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Morning Headlines: Akron School District Faces Deficit; Trustees Back Ashland University President

photo of Akron Public Schools headquarters
AKRON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Akron Public Schools headquarters

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, May 19: 

  • Akron school district braces for deficit;
  • Trump taps Cleveland U.S. attorney for D.C. post;
  • Trustees back embattled Ashland University president;
  • DeWine: 'have fun but keep that distance' at bars;
  • DeWine: State has no plans to test all nursing homes;
  • Akron pools, splash pads to reopen July 1;
  • Masks required at all Cuyahoga County buildings;
  • Survey: 60% of parents would send kids back to school in the fall;
  • Tornado confirmed in Ohio, no immediate reports of damage;
  • Ex-transit employee gets prison time for $400K theft;
  • Wooster City Schools levy results flip;

Akron school district braces for deficit
Akron Public Schools is projecting a $3.6 million deficit by the end of this year that could grow to over $15 million by next June. The district gave its five-year forecast on Monday. The district is getting $10 million in federal stimulus funding that will be offset by $3.5 million in state budget cuts. School officials said they’re anticipating more state cuts along with a drop in property tax revenue. Talks are underway for putting a levy on the ballot in November. 

Trump taps Cleveland U.S. attorney for D.C. position
President Donald Trump has tapped the U.S. attorney in Cleveland to the same position in Washington D.C. If confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Justin Herdman would oversee cases referred by Robert Mueller’s investigation of foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election. The office has also been at the center of the recent decisions to lessen presidential ally Roger Stone’s prison sentence and drop charges against Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.Herdman, currently the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, would replace Timothy Shea, a former aide to Attorney General William Barr.

Trustees back Ashland University president
The Ashland University Board of Trustees has rejected a motion to oust President Carlos Campo. It follows a no-confidence vote by the Faculty Senate last week, citing concerns about communication and collaboration during the pandemic. The university has furloughed more than 100 employees and cut salaries on a graduated scale to offset costs. The board said it trusts Campo will make decisions that's in the best interest of the university and its community.

DeWine: 'have fun but keep that distance' at bars
Gov. Mike DeWine said law enforcement officers and health officials will begin conducting safety checks at bars around the state. That announcement Monday comes after photos on social media showed people drinking on crowded patios during the first weekend bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen. DeWine also is warning that bar owners could wind up in court or lose their liquor licenses if they don’t take steps to control their customers. Health departments in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus are among those investigating several complaints about a lack of social distancing at crowed bars and restaurants over the weekend.

DeWine: State has no plans to test all nursing homes
DeWine on Monday said the state has no plans to test all nursing home residents for COVID-19 despite guidance from health officials. He said resources are limited and shouldn't be wasted, so testing will be conducted only when there is a suspected case among a resident or employee. Nearly 6,000 nursing home residents and staff members have tested positive. The latest facilities to receive mass testing are the state's two veterans' homes in Georgetown and Sandusky.

Akron pools, splash pads to reopen July 1
Akron's public pools and splash parks plan to open July 1, including Reservoir Park in Goodyear Heights, Perkins Park on the west side and the Joy Park splash pad on the east side. Some facilities will remain closed, including community centers. Youth sports will be able to resume June 15.The city said it will prepare baseball fields, issue permits to teams and contact organizers to inform them of protocols. Details on summer camp operations, which also can start June 15, will be announced soon.

Masks required at all Cuyahoga County buildings
Cuyahoga County is requiring that masks be worn in all county buildings until further notice. County Executive Armond Budish issued the order Monday for visitors and employees. Most of the buildings still remain closed to public. The Justice Center began requiring face masks two weeks ago.

Survey: 60% parents would send kids back to school in the fall
Nearly 15,000 parents responded to a survey from the Ohio Parent Teacher Association asking how they feel about schools reopening in the fall. Cleveland.com reports 60% said they would send their kids back to school and 11% said no. But asked about masks, parents were much more split. Forty percent said no, 32% said yes and 28% were unsure. The results have been shared with the Ohio Department of Education.

Tornado confirmed in Ohio, no immediate reports of damage
The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down just west of Columbus, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Forecasters have video confirmation of the twister near the city of London shortly before 5 p.m. Monday. 

Ex-transit employee gets prison time for $400K theft
A former Stark County transit employee accused of defrauding the agency of more than $400,000 has been sentenced to prison. A judge ruled that if Kristy Williams, 38, cooperated with authorities, her four-year prison term could be reduced. Williams, the former human resources director of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority, pleaded guilty last week to charges included aggravated theft. 

Wooster City Schools levy results flip
A levy on the primary ballot for Wooster City Schools flipped after uncounted ballots were tallied. The 6.5-mill operating levy had failed by 313 votes after the mostly-absentee ballot election April 28. The Wooster Daily Record reports it’s now passed after the Wayne County Board of Elections discovered that thousands of ballots were not counted due to a “glitch” in the system. No other issues or races were affected.