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Morning Headlines: COVID hospitalizations continue to climb; Ohio schools sue over voucher system

A hospital patient with catheter inserted in arm.
ANNA SHVETS
/
PEXELS
Ohio on Tuesday reported the second-highest single-day total of COVID-19 cases at just over 20,400. Hospitalizations also continue to climb in the state with more than 6,250 current COVID patients.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, January 5:

  • COVID hospitalizations continue to climb
  • Ohio schools sue over voucher system
  • Sen. Rob Portman contracts COVID-19
  • $40M penalty proposed for Rover pipeline after spill
  • Minor earthquake registered along Lake Erie
  • Former Browns tackle Dieken retiring as team broadcaster

COVID hospitalizations continue to climb
(WKSU, Beacon Journal) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb in Ohio, with more than 6,250 current COVID patients. It’s the sixth consecutive daily record since Christmas. Ohio on Tuesday also reported the second-highest single-day total of cases at just over 20,400. The Beacon Journal reports the positivity rate for three days of drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Summa Health’s corporate office in Akron last week was 54%.

Ohio schools sue over voucher system
(AP) — A lawsuit argues that Ohio's school voucher system is unconstitutional because it's creating a separate system of funding private schools with public dollars. Vouchers Hurt Ohio is a group of about 100 school districts suing to stop and reverse Ohio's EdChoice Program. The districts filed a lawsuit this week arguing that vouchers are being used by primarily non-minority students, even though the program was meant to assist economically disadvantaged minorities.

Sen. Rob Portman contracts COVID-19
(AP) — Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has tested positive for COVID-19. Portman got the positive result from an at-home test he took Monday in preparation for returning to Washington. The 66-year-old says he's asymptomic and will work remotely. Portman, who is vaccinated and received a booster, broke early with vaccine skeptics in the GOP, participating in a 2020 vaccine clinical trial.

$40M penalty proposed for Rover pipeline after spill
(AP) — Federal regulators are proposing a $40 million fine against the builder of the multistate natural gas Rover natural Pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners used diesel fuel and other toxic substances while drilling under the Tuscarawas River in Stark County four years ago. The proposed fine stems from an accidental spill of 2 million gallons in 2017. The company says it didn't have any knowledge or involvement in using the diesel fuel. It says a subcontractor's rogue employee is to blame.

Minor earthquake registered along Lake Erie
(Ideastream Public Media) -- There was a minor earthquake Tuesday morning along Lake Erie. The quake in the village of Timberlake in Lake County registered a magnitude of 2.8, which isn’t strong enough to be felt by many people. Some Ohioans tweeted about feeling the tremor. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 14 earthquakes or tremors took place in Ohio between Jan. 15 and Aug. 31, 2021.

Former Browns tackle Dieken retiring as team broadcaster
(AP) — Longtime Cleveland Browns radio commentator Doug Dieken is retiring from broadcasting after 50-plus years with the organization. Dieken’s last game will be Cleveland’s season finale on Sunday against Cincinnati. The 72-year-old Dieken played over 14 seasons for the Browns before retiring and transitioning to the radio booth in 1985.

Amanda Rabinowitz is the host of “All Things Considered” on Ideastream Public Media.
Jon Nungesser is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media.