COVID-19

Many Democratic state lawmakers were upset Wednesday when they discovered an earlier seating plan that allowed social distancing in the Ohio House chamber had been scrapped in favor of one allowing all legislators inside the chamber. Now, one of those minority lawmakers has filed a complaint with the Franklin County Health Department.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on Thursday announced a slew of openings for various industries that have been closed for nearly two months during the coronavirus pandemic.

a photo of Akron campus
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information about the sports that will be eliminated.

The University of Akron has announced that three athletics teams will be cut due to budgetary constraints caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to UA community members, Athletic Director Larry Williams says men's golf, women's tennis and men's cross country teams are being eliminated. Williams said the cuts will save the university $4.4 million. 

a photo of a test kit
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, May 14: 

FLICKR

In the two months since coronavirus first started dominating the headlines of American newspapers, some 1,100 of those newspapers have laid off and furloughed staff, cut pay and print schedules, or gone out of existence altogether. But it’s also spawned some new models in Ohio and beyond.

On Giving Tuesday, a long line of nonprofits devastated by the corona pandemic -- from museums to food banks to zoos -- appealed to donors for their survival. It also was Giving News Day -- a new appeal to donors and subscribers throughout the country to save local journalism.

handcuffing a suspect
AKRON POLICE DEPARTMENT

Despite the global pandemic, the Akron Police Academy has continued training its first class of recruits since 2008. Akron’s academy became a casualty of the Great Recession.

a photo of Larry Householder speaking to reporters
KAREN KASLER / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

When Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week’s reopening of retail businesses he called it ‘a gamble.’

DeWine and state health officials are betting that people will follow the  state’s safety guidelines while shopping, and still stay-at-home as much as possible.

Kent State epidemiologist Tara Smith says whether the gamble pays off is up to us.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is facing severe ridership and revenue declines in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ridership began to drop in the first week of March, said RTA Interim Secretary Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer Floun'say Caver during a Tuesday board meeting. By the second week of April, Caver said, ridership was down nearly 70 percent.

The agency is already projecting a $22.1 million loss in passenger fares for the year, Caver said.

map of Ohio campgrounds
OHIO CAMPGROUND OWNERS ASSOCIATION

Ohio campgrounds are once again open for seasonal, long-term campers. But a group representing campground owners wants the state to reopen for everyone and soon.

The slowdown of the economy because of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on traffic and transit. And even though the state’s gas tax that funds road construction went up by 10.5 cents a gallon last July, the Ohio Department of Transportation is bracing for a big hit. 

Some libraries throughout Ohio are announcing they will be reopening soon. But it might take a little longer for others to reopen their doors.

Many of Ohio’s retail stores that had been closed for the past few weeks opened today. There was a light yet steady stream of shoppers inside a Columbus area book store.

As retail stores throughout Ohio reopen after closing under state order for the coronavirus pandemic, some employees are scrambling to find a way to work without having reliable child care available. 

GOOGLE EARTH

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 13:

ERIK DROST / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Talks to start the Major League Baseball season amid the pandemic made some progress this week. Team owners have signed off on a plan that they will present to the player’s union. It calls for a shortened 82-game season beginning Fourth of July weekend.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the details of this deal set the stage for a big battle over money.

MADISYN WOODRING

Ohio college students just finished a spring semester that was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. In early March, schools stopped in-person classes and switched to remote learning, upending campus life.

A Kent State University journalism class spent the week after spring break recording diaries about their experience. For Madisyn Woodring, finding motivation to do schoolwork from home was a challenge.

Massage businesses, tattoo parlors and body art shops will be allowed to reopen in Ohio on May 15, along with hair salons and barbershops.

a photo of hogs
SETH TETER

Jeremy Jenkins has been running his meat processing business in Mount Victory, northwest of Columbus, for about a year. It’s typical for him to be booked up for several weeks, but now he’s turning away customers every day because he won’t be able to handle their job before Christmas.

 

“Right now we’re booked out almost seven months on processing and we’re running probably 140% of our capacity,” he says. “A lot of long days.”

photo of recycling bin
WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, May 12: 

a photo of Daryl Frazier from PARTA
DENISE BABA / PARTA

When the state issued orders for people to stay home, public transit had to adjust. The Portage Area Regional Transit Authority (PARTA) cut routes, stopped collecting fares, and since April first has been rotating its workforce a week on, a week off so it could keep them employed.

This week PARTA is working to bring services back as the economy starts to reopen. And its general manager Claudia Amrhein is taking on a new statewide role to advocate for public transit around Ohio.

The Ohio Department Job and Family Services has paid more than $2 billion in unemployment claims to nearly 560,000 Ohioans since mid-March. But that’s only half of the 1.1 million claims that have been filed.

THE OHIO CHANNEL

Gov. Mike DeWine didn't announce a reopening date for daycares Monday. 

He hinted Thursday that an announcement could be coming sometime this week, but DeWine said the plan needs more work. 

"Child care is a necessity for working families," DeWine said. "As I have said, there is risk associated with action, and there is risk associated with inaction."

DeWine added that he won't make an announcement until the state has the "most science-based and safety-based plan that we can put together," but hopes a date will be set soon.

photo of ground crew at Akron-Canton Airport
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, May 11:

picture of children walking on path lead by teacher.
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

As Ohio begins to reopen, there are a lot of questions about how parents can go back to work when most daycare centers remain closed. Governor Mike DeWine is expected to address that during his briefing Monday afternoon.

And Senator Sherrod Brown is calling for the next federal stimulus bill to provide help for childcare providers.

a photo of the website main page
METROHEALTH SYSTEM

It may seem like an unusual initiative for a hospital: a website that features carryout food available from locally-owned restaurants. But as MetroHealth says it fits their mission.

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