Portage County will start offering vaccines to people at the highest risk of developing severe Covid-19 next week, though the countywide supply is a fraction of the need, officials said in a press briefing Thursday.
The second phase of vaccine distribution, 1B, includes members of the general population who are over 65 years old or those with severe congenital or developmental disorders. Portage County will receive 1,200 doses per week to address a Phase 1B population of 27,000 residents, said Portage County Health Commissioner Joseph Diorio.
“Vaccines continue to be in very short supply for the entire state of Ohio,” he said. “County allocations are expected to be in the hundreds, not the thousands.” …
Journalists everywhere are writing year-end reflections, and I also feel compelled to write one for all the usual reasons.
Columns and “listicles” about the “biggest stories of 2020” provide a sense of closure and finality that doesn’t occur in nature, unless you’re particularly attuned to the harvest and the revolutions of the planet.
New Year celebrations and the accompanying “top 10” articles and newspaper editorials are bookends we use to order our lives and the events that comprise them. Birthdays and anniversaries serve the same purpose. …
The wait for a Covid-19 vaccine is over for Portage County’s frontline medical workers.
On Wednesday, University Hospitals announced it had administered the first vaccines at UH Portage, in line with the distribution priorities set by the Ohio Health Department, the CDC and other institutions.
By Ben Wolford and Carter Eugene Adams
A single-vehicle crash in Shalersville that killed three people, including two middle schoolers, was “completely preventable,” said a state trooper investigating the incident that has left the Ravenna school community in mourning.
Around 3 p.m. Sunday, Julianne M. Shead, 41, of Ravenna, was driving north on Peck Road north of state Route 88 in a Chevrolet Silverado with her four children, a nephew and two other children inside.
Some number of the passengers were not wearing seat belts, and investigators said Shead was driving too fast and impaired, without providing further details.
After a bend in the road, Shead lost control, careened into the ditch on the right and slammed into a stand of trees. The impact ejected six passengers, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol media release. …
In a little over a year, a lucrative government subsidy for residential solar installations will expire. Many Portage County homeowners have had their eye on that deadline and raced to install panels on their homes in recent years, hoping to cash in on energy savings while the incentives are still on the table.
Albert Barber of Twin Lakes installed 21 solar panels on the roof of his home in 2019 for a cost of $11,000. He expects to break even after 10 years or less.
“I was motivated by the desire to reduce my dependence on fossil fuels and to reduce my electric bill in this era of energy uncertainty,” he told The Portager in an email. “I also have changed my electric supplier to a company that provides me with 100 percent renewable electric power from wind farms in the midwest. So any power I bring in from the grid is 100 percent renewable as is the power I consume from my rooftop panels.” …
Susan White is a Realtor and member of the Randolph Township Board of Trustees. I spoke with her on Sunday for last week’s podcast, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. Unfortunately the recording is unusable, but luckily we were able to pull the transcript and share it with you.
This interview has been edited for length.
Oh, just to be funny, and maybe because I’m bossy, I don’t know.
It is nice. I like it. As a little girl, I rode the bus by there and it was a mess. And I always thought, boy, it’d be nice if that corner was decorated nice for Christmas. It’s just kind of funny because that’s what happened. People want to buy it, and I tell them no. And they’re like, “Why?” And I say, “Because I plant flowers and I decorate it for Christmas.” And they hang up on me. …
Last week, the Democratic candidate for Portage County Commissioner, John Kennedy, published an article on his website arguing that his opponent may have abstained from a vote to declare racism a public health crisis for reasons other than the one she gave.
There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so I think it’s probably easiest to present this chronologically.
Back in July, we interviewed Commissioner Sabrina Christian Bennett about systemic racism as part of a series of conversations with public officials in Portage County following the death of George Floyd. …
Editor’s note: This interview was mistakenly published from the wrong author account, and Medium does not permit revisions to this once the article is published. The author of this piece is correctly identified below.
By Richie Koch
After the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Tayler earlier this summer, Black Lives Matter protests swept the country, placing institutionalized racism at the center of national scrutiny. Major corporations, like Apple and Nike, and organizations, like the NBA and the NFL, have pledged to do more to combat racial injustice.
But many activists believe true progress must trickle up, not down. Racism will not end with a policy change but rather a million small decisions, actions, and conversations during the course of everyday life in our towns and villages. …
By Michael Indriolo and Ben Wolford
Rootstown Superintendent Andrew Hawkins said for the first time publicly that he reversed a disciplinary action against a football player who called teammates the n-word.
The confirmation came during a special Board of Education meeting Monday night, in which the board unanimously voted to accept the resignation of head football coach Troy Spiker, who said he quit his “dream job” as a matter of principle.
For over an hour, a parade of community members called on district leadership to resign, though at least one speaker backed Hawkins’ decision.
Hawkins says he consulted with other school board members before making the decision to overturn the punishment against the player. …
By Ben Wolford and Michael Indriolo
Rootstown’s head football coach resigned this week after school officials overturned a disciplinary action against a white student who had at least three times used racial slurs, including the n-word, against teammates during practice.
Coach Troy Spiker was two games into his first season as head coach of the Rovers when he told Rootstown administrators he would be submitting his resignation. The Board of Education will meet in a special session at 6 p.m. Monday in the cafeteria to vote on whether to accept his resignation.
Spiker kicked the player off the team before last Friday’s game against Garfield after the player insulted another teammate, disparaging the origins of his last name, said Sparky Birkett, the father of one of the Black students who was targeted with the n-word. …