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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Morning Headlines: Flu Causes NE Ohio Schools to Close; Pro Football Hall of Fame Focuses on Health

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Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Jan. 31:

  • Flu causes NE Ohio schools to close;
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame focuses on health;
  • WHO declares coronavirus a global emergency;
  • Akron Children's to open Wooster location;
  • Youngstown City Schools plans meetings to assess needs;
  • Youngstown State increases fundraising goal to $125M;
  • Cleveland podcast company first to be represented at New Media conference;

Flu causes NE Ohio schools to close
Many Northeast Ohio schools closed down for the week due to illness among students and staff. Fox 8 Cleveland reports schools have had a high number of cases of influenza A and B and other illnesses. Some of the schools include Cardinal Local Schools, Crestview Local Schools and Westerly Elementary School in Bay Village. This flu season is on track to be one of the worst in the decade, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Pro Football Hall of Fame focuses on health
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has formed Hall of Fame Health to pursue health care for former players. The program was announced Thursday after more than two years of planning and development. It will seek to develop services and solutions that will make an impact not only in the health and wellness of former players, but in communities across the country.  

WHO declares coronavirus a global emergency
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus a global emergency. The U.S. has also issued a red alert, which is its highest warning, urging Americans to avoid travel to China. The virus, which officials said began spreading in Wuhan, China, has infected nearly 10,000 people worldwide. More than 200 people have died. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating two possible cases at Miami University in Ohio. No cases have been confirmed in the state. The CDC urges people to wash their hands, avoid contact with people who are sick and to go to the doctor if flu-like symptoms appear. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Akron Children's to open Wooster location
Akron Children's Hospital's newest health center will open Feb. 4 in Wooster. The Daily Record reports the center will offer pediatric primary care, gastroenterology practices and office space for pediatric cardiology. Akron Children's is leasing the land on Friendsville Road from Wooster Community Hospital. The office will focus its care on children with heart disease and will offer treatments for adults with a history of heart issues. Last year, Akron Children's opened health centers in Mansfield, North Canton and Boston Heights. A Portage County location is set to open this spring.

Youngstown City Schools plans meetings to assess needs
The CEO of the Youngstown City School District said he’s looking for input on the strategic plan in the works for the district. Mahoning Matters reports that Justin Jennings is hoping district staff and members of the community will participate in a series of meetings over the coming weeks. Jennings said a meeting is planned for each of the district’s schools to get an assessment of what’s working and where work needs to be done.

Youngstown State increases fundraising goal to $125M
Youngstown State University (YSU) is increasing its fundraising goal after it met its original target 18 months early. YSU had hoped to raise $100 million by next June. The Tribune Chronicle reports the school increased the goal to $125 million after surpassing the original target with more than a year to go. The university said its original campaign was the most ambitious in the 150-year history.

Cleveland podcast company first to be represented at New Media conference
A Cleveland-based podcast producer has been picked to be part of the VentureOut New Media conference next month in New York City. Evergreen Podcasts was established three years ago and produces entertainment and informational podcasts. In a release, it said it’s the first company from Cleveland that’s been picked to present at the New Media program which connects entrepreneurs and investors.


Andrew joined Ideastream Public Media as part of the 2021 merger with WKSU. Since August of 2022 he has served as the deputy editor – news. He also serves as a regular panelist on the “Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable” as well as a backup host for the program and as a fill-in local host for “Morning Edition,” “Here and Now” and “All Things Considered.”