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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Morning Headlines: Akron Ends Recycling Discount; Akron Plans to Reopen Pools, Splash Pads

photo of recycling bin
WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, May 12: 

  • Akron ends discount for recycling;
  • DeWine delays reopening daycares;
  • Akron plans to reopen pools, splash pads;
  • Most NE Ohio malls to open today;
  • Multiple Ohio prison deaths include inmates arguing innocence;
  • Restaurants, bars can get $500 liquor rebate;
  • Mercy Health Youngstown gets $25M to combat coronavirus;
  • 3 Cleveland RTA drivers test positive for COVID-19;
  • Cuyahoga County approves $20,000 for protective equipment;
  • Akron Goodwill Industries to make, distribute 25,000 cloth masks;
  • Kent State, University of Akron switch up leadership;

Akron ends recycling discount
Akron City Council has voted to end a discount that encourages residents to recycle. Those who participate have long received a $2.50 discount on their utility bill. The city, which had discussed but rejected the move in the past, is bracing for a 20% hit in income tax revenue because of the pandemic. The change starting in June is expected to save $1.2 million. Residents eligible for a Homestead tax exemption will be able to keep the discount.

DeWine delays reopening daycares
Gov. Mike DeWine said he isn't ready just yet to say when the rest of the state’s child care centers can reopen. DeWine had been expected to release those details Monday. But he said the plan is still being constructed, and that it's important to get it right. Only a limited number of child care centers that are caring for the families of essential workers are currently allowed to be open in Ohio. More people are being called back to work now that many offices are able to open and retail stores will be opening on Tuesday.

Akron plans to reopen pools, splash pads
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said he hopes to allow pools and splash pads to reopen on July 1. Horrigan’s announcement Monday was in coordination with plans released by other Ohio cities. Horrigan says Dayton and Toledo are postponing some of their reopening dates due to a spike in coronavirus cases. Horrigan is encouraging citizens to wear masks in public as retail stores begin opening Tuesday. Horrigan said public gatherings, city-run concerts and festivals remain canceled due to the outbreak.

Most NE Ohio malls to open today
Most Northeast Ohio shopping malls reopen Tuesday. Those include Summit Mall, Chapel Hill and Belden Village. They’ll have a new set of hours and rules to practice social distancing. Most of the stores within the malls should be open, but carousels and other playground equipment will be closed. Retailers are opening across the state as part of Gov. Mike DeWine's plan to restart the economy. Barbershops, hair salons and outdoor restaurant dining will be available Friday.

Multiple Ohio prison deaths include inmates arguing innocence
Records show at least 41 Ohio prison inmates have died of COVID-19, 25 of them housed in Pickaway Correctional Institution in central Ohio, which includes a medical center. More than 4,300 inmates have tested positive statewide and nearly 500 staff members. Among the prisoners who died was Carlos Ridley, serving a life sentence for a 1981 triple slaying in Lima. Ridley hoped to prove his innocence through DNA testing of crime scene evidence. But an appeals court denied his latest question May 4, and he died after being rushed to the hospital the next day.

Restaurants, bars can get $500 liquor rebate
Restaurants and bars with an eligible liquor license will be able to apply for up to $500 in rebates as they prepare to reopen. The program through JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Liquor Control will allow businesses to restock their liquor supplies. Outdoor dining for restaurants will be available Friday and indoor dining will reopen May 21. 

Mercy Health Youngstown gets $25M to combat coronavirus
Mercy Health Youngstown is receiving more than $25 million in federal funding for COVID-19 health services. St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital and St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital will each receive up to $13 million from the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program. The money will be used to help treat COVID-19 patients and possibly testing. As of Monday, Mahoning County has more than 1,100 confirmed cases and 123 deaths.

3 Cleveland RTA drivers test positive for COVID-19
Three Cleveland Regional Transit Authority drivers have tested positive for COVID-19. Two were assigned to the Hayden District and another to Paratransit. The busses they operated have been disinfected and staff members who had contact with the drivers are all in quarantine. Eleven RTA employees have tested positive for the disease.

Cuyahoga County approves $20,000 for protective equipment
Cuyahoga County is getting equipment to protect jail staff and inmates from COVID-19. The county controlling board approved more than $20,000 for the sheriff’s department to buy face respirators, filters, gloves, face shields and waste bags. The county said federal CARES Act funding will cover the costs.

Akron Goodwill Industries to make, distribute 25,000 cloth masks
Goodwill Industries of Akron is making and distributing nearly 25,000 reusable cloth masks around the area. The Beacon Journal reports Goodwill received grants totaling nearly $70,000 from the GAR Foundation and the Akron Summit County Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund to sew the masks. They’ll be handed out when families pick up food from Akron Public Schools or the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

Kent State, University of Akron switch up leadership
Kent State University and The University of Akron have named new temporary leadership. Akron’s Joe Urgo will serve as interim senior vice provost in the Office of Academic Affairs for one year instead of interim provost. The acting dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology is retiring at the end of the month, and Professor Sukanya Kemp will serve that role through August. The university plans to hire someone to help with the restructuring. At Kent State, Dr. Lamar Hylton is officially vice president for student affairs, dropping interim from the title. Dr. Amoaba Gooden has also been named as interim vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, effective next month.