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Morning Headlines: Gov. DeWine Acknowledges Concerns for Future Vaccine Supply; Special Election for

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, March 19:

  • Gov. DeWine acknowledges concerns over vaccination rate
  • Special election for Fudge's congressional seat set for November
  • Top two spots at Akron schools will be vacant
  • Redistricting data may be ready sooner, but in old format
  • Lawsuit filed against Lordstown Motors, claims investors misled
  • Money raised for memorial to Cleveland killer's victims
  • Porthouse Theater, Ohio Shakespeare Festival planning full seasons
  • Ohio teams set to compete in March Madness
  • Browns reportedly sign ex-Rams cornerback


Gov. DeWine acknowledges concerns over vaccination rate

Gov. Mike DeWine says he can’t predict when remaining health orders might be lifted. He’s also acknowledging concerns that the state’s vaccine supply could exceed the number of residents willing to receive doses. DeWine laid out the state's multi-pronged approach to fight COVID-19 during his Thursday briefing, with hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses flowing into Ohio and a continuous increase of mass sites to administer them. Newly released state Health Department figures indicate that Ohio has dropped to 144 cases per 100,000 people as of Thursday. About 21% of Ohio residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Special election for Fudge's congressional seat set

Gov. Mike DeWine has scheduled primary and special elections needed to fill a vacant congressional seat in Northeast Ohio. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. DeWine has set a primary for Fudge's seat on Aug. 3 and a special election on Nov. 2. The district includes parts of Akron and Cleveland. The winner of the November special election will take office immediately. Fudge had represented the district in the House since 2008.

Top two spots at Akron schools will be vacant

The top two spots at Akron Public Schools will be open at the end of the school year. Assistant Superintendent and Chief of Academics Ellen McWillams-Woods announced yesterday that she’s retiring at the end of the current school year. She’s been with the district for 32 years, the last 13 in her current role. In a statement, McWililams-Woods says “ most important decision every leader needs to make is knowing when it is time to get out of the way to let the next educational revolution flourish." Superintendent David James had previously announced this would be his last year as head of the district. McWillliams-Woods had not applied for the opening.

Redistricting data may be ready sooner, but in old format

States under pressure to redraw congressional and legislative districts but facing a delay in the release of the needed data may be able to get the numbers in an outdated format in August. That would be more than a month earlier than the planned date for their official release. A Census Bureau official told an advisory committee yesterday the redistricting data will be available in mid- to late August. The older data format may be difficult for some states to work with since they require extra steps to be taken to make them usable.

Lawsuit filed against Lordstown Motors, claims investors misled

A shareholder lawsuit has been filed against Lordstown Motors. The federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Youngstown against the electric truck startup claims the company misled investors about the number of trucks that have been pre-ordered and when production will begin at the former GM plant. Plaintiff Matthew Rico seeks to have the lawsuit certified as a class-action complaint. One of the company's first prototypes caught fire in January, 10 minutes into its initial test drive. A company spokesperson didn't not respond to a request for comment.

Money raised for memorial to Cleveland killer's victims

The Western Reserve Land Conservancy has announced it’s raised the money need to construct a community garden and memorial on property formerly owned by convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell. Sowell was convicted in 2011 of dozens of charges related to the killings of 11 women and hiding their remains in and around his Cleveland home. He eventually was sentenced to die but died in prison last month from an undisclosed illness. Construction on the memorial could begin in two months.

Porthouse Theater, Ohio Shakespeare Festival planning full seasons

Actors are expected back on stage and audiences back in the house for at least two Northeast Ohio theaters this summer. The Akron Beacon Journal reports both Porthouse Theater and the Ohio Shakespeare Festival are planning full seasons. The Beacon Journal reports Porthouse is planning small musicals and to follow social distancing guidelines as required by the Actors Equity union. It will be able to accommodate up 100 audience members in its 500-seat theater. Ohio Shakespeare which will be in residence at Stan Hywett Hall and Gardens will require all actors and crew to be vaccinated. According to the Beacon Journal, audiences will be kept distanced from the cast and there will be no post-show meet-and-greets.

Ohio teams set to compete in March Madness

In men's college basketball, March Madness continues today with No. 2 seed Ohio State playing No. 15 Oral Roberts this afternoon at 3. No. 15 seed Cleveland State takes on another No. 2 seed, Houston, tonight at 7:15.The Mid-American Conference champion Ohio University Bobcats are a No. 13 seed and will take on No. 4 seed Virginia tomorrow at 7:15 pm

Browns reportedly sign ex-Rams cornerback

A source tells the Associated Press the Cleveland Browns have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent cornerback Troy Hill. He spent the past five seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Cleveland needed depth and versatility at the position and found both in Hill, who will get a four-year deal. Hill will be reunited in the Browns’ secondary with safety John Johnson III, who signed a three-year contract with Cleveland earlier this week.

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