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Morning Headlines: ‘Technical Issue’ Contributes to Monday’s COVID-19 Spike; Cleveland Schools to Require Masks to Start the Year

A picture of John Hay Highschool.
BILL RICE
/
STATEIMPACT OHIO
Cleveland public schools will require students, faculty, and others to wear masks inside buildings for at least first five weeks of the year. Cleveland.com reports the mask mandate at The Cleveland Metropolitan School District will include those who are fully vaccinated.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, July 20:

  • ‘Technical issue’ contributes to Monday’s COVID-19 spike
  • Cleveland schools to require masks to start the year
  • New bill would ban or limit mask mandates
  • Jim Jordan among 5 Republicans selected to sit on Jan. 6 panel
  • Northeast Ohio on track for one of the wettest Julys in history
  • Western wildfires create hazy skies over the Great Lakes
  • Weekend power outage is latest setback for vendors at Cleveland’s West Side Market
  • State Rep. Sykes to hold Akron town halls
  • Akron mayor sets State of the City address
  • Shooting during illegal drag racing kills 1
  • Ohio State Fair opens with no attractions, crowds
  • Gas prices spike

‘Technical issue’ contributes to Monday’s COVID-19 spike
(Cleveland.com) -- New coronavirus cases in Ohio shot up Monday to 660, twice the three-week average and the highest single-day total in two months. However, state health officials tell Cleveland.com that a technical issue led to the spike, with nearly 250 cases added in from March. Still, Ohio is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases that's in line with the rest of the country as the more transmissible Delta variant becomes more prevalent among unvaccinated people. Lawrence County in southern Ohio has the highest transmission rate and has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state with fewer than one out of four residents inoculated.

Cleveland schools to require masks to start the year
(Cleveland.com) -- Cleveland public schools will require students, faculty, and others to wear masks inside buildings for at least the first five weeks of the year. Cleveland.com reports the mask mandate at The Cleveland Metropolitan School District will include those who are fully vaccinated. CEO Eric Gordon said the decision was made following guidance from the CDC. The district says it will offer vaccination clinics for students 12 and older and their families. There also will be free, voluntary coronavirus testing.

New bill would ban or limit mask mandates
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Some state lawmakers want to make sure Ohioans who don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t want to wear masks won’t feel compelled to do so. Republican Sen. Andrew Brenner’s (R-Delaware) bill (SB 209) would ban public schools and colleges from requiring masks in their buildings. Only local health departments could issue mask orders. And Brenner said businesses that require masks would have to make exceptions for people who have medical conditions. Ohio’s statewide mask mandate expired June 2 and Gov. Mike DeWine says he is not interested in resurrecting it now.

Jim Jordan among 5 Republicans selected to sit on Jan. 6 panel
(AP) — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has picked five Republicans to sit on the new select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Among them is Ohio's Jim Jordan, who was one of then-President Donald Trump's chief defenders during his first impeachment and is a close McCarthy ally. Jordan also voted to overturn the results of the November election. McCarthy’s choices will need to be approved by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before they can sit on the 13-member panel. Pelosi moved to form the committee after Senate Republicans blocked an effort to create an independent, bipartisan commission.

Northeast Ohio on track for one of the wettest Julys in history
(WKSU) -- This month is set to be among the top 10 wettest Julys. The National Weather Service says that as of Sunday, Akron-Canton Airport recorded just over 6.5 inches of total rainfall in the first 18 days of July. That’s triple the normal amount. However, the record was set in 2003 when Akron-Canton received more than a foot of rain. Since July 1, the weather service says just over 7 inches of rain has fallen at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, which is the most ever for that stretch of time.

Western wildfires create hazy skies over the Great Lakes
(WKSU) -- Wildfires out west are creating hazy conditions in Northeast Ohio. The National Weather Service says smoke from the Northwest Pacific region traveled northeast into southern Canada, with a wind shift causing a haze to head southeast over the Great Lakes. Forecasters say the skies are expected to remain hazy for the next few days, but shouldn’t affect air quality.

Weekend power outage is latest setback for vendors at Cleveland’s West Side Market
(WCPN) -- The city of Cleveland is again coming under fire from vendors at the West Side Market. An 11-hour power outage on Saturday forced many businesses to shut down on their busiest day of the week. Vendors tell WCPN that the city has failed to provide resources, like a proper backup generator to the historic building. The city of Cleveland hired a consultant in February to examine the market’s efficiency and look for ways to improve. Several Cleveland mayoral candidates made statements about the issue on Monday, saying they would take action immediately. The city of Cleveland did not respond to a request for comment from WCPN.

State Rep. Sykes to hold Akron town halls
(Beacon Journal) -- The top Democrat in Ohio House will hold three town hall meetings in her hometown over the next month. The Beacon Journal reports State Rep. Emilia Sykes will hold a meeting next Monday at the Northwest Family Recreation Center. There will be others on August Aug. 23 and 30 at other locations. The newspaper reports Sykes will discuss the new state budget along with redistricting efforts. Details are at ohiohousedemocrats.org.

Akron mayor sets State of the City address
(WKSU) -- Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has set the date for his State of the City address: It will be Monday, Aug. 9 at Lock 3 Park in Akron. Among other things, he’s expected to discuss how the city will spend its $153 million American Rescue Plan funding. The event is free and open to the public with food and live music. Proceeds will go toward the Russell M. Pry Memorial Scholarship at the University of Akron School of Law.

Shooting during illegal drag racing kills 1
(Cleveland.com) -- A shooting in Akron on Sunday night left one man dead and a teenager critically injured. Cleveland.com reports it happened after a crowd of about 100 people gathered for illegal drag racing in West Akron. Investigators say an unknown suspect or suspects fired multiple shots. The incident remains under investigation.

Ohio State Fair opens with no attractions, crowds
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- The Ohio State Fair is open – but there are no rides, no food vendors, no games, and no attendees. This year’s fair is limited to livestock and educational competitions. The Ohio Expo Commission decided in April not to have a full fair because of the potential cost of COVID compliance and the impact that would have on both health and ticket sales. But fair assistant manager Alicia Shoults said they preserved the junior fair component. The Ohio State Fair was completely canceled last year, for the first time in 75 years. But nearly all counties plan to hold fairs as scheduled. Thirteen fairs have already completed their runs.

Gas prices spike
(WKSU) --Gas prices have seen a big increase in the last week. AAA reports the average price for a gallon in Northeast Ohio is 12 cents higher at $3.08 on Monday. Ohio climbed above $3 this summer for the first time since 2014, as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels.