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Masks in schools: Ohio governor weighs in


Editor’s Note: The video above is previous coverage on this story.

(WKBN) – Many have been talking about the changes to mask-wearing, following the CDC announcement that Americans who’ve been vaccinated can now go without masks indoors and outdoors.

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However, the CDC recommended that schools stick to implementing COVID-19 health guidelines through the end of this school year, including masks and social distancing.

According to a letter sent over the weekend, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine agrees.

The governor sent a short letter to all of the state’s school districts stating in part that “These changes do not affect the existing order requiring the use of facial coverings and other health protocols in our schools.”

Read the full letter below:

Dear Education Leader,

Thank you for your hard work this year to provide safe and healthy in-person educational opportunities to Ohio’s students. As you may have seen, the Centers for Disease Control recently revised their recommendations around mask guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated. While Ohio will be amending its health orders to comply with this new CDC guidance, in order to maintain consistency and model safe behavior for Ohio’s students, these changes do not affect the existing order requiring the use of facial coverings and other health protocols in our schools.

With limited numbers of students vaccinated, it is important that we continue these safety measure through the end of the current school year. I appreciate the efforts that you have undertaken locally to protect students and I look forward to continuing to work together for Ohio’s kids.

Thank you,
Governor Mike DeWine

The school year for Ohio public schools ends June 2.

Cleveland firefighters rescue child from burning home


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Cleveland Fire Department responded to the scene of a house fire early Monday morning.

The fire broke out around 5:30 a.m. in the 10600 block of Pasadena Ave.

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Cleveland Fire tells FOX 8 firefighters rescued a young child from the home.

No word on how many others were in the home when the fire broke out.

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No injuries have been reported from the scene.

Fire investigators will be working to determine a cause.

South Africa starts vaccinating its elderly against COVID-19


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa has started its mass vaccination drive with the goal of inoculating nearly 5 million elderly citizens over the age of 60 by the end of June. Shots of the Pfizer vaccine were given to South Africans aged 60 and above to start the campaign. So far the country has inoculated just over 478,000 of its health care workers with Johnson & Johnson vaccines and it plans to give the shots to the remainder of its 1.2 million health workers by the end of this week. According to the latest online registrations, more than 1.2 million elderly citizens and 945,000 health workers have completed online registrations to get vaccinated. 

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Soggy start to the work week


The work week starts wet with rain chances likely for much of the day today. While there will be a few lulls in the rain activity, you’ll still want to continue to keep the umbrella handy!

Rain is likely tonight, with a rumble of thunder or two possible. Rain showers are again likely for much of Tuesday.

Temperatures surge to the low 80s Wednesday and Thursday, but the warm up will be accompanied by the chance for some scattered afternoon thunderstorms.

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Liz Weston: The checks that could change your financial life


Beginning this summer, most parents of minor children will start receiving monthly payments of up to $300 per child. That’s thanks to the American Rescue Plan, which temporarily increases the child tax credit. Half will be paid in installments, July through December, and the rest can be claimed on taxes next year. The money could shore up a family’s finances by providing emergency savings, reducing high-cost debt or going toward important future goals like retirement, college or a home down payment. Here’s how to estimate how much your family is likely to receive and some suggestions for how to put it to work to improve your financial stability.

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Joy for UK pubs and hugs tempered by rise in virus variant


LONDON (AP) — Pubs and restaurants across much of the U.K. are opening for indoor service for the first time since early January even as the prime minister urged people to be cautious amid the spread of a more contagious COVID-19 variant. The latest step in the gradual easing of nationwide restrictions imposed on Jan. 4 also includes the reopening of theaters, sports venues and museums, raising hopes that the economy may soon start to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. International travel is also now permitted, though only 12 countries and territories are on the government’s list of “safe” destinations.

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About 88% of children qualify for monthly payments in July


The Treasury Department says 39 million families are set to receive monthly child payments beginning on July 15. The payments are part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The law expanded the child tax credit for one year and made it possible to pre-pay the benefits on a monthly basis. Nearly 88% of children are set to receive the benefits without their parents needing to take any additional action. Qualified families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under 6 and up to $250 per month for children between the ages of 6 and 17. The child tax credit was previously capped at $2,000. 

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Pro-secession parties in Catalonia agree on new coalition


MADRID (AP) — Two Catalan separatist parties say they have reached an agreement to form a regional coalition government in northeastern Spain. The news ends a three-month stalemate since elections were held. The left-wing ERC party and the center-right Together for Catalonia party are rivals for power in Catalonia but both favor creating an independent republic from Spain for the region’s 7.5 million people. Their agreement will likely make Pere Aragonès the next regional chief.  Roughly 50% of Catalans want to carve out an independent state while the other half want to remain a part of Spain.

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China urges US to play constructive role in Gaza diplomacy


BEIJING (AP) — China is renewing calls for the U.S. to play a constructive role in ending the conflict in Gaza and stop blocking efforts at the United Nations to demand an end to the bloodshed. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says China, as rotating head of the Security Council, has urged a cease-fire and the provision of humanitarian assistance, but that obstruction by “one country” has prevented the council from speaking with one voice. The spokesperson says the U.S. should take an impartial position and support the Security Council in promoting the de-escalation of tensions and achievement of a political settlement.  

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Gas prices continue to rise; experts expect prices to go down soon


PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) — Gas prices continue to rise slightly across the area last week.

Gasbuddy.com reports prices rose 1.3 cents per gallon to an average of $3.19/gallon. That is 15.5 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, and a $1.08 per gallon higher than a year ago.

Nationally, prices continued to go up, rising 6.4 cents per gallon in the last week to an average of $3.03/gallon. That is up 16.8 cents per gallon from a month ago, and $1.17/gallon higher than one year ago.

“The national average gas price surged last week thanks to big price jumps in Southeastern states due to the previously shut down Colonial Pipeline, but most areas outside that region saw smaller fluctuations,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “With the pipeline now back in service, I expect prices to come down in the hardest hit states, specifically the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Virginia. The drops should lead the national average to soon fall back under the $3 per gallon mark, but motorists shouldn’t get too excited- prices may start to head higher in a few weeks should Memorial Day gasoline demand be red hot. In addition, motorists in the affected areas should see outage numbers continue to decline this week, especially early in the week when gasoline demand tends to be lowest. I’m optimistic that there will be enough recovery by Memorial Day for motorists in these states to fill up without having to search for gasoline.”

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