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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: Trump Lashes Out at Akron-Based Goodyear; COVID-19 Nursing Home Deaths Climb

Picture of Goodyear's headquarters in Akron, OH.
GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY
In a tweet Wednesday, President Donald Trump urged people not to buy tires from Goodyear. A leaked PowerPoint slide indicated the company does not want its workers wearing political attire.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, August 20:

  • Trump lashes out at Goodyear over its political attire policy
  • Akron responds to Trump’s Goodyear tweet
  • DeWine’s sports order sets limits on fans, seating
  • COVID-19 daily cases below average for fourth straight day
  • Nursing home COVID-19 deaths continue to climb
  • DeWine announces mask campaign aimed at minority communities
  • Former Ohio House speaker needs more time to find lawyer
  • Big Ten's Warren, under fire, elaborates on virus concerns

Trump lashes out at Goodyear over its political attire policy
President Donald Trump urged people not to buy tires from Akron-based Goodyear in a tweet on Wednesday. A leaked PowerPoint slide indicated the company does not want its workers wearing political attire like the signature red MAGA hats many Trump supporters wear. Goodyear responded to Trump with a tweet of its own, saying that the company was the focus of a conversation that “created some misconceptions about our policies and our company." Goodyear says it simply ask its workers to “refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.”

Akron responds to Trump’s Goodyear tweet
Akron officials are leaping to the defense of Goodyear Tire and Rubber which is headquartered in the city. Deputy Mayor James Hardy took to Twitter to push back on President Donald Trump’s call to boycott Goodyear tires over its policy of prohibiting employees of promoting candidates. Hardy says the company cares about the community where it was founded. Mayor Dan Horrigan’s account launched more direct attacks at Trump. Meanwhile Goodyear issued a statement clarifying that its ban on Trump’s MAGA hats is part of a policy that restricts “workplace expressions in support of any candidate or political party…”

DeWine’s sports order sets limits on fans, seating
Gov. Mike DeWine’s order on fall school sports was officially released last night. Teams will be allowed to accommodate 1,500 fans or 15 percent of the fixed, seated capacity, whichever number is lower. For indoor events, the maximum number of fans drops from 1,500 to 300. All fans must wear face coverings and practice social distancing measures. Seating must be arranged to allow for at least six feet of space between groups, which can consist of either no more than four people or members of one household. 

COVID-19 daily cases below average for fourth straight day
Ohio remained below 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the fourth straight day Wednesday. There were 958 cases confirmed yesterday, below the most recent three-week average of 1,095 reported per day. The average positive test rate for Ohioans with the virus over the past seven days fell to 4.3% as of Monday, the lowest it’s been since June.

Nursing home COVID-19 deaths continue to climb
More than 2,500 Ohio nursing home residents have died with coronavirus. The state reported 67 nursing home deaths in the last week, and the total accounts for about two-thirds of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio. Overall in Ohio, 52% of the deaths have been to people age 80 and older, with another 25% in their 70s.

Governor announces mask campaign effort aimed at minority communities
Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced a new campaign focused on communities of color. The “More Than a Mask” campaign will target communities through paid advertisements and other unspecified grassroots efforts to encourage healthy behavior. It follows a report from the governor’s minority health strike force last week. It was formed following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and evidence that minorities have been disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus. African Americans represent 14% of Ohio's population but 24% of positive COVID-19 cases.

Former Ohio House speaker needs more time to find lawyer
The former speaker of the Ohio House says he needs more time to find a lawyer to defend him against a conspiracy charge related to a bribery scheme. Rep. Larry Householder and four others are accused of shepherding $60 million in energy company money for personal and political use in exchange for passing a legislative bailout of two aging nuclear plants. An attorney temporarily representing Householder said Wednesday the ex-speaker needs more time to find a permanent lawyer. Federal prosecutors aren't opposing the request.

Big Ten's Warren, under fire, elaborates on virus concerns
After facing a week of backlash from players, their parents, fans and others, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren attempted to elaborate on the decision to postpone the football season until spring. The first-year commissioner has been criticized for a lack of transparency in how the decision to call off football this fall was made. He said the vote by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited. Warren wrote that transmission rates continue to rise at an alarming rate, there is too much unknown about the virus, recovery from infection and long-term effects and that there are concerns about contact tracing.