Ohioans Gather from Across the State to March for Life

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio March for Life – together with the Center for Christian Virtue – held the first of what they hope to be a new tradition of annual gatherings to March for Life on the Capital Square in front of the state house on Wednesday.

“So many people in our lives said that Roe v Wade would never be overturned. Now we have the opportunity to say no more holding us back. The fight in Ohio is just beginning. All of us together using our voices to ensure abortion will no longer happen here in Ohio. We need pro-life, pro-family policies where families flourish and children are protected. We need to be able to say that not only is abortion illegal in Ohio it’s unthinkable. We want to make Ohio the most pro-life state in the nation,” State Representative Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) told the exuberant crowd.

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Ohio Secretary of State Creates Public Integrity Division to Maintain Voter Confidence in State Elections

Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Wednesday the establishment of the Public Integrity Division. The newly-formed office, he said, will be dedicated to maintaining secure, accurate, and accessible elections in the state of Ohio.

“It’s time that we have it. We are consolidating several things that already exist. All of those are existing functions in our office but by putting them all under one roof with trained professionals we can do this work much better,” LaRose told The Ohio Star.

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Popularity Increases for Toy Lending Throughout Ohio Library Systems

Several Ohio public libraries are implementing toy lending where families can use their library cards to check out not only books but also developmental toys and educational materials.

Toys can be expensive to purchase which can be difficult for some parents and it’s hard to know which toys a child will connect with, enjoy, and want to play with over and over again.

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Many School Buses in Northeast Ohio Amass Violations, State Inspectors Report

According to state reports, many Northeast Ohio school district buses are not passing their state inspections.

The Ohio Star viewed numerous reports of state bus inspections from Northeast Ohio school districts from June 2021 through August 2022. These reports update monthly, and the reports obtained only reflect percentages from June 2021 to last month.

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New Ohio Senate Bill Aims to Make ‘Swatting’ a Felony

In response to 8 Ohio schools going into lock down on Friday, due to an internet hoax that sent false reports about active shooters on their campuses, additional support has been gathered for Senator Andrew Brenner’s (R-Delaware) bill (SB292) to stop ‘swatting’ and making fake emergency calls a felony in the state.

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, ‘swatting’ is: to make a false report of an ongoing serious crime in order to elicit a response from law enforcement (such as the dispatch of a SWAT unit)

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Ohio Task Force 1, First Responders, and AEP Deployed for Hurricane Ian Relief

Ohio Task Force 1 along with Ohio First Responders and American Electric Power “AEP” are deployed to Florida for Hurricane Ian relief. Hurricane Ian is anticipated to make landfall between Wednesday and Thursday and preparations are being made.

As a result of Hurricane Ian strengthening to a Category 4, on Saturday morning at 7:00 am the Federal Emergency Management Agency known as “FEMA” deployed Ohio Task Force 1.

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Cities Across Ohio Establish ‘Safe Exchange Zones’ for Internet Trades, Purchases

Cities throughout the state have been responding to safety concerns from residents about online purchases by creating monitored safe zones at police stations for transfers of goods.

There are several online platforms such as online auctions, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace, where buyers and sellers will need to meet in person to make a transaction.

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New Ohio Law Gives All Women Access to Preventive Breast Screening

House Bill (HB) 371 “The Breast Cancer Bill” was signed into law Friday by Governor Mike DeWine. The new legislation brings more access to additional breast cancer screenings for all women throughout the state.

“The bill originally passed the Ohio House with zero opposition testimony, and 89 representatives voting in favor and only two against – a rarity for politics, even in Ohio. With bipartisan support, and unanimous support from Ohio’s medical community, HB 371 is a powerful example of what laws can accomplish,” the bill’s joint sponsor and State Representative Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) said.

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Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: Ohio Has Seen Decrease in Domestic Opioid Production and Distribution

Thursday, the Republican National Committee hosted a Zoom press call with Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted and congressional nominee Max Miller (OH-07) to discuss border security, the fentanyl crisis, and crime.

In speaking with Tricia McLaughlin Communications Director for Governor Mike DeWine and Husted, “The domestic supply of opioids from over prescribing pharma companies both production and distribution have largely ceased.”

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Dramatic Increase in Attendance for Off-Campus Religious Instruction in Central Ohio

Religious release time programs increase in popularity as optional classes during the school day.

Pastor Claude Davis of New Life Church in Whitehall, the facilitator of a released time program, said that their program drastically jumped from a mere 18 students on the first day to 269 students in attendance last year.

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Seven Midwest States Enter Hydrogen Coalition

Seven Midwest states entered a coalition to pursue clean hydrogen development as an alternative to gas and diesel fuel.

The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin signed onto the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition. The coalition will accelerate clean hydrogen development, from production and supply chain to distribution in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.

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Parent-Teacher Tensions Run High over Lack of Mental Health Transparency from Mentor School Educators

Mentor Schools is withholding mental health information about transgender or transitioning students from parents.

An Ohio school board meeting on Tuesday, September 13th raised concern in parents over an e-mail which went out to teachers in the district informing them that they are not required to inform parents if a student, 11 years old or older, who is transgender or transitioning asks to use a different name or pronoun.

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Packed House Shows for Renacci’s Kick Off to Pro-MAGA Forum Series in Medina

Former Ohio Republican congressman and current Chairman of American Greatness PAC Jim Renacci held his first in a series of pro-MAGA (Make America Great Again) forums at the Thirsty Cowboy in Medina, Ohio.

“Last night, 11 conservatives from different niches talked about uniting the conservative base and forwarding MAGA policies. I think it’s the start of something great. American Greatness can be achieved,” Renacci posted on Facebook following the meeting.

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Concerned Parents Flood Hillard City School Board Meeting over Staff-Worn LGBTQ ‘I’m Here’ Badges

Hilliard City Schools met for a board meeting on Monday to discuss a policy regarding release time for religious instruction. However, the meeting was flooded with concerned parents over a different issue. The LGBTQ badges.

These badges were implemented at the beginning of the school year and were distributed by the teachers union National Education Association (NEA) and its local affiliate, Hilliard Education Association (HEA). They provided a badge to any teacher who requested one. According to Lisa Chaffee, director for Ohio Parents Rights and Education, “The school district did not give permission for these badges. Rather, the Union president with the HEA, Linna Jordan, did it on her own volition.” Several unsuccessful attempts were made to contact Jordan for a comment.

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Questions Remain About Government Incentives as Intel Breaks Ground in Ohio

Although dirt began moving weeks ago at Intel’s massive $20 billion chip manufacturing site in central Ohio, local, state and federal officials, along with President Biden, praised Intel’s decision and the government incentives offered to lure the chip giant at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday.

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Ohio Secretary of State Supports Voter Fraud Prosecution for Four More People Who Allegedly Voted Twice

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has referred four additional people for prosecution after his office found evidence that appears to show they voted in two states.

His office partnered with officials in Iowa, Missouri, Nevada and Oregon to find individuals who allegedly voted in another state, then cast an illegal second ballot in Ohio in the 2020 election, LaRose announced Wednesday.

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Commentary: Ohio Jobs Head for Right-to-Work States

As workers across the country look forward to a long Labor Day weekend, we feel compelled to alert policymakers of a robust movement of manufacturing and other jobs and opportunities from Ohio to Michigan and Indiana, our home states.

We have examined the employment impact of state right-to-work laws at the county level. Right-to-work laws simply say that no worker need be compelled to join or financially support a union. These laws allow for greater worker freedom, and evidence shows that they are a powerful economic development tool. Our study found mostly positive impacts for states with such protections and an unambiguously negative impact on the Buckeye State, which lacks a right-to-work law.

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Ohio Already Reaping Millions from Sports Gambling

Sports betting will open in Ohio on Jan. 1, and the state could realize revenues of more than $30 million from fees this year.

Nonrefundable application fees of $9.6 million have already been received according to a report from PlayOhio. Once an application is approved, the vendor must pay a license fee to begin taking bets, then pay an annual fee to continue the license. Licenses are good for five years, at which time the fee structure begins again.

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Another Poll Shows JD Vance Leading in Ohio U.S. Senate Race

A new poll released by the Trafalgar Group shows Ohio Republican U.S. Senate nominee JD Vance with a 4.6 percent lead over Democrat nominee Tim Ryan.

The poll was conducted from August 16 through August 19 and contained the responses of 1087 likely general election voters with a margin of error of 2.9 percent and a confidence rating of 95 percent.

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Ohio’s COVID-19 Federal Funeral Expense Funds More than Doubles Since January 1

The federal government handed out more than twice as much money in COVID-19 funeral reimbursements to Ohioans over the past seven months than it did from the beginning of the program in 2020 until January.

As of Aug. 1, FEMA has given more than $2.7 billion to fulfill 420,000 applications for help with funeral costs for pandemic-related deaths since Jan. 20, 2020. In Ohio, 18,860 of those have shared more than $122.2 million.

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Ohio to Spend Nearly $50 Million on School Safety

More than 1,000 Ohio schools in 81 of 88 counties will share $47 million in the state’s push to promote school safety, part of a response to a shooting at a Texas elementary school in May.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday grants of up to $50,000 will be used to cover expenses for security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems, and exterior lighting. 

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Ohio Announces Seven New Economic Development Projects

Seven new industry projects are expected to create nearly 700 new jobs and retain more than 3,000 across Ohio, according to Gov. Mike DeWine.

The projects, which the state says are expected to result in more than $39 million in new payroll out of $51.8 million in new investments, all received approval from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority for incentives.

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Ohio Takes Lead in Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook

The Ohio Employees Retirement System will lead the effort in a class action lawsuit that seeks to recover millions of dollars from Facebook and force the company to reform its internal practices.

A federal judge in the U.S. District Court of Northern California on Wednesday chose Ohio to be lead plaintiff in the securities case Attorney General Dave Yost originally filed in November 2021, according to a release from Yost.

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Ohio Bill Would Make Accommodations for Pregnant Employees Law

Ohio employers would have to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees and would be encouraged to talk with pregnant employees about how to ensure their health and safety if a recently introduced bill becomes law.

The legislation, like bills filed in 30 other states, continues moves made by Statehouse Democrats in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion rights.

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Report: Ohio Among Nation’s Worst in Unemployment Recovery

Ohio was just one of four states that saw unemployment claims rise the last week of June compared to a year ago, according to a recently released report from WalletHub.

And, Ohio is the next-to-last state to recover from unemployment during the same week compared to a year ago, the report from the personal finance website showed.

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Jim Renacci: I Will Lead the American Greatness Fund to Make Sure ‘the MAGA Movement Continues’

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed former Republican Ohio congressman Jim Renacci about his new position leading the American Greatness Fund. Renacci said he was joining the fund so that he could help revive the MAGA movement, and create scorecards to hold politicians accountable to the voters.

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Ohio Bill Would Protect Students’ Faith

Professors at Ohio colleges and universities could be required to accommodate students’ religious beliefs and practices if a bill recently passed by the House becomes law.

The “Testing Your Faith Act,” according to co-sponsor Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, would eliminate the potential of having to choose between academic standing and religion for students at colleges and universities.

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Lawmaker Wants Ohio Voters to Decide Recreational Marijuana Use This Year

One lawmaker is continuing his push to allow Ohio voters to decide in November to legalize the recreational use of marijuana after a lawsuit settlement pushed a potential ballot initiative to 2023.

A citizens group working for a vote this year reached a settlement with state officials recently that will put the measure on the ballot next year. Also, the state agreed to accept more than 140,000 signatures the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already collected.

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Short-Term Rental Bill Moves Forward in Ohio House

Ohio homeowners who want to get into the Arbnb business got a boost recently when a bill that would limit local restrictions moved out of a house committee.

Committee approval came over objections from several local government entities, the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association and the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Republicans Argue for Previously Tossed Maps

Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission want the state’s Supreme Court to put legal challenges to proposed district maps on hold until after the November general election.

The commission majority wants to use state legislative district maps already ruled unconstitutional to hold an Aug. 2 primary and the general election. It wants the court not to order the commission to draw new maps until after November.

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Ohio Proposes $500 Million Investment Plan for Appalachia

Communities throughout Ohio’s Appalachian region could receive millions of dollars earmarked to revitalize downtowns and help rebuild economies if funding comes through for a $500 million plan from Gov. Mike DeWine.

The three-part proposal is expected to focus on revitalizing historic downtown districts, improving community health and rebuilding the local work force, according to a news release from the governor.

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JD Vance Wins GOP Senate Primary, Mike DeWine Wins GOP Gubernatorial Primary

In what was called the first big test of former President Donald Trump’s political influence, J.D. Vance rode his late endorsement to a U.S. Senate primary win in Ohio on Tuesday.

Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, received the former president’s endorsement in late April and was the projected winner by The Associated Press over a large field that included businessman Mike Gibbons, State Sen. Matt Dolan, former State Treasurer Josh Mandel and former head of the state GOP Jane Timken.

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Bail Reform in Ohio Becoming More of an Issue

A recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling focusing on considerations a judge weighs when setting bail has led to activity in the Ohio Statehouse.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost expressed so much concern about the court’s 4-3 decision in DuBose vs. McGuffey, a ruling that upheld an appellate court’s decision permitting the reduction of a murder suspect’s bail without considering community safety, that he recently announced his support for a proposed constitutional amendment regarding bail reform.

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Lawmakers Want Ohio’s State Vehicle Fleet to Transition to Electric

When the state of Ohio buys new vehicles, 25% of those would be electric in less than three years if a bill introduced in the Ohio House becomes law.

State Reps. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, and Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, want all new vehicles for state’s fleet of 12,405 to be completely electric by Jan. 1, 2030.

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Probable Cause Found in Blystone Financial-Reporting Probe; Election Commission Books Expedited Hearing One Day Before Election

Joe Blystone

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) found probable cause to further investigate and decide two complaints filed against Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone’s campaign and booked a full-panel hearing for May 2, one day before the primary election.

Thursday, a Probable Cause panel comprised of commissioners D. Michael Crites (R), Charleta B. Tavares (D) and Ernest C. Knight (I) voted unanimously on an expedited investigation into cases that allege the Canal Winchester farmer and restauranteur improperly reported campaign contributions and expenditures and spent campaign funds for personal use.

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Ohio Unemployment Rate Dips, Remains Above National Average

Ohio added more than twice as many private-sector jobs in March than it did in February, and the state’s unemployment rate fell slightly, according to recently released figures by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Overall, the state’s unemployment rate for March of 4.1% was down slightly from February’s 4.2% but higher than the national average of 3.6%. Also, Ohio’s labor participation rate rose to 61.7% from 61.6%, below the national average of 62.4%.

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Ohio Supreme Court Throws Out Fourth Set of State Legislative Maps

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down a fourth set of state legislative district maps Thursday, ordering the Ohio Redistricting Commission to develop and adopt an entirely new set of maps by May 6.

The ruling declared the fourth set of maps invalid in its entirety. The new plan must be filed with Secretary of State Frank LaRose by 9 a.m. May 6 and filed with the court by noon the same day.

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Ohio Bill Aims at Protecting Free Speech for Students, Professors

Ohio college students and professors would be able to speak more freely without fear of punishment if a wide-ranging post-secondary education bill passed by the General Assembly gets Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature.

The legislation also addresses student financial aid, workforce development and offers a second-chance voucher system that would provide a pathway for people to return to school and earn a degree.

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Bill Would Force Ohio Long-Term Care Facilities to Allow Visitors During Pandemics

Ohio nursing home residents are a step closer to having visitors during the next pandemic or state of emergency after the General Assembly passed a bill that requires long-term care facilities to create a visitation plan to allow compassionate caregivers to enter facilities.

Substitute House Bill 120 outlines criteria for compassionate care visitations in long-term care facilities under CMS guidance during any future epidemic, pandemic and state of emergency.   

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Ohio Overtime Changes, Online Marketplace Bills Signed into Law

Ohio businesses will not have to pay employees overtime for some tasks, and high-volume online marketplace sellers will have to be identified after Gov. Mike DeWine signed two bills into law.

Senate Bill 47, which spent more than a year in the General Assembly, was one of the laws created with DeWine’s signature. Its changes to overtime pay requirements were a result of adjustments to employee workdays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also followed changes to federal overtime rules.

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Ohio Lawmaker Wants State Supreme Court to Pay for Second Primary

An Ohio lawmaker wants the Ohio Supreme Court to pay the potential $20 million price tag for a second primary election after it ruled three times legislative redistricting maps were unconstitutional.

Rep. Ron Ferguson, R-Jefferson, plans to introduce legislation to pull second primary election costs from the court’s budget, saying the Ohio Redistricting Commission worked in a bipartisan manner to develop new districts.

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OH-9 Incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur Facing Uphill Battle for Re-election

OH-9 incumbent Democrat U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur is facing an uphill battle in her campaign for reelection.

Prior to redistricting, Ohio’s Ninth Congressional district was considered a safe seat for the current Democrat occupant. Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight gave OH-9 a partisan rating of D+16. It now gives the district a R+6 rating.

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Always Right with Bob Frantz: Blue Collar Candidate Jonah Schulz Plans to Continue the America First Movement

Thursday morning on Always Right with Bob Frantz, weekday mornings on AM 1420 The Answer, host Frantz welcomed America First congressional candidate Jonah Schulz to the show to discuss why he’s running and the need for an end to establishment Republicans.

Frantz: Let’s welcome to the program now, Jonah Schulz. It’s been a little bit since we have talked to the candidate for Congress. I won’t say which district because I still don’t know what district he’s going to be running in, but he’s still running for Congress. And he joins us now on 1420 The Answer. Hi, Jonah. Good morning.

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Ohio Bill Would Require High-Volume Marketplace Sellers to Be Identified

Ohioans browsing and buying on online marketplaces would get more information about sellers if a bill aimed at organized retail crime is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

House Bill 272, which would require high-volume, third-party online sellers to disclose pieces of identifying information that could protect consumers, recently passed the Senate and is headed to DeWine’s desk.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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