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Mandel Senate Seat Challenger Buys Six-Figure Political AdMandel Senate Seat Challenger Buys Six-Figure Political Ad

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:17:26 +0000

A Northeast Ohio businessman regarded as an underdog in the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate has made a six-figure ad buy. In his first ad, Mike Gibbons never mentions Josh Mandel’s name. “We sent them to Washington to repeal Obamacare and cut taxes, that’s what they promised us.” Instead the Cleveland-area business man, who’s challenging Ohio Treasurer Mandel in May’s Republican primary, takes aim at Washington insiders. “But now the career politicians have gone on vacation; do you take the month of August off?” The tone of the ad is similar to the rhetoric Mandel is also using in his campaign . Gibbons faces an uphill battle. Mandel has been endorsed by high-profile Republicans such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rob Portman , as well as the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County, Gibbon’s home county. There’s no word on exactly how much Gibbons is spending on the ads, which will play on cable and digital platforms.


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Ohio Distributes a Million Dollars to Counties to Battle MosquitosOhio Distributes a Million Dollars to Counties to Battle Mosquitos

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:15:16 +0000

The Ohio EPA is distributing a million dollars to 35 counties to battle mosquitos and the diseases they carry. The Tuscarawas County Health Department says its $50,000 grant will be used to monitor and control the insects. The department will survey mosquito populations for diseases like Zika and West Nile. And the grant will also help fund awareness campaigns for pet safety and disease prevention. Health Commissioner Katie Seward says while the county has not confirmed any human cases of West Nile in the past few years, it remains a concern . “Last year, we had two pools in Tuscarawas County that tested positive for West Nile. We also had three West Nile equine cases, and unfortunately they died from the disease. That doesn’t always happen, but we were concerned perhaps it was a more aggressive strain of West Nile.” Seward says cousins to mosquitoes that carry Zika have been spotted in Ohio. She also says the rainy and humid weather might mean an increase in mosquito populations.


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On the Eve of Phillips' Execution, the Bar Association Raises Questions About Ohio's Death PenaltyOn the Eve of Phillips' Execution, the Bar Association Raises Questions About Ohio's Death Penalty

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:08:21 +0000

After hiatus of more than three years, Ohio is set to resume executions at 10 this morning by putting Ronald Phillips of Akron to death. His lawyers filed last-minute arguments that the drug combination Ohio plans to use has a troubling history. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, that’s not the only argument being offered. Ronald Phillips is to be the first die, but more than two dozen other executions are set in Ohio over the next four years. The American Bar Association says it is “deeply concerned” about the state resuming executions because it has yet to address major concerns over accuracy and fairness in death-penalty cases. CLICK HERE for the complete statement from American Bar Association President Linda Klein. The lawyers’ group worked with Ohio on reviews of its death penalty dating back to 2007. The studies found big problems with geographic and racial bias that the bar association says “resulted in inconsistent and unfair administration.” It also says Ohio has inadequate


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Progressive Dems Plan to Protest Gun Sales at the Summit County FairgroundsProgressive Dems Plan to Protest Gun Sales at the Summit County Fairgrounds

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:07:55 +0000

A group advocating for gun control is planning to protest Wednesday at the Summit County Fair to try to stop the fairgrounds from being used throughout the year for private gun shows. Summit County Progressive Democrats have been protesting at the fairgrounds for years, saying such shows around the nation facilitate sales of weapons to customers without background checks. But the group’s Robert Grow says new evidence makes the protests more urgent. He cited an Akron Beacon Journal report that a Cleveland man was arrested for illegally trafficking guns bought from the fairground's gun show. "I think that’s another very good reason for the gun show to be shut down. We now apparently have proof that guns from this gun show have been used in criminal activity.” The protest is expected to begin at 7 p.m.


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Ohio Education Department Creates New Partnership To Place Students with a Staffing AgencyOhio Education Department Creates New Partnership To Place Students with a Staffing Agency

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 00:03:22 +0000

The Ohio Department of Education is partnering with the staffing company Adecco to match high school students with local businesses. State school Superintendent Paolo DeMaria says it solves potential problems that keep kids out of some workplaces – and away from real-work experiences. “Sometimes businesses come to us and say, 'You know, there are liability issues,' or, 'How do we handle workers’ comp and other things for these students?' And we take that worry out of it by having Adecco as that staffing intermediary.” DeMaria made the announcement before a conference of career tech educators. He says it could also include paid and unpaid interns in other fields such as insurance and finance.


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A Key Vote on Healthcare, Ohio's Portman Remains Noncommittal at GOP Dinner Featuring VP PenceA Key Vote on Healthcare, Ohio's Portman Remains Noncommittal at GOP Dinner Featuring VP Pence

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:29:37 +0000

The Ohio Republican Party’s state dinner this weekend brought in hundreds of party faithful, and included two leaders with different perspectives on the Senate health care bill. And that puts the person who’ll actually be voting on it in a tough position. Sen. Rob Portman is undecided on the Republican bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act, something he touched on in his speech: “I’ve talked to a lot of you about that tonight, and half of you have told me one thing and half of you told me another thing,” Portman said. Portman then introduced Vice President Mike Pence, who urged senators to pass the repeal. Also at the reception before the dinner was Gov. John Kasich, who’s come out against the bill and what it would do to Medicaid expansion in Ohio. Three of the four candidates for governor also spoke. Jim Renacci, Jon Husted and Mike DeWine praised Pence but didn’t mention Kasich. Mary Taylor was scheduled to attend, but her spokesman says she was traveling and couldn’t make it.


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Cleveland Hospitals Try to Be More Inclusive for LGBT PatientsCleveland Hospitals Try to Be More Inclusive for LGBT Patients

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:25:01 +0000

CORRECTION: An LGBT health care center will be a part of Lakewood Family Health Center. The original article indicated the center will be converted into an LGBT health care center. Two Cleveland hospitals are taking steps to better care for LGBT patients. The Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth created LGBT health care centers within their facilities. One part of the project asks patients to write down pronouns they prefer to go by, which helps physicians form morerespectful relationships with the patients. Cleveland Clinic psychiatrist Murat Altinay says the hospitals want to become more inclusive to properly care for patients. So I think there has been a major cultural change in the U.S. starting with the marriage equality and more visibility of the Transgender and LGBT community. I think it’s becoming very apparent that there’s a culture shift and the Cleveland Clinic wants to be a part of it, too, and wants to be a leader in this area. The next step is changing Lakewood Hospital to


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Ohio's Auditor Asks Education Department to Cut Back on Payments to ECOTOhio's Auditor Asks Education Department to Cut Back on Payments to ECOT

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:22:40 +0000

The state auditor wants the Ohio Department of Education to stop paying so much public money to the state's largest online charter school. He claims there are still discrepancies as to how many students are actually attending the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow received millions of dollars based on enrollment of more than 14,000 students. But Auditor Dave Yost says that doesn’t add up given ECOT’s own court statements. “They told the Supreme Court earlier this month that they had an unprecedented drop in enrollment. Well both of those things can’t be true," he said. The state is already clawing back $60 million because of an inflated student count two school years ago. Yost, who used to be an ECOT supporter , wants to avoid a protracted battle to get back more money a year from now. So he’s asking the Ohio Department of Education to hold in escrow a significant portion ECOT's monthly payments until an exact student count can be verified.


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Cleveland Councilman Pushes for Lead Inspections of Homes, other Buildings Constructed before 1978 Cleveland Councilman Pushes for Lead Inspections of Homes, other Buildings Constructed before 1978

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:17:54 +0000

Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson is proposing a new law to track and reduce lead hazards in the city. The ordinance would affect rental properties, schools and other public buildings, and private homes built before 1978. The proposal also includes grants through city and non-profit organizations to pay for inspectors to check the buildings. The grants would pay part of the inspection cost for landlords and all of it for private homeowners. Johnson, who is running for mayor, says lead-paint poisoning is one of the most important issues in the city. “Children that have been infected with poison from lead in the city of Cleveland is twice the number of children that got lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan. When you compare that, given the national outcry of what happened in Flint, what we have in Cleveland is a quiet crisis.” Johnson says his goal is to establish a registry of lead- safe homes that residents could rely on. He plans to introduce the ordinance at next month’s city


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Massachusetts Man Facing Charges of Channeling Fentynal, Carfentanil From China to OhioMassachusetts Man Facing Charges of Channeling Fentynal, Carfentanil From China to Ohio

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:49:32 +0000

A Chinese national is expected to arrive in Northeast Ohio this week to face federal charges that he imported and shipped large amounts of fentynal, carfentanil and other synthetic opioids to Ohio and elsewhere. The case against 42-year-old Bin Wang began a year ago, when investigators looking into fatal overdoses in Summit County started tracking Chinese websites. Undercover agents wired money to China, where labs allegedly shipped the drugs to Wang in Massachusetts, and he’s accused of mailing large quantities from his warehouse there. Mike Tobin of the U.S. attorney’s office, says Wang shipped multiple kilograms here and across the country. “A kilogram of any drug is a lot, but when we’re talking about carfentanil, which can kill someone with just a few specks, it’s a lot of drugs, its very valuable and its very dangerous and deadly.” Tobin says agents who searched Wang’s suburban Boston warehouses and home had to wear hazmat suits. A message asking for comment at one of Wang’s


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Local Fair Takes Extra Precautions to Avoid the Swine FluLocal Fair Takes Extra Precautions to Avoid the Swine Flu

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:27:26 +0000

The Summit County Fair Board is taking precautions to avoid the swine flu that has caused problems at two other fairs around the state. About 350 hogs at fairs in central and southwest Ohio were destroyed after the disease was discovered. Summit County’s fair opens Tuesday. Board Director Cathy Cunningham says staff is trained to keep animals and surrounding areas clean. The barn is cleaned prior to any animals arriving. When the animals arrive, they are all vet-checked. If an animal is found sick, they are taken home immediately. If, once the animals are here and then they are found sick, that animal is quarantined and it’s given the proper medication through the vet we have on staff. The animals at the fairs come from local 4-H programs. The animals are brought to the fair for competitions. Two years ago, an outbreak of bird flu led fairs around the state to ban chickens. Cunnigham says those in the 4-H program are also trained to take precautions, which include hand washing stations


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Ohio's Tax Loophole Examination Committee Finally Has Some MembersOhio's Tax Loophole Examination Committee Finally Has Some Members

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:23:56 +0000

Nine months after lawmakers created a committee to examine state tax breaks and loopholes to see which ones should be abolished or closed off, that committee finally has some members. House and Senate leadership have appointed four Republicans and two Democrats to the new Tax Expenditure Review Committee, which will look over $9 billion in exemptions, credits, deductions and other breaks in the budget. Zach Schiller from the progressive think tank Policy Matters Ohio has been waiting for this group to start working. “We never have had a permanent committee whose charge was specifically to do this, and meanwhile we have 129 exemptions, credits, deductions in the state tax code every year without any review.” By July 1, the panel is to have a report on expenditures such as the number of people affected by them, the impact they have at the state and local level, and whether the objectives they meet could be achieved with less cost to the state.



Cuyahoga Falls Closes All of Front Street As the Major Phase of Construction BeginsCuyahoga Falls Closes All of Front Street As the Major Phase of Construction Begins

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:21:06 +0000

Clarification: The businesses along Front Street remain open during construction. The $10 million revitalization of downtown Cuyahoga Falls enters a crucial phase today as most of the former pedestrian mall’s walkways close. Over the weekend, the city’s Italian Festival took over the two-block stretch that’s been closed to automobiles since the 1970s. Now, all of Front Street is closed as crews will spend the rest of the year working on historic building facades, underground infrastructure and re-paving the street. Mayor Don Walters says the brick walkway should re-open as a two-lane street by the end of December, and the project is both on-schedule and on-budget. “Although it will be open in the winter time, we know we’d like to get the beautification in – the annuals, the shrubbery and all that – have a big ribbon-cutting in the spring and a lot of festivities down there as well.” With the street closed, the city won’t open its ice rink next to Rt. 8 this winter, but Walters says the


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Death Penalty Opponents Make Last-Ditch Effort to Stop Ohio's First Execution in Three YearsDeath Penalty Opponents Make Last-Ditch Effort to Stop Ohio's First Execution in Three Years

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:20:07 +0000

After a three-year break, Ohio is set to execute a death row inmate later this month. Ronald Phillips was convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993. He’s scheduled to receive a lethal injection on July 26 th now that courts have given the state’s execution method a green light. Death penalty opponents are making a last minute appeal to Gov. John Kasich to spare Phillips and others. Anti-capital punishment activists delivered more than 27,000 petitions to Kasich’s office, asking him to commute the death sentence of Phillips and 26 others who are set to be executed in the next three years. Tom Smith with the Ohio Council of Churches is one of those urging Kasich to act on recommendations of an Ohio Supreme Court task force that studied the capital punishment process. Smith says there are many problems with the death penalty, including racial and economic disparities among those who are sentenced to death row and those who are given lighter


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Ohio's Tax Collections Were Off $850 Million Last YearOhio's Tax Collections Were Off $850 Million Last Year

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:18:37 +0000

Ohio tax collections for the fiscal year that ended last month were more than $850 million off estimates. But the state ended the year with a balance of nearly $171 million. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports almost a third of that was transferred from 15 pools of money held within various state agencies. Budget director Tim Keen transferred $54.1 million from funds set up for oil and gas wells, job development initiatives and lung cancer research, among others. And the current budget allows the authority for the next two years to take up to 2 percent from eight different funds, including those set up for the state EPA, the Consumers’ Counsel, the Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Keen says this isn’t an unusual method of supporting the state’s finances. “Look, our general fund is $36 billion. So it is a very small fraction of our budget.” Previous governors have made similar raids on so-called “rotary funds”, including $120 million transferred



Ohio GOP Chairman Acknowledges Trump Looms Large Over Elections To-Come, and Welcomes ThatOhio GOP Chairman Acknowledges Trump Looms Large Over Elections To-Come, and Welcomes That

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 02:56:36 +0000

In her speech to the City Club in Cleveland today , Ohio GOP Chairman Jane Timken called Donald Trump a great president, quoted Richard Nixon, and named the entire slate of Republican statewide candidates in next year’s elections. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, the speech itself did not raise the name of Ohio’s Republican standard-bearer, Gov. John Kasich. Kasich and President Trump have continued a battle that began during last year’s presidential primaries. It played out when Timken – with the backing of Trump – wrested control of the Ohio GOP from a Kasich loyalist earlier this year. -- and again last week when Vice President Pence criticized the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio that Kasich has championed. After Timken's City Club appearance, a reporter asked her about the apparent rift with Pence. “No comment, no. Because I don’t think there is (one).” City Club events include a Q&A with the audience, and Kasich's name was raised in a question about healthcare. Timken said


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Remembering Ralph Regula, the 'Constituent Congressman'Remembering Ralph Regula, the 'Constituent Congressman'

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 09:20:20 +0000

One of the longest-serving Ohioans in Congress is being remembered as a proud Republican, yet nonpartisan public servant. Ralph Regula, who represented Northeast Ohio for 36 years, died Wednesday in his home. He was 92. 'A good man' People remembering Ralph Regula quickly get to two points. “He was an exceptional person;” and “he got things done.” Mike Hanke, retired editor and general manager of the Canton Repository, knew Regula from the days when -- as a new reporter -- he covered the congressman’s run for the first of what would be 18-terms in the U.S. House. “A former publisher of mine ... said it most concisely: He was a good man.” Janet Creighton, a Stark County commissioner and former mayor of Canton, also went way back with Republican-colleague Regula. “He was a very kind and gentle individual, but I would say that I think he is probably going to be remembered for his constituency service. It didn’t matter where you came from or who you were or what your politics were. He


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Portman Pushes to Change Communications Law to Battle BackpagePortman Pushes to Change Communications Law to Battle Backpage

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 00:18:24 +0000

Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman wants to change federal law to continue his fight against on Backpage.com. He says the online site has made $150 million from ads trafficking sex with women and children and has used the Communications Decency Act to escape responsibility. “What it now says in essence is that if a company like Backpage publishes an ad someone else gives them, they’re not liable. I am working with a bipartisan group of members to say that, ‘Yes, we support the intent of the Communications Decency Act to protect online publishers ... but it was never intended to protect those who violate the law.” Portman and Democrats Clair McCaskill and Tom Carper have also made a criminal referral of the site to the Justice Department following a two year investigation by their Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Click here for a link to a Washington Post investigation of Backpage.com



Ohio Right to Life Changes Rules for Political EndorsementsOhio Right to Life Changes Rules for Political Endorsements

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:10:55 +0000

Candidates for political office in Ohio who want to be endorsed by the state’s largest organization opposing abortion will have to meet new criteria. Candidates who oppose abortion but think it should be allowed in cases of rape or incest will no longer be eligible for Ohio Right to Life’s endorsement . This litmus test, according to the organization’s Katie Franklin , will streamline candidate’s positions with anti-abortion legislation being passed in Ohio. “Our PAC over the last few years, has endorsed a handful of candidates who do have exceptions in this circumstance, but our legislative strategy has been to only advocate for legislation that does not have exceptions,” she said. Presidential candidates will be exempted from the new criteria because the national committee’s rules are different. NARAL Pro Choice Ohio ’s Kellie Copeland issued a written statement saying the new standard in Ohio Right to Life’s criteria further solidifies its alignment with “extremists like President


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Congressman Regula Is Remembered as a Proud Republican Yet Nonpartisan Public ServantCongressman Regula Is Remembered as a Proud Republican Yet Nonpartisan Public Servant

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:25:46 +0000

Ralph Regula -- a farmer, teacher, lawyer and one of Ohio’s longest-serving congressman – has died at age 92. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the man known for his geniality and constituent service. Regula’s trademark during his 36 years in Congress was helping his constituents navigate the federal bureaucracy. It’s something he remained proud of right through his retirement in 2008. “It gives me a lot of satisfaction to help someone with a problem. My home telephone’s in the book. I never had an unlisted number because I think it’s important that people have access.” But the Stark County Republican also rose to a powerful position on the House Appropriations Committee. And while overall a fiscal conservative, he said he saw reasons for government spending that boosted jobs. “If you borrow money to build a house, you’re creating a job but you also have to understand you’ve got to pay it back. And if we borrow to build highways and universities and so on, that’s the way the economy


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