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Morning Headlines: Ohio’s COVID case rate rises; Columbus to pay $5.75 million to injured protesters

An artists rendering of the coronavirus.
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There were 8,500 new COVID cases reported Thursday, and more than 4,300 people are hospitalized statewide. State health director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said that Ohio is seeing case-loads and hospitalizations at the same rates as the worst phase of last year’s spike.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, December 10:

  • Ohio’s COVID case rate rises
  • Columbus to pay $5.75 million to injured protesters
  • Ohio AG rejects petition for issue on vaccine mandates
  • Canton police make arrest in Goodwill threats
  • I Promise School principal resigns after investigation

Ohio’s COVID case rate rises
(WKSU) -- Ohio’s COVID-19 case rate is steadily rising. The number of cases per 100,000 Ohio residents is 718, up more than 100 from last week. The CDC defines high transmission as rates above 100 cases per 100,000. State health director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said that Ohio is seeing case-loads and hospitalizations at the same rates as the worst phase of last year’s spike. There were 8,500 new COVID cases reported Thursday, and more than 4,300 people are hospitalized statewide. Vanderhoff says 95% of serious COVID patients are unvaccinated. He also says the omicron variant has not yet been seen in Ohio, but will likely arrive soon.

Columbus to pay $5.75 million to injured protesters
(AP) — Columbus has agreed to pay $5.75 million to people injured during last year's racial injustice and police brutality protests. 32 people injured during the protests filed a federal lawsuit. A special master will determine payouts based on protesters' individual injuries. The settlement also finalizes details of a federal judge's order earlier this year that Columbus police must stop using nonlethal force such as tear gas on nonviolent protesters who aren't harming people or destroying property.

Ohio AG rejects petition for issue on vaccine mandates
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Ohio’s Attorney General has rejected the petition summary that was submitted by people who want to require state lawmakers, or possibly voters, to end vaccine mandates. Dave Yost says the summary for the petition being circulated to gather signatures isn’t a fair and truthful representation. He says it fails to identify some terms, lacks some information, and doesn’t fully explain exceptions, so signers do not have adequate information about the statute’s character and limitations. Backers of the petition say Ohioans deserve medical freedom and will take it to the ballot if the legislature won’t pass the initiated statute.

Canton police make arrest in Goodwill threats
(Ideastream Public Media) - Canton police have arrested a Goodwill Industries employee accused of making threats to Northeast Ohio stores. Giovanni Stanley allegedly made anonymous threats via email and phone earlier this week. The threats forced Goodwill to close retail stores and donation centers for two days while the case was investigated. All stores except the Canton location will return to normal operating hours Friday.

I Promise School principal resigns after investigation
(Beacon Journal) -- The head of Akron's I Promise School has resigned after being accused of slapping a student in the face. Brandi Davis had been on leave since a police report was filed by the parent of an 11-year-old student in September. The Beacon Journal reports an investigation into the incident is complete, but the results have not been released. Davis is the founding principal of I Promise, an Akron public school for at-risk kids that's a partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation.

Amanda Rabinowitz is the host of “All Things Considered” on Ideastream Public Media.