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Morning Headlines: Stark School Closes Due to Vaccine Side Effects; Seniors Report Vaccine Schedulin

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, February 9:

  • Stark school closes due to vaccine side effects
  • Seniors report vaccine scheduling problems with CVS, Walgreens
  • Daily COVID cases lowest since October, curfew on pace to end
  • Ohio lawmaker reintroduces bill to repeal nuke plant bailout
  • DeWine renews push for distracted driving crackdown
  • Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell dies
  • Chapel Hill Mall set to be sold, renovated
  • Irishtown Bend demolition underway


Stark school closes due to vaccine side effects

A Stark County elementary school closed on Monday after several staff members had reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. Fairless Elementary in Navarre announced the cancelation in a Facebook post early Monday, saying they did not have enough staff to operate safely after many employees received the vaccine on Saturday. By Monday afternoon the Facebook post had been removed, but not before drawing comments from many people expressing concern about the vaccine’s safety. University Hospitals' Dr. Keith Armitage says it's not unusual to have side effects like muscle aches and chills after receiving a vaccine. He says it's better for a workplace or school to stagger vaccinations, so they can continue to operate. Meanwhile, the Columbus Dispatch reports three Columbus elementary schools shifted back to fully online instruction this week because of staffing issues, including a lack of substitute teachers.

Seniors report vaccine scheduling problems with CVS, Walgreens

The vaccine rollout in Ohio has hit a snag for some seniors, as those 65 and older qualified for the vaccine on Monday. The Columbus Dispatch reports that seniors trying to register for an appointment on CVS Pharmacy’s website were told they were not eligible. A CVS Health spokesman said the company was updating its website and will be completed by early Tuesday morning. Walgreens also briefly stated on its website yesterday morning that shots only were available to Ohioans age 70 and older. Ohio is receiving around 140,000 vaccine doses per week intended for the more than 2 million seniors now eligible to get them.

Daily COVID cases lowest since October, curfew on pace to end

Monday’s daily tally of new coronavirus cases dipped below 2,000 in Ohio for the first time since mid-October. Monday also marked the seventh consecutive day with fewer than 2,500 COVID-19 patients in hospital beds. If that trend holds, Gov. Mike DeWine could eliminate an overnight curfew. It was rolled back one hour on Jan. 27 to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Ohio lawmaker reintroduces bill to repeal nuke plant bailout

A Republican Ohio lawmaker has reintroduced a bill to repeal a legislative bailout of two nuclear power plants at the heart of a $60 million federal bribery probe. State Rep. Laura Lanese represents Grove City in suburban Columbus. Lanese reintroduced the repeal bill last week, saying it will instill public confidence in the legislative process among other benefits. A similar bill introduced by Lanese last year died after Republican lawmakers in the GOP-controlled House disagreed on whether a repeal was necessary. Investigators say the 2019 law known as HB6 was the outcome of energy company money illegally funneled to lawmakers to ensure its passage.

DeWine renews push for distracted driving crackdown

Gov. Mike DeWine is renewing his efforts to make distracted driving reason enough to pull someone over. Under current law police need another reason to pull drivers over, such as speeding, before a distracted driving ticket can be issued. DeWine said Monday he's including the proposal in his two-year state budget proposal. The measure would address writing, sending or looking at texts, watching or recording photos or videos, or livestreaming while handling an electronic device, among other activities. DeWine's proposal would make those a primary driving offense, meaning police don't need another reason to pull drivers over first.

Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell dies

Convicted Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell has died in prison. The 61-year-old had been on death row since being convicted in 2011 for killing 11 women whose remains were found buried in and around his home. The Ohio Department of Corrections said Sowell was receiving end-of-life care at Franklin Medical Center for an unspecified terminal illness and died on Monday.

Chapel Hill Mall set to be sold, renovated

Akron’s struggling Chapel Hill Mall may soon have a new owner. The Beacon Journal reports Cleveland-area development firm, Industrial Commercial Properties LLC, is in negotiations to buy and renovate the complex. It already owns the former Sears building at the site. Chapel Hill is largely vacant and has fallen into disarray under owner Michael Kohan of New York-based Kohan Real Estate Investment Group. The mall is in the process of going to a sheriff’s sale following a foreclosure for nonpayment on nearly $631,000 in property taxes.

Irishtown Bend demolition underway

Work is underway to transform a hillside along the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland into a 23-acre park. Two buildings at Irishtown Bend were torn down on Monday, the first step in a project that’s been in the works for years. Cleveland Metroparks is leading the demolition project and plans for the site to eventually include a boardwalk and a trail connecting the new park to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The project also will stabilize the hillside, which has been slowly sliding into the Cuyahoga River for more than a decade, threatening shipping traffic.

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