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Morning Headlines: COVID surge leads to cancelations; Ohio Senate removes conceal carry permit requirement

A picture of a vial saying COVID-19 test.
FERNANDO ZHIMINAICELA
/
PIXABAY
The COVID-19 surge is leading to a number of cancelations including Stow-Munroe Falls High School calling off two days of midterms next week due to a number of cases and Playhouse Square canceling Wednesday night’s performance of its holiday musical "Light It Up!”

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, December 16:

  • COVID surge leads to cancelations
  • Ohio Senate removes conceal carry permit requirement
  • Ohio Senate OKs bill to expand medical marijuana program
  • Drummond named interim Cleveland police chief
  • Snow leopard dies at Akron Zoo
  • Cleveland zoo tigers contract COVID-19

COVID surge leads to cancelations
(WKSU, Beacon Journal) -- The COVID-19 surge is leading to a number of cancelations. The Beacon Journal reports Stow-Munroe Falls High School has called off two days of midterms next week due to a number of cases among students and staff. Playhouse Square canceled Wednesday night’s performance of its holiday musical "Light It Up!” The Ohio Shakespeare Festival in Akron canceled its final four shows of "Cinderella" due to breakthrough infections among the cast. The state on Wednesday reported nearly 10,600 cases, which included a backlog of about 850 cases. Without the additional cases, the 9,748 reported is the most since January.

Ohio Senate removes conceal carry permit requirement
(AP) — The Ohio Senate has approved a bill that eliminates the requirement for a concealed weapons permit. The legislation would also end the requirement that individuals inform police officers that they're carrying a concealed weapon. The bill requires only that such people provide the information if asked by an officer. The GOP-controlled Senate approved the measure along party lines Wednesday. The House passed a similar bill last month. Law enforcement groups oppose the measure, concerned about the legislation's lack of required training.

Ohio Senate OKs bill to expand medical marijuana program
(AP) — More Ohio dispensaries could sell medical marijuana, cultivators could grow more of it, and more conditions would qualify for using it under legislation passed Wednesday by the Republican-led state Senate. Physicians could recommend marijuana to treat any medical condition if they conclude a patient would “reasonably be expected” to find relief or benefit. Regulation of dispensaries would move from the pharmacy board to a new Division of Marijuana Control in the Commerce Department. The proposal now moves to the House.

Drummond named interim Cleveland police chief
(Ideastream Public Media) -- Starting January 4, Cleveland will have an interim police chief under mayor-elect Justin Bibb. Deputy chief and 32-year department veteran Wayne Drummond will take over for the retiring Calvin Williams. In a release, Bibb says Drummond is highly regarded for his service and the city must maintain top-level expertise in the role while searching for a new chief. Drummond has also been a strike force detective, equal employment officer and currently oversees field operation for the bureau of traffic.

Snow leopard dies at Akron Zoo
(WKSU) -- The Akron Zoo says one of its snow leopards has died. The 13-year-old named Shanti had advanced kidney and heart diseases. She’s the mother of eight cubs, most recently one in 2019. Snow leopards on average live around 15 years, and fewer than 6,000 remain in the wild. The Akron Zoo says it will seek another companion for its 12-year-old male.

Cleveland zoo tigers contract COVID-19
(WKSU) -- The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo says five tigers have contracted COVID-19. They were tested after workers noticed they were coughing and sneezing. It’s unknown how the tigers became infected. The zoo is temporarily closing the tiger exhibit as they recover. In September, five African lions at the Akron Zoo tested positive for the virus.

Amanda Rabinowitz is the host of “All Things Considered” on Ideastream Public Media.
Jon Nungesser is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media.