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Morning Headlines: Ohio Changes Way It Reports COVID-19 Cases; Biden to Appoint Marcia Fudge as HUD

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, at the Capitol in 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite
Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, at the Capitol in 2018.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, December 9:

  • Ohio changes the way it reports COVID-19 cases
  • Biden to appoint Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as HUD Secretary
  • Family: Black man shot by deputy held a sandwich, not a gun
  • A fourth state legislator tests positive for COVID-19
  • DeWine: Lethal injection no longer an option
  • Medina moves sports into ‘bubble’ during pandemic
  • Lordstown Motors to Hire 1,570 new jobs at old GM plant
  • OSU Michigan game cancelled

Ohio changes the way it reports COVID-19 cases

Ohio is changing the way it counts COVID cases. That was reflected in Tuesday’s tally of new cases. A backlog of more than 13,000 probable infections was added to the confirmed number resulting in nearly 28,000 new cases logged for Tuesday. The Ohio Department of Health is no longer able to take extra step to confirm positive results from the antigen test and will now be reporting them along with the more reliable swab test. The change also led to a record number of new hospitalizations. The tally jumped to 657, nearly double the three week average.

Biden to appoint Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as HUD Secretary

President-elect Joe Biden has selected Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as his housing and urban development secretary. That's according to multiple reports. Fudge reportedly had been lobbying for a different cabinet position, secretary of agriculture. The Associated Press reports Biden has tapped former USDA head Tom Vilsack for that role. Fudge, a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was just elected to a seventh term representing parts of Cleveland and Akron.

Family: Black man shot by deputy held a sandwich, not a gun

Federal agents are joining the investigation into the fatal police shooting of a Black man in Columbus. The Justice Department and FBI investigators will review Friday’s shooting by a sheriff's deputy of 23-year old Casey Goodson Jr. outside his home on the city’s north side. State investigators refused to take-up the case due to a three-day delay in access to the crime scene. Relatives of the victim and law enforcement officials are giving conflicting details about the shooting. Authorities say Goodson was shot outside his house, and that he was carrying a gun. Goodson's family says he was shot inside, in front of his grandmother and two toddlers, while holding a sandwich.

A fourth state legislator tests positive for COVID-19

A fourth member of the Ohio legislature has tested positive for coronavirus. Cleveland.com reports Rep. John Rogers, a Mentor-on-the-Lake Democrat, has been present for votes in the Ohio House. Roger's diagnosis follows positive tests for three other legislators. Democrat John Patterson of Ashtabula County, Republican Rick Carfagna of Delaware County and Republican Gary Scherer of Circleville have all tested positive. House Democrats on Tuesday tried once again to pass a rule that required House members to wear facemasks at the Statehouse. It was defeated in a party-line vote. House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) has cancelled Wednesday's legislative session, though Cleveland.com reports a GOP spokesperson said the cancellation is unrelated.

DeWine: Lethal injection no longer an option

Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio lawmakers must choose a different method of capital punishment before any executions can be carried out in the future. The governor says lethal injection is no longer an option for Ohio because of difficulties finding drugs and repercussions the state could face from drug makers if one of their pharmaceuticals was used in an execution. DeWine said Tuesday that the state won't see any executions next year. DeWine also said he has become skeptical of capital punishment's effectiveness as a deterrent because of the long appeals process. Ohio's last execution was in July 2018.

Medina moves sports into ‘bubble’ during pandemic

Medina City Schools are moving sports and other activities into a ‘bubble’ model that will allow them to continue despite a heightened pandemic alert level. Medina County reached purple alert last week, the most severe in the state’s color-coded COVID-19 transmission risk system. Cleveland.com reports that Superintendent Aaron Sable says the goal is to keep students involved in those programs, but practice enhanced safety protocols keep them separate from students from outside the district.

Lordstown Motors to Hire 1,570 new jobs at old GM plant

Lordstown Motors says it plans to hire nearly 16-hundred new jobs at its factory producing an all-electric pickup truck. On Monday the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved incentives for the company, including $20 million in state tax credits. Lordstown Motors is gearing up for production of its electric truck, the Endurance, starting next year. Its factory is located at the former GM plant in Lordstown.

OSU Michigan game cancelled

The big game between Ohio State and Michigan has been cancelled for the first time in more than a century. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Wolverines are in the midst of an outbreak and are still not at practice. Michigan says the decision was made after talking with medical staff. Ohio State and Michigan have played every year since 1918. The 5 – 0 Buckeyes were favored to win. That puts OSU one game short of the 6 win threshold to compete in the BIG 10 championship. Conference officials could consider changing that rule at a meeting of Big 10 athletic directors on Wednesday.

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Mark has been a host, reporter and producer at several NPR member stations in Delaware, Alaska, Washington and Kansas. His reporting has taken him everywhere from remote islands in the Bering Sea to the tops of skyscrapers overlooking Puget Sound. He is a diehard college basketball fan who enjoys taking walks with his dog, Otis.
Jon joined the station in September 2012 and is the producer for Folk Alley. He loves all the things he gets to do at the station; from meeting up-and-coming bands to recording concerts for the stream, every day is a new adventure.