Morning Headlines: COVID Cases Hit 8-Month High; DeWine Calls for State Investigation Into Bishop Sycamore School
Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 1:
- COVID cases hit 8-month high
- DeWine calls for state investigation into Bishop Sycamore school
- GOP Justice Pat DeWine leaves race for Ohio chief justice
- Ohio, Miami universities are requiring COVID-19 vaccine
- Barberton High School closes over bedbugs
- Ohio redistricting panel to miss Sept. 1 redrawing deadline
- Ohio joins lawsuit over LGBTQ protections
- Opening arguments made in Akron arson suspect's murder trial
- Ronayne steps down from University Circle Inc. to run for county executive
COVID cases hit 8-month high
(WKSU) -- New coronavirus cases hit an eight-month high in Ohio on Tuesday with nearly 6,000 positive tests. That’s the most in a 24 hour period since mid-January. Hospitalizations also increased by around 300, more than twice the three-week average. Nearly 2,500 people remain hospitalized. The state says 28% of all COVID cases in Ohio are among children.
DeWine calls for state investigation into Bishop Sycamore school
(The Columbus Dispatch) -- Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered the Ohio Department of Education to investigate a high school that claims to be based in Columbus but has no address listed on its website. Bishop Sycamore is in the headlines this week after its football team was blown out against an elite Florida school on ESPN. The Columbus Dispatch reports the school’s physical address turned out to be a Columbus indoor sports facility with no classrooms. Last year the state listed Bishop Sycamore as a "non-chartered, non-tax supported school.” USA Today reports that Roy Johnson, head coach of Bishop Sycamore’s football team was fired by the school’s founder.
GOP Justice Pat DeWine leaves race for Ohio chief justice
(AP) — Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine says he's dropping out of the race for chief justice of the court. DeWine, a Republican and the son of GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, says he decided the best way to ensure a conservative majority on the court is to run for re-election to his current seat. DeWine's decision narrows the chief justice race to Justice Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, and Justice Sharon Kennedy, a Republican. Current GOP Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor must leave her seat due to age limits. The court's current make-up is a 4-3 GOP majority.
Ohio, Miami universities are requiring COVID-19 vaccine
(AP) — Ohio University and Miami University are joining the list of college campuses requiring students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as cases rise amid the spread of the delta variant. Being fully vaccinated by Nov. 15 will be a requirement for participation in spring semester classes and other in-person activities at OU. At Miami, students must be fully vaccinated by a Nov. 22 deadline, and those who don't have at least a first dose by Oct. 25 can’t register for spring classes. Other schools including Akron and Kent State universities previously announced similar vaccination requirements for students and employees.
Barberton High School closes over bedbugs
(The Beacon Journal) -- A Summit County high school is shutting down for several days to address a bedbug problem. Barberton High School students will take classes remotely Wednesday and Thursday so exterminators can fumigate the building. Other buildings in the district will remain open for in-person classes.
Ohio redistricting panel to miss Sept. 1 redrawing deadline
(AP) — The panel charged with redrawing Ohio’s state legislative districts for the next 10 years will miss its Sept. 1 deadline. That means an automatic extension until Sept. 15. Senate Democrats submitted the first map proposal Tuesday, but Republicans indicated GOP versions of the newly drawn maps are still in the works. Bob Cupp, a Lima Republican, is the Ohio House Speaker and the panel co-chair. He said the delay in the release of Census data has slowed the panel's work. Rep. Emilia Sykes of Akron, the top-ranking House Democrat, and a commission member, expressed frustration that Cupp was unable to say when the commission would have a map to make public.
Ohio joins lawsuit over LGBTQ protections
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Ohio has joined 19 other Republican-dominated states in a lawsuit over the Biden administration’s extension of protections to halt discrimination against LGBTQ people. Attorney General Dave Yost says in a statement that the case is not about the policy, it’s about power and that the Biden administration is "inventing sweeping laws outside the process mandated by our Constitution". Equality Ohio says the suit suggests a mixed message since one of Gov. Mike DeWine’s first actions was an executive order protecting LGBTQ state workers.
Opening arguments made in Akron arson suspect's murder trial
(AP) — Opening arguments have been made in the latest trial of a man accused of killing nine people in separate arson fires in his Akron neighborhood. Stanley Ford could be sentenced to death if convicted on multiple aggravated murder charges. He's accused of killing a couple in 2016 and two adults and five children in 2017. Summit County prosecutors told jurors Monday that they will use surveillance video footage, security alarm records, and the testimony of neighbors to show Ford was responsible. They have said he set the fires because of disputes with his neighbors, but defense attorney Scott Rilley said Ford cannot be identified in the surveillance videos and added that other potential suspects were identified.
Ronayne steps down from University Circle Inc. to run for county executive
(Cleveland.com) -- The long-time head of University Circle Inc. has resigned to run for Cuyahoga County executive. Chris Ronayne will step down Oct. 1 after 16 years as president of the Cleveland community service corporation. He tells Cleveland.com he’ll soon formally launch his campaign to unseat fellow Democrat, County Executive Armond Budish in the 2022 primary. Budish has not yet said whether he’ll seek a third term.