Gov. DeWine Signs into Law Expanded Tax Exemption for Spouses of Fallen First Responders

A new law signed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will increase tax exemptions for spouses of fallen first responders.

House Bill 17 was an expansion of previous legislation and increases the homestead tax exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. The legislation allows the spouse of a fallen first responder to exempt $50,000 of their home’s appraised value from property taxes or the manufactured home tax.

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Ohio Football Coaches, Players Frustrated at Differing County Guidelines

Players and coaches are growing increasingly frustrated as Ohio counties reveal different protocols for coronavirus exposure for high school football teams.

Matt Lancaster, the head coach for the Indian Valley High School football team in Tuscarawas County, said 16 of his students were quarantined after an exposure during a game on October 10.

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Woman Visiting Ohio Nursing Home Turned Away After Refusing to Give Information for Contact Tracing

Although Ohio is allowing indoor visitation at nursing homes for the first time in months, some are still having trouble seeing their loved ones.

Melissa Ackison, 42, said she was forced to wear a mask to visit her grandmother, despite her having a medical exemption.

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Biden Pans Trump Economics, Pivots Away from Global Markets to Promise to Keep Jobs in America in Ohio Campaign Stops

Dozens of supporters for President Trump greeted Democratic nominee Joe Biden outside the latter’s dual campaign speeches in Ohio on Monday.

Speaking at an invitation-only event at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal, Biden highlighted to roughly 20 people the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic, Trump’s response to COVID-19, and systemic racism in the U.S.

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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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The Ohio Star Managing Editor Jack Windsor Predicts Ohio Will Go For Trump with a Decision Stalled for Late Mail in Votes for Biden

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed The Ohio Star Managing Editor Jack Windsor to the show to predict how Ohio will go for Trump and the mail-in ballot produced recount.

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Ohio Elections Chief Okay’s Drop Boxes Inside, Outside Boards

Ohio’s secretary of state adjusted his one-box-per-county restriction Monday to say counties may collect absentee ballots both at their buildings and at locations outside, an update to an order that has landed him in both state and federal court.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose characterized his revised order as a “clarification” in a case that has highlighted the interest in access to ballot drop boxes amid coronavirus concerns, cuts at the U.S. Postal Service and President Donald Trump’s baseless assertions that mail-in voting is rigged.

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Ohio Hits Milestone in Funding for Businesses to Train Employees

Nearly 300 Ohio companies are in line for funding aimed at increasing training for current and new employees.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the state’s TechCred program has reached nearly 1,000 companies after the latest application period. Husted serves as the director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation.

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Ohio Schools Among the Safest to Reopen According to Report

As schools around the country continue to struggle with opening to in-person learning, a new report shows Ohio as one of the top places in the nation for schools to reopen safely.

As some students learn online, through a hybrid model or in person in classrooms because of COVID-19, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on the safest schools to reopen. It ranked Ohio as seventh.

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Ohio, General Motors Reach Deal on Failed Tax Incentives in Lordstown

General Motors must repay $28 million in tax credits and invest $12 million in the Mahoning Valley following its closure of its Lordstown assembly place, the Ohio Development Services Agency said Monday.

GM received $60.3 million in tax credits in exchange for a commitment to retain 3,700 employees in Lordstown. The company closed the plant and did not maintain its commitment to retain the jobs through 2028.

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Ohio Crime Victims Expected to Get Help From Grants

Ohio crime victims are expected to receive additional support from groups around the state, according to Attorney General Dave Yost, who plans to award nearly $59 million in grants to groups that provide direct assistance.

Yost announced the anticipated grants, which include $13 million to help children. He expects $55 million to come from the Victims of Crime Act and another $3.5 million from the State Victim Assistance Act fund.

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Ohio State University Students Furious After the School Reports Black-on-White Hate Crime

Ohio State University students are upset after the school published information about two Black hate crime suspects, as it is required to do under federal law. On September 3, the Ohio State University sent a public safety notice to students, which mentioned a “hate crime” perpetrated by two African-American suspects near Ohio State’s campus. The first correspondence did not mention the victims’ race.

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Engineering Professor Under Investigation for Referring to COVID as the ‘Chinese Virus’

The University of Cincinnati placed an engineering professor on administrative leave and launched an investigation into him after he referred to coronavirus as the Chinese virus.

The public university told Professor John Ucker that he is on administrative leave with pay as of September 18 after a student, Evan Sotzing, posted a screenshot of an email from Ucker.

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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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‘Midnight Rockets’: Whistleblower Lawsuit Reveals Toxic Releases by Ohio Nuclear Plant

A whistleblower lawsuit filed by former workers at an Ohio nuclear plant has revealed new details about disturbing practices during the plaintiffs’ tenures at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS), including the alarming process — dubbed “midnight rockets” — of releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.

According to the suit, “PORTS would regularly and purposefully vent raw UF6 [uranium hexafluoride], transuranics, heavy metals, and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere from the roof of the process buildings.”

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Michigan-Ohio State Finale Highlights Third Big Ten Schedule

The Big Ten’s third football schedule of the 2020 season is highlighted by Michigan-Ohio State on Dec. 12, the final day of the conference’s regular-season and the latest date the rivals have ever played.

The Big Ten released an eight-games-in-eight-weeks schedule on Saturday that will start the weekend of Oct. 24. Just three days ago, the conference reversed course and decided to play a fall football season after postponing on Aug. 11 because of concerns about COVID-19.

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Trump Pushes in Swing States, Biden Attempts a Return to In Person Campaigning

With just 43 days before the election, President Trump has been hitting the campaign trail while his opponent appears absent from the important battlegrounds.

President Trump has two campaign stops in Ohio today, a state that Biden has largely been absent from since his nomination. The events, the “Great American Comeback” in Swanton, and “Remarks on Fighting for the American Worker,” showcase just how valuable the state is to the Trump Campaign. 

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Ohio, GOP Defend Limit on Ballot Drop Boxes to One per County

Ohio and Republican groups including the Trump campaign are fighting to uphold a GOP election chief’s directive limiting ballot drop boxes in the presidential battleground to one per county.

They told a state appellate court in filings Monday that a county judge overstepped his authority when he blocked it. The Ohio Republican Party said Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye “relied on anecdotal evidence and ‘sound public policy,’” when the case “presents a pure question of law.”

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Students Call Out Tuition Theft as Gettysburg College Tells Most to Go Home

After quarantining students in their dorms for days, Gettysburg College decided to send most of its resident students home in early September.

On September 4, Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano sent a message announcing that the Pennsylvania institution would implement a “de-densification” plan, citing high rates of COVID-19 transmission. More than 1,000 students were required to move off-campus, according to Gettysburg’s administration.

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Ohio Legislation Seeks to Change Local Income Tax Structure

Legislation in the Ohio General Assembly seeks to change the state’s 60-year-old income tax structure that allows municipalities to tax workers even if they don’t physically work in the city taxing them.

The bill, HB 754 and its companion SB 352, would modify income tax withholding rules for COVID-19-related work-from-home employees, taxing those Ohio workers where they live, rather than where they work.

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Data Show 40 Percent of Ohio Counties Experience Rise in Coronavirus Cases 7 Weeks After Mask Mandate Despite Claims by DeWine, CDC

Has Ohio’s statewide mask mandate affected the coronavirus case counts in counties? Data show 40 percent of counties saw a net increase during a 21-day period, despite claims by Gov. Mike DeWine and the CDC.

The Ohio Star examined the state health department’s historic case counts. The summary data is available in a CSV file from a link on the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard here.

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Freedom of Information Applies to Only the Educated, Say Ohio Wesleyan Professors

Delaware, Ohio City Council met Monday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. to consider a resolution requesting past-due information from the Ohio Department of Health.

Resolution 20-53 requests the total number of tests administered in the city, as well as the total number of tests in the county to be released to the Delaware General Health District from the Ohio Department of Health.

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State Board Meets Today to Decide if Ohio Secretary of State May Spend Up to $3M to Prepay Absentee Ballot Postage

A state board is meeting today to decide if Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose can spend up to $3 million to pay for absentee ballot postage for the November elections.

The Ohio Controlling Board will consider LaRose’s request today. Their agenda is here, and more information about LaRose’s request is here.

This appropriation of state funds will be used by the Ohio Secretary of State to pay the cost of returning absentee ballots on behalf of any Ohio voter who opts to use that manner of voting in the November 3, 2020 General Election. This will not expand Ohio’s existing absentee voting opportunities and will not permit universal vote by mail. There will still be in-person voting at polling locations on Election Day, November 3, 2020. 

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The Bill Cunningham Show Talks to The Ohio Star’s Jack Windsor to Discuss New State Law Allowing for the Legal Removal of People with COVID From Their Private Homes

Tuesday morning on the Bill Cunningham Show broadcast weekdays from 12 pm to 3pm on Cincinnati’s News Radio 700WLW, host Cunnigham welcomed The Ohio Star Managing Editor, Jack Windsor, to the show.

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Thousands of Ohioans Must Return Unemployment Overpayments

Around 48,000 Ohioans were notified they received an overpayment of unemployment benefits during the pandemic and must repay the state, The Associated Press reported.

That’s about 6% of the nearly 800,000 Ohioans who have been paid regular unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic in March, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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Ohio Leaders Play Both Sides of Mask Debate

Ohio’s reported coronavirus cases and hospitalizations dropped significantly on Sunday from the 21-day average.

The Ohio Department of Health on Sunday reported 773 more coronavirus infections, increasing the number of cases to 130,558. That is below the 21-day average of 1,061 newly reported cases a day.

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DeWine Administration Lays out Its Work Over the Past Week, from Providing Kids with Books to Implementing School Virus Reporting Requirements

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his administration provided a “Week in Review” for the past week, with actions ranging from providing free books to kids to requiring schools to report coronavirus cases to local health departments.

The week started off Monday with DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announcing assistance for five projects to create 574 new jobs and retain 1,058 jobs statewide. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $23 million in new payroll and spur more than $68 million in investments across Ohio.

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Kanye West Sues Ohio Election Head to Get on November Ballot

Rapper Kanye West sued Ohio’s election chief Wednesday in an effort to be placed on the November presidential ballot after the Secretary of State deemed him unqualified as an independent candidate.

West’s emergency filing against Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose comes days after the election’s chief rejected the nearly 15,000 signatures and other paperwork the rapper submitted earlier this month in an attempt to run for president, citing mismatched information on the signature-gathering documents.

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The Ohio Star Managing Editor Jack Windsor Weighs in on Breaking News About Millennial Millie Arrest

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Ohio Star Managing Editor Jack Windsor to the show to discuss his recent reporting on the arrest of Millicent “Millie” Weaver in Diamond, Ohio.

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Ohio Man Indicted in Massive PPP Fraud Case

An Ohio man is one of five being indicted in a $4 million Payroll Protection Program (PPP) fraud case.

The accused allegedly submitted, or assisted in the submission of a fraudulent PPP loan for five businesses according to the indictment. Khalil Gibran Green Sr. of Cleveland claimed to be the sole owner of Impact Creations LLC, a company that claimed to have 67 employees and an average monthly payroll of $332,000 on a PPP application.

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Warren County Judge Rules Against Contact Sports Injuction

A Warren County Court judge ruled on Thursday against the director of the Ohio Department of Health Lance D. Himes injunction on contact sports.

The order allowed non-contact sports to re-open for their normal seasons, as long as certain precautions are followed. Contact sports, however, including football, basketball, wrestling, boxing, martial arts, and soccer would have been required to test players for COVID-19 several times per sporting event. Students would be required to test negative within 72 hours of a game, again during any tournament lasting more than three days, and every two days after that should the tournament last longer.

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Judge Rules Last Call Order Can Stay in Place During Lawsuit

A judge ruled Wednesday that the 10 p.m. last call order will stay in place during a lawsuit to determine it’s legality, according to WTRF.

NBC reported that a lawsuit filed by a number of Ohio restaurants and bars sought an emergency restraining order against the state’s order. The Ohio Liquor Control Board approved the emergency order at Governor Mike DeWine’s request, which mandated bars and restaurants to cut off liquor sales at 10 p.m. This emergency order went into effect last weekend.

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Kanye West Files to Appear on Ohio Ballot for 2020 Presidential Election

Kanye West, the popular rapper and social icon, has officially filed to appear on Ohio ballots for the 2020 presidential election, according to Fox 5.

West, who announced he would run for the presidency on July 4, submitted paperwork to the state on August 5.

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Amy Acton Steps Down as Ohio Governor’s Health Advisor, Will Return to Work for the Columbus Foundation

Dr. Amy Acton stepped down from her role as Governor Mike DeWine’s Chief Health Advisor, the Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday. 

DeWine called Acton a “friend and advisor” on Twitter, saying that “she has assured [him] that she is just a phone call away and will be available to continuing advising [his administration] as [they] move through this pandemic.”

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Ohio Parents Rally to Reopen Schools and Sports

Parents across Ohio are rallying for on-campus learning and extracurricular activities to resume as the school year starts.

More than 100 people rallied in the rain in front of Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools offices on Monday, according to cleveland.com. While some were there to show their support for online-only programs the vast majority called for the immediate re-opening of campus learning.

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Ohio’s Elyria Residents Mourn as Apparent Murder-Suicide Claims Five

The City of Elyria is in mourning after what’s being called a ‘murder-suicide’ claimed the lives of five people yesterday. Police conducted a health and wellness inspection of the home where they discovered the scene. The bodies of at least three children were among the dead. 

Police are investigating an apparent-murder suicide that claimed the lives of five Elyria residents. Police arrived yesterday morning at the Willow Park Road home to conduct a health and wellness inspection. Upon arriving they discovered the bodies, including at least three children aged between six and twelve.

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Ohio Teachers Union Calls for Online Classes as Schools Deal with Covid

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) called for remote learning in counties more heavily affected by the coronavirus.

The teachers union, which represents over a hundred thousand teachers, made the demand in a press release Tuesday urging the state to “enact stronger measures to keep students and educators safe.”

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Conservative Organizations Call For Next Ohio House Speaker to Have Character, Be Supporter of Faith and Family

Even as the Ohio House of Representatives looks to replace disgraced Speaker Larry Householder, a coalition of conservative organizations is urging lawmakers to be thoughtful in how they do so.

Householder and four others were arrested July 21 in connection with a $60 million federal bribery probe in connection with the Legislature’s 2019 bailout of FirstEnergy and its nuclear power plants.

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Political Operative Tyler Fehrman Wore a Wire for the FBI to Catch Matt Borges

Details are emerging on how Tyler Fehrman came to help the FBI bust Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, Matt Borges and three others in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme.

Cleveland.com reported on the details, including an interview with Fehrman, here.

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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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DeWine Tells Meet the Press He May Implement Statewide Mask Mandate

As Ohio’s coronavirus testing and case numbers are increasing, Gov. Mike DeWine is threatening to impose a statewide mask mandate.

While Ohio’s coronavirus tests and cases are increasing, the rate of deaths is decreasing, even as Gov. Mike DeWine says he has not ruled out a statewide mask mandate.

DeWine spoke about mask mandates on Meet the Press on Sunday.

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Lawyers Help Ohio Business Owners Organize Lawsuits Into Class Action to Take on DeWine’s Shutdown Regulations

Ohio business owners who are fed up with Gov. Mike DeWine’s ever-lasting shutdown regulations are joining their lawsuits together into a class action against the state.

Three lawyers are working together to help combine existing lawsuits and are looking for other owners whose livelihoods are being threatened by what they say are unconstitutional orders. The suit against the DeWine administration and other government agencies was filed in the Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Lake County.

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Jim Jordan Hoping for Indictments in Durham’s Probe of Origins of Russia Investigation

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said his constituents want to see someone go to jail for targeting President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The Ohio Republican said he hopes U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe will produce indictments.

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DeWine’s Baseball Team’s Paycheck Protection Program Loan Nets Millionaire Governor $189K of Forgivable Taxpayer Handout

With news that Gov. Mike DeWine’s minor league baseball team cashed in on the Paycheck Protection Program, one may ask how Ohio’s top executive came to own a team in North Carolina or why he needed a taxpayer handout.

DeWine has a 32 percent stake in the Asheville Tourists minor league team, The Ohio Star reported this week.

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Buckeye Institute Sues Over Law Allowing Columbus to Collect Income Taxes From Commuters Despite Emergency Order Preventing Them from Working in the City

The Buckeye Institute said that it and three employees filed a lawsuit over the taxing of workers’ income in Columbus since they do not live in the city and were not allowed to work there during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home order.

The lawsuit, which is available here, was filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County.

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Dave Yost Seeks Public’s Input on Whether Google Uses ‘Deceptive Sales Practices’

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he wants the public to weigh in on the question of whether internet search engines should be “allowed to favor their own products and services in search results.”

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