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Morning Headlines: COVID hospitalizations continue to fall; Bars denied extended hours during All-Star weekend

COVID data from the Ohio Hospital Association.
OHIO HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
COVID-19 hospitalizations have fallen by 20% in the past week in Northeast Ohio, and ICU patients are down by 25%. The death rate, however, remains high in Ohio, with 150 people dying each day from COVID.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, February 10:

  • COVID hospitalizations continue to fall
  • Bars denied extended hours during All-Star weekend
  • Ohio Senate president suggests state should hold two primaries
  • State lawmakers poised to pass gun bills
  • Marion mayor to run for state treasurer

COVID hospitalizations continue to fall
(WKSU) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations have fallen by 20% in the past week in Northeast Ohio, and ICU patients are down by 25%. The numbers are the lowest since early September, according to data from the Ohio Hospital Association. The death rate, however, remains high in Ohio, with 150 people dying each day from COVID. That ranks Ohio fourth in the nation, according to the New York Times.

Bars denied extended hours during All-Star weekend
(Ideastream Public Media) -- Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb is sticking with his controversial decision to limit the number of businesses that can serve alcohol until 4 a.m. during the NBA All-Star Weekend. The city announced Monday that seven hotels will be able to stay open two hours later each night, and rejected applications from all 80 bars that applied. Bibb said in a statement Wednesday that allowing bars citywide to stay open would have put too much strain on the public safety department.

Ohio Senate president suggests state should hold two primaries
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- A top Ohio lawmaker who’s on the commission that’s creating new state legislative and Congressional maps suggests it's not possible for the state to hold a primary for those offices by May 3. Republican Senate President Matt Huffman, who’s on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, says it might be time to consider holding the primary on two different dates. He says local and statewide races could still be held May 3, but statehouse and congressional races could be scheduled for another time. Republican-drawn district maps for the state House and Senate and Congress have been ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

State lawmakers poised to pass gun bills
(Ohio Capital Journal) – Ohio lawmakers are poised to pass several bills expanding gun rights. Ohio Capital Journal reports the House this week is taking up a Senate bill that allows anyone over 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. The bill ends the eight hours of training currently needed for concealed carry. It also takes away the requirement that drivers promptly notify police if they have a concealed weapon in their vehicle. Another bill shores up the rights of gun owners to buy or trade guns during an emergency. A third relaxes rules and penalties around unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place. The proposed law would make carrying a concealed weapon a crime only if a person gets caught and refuses to leave, including in places like school safety zones and courthouses.

Marion mayor to run for state treasurer
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Democratic Marion Mayor Scott Schertzer has officially announced he's running for state treasurer. In his bid, Schertzer touts his small-town roots and years of public policy experience, and emphasizes he would be a watchdog against corruption, such as following up on the nuclear power bailout that is now the subject of a federal bribery case. Schertzer is running unopposed, as is incumbent Treasurer Robert Sprague who is running for the Republican nomination.

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