Why did 77 Ohio prisoners die of COVID-19, but just 10 in Pennsylvania?

A look at how overcrowding and poor design contributed to two of the worst national outbreaks

This article was provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. For the first two months after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., Ohio’s response set an example. Thanks to an early shutdown order, the state’s per-capita deaths from the virus as of late April were less than half of those in neighboring Pennsylvania, a state with similar demographics. But inside the two states’ prison systems, it was a different story. 

By late April , the death rate from COVID-19 in Ohio prisons was 22 per 100,000, a rate more than 4 ½ times the overall Ohio rate and nearly twice the national rate. 

As of August 14, there have been 77 inmate deaths known to be caused by COVID-19, and another 10 suspected— a rate of 160 deaths per 100,000 people.

Ohio Schools & Nonprofits Scramble to Add Remote Learning Options For Students With Limited Connectivity

This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. When districts switched to remote learning in the spring, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed a glaring divide: for example two-thirds of students in Cleveland Metropolitan School District didn’t have access to a device, and 40 percent of families didn’t have Internet access at home, according to a survey of parents conducted by CMSD . With Cleveland Metropolitan School District soon returning to school in a remote-only format, the District is currently in a mad dash to prepare students, teachers and families for their first week of school with the COVID-19 pandemic still looming large. The District has its work cut out for it.

Murray Energy’s limited disclosure in Ohio conspiracy case leaves big questions unanswered

The for-profit corporate structure of Hardworking Ohioans, Inc. and other groups precludes transparency on how companies use money to influence energy policy

This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism, in partnership with the nonprofit Energy News Network. Help us provide more public service reporting by joining our free mailing list or the mailing list for the Energy News Network. While an Ohio-based coal company has contributed $100,000 to an organization that may have been involved in an alleged bribery operation to pass a power plant bailout law last year, company officials said in a bankruptcy filing that they don’t know how the money was spent. A bankruptcy court ruled last week that Murray Energy can move ahead to seek approval of its reorganization plan, subject to a representation that its officers and directors have no knowledge about how money it gave to a dark money organization might have been used to promote the Ohio coal and nuclear bailout law at the heart of a federal conspiracy case. 

The ruling is a partial victory for environmental and citizen groups, who had objected to a more limited disclosure statement proposed by Murray Energy and its related debtors on Aug. 6.

Interactive: See the Lands Sold to Fund Ohio’s Land “Grant” Universities

Native Americans Demand More Recognition From Universities They Funded, Sometimes Unwillingly

This story was funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list or text us at (216) 867-6327 as this helps us provide more public service reporting. Growing up in Cleveland, Eastern Band Cherokee tribal member Nicole Doran said Chief Wahoo always made her uncomfortable. 

“I remember growing up and seeing this caricature of Native Americans that I knew wasn’t true,” Doran said. 

Later she earned a biology degree at the Ohio State University. Doran loved the campus and appreciated the opportunities given to her, but she was not happy about the lack of Native American acknowledgement on campus.

Ohioans Speak Out in Focus Group Project: They Want More Accountability, Less Infighting

Just months before Election Day, voters of all stripes in Ohio are at the same time both worried and hopeful. They’re not sure who to trust in the media and government. They’re concerned about economic security for themselves and fellow Americans. They aren’t sure how the election will go down during a pandemic. They want honest leaders to come up with more fixes to serious problems.

But at the same time, they are hopeful that the protests are opening eyes to systemic racism, the need for reform and the next generation of leadership.

Sidebar: What You Need to Know to Vote This Year

How to register to vote: You can register online here: https://olvr.ohiosos.gov/ You can also download an application, print it, and mail it to your county board of elections. When to register to vote: To vote in the Nov. 3 election, your application must be received by mail, or delivered to the board of elections office, or online no later than Monday, Oct. 5. Boards of elections are open Oct.

HB 6 repeal would address only part of Ohio lawmakers’ recent actions to slow renewables

But a complete repeal is needed as a minimum to undo the bill’s gutting of the clean energy standards, advocates say. This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit Energy News Network. Please join our free mailing list or the mailing list for Energy News as this helps us provide more public service reporting. Both Republican and Democratic Ohio lawmakers are pushing to repeal the state’s nuclear bailout bill after this week’s release of a federal criminal complaint against House Speaker Larry Householder and others. Clean energy advocates say that would be a start, but more is needed to address eight years of lawmakers’ actions to slow the growth of renewables in the state.

How can COVID-19 be stopped among homeless communities? One Ohio city looks to hotels

This article  is part of the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative, a project composed of 16 Greater Cleveland news outlets including Eye on Ohio, which covers the whole state.  To support us, please sign up for our free newsletter or text 216-867-6327. A cherry-colored 10-speed rests inside the door of room 123 at a hotel on the west side. It’s overturned, forks facing the ceiling, a deflated front tire slung over a pedal. Abel Currie has crisscrossed Cleveland on the vintage bike, sometimes on a shady park trail, other times packing a lunch and heading to the lakefront. Lately, his rides have been an escape from the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic, which have created chaos, especially for those experiencing homelessness.

Kindred care: Congolese refugee community takes care of its own, and others, during COVID-19

Every Wednesday afternoon, members of the Congolese Community of Greater Cleveland (CCGC) in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood file onto Elijah Kidjana’s porch to grab donated boxes of fruit and vegetables. Some have lost their jobs due to coronavirus shutdowns. Others are searching for ways to feed children who can no longer access free school lunches. When asked whether he’s worried about so many home visitors in the midst of a pandemic, Kidjana just tightens his face mask and laughs. “There are many things that will kill the Congolese people before coronavirus,” he says.