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Morning Headlines: Ohio Childcare Providers to Resume Capacity; ArcelorMittal to Cut Local Workforce

Picture of Cleveland blast furnace.
ARCELORMITTAL
Pictured is ArcelorMittal's Cleveland blast furnace. The company cited weakened demand in its plan to layoff more than 450 workers starting next month.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, July 29:

  • DeWine says childcare providers to resume capacity Aug. 9, county fairs scaled back
  • Ohio Education Association wants remote learning for hard-hit counties this fall
  • Ohio House to vote Thursday on disgraced speaker’s removal
  • Shareholder files suit against FirstEnergy for role in state bribery scandal
  • FirstEnergy ratepayer seeking class-action status for case against company
  • ArcelorMittal to cut workforce next month, cites weak demand
  • Tribe completes sweep of White Sox in Tuesday doubleheader

DeWine says childcare providers to resume capacity Aug. 9, county fairs scaled back
On Tuesday, Ohio reported more than 1,300 new cases of COVID-19 and 38 deaths. Gov. Mike DeWine announced that childcare providers across the state can return to normal capacity on August 9. DeWine announced all county fairs after July 31 must be limited to junior fairs, consisting of only livestock competitions and other contests geared toward children and teens.

Ohio Education Association wants remote learning for hard-hit counties this fall
The Ohio Education Association wants the state to require school districts in counties hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic to begin classes remotely this fall. Districts in counties with the highest numbers of COVID-19 exposure are dubbed “purple” and “red” counties. These include Cuyahoga, Medina and Erie Counties. OEA wants greater accountability and enforcement of state health guidelines, like masks and sanitation. It said schools should only be allowed to fully open for in-person learning once a vaccine is widely available and schools meet CDC requirements.  Districts in Akron, Cleveland and Columbus have already said they will start classes remotely.

Ohio House to vote Thursday on disgraced speaker’s removal
The Ohio House plans to vote Thursday to remove the disgraced speaker arrested last week in connection with a $60 million federal bribery probe. Prompted by Larry Householder's refusal to resign, Republicans in a closed-door meeting Tuesday agreed to proceed with a vote. Householder and four associates were arrested last week as part of an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving millions of dollars of corporate money secretly funneled to them in exchange for passing legislation to bail out two nuclear plants.

Shareholder files suit against FirstEnergy for role in state bribery scandal
A Northeast Ohio man is the first to file a lawsuit against Akron-based FirstEnergy for its involvement in a federal racketeering case. The Beacon Journal reports that shareholder John Gendrich of Euclid filed the lawsuit over the weekend claiming CEO Chuck Jones and the utility’s board of directors breached their fiduciary duties by funding what federal investigators called the largest bribery scheme in Ohio history. Jones says the company is cooperating with investigators.  No federal charges have been filed against FirstEnergy. The company has seen a 45% drop in stock value since Republican House Speaker and four others were arrested in an alleged $60 million corruption scheme to pass last year’s nuclear bailout bill.

FirstEnergy ratepayer seeking class-action status for case against company
A FirstEnergy customer has filed what could become a class-action lawsuit on behalf of ratepayers. Crain’s Cleveland Business reports that Jacob Smith of North Royalton is seeking class-action status for his case filed in federal court in Columbus. The $1 billion nuclear bailout bill, which federal investigators say was passed using dark money from FirstEnergy, added a new monthly surcharge to electric bills that ranged from 85 cents for homeowners to $2,400 for commercial customers. The fees apply to all Ohio ratepayers, not just FirstEnergy customers.

ArcelorMittal to cut workforce next month, cites weak demand
Cleveland's ArcelorMittal says it plans to lay off more than 450 workers starting next month. Crain's Cleveland reports the steel giant says weak demand for its products during the pandemic has hit hard. In a letter to the state, the company said they layoffs will be indefinite. The bulk of layoffs will be in operations at its Cleveland plant.

Tribe completes sweep of White Sox in Tuesday doubleheader
Carlos Santana hit a three-run homer and Oscar Mercado had a two-run single as the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 to complete a doubleheader sweep yesterday at Progressive Field. Monday night’s game that was rained out had to be moved to yesterday afternoon during this MLB pandemic-shortened season. The Indians beat the Sox 4-3 earlier in the day. The teams face off again tonight. Cleveland sits at 4-1 on the season that’s scheduled to last just 60 games. This week COVID-19 sidelined the Miami Marlins after several players tested positive.