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Morning Headlines: Cuyahoga drops to lowest COVID case rate in Ohio; Incumbent Gov. DeWine leads the field in fundraising

A photo rendering of the coronavirus.
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In just one month, Cuyahoga County has gone from the most COVID-19 cases per capita in the state to the fewest. Hospitalizations are also down 63% in Northeast Ohio in the last week.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, February 1:

  • Cuyahoga drops to lowest COVID case rate in Ohio
  • Incumbent Gov. DeWine leads the field in fundraising
  • Cleveland partners with NBA to set 60% vaccination goal
  • Key Ohio Dems ask party to stay neutral in governor primary
  • Explosion at granite firm leaves man dead, 2 women injured
  • Democrat making Ohio auditor bid says he'll fight corruption

Cuyahoga drops to lowest COVID case rate in Ohio
(WKSU) -- In just one month, Cuyahoga County has gone from the most COVID-19 cases per capita in the state to the fewest. On January 1, the county was averaging 13 times the CDC rate of high transmission, now state health data show the county at about four times the CDC rate. Hospitalizations are also down 63% in Northeast Ohio in the last week. Scioto County currently leads the state with more than 3,700 cases per 100,000 residents, as the omicron wave continues to hammer the southern part of the state. The CDC defines a high rate of transmission as 100 cases per 100,000 residents.

Incumbent Gov. DeWine leads the field in fundraising
(Statehouse News Bureau) – The latest campaign finance reports show where Ohio candidates for governor stand ahead of the upcoming May primary. On the Democratic side, Nan Whaley raised $1.2 million and has nearly $1.8 million cash on hand. John Cranley is just behind, raising just over a million but holding $1.9 million in cash. On the Republican side, incumbent Mike DeWine raised $3.3 million and has more than $9 million in the bank. Jim Renacci has around $4 million, but that includes a nearly $5 million loan he made to himself. And he raised around $150,000. Joe Blystone raised more than twice that, but only has $214,000 cash.

Cleveland partners with NBA to set 60% vaccination goal
(Ideastream Public Media) -- Cleveland aims to raise its coronavirus vaccination rate to 60% by the end of the year, and the city is looking to the National Basketball Association for help. As part of Cleveland’s hosting of the NBA All-Star Game this month, the league will support pop-up vaccine clinics and a vaccination education campaign. The NBA will give schools and community groups masks and tests and is giving $100,000 to the Cleveland Foundation’s COVID-19 relief fund. Cleveland’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is 46%.

Key Ohio Dems ask party to stay neutral in governor primary
(AP) — Some high-profile Ohio Democrats are urging party leaders to remain neutral in the competitive gubernatorial primary between former mayors Nan Whaley and John Cranley. The push comes as Democrats work to pick someone best capable of leading its ticket to 2022 wins against an all-Republican slate of incumbents. Ohio Democratic Party Executive Committee screeners are set to decide their recommendation Tuesday. Cranley supporters believe the panel is poised to back Whaley, who is Sen. Sherrod Brown's pick. A former national party chair, ex-state party chairs, and a former Supreme Court justice say neutrality gives selection power to voters.

Explosion at granite firm leaves man dead, 2 women injured
(AP) — Authorities say an explosion at a Summit County granite business has left one man dead and two women injured. Fire officials say two employees at Korkan Granite in Tallmadge apparently were trying to thaw a door to gain access to a large storage container across from the firm’s main building when the container blew up. It’s not clear what the employees were using to thaw the door or what caused the explosion, which authorities say sent large amounts of debris flying as far as 100 feet. Names have not yet been released.

Democrat making Ohio auditor bid says he'll fight corruption
(AP) — A city auditor from southeast Ohio is announcing his bid to run for state auditor. Democrat Taylor Sappington figures to be the party’s nominee to take on Republican state Auditor Keith Faber in the November election. He’s promising to root out corruption in Columbus. Sappington’s experience has been mostly in local politics, serving four years on Nelsonville’s council and the past two years as the city’s auditor. Ohio Democrats have struggled to attract high-profile candidates to fill out their statewide slate this year.

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.