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Morning Headlines: GOP Ohio Sen. Portman Will Not Seek Reelection; 3 Ohio Men Accused of Illegally E

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, January 26:

  • GOP Ohio Sen. Portman will not seek reelection
  • 3 Ohio men accused of illegally entering U.S. Capitol
  • New pathogen research center announced for Cleveland
  • Ohio last in second vaccines administered
  • COVID cases, hospitalizations lower again Monday
  • Akron committee recommends police force improvements


GOP Ohio Sen. Portman will not seek reelection

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman says he won't seek reelection and plans to end a career in federal government spanning more than three decades. The 65-year-old Portman cited a political climate that has made it “harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress.” Portman is among the Republican lawmakers who often backed President Donald Trump, though not vocally. After Trump called the presidential election rigged, citing no legitimate evidence, Portman said Trump had a right to a probe of any irregularities. But after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Portman said Trump needed to go on national TV to tell his supporters to refrain from violence. You can read Portman’s full statement here.

3 Ohio men accused of illegally entering U.S. Capitol

Three Ohioans are among the latest to be arrested for the January 6 attack on Congress. Stephen Ayres of Warren along with Dustin Thompson and Robert Lyon of central Ohio face charges of illegally entering the Capitol, and violent and disorderly conduct. The FBI traced Ayres through a video he shot in his hotel room after the assault where he threatened further violence. Thompson and Lyon were identified through security camera footage. Thompson is also accused of stealing a coat rack from a room in the Capitol building. They’re among dozens charged as part of a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump who threatened members of Congress and ransacked the Capitol in a failed coup attempt.

New pathogen research center announced for Cleveland

Cleveland’s healthcare industry is getting a huge investment from the state and the Cleveland Clinic. Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday unveiled plans for a new innovation district that he says will make Cleveland a worldwide hub for healthcare innovation and opportunity. The $565 million plan includes The Cleveland Clinic’s new Global Center for Pathogen Research and Human Health. The goal is to create 20,000 jobs over the next 10 years, with half of those in health care and high tech industries. The state and its economic development entity, JobsOhio, will kick in $265 million for the project. The Cleveland Clinic will invest $300 million. The Pathogen Center has been awarded a 2.5%, 15-year job creation tax credit from the state of Ohio.

Ohio last in second vaccines administered

Ohio ranks last among states in administering a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents. An Associated Press analysis of federal data as of Jan. 22 shows about 0.38% of Ohio’s population has received both doses of the vaccine, placing the state last among all 50 states. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the state attributes the low numbers to reserving more than 350,000 doses of the initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for long-term care residents and staff as part of a federal program. Meanwhile, Ohio is No. 2 in the country for the number of nursing home residents and staff members who have received second doses, behind only New York in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

COVID cases, hospitalizations lower again Monday

Ohio coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to decline, with the state reporting around 4,300 cases on Monday. Hospitalizations also remained below the seven-day moving average. Ohio's average positivity rate dropped below 10% last week for the first time since Nov. 8. There were 57 deaths reported Monday, bringing the total to more than 10,700.

Akron committee recommends police force improvements

An Akron city council committee has issued eight recommendations for improving the city’s police force. The Reimagining Public Safety Committee, which was formed in July, recommends giving the city’s police auditor more independence and making more data available to the public. Other recommendations include implementing department-wide crisis intervention training and expanding partnerships with community and social services groups to potentially co-respond to some emergency calls that involve mental health issues. Another recommendation is for the department to establish a “Pathway to Law Enforcement” program for those under 21 and to eliminate a restriction that recruits must be under 40. Council plans to partner with the University of Akron to get public response to the recommendations.

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