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2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Morning Headlines: Motocross Bike Injures 7 at Summit Fairgrounds; ODOT Wants to Change Speed Limits

photo of highway

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Feb. 25:

  • Motocross bike injures 7 at Summit Fairgrounds;
  • ODOT wants to change speed limits at anytime;
  • Strong winds cause thousands of outages, airport cancellations;
  • Striking charter school teachers, administration to resume talks;
  • Cedar Point drops cellphone ban for Steel Vengeance riders;
  • Brown heads to Las Vegas for next stop on state tour;

Motocross bike injures 7 at Summit Fairgrounds
Authorities said a motocross bike flew into the stands at an event at the Summit County Fairgrounds and injured seven people. Officials say the bike hit elevated seats Saturday evening in Tallmadge. Four people, including at least one rider, were taken to hospitals. The Beacon Journal reports two people remained in the hospital Sunday. The fairgrounds took down a social media post made shortly after the incident saying erroneously that no one was injured. The fairgrounds hosted the event, which was put on by Summit Indoors MX. 

ODOT wants to change speed limits at anytime
Ohio's Department of Transportation is seeking permission to change speed limits anytime statewide. The department currently is allowed to impose variable speed limits based on road conditions on only a few interstate stretches, such as when a snow storm hits I-90 east of Cleveland. The proposed change would mean electronic speed limit signs on Ohio highways that could be altered depending on conditions. Department Director Jack Marchbanks said the department could apply the speed changes for construction projects, white-outs or other issues impacting traffic and motorists' safety. Marchbanks said the department is not interested in raising speed limits.

Strong winds cause thousands of outages, airport cancellations
Strong winds topping 60 mph have downed trees and power lines and led to power outages across many parts of Ohio. Thousands of outages were reported as of Sunday afternoon in areas of northeast Ohio, including Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Summit counties. FirstEnergy reported early Monday morning that there were more than 800 without power in Northeast Ohio. Some cities, including Stow, Ashland and Cuyahoga Falls opened warming centers as people were without heat. There are also a number of flight delays and cancelations at Cleveland Hopkins airport.

Striking charter school teachers, administraiton to resume talks
The teachers’ union and administration at a small Parma charter school will return to the bargaining table today, as a strike enters its second week with classes canceled through at least Wednesday. Around 20 Summit Academy teachers are calling for the administration to reduce class sizes and hire more teacher’s aides at the school that specializes in children with learning problems. Summit Academy is headquartered in Akron and operates more than two dozen schools across Ohio.

Cedar Point drops cellphone ban for Steel Vengeance riders
Cedar Point amusement park has reversed a policy that banned visitors waiting in line for the roller coaster Steel Vengeance from carrying cellphones. The Sandusky-area park is adding zippered pouches to the bottom of the roller coaster seats, to hold phones and other loose items. Cleveland.com reports the park implemented a policy banning cellphones in the line for the record-breaking ride which features four inversions. During the first weeks of the ride's operation, numerous riders reported losing their cellphones and other items on the roller coaster. Park spokesman Tony Clark says "standard safety rules still apply" and the only change is allowing riders to carry their phones again.

Brown heads to Las Vegas for next stop on state tour
Democrat Sherrod Brown is bringing his pro-worker message to Las Vegas casino workers who are members of what's considered Nevada's most powerful labor union. The Ohio U.S. senator is eyeing a run for the White House in 2020 and said Saturday that if he runs, he'll be the most pro-union candidate in the field. His visit with members of the Culinary Union kicked off his trip to the early Western caucus state. Brown is the first potential contender to hold an event with the heavily Latino union, though other potential and announced 2020 contenders have had private meetings with union leaders in recent months.