest response
A special prosecutor has charged three Columbus police officers Wednesday for alleged misconduct in their handling of demonstrators during the protests last summer following the killing of George Floyd. The misdemeanor charges follow a federal judge's ruling in April that the division mishandled the protests and used force against protesters without provocation.

Ohio Senate approves its $75 billion, two-year budget
The Ohio Senate on Wednesday approved its version of the $75 billion, two-year state budget. It includes a 5% income tax cut and expansion of the private school voucher program. The Senate also approved its version of a public education funding bill. The Ohio House already passed a bipartisan plan to overhaul education funding, a plan developed over three years with input from teachers, superintendents, parents and school boards. The next step is for the bill to return to the House for a vote on whether to agree with the changes the Senate made to the bill, expected Thursday afternoon. The budget must be in place by July 1.

Senate passes bill protecting athletes' religious expression
The Ohio Senate has approved legislation to protect athletes' religious expression. The bill was inspired by an Ohio teen disqualified from a cross-country race for wearing a hijab without a required waiver. The measure passed unanimously Wednesday prohibits school sports regulators from requiring advance waivers or otherwise restricting participants' religious apparel unless it causes a “legitimate danger." The Ohio High School Athletic Association has since changed its rules to let referees approve such head coverings without a formal waiver.

3rd solar panel plant to open in Ohio, bringing 500 jobs
A solar panel maker plans to build a third factory in Ohio and add 500 jobs near Toledo. First Solar Inc. says the $680 million plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, slated to open in 2023 will double its production capacity. The company says it’s counting on the Biden administration’s support for green energy to increase demand for its solar panels.

Cavs’ G-League team Charge to leave Canton for Cleveland
The Cavs' minor league team, The Canton Charge, is moving north. The Cavs on Wednesday announced that next season, the Charge will play at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center downtown, leaving behind the Canton Memorial Civic Center where they played for the last decade. The team says the move allows players to be closer to their NBA counterpart. The Cavs plan to remain active in Canton, expanding youth sports programs and providing at least 20,000 meals for local food banks and pantries.