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Morning Headlines: Ohio GOP fast-tracks new congressional map; Hudson mayor won’t face charges for school board threats

A map of the proposed new congressional districts in Ohio.
OHIO STATE SENATE REPUBLICANS
A fast-tracked map of Ohio’s new congressional districts has cleared the Ohio Senate and is headed to the House. Voting-rights groups and Democrats objected Tuesday. The Senate's approval came less than 24 hours after GOP House Speaker Bob Cupp released the updated version pictured.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, November 17:

  • Ohio GOP fast-tracks new congressional map, votes begin
  • Hudson mayor won’t face charges for school board threats
  • Guardians MLB team settles lawsuit with roller derby club
  • Opioid trial against CVS, Walgreens, Walmart winding down
  • COVID cases, hospitalizations continue to climb
  • YSU lays off 9 faculty members
  • Budish will not seek reelection
  • Sherwin-Williams’ HQ plans brighten up Cleveland’s skyline

Ohio GOP fast-tracks new congressional map, votes begin
(AP) — A fast-tracked map of Ohio’s new congressional districts has cleared the Ohio Senate and is headed to the House. Voting-rights groups and Democrats objected Tuesday. The Senate's approval came less than 24 hours after GOP House Speaker Bob Cupp released the updated version. Republicans say the map is competitive and doesn't favor either party. Opponents decried it as gerrymandered to disproportionately favor ruling Republicans. The vote comes as Ohio and other states are under the gun to redraw their congressional districts to reflect updated census figures. Ohio lost one of its 16 seats in a process beset this year by COVID-related delays.

Hudson mayor won’t face charges for school board threats
(The Beacon Journal) -- An investigation by Summit County’s prosecutor will not result in charges against Hudson’s mayor. But Sherri Bevan Walsh said his actions against the city’s school board showed “a significant lapse in judgment.” In September Mayor Craig Shubert accused board members of promoting child pornography and threatened them with legal action if they didn’t step down. The controversy surrounded a book used in a college-credit high school course that included adult-themed writing prompts. Walsh said Shubert’s behavior was "reckless" and "shameful," noting that coverage of his claims by right-wing media led to threats and harassment against school board members.

Guardians MLB team settles lawsuit with roller derby club
(AP) — Cleveland’s baseball team has resolved a lawsuit filed by a local roller derby team over naming rights. Both will be called the Guardians. The legal issue was the final hurdle for the Major League Baseball team to continue its name changeover. The sides jointly announced an “amicable resolution.” No other terms of the agreement were disclosed. The Guardians baseball team can now begin selling merchandise.

Opioid trial against CVS, Walgreens, Walmart winding down
(AP) — Cities and counties in the U.S. that want to hold pharmacies accountable for the opioid crisis are closely watching a federal trial that’s coming to a close. Lake and Trumbull counties have sued CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. They say the companies failed to follow government guidelines to make sure pain pills weren’t flooding into their communities. But attorneys for the companies said Monday during the trial’s closing arguments that the counties failed to show they had a substantial role in the crisis. The pharmacies also say they had safeguards in place and that many others are to blame for the crisis.

COVID cases, hospitalizations continue to climb
(WKSU) -- Coronavirus cases in Ohio spiked again on Tuesday to more than 5,600. Hospitalizations are up 15% over last week with 459 people admitted Tuesday, that’s 2 1/2 times the three-week average. The Ohio Department of Health also reported 170 deaths, a number that is updated twice weekly. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports Ohio is the 10th least vaccinated state with 57% of the population receiving at least one dose.

YSU lays off 9 faculty members
(Crain’s Cleveland Business) -- Youngstown State University has laid-off nine professors and announced other cuts Tuesday. Crain’s Cleveland Business reports the school is seeing a 7% drop in enrollment and is facing $5.6 million in lost revenue. The faculty union called the layoffs “retaliatory,” noting that several faculty members who received dismissal notices were leaders in last year’s contract negotiations and strike actions. YSU Vice President of Finance and Business Operations Neal McNally last week said the school is "fiscally sound overall" and not in "dire straits."

Budish will not seek reelection
(WKSU) -- Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish says he will not seek a third term. Budish made the announcement in a YouTube video. He said his decision was based on respecting the limits of public service and his love for his family. He was elected to the county’s top job in 2014, succeeding the county’s first executive Ed FitzGerald. So far, Republican Lee Weingart and Democrat Chris Ronayne are running in the November 2022 election.

Sherwin-Williams’ HQ plans brighten up Cleveland’s skyline
(WKSU) -- Cleveland’s skyline likely will be getting brighter with Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters. Final plans show the 36-story office tower with a glass façade and includes programmable multicolored light strips. The plans still need final approval from several city committees before the company can break ground likely next year. The paint giant expects to move in by the end of 2024.