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Morning Headlines: Tornadoes Likely Touched Down in Stark, Lake Counties; Ohio’s COVID Case Rate Continues to Drop

A lightning strike at night.
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The National Weather Service on Thursday issued 11 tornado warnings throughout Northeast Ohio. No tornadoes have been confirmed, but officials say there were likely touch downs in Jackson Township in Stark County and Wickliffe in Lake County.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, October 22:

  • Tornadoes likely touched down in Stark, Lake counties
  • Ohio’s COVID case rate continues to drop
  • Texts detail how Ohio regulator gave FirstEnergy inside help
  • Senate approves bill upholding gun sales amid emergencies
  • Gang boss in Haiti threatens to kill abducted missionaries
  • Ohio unveils new license plate, followed by correction
  • Bibb leads Kelley in fundraising in Cleveland mayoral vote
  • Keenum, 3rd-string back Johnson lead Browns past Broncos

Tornadoes likely touched down in Stark, Lake counties
(WKSU) -- The National Weather Service on Thursday issued 11 tornado warnings throughout Northeast Ohio, the most during a single event since 2005. No tornadoes have been confirmed, but officials say E0 or E1-strength storms likely touched down in Jackson Township in Stark County and Wickliffe in Lake County. An E0 tornado has winds up to 85 mph, while an E1 can have maximum winds of 110 mph.

Ohio’s COVID case rate continues to drop
(WKSU) -- Ohio’s coronavirus case rate continues to drop. The state averaged around 420 cases per 100,000 residents in the past week, down from 507 the week before, and way down from the high of nearly 700 last month. Guernsey County in eastern Ohio leads the state with a case rate above 1,000, while Delaware County near Columbus has the lowest, with just under 250. Hospitalizations are gradually decreasing, with 2,790 people being treated statewide as of Thursday.

Texts detail how Ohio regulator gave FirstEnergy inside help
(AP) — A newly surfaced text exchange between then-FirstEnergy executives gives a new peek into the favors the company got from Ohio’s top utility regulator. The March 2020 texts between then-CEO Chuck Jones and a senior vice president said former Public Utilities Commissioner of Ohio chair Randazzo overruled commission members and staff and suppressed the release of a potentially unfavorable audit report. Randazzo has since resigned. FirstEnergy has acknowledged the since-fired executives paid Randazzo $4.3 million just before he was appointed commission chair in 2019.

Senate approves bill upholding gun sales amid emergencies
(AP) — The GOP-controlled Ohio Senate has approved legislation forbidding governments from stopping sales of guns or ammunition during a public emergency. The bill is one of several proposals meant to restrict governments’ powers as they relate to emergency orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic as well as concerns raised by Republican lawmakers over the racial injustice and police brutality protests in the summer of 2020. The measure says the law would be in effect during a declared emergency as authorities suppress “a riot, mob, or potential riot or mob.”

Gang boss in Haiti threatens to kill abducted missionaries
(AP) — The boss of a notorious Haitian gang accused of kidnapping 17 members of a Holmes-County-based missionary group last weekend is warning that the hostages will be killed if his demands aren’t met. Gang leader Wilson Joseph delivers the death threat in a video posted on social media Thursday. Authorities have said the 400 Mawozo gang is demanding $1 million for each of those kidnapped Saturday. Weston Showalter, a spokesman for Christian Aid Ministries says the 17 are from Amish, Mennonite, and other Anabaptist communities in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Ontario, Canada.

Ohio unveils new license plate, followed by correction
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Ohio’s license plates are getting their first overhaul since 2013. The new plate features sunshine in the center and is surrounded by a city skyline, a river, hills, a farm field, and a tree with a girl and dog playing. It also features the Wright brothers' first airplane. However, the plane was facing the wrong direction in the concept artwork. Hours later, the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles released a corrected version. It will be available to drivers beginning on December 29th.

Bibb leads Kelley in fundraising ahead of Nov. 2 Cleveland mayoral vote
(Ideastream Public Media) — Cleveland mayoral candidate Justin Bibb outraised and outspent his opponent Kevin Kelley in the weeks leading up to and following the Sept. 14 primary. Fundraising disclosures from the two campaigns released Thursday show Bibb with almost $523,000 in contributions between late August and mid-October. Kelley raised more than $416,000. Though Bibb spent more than Kelley during that time, he still held a financial edge heading into the final weeks of the general election, reporting more than $212,000 on hand to the council president’s $166,000.

Keenum, 3rd-string back Johnson lead Browns past Broncos
(AP) — Case Keenum stepped in for Baker Mayfield and made the most of his first start in two years, leading Cleveland’s injury-ravaged offense and the Browns to a 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos. Keenum didn’t put up impressive stats, but he threw a touchdown pass and did enough to get the Browns a much-needed win. Third-string back D'Ernest Johnson had a career-high 146 yards and a touchdown. The Browns are now 4-3 and won’t play again until an Oct. 31 showdown against Pittsburgh.