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Morning Headlines: Drive-thru COVID testing site opens in Cleveland; Summa postpones nonessential surgeries

A physician administering a COVID-19 test at a local drive-thru testing location.
DON GERDA
/
THE CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION
A free drive-thru COVID-19 testing site is starting this morning in Cleveland's University Circle. The site staffed by the Ohio National Guard and Ohio Department of Health will provide PCR tests with results available in two to three days.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, December 21:

  • Drive-thru COVID testing site opens in Cleveland
  • Summa postpones nonessential surgeries
  • Holmes County-based missionaries detail escape from Haiti
  • Group submits 200,000 signatures for marijuana issue
  • Missing Akron bridge found in Medina Co.
  • Guardians talking with minority owner with NHL, NBA ties
  • Browns can't overcome COVID, Raiders in heartbreaking loss

Drive-thru COVID testing site opens in Cleveland
(WKSU) -- The Ohio National Guard and Ohio Department of Health will staff a free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing site starting this morning at the W.O. Walker Building garage in Cleveland's University Circle. The site will provide PCR tests with results available in two to three days. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday but closed on Christmas Day. Patients must register online before arriving. Library systems are also distributing COVID-19 home test kits, but supplies are very limited. Summit County Public Library says it has no kits at any of its 19 branches.

Summa postpones nonessential surgeries
(WKSU) -- Summa Health System is joining other hospitals in postponing nonessential surgeries and has brought in a refrigerated truck to serve as a temporary morgue as COVID patients surge. Summa had announced plans to cut back on services by 20% due to staffing shortages and says some ER patients may be diverted to other hospitals. Six Northeast Ohio hospital systems took out a full-page ad in The Plain Dealer Monday with one word —“Help,” urging people to receive the vaccine.

Holmes County-based missionaries detail escape from Haiti
(WKSU) -- All of the Holmes County-based missionaries who spent two months in captivity by a gang in Haiti are back home. Christian Aid Ministries revealed Monday that the remaining 12 hostages escaped in the night last week, and walked miles through rugged terrain until they were able to call for aid. The group included a 10-month old who was wrapped in blankets. It’s not known if any ransom money was paid. A spokesman says they are all in fine health.

Group submits 200,000 signatures for marijuana issue
(WKSU) -- A group that’s working to legalize marijuana in Ohio has submitted more than 200,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. The group needs about 133,000 valid signatures to put the issue before the state legislature. If lawmakers fail to act within four months, the group can collect another round of signatures to put the measure on the ballot. The proposed law from The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol would allow Ohioans age 21 and older to buy, possess, and grow marijuana. Products would be taxed 10%. There are currently several marijuana legalization bills that have been introduced in the state legislature.

Missing Akron bridge found in Medina Co.
(AP) — A 58-foot-long pedestrian bridge stolen from Summit County park last month has been found and a man is facing charges. Akron police say investigators acting on tips found the missing span partially disassembled on property in Sharon Township in neighboring Medina County. Police say a man has been arrested and charged with felony theft. The bridge in Akron's Middlebury Run Park was taken down in 2003 as part of a wetland restoration project and was set to be refurbished. Officials found last month that it had been stolen.

Guardians talking with minority owner with NHL, NBA ties
(AP) — The Cleveland Guardians have had discussions with David Blitzer, a part-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, to become a minority owner with the Major League Baseball team. Guardians owner Paul Dolan has been seeking a minority owner to boost finances for the small-market club since minority owner John Sherman left to buy the Kansas City Royals in 2019. Following a report in Sportico, the Guardians issued a statement linking them to Blitzer.

Browns can't overcome COVID, Raiders in heartbreaking loss
(AP) — After all they endured over the past week, the Browns were seconds away from an unlikely leap into first place in the AFC North. Instead, they’re at the bottom. Unable to overcome a COVID-19 outbreak that ravaged their starting lineup, sidelining their top two quarterbacks and coach, the Browns were beaten 16-14 by the Las Vegas Raiders, who won on a 48-yard field goal as time expired. The Browns couldn't overcome putting 22 players on the COVID-19 reserve list nor playing without quarterback Baker Mayfield or coach Kevin Stefanski, who watched the game from home.