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Morning Headlines: 2 of 17 missionaries released in Haiti; Ohio COVID hospitalizations rise above 3,000

A hospital patient with an IV tube in her arm.
ANNA SHVETS
/
PEXELS
COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising with 3,071 people hospitalized with the virus statewide as of Sunday. Hospitalizations are up 29% during the past three weeks.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, November 22:

  • 2 of 17 missionaries released in Haiti
  • Ohio COVID hospitalizations rise above 3,000
  • DeWine signs new congressional district map into law
  • Cleveland man acquitted of murder to receive $1.8M
  • Ohio State announces debt-free degree initiative
  • Huntington Bank closing 60 branches
  • Browns hold off winless Lions 13-10

2 of 17 missionaries released in Haiti
(AP) — Two of 17 members of a Holmes County-based missionary group who were kidnapped more than a month ago are safe and “in good spirits” after being freed in Haiti. Christian Aid Ministries issued a statement Sunday saying it could not give the names of those released, why they were freed, or other information. “While we rejoice at this release, our hearts are with the 15 people who are still being held,” the group said. The missionaries were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang on Oct. 16. There are five children in the group of 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian, including an 8-month-old.

Ohio COVID hospitalizations rise above 3,000
(WKSU) -- Ohio enters the week with COVID-19 hospitalizations rising. As of Sunday, there are 3,071 people hospitalized with the virus statewide, the highest number in about a month. The Ohio Hospital Association says one-in-7 patients hospitalized in Ohio is COVID positive. Hospitalizations are up 29% during the past three weeks.

DeWine signs new congressional district map into law
(AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a new map of congressional districts into law. The map will be in effect for the next four years. Democrats and voting rights groups strenuously objected to the Republican-led mapmaking process, saying it's been unfair, partisan, and cloaked in secrecy. The nonpartisan Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave the map an F grade. DeWine said in a statement Saturday that the Senate legislation he signed “makes the most progress to produce a fair, compact, and competitive map.” At most, the new law creates three safe Democratic districts out of 15 new U.S. House seats in the state. Ohio voters are split roughly 54% Republican, 46% Democratic.

Cleveland man acquitted of murder to receive $1.8M
(WKSU) -- A Cleveland man who was acquitted of murder charges after spending 18 years in prison is set to get $1.8 million from the state. Anthony Lemons was previously awarded about a half-million dollars from the state when he was acquitted in 2014. Last month the Court of Claims found that Lemons met the legal definition of “wrongfully convicted” under a change in Ohio law that broadened that definition. That makes him eligible for money from the state’s wrongful conviction fund. The Ohio Controlling Board is expected to approve the payment today.

Ohio State announces debt-free degree initiative
(AP) — Ohio State University has announced an initiative that would allow students to graduate debt-free after four years. The program known as the Scarlet and Gray Advantage will consist of increased scholarships, a paid internship program, more state and federal grants, and instruction in financial literacy. President Kristina Johnson emphasized that the initiative is not free college. She says it's a way to help equalize the playing field that graduates start out on. Johnson says nearly half of Ohio State students graduate with debt, with the average being about $27,000.

Huntington Bank closing 60 branches
(Crain’s Cleveland) -- Huntington Bank is closing dozens of branches early next year. Crain’s Cleveland Business reports 50 of the 62 branches slated to close are in Ohio, and all are near other branches. Forty-six are in-store Giant Eagle locations. Huntington has the largest branch network in Ohio with more than 400 locations.

Browns hold off winless Lions 13-10
(AP) — Nick Chubb caught a touchdown pass and ran for 130 yards as the Cleveland Browns held on to avoid a season-wrecking upset and keep Detroit winless with a sloppy 13-10 victory over the Lions. Chubb returned to Cleveland’s lineup after a one-game absence due to COVID-19. The star running back caught a 5-yard TD pass from Baker Mayfield and then helped the Browns run out the clock. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who struggled while playing through several injuries, walked off the field immediately after the game and declined to speak to the media.