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Morning Headlines: Akron’s COVID testing site to close; Hiram ends partnership with Hudson schools

A picture of a person in scrubs with swab and plastic tube in hand.
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The COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Summa Health’s Akron headquarters will close Sunday due to a steep drop in demand. It has administered more than 10,000 tests since it opened late last month. COVID cases are seeing a slight dip in recent days, with more than 19,000 new cases statewide on Thursday.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, January 14:

  • Akron’s COVID testing site to close
  • Hiram ends partnership with Hudson schools
  • Cleveland Clinic pledges $50 million to remove lead paint
  • Ski resorts open with reduced hours
  • Ohio marijuana legalization campaign adds more signatures
  • Ohio takes big step by sending body cams to all its prisons

Akron’s COVID testing site to close
(WKSU) – The COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Summa Health’s Akron headquarters will close Sunday due to a steep drop in demand. It has administered more than 10,000 tests since it opened late last month. National Guard members who had been staffing the drive-thru service will be redeployed to locations in southern Ohio. COVID cases are seeing a slight dip in recent days, with more than 19,000 new cases statewide on Thursday. However, the actual count is likely higher as many at-home results are not reported. Hospitalizations on Thursday ticked up to 6,600, which is down 2% from Monday’s record high. The number of ICU patients is down 3% from last week’s high of more than 1,300.

Hiram ends partnership with Hudson schools
(Beacon Journal) -- Hudson schools is losing a partner in its college credit courses following a scandal surrounding parents’ angry reaction to a writing prompt. The Beacon Journal reports that after this semester, Hiram College will no longer offer the courses to Hudson high school students. Last fall, Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert demanded the school board resign and threatened to press charges claiming students were exposed to pornography from an adult-themed writing prompt. Hiram acknowledged that in the six years the book was used no student was asked to use that specific prompt. The district says it’s working to set up a new partnership with another university or college for its on-campus program.

Cleveland Clinic pledges $50 million to remove lead paint
(Ideastream Public Media) -- The Cleveland Clinic is pledging $50 million to help make city homes safe from lead paint. That’s along with $17 million in federal stimulus money coming from the city of Cleveland. The Lead Safe Coalition has now raised more than $100 million in its remediation efforts, which targets homes built before to 1978, when lead paint was barred from residential use. Those homes make up 90% of Cleveland’s housing.

Ski resorts open with reduced hours
(Cleveland.com) -- All of the region's ski resorts are opening after a delay due to warm weather. However, The Beacon Journal reports they’ll reduce operating hours due to staffing shortages. Brandywine will be open with limited hours seven days a week a while Boston Mills will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Alpine Valley will be open three days a week.

Ohio marijuana legalization campaign adds more signatures
(AP) — A group seeking to legalize marijuana possession and cultivation in Ohio submitted nearly 30,000 additional signatures to state officials. The group seeks to put the issue in front of lawmakers this year. Earlier this month, it looked like the group might not get the nearly 133,000 signatures needed before Thursday’s deadline. It was 13,000 signatures short as of Jan. 3. Should the petition drive ultimately succeed, Ohio lawmakers will have four months to decide whether to take up the issue.

Ohio takes big step by sending body cams to all its prisons
(AP) — The Ohio prison system says it will deploy more than 5,000 body cameras by May in all state prisons and adult parole authority offices. The Ohio corrections department said Thursday that the state has signed a contract with Arizona-based Axon for the cameras. Axon says its program is the largest of any corrections department globally.

Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. After serving as WKSU's Morning Edition host for a dozen years, she moved to afternoons in March of 2022 to become the local host of All Things Considered. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio's sports scene called The View From Pluto. She also hosts and produces Shuffle, a podcast focusing on Northeast Ohio’s music scene.
Jon joined the station in September 2012 as a producer. He loves all the things he gets to do at the station; from assisting the news department with stories to meeting the interesting guests on Elevations, every day is a new adventure.