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Morning Headlines: Nearly Every Ohio County Now at 'High' COVID Transmission; Design Charrette Will Determine Future of Merriman Valley

A map showing the high spread of COVID-19 throughout Ohio.
CDC
Nearly every Ohio county is reporting “high” levels of community transmission, according to CDC data, which comes with a recommendation that everyone wear masks in indoor public places. Just six counties, including Ashtabula, report “substantial” transmission.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, August 16:

  • Nearly every Ohio county now at 'high' COVID transmission
  • Design charrette will determine future of Merriman Valley
  • Fitch improves Ohio’s credit rating
  • Proposed bill would eliminate required conceal carry license
  • Teens escape from detention facility, lead police on a chase
  • Five hurt in downtown Akron shooting
  • Medina native wins 18th straight Jeopardy game

Nearly every Ohio county now at 'high' COVID transmission
(WKSU) -- Ohio reported just under 2,000 COVID-19 cases and 40 additional hospitalizations on Sunday. Nearly every Ohio county is reporting “high” levels of community transmission, according to CDC data, which comes with a recommendation that everyone wear masks in indoor public places. Just six counties, including Ashtabula, report “substantial” transmission.

Design charrette will determine future of Merriman Valley
(WKSU) -- The cities of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls are hosting a charrette on the future of the Merriman Valley on Tuesday. A charrette is a focused period of design activity. The goal is to create a Master Plan which will map out the future of the Merriman Valley, which is the area north of Highland Square. In a statement, officials from both cities say they want to make the area more walkable, healthy, and beautiful. The group “Preserve the Valley” has been critical of proposals last year to develop parts of the Valley. Participants can weigh in on design issues, environmental concerns, and questions about historical preservation. The charrette will take place at Todaro’s Party Center in Akron, and the final plan generated by the event will be presented on Thursday night.

Fitch improves Ohio’s credit rating
(WKSU) -- Ohio’s credit rating is at its highest level in 42 years, according to the latest Fitch ratings. Fitch affirmed the state’s rating at AA+ and boosted its outlook from “stable” to “positive.” The rating, which is one notch below Fitch’s highest designation of AAA, will cut state borrowing costs and indicates that Ohio is well-managed financially. Fitch also said Ohio is well-positioned to manage the economic downtown caused by the pandemic and noted that the state’s “rainy day” fund, which once totaled 89 cents, now totals $2.7 billion.

Proposed bill would eliminate required conceal carry license
(AP) — A proposed bill in the Ohio Senate would eliminate the requirement for a concealed weapons permit. The legislation sponsored by southern Ohio Republican state Sen. Terry Johnson, would also end the requirement that individuals “promptly” inform police officers that they're carrying a concealed weapon. The legislation has the backing of the Buckeye Firearms Association, which says 21 other states allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a license. The statewide chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police opposes it.

Teens escape from detention facility, lead police on a chase
(Cleveland.com) -- Two teens who escaped from a Stark County detention facility on Sunday are back in custody after leading authorities on a chase. Cleveland.com reports the 15- and 17-year-olds escaped through an open door and stole a vehicle. They drove south on I-77 and were followed by police until they crashed in Dover and were captured after fleeing on foot.

Five hurt in downtown Akron shooting
(The Beacon Journal) -- Five people were injured in a shooting in downtown Akron early Saturday. The Beacon Journal reports the shooting that occurred outside of CRWN nightclub remains under investigation. No suspects have been arrested. The Beacon reports the club owner says the trouble is happening on the streets and not inside his business. He’s called on law enforcement to better patrol the area. The department said there will be additional conversations with the bar's owners, the police, and the Downtown Akron Partnership.

Medina native wins 18th straight Jeopardy game
(WKSU) -- Medina County native Matt Amodio keeps rolling on the TV game show Jeopardy. He notched his 18th straight victory on Friday night, bringing his total earnings to nearly $575,000. Amodio will be back for the show's season premiere on Sept. 13. He’s in the computer science doctoral program at Yale University.