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Morning Headlines: Akron Children’s to Require Vaccinations for Employees; Crowd Gathers to Protest Summa’s Vaccine Policy

A photo of the exterior of Akron Children's Hospital.
WKSU
Akron Children’s Hospital will now require its employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, Summa became the first Northeast Ohio hospital to mandate that employees be fully vaccinated by October 31, or face termination.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, August 17:

  • Akron Children’s to require vaccinations for employees
  • Crowd gathers to protest Summa’s vaccine policy
  • Cuyahoga Commons Pleas court to require employee vaccinations
  • Cleveland begins drafting plan for $511M COVID relief funding
  • State approves $100M loan for Clinic’s pathogen research center
  • Energy efficiency incentives could return under Ohio bill
  • Judge says man wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years
  • Jury selection begins for arson suspect accused of killing 9
  • Cedar Point ride shut down after metal piece falls, hits woman
  • Former Browns player, politician Schafrath dies

Akron Children’s to to require vaccinations for employees
(WKYC) -- Akron Children’s Hospital will require its employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. WKYC reports all employees and new hires must get the shot or will be tested for the virus weekly. Earlier this month, Summa became the first Northeast Ohio hospital to mandate that employees be fully vaccinated by October 31, or face termination. The policy does allow for medical or religious exemptions.

Crowd gathers to protest Summa’s vaccine policy
(Fox 8) -- A crowd gathered outside of Summa Health’s Akron campus Monday night to protest the vaccine requirement. Fox 8 reports more than 100 people showed up with signs and chanting. Some said they refuse to get the shot because the vaccines so far have only emergency use authorization and not full FDA approval. In a statement, Summa said, “Our COVID vaccination policy is based on science...and remains in place.”

Cuyahoga Commons Pleas court to require employee vaccinations
(WKSU) -- The Cuyahoga County Commons Pleas Court's General Division employees are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15. The judges voted to approve the mandate with medical and religious exemptions. Cuyahoga County's Probate, Domestic Relations, and Juvenile divisions will also require employees to get vaccinated.

Cleveland begins drafting plan for $511M COVID relief funding
(WCPN) -- Cleveland is drafting an early plan for spending $511 million in COVID-19 relief money and will send the proposal to the U.S. Treasury Department for approval by the end of the month. The city has received half that money already and will get the other half next year. In general, the money has to be spent to make up for impacts of the pandemic, but Mayor Frank Jackson’s Chief of Staff Sharon Dumas told city council Monday it could be used to cover things like lead mitigation or house demolition if the proposal is properly written. Council members have submitted ideas for how to spend the money, with a consensus that expanding access to broadband will be a priority. Residents also suggested thousands of ideas.

State approves $100M loan for Clinic’s pathogen research center
(Crain’s Cleveland) -- The Cleveland Clinic is moving forward with its plans to create a pathogen research center on its main campus. Crain’s Cleveland reports the Ohio Controlling Board signed off on funding for the estimated $445 million project. The Global Center for Pathogen Research and Human Health is the centerpiece of The Cleveland Innovation District, a partnership between the city's three major hospitals and Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State universities. The Clinic pledged $300 million toward the initiative and the state is providing a $100 million loan, which could be forgiven entirely if the Clinic fulfills its job creation commitments in the coming years.

Energy efficiency incentives could return under Ohio bill
(AP) — A bipartisan bill in the Ohio Legislature would once again allow power companies to offer energy efficiency programs such as smart thermostats or appliance rebates. The legislation is aimed at undoing an element of a now-tainted nuclear power plant bailout bill at the heart of an alleged $60 million bribery scheme. In addition to a massive ratepayer-funded bailout of the plants, the law also gutted state renewable energy standards and eliminated all energy efficiency programs. Under the proposed bill, customers would cover the cost of reinstating energy efficiency programs, though some could opt-out.

Judge says man wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years
(Cleveland.com) -- A Cuyahoga County judge on Monday said a man who spent 16 years in prison on rape charges was wrongfully imprisoned. Cleveland.com reports Common Pleas Judge Kelly Ann Gallagher issued the decision on Monday for Christopher Miller, who was convicted of breaking into a Cleveland Heights woman’s house in 2002 and raping her at gunpoint. The Ohio Innocence Project in 2015 convinced a judge to order DNA testing of evidence police collected at the scene, which cleared Miller of the crime. He was released from prison in 2018, and can now seek compensation from the state. He’s also sued Cleveland Heights police.

Jury selection begins for arson suspect accused of killing 9
(AP) — Jury selection is underway for an Akron man accused of killing nine people in separate arsons. Stanley Ford could be sentenced to the death penalty if convicted of multiple aggravated murder charges. Prosecutors have said the 62-year-old Ford killed a couple in 2016 and seven people, including five children, in 2017 over neighborhood disputes. Summit County Judge Christine Croce declared a mistrial last year at the request of Ford's attorneys, who cited concerns about Ford getting a fair trial during the coronavirus pandemic. The trial is expected to begin Aug. 30.

Cedar Point ride shut down after metal piece falls, hits woman
(Cleveland.com) -- Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster has been shut down after a metal piece struck a woman waiting in line for the ride on Sunday. The woman was taken to a hospital, but her name and condition have not been released. Cleveland.com reports the ride was inspected in May and was set for another inspection in September under a new law that requires all rollercoasters to be inspected twice per year.

Former Browns player, politician Schafrath dies
(AP) — Dick Schafrath, a star offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns before going into politics after retiring, has died at 84. Schafrath, a native of the Wooster area, spent his entire 13-year NFL career with Cleveland during the 1960’s, including the 1964 championship team. Schafrath then served as a state senator in Ohio from 1987 until he retired in 2000.