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Morning Headlines: Mapmakers OK congressional map over Dem objections; Ohio AG wants state pension funds to remove Russian assets

A photo of the Ohio Redistricting Commission.
DANIEL KONIK
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission have sent an adjusted map of congressional districts back to the state’s high court that delivers two-thirds of the seats to their party. The new one includes 10 Republican seats, three Democratic seats, and two Democratic-leaning tossups.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, March 3:

  • Mapmakers OK congressional map over Dem objections
  • Ohio AG wants state pension funds to remove Russian assets
  • Judge blocks Ohio abortion rules that clinics call harmful
  • GOP lawmakers approve a controversial gun bill
  • Cuyahoga County lifts mask requirement in county buildings
  • Lawmaker wants Ohio State's 2010 football season restored
  • Ohio bill would require in-person exam before abortion pill

Mapmakers OK congressional map over Dem objections
(AP) — Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission have sent an adjusted map of congressional districts back to the state’s high court that delivers two-thirds of the seats to their party. Democrats opposed the plan Wednesday. It is subject to Ohio Supreme Court review. Justices invalidated an earlier congressional map as gerrymandered. The decision said it didn’t have to match Ohio’s 54% Republican-46% Democratic breakdown, but should be fair. The first map had six safe GOP seats, two safe Democratic seats, and seven tossups that experts said favored Republicans. The new one includes 10 Republican seats, three Democratic seats, and two Democratic-leaning tossups.

Ohio AG wants state pension funds to remove Russian assets
(AP) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is urging the state's five public employee retirement funds to divest themselves of Russian financial holdings. The request is nonbinding. Yost says the move is to punish Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. He also says Russian assets are likely to devalue, given the country’s growing isolation, and widespread bankruptcies could affect the pension funds. On Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine also called for the pension funds to divest themselves of Russian assets, as well as the state insurance fund for injured workers.

Judge blocks Ohio abortion rules that clinics call harmful
(AP) — An Ohio judge has blocked preemptive enforcement of a law imposing additional operating requirements on consulting physicians at abortion clinics. Abortion providers say those restrictions threaten two of the state’s last clinics. Hamilton County Judge Alison Hatheway ruled Wednesday that the Ohio Department of Health may not enforce the law before it takes effect on March 23. Arguments on blocking it longer are scheduled for March 16. The ACLU and two southwest Ohio clinics argue compliance would be onerous. The bill’s stated goal was to impose criminal penalties in cases where abortion attempts are unsuccessful, but it precluded doctors affiliated with public medical schools from serving as clinics’ required backup.

GOP lawmakers approve a controversial gun bill
(Statehouse News Bureau) -- Ohio House lawmakers have approved a bill that does away with minimal training for concealed carry permit holders. The bill will allow Ohioans to carry concealed handguns without a permit, removing the eight hours of training previously required. It also removes the requirement that a gun owner inform police they have a gun during traffic stops. The bill now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk.

Cuyahoga County lifts mask requirement in county buildings
(Ideastream Public Media) -- COVID-19 positivity rates are so low in Cuyahoga County that the mask mandate in county buildings is being lifted, officials announced Wednesday at a news briefing. The share of people who test positive for COVID-19 in the county has fallen to 3%, according to Dr. Heidi Gullett, medical director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. At the end of December and the beginning of January, the percent of people who tested positive for the virus reached 36.4% countywide, according to health department figures. Since then the share of positive tests has been steadily dropping. About 68% of county residents ages 5 and older have been fully vaccinated; about a third have received a booster dose, according to Gullett. Cuyahoga County is now considered to have a medium level of spread, according to the CDC's community COVID-19 measure.

Lawmaker wants Ohio State's 2010 football season restored
(AP) — A state lawmaker has proposed restoring the Ohio State University football team's 2010 season that was vacated after a memorabilia-for-cash scandal. Rep. Brian Stewart is a Republican from Ashville in central Ohio and an Ohio State graduate. Stewart has sponsored a resolution calling on the NCAA to reinstate the team's 2010 record and wins. The season was vacated following revelations that players in 2009 and 2010 accepted cash and free or discounted tattoos from a Columbus tattoo parlor owner and also traded memorabilia like championship rings for cash. Stewart notes that the NCAA now allows players to be compensated for use of their name, image, and likeness.

Ohio bill would require in-person exam before abortion pill
(AP) — An Ohio lawmaker has proposed legislation that would regulate the use of abortion pills, an increasingly common method of ending unwanted pregnancies. Republican state Sen. Steve Huffman, of Tipp City, introduced the bill Tuesday. It follows a February decision by the Food and Drug Administration to permanently lift a long-standing requirement that pills used in medication abortions be picked up in person. Huffman said his bill would put those safeguards into state law. His bill would require an in-person exam before the use of an abortion-inducing drug, among other steps. Abortion rights groups said medication abortion is widely used and safe.

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.