Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, May 26:
- Gyms, pools, bowling alleys reopen;
- Akron's annual Founders Day goes virtual;
- Miami University partygoers infected with COVID-19;
- Cleveland Metroparks blocks vehicle access to multiple beaches;
- Labs create equipment to distinguish hemp from marijuana;
- Two major road construction projects on schedule mid pandemic;
Gyms, pools, bowling alleys reopen
Ohio is entering the next phase of reopening amid the pandemic. Starting Tuesday, gyms and fitness centers, public pools, bowling alleys and mini golf courses can open, but they'll still have to comply with strict social distancing requirements. And all Bureau of Motor Vehicle locations will be open, but state officials recommend people try to get as much done online as they can. Sports teams can resume training and conditioning, but games and scrimmages are still prohibited. Next week, child care centers will also be able to open. But there's still no reopening dates for casinos, water parks and movie theaters.
Akron's annual Founders Day goes virtual
The pandemic is forcing Akron's annual Founders Day weekend to shift to a virtual event next month. This is the 85th anniversary of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was expected to draw 10,000 people to the city. The Beacon Journal reports speakers will share stories about their paths to sobriety on the Founders Day website. Organizers told the newspaper that some of the 5,000 people who have registered for the online event have made donations to offset the debt incurred from planning the in-person event.
Miami University partygoers infected with COVID-19
Health officials said students who attended off-campus Miami University parties this month should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. The Columbus Dispatch reports some Miami students who attended parties between May 8 and May 16 have tested positive for COVID-19. Butler County officials did not say how many students have been infected, and asks that anyone with a fever, cough or other symptoms should remain quarantined for at least two weeks. Ohio has more than 32,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 2,000 deaths as of Monday.
Cleveland Metroparks blocks vehicle access to multiple beaches
The Cleveland Metroparks has temporarily blocked vehicle access to Edgewater Park, Whiskey Island and Wendy Park after people overcrowded beaches on Memorial Day. Signs are posted that read "crowded beaches lead to closed beaches." There will also be limited access to marinas and yacht clubs.
Labs create equipment to distinguish hemp from marijuana
Ohio’s legalization of hemp last year created a problem for law enforcement which was not able to distinguish it from marijuana, until now. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio’s three state crime labs now have new equipment that can differentiate the two. Prosecutions for marijuana possession have been in steep decline in Ohio, partly because of the lack of a valid test. Many cities have essentially decriminalized pot, but is still illegal under state law.
Two major road construction projects on schedule amid pandemic
Two of Ohio's largest road reconstruction projects remain on schedule in Greater Cleveland. Cleveland.com reports the nearly seven-year project to rehab Valley View Bridge on I-480 is expected to be completed in 2024. Work started on the $228 million project in 2017. Decking on the new bridge is now about half complete, with a goal for being done of this fall. When all the work is done, I-480 will have 12 lanes. The Opportunity Corridor linking I-77 to University Circle is expected to be open by next fall. I-490 remains closed at East 55th street.