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Morning Headlines: Dr. Amy Acton Resigns As Ohio Health Director; Rock Hall Set to Reopen

a photo of Amy Acton
Dr. Amy Acton during Governor Dewine's coronavirus press conference

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, June 12:

  • Dr. Amy Acton resigns as Ohio Department of Health Director 
  • Ohio House proposes creation of violent police database
  • ACLU calls for resignation of State Senator Huffman following racial comments
  • Summit County Fair still on despite coronavirus
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame set to reopen June 15th
  • Jack Hanna to retire from Columbus Zoo after 42 years

Dr. Amy Acton resigns as Ohio Department of Health Director 
Dr. Amy Acton, who helped lead Ohio’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, has resigned. Acton helped Governor Mike DeWine make early decisions that appeared to overreact at the time but proved prophetic. DeWine was the first governor to close schools statewide and Acton seized headlines when she called off the state’s presidential primary hours before polls opened. She plans to stay on as a health adviser to DeWine. Health Department general counsel Lance Himes will lead the department for now.

Ohio House proposes creation of violent police database
Ohio House Republicans are proposing creating a disciplinary database for violent officers and requiring law enforcement to undergo psychological testing. Reps. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison), who have both previously served in law enforcement, said the bill would standardize police training and disciplinary response throughout the state to “weed out the bad actors.” Republican lawmakers plan to take the bill on the road for a listening tour with local NAACP groups, faith leaders, police unions and community members. 

ACLU calls for resignation of State Senator following racial comments
The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for the resignation of state Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) following racially insensitive comments he made during a hearing for a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. Huffman, who has since been fired from his position as an emergency room physician in a Dayton-area hospital, caused controversy after he questioned Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission of Minority Health, earlier this week over why the COVID-19 rates for black Ohioans were higher than other populations. Huffman said he regrets how his question was perceived.

Summit County Fair still on despite coronaviris
This year’s Summit County Fair will go on but with a few changes. The Akron Beacon Journal reports the Summit County Agricultural Society of Ohio Board of Directors has agreed to sell tickets online to avoid long lines. The fair is scheduled for July 29 through August 2. The board is moving ahead despite the cancellation of the state fair and other county fairs due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be submitting a plan to the Summit County Public Health Department with plans to be released later this month.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame set to reopen June 15th
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is reopening. Officials announced they’ll reopen on June 15th after being closed for three months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Temperatures will be checked at the door and visitors must wear masks. There will be continuous cleaning inside and hand sanitizers. There also will be advance online ticketing, limited capacity with timed ticketing and no cash accepted. Visitors must also practice social distancing of 6 feet, or at least the distance of two Stratocaster guitars. Live music will resume on the plaza next month. 

Jack Hanna to retire from Columbus Zoo after 42 years
Jack Hanna has announced plans to retire from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium after 42 years. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Hanna will finish the remainder of the year and retain the zoo’s director emeritus title. Hanna said it is time to dedicate more time to family life and hiking with his wife. Hanna first moved to Ohio in 1965 to attend Muskingum University. He started as the zoo’s director in 1978 and served until 1992 when he earned the title of director emeritus. Hanna has written 15 books and won five Emmy’s for “Into the Wild.”

Andrew joined WKSU News in 2014. He oversees the daily operations of the WKSU news department and its reporters and hosts, coordinates daily coverage, and serves as editor. His commitment is to help foster reporting that marks the best of what public radio has to offer: a mix of first-rate journalism with great storytelling. His responsibilities also include long-term strategic planning for news coverage in Northeast Ohio that serves WKSU’s audience via on-air, online, by social media and through emerging technologies. Andrew also serves as a back-up local host for Morning Edition, Here and Now and All Things Considered.
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.