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The Ohio Democratic Party is asking the Franklin County Common Pleas Court that issued a ruling that allows for the addition of ballot drop boxes to take action against the Ohio Republican Party too. The comment is also being condemned by the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

photo of Chapel Hill Sears coronavirus testing
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Summit County Public Health officials held their second coronavirus mass testing event over the weekend – with expanded capacity thanks to the Ohio National Guard.

Cars were lined up for at least a mile as testing began outside of Chapel Hill Mall on Saturday morning. It comes two days after the county was upgraded to Level 3 on the state's public health advisory system.

Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says that increase is coming from a number of sources.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has begun making a few cautious forays back onto the campaign trail. But generally, even as President Donald Trump stumps around the country, Biden is remaining close to his Delaware home as the pandemic has forced him into a kind of virtual front-porch campaign. You have to go back more than a century for the last time two candidates brought such different approaches to campaigning. 

Updated: 8:45 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020

Hours after Gov. Mike DeWine announced the appointment of Dr. Joan Duwve as director of the Ohio Department of Health, she withdrew from consideration for “personal reasons,” according to a statement from the governor's office.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield
Erik Drost / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Cleveland Browns begin the NFL season Sunday. The team has had little time to get adjusted under new coach Kevin Stefanski because of the pandemic. WKSU’s sports commentator Terry Pluto said the Browns face a tough opening game against the defending AFC North Champion Baltimore Ravens on the road.

photo of Derf
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Few of the dozens of books written about what happened at Kent State May 4, 1970 have the emotional impact of John Backderf’s graphic novel Kent State, Four Dead in Ohio.

The Cleveland-based comic artist, who goes by Derf, spent two years researching and another two years drawing the book.

Derf depicts the final days of the four students before they were shot down on a campus parking lot 50 years ago.

photo of First Presbyterian Church
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, WOOSTER

Wayne County is now on red alert for the very high exposure and spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Mike DeWine attributes that to new cases in prisons, group homes, and churches.

At First Presbyterian Church in Wooster, Amy Baxstrom is director of Children’s and Family Ministries. She says they met last week in-person for the first time since March. But yesterday, it was back to online services because of the new coronavirus threat level. 

photo of a rare tropical bird known as brown booby at Nimisila Reservoir
GARY TRAVENY

A tropical bird has taken up residence in Northeast Ohio.

The local appearance of the normally sea-going brown booby has created quite a stir among birders.

It’s the first time the Caribbean native has been seen in Ohio.

Summit County Metro Parks naturalist Janean Kazimir spots the bird on a dead tree limb along the shore of  Nimisila Reservoir just south of Akron.

Medina County health officials are investigating three COVID-19 cases reported in two school districts.

Two students and one staff member tested positive for the virus since schools reopened, said the county’s health commissioner Krista Wasowski.

The county is seeing its highest number of new cases since the pandemic began, with more than 100 new cases reported over the past week, she said. Nearly one-quarter of the cases are in people under the age of 19.

Ohioans receiving unemployment benefits can expect an additional $300 weekly starting mid-to-late September. The payments will be retroactive, going back to Aug. 1.

Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) President John Baker told ideastream those additional funds are “really a lifeline” for many restaurant employees, whose industry has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. 

woman in face mask.
JURAJ VARGA / PIXABAY

Summit County Public Health has passed an order mandating that masks be worn in public, even though a statewide order remains in place. Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says the county wanted to pass its own order just in case the state order is lifted.

Ohio’s Secretary of State is accusing fellow Republican and former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder of 162 violations of campaign finance laws, related to the felony criminal charges for bribery and racketeering he’s facing in federal court.

an image of Ohio alert map
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Ohioans who qualify for unemployment benefits will receive a federal extension of $300 a week. During the bi-weekly  briefing on the coronavirus today, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted reported that Ohio's application for $717 million federal funds to pay the benefit has been approved by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Husted says the state department of Jobs and Family Services will administer the payments that will be retroactive to August 1. Gov. Mike DeWine previously indicated those payments could begin to be issued next month. 

Zach Freidhof performs
/ SIDEWALK SERENADES NEO

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to the region’s live music scene. Most independent venues have been closed for nearly six months, with no re-opening date in sight.

After two years in business, Stella’s Music Club in Cleveland shut its doors for good Aug. 20, making it the first major music venue in the city to close during the pandemic. Thursday’s Lounge, an Akron staple for alternative and dance music for 40 years, will officially close Aug. 29. Both venues cited challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak as major reasons for their closures. Mahall’s in Lakewood has launched a “Keep The Lights On” crowdfunding effort.

But there are some venues that are trying to reinvent themselves to keep their doors open.

A picture of an elementary school classroom.
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lot of uncertainty about how to restart normal activities, including school. Administrators, teachers, parents and students have been grappling with what school in the fall should look like for months.

A photo of David James
AKRON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James has announced he will retire from the position next June.  

James has been with the Akron Public Schools for almost 29 years. He's been superintendent for the past 12 years. 

"It's time," James stated in a press release. "This has been challenging and fulfilling for me. I have been honored to work with students, parents, dedicated educators and community leaders who have all come together to make Akron Public Schools stronger than it was 12 years ago." 

/ HIGHLAND SQUARE PORCHROKR MUSIC AND ART FESTIVAL

The popular Highland Square PorchRokr Music and Art Festival, celebrated annually during August in Akron, has been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The large, in-person festival was reimagined this year as a virtual event called CouchRokr. The concert will be available to view on Facebook Saturday, Aug. 15 starting at 1 p.m.

JON RIDINGER / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Kent State, Akron and the rest of the Mid-American Conference won’t be playing sports this fall. The MAC became the first major conference to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Big Ten conference officially scrapped its season on Tuesday. 

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the decision is an opportunity for the MAC to take a step back and address schools' huge football program deficits. 

A photo of the blimp
AKRONITE

An Akron business owner is optimistic about the potential impact of a new app being launched by the city to support local businesses.  Called the Akronite, the app aims to increase community engagement and connect residents with local retailers. It incentivizes “Akronites” to shop locally with a rewards system that features a blimp.

A photo of Cheryl Martin holding a picture of her son, Colin Martin.
SMITHBERGER PHOTOGRAPHY

A mom who understands the pain of losing an infant shares her grief to help families in Cuyahoga County, where black babies are nearly four times less likely to survive to their first birthdays as white babies.

Bias in healthcare may have contributed to the death of her baby.

summit health chart
SUMMIT COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH

With cases of COVID-19 still rising across the county, Summit County Public Health on Monday recommended that schools conduct classes online this fall rather than in person.

The health department also issued guidance to help schools respond to the pandemic.

The state is moving forward with President Donald Trump's executive order to offer additional money for people getting unemployment benefits since the pandemic, but it's half of what unemployed people were getting before a federal relief measure expired.

Gov. Mike DeWine's coronavirus testing experience this week – in which he came back positive for COVID-19 in one test then negative in a second test just hours later – has caused a lot of questions surrounding the reliability and accuracy of testing. 

Nepali couple in a garden
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

The spread of Coronavirus has been more pervasive in some regions than others.

In Akron, the north side of town has experienced greater spread than anywhere in the city. North Akron is the city’s international neighborhood, housing immigrants and refugees from Nepal, Bhutan, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Congo and many others. But one group is working to keep the virus in check.

map of land
City of Akron

The city of Akron is asking developers to submit proposals to build single family homes on a 45-acre triangle of land near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The wooded property in the Merriman Valley Neighborhood is framed by Northampton, Theiss and Hardy roads. 

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