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Morning Headlines: Effort to Legalize Marijuana in Ohio Clears Hurdle; Staff COVID Cases Forces Sandusky Schools to Go Remote

A picture of a gloved individual holding a marijuana leaf.
APHIWAT CHUANGCHOEM
/
PEXELS
An effort to legalize marijuana use and sales in Ohio has cleared another hurdle. The Ohio Ballot Board, a panel of legislative appointees led by Secretary of State Frank LaRose, voted Monday to approve the proposed statute from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol as a single issue.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, August 31:

  • Effort to Legalize Marijuana in Ohio Clears Another Hurdle
  • Staff COVID Cases Forces Sandusky Schools to Go Remote
  • Butler County Judge: COVID Patient Can Use Controversial Livestock Drug
  • New Ohio Jobless Claims Decline
  • Ex-Death Row Inmate Awarded $1M for Wrongful Imprisonment
  • UH Children’s to Use Largest-Ever Gift to Start Pandemic Network
  • Ohio to Stop Using Brine to De-Ice Roadways

Effort to Legalize Marijuana in Ohio Clears Another Hurdle
(AP) — An effort to legalize marijuana use and sales in Ohio has cleared another hurdle on the path to getting the proposal submitted to the Legislature. The Ohio Ballot Board, a panel of legislative appointees led by Secretary of State Frank LaRose, voted Monday to approve the proposed statute from the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol as a single issue. The decision means the group can start gathering the nearly 133,000 valid signatures needed to submit the proposed state law to the Ohio Legislature, which will have four months to act. If it doesn't, the measure would be placed on the Ohio ballot.

Staff COVID Cases Forces Sandusky Schools to Go Remote
(WCPN) — The Sandusky City School District has announced middle and high school students are staying home for remote learning this week due to four staffers testing positive for COVID-19. WCPN reports officials made the decision Sunday night citing the quick spread of the delta variant. The decision was made with the Erie County Health Department. Students are scheduled to return to in-person learning on September 7.

Butler County Judge: COVID Patient Can Use Controversial Livestock Drug
(Ohio Capital Journal) — The family of a COVID-19 patient in Cincinnati is among a handful nationwide to have won court orders to use a livestock medicine to treat their loved ones. The Ohio Capital Journal reports that a Butler County judge agreed to force the West Chester Hospital to use ivermectin, a horse de-wormer, to treat a seriously ill Cincinnati man. Ivermectin is the latest COVID treatment to have gained support through social media, but without approval from the medical community. While ivermectin has been shown to work in humans against parasites like head lice or worms, COVID is a viral disease, and no studies thus far have shown any effectiveness against the coronavirus.

New Ohio Jobless Claims Decline
(Statehouse News Bureau) — Nearly 8,200 people filed first-time jobless claims in Ohio in the last week, the lowest number since the pandemic began. But claims from those who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment and applied for benefits under a federally funded pandemic program are up. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said since March of 2020, 3.9 million claims were filed for traditional unemployment. 41% were approved, 55% denied, and 72,000 claims are still pending, some for over a year. Among the 2.7 million claims filed for federal pandemic unemployment assistance, 37% were approved and 44% denied, and 522,000 are still pending. The overwhelming number of claims were flagged for fraud. ODJFS said it doesn’t have approval and denial rates from previous years for comparison.

Ex-Death Row Inmate Awarded $1M for Wrongful Imprisonment
(Cleveland.com) — A former death row inmate who was wrongly imprisoned for two decades for murder will receive $1 million from the state. Cleveland.com reports the Ohio Controlling Board voted unanimously Monday to make the award to Joe D’Ambrosio. The board’s decision comes about two months after Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley dropped an appeal opposing a judge’s ruling that D’Ambrosio was wrongly imprisoned, saying he believes witness testimony during the trial showed that D’Ambrosio is guilty. D'Ambrosio was released in 2010 after a judge found prosecutors withheld 10 pieces of evidence at his trial. The money will come from the state’s wrongful imprisonment fund. It's part of a 2019 change in the law that allows people freed from prison because of police or prosecutorial misconduct to be eligible for compensation for serving prison time.

UH Children’s to Use Largest-Ever Gift to Start Pandemic Network
(WKSU) — A local children’s hospital has received its largest-ever gift - $48 million dollars. University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital says the grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will be used to set up a Regional Pediatric Pandemic Network. The network will build on the existing network of six children’s hospitals in Ohio and Michigan that will work together to expand care of children during pandemics and other health crises. The network also includes children’s hospitals in California, Kentucky, Utah, and Missouri.

Ohio to Stop Using Brine to De-Ice Roadways
(Columbus Dispatch) — State officials say they will no longer use a controversial brine product from oil and gas wells to de-ice roads. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio Department of Transportation will stop purchasing AquaSalina, a brine solution that in a 2017 study was found to contain high levels of radioactive compounds. Current state law allows for the use of brine on roads because radium is a naturally occurring compound, although it has been shown to cause bone, liver, and breast cancer. A bill sponsored by Canton Republican Bob Young would allow the product for sale to the general public and remove reporting requirements for its use.