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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: Ohio COVID-19 Cases Fall Below 21-day Average; UA Union to Vote on Contract

Key indicator chart of daily coronavirus cases in Ohio
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Ohio reported 889 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday, that is below the state's 21-day average of 1,200.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, July 27:

  • State COVID-19 cases fall below 21-day average
  • Ohio House comes up with names for Speaker replacement
  • Corrections officer, inmate admit to jail drug-smuggling operation
  • Police end standoff with man who yelled racial slurs, brandished handgun from apartment balcony
  • Canton “Back the Blue” event draws support for officers
  • University of Akron union begins vote on contract proposal
  • Court program encourages lawyers to staff polls this November
  • Former Kent State football player killed in Columbus shooting
  • Carrasco returns to the mound in Indian’s win, first since leukemia diagnosis

State COVID-19 cases fall below 21-day average
Ohio reported 889 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday. That's below the state's 21-day average of 12-hundred. In all, Ohio has reported more than 84-thousand cases and 33-hundred deaths.  Last week Gov. Mike DeWine ordered Ohioans to wear face coverings while inside buildings, public transit or when social distancing cannot be practiced outside.

Ohio House comes up with names for Speaker replacement
Ohio House lawmakers on Friday moved to address the power vacuum created by the arrest of current Speaker Larry Householder amidst a $60 million federal bribery probe. The names of potential candidates to take reign over the House of Representatives are spilling out, days after federal officials arrested Householder and four associates over alleged bribes to shepherd an energy bill into law. One of the candidates is Republican Rep. Bob Cupp of Lima. The former Ohio Supreme Court justice has served in the House since 2015 and is promoted as bringing what Householder could not to the House floor: unity. Another is Rep. Rick Carfagna of Geona Townpship, outside of Columbus.

Corrections officer, inmate admit to jail drug-smuggling operation
A former corrections officer at the troubled Cuyahoga County jail in Cleveland and an inmate there have admitted their roles in a drug-smuggling operation inside the jail. Prosecutors have said the operation involved several officers. Marvella Sullivan worked at the Cuyahoga County jail and Lamar Speights is currently serving a 16-year sentence. Prosecutors have said the ring operated in the jail from January 2017 through July 2019 and saw inmates and family members bribe guards to smuggle heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, cellphones, vape pens and other contraband.

Police end standoff with man who yelled racial slurs, brandished handgun from balcony
After a nearly five-hour standoff Sunday, Akron Police arrested a 60-year-old white man accused of yelling racial slurs at two Black men and brandishing a handgun from his apartment complex balcony. The Beacon Journal Reports Dwayne Keller was arrested at his apartment on Brittain Road in Akron after SWAT officers fired tear gas. Keller reportedly accosted two Black men who came to the complex to help fix a family member’s car Sunday morning. No one was injured. Keller is charged with felony aggravated menacing and ethnic intimidation.

Canton “Back the Blue” event draws support for officers
Around 25 people gathered for a rally in support of police in Canton over the weekend. The Canton Repository reports the group walked the sidewalks during the so-called "Back the Blue" event. Some carried firearms. Event organizer Deborah Bartlett said more community policing is needed, not the defunding of police departments. Across America, groups have called for defunding police due to racial injustice and police brutality. More “Back the Blue” events are planned. The next rally is scheduled for August 2 in Massillon.

University of Akron union begins vote on contract proposal
Members of the American Association of University Professors at the University of Akron will begin voting today on whether to accept a proposed contract with the university. They have until Monday August 3 to cast their ballots. If a deal is not reached, it goes to arbitration. The union and the university have been at odds over layoffs and sports spending. Earlier this month, UA announced it was cutting more than 170 jobs, including nearly 100 union positions. UA says it had to accelerate a plan to cut debt due to the pandemic. The union says the university spends too much on sports programs that lose money.  

Court program encourages lawyers to staff polls this November
An Ohio Supreme Court program is encouraging lawyers to work at the polls this November in exchange for continuing legal education credit. Attorneys must complete training at local election boards and work the entire voting day. The poll program was created with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose as the state deals with a shortage of poll workers because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Kent State football player killed in Columbus shooting
Former Kent State football player DeVante Strickland was killed early Sunday in a shooting outside of Columbus. Cleveland.com reports the shooting happened at a part at an Airbnb rental. No arrests have been made, and officials say the shooting remains under investigation. Strickland was 27 and graduated from Kent State in 2015. He played linebacker for the Golden Flashes and appeared in 33 games.

Carrasco returns to the mound in Indian’s win, first start since leukemia diagnosis
Carlos Carrasco struck out 10 and won his first start since being stricken with leukemia last year, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 9-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. Carrasco hadn't started since May 30, 2019, only days before he was diagnosed with cancer. The right-hander allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.