Morning Headlines: Ohio Lowers Age Limit for Vaccine to 16 and Up; Mass Vaccination Clinics Beginning in Cleveland, Portage
Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, March 17:
- Ohio lowers age limit for vaccine to 16 and up
- Mass vaccination clinics beginning in Cleveland, Portage
- Investor Carl Ichan to get two FirstEnergy board seats
- Court to hear GOP boss's case against Ohio elections chief
- Union: Ford backs out on vow to add new model at Ohio plant
- Lobbyist named in $60M Ohio bribery probe is found dead
- Cities, groups aim to stop Ohio's push for early census data
- Akron cuts housing rates for fall, freezes tuition
- LeBron James becomes partner in group that owns Red Sox
Ohio lowers age limit for vaccine to 16 and up
Gov. Mike DeWine is expanding vaccine eligibility. People 40 and older will be eligible beginning Friday, along with people suffering from cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Anyone 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine on March 29. The governor says the expansion is warranted with a significant increase in vaccine doses expected soon.
Mass vaccination clinics beginning in Cleveland, Portage
Cleveland’s mass COVID vaccine clinic opens to the public today and thousands are expected receive shots at the Wolstein Center. It will run for eight weeks, giving out first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the first six weeks, then moving to the Johnson & Johnson one-dose shot for last two. Clinics are also planned at the Kent State University Field House each Tuesday this spring beginning next week. It's open to Portage County residents only. Registration is required and must be made through the county health district.
Investor Carl Ichan to get two FirstEnergy board seats
Billionaire investor Carl Ichan has reached a deal with Akron-based FirstEnergy to add two new members to the company’s board of directors. Both board seats – subject to regulatory approval -- will be held by employees of Icahn Capital. Ichan has said his goal is to quickly settle litigation surrounding the $60 million federal bribery probe tied to a bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants. The Wall Street Journal reports Icahn, who hasn’t disclosed his stake size, controls well over 3% of FirstEnergy’s shares. That makes him one of its top five holders with a stake worth over $600 million.
Court to hear GOP boss's case against Ohio elections chief
The state’s high court has agreed to hear arguments in a dispute over Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose's decision to block the reappointment of a powerful fellow Republican to a county elections board. The Ohio Supreme Court has put Summit County Republican Chair Bryan Williams’ legal challenge against LaRose on an expedited schedule. The county party alleges in its complaint that LaRose is seeking “political retribution” against Williams and employing “inaccurate and incomplete” facts. In a March 3 letter, LaRose cited 2020 election administration issues, including traffic jams during early voting and over 700 deceased voters left on rolls.
Union: Ford backs out on vow to add new model at Ohio plant
United Auto Worker officials say Ford Motor Co. has backed out on a contract promise to invest $900 million for a new product line at a Northeast Ohio assembly plant and will instead send production to Mexico. Around 1,700 hourly workers at the plant in Avon Lake west of Cleveland now produce Ford's E-series vans and large Super Duty pickup trucks. Ford promised during 2019 contract talks to make the investment and add the new line in 2023. A plant official told workers conditions surrounding the new unnamed product have changed, but the company remains committed to producing heavy duty tracks in Avon Lake.
Lobbyist named in $60M Ohio bribery probe is found dead
A longtime Ohio lobbyist who pleaded not guilty in a sweeping federal bribery investigation has been found dead. Authorities said Tuesday that 67-year-old Neil Clark's body was found the day before in an isolated area near where he had been living in Collier County, Florida. An autopsy is pending. Clark's wife indicated they had been having financial issues. Clark had made his not-guilty plea in August over an alleged role in a $60 million scheme federal prosecutors say funneled money from FirstEnergy companies to then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder to secure a $1 billion nuclear bailout.
Cities, groups aim to stop Ohio's push for early census data
A coalition of local governments and civil rights groups sued the U.S. Census Bureau last year to stop it from ending the 2020 census early out of fear it would undercount minority communities. Now, that coalition is attempting to block Ohio from trying to force the bureau into releasing data used for drawing congressional and legislative districts earlier than planned. The coalition over the weekend asked a judge to let it oppose a lawsuit Ohio filed last month. Ohio became the first state to challenge the bureau's decision to release redistricting data by Sept. 30 instead of March 31.
Akron cuts housing rates for fall, freezes tuition
The University of Akron is offering a 30% discount on housing this fall, saving students more than $2,500 and an overall 9% reduction in college costs. It will also freeze tuition rates. Provost John Wiencek says the goal is to keep students in school amid the hardships caused by the pandemic. Akron is also waiving the requirement that freshmen live on campus. Stark State College announced this week it will offer students free tuition this fall.
LeBron James becomes partner in group that owns Red Sox
LeBron James has become a partner in Fenway Sports Group. That makes the Lakers star a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Globe first reported the deal. Fenway Sports Group is the parent company of the Red Sox as well as the Liverpool Football Club of the English Premier League and the Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR team. James has had a relationship with FSG since 2011, when he signed a marketing deal in exchange for an ownership stake in Liverpool.