Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
Latest Ohio news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT
Dr. Amy Acton resigns; guided governor to praise on pandemic
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The health director who helped Ohio’s Republican governor win glowing reviews for his pandemic response has resigned. Thursday's announcement about Dr. Amy Acton came after she cultivated a fan base but also brought out critics who loathed her uses of emergency powers. She helped DeWine make early decisions that appeared to overreact at the time but proved prophetic. He was the first governor to close schools statewide. And Acton seized headlines when she called off the state’s presidential primary hours before polls opened. She plans to stay on as a health adviser to DeWine. Health Department general counsel Lance Himes will lead the department for now.
AMERICA PROTESTS-SENATOR RACE COMMENTS
Legislator's comments about black people, hygiene draw fury
A Republican lawmaker asked on the Ohio Senate floor if “the colored population” is contracting coronavirus at disproportionate rates because they do not wash their hands as “well as other groups." The American Civil Liberties Union has called for state Sen. Steve Huffman to step down from office Thursday following his comments during a hearing for a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. Huffman, who is also a Dayton-area emergency room physician, caused controversy after he questioned Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission of Minority Health, on Tuesday over why the COVID-19 rates for black Ohioans were higher than other populations. Huffman says he regretted how his question was perceived.
PEOPLE-JOHN JACK HANNA
Jack Hanna to retire from Columbus Zoo
POWELL, Ohio (AP) — John “Jack” Hanna has announced plans to retire from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium after 42 years. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Hanna will finish the remainder of the year and retain the zoo’s director emeritus title. Hanna says it is time to dedicate more time to family life and hiking with his wife, Suzi. Hanna first moved to Ohio in 1965 to attend Muskingum University where he met Suzi. He started as the zoo’s director in 1978 and served until 1992 when he earned the title of director emeritus. Hanna has written 15 books and won five Emmy’s for “Into the Wild.”
'It's broken': Fears grow about strength of US voting system
ATLANTA (AP) — The chaos that plagued Georgia’s primary this week is raising concerns about a potential broader failure of the nation’s patchwork election system that political leaders and elections experts say could undermine the presidential contest. Less than five months before the November contest, fears are mounting that several battleground states are not prepared to administer problem-free elections under the continued weight of the pandemic. The reasons are both complex and simple: a dramatic shortage of poll workers scared away by coronavirus concerns and an emerging consensus that it could take several days after polls close on Election Day to determine a winner because of increased mail voting.
AMERICA PROTESTS-OHIO-POLICE PROPOSALS
Republicans: Bill would 'weed out bad actors' in Ohio police
Ohio would create a disciplinary database for violent officers and require law enforcement to undergo psychological testing under a proposal introduced Thursday by House Republicans. The legislation comes as the state grapples with the aftermath of civil unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Sponsoring Reps. Phil Plummer and Cindy Abrams, who have both previously served in law enforcement roles, say the bill would standardize police training and disciplinary response throughout the state to “weed out the bad actors.” Republican lawmakers plan to take the bill on the road for a listening tour with local NAACP groups, faith leaders, police unions and community members.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-ROCK HALL
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to reopen with new precautions
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is reopening, but fans better practice social distancing by staying at least “two Stratocasters apart” and bring their credit cards. Officials announced on Thursday that rock’s shrine in Cleveland will reopen on June 15 after closing on March 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Temperatures will be checked at the door and fans must wear masks. There will be continuous cleaning inside and hand sanitizers. There also will be advance online ticketing, limited capacity with timed ticketing and no cash accepted. Visitors must also practice social distancing of 6 feet, or at least the distance of two Stratocaster guitars. Live music will resume on the plaza in July.
DEADLY PARK SHOOTINGS
1 dead, 2 injured in park shooting, second death in days
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (AP) — Gunfire in a Cincinnati suburb has claimed another life in a park for the second time in two days. The Butler County Sheriff’s Office says one person was gunned down and two others were injured Wednesday night in Liberty Park in Liberty Township. Authorities have not released the name of the dead person. Investigators say the other two sustained injuries that were not life threatening. The violence came after 25-year-old Khalic Milton of Cincinnati was found shot multiple times Tuesday near the scene of Wednesday’s shooting. Authorities say Milton was lured to the site in a plot to steal his car. Two suspects are facing charges and police are seeking a third suspect.
WORLD FOOD PRIZE
Ohio State University soil professor gets World Food Prize
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A soil scientist whose research has led to improved food production and a better understanding of how atmospheric carbon can be held in the soil to help combat climate change is this year’s recipient of the World Food Prize. Rattan Lal is a professor of soil science at Ohio State University and founding director of its Carbon Management and Sequestration Center. He was announced as the 2020 winner during an online ceremony on Thursday. Lal’s research has demonstrated how healthy soils result in higher crop yields, while requiring less land, chemicals, tillage, water and energy. The foundation that awards the $250,000 prize is based in Des Moines.
Sponsors of Ohio sports betting bills optimistic on a deal
CLEVELAND (AP) — Sponsors of Ohio's legislative efforts to make sports betting legal believe the House and Senate can work out a compromise despite differences on who would regulate it. The House overwhelmingly approved legislation in late May to put the Ohio Lottery Commission in charge of sports betting and give much of the tax proceeds to education. A Senate bill stuck in committee as the coronavirus pandemic slows legislative work makes the Casino Control Commission the chief regulator with no detailed plan on where tax proceeds would go. Rep. Dave Greenspan says the state Constitution favors the House version.
Mid-American schools create separate conference for esports
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A dozen schools in the Mid-American Conference are creating a standalone esports conference to offer structured competition without the extensive rules that govern intercollegiate athletics. MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher says they're hoping it's an advantage in recruiting and engaging more competitive video gamers. The structure allows teams to enlist not just amateurs but players who've gone pro. Steinbrecher says the new Esports Collegiate Conference plans to be open to schools outside the MAC and operate separately from it. Competition starts this fall. The spring season will feature competitions in League of Legends and Overwatch, with the champions getting automatic bids to national postseason tournaments for those titles.