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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: Coronavirus Hospitalizations on the Rise; Kasich to Speak at 2020 DNC

photo of John Kasich
Former Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich is set to speak for likely nominee Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention next month.

Here are the the morning headlines for Tuesday, July 21:

  • Akron schools may start school year remotely
  • Ohio coronavirus cases dip slightly; hospitalizations rise
  • Akron School Board considering fall tax levy
  • Ohio COVID-19 popup test sites coming to Alliance, Rootstown
  • U of A faculty union committee urges rejection of proposed contract
  • Columbus mayor to put police civilian review board to voters
  • Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, to speak at DNC convention
  • Ohio hospitals say pandemic has cost billions
  • Cuyahoga Co. mail letters about mask complaints
  • Downtown Cleveland businesses say riot damage topped $6M

Akron schools may start school year remotely
One of the region’s largest school districts is considering making a big change about fall instruction. Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James said Monday the district may need to look at starting the school year entirely remote, citing concern about the rise in coronavirus cases. The board has not voted on a reopening plan, but The Beacon Journal reports several board members indicated they were in favor of the idea. The district’s original plan calls for the youngest students and those with disabilities to attend school in-person five days a week, and a blend of in-person and remote learning for older kids. Columbus City Schools have also announced that their plan for a partial re-opening of school Sept. 8 might change.

Ohio coronavirus cases dip slightly; hospitalizations rise
Figures released by the Ohio Department of Health show a slight dip in new coronavirus cases while hospitalizations are rising again. The Health Department reported 1,236 confirmed and probable cases on Monday, down from 1,110 a day earlier. The numbers are also substantially down from Friday's record of 1,679. The state says 743 people were admitted to hospitals last week with COVID-19, the second-highest figure since the week of April 15.

Akron School Board considering fall tax levy
Akron voters may see a school tax levy on the fall ballot. The school board on Monday approved three resolutions to certify three different millages: 6.9, 7.9 and 8.9, to tell people how much money would be generated by each amount and how much each would cost homeowners. The district may hold off on going to the ballot until next spring. A recent five-year forecast showed a deficit $3.6 million at the end of this year that could grow to more than $15 million by 2021.

Ohio COVID-19 popup test sites in Alliance, Rootstown
The Ohio Department of Health announced that COVID-19 popup test sites will be available in northeast Ohio in Alliance today and in Rootstown today (July 21) through Saturday (July 25). Anyone is eligible to get a test, and they are free. Community members do not need to make an appointment or get a referral from a health care provider. However, quantities may be limited. More information is available here.

U of A faculty union committee urges rejection of proposed contract
The University of Akron’s faculty union executive committee is recommending the union reject a proposed contract. The union must vote on the deal following the board of trustees move to eliminate 178 jobs, including nearly 100 unionized faculty. Union leadership tells the Beacon Journal that the proposed changes are not in line with the stated mission of the university, and that they were willing to take concessions. The deal, which would extend to the end of next year, includes pay cuts and increased healthcare premiums. In a video message late last week, President Gary Miller warned that failure to ratify would mean more job losses. If the union rejects the deal, it would go to binding arbitration.

Columbus mayor to put police civilian review board to voters
The mayor of Columbus plans to put a proposed civilian review board to investigate police misconduct on the November ballot. Mayor Andrew Ginther says the board would direct an independent Inspector General department for the city police department. Ginther says the board would have subpoena powers, authority to conduct independent investigations and recommend disciplinary action, and be fully staffed and funded. Many details must be worked out with the union representing Columbus police, which has been skeptical of such boards. Columbus City Council is expected to approve the plan Wednesday.

Republican former Governor Kasich to speak at DNC convention
Former Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich is set to speak for likely nominee Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention next month. Kasich was the last Republican candidate to leave the presidential primary contest against Donald Trump in 2016. Some Ohio Democrats took to social media to criticize Kasich’s reported appearance, saying Kasich’s anti-union and anti-abortion stances don’t make him a moderate Republican.

Ohio hospitals say pandemic has cost billions
The pandemic is costing Ohio hospitals. The Ohio Hospital Association says the state’s system has lost around $3.3 billion in revenue from March through July 1. The federal CARES Act approved in late March made up for nearly $2 billion of the losses, but systems say the deficit continues to grow. Hospitals had to stop elective procedures early during the pandemic to free up space and resources, and now many say people aren’t coming in for check-ups and procedures due to concerns about the virus.

Cuyahoga Co. mails letters about mask complaints
Cuyahoga County has sent more than 750 letters to businesses where the county received complaints about mask violations. The county set up a hotline for complaints for everything from employees not being masked to masks worn incorrectly. The county is under a state mandate for facial coverings to be worn in public due to a rising number of coronavirus cases. Cleveland.com reports the county also has begun sending twice-weekly email notifications to municipalities where mask violations were reported.

Downtown Cleveland busineses say riot cost $6M in damages
A riot in downtown Cleveland following the police killing of George Floyd in late May resulted in more than $6 million in damage to about 100 business and property owners. Cleveland.com reports the damage estimate comes from property owners who applied for assistance from the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. The fund is expected to pay for about $1.4 million not covered by insurance.

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J. Nungesser is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media.