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Morning Headlines: Goodyear Amends Attire Policy; Cuyahoga Drops to Orange on COVID-19 Alert Map

Goodyear blimp
Amanda Rabinowitz
Goodyear amended its attire policy to allow employees to support law enforcement.

WKSU Morning News Headlines for Friday, August 21:

  • Goodyear: Attire supporting police OK, but no political wear
  • Goodyear workers, lawmakers protest, denounce Trump's tweet
  • DeWine sets date for senior centers, adult day cares to reopen
  • Cuyahoga's COVID-19 level drops to orange, Lorain raised to red
  • Tri-C begins weekly COVID-19 testing
  • New unemployment claims tick up
  • Akron forms racial equity task force
  • Browns to ask for variance to host more fans

Goodyear: Attire supporting police OK, but no political wear
The CEO and president of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. says it will allow employees to wear attire supporting law enforcement, though it will continue to ask them not to express support for any political candidates while on the job. CEO Rich Kramer says Goodyear “strongly supports our law enforcement partners.” He says the company has clarified its policy “to make it clear associates can express support for law enforcement through apparel at Goodyear facilities.” President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged supporters to boycott Goodyear tires, tweeting that the Ohio-based company had “announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS.”  

Goodyear workers, lawmakers protest, denounce Trump's tweet
Goodyear workers, union members and lawmakers rallied at the Akron United Steelworkers offices a day after President Trump tweeted that people should stop buying Goodyear tires. Trump called for the boycott after learning of Goodyear's policy against employees wearing political attire for any candidate or campaign, including Trump's MAGA hats. Cleveland.com reports union president Rick Nixon said Trump's message could have ripple effects. The tweet sent the company's stock to fall on Wednesday. Other speakers, including Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and Akron-area State Representatives Emilia Sykes and Tavia Galonski, all denounced Trump's message. Goodyear CEO Rich Kramer announced Thursday that employees are now allowed to wear apparel that shows support for law enforcement.

DeWine sets date for senior centers, adult day cares to reopen
Senior centers and adult day care centers will be allowed to reopen next month. Gov. Mike DeWine said the facilities can open Sept. 21 at reduced capacity, with strict cleaning and social distance standards. Masks must also be worn. They must keep a daily log of who visits and are encouraged to alter work schedules to reduce possible contact they will have among each other. The centers remained closed since March because people over the age of 65 are considered at risk for COVID-19. DeWine also announced Thursday that a statewide testing initiative for Ohio’s 765-plus assisted-living facilities is underway. Testing will be offered to all assisted-living staff members and residents at no cost to facilities.

Cuyahoga's COVID-19 level drops to orange, Lorain raised to red
Cuyahoga County's coronavirus outlook is improving. Gov. Mike DeWine announced the county has dropped from the red alert level to orange or level 2, after seven weeks at the heightened level. However, Lorain and Trumbull were raised from orange to red. DeWine said the virus is spreading in Lorain county primarily due to social situations and family gatherings. New COVID-19 cases reached above 1,000 Thursday for the first time in four days.

Tri-C begins weekly COVID-19 testing
Cuyahoga Community College will begin weekly coronavirus testing Thursdays through November. The walk-up and drive-thru testing is each Thursday at a different Tri-C location for students, faculty, staff and neighborhood residents. Visit tri-c.edu/covidtest for more information.

New unemployment claims tick up
Ohio saw a slight increase in new unemployment claims filed in the last week. The state reported more than 21,500 first-time claims, up nearly 700 from the previous week. Continued unemployment claims declined about 15,000 since last week, to about 359,000. They've been steadily declining since the height of the pandemic in March.

Akron forms racial equity task force
The city of Akron is launching a Racial Equity and Social Justice Task Force. The group will be made up of 29 community members that will develop a five-year strategic plan to improve the lives of Akron’s Black and minority residents. It follows Mayor Dan Horrigan’s declaration in June that racism is a public health crisis. The task force will deliver its recommendations, including funding proposals and projected timelines, to Horrigan in December 2021.

Browns to request variance to host more fans
The Cleveland Browns are hoping to get fans in the stands this fall, and want to work with Gov. Mike DeWine on how many. DeWine's order sets the maximum number of people gathered at any outdoor sports venue at 1,500 fans or 15 percent of the fixed, seated capacity, whichever is lower. The Beacon Journal reports the Browns intend to file a variance request with the Ohio Department of Health to be allowed to accommodate 20% capacity, which is about 13,500 fans. The Browns first home game is September 17.