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Morning Headlines: New COVID-19 Cases Top 4k for the Second Straight Day; More Than 30 Afghan Refugees Arrive in Cleveland

A dashboard of key indicators of COVID-19 cases.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
More than 4,600 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, the second straight day over 4,000. 2,100 people are currently hospitalized, nearly double the number from just two weeks ago. According to Ohio health department data, children account for 1 in 5 COVID cases in Ohio.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, August 26:

  • New COVID-19 Cases Top 4k for the Second Straight Day
  • More Than 30 Afghan Refugees Arrive in Cleveland
  • Air Force Chooses Mansfield for New Cyberwarfare Site
  • Conservative Hoaxers Face $5.1M Fine for Election Robocalls
  • Vaccine Incentive Program Pays Off for Cleveland Steelmaker
  • SW Ohio City's Abortion Ban Energizes Council Race and Activism

New COVID-19 Cases Top 4k for the Second Straight Day
(WKSU) — New coronavirus cases are steadily marching upwards in Ohio despite 60% of the eligible population having received the vaccine. More than 4,600 new cases were reported Wednesday, the second straight day over 4,000. Breakthrough cases of the Delta variant among vaccinated people could account for some of the surge. But 98% of serious cases are among unvaccinated people. 2,100 people are currently hospitalized, nearly double the number from just two weeks ago. According to Ohio health department data, children account for 1 in 5 COVID cases in Ohio.

More Than 30 Afghan Refugees Arrive in Cleveland
(Cleveland.com) — A small number of Afghan refugees have begun arriving in Northeast Ohio. Cleveland.com reports that more than 30 people have arrived in Cleveland in recent weeks, some are joining family members already here. More are expected to arrive as the U.S. struggles to extricate people from Kabul. Cleveland is one of 19 cities approved to accept refugees through the Special Immigrant Visa program which is designed to resettle Afghans who worked with Americans during the war. Cities on that list are seen to have a reasonable cost of living, housing availability, supportive services, and an overall welcoming community.

Air Force Chooses Mansfield for New Cyberwarfare Site
(WKSU) — The Air Force has selected Mansfield as the site of a new cyber warfare wing. Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement yesterday, saying the Mansfield Air National Guard Base will welcome 175 new STEM and IT positions as part of the new wing. The Air Force has not announced a timeline for the site. The next step is expected to be an environmental assessment of the location.

Conservative Hoaxers Face $5.1M Fine for Election Robocalls
(AP) — Two conservative hoaxers face a record $5.1 million fine for making illegal robocalls to cell phones without the owners' consent in the 2020 election. The FCC said the proposed fine for Jacob Wohl, Jack Burkman, and Burkman's lobbying firm would be the largest ever for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The men already face criminal charges for allegedly organizing 85,000 robocalls that falsely warned people in predominantly Black areas of Ohio, and neighboring states that information gleaned from mail-in ballots could lead to their arrest, debt collection, and forced vaccination.

Vaccine Incentive Program Pays Off for Cleveland Steelmaker
(WKSU) — One of Cleveland’s largest employers says a vaccine incentive program has paid off. In a release, steelmaker Cleveland Cliffs said nearly 19,000 of its 25,000 workers have gotten the shots after it launched a $3,000 employee incentive. The company said more than half of its 43 locations nationwide now have vaccination rates of 75% or better, doubling the rates from July. Cleveland Cliffs said it paid out around $50 million in bonuses through its vaccine incentive program.

SW Ohio City's Abortion Ban Energizes Council Race and Activism
(AP) — Nineteen people have pulled petitions to run for council in the small southwest Ohio city that became the first in the state earlier this year to enact a measure outlawing abortion. Two new activist groups also have formed in Lebanon, Ohio, a city near Cincinnati of about 21,000 people. Lebanon City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on May 25 declaring Lebanon a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” The ordinance outlawed providing or aiding an abortion and providing money, transportation, or instructions for an abortion within city limits. The city has no abortion clinic, so the law's immediate impact was not clear.