Morning Headlines: Kent State Outlines Pay Cuts Amid $110M Loss; DeWine Outlines Reopening Plan

Apr 28, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 28: 

  • Kent State outlines pay cuts amid $110M loss;
  • DeWine outlines reopening plan;
  • Akron man is seventh death at Elkton Correctional;
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons to appeal order to release Elkton inmates;
  • Cuyahoga juvenile prison confirms 3 more COVID-19 cases;
  • Ohio coronavirus cases decrease, deaths increase;
  • Poll: Half of Ohioans believe COVID-19 will be under control soon;
  • Cuyahoga County judges plan budget cuts to avoid furloughs;
  • Cuyahoga County plastic bag ban likely delayed to next year;

Kent State outlines pay cuts amid $110M loss
Kent State University President Todd Diacon announced steep budget cuts to offset a projected $110 million loss because of the pandemic. Diacon said Kent must reduce its budget by 20%, or $32 million, for the next fiscal year. Nonunion employees who make more than $38,000 will receive pay cuts. There’s also voluntary separation package with decisions on layoffs and position eliminations to follow. Diacon and his administrative staff will also take pay cuts. A hiring freeze remains in effect until next year, and all university-sponsored travel has been put on hold. The University of Akron announced similar cuts last week. 

DeWine outlines reopening plan
Gov. Mike DeWine has outlined the first steps to reopen Ohio. Starting May 1, all hospitals will be allowed to resume same-day elective surgeries. On May 4, all construction, distribution and manufacturing companies can reopen. Retailers will be allowed to open in mid-May. All companies must follow five rules: Wear face masks, clean surfaces frequently, mandated wellness checks, good hygiene practices and limiting employees in the business. Once retailers open, DeWine asks residents to also wear masks. No decisions have been made on schools, hair salons, gyms or daycares.

Akron man is seventh death at Elkton Correctional
An Akron man is the seventh coronavirus-related death at Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County. The Beacon Journal reports Richard Nesby, 55, had a pre-existing medical condition. He had been sick since early April and was put on a ventilator the last two weeks. Nearly 100 inmates and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the state’s only federal prison. More than 20 inmates are hospitalized. The Bureau of Prisons is appealing a federal judge’s recent order that Elkton release or relocate vulnerable inmates.

Federal Bureau of Prisons to appeal order to release Elkton inmates
The Federal Bureau of Prisons said it’s appealing a judge's order to release or transfer high-risk inmates for COVID-19 out of Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County. The ruling followed a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. A motion has been filed in the Sixth Circuit Court for a temporary injunction. The Bureau of Prisons has identified more than 800 prisoners who fall under high-risk categories. The judge has given the prison two weeks to determine what to do with the inmates, such as early release or home confinement. Seven inmates have died from the virus. Ohio Senator Rob Portman has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and the Federal Bureau of Prisons requesting increased COVID-19 testing at Elkton. 

Cuyahoga juvenile prison confirms 3 more COVID-19 cases
A juvenile prison in Cuyahoga County has confirmed three more cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to five. Cleveland.com reports two 16-year-olds are in isolation at Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional. A second staffer tested positive and is off of rounds. The entire facility is under quarantine. 

Ohio coronavirus cases decrease, deaths increase
COVID-19 cases in Ohio are remaining relatively steady. As of Monday, there more than 16,300 confirmed cases, up nearly 2% from Sunday. There are 753 confirmed deaths, a 3% increase from Sunday. More than 3,232 people are hospitalized and more than 970 are in the ICU, which is less than what was reported over the weekend.

Poll: Half of Ohioans believe COVID-19 will be under control soon
An Ohio State University poll shows just over half of Ohioans believe the coronavirus will be under control within three months. The results from the American Population Panel also show nearly 30% believe the country will have a handle on the situation soon. More than 1,200 Ohioans were surveyed in April, and nearly 600 of them were asked the same questions during a March survey. Nearly 90% are confident in the state's leadership in the crisis but only 40% have faith in the federal government.

Cuyahoga County judges plan budget cuts to avoid furloughs
Chief judges of all five state courts in Cuyahoga County plan to cut budgets to avoid furloughing staff. The decision that affects juvenile, probation, domestic violence, Common Pleas and 8th District courts came after County Executive Armond Budish asked for 5% budget cuts and a two-week furlough. Cleveland.com reports the cuts will be equivalent to a 10-day furlough, but judges did not give an amount.

Cuyahoga County plastic bag ban likely delayed to next year
Cuyahoga County's plastic bag ban set to go in effect this summer will likely be put on hold until next year because of the coronavirus. County Council said postponing enforcement to January will help businesses stay safe during the pandemic. Many grocery stores have banned reusable bags out of fear they could be contaminated by COVID-19.