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Morning Headlines: 5th Inmate Dies at Federal Prison; Airports to Receive Federal Funding

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 15:

  • 5th inmate dies at federal prison;
  • Airports to receive federal funding;
  • 50 Ohioans die from coronavirus within 24 hours;
  • Cuyahoga County considers 15% spending cuts;
  • Gabe's remains open despite order from Summit County;
  • State sues Chagrin Falls man for hoarding N95 masks;
  • Cleveland Clinic doctor's report gives inside look at COVID-19;
  • Summit County fund distributes second round of money;
  • DeWine delays 3 executions to 2022;
  • Greater Cleveland RTA says federal funding will stem loss;
  • High court rejects 4-way split of voting ballot proposal;
  • KSU to hold virtual graduation ceremony;


5th inmate dies at federal prison

A fifth inmate has died from COVID-19 in the state's only federal prison. The Beacon Journal reports David Ehle, 71, died Tuesday after being placed on a ventilator. More than 30 inmates at Elkton Correctional in Columbiana County have tested positive, along with 26 staff members. Ohio National Guard members have been called in to help medical staff. Two groups are asking a judge to release all inmates with health conditions at the facility.

Airports to receive federal funding

Northeast Ohio’s airports are getting funding from the federal coronavirus stimulus package. Cleveland Hopkins will receive around $46 million and the Akron Canton Regional Airport is getting $7.6 million. Smaller amounts are going to airports including Akron Fulton, Kent State University and Youngstown Warren. The Federal Aviation Administration said the money will help offset losses from canceled flights. 

50 Ohioans die from coronavirus within 24 hours

There are nearly 7,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio and 324 have died. It's one of the highest day-to-day increases in deaths the state has seen since last month. The Ohio Department of Health's forecast model shows that Ohio’s peak is expected on Sunday, with 1,607 estimated new cases that day. Director Dr. Amy Acton believes the disease is already plateauing in the state and attributes it to social distancing. However, Acton believes the number of reported cases is a “gross underestimation” because of limited testing.

Cuyahoga County considers 15% spending cuts

Cuyahoga County is considering 15% spending cuts across all agencies to prepare for a decrease in sale and tax revenues because of the pandemic. Cleveland.com reports awarded contracts, purchases, and staff hours could be cut along with some programs completely. County Executive Armond Budish's administration said the 15% cuts are based on state projections for anticipated losses in sales tax. The county could lose up to 35% in sales tax. Plans are being finalized this week.

Gabe's remains open despite order from Summit County

Discount retailer Gabe's says it's staying open despite an order from the Summit County Public Health Department to close. WEWS reports health officials deemed the business on West Market Street nonessential after an inspection, but the retailer said it sells items that people may need, such as toilet paper and disinfecting wipes. They said they've taken additional measures to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Ohio's stay-at-home order is in effect until May 1, which mandates all nonessential businesses to remain closed.

State sues Chargin Falls man for hoarding N95 masks

The state has filed a lawsuit against a Chagrin Falls man for hoarding personal protective equipment that is sorely needed by health care workers fighting coronavirus. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Mario Salwan and some others sold N95 respirator masks on eBay for nearly 18 times the retail price. The state is asking Salwan to be forced to surrender all of the N95 masks for reasonable compensation.

Cleveland Clinic doctor's report gives inside look at COVID-19

A new report from a Cleveland Clinic doctor could explain how the coronavirus kills its victims. No autopsy reports have been released up until this point. Dr. Sanjay Mukhopadhyaylooked at two deceased patients in Oklahoma who tested positive for COVID-19. One patient with the disease had coated lungs that looked like thick paint. The other died from pneumonia, which means the patient died with the disease, but wasn't killed by it. The medical community also believes COVID-19 may cause heart inflammation, but the report didn't find evidence to back that up.

Summit County fund distributes second round of money

The Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund has exceeded $1.2 million. Organizers are giving out $185,000 in a second round of funding to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, hospitals for protective equipment and other Summit County health agencies. Continuum of Care will receive $40,000 to help those who are homeless. The fund started last month as a way to help individuals and businesses being impacted by the pandemic.

DeWine delays 3 executions to 2022

Gov. Mike DeWine is delaying three executions because of an ongoing battle acquiring new lethal injection drugs. DeWine halted executions last year after a federal judge said that Ohio's three-drug execution cocktail was unconstitutional. Executions for Romell Broom, James Galen Hanna and Douglas Coley have all been moved to 2022.

Greater Cleveland RTA says federal funding will help offset loss

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority says it expects to lose $91 million in sales tax revenue and $22 million in fares because of the coronavirus. Cleveland.com reports daily ridership plummeted by 70% last week. RTA is also anticipating at $113 million shortfall in this year's budget, but plans to balance it out with $111 million in federal funding. The agency is expecting to save some money, around $23 million, on salaries, fuel and other supplies.

High court rejects 4-way split of voting ballot proposal

The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a state panel's decision that split a proposal to change Ohio voting laws into four separate ballot issues. In a decision Tuesday, the court ordered the state Ballot Board to reconvene and to merge the four issues back into the single one submitted by the group Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections. Justices declined to grant the group extra time to collect signatures, however. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who chairs the ballot board, had argued the split was necessary under the single-subject rule. The issue's backers said all provisions were related.

KSU to hold virtual graduation ceremony

Kent State University will hold a virtual graduation ceremony to make up for canceling the spring event due to the coronavirus. The virtual ceremony May 9 will include an address from Kent State President Todd Diacon. Graduates will receive a package that includes a tassel and a diploma cover. The school says it'll eventually invite students back to campus for an in-person ceremony.

Editor's Note: These headlines have been updated to include a 5th inmate death from COVID-19 at Elkton Correctional. 

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