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Morning Headlines: COVID test kits available Saturday in Akron; Hudson parents sue school officials over mask mandate

A photograph featuring three small boxes of COVID-19 antigen home tests.
ANDREW MEYER
/
WKSU
Akron will distribute around 3,200 free, at-home COVID tests this Saturday at four locations including Summit Lake Community Center, Joy Park Community Center, Kenmore High School, and Five Points Child Development Center.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, January 11:

  • COVID test kits available Saturday in Akron
  • Hudson parents sue school officials over mask mandate
  • UH closes Lake County ER
  • Cleveland Starbucks employees seek union vote
  • More COVID cancelations announced
  • School district sues over $700K busing fine
  • Cedar point raises ticket prices
  • Gas prices up 13 cents

COVID test kits available Saturday in Akron
(WKSU) -- Akron will distribute around 3,200 free, at-home COVID tests this Saturday at four locations. Tests will be available starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Summit Lake Community Center, Joy Park Community Center, Kenmore High School, and Five Points Child Development Center. Each site will distribute 805 kits, which are limited to one per person. Ohio on Monday reported around 18,000 new COVID cases, and hospitalizations hit a new high of 6,747. ICU patients remain steady at around 1,300.

Hudson parents sue school officials over mask mandate
(WKSU) -- Three parents in Hudson have filed a lawsuit challenging the school district's quarantine and mask-wearing rules, saying the district lacks the authority to adopt such policies. The suit names the school board members, as well as Superintendent Phil Herman, who announced last month that he's stepping down. The suit claims that unvaccinated students are treated differently than vaccinated ones and that the district cannot order a student to quarantine due to exposure to COVID.

UH closes Lake County ER
(Ideastream Public Media) -- University Hospitals has closed its freestanding Madison Health Center emergency room in Lake County due to a surge in COVID-19 cases among patients and staff. ER staff have been reallocated to other UH hospitals. The system called the closure "indefinite" but said they will “reassess” the situation on Jan. 17. Other services at the location on North Ridge Road in Lake County, including physical therapy and primary and specialty physician care will remain open.

Cleveland Starbucks employees seek union vote
(WKSU) -- Hourly workers at a Starbucks in downtown Cleveland could be the first in Ohio to form a union. About 20 employees at the W. 6th street location have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a union representation election. They say they’re seeking a fair wage, worker safety, and the right to have input on company policies. The move comes after employees at a Buffalo, N.Y. Starbucks made history by voting to unionize last month.

More COVID cancelations announced
(Ideastream Public Media) -- COVID-19-related cancellations continue to pile up in Cleveland’s performing arts scene. The Cleveland Orchestra has canceled its Miami residency and other Florida concerts planned for later this month. This news comes just a few days after the orchestra postponed its annual Martin Luther King Celebration Concert this weekend. That event was rescheduled for June. Other January orchestra concerts in Cleveland are still scheduled as planned. Visitors must present proof of vaccination, including a booster, or a negative test for entry. Great Lakes Theater has canceled its February production of “Ain’t Misbehavin."

School district sues over $700K busing fine
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- A central Ohio school district is suing the Ohio Department of Education over a dispute involving busing students. The state hit Groveport Madison with a nearly $700,000 fine for failing to provide busing to students attending a Columbus charter school. The state said it missed 13 days of transportation last year. In the lawsuit, the district calls the process unconstitutional because it was not given a hearing to present evidence. Groveport also says losing that funding will further deplete the district’s bus service that is seeing a driver shortage due to the pandemic.

Cedar point raises ticket prices
(WKSU) -- Cedar Point is raising prices this season. The amusement park is hiking admission by $10 to $85 for adults, but offering discounts for people who purchase tickets ahead of time. The park also previously announced it’s going cashless this year, with cash-to-prepaid card kiosks located throughout the park. Cedar Point is slated to open on May 7.

Gas prices up 13 cents
(WKSU) -- Gas prices have spiked this week in Northeast Ohio. AAA says a gallon is averaging 13 cents higher at $3.12. It’s still about 15 cents lower than the national average. AAA says the increase is being driven primarily by the higher price of crude oil, which is getting close to $80 a barrel.