Top Ohio headlines
Sen. Rob Portman said last night that his potential matchup against Ted Strickland for a Senate seat would be a battle of new versus old. That might sound familiar because it is the crux of the Democratic primary fight between P.G. Sittenfeld, 30, a Cincinnati City Council member, and Strickland, 73, Ohio’s former governor.
MILLERSPORT, Ohio — Officials in the Walnut Township school district fear that voters will be in no mood to support a request for higher taxes on the May 5 ballot if they also are worried that their property values will sink while the state takes five years to rebuild the Buckeye Lake dam.
CADIZ, Ohio — The warning signs and convoys of semi trucks have become part of the landscape in eastern Ohio’s shale country, where a drilling surge has brought more big rigs to rural roads. Oil and gas truck traffic ahead. The orange placards and the trucks they portend might be the clearest sign yet of the dual role locals say the region’s oil and gas industry has assumed as both economic engine and potential danger for drivers sharing winding two-lane roads with 18-wheelers.
Ohio is paying $2 million to two marketing groups to come up with a new brand slogan and tourism marketing plan.
As spring rainstorms move through, they will make our flowers grow, as you know, and they probably also will bring us some red skies in the mornings and evenings. There’s a weather adage that says, “Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” I was thinking of that last week when I saw a beautiful sunset one evening.
The Dispatch revealed on Nov. 2 that Ohio’s largest coal company, Murray Energy Corp., had filed an application to mine under part of Barkcamp State Park in eastern Ohio. Larry Erdos, chief of mineral resources management at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources — which also owns the park — sent an email to eight staff members early the next day.
BUCKEYE LAKE, Ohio — At least the Ohio Department of Natural Resources can admit its mistakes. And it has made big ones with Buckeye Lake, the largest being its decision decades ago to sell the backside of the dam for private development. Now, 370 homes sit atop the 4.1-mile, 177-year-old earthen dam, not to mention nearly as many patios and docks and trees that, over the years, have converted a structure intended to hold back millions of gallons of water into a lakeside home and garden show — to the possible peril of thousands who live and work downstream.
After raising alarms earlier this year for promoting her new real-estate business on Twitter, state Rep. Anne Gonzales is prompting ethical concerns by sending email solicitations directly to Statehouse lobbyists.
Inmates at the state’s highest-security prison have entered the second week of a hunger strike protesting recreation and programming restrictions that include a ban on religious gatherings for some of them.
The stickers, the signs, the speeches — they all signified one thing last night. The Ohio Democratic Party, shut out in last year’s statewide elections, apparently will face a stark choice for its future.
LODI, Ohio — A toothless black bear caged on a northeastern Ohio property for decades should be allowed to stay there instead of being relocated, according to the owners fighting to keep it even though they didn’t get the permit required by state law.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage, contending that questions of marriage should be left to the 50 states as opposed to the federal government. In legal papers filed with the court, DeWine’s office pointed out voters in Ohio in 2004 approved the ban in a statewide referendum. By striking down the decision of the voters, DeWine’s office argued, the justices would “forever place into our Constitution only one perspective on marriage.”
Gov. John Kasich appeared fairly popular during his visit to New Hampshire earlier this week. So how did he do in front of a bunch of conservatives in New York City? Dispatch Public Affairs Darrel Rowland writes Kasich “got a rocky reception from leading conservative economists and media representatives in a New York City gathering, with one questioning whether Kasich thinks opponents of Medicaid expansion ‘are going to hell.’”
CLEVELAND — Three men imprisoned for nearly 20 years after a jury convicted them of murder in 1996 should have a new trial because a prosecutor suppressed evidence that calls into question the men’s guilt, a judge ruled yesterday.
Ohio should add programming for “forgotten” youth offenders and use juvenile prisons as a last resort, not treatment options, the Ohio Juvenile Justice Alliance said on Wednesday in an overview of the state juvenile-justice system.
Independent investigations of officers’ use of deadly force and improved screening and training for police emerge as common themes in recommendations from members of Ohio’s Task Force on Community-Police Relations.
Ohio programs for the developmentally disabled rely too much on institutional care and sheltered workshops and need “massive changes” to repair inequities, a report by the Center for Community Solutions concludes.
Professor Linda Mercadante of Methodist Theological School in Ohio was interviewed this week for NBC’s Today show.
Three more victims have come forward, alleging that a former Olentangy schools teacher sexually abused them in their second and third-grade classrooms. Matthew D. Rausenberg’s sexual assaults could have occurred as recently as this month in his Arrowhead Elementary School’s classroom, two of the victims told authorities.
Tens of thousands of small-business owners will have to wait at least a few more weeks before collecting their share of a $420 million settlement from a lawsuit over workers’ compensation premiums.
Attention on overhauling Ohio’s oft-criticized charter-school laws now turns to the Senate, where Democrats, state Auditor Dave Yost and charter supporters hope to see additions made to a bill that the House passed on Thursday with broad support. House Bill 2 includes roughly three dozen changes aimed at transparency, accountability and oversight of charter schools that are spending upward of $1 billion a year in state taxpayer money to educate 100,000-plus students.
Columbus police said on Thursday that a body found in a ditch off I-71 on Wednesday is not being investigated as a homicide. Delaware County Coroner Mark Hickman said the body of Oscar Gonzalez, 22, of Columbus, showed no signs of trauma or foul play.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich got a rocky reception from leading conservative economists and media representatives in a New York City gathering, with one questioning whether Kasich thinks opponents of Medicaid expansion “are going to hell.” Kasich’s frequent use of the Bible to justify the expansion — made possible by Obamacare — didn’t sit well with many at the exclusive gathering in the tony Four Seasons restaurant on Wednesday night, especially Avik Roy, Manhattan Institute senior fellow and a Forbes opinion editor.
Responding to a hornet’s nest of public criticism, state officials are reassuring people with developmental disabilities and others that they will still be able to choose the specific caregivers who see to their most basic needs at home. Members of the public concerned about the potential loss of choice turned out in droves in recent weeks to testify before legislators. They felt blindsided after Gov. Kasich’s administration tucked into last month’s budget bill a proposal to phase out potentially thousands of independent providers, citing concerns about fraud. Angry calls, hundreds of emails and more than 60 hours of testimony ensued.
CINCINNATI — A 29-year veteran firefighter died “a hero” Thursday from injuries he suffered while searching for people to rescue from a burning Cincinnati apartment building, authorities said. Daryl Gordon, 54, was removed from the building by stretcher after falling down an elevator shaft and died at a hospital, officials said.
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