2022 close to 2020 COVID-19 numbers
The Wood County Health Department prepares to put emphasis on the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters this month as cases and vaccine rates both decline. According to statistics from a BG Independent News article, there have been 7,661 new cases in Wood County so far this year, nearing the total number of 8,377 cases from 2020. Starting this week, all members of the Wood County Health Department staff must be vaccinated, work remotely or seek an exemption.
Otsego superintendent accepts resignation
After two years of serving Otsego Schools as treasurer and then 10 years of being superintendent, Adam Koch has accepted resignation from the Otsego School District and is moving on to the Sylvania Schools as treasurer. According to an article in the Sentinel-Tribune, Koch said that, despite this move, he considers himself a “Knight for life.” Koch plans on continuing to live in the Otsego district and send his three children there.
New government budget movement convenes in Wood County
“My husband and I balance our budget, why would anyone else be different?” said Bowling Green resident Katherine Clark, who is representing Bowling Green in a movement to reign in the federal government’s fiscal responsibility. The goal is to get all 38 states needed to ratify amendments according to their three agreed upon topics, all of which are relating to the federal government’s budget and federal scope. According to the Sentinel-Tribune, Ohio is engaged in active legislation in this movement.
Curling heats up in BG during Olympics
People are coming to the Black Swamp Curling Center to try curling for the first time from all over the region with a spike in interest due to the Beijing Olympics. An instructor at this center, Tyler Chamberlain said, “We expect to have a burst of interest every four years, but it’s really been crazy this year.” According to an article in WTOL11, nearly 1,000 people have attended lessons or visited the facility within the past few weeks.
COVID-19 death tolls are not being recorded until weeks after they occur, according to article from Cleveland.com. The daily case number has been going down, but it cannot be sure that the cases are all being counted due to at-home tests or people who do not test at all. Vaccination rates have gone up, however, where 65.3% of Ohioans aged five and up have received at least one dose. Ohio has reached a total of approximately 22,628,814 cases since the beginning of 2020 and is showing under 5,000 new cases daily.
Marijuana legalization setback
Senate President Matt Huffman told reporters that he will not be the bridge to legal marijuana in Ohio after the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol got enough signatures to urge legislature to consider passing a recreational marijuana bill. If the bill is not passed within the next 14 weeks, this organization can gather signatures again in order to get their bill on the general election ballot. “I don’t want anybody to misunderstand my position,” Huffman said per The Columbus Dispatch. “I’m not going to bring it to the Senate floor. And if that means people want to put it on the ballot, have at it.”
Former Ohio House Speaker dies at 79
Former Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder died at 79 after serving 38 years in the Ohio House. Ohio Secretary of State, Frank LaRose said “An icon and dedicated public servant, Senator Batchelder helped shape our great Ohio into the prosperous state it is today.” Batchelder was known for using theatrics to make his political points after wearing a dog muzzle in court to promote his protest on a $300 million tax-increase bill, according to an article in The Columbus Dispatch. Many looked up to him, including LaRose, considering him a mentor and statesman.
President Joe Biden to visit Ohio this week
“My message to the American people is this: America is moving again and your life is going to change for the better.” President Joe Biden said after signing $1 trillion infrastructure bill. According to 10WBNS, the White House announced that Biden is expected to visit northeast Ohio this week to discuss this bill. An AP News article calls this plan a historical investment that will reach almost every corner of the country, covering roads and bridges, public transit, railroads, electric vehicles, and more.
Super Bowl LVI
The 2022 Super Bowl ended in a win for the Los Angeles Rams after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. This suspenseful game came down to the last two minutes of the fourth quarter where the Bengals were up, when LA receiver, Cooper Kupp, scored a touchdown, giving the Rams a two point lead and the win. This was the Rams’ fifth official Super Bowl appearance and second win according to statistics from a CNN article.
COVID-19 mask updates
U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, is worried about pulling mask mandates too quickly, although he admits there is a foreseeable future where Americans will not have to adhere to the mandates, according to an article by AP News. “I think that as the pandemic gets better, we should be pulling back on restrictions.” he said after addressing hospitalizations and death-tolls with the new variants. Murthy also said that after trying their hardest to increase vaccination accessibility, he finds hope in the vaccination effort and the accountability being created.
First Black woman to bring US speedskating gold medal
“Hopefully this has an effect. Hopefully we can see more minorities especially in the USA getting out and trying some of these winter sports, and I just hope to be a good example.” Speed Skater Erin Jackson said after being the first Black woman to win a medal in speed skating history. Jackson’s coach, Ryan Shimabukuro, said that she does this to be a role model for other athletes, according to Reuters.com. According to statistics from AP News, Jackson won the first American speedskating medal of the Beijing games with a 37.04 second run of the 500 meters division.
U.S.-Canada bridge to reopen
After being blocked for a week by COVID-19 vaccine protestors, the Ambassador Bridge on the U.S.-Canada border has reopened, although it had been advised to avoid any unnecessary travel across it for the time being. The bridge had been closed for a week and is a major economic route, causing car factories on both sides of the border to close according to an NPR article. Not all protesters left after the court ordered an end to the blockade, and several vehicles were towed along with one arrest of a 27 year old man.