Morning Headlines: Columbus Protests Turn Violent; Kent State Proposes Freshman Tuition Hike

May 29, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, May 29:

  • Columbus protests over George Floyd turn violent;
  • Kent State proposes freshman tuition hike;
  • Law enforcement leaders urge Elkton inmate transfers, releases
  • Victory Cruise Line cancels all summer Great Lakes trips;
  • CVS opens 34 drive-thru coronavirus test sites;
  • About 1.3 million Ohioans file jobless claims over 10 weeks;
  • Outdoor visitations allowed for some long-term care facilities;
  • State expands coronavirus testing criteria;
  • Akron-Canton airport asks for financial support;
  • Ohio E-check stations reopen;
  • Summit County Common Pleas Court extends restrictions;
  • Akron unveils progress on rubber worker statue;
  • Akron Children's to open pediatric center in Ravenna;

Columbus protests over George Floyd turn violent
A crowd of protesters in downtown Columbus clashed with local police during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Around 400 people turned out Thursday night. A key downtown intersection near the Ohio Statehouse was blocked for hours. The demonstration began as a peaceful protest, but news outlets reported protesters began throwing objects like water bottles and police responded with tear gas. News outlets report demonstrators left smashed storefront windows along downtown streets and tried to breach the statehouse.

Kent State University proposes freshman tuition hike
Kent State University is proposing a 4% tuition increase for incoming freshman this fall that would be frozen for four years. The Beacon Journal reports the proposal would generate $600,000 that would go toward financial aid for students. The Board of Trustees will vote on the measure Wednesday, along with a recommendation for the university to operate on 80% of its fiscal year 2020 budget for the first few months of the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Law enforcement leaders urge Elkton inmate transfers, releases
Dozens of current and former law enforcement leaders across the U.S. are urging for the release or transfer of high-risk inmates from the Elkton federal prison. In a brief to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the officials, including former attorney general James Petro, said the process must speed up before the situation worsens. The outcry comes days after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block a federal judge's order for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to transfer as many as 800 high-risk inmates.  

Victory Cruise Line cancels all summer Great Lakes trips
Victory Cruise Lines has canceled its season, including all Great Lakes trips. Cleveland.com reports Victory decided to anchor its two cruise ships planned to begin sailing in early July. The company initially had 42 stops planned for the Port of Cleveland this year, with as many as 8,500 passengers disembarking for the day. The port last year invested $600,000 in a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.

CVS opens 34 drive-thru coronavirus test sites
Thirty-four drive-thru coronavirus test sites will open at CVS locations across the state Friday. Locations include a store on Akron's west side, one in Kent and another in North Canton. Patients must register online to receive a self-swab test. CVS said it's following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as far as who can get tested. That includes first responders and those who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive. CVS aims to have 1,000 testing sites up and running by the end of the month.

About 1.3 million Ohioans file jobless claims over 10 weeks
The state said about 1.3 million Ohioans have filed unemployment claims in the past 10 weeks as Ohio’s stay-at-home order depressed the economy and led to widespread layoffs. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) said about 42,000 people filed claims for the week ending May 23. That's down from about 46,000 claims filed the previous week. ODJFS said the 1,257,838 people who filed since the pandemic began is more than the total of the past three years. The state said it has now distributed more than $3.1 billion to more than 644,000 unemployment claimants.

Outdoor visitations allowed at some long-term care facilities
Assisted-living facilities and developmental disability centers will be allowed to resume outdoor visitation starting June 8. Gov. Mike DeWine said strict guidelines will be in place, such as wearing a mask at all times and social distancing. Nursing homes are not included. DeWine said easing restrictions will come in phases and will be evaluated along the way. These facilities have been closed to visitors since March. 

State expands coronavirus testing criteria
Gov. Mike DeWine has added a fourth criteria for being approved for a coronavirus test in Ohio. Any individual with symptoms of COVID-19 can request a test through a doctor’s office. Up until now only front-line healthcare workers, at-risk people with symptoms or people scheduled for surgery were allowed to be tested in order to preserve scant supplies. 

Akron-Canton airport asks for financial support from JobsOhio
The Akron-Canton airport is asking for financial help, as passenger traffic has dwindled during the pandemic. CEO Ren Camacho has asked the Stark County Port Authority for $100,000, which would be matched by $400,000 from JobsOhio, the state’s economic development corporation. The Beacon Journal reports Camacho is asking local chambers of commerce and other economic development groups in the Akron-Canton area to consider making an “airline incentive partnership” donation. That would be paired with state dollars as incentive for airlines to stay or resume flights at Akron-Canton. The airport is on track to lose nearly $3 million this year. 

Ohio E-check stations reopen
Ohio’s E-Check stations have reopened after more than two months under the lockdown. The Ohio EPA said that drivers who, due to the pandemic, renewed their registrations without the E-Check have six-months to complete the certification.

Summit County Common Pleas Court extends restrictions
The Summit County Common Pleas Court plans to follow restrictions through the end of July to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes suspending trials, handling most matters over the phone and barring the transfer of inmates from the Summit County Jail. Court employees will also continue to work remotely.

Akron unveils progress on rubber worker statue
Akron is unveiling progress on its rubber worker statue that will be installed in September as the centerpiece of a new roundabout at Main and Mill streets. Photos released by the city Thursday show the bronze 12-ft. tall worker hand-wrapping a tire. The project includes engraved bricks and the Akron Stories project which is collecting stories from people involved in Akron’s rubber heritage.

Akron Children's to open pediatric center in Ravenna
Akron Children's Hospital will open a pediatric center in Ravenna on Tuesday. The $10 million facility will have 23 exam rooms to treat patients. Other newer locations include Boston Heights, North Canton and Mansfield.