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Morning Headlines: Taiwan's Foxconn Buying Lordstown Motors Plant; Ohio’s COVID Transmission Rate Drops

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OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
While the coronavirus rages throughout Ohio, the Northeast region of the state is reporting the lowest rates of transmission. Geauga County has the lowest transmission rate in Ohio, followed by Holmes, Lake, Cuyahoga, and Summit.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, October 1:

  • Taiwan's Foxconn buying Lordstown Motors plant
  • Ohio’s COVID transmission rate drops
  • Minimum wage to increase 50 cents
  • Cleveland Clinic offering Pfizer booster shots
  • DeWine's son won't recuse himself from redistricting cases
  • Cleveland Orchestra to get $50M grant from Mandel Foundation
  • Ohio lawmakers set to miss another redistricting deadline
  • Akron Zoo lions contract COVID-19

Taiwan's Foxconn buying Lordstown Motors plant
(AP) – Electric vehicle maker Lordstown Motors has finalized an agreement with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn to share space in the startup’s sprawling plant near Youngstown. Foxconn will purchase the 6.2 million-square-foot factory for around $230 million and will buy $50 million worth of Lordstown Motors shares. The partnership will bring much-needed cash to Lordstown, which has been struggling since a short-seller report earlier this year led to an SEC investigation and the ouster of former CEO and founder Steve Burns. Foxconn, which makes Apple iPhones, is reported to have plans to enter the electric vehicle market.

Ohio’s COVID transmission rate drops
(WKSU) -- While the coronavirus rages through east central Ohio, the Northeast region of the state is reporting the lowest rates of transmission. Ohio Department of Health data shows Coshocton, Perry, and Muskingum counties now have the highest cases loads, with nearly 1.5% of the population testing positive. Geauga County has the lowest transmission rate in Ohio, followed by Holmes, Lake, Cuyahoga, and Summit. The average transmission rate for the state at 617 cases per 100,000 people, which dropped for the first time in 12 weeks. The CDC says that any rate over 100 cases per 100,000 residents means there is a high transmission.

Minimum wage to increase 50 cents
(WKSU) -- Ohio’s minimum wage will rise 50 cents on January 1, the largest single-year increase since 2007. It will go from $8.80 to $9.30 an hour for non-tipped employees. Tipped employees will get a 25-cent bump. A 2006 constitutional amendment ties annual increases in the rate to inflation. The Consumer Price Index increased by 5.8% over the 12-month period going back to last September.

Cleveland Clinic offering Pfizer booster shots
(WCPN) -- The Cleveland Clinic is now giving Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to eligible patients. Those include people 65 or older, those in long-term care settings, or anyone over 18 with an underlying medical condition. People whose jobs put them at risk for COVID-19 infection, like health care workers, are also eligible. The booster dose is may be given to those who had their second Pfizer shot at least six months ago. Appointments can be scheduled through MyChart or by calling 216-448-4117.

DeWine's son won't recuse himself from redistricting cases
(AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine's son says he won't recuse himself from cases challenging state legislative maps approved by his father. Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine tells The Columbus Dispatch that “there is no basis" for him to do so. The governor sits on the seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission that okayed the Ohio House and Senate maps along party lines. Three lawsuits allege they're unconstitutional.

Cleveland Orchestra to get $50M grant from Mandel Foundation
(AP) — The Cleveland Orchestra will receive a $50 million grant from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation, the largest gift in its history. The orchestra says about $30 million will be dedicated to its endowment. Severance Hall will be renamed the Severance Music Center. The orchestra’s performance space will be named the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Concert Hall.

Ohio lawmakers set to miss another redistricting deadline
(AP) — State lawmakers have missed their initial deadline for redrawing the state’s congressional district maps for the next decade. The lapse punts the job to the Ohio Redistricting Commission, a newly created panel already facing criticism and lawsuits challenging the fairness of the new map it passed for state legislative districts. The congressional deadline comes weeks after the panel missed its Sept. 1 deadline for redrawing state legislative districts and went on to approve new district boundaries purely along party lines.

Akron Zoo lions contract COVID-19
(WKSU) -- The African lions at the Akron Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19. The exposure is believed to be from a staff member who later tested positive for the virus. Officials said the lions have mild symptoms, including coughing and sneezing, and are stable. The zoo has just received a new vaccine designed for animals.