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2020 is looking to be a pivotal year in politics. But this year's elections are about much more than the race for the White House. And the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a complicating factor. WKSU, our colleagues at public radio stations across Ohio and the region and at NPR will bring you coverage of all the races from the national to the local level.

Morning Headlines: Amazon Lands $12M Tax Incentives; 235,000 Voters at Risk of Being Purged

photo of early voters in Stark County

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, July 30:

  • Amazon lands $12M tax incentives;
  • 235,000 voters are at risk of being purged from system;
  • Cleveland Clinic one of top hospitals in the nation;
  • Tim Ryan gears up for Democratic debates;
  • Lawmakers want to reverse legislation that will remove front license plate;
  • Trump, Pence to visit Ohio this week;
  • Warren talks human rights, collapse of small businesses in Toledo;
  • Akron one of top places for heartworm infections;
  • Great Lakes-area governors call on candidates to focus more on protecting waterways;

Amazon lands $12M tax incentives
Amazon will receive $12.1 million in tax incentives from the state to build distribution centers in Akron and near Toledo. The Columbus Dispatch reportsAmazon will gain just over $7 million in tax breaks for its planned warehouse at the former Rolling Acres Mall site in Akron. The company will relieve $5 million in incentives for its warehouse in Rossford, outside of Toledo. The Dispatch reports the incentives are based on how many workers Amazon hires, and the retail giant will receive of a portion of state income taxes for pay for new workers. Amazon is set to begin construction on the Akron distribution center in September. The two centers will be the seventh and eight for Amazon in Ohio.

235,000 voters are at risk of being purged from system
Another 235,000 Ohio voters are at risk of being removed from voter rolls in the latest round of purging. The Columbus Dispatch reports county boards of elections are mailing final notices to people who have sat-out two federal election cycles. The U.S. Supreme Court last summer upheld the controversial practice. Voters rights groups, the League of Women Voters and others have requested the list of purged voters in order to re-register people who may have missed the notification. Advocates said it’s easy to mistake the notice as a piece of junk mail and accidently throw out your right to vote.

Cleveland Clinic one of top hospitals in the nation
The Cleveland Clinic is ranked as No. 4 hospital in the nation in the latest rankings from U.S. News and World Report. The Clinic came in first for cardiology and heart surgery nationwide. In a release, the hospital said this marks the 25th year it’s been one of America’s top five hospitals, and the 25th consecutive time it’s been ranked as number one in heart care. U.S. News ranked the Clinic in the top 10 nationally in 10 other specialties, including gynecology, urology and cancer.

Tim Ryan gears up for Democratic debates
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan will square off in Detroit Tuesday night against nine other Democratic presidential hopefuls during the first of two nights of debates on CNN. Ryan, who represents much of Mahoning County and parts of Akron, will face some stiff competition including progressive Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The debates start at 8 p.m.

Lawmakers want to reverse legislation that will remove front license plate
Two Ohio lawmakers are working to reverse legislation passed earlier this year that would abolish front license platesin Ohio. Opponents of the second license plate thought they had won a long-running battle when the front plate was eliminated in the transportation bill signed in March by Gov. Mike DeWine. But Cleveland.com reports that Republicans Joe Uecker of Cincinnati and Jay Hottinger of Newark are planning to introduce legislation to undo the law before it takes effect next year. They said front license plates help law enforcement by giving a second way to identify vehicles. Car dealers, auto enthusiasts and others said a second plate is a waste of money and said Ohio should follow neighboring states that have eliminated the requirement.

Trump, Pence to visit Ohio this week
Two state representatives from Mahoning County are trying to get the ear of the White House as President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence each visit Ohio this week. The Record-Courier reports Democrats H. Gilson Blair of Weathersfield and Michael O'Brien of Warren have requested meetings to talk about keeping jobs at the former General Motors plant in Lordstown. It is unclear if the President or Vice President has agreed to meet with the state representatives. Pence is visiting Lancaster Tuesday to celebrate a groundbreaking at a Magna Seating plant. President Trump will be in Cincinnati Thursday for a campaign rally.

Warren talks human rights, collapse of small businesses in Toledo
Democratic presidential hopeful and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was in Toledo Monday night on a campaign stop. Cleveland.com reports Warren addressed a crowd of around 300 at the University of Toledo, calling out big corporations that outsource jobs or wipe out small business. Warren unveiled a plan this week that would require foreign countries to meet a set of labor and human-rights standards in order to trade with the U.S. Warren stopped in Ohio ahead of Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debates in Detroit. Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan will join Warren and eight other Democratic presidential hopefuls on stage at 8 p.m.

Akron one of top places for heartworm infections
The Akron region has the dubious distinction of being among the top 10 spots for heartworm infestations. The Companion Animal Parasite Council tracks lab tests across the country, looking at a number of diseases in cats and dogs. In June, heartworm cases spiked in the Akron area, prompting the group to encourage pet owners to have their pets tested and treated. Heartworm is spread by infected mosquitoes. Around 100,000 dogs are diagnosed annually, mostly in southern states.

Great Lakes-area governors call on candidates to focus more on protecting waterways
Five Democratic governors of states in the Great Lakes region want candidates in next year's presidential election to support a plan for protecting their freshwater resources. Led by Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, the governors proposed a six-point platform Tuesday that seeks increases in federal spending on water treatment infrastructure and environmental cleanups ahead of this week's Democratic presidential debates in Detroit. The plan calls for battling invasive species, harmful algae blooms and pollution from toxic chemicals. The governors also hoped for support from Republican President Donald Trump.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.