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Morning Headlines: Akron Metro union delays strike; 91% of Summa employees are vaccinated

A row of Metro RTA buses parked.
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Public transit busses are still running in Summit County as Metro RTA union employees decided to hold off on a strike set to begin Thursday. Negotiations between the two sides continued last night.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, November 4:

  • Akron Metro union delays strike
  • 91% of Summa employees are vaccinated
  • Debate kicks off in Ohio over new congressional maps
  • DeWine cancels in-person events after coronavirus exposure
  • Ohio begins vaccinating kids ages 5-11
  • Opportunity Corridor set to open in Cleveland
  • Akron North football coach dies
  • Gorilla born at Cleveland zoo for first time in history

Akron Metro union delays strike
(Beacon Journal) -- Public transit busses are still running throughout Summit County. The Beacon Journal reports Metro RTA union employees decided to hold off on a strike set to begin Thursday. However, they still don’t have a new contract, as negotiations continued last night. Members of the Transport Workers Union of America Local 1 said they may strike or picket starting Nov. 15 if they still don’t have a deal. The two sides have been in talks for more than a year. Metro says the union represents more than 250 drivers, vehicle service employees, and others.

91% of Summa employees are vaccinated
(Beacon Journal) -- Summa Health System says about 91% of its employees have complied with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Summa said about 7,300 employees were fully vaccinated by the Oct. 31 deadline, while about 550 received a medical or religious exemption. MetroHealth reported this week that about 94% of its employees are vaccinated under its mandate. And, the Beacon Journal reports Akron Children’s expects about 80% of its staff will be vaccinated by Monday’s deadline.

Debate kicks off in Ohio over new congressional maps
(AP) — Ohio Democrats are strongly objecting to the new map of congressional districts released today by House Republicans. At issue is the once-per-decade requirement that Ohio redraw its congressional districts to reflect updated census figures. Ohio has lost one district, going from 16 to 15. Summit and Cuyahoga Counties each are split three ways in the new map. North Canton Republican Scott Oelslager calls the GOP map "constitutionally compliant". He said eight of its districts lean Republican, five are competitive, and two lean Democratic.

DeWine cancels in-person events after coronavirus exposure
(AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine has canceled in-person events after he and his wife, Fran DeWine, were exposed to two staff members who recently tested positive for COVID-19. Both the governor and his wife are vaccinated and received their booster shots, have tested negative for the coronavirus, and have no symptoms. The governor's office said Wednesday that the couple won't appear at previously scheduled in-person events through Sunday.

Ohio begins vaccinating kids ages 5-11
(WKSU) -- Ohio is beginning COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11. State health officials say they’ve already received more than 300,000 pediatric doses and more are expected in the coming days. Akron Children’s Hospital says it will offer vaccines to students in schools in Northeast Ohio, as well as its campuses in Akron and the Mahoning Valley. And in two weeks, Children’s will have vaccines available at its primary care offices and Urgent Care locations. Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Wednesday that more than 2,000 children under the age of 18 have been hospitalized with COVID since Nov. 1 and 15 have died.

Opportunity Corridor set to open in Cleveland
(Ideastream Public Media) -- The three-mile connector from I-490 to Cleveland’s University Circle dubbed the Opportunity Corridor will open to traffic late next week. Officials from Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the Ohio Department of Transportation heralded the Opportunity Corridor as a chance to bring development and investment to an area of Cleveland sometimes called the “Forgotten Triangle.” The project created jobs for local construction workers, but officials were vague about any new businesses planning to locate along the corridor.

Akron North football coach dies
(Beacon Journal) -- Akron Public Schools is mourning the sudden death of a football coach. The Beacon Journal reports North High School coach Sonil Haslam died Wednesday. He was 46. He had been coach there since 2016. In 2019, he received the Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award from The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association.

Gorilla born at Cleveland zoo for first time in history
(WKSU) -- The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is celebrating the birth of a western lowland gorilla, a first in its 139 years. The male was born late last month. The zoo has partnered with CrossCountry Mortgage to create a video series documenting the infant’s development, along with new public events, programs, and art displays. The western lowland gorilla’s population has dropped by 60% over the last two decades.