Morning Headlines: Ohio Reports 3rd Highest Daily COVID-19 Deaths; Summit Co. Offering Housing Help

Sep 16, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 16:

  • Ohio reports 3rd highest daily COVID-19 deaths
  • DeWine remains confident health director can be hired
  • Ohio posts school district report cards without usual grades
  • Ohio judge derides restriction of 1 ballot box per county
  • Sherwin-Williams pushes back new headquarters completion to 2024
  • Walsh Jesuit students who attended party must self-report, district says
  • Summit County offering second round of rent, mortgage assistance
  • Teens charged in shooting of Cleveland detective may be tried as adults
  • Former Ohio ITT Tech students to share $20M in nationwide settlement
  • Ohio unveils job training program
  • SEC investigating FirstEnergy’s role in $60M bribery scheme
  • Akron to reopen community centers

Ohio reports 3rd highest daily COVID-19 deaths
Ohio reported the third highest number of coronavirus deaths in a single day on Tuesday. The 87 deaths is the highest reported in a day since May. The 21-day rolling average is 24 deaths. A total of 4,506 people have died with COVID-19 in Ohio.

DeWine remains confident health director can be hired
Gov. Mike DeWine says he's confident a new health director can be hired despite concerns about criticism a director would face in the state. DeWine made his comments Tuesday after his selection for health director withdrew her name just hours after it was announced last week. Dr. Joan Duwve is South Carolina’s former public health director. She said she was concerned because the previous director’s family was harassed. DeWine said he respects Duwve's decision and the health director job will be filled eventually.

Ohio posts school district report cards without usual grades
The state has released its latest report cards for school districts without the usual performance rankings and some other key indicators. That comes after school closures and legislative changes related to the coronavirus affected the state’s system for reporting and accountability. State testing requirements were waived in the spring under legislation passed as schools faced closures and the pivot to remote learning because of the pandemic. As a result, report cards released Tuesday for the 2019-2020 school year don’t include ratings that are based on the tests that were canceled. The report cards do still include information about graduation rates, enrollment, attendance and spending.

Ohio judge derides restriction of 1 ballot box per county
An Ohio judge has ruled that a directive restricting Ohio counties to one ballot drop box in November was arbitrary and unreasonable. The county judge's ruling Tuesday deals Secretary of State Frank LaRose another in a series of blows to his policies. LaRose’s office says it will appeal the decision if the judge follows through and invalidates the order. Access to ballot drop boxes has become an urgent matter nationally amid the coronavirus pandemic and cutbacks at the Postal Service. And it is often the largely Democratic urban counties that look to expand the number of drop boxes.

Sherwin-Williams pushes back new headquarters completion to 2024
Global paint maker Sherwin-Williams is pushing back plans for its new world headquarters in downtown Cleveland and a research complex in Brecksville. Cleveland.com reports the company’s original construction completion date of 2023 is now 2024 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sherwin-Williams reaffirmed that the $600 million investment announced in February is still on.

Walsh Jesuit students who attended party must self-report, district says
At least 100 private school students who attended a party are being told to self-report they were there, or risk expulsion. The Beacon Journal reports Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls found out about the party from tips from families and students. A letter to the community said students who were at the party need to stay home for the next two weeks and attend school virtually.

Summit County offering second round of rent, mortgage assistance
Summit County residents are getting another chance to get rent, mortgage and utility assistance. County Executive Ilene Shapiro will introduce legislation to council on Monday for a second round of federal CARES act funding of $5 million for rent and mortgage payments and $1 million for utility payments. Applications will open Sept. 28. So far, Summit County and United Way of Summit and Medina have helped nearly 3,000 individuals and families.

Teens charged in shooting of Cleveland detective may be tried as adults
Cuyahoga County prosecutors have filed a motion to charge two teens as adults in the fatal shooting of a Cleveland police detective and a police informant. The teens, ages 15 and 17, are facing aggravated murder charges in juvenile court. They, along with David McDaniel, 18, are accused of shooting Det. James Skernivitz and Scott Dingess during a robbery attempt. Skernivitz and Dingess were working undercover on a drug case.

Former Ohio ITT Tech students to share $20M in nationwide settlement
Former Ohio students of the defunct ITT Technical Institute will get nearly $21 million as part of a nationwide settlement. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office announced the settlement Tuesday with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by the failed for-profit college. ITT Tech unexpectedly shut down in the middle of the school year in 2016, leaving some 3,200 Ohio students on the hook for thousands in student loans.

Ohio unveils job training program
The state of Ohio is announcing a program to help people who have lost their job during the pandemic. “Ohio To Work” is a collaboration among employers, the governor’s office and JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit economic development agency. The program provides job coaches to help those who are unemployed get retrained in a new career. The initiative will launch first in the Cleveland area and be rolled out across the state. Gov. Mike DeWine said 30 employers have already signed up to join the program. Virtual career fairs are being planned for next month. Details at OhioToWork.com.

SEC investigating FirstEnergy’s role in $60M bribery scheme
Federal regulators are investigating Akron-based FirstEnergy’s role in a $60 million bribery scheme to pass last year’s nuclear bailout bail. Cleveland.com reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s public finance abuse unit is handling the regulatory investigation. The probe came to light as part of a lawsuit filed by FirstEnergy against a former employee. The FBI in July released an 80-page affidavit detailing corruption and racketeering allegations against former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder and four associates. FirstEnergy and its affiliates have not been charged in the investigation of the passage of House Bill 6, the $1 billion rate-payer bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear plants. A House committee is currently considering a repeal of the law.

Akron to reopen community centers
The city of Akron plans to reopen community centers later this month for the first time since they closed in March due to the pandemic. The city said it will post opening information for each center to the Recreation and Parks Department’s website and Facebook page. Akron is also expected to reinstall all outdoor basketball hoops by the end of the month.