Morning Headlines: Akron Schools Halt Sports, Extracurriculars; Ohio Accepts Fed Unemployment Plan
Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, August 11:
- Akron Schools halt sports, extracurriculars
- Summit County health officials recommend K-12 schools start online
- Ohio accepts plan for $300 in federal unemployment aid
- COVID-19 cases, deaths, hospitalizations down
- Troubled Cuyahoga jail hires first female warden
- Survey: Few Ohio teachers feel comfortable returning to classrooms full time
- Cleveland Clinic to study COVID-19 effects on the heart
- Cleveland City Council to investigate HB 6
- Big Ten reportedly set to scrap the season
Akron Schools halts sports, extracurriculars
The Akron School Board voted on Monday to stop all sports practices and face-to-face extracurricular activities for the first nine weeks of the school year, or through October 1. The board also postponed the first day of school by two weeks, staggering each grade level starting Sept. 9. Members previously voted to start the school year fully online for the first nine weeks.
Summit County health officials recommend K-12 schools start online
Summit County health officials are recommending that K-12 schools start the year online. The county health department reported 271 children and teens ages 19 or younger have had COVID-19 in Summit County, but that testing for children under 18 has been limited. The department says the county would need to see sustained declining cases for about 4 to 6 weeks before recommending all students return to the classroom.
Ohio accepts plan for $300 in federal unemployment aid
Gov. Mike DeWine has accepted a White House proposal for Ohio unemployment claimants to receive $300 in weekly unemployment compensation assistance with no state money involved. States received two options for unemployment funding late Sunday. One provides claimants with $400 a week with the state kicking in $100 of that. Recipients would still receive regular state unemployment benefits. A DeWine spokesman says the new federal benefit might not take effect until later this month while Ohio seeks guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor for implementing it.
COVID-19 cases, deaths, hospitalizations down
There were fewer than 900 coronavirus cases confirmed in Ohio on Monday, marking one of the lowest single-day totals in at least three weeks. Monday’s 883 cases were also well below the most recent three-week average of around 1,200 daily cases. Another four Ohioans were reported to have died of the virus as of Monday. That’s below a three-week average of 23 new deaths reported per day. Another 64 people were admitted to Ohio hospitals for COVID-19, which is below a three-week average.
Troubled Cuyahoga jail hires first female warden
Cuyahoga County has its first female jail warden. Michelle Henry was previously assistant warden at the Lorain Correctional Institution state prison. The county jail has been at the center of controversy. Nine inmates died in less than a year and the U.S. Marshals Service found “inhumane” conditions. More than a dozen officers have also faced charges for beating inmates. Former warden Gregory Croucher resigned in April following an investigation that revealed misconduct.
Survey: Few Ohio teachers feel comfortable returning to classrooms full time
The Ohio Federation of Teachers says a recent survey shows just 8% of teachers felt comfortable returning to school full time during the pandemic. The federation represents about 55 unions with about 22,000 members. Cleveland.com reports just over 1,700 participated in the survey. Two-thirds of all respondents (66.2%) indicated that they would be most comfortable with full-time distance learning for all students, either until cases decline significantly or for the full fall semester. The national American Federation of Teachers recently approved a resolution which would back last-resort efforts to protect staff and students, including safety strikes.
Cleveland Clinic to study COVID-19 effects on the heart
The Cleveland Clinic is getting $100,000 from the American Heart Association to study the cardiovascular impact of COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports The Clinic will study how coronavirus affects heart and brain cells, and identify existing drugs that could be used to treat COVID-19 patients. Three other hospital systems received grants from the heart association.
Cleveland City Council to investigate HB 6
A Cleveland City Council committee wants council to investigate entities involved in the House Bill 6 corruption probe. House Bill 6 is the legislation that gave bailouts to Ohio’s nuclear plants owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy, and is now at the center of racketeering charges among the former Ohio House Speaker and others. Council's finance committee says it wants to look into whether the scheme involving Company A, which is presumed to be FirstEnergy, also intended to “destroy” city-owned Cleveland Public Power. The council has the authority to subpoena witnesses and take testimony to investigate issues of city interest. The resolution will be put before the full council on Wednesday.
Big Ten reportedly set to scrap the season
Days after the Mid-American Conference postponed fall sports, the Big Ten is reportedly poised to follow suit with football. Multiple sources said early Monday morning that presidents, including Ohio State, voted 12-2 to end the season, though the Big Ten said Monday afternoon no official vote had taken place. The Columbus Dispatch reports incoming Ohio State President Kristina Johnson is said to be in favor of delaying, but not yet canceling, the upcoming football season.