Photo of Mike DeWine

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 27:

photo of dental office

As some of Ohio’s nonessential businesses prepare to reopen, you’ve still got questions about how coronavirus will affect everything from dental appointments to funerals.

Listener James Little asked how the current pandemic is affecting mortuary services. To find out, we spoke with Gary Burr, president of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association.

photo of MetroHealth patient

Cleveland-based MetroHealth facilities will resume some in-person appointments starting Monday, but will still be taking precautions to protect patients and staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cleveland is still waiting on more information to determine the full impact of the coronavirus on the city budget, Mayor Frank Jackson said Friday, though current estimates place the losses at several million dollars.

The city has multiple sources of revenue impacted by the coronavirus, Jackson said, including parking, event and venue admissions taxes and income taxes.

Cuyahoga Falls Cancels Large Summer Events

Apr 26, 2020
social distancing measures outside of Butcher and Sprout in Cuyahoga Falls
David Williams / WKSU

Cuyahoga Falls is joining the city of Akron in canceling large summer gatherings. That includes the Riverfront Irish Festival and the Festa Italiana. Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters said guidance from state and local health officials led to the decision.

While he’s disappointed, Walters doesn’t think the cancellations will hurt local businesses because in the past they’ve managed to stay busy even without large events bringing people in.

Updated: 4:10 p.m., Friday, April 24, 2020

Ohio will “substantially” increase its capacity for coronavirus testing as the state’s manufacturers step up the production of test kit components, Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday.

More testing, combined with expanded efforts to trace the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state, will help health workers “isolate” and “kill” the virus, the governor said.

“Frankly, what I like about this, and why I’m so excited is it’s going to enable us to really go on the offensive as we attack the virus,” DeWine said.

The Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) system has furloughed or laid off around 300 employees in an effort to accommodate an expected loss in revenue from the coronavirus.

Eighty of the 300 staff were seasonal employees working through the school year and were formally laid off, according to Executive Director Tracy Strobel.

ArcelorMittal is furloughing nearly 250 employees from its Cleveland plant due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced this week, in addition to the 48 employees already furloughed from the company's Eggers Avenue site earlier this month.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday a partial rollback on his ban on elective medical procedures in Ohio — the same day University Hospitals announced staff pay cuts. Less than 24 hours later, UH also said it plans to shut down some emergency services by the end of the month.

A photo of the capitol building

The latest round of federal assistance in the fight against COVID-19 includes more money for small businesses and aid for hospitals.

State and local governments say they need help too. While Ohio’s two senators have indicated support, it could be an uphill battle.

photo of Akron Children's Hospital

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 24:

A photo of Floco Torres

Being cooped up inside during this pandemic makes it's easy to get cabin fever. You could be getting the itch to get more creative. Maybe you want to try writing poetry or lyrics. But where do you start? We reached out to Akron rapper and producer Floco Torres to get some advice on how to channel your thoughts into something with a beat.

a photo of a COVID-19 checkpoint in the Philippines

For the past month now, the one thing we've heard time and again has been the importance of following the stay-at-home order. But imagine what it would be like if you found yourself stranded thousands of miles from home with no way of getting back and no indication that would change any time soon?

That's the case for one Kent State University employee who has been stuck in the Philippines for the past month. He sent us this story of what life's been like. 

Updated at on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday signed Congress' latest coronavirus economic relief package, which includes additional aid to small businesses and hospitals.

The measure passed overwhelmingly in the House on Thursday — 388-5, with one lawmaker voting present.

The five lawmakers who voted against the package included one Democrat — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — and four Republicans — Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jody Hice of Georgia, Ken Buck of Colorado and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

photo of Akron Marathon

The Akron Marathon is canceling two summer events. The cancellations follow restrictions set by the city of Akron on city-sponsored events of more than 250 people until September 7. Canceled races include the National Interstate 8k and 1 Mile scheduled for June 27, and the Goodyear Half Marathon and 10k scheduled for August 8.

However, Marathon president and CEO Anne Bitong says they are doing what they can to make sure the canceled races don’t go to waste.

photo of Summit County mass texting program

Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says the health department expects guidance this week from state officials on how and when they can implement expanded coronavirus testing.

During her weekly update Thursday, she also unveiled a mass texting system to provide instant public health notices for residents. Sign up information is here. Skoda says re-opening Ohio will be a gradual process.

The national stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplied Ohio with more than 493,000 gloves, 271,000 N95 masks, 675,000 surgical masks and other gear.

But state and local leaders say those shipments weren’t enough to mount a proper defense against the coronavirus pandemic. So local governments have been asking for PPE donations — and in some cases, buying their own gear.

Nearly a million Ohioans - 964,556 people - have filed for unemployment in the last five weeks, more than the combined total in the last two years.  But more are coming as thousands of Ohioans who are self-employed or independent contractors have been waiting to file for unemployment under new federal rules.

Coronavirus In Ohio: Reopening State Will Be Slow Process, DeWine Cautions

Apr 23, 2020

As new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations begin to decline, why shouldn't Ohio reopen today?

With the help of an infectious diseases expert, Gov. Mike DeWine spent over an hour Thursday explaining that a fully open economy and health care system is still a while away.

The state has paid out $858 million dollars to nearly 350,000 Ohioans who’ve lost their jobs in the last five weeks. And more claims are expected to come in from people who normally can’t file for jobless benefits but will be able to under a federal aid bill.

The financial impact of Ohio’s shutdowns for coronavirus is enormous. And the billions of dollars that have been set aside by the state over the last seven years may not be enough to cover it all.

photo of Coronavirus testing

Several Northeast Ohio Rite Aid locations are now offering drive-up coronavirus testing for those showing symptoms and for front line workers.


Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, April 23: 

children learning online

So much of what’s happening now in Ohio and for the foreseeable future is online, and that’s exposing some serious problems in broadband service across the state.

With Ohio’s schools closed, most kids are spending more time on the computer these days. Schools and teachers are putting their lessons online, and millions of Ohioans are working from home.

Luke Donaldson / Agape Photography

On what would have been the 12th annual celebration of Record Store Day on April 18, local music shops remained dark, empty and closed. The event is an annual celebration of independently owned record stores and brings crowds of music fans to these local businesses to buy exclusive or new music releases.

Local record stores are experiencing the difficult effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—not only on sales, but also in missing the camaraderie that often comes hand-in-hand with small businesses and their regular patrons.