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Morning Headlines: Masks Recommended, Not Mandated for Ohio Schools; Hedge Fund May Invest up to $400M in Lordstown Motors

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The Ohio Department of Health is urging school employees and eligible students age 12 and older to get vaccinated. It's also recommending schools continue additional measures that have proven helpful, such as keeping extra distance between people indoors, improving ventilation, sanitizing, and encouraging good hand-washing.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, July 27:

  • Ohio health officials won't mandate mask-wearing in schools
  • Hedge fund may invest up to $400M in Lordstown Motors
  • Cleveland Clinic again ranks No. 2 best hospital
  • $100 gift card incentive offered to Ohio Medicaid recipients
  • LeBron James mural defaced in Akron

Ohio health officials won't mandate mask-wearing in schools
(AP) — Ohio health officials say they don’t plan to mandate masks in schools this fall but strongly recommend students and staff wear face coverings if they aren't vaccinated against COVID-19. The Department of Health is urging school employees and eligible students age 12 and older to get vaccinated. It's also recommending schools continue additional measures that have proven helpful, such as keeping extra distance between people indoors, improving ventilation, sanitizing, and encouraging good hand-washing. Meanwhile, on Monday, Akron Public Schools announced that masks will be required for all students, staff, and visitors this fall. Cleveland and Columbus school districts announced mask mandates last week.

Hedge fund may invest up to $400M in Lordstown Motors
(AP) -- A hedge fund has thrown a $400 million lifeline to troubled electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors. The company said that Ya 2 Pn Limited, based in the Cayman Islands, purchased nearly 35 million shares in the company. Earlier this year the company’s former CEO said the fledgling automaker would fold without more cash. Lordstown Motors is still facing investor lawsuits claiming the company overstated presale numbers and an investigation by federal regulators.

Cleveland Clinic again ranks No. 2 best hospital
(WKSU) -- The Cleveland Clinic is the second-best hospital in the country in this year’s U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital rankings. The Clinic is second behind the Mayo Clinic and has finished in the top five for the last 22 years. It’s ranked No. 1 for heart care. In state rankings, the Clinic is ranked No. 1 in Ohio, followed by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Cleveland Clinic Akron General ranked 7th.

$100 gift card incentive offered to Ohio Medicaid recipients
(Columbus Dispatch) -- Ohio’s Medicaid managed care organizations are upping the ante on their COVID-19 vaccine incentive. Ohioans on Medicaid who get their first shot by Sept. 15 will qualify for a $100 gift card. The health plans had initially offered $50 gift cards for people who got shots before Aug. 15. The health care plans had set up a goal of 900,000 additional Medicaid members inoculated by Aug. 15. The plans also have partnered with local health departments to set up mobile vaccination clinics and other ways to reach home-bound Ohioans.

LeBron James mural defaced in Akron
(Beacon Journal) -- A new mural depicting hometown star LeBron James in his new “Space Jam” movie has been defaced in Akron. The Beacon Journal reports someone spray-painted over James' face with a clown nose and other graffiti early Monday morning. It's located on the front of a business near James’ I Promise School. Copley artist Chardae Slater says the mural will have to be repainted, which will take several weeks.