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Morning Headlines: Ohio Loses a Congressional District; Tim Ryan Launches Senate Campaign

 Ohio's current Congressional district map, approved in 2011.
Ohio Secretary of State
Ohio's current Congressional district map, approved in 2011. The latest census adjustment will take the state’s representation in the U.S. House to 15 representatives, down from the current 16.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 27:

  • Ohio loses a Congressional district
  • Tim Ryan launches Senate campaign
  • New vaccination sites in Akron
  • DeWine sets special election for 15th District
  • Gonzalez supports bill allowing college athletes to be paid
  • Former Cleveland cop who fatally shot Tamir Rice wants his job back
  • Report finds Columbus ill-prepared for protests
  • NEO Companies receive tax credits for expansion plans
  • COVID-19 cases under 2,000 Monday
  • UA to resume vaccination clinic

Ohio loses a Congressional district
Ohio has lost one seat in Congress as a result of new census figures released Monday. Prompted by sluggish population growth, the loss of a U.S. House seat comes as the state embarks on a new system of drawing its congressional maps, which are considered among the most gerrymandered in the nation. The latest census adjustment will take the state’s representation in the U.S. House to 15 representatives, down from the current 16. It marks the sixth straight decade of lost seats. The census data shows Ohio grew by 2.3% between 2010 and 2020 to 11.8 million residents. The national population grew by 7.4%

Tim Ryan launches Senate campaign
Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Niles) launches a workers first tour today, a day after officially announcing a campaign for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated next year by Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman. The 47-year old Ryan has been in Congress since 2003. He says he’d be a voice in the Senate for Ohio’s workers who’ve been left behind. He’s the first Democrat to enter the race. Four Republicans are running. They include former State Treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken, and Cleveland area businessmen Bernie Moreno and Mike Gibbons.

New vaccination sites in Akron
An appeal from Akron legislator Emilia Sykes and her father, State Senator Vernon Sykes, has led to the opening of a permanent COVID-19 vaccination site in Akron. Two pop-up clinics are also planned in the city. The Beacon Journal reports the permanent site will be located at Walgreens on Copley Road. The pop-up clinics will be held from 9 to noon on the next two Saturdays at the City of Joy Life Enrichment Center on West Exchange Street. In a statement, the elder Sykes said putting sites in accessible areas will decrease the racial disparity gap in vaccination rates. State health department numbers show just under 23% of Summit County’s Black population have been vaccinated compared to 42% of whites.

DeWine sets special election for 15th District
Elections will be held in August and November to fill an upcoming congressional vacancy in Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday a partisan primary for the special election to fill the 15th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. Steve Stivers will be held Aug. 3 with the general election occurring Nov. 2. Stivers, a Republican, last week announced plans to step down as of May 16 to oversee the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Gonzalez supports bill allowing college athletes to be paid
A congressman who played football at Ohio State has reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would give college athletes the right to earn money through endorsements and sponsorship deals. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican, and Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri, on Monday, co-sponsored the Student Athlete Level Playing Field Act. It would give college athletes the right to be paid for the use of their name, image, and likeness. It is the third bill related to such compensation in college sports to be introduced during this Congress. But it’s the first with support from lawmakers in each party.

Former Cleveland cop who fatally shot Tamir Rice wants his job back
The white former Cleveland police officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice in 2014 has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to help him win his job back. Cleveland fired Timothy Loehmann in 2017. An arbitrator and a county judge upheld the dismissal. Loehmann was fired for providing false information on his employment application, and not for the killing of the 12-year old Rice, who was shot outside a recreation center where he was playing with a pellet gun. Loehmann shot the boy, who was black, within seconds of a cruiser skidding to a stop near him. A state appellate court earlier this year dismissed Loehmann's appeal on a technicality.

Report finds Columbus ill-prepared for protests
A report has found that Ohio's capital city was unprepared for the size and energy of protests last year over racial injustice and police brutality. The report says once protests began in late May there was a lack of coordination and regular communication between city leaders. The report released Monday also said most police officers felt abandoned by city leadership during the protests and often received conflicting orders about crowd management and appropriate levels of force. The investigation was commissioned by Columbus City Council and conducted by former U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart and Ohio State University's John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

NEO Companies receive tax credits for expansion plans
Two northeast Ohio companies have been awarded state job creation tax credits for expansion plans. Medina County’s Superior Roll Forming plans a new project in Liverpool Township that’s expected to create 150 full-time jobs and $7.5 million in new annual payroll. The company serves the automotive industry and other commercial markets. And MAI Wealth Management expects to create 50 full-time jobs with an expansion in Independence. The investment advising company says the positions will generate $4 million in new annual payroll. Both have received 8-year tax credits.

COVID-19 cases under 2,000 Monday
The number of new coronavirus cases continues a slight downward trend to start the week. Nearly 1,400 new cases were reported Monday, the 10th day below 2,000. Cases spiked earlier this month as new variants took hold in Ohio. New hospitalizations remain above the three-week average with 128 new admissions.

UA to resume vaccination clinic
The University of Akron will resume its vaccination clinics on Wednesday, after the pause on the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was lifted. Both students and employees are eligible, including students from nearby Stark State College.