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Morning Headlines: Steve Mylett Named Akron's New Chief of Police; Coronavirus Cases in Ohio on the Rise

A photo of Akron Police Chief Stephen L. Mylett.
THE CITY OF AKRON
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THE CITY OF AKRON
Newly appointed Akron Police Chief Stephen L. Mylett.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, July 9:

  • Steve Mylett named Akron's new chief of police
  • Coronavirus cases in Ohio on the rise
  • Mount Carmel Health will require all employees to be vaccinated
  • Cincinnati Zoo animals to receive coronavirus vaccine
  • State paid nearly $90M to outside contractors during pandemic
  • State commission approves $450M school building projects
  • Great Lakes shoreline infrastructure fix to cost $2 billion
  • ACLU files lawsuit seeking GOP records on state redistricting efforts
  • President Biden selects DeWine as co-chair of council of governors

Steve Mylett named Akron's new chief of police
(WKSU) — The city of Akron has chosen a military veteran with decades of law enforcement experience to be the city’s next police chief. Steve Mylett comes to Akron from the Seattle area. He’s been chief of the Bellevue, Washington police since 2015 where he restructured the department, established new coalitions with minority communities, and reduced crime for five consecutive years. He starts on August 9.

Coronavirus cases in Ohio on the rise
(WKSU) — After slowing to a trickle, the number of new coronavirus cases in Ohio appears to be on the rise. New cases reported Thursday jumped to 377, after dipping below 200 earlier this week. Health officials are concerned that the more contagious delta variant could gain a foothold in Ohio. That strain is causing the vast majority of cases in several states.

Mount Carmel Health will require all employees to be vaccinated
(Columbus Dispatch) — A central Ohio hospital system says it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Mount Carmel Health today notified its 12,000 employees that they will be required to document their vaccination. Managers will have one month to comply, while other hospitals workers will have until the end of the year to get their shots. Around 25% of employees remain unvaccinated. Mount Carmel is part of the Michigan-based Trinity Health system which is requiring all of its 123,000 employees across 90 hospitals to get vaccinated.

Cincinnati Zoo animals to receive coronavirus vaccine
(AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo is preparing for some of its animals, including great apes and big cats, to receive coronavirus vaccines. The zoo has begun training animals such as gorillas to accept a vaccine voluntarily. The zoo plans to use a vaccine provided by New Jersey-based Zoetis. Zoos in Oakland and San Diego have begun vaccinating animals while zoos in Denver and in Wisconsin plan to begin the process soon. Many animals have been found to carry the coronavirus, it’s not clear if they can transmit it to humans.

State paid nearly $90M to outside contractors during pandemic
(Columbus Dispatch) — A newspaper investigation shows the state paid nearly $90 million to outside contractors to help shore up the unemployment system during the height of the pandemic. The Columbus Dispatch, through a records request, found the largest expense was $37 million paid to Deloitte, which set up the system for self-employed or part-time workers called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Another $21 million was paid to Seattle-based Direct Interactions to add staff to the state's overwhelmed unemployment compensation call center. The system was swamped in early 2020 as the state’s unemployment rate shot up to more than 16%. Most of the costs have been covered by federal pandemic relief funds.

State commission approves $450M school building projects
(AP) — The state commission that oversees funding of school construction in Ohio has approved $450 million for nine new building projects. The projects announced Thursday include $117 million for Cleveland city schools including the construction of a new high school. The combination of state and local funding approved by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission follows $336 million in building approved in April.

Great Lakes shoreline infrastructure fix to cost $2 billion
(AP) — Cities and towns along Great Lakes shorelines will pay a heavy price for recent flooding. That's according to an organization representing the region's local governments. It says a survey of cities, villages, and other jurisdictions found that fixing infrastructure damaged by high water and erosion will cost nearly $2 billion over the next five years. That's on top of about $878 million that has already been spent. Abnormally high lake levels and severe rainstorms have hammered roads, docks, and water intake pipes while washing away parklands and beaches. City officials are seeking federal help to make repairs.

ACLU files lawsuit seeking GOP records on state redistricting efforts
(AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has filed a lawsuit seeking redistricting records of Republican lawmakers’ efforts to redraw the state’s congressional and legislative districts. The lawsuit filed Tuesday claims House GOP lawmakers, including Speaker Bob Cupp and Rep. Bill Seitz, have refused to respond to a February records request by the ACLU. The request sought to obtain any redistricting-related records, including emails from Cupp, Seitz, and other legislative staff involved in the ongoing process. The lawyers representing the nonprofit said receiving the records will help them monitor the state’s contentious redistricting process carefully.

President Biden selects DeWine as co-chair of council of governors
(AP) — President Joe Biden has named Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine as co-chair of a relaunched council of governors. It's an advisory board of governors and a number of key Cabinet secretaries and top administration officials focused on strengthening federal and state collaboration on major national security issues. According to The Associated Press, Biden is appointing a bipartisan group of nine governors to the council.