Franklin County, Ohio Court Soon to Decide Whether to Continue Voucher Case

In the next few weeks, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Jaiza Page (D) is poised to decide whether a lawsuit against Ohio’s private-school choice program will go forward. 

Litigation against private school choice in the Buckeye State has been in the works since last year when dozens of school districts under the aegis of Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding posited that the state’s EdChoice program harms the state’s ability to properly fund its public schools. The districts suing the state, which now number more than 130, filed their action in January. 

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Ohio Sees 50 Percent Increase in Early, In-Person Voting Compared to 2018

With only four days until the midterm election, Ohio is reporting an increase in early in-person voters compared to 2018.

Ohioans have cast almost 50% more early in-person ballots this year than a week before the 2018 election, according to numbers released by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday.

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Ohio Awards Grants to Toledo, Cortland to Combat Trafficking, Other Crimes

Governor Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) announced Friday that numerous local law-enforcement departments will receive a total of $3.5 million for anti-trafficking efforts and other anti-crime initiatives, with the cities of Toledo and Cortland receiving significant grants. 

The money comes in the fifth round of allocations from the Crime Reduction Grant Program, a project created last year that has disbursed $23 million to 83 agencies across the Buckeye State so far. 

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Columbus Giving Naloxone to Residents to Prevent Opioid Overdoses

Narcan nasal spray

In conjunction with Franklin County, the city of Columbus is inviting opioid-addicted residents to order free naloxone, also known as Narcan, to help them reverse overdoses.

“Narcan distribution is part of our comprehensive programming to address the addiction crisis – and it is highly effective,” Columbus’ Director of Communications Kelli Newman told The Ohio Star. “Last year, through the Columbus & Franklin County Addiction Plan, we provided 24,144 Narcan kits (48,244 doses) and conducted 624 community trainings. As a result of Narcan being dispensed by bystanders, friends and family members, there were 3,699 overdose reversals in our community last year. Simply put, Narcan saves lives.”

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Judge Will Decide Whether to Keep Ohio’s Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

A Franklin County judge may reimplement Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits in Ohio after they were ended by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) in June. 

The extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits, part of a federal government program to help Americans survive the COVID-19 pandemic, officially ended in Ohio on June 26. DeWine cited a labor shortage in the state, as most businesses reopened as normal after pandemic restrictions were lifted. 

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Tennessee Mayor Knowingly Took Nearly $30,000 in Unauthorized Health Benefits, Report Says

Officials have indicted the former mayor of Decherd, in Franklin County, on one count of theft more than $10,000 and three counts of official misconduct. That man, Robin Smith, received $27,176 in unauthorized health insurance benefits from the city from January 2016 through July 2019.

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Franklin County Board of Supervisors Vote to Keep Courthouse Confederate Statue

The Confederate soldier statue outside the Franklin County courthouse in the small town of Rocky Mount will not be moved after the county’s board of supervisors unanimously voted to keep the monument in its current location during a monthly meeting Tuesday.

The motion was put forth by Boone District Supervisor Ronnie Thompson and seconded by Tommy Cundiff, Union Hall District Supervisor.

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Six Virginia Counties Vote to Keep Confederate Monuments

Residents of six rural Virginia counties voted to keep local Confederate monuments in place on Tuesday. The referenda are non-binding, but demonstrate voter preference to the local boards of supervisors. In four of the counties, over 70 percent of voters chose to keep the monuments, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP). Two counties were closer; Charles City County voted against removing its monument by 55.11 percent, while Halifax County voted against relocating its monument by 59.69 percent.

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Ohio Officials Say Some Ballots Reported Incorrect May be Right

Officials in Ohio say some of the nearly 50,000 absentee ballots reported last week to be incorrect may have been correct after all, but replacement ballots will be sent to all of the affected voters in the county that is home to the state’s capital and largest city.

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Interim Ohio Health Director Himes Succeeds in Moving Mask Lawsuit to His Home Turf

Interim Ohio Health Director Lance Himes succeeded in requesting that a lawsuit to overturn the use of masks in public schools be moved out of Putnam County Common Pleas Court and into his home turf, The Lima News reported.

The case has moved to Franklin County. The plaintiffs live largely in Northwest Ohio, in communities including Leipsic, Berkey and Perrysburg.

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Ohio in the ‘Yellow Zone’ Accounting to White House Task Force Report

Ohio is in the “yellow zone” for coronavirus cases, according to a White House Coronavirus Task Force report that presents a list of suggested actions.

The July 14 report is available here. The Ohio data begins on Page 246.

The classification means Ohio had between 10 to 100 new cases per 100,000 residents the week before the report was released, and the yellow zone for test positivity, indicating a rate between 5 percent to 10 percent.

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Franklin County Sees Surge in Suspected Drug Overdoses in 2020’s First Quarter

Franklin County saw a 55 percent increase in suspected drug overdose deaths for the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019’s first quarter.

Between January and March of 2020, Franklin County experienced 191 drug overdose death. During this same time span in 2019, the county saw 123 deaths.

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Franklin County Democratic Party Tells Local FOP Lodge Its Candidates Do Not Want Police Endorsements

The Franklin County Democratic Party has decided that the local Fraternal Order of Police does not need to endorse any of its candidates.

Party Chairman Michael Sexton informed the FOP Capital City Lodge #9 of the decision in a letter, available on the Democratic chapter’s Facebook page here from a Friday post.

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Ohio’s Franklin County Experiences 11 Overdose Deaths This Past Weekend

Franklin County in Ohio saw another surge in drug-related overdoses last weekend, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz, the Franklin County coroner, told The Dispatch that 11 people had died.

Since the Wuhan virus came to Ohio, Franklin County has been one of state’s hardest-hit areas in terms of overdoses.

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Ohio Ranks Third in Nation in Ongoing Hepatitis A Outbreak

As of Jan. 21, the Buckeye State had experienced 3,468 cases of hepatitis A in a statewide community outbreak that officially began Jan. 1, 2018, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sixty-two percent of patients were hospitalized, and 16 died.

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Ohio County Releases Dozens of Illegal Aliens, Including Sex Offender, After Ignoring ICE Detainers

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed Thursday that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has released 29 criminal aliens, including a sex offender, after ignoring written detainer requests filed by the federal agency.

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CEO Resigns, 23 Fired Amid Ohio Doctor’s Alleged Fentanyl Murders

  Mount Carmel Health System CEO Ed Lamb announced Thursday that he’s terminated the employment of 23 individuals and will resign at the end of the month after a former doctor was charged with 25 counts of murder. “This was a difficult decision, but one that is in the best…

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