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Morning Headlines: GOP Lawmakers Debut New Anti-Vaccine Mandate Bill; Abortion Rights Protesters Rally Inside Statehouse

A picture of a syringe, vials of the COVID vaccine, and a face mask.
RONSTIK
/
PIXABAY
Ohio House Republicans have introduced a bill that would allow public and private employees to secure exemptions from mandated coronavirus vaccinations for three main reasons. Those are for a negative medical reaction to the vaccine, proven natural immunity as demonstrated by the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, and reasons of conscience including religious convictions.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 29:

  • GOP lawmakers debut new anti-vaccine mandate bill
  • Abortion rights protesters rally inside Statehouse
  • Ohio sees COVID spike in cases
  • State, Cuyahoga Co. offer employee vaccine incentives
  • Cleveland schools extend mask mandate
  • Cuyahoga judge McDonnell dies
  • Ohio State sex abuse survivors plan appeals, defend motives
  • Goodyear further invests in self-driving technology

GOP lawmakers debut new anti-vaccine mandate bill
(AP) — Ohio House Republicans have introduced a bill putting limits on employers' ability to require that employees receive the coronavirus vaccine as a condition of employment. The bill would allow public and private employees to secure exemptions from mandated coronavirus vaccinations for three main reasons. Those are for a negative medical reaction to the vaccine, proven natural immunity as demonstrated by the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, and reasons of conscience including religious convictions.

Abortion rights protesters rally inside Statehouse
(AP) — More than 100 abortion rights protesters rallied inside the Ohio Statehouse and briefly entered the Senate chamber on Tuesday. State troopers escorted the protesters from the Senate chamber, where lawmakers had just adjourned their session. Groups organizing the protest included Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, the Ohio Women's Alliance, and Planned Parenthood. The protest came a day before the Senate Health Committee was scheduled to hear a bill that would ban abortions in Ohio in the event of a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Ohio sees COVID spike in cases
(WKSU) -- Ohio on Tuesday saw a spike in COVID-19 cases after dropping below the three-week average for several days. There were more than 7,200 logged yesterday. The state also reported another 125 COVID-19 deaths, a number that’s updated twice a week. There were 424 new COVID-19 hospitalizations reported statewide Tuesday and 29 new ICU admissions.

State, Cuyahoga Co. offers vaccine incentives for employees
(WKSU) -- State employees who get a COVID-19 vaccine can now get up to $1,000 in bonuses. Gov. Mike DeWine’s office said Tuesday that in addition to the current $100 bonus, state workers can get another $300 if 65% of their agency’s employees have received at least one dose by Oct. 15. And they’ll get $600 if 85% of an agency’s employees get the shot by Nov. 15. Meanwhile, Cuyahoga County Council on Tuesday formally approved $100 bonuses for county employees who get a COVID shot.

Cleveland schools extend mask mandate
(WCPN) -- The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is extending its mask mandate. Students, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask inside all buildings through the end of October. The district's COVID-19 dashboard reports a total of 474 cases among students and staff so far this year. CEO Eric Gordon also noted every building is now staffed by a healthcare professional. The district had been operating under a five-week mask requirement that began when fall classes started on August 23.

Cuyahoga judge McDonnell dies
(WKSU) -- Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Nancy McDonnell has died at age 62. Court officials say she had been battling health issues for many years. She had spent nearly 25 years on the bench, including becoming the first female Administrative and Presiding Judge in 2006. Most recently, McDonnell presided over the county’s drug court.

Ohio State sex abuse survivors plan appeals, defend motives
(AP) — After a judge dismissed some of the biggest unsettled lawsuits against Ohio State over decades-old sexual abuse by a long-dead team doctor, plaintiffs say they'll keep pressing their cases against the university via appeals. Some say it's not just about seeking more compensation, or about money at all. They want other things, such as stronger reforms, greater accountability, and an outcome that doesn't block them from criticizing how the school handled the matter. The judge acknowledged that abuse occurred but concluded that the legal time limit for the claims had passed. Cases filed more recently involving dozens of plaintiffs are still pending.

Goodyear further invests in self-driving technology
(WKSU) -- Akron-based Goodyear is continuing to invest in self-driving technology. Goodyear’s venture capital fund, Goodyear Ventures, announced it took part in California-based Gatik’s recent funding round. Gatik is expanding its fleet of autonomous box trucks that provide delivery services for retailers such a Walmart. Its tires will be equipped with Goodyear’s intelligence technology to improve stopping distances and monitor tire pressure in real-time. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.