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Morning Headlines: Ohio Getting $34M to Address COVID Disparities; Migrant Workers in Malaysia Win Labor Suit Against Goodyear

A picture of Goodyear's headquarters in Akron.
GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY
A lawyer says a Malaysian court has ruled in favor of 65 migrant workers who sued Akron-based Goodyear for underpaying them. The lawyer says the Industrial Court agreed that the workers from Nepal, India, and Myanmar were entitled to benefits under a collective labor agreement.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, June 11:

  • Ohio getting $34M to address COVID disparities
  • Migrant workers in Malaysia win labor suit against Goodyear
  • 3 new conditions added to qualify for medical marijuana
  • One-time coronavirus bonus proposed for Ohio 1st responders
  • Bipartisan effort to expel accused ex-speaker in Ohio begins
  • KSU closes public ice rink

Ohio getting $34M to address COVID disparities
Ohio is getting more than $34 million to address COVID-19-related health disparities. The two-year grant is coming from The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than $7 million has been earmarked for rural communities. The funds will also be used to increase COVID-19 testing and contact tracing among high-risk and underserved populations, including racial and ethnic minority groups and people living in rural communities. About 14% of the state's population is Black, but about 25% of Ohio's COVID-19 cases and 19% of deaths are among Black Ohioans.

Migrant workers in Malaysia win labor suit against Goodyear
A lawyer says a Malaysian court has ruled in favor of 65 migrant workers who sued Akron-based Goodyear for underpaying them, calling it a victory for foreign employees. The lawyer says the Industrial Court agreed that the workers from Nepal, India, and Myanmar were entitled to benefits under a collective labor agreement that includes shift allowances, annual bonuses, and pay increases. He says the plaintiffs are the third group of foreign workers to win a case against Goodyear in the Industrial Court. The company argued that the foreigners were not represented by the labor union.

3 new conditions added to qualify for medical marijuana
The Ohio State Medical Board has approved three new conditions eligible for patients to receive medical marijuana. Huntington’s disease, terminal illness, and spasticity were added to the list on Wednesday. To be approved, petitions must show evidence that the drug can be used to treat or alleviate the disease or condition and that it has the support of physicians. In April, the board voted to more than double the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in response to complaints by patients about lack of access and expense.

One-time coronavirus bonus proposed for Ohio 1st responders
Legislation with the backing of Attorney General Dave Yost would provide a one-time bonus to Ohio's first responders, including police officers, to commemorate their work during the coronavirus pandemic. The House legislation would provide bonuses of either $500 or $1,000 using federal pandemic aid relief dollars. The bill introduced Monday would also include firefighters, state troopers, sheriff's deputies, state criminal bureau agents, jail officers, and EMTs.

Bipartisan effort to expel accused ex-speaker in Ohio begins
Ohio lawmakers have met to hear rare bipartisan arguments for expelling the powerful former speaker accused in a $60 million federal bribery scheme. Two resolutions aimed at removing Republican state Rep. Larry Householder had their initial hearing Thursday at the Ohio Statehouse, the first formal move in a year-long fight to address the disgraced lawmaker’s continued presence in the House. Householder and four associates were arrested last July and charged in connection with an alleged bribery scheme aimed at passing a bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants. Householder has pleaded not guilty and has resisted calls to resign.

KSU closes public ice rink
Kent State University has closed its public ice skating area, one of two rinks inside its ice arena. University officials say the rink will be converted to an indoor practice space for the marching band, costing around $6.5 million. Cleveland.com reports the marching band is losing its rehearsal space due to renovations on Main Street in Kent. The move has prompted some local skating enthusiasts and parents to protest the closure with a petition campaign that so far has nearly 1,700 signatures. The ice rink was closed last September due to the pandemic.