The Ohio Star’s 10 Most Popular Stories of 2019


2019 was another big year for Ohio politics. The Ohio Star’s news crew published a number of feature stories on conservatives throughout the state, including one family who faced harassment after walking away from the Democratic Party.

As the year comes to a close, here’s a look back at our 10 most popular stories of the year:

1. Kettering City Schools Hosts ‘Coming Out Day’ Festivities at Van Buren Middle School, Parents Not Informed

Kettering City Schools’ Van Buren Middle School hosted an assembly for their young students, ages 11 to 14. It was for “Coming Out Day,” one of several LGBT events that schools around the country are scheduling throughout the school year.

One Van Buren parent vented her frustrations to The Ohio Star and shared a letter that she penned in response to the situation.

2. Drag Queen ‘Selena T. West’ Asks Supporters to Call Children’s Services on Christian Mom Critical of Program

Pride Month turned into Drag Month in Central Ohio, but many of the events were canceled or rescheduled elsewhere.

The LGBT activist from the Delaware County program, Kyle Gale – whose onstage persona is Selena T. West – blamed the cancellation on “threats.”

The Ohio Star discovered there were no threats investigated by police in Delaware County, and no police reports filed by anyone supporting the class.

But Elizabeth Johnston, the “Activist Mommy,” and Melissa Ackison, candidate for the Ohio Senate, have both been threatened. Johnston had to hire security, and Gale was encouraging people to file false reports with Children’s Services through social media as “Selena T. West” in order to get Johnston’s children removed from her home.

3. #WalkAway Family Targeted by Activists, Doubles Down on Trump Support

Tyrone and Marcella Jackson are an African-American couple and small business owners of The Good Frank in Columbus. They were not politically active, but believed the Democratic talking points. Now they are conservative Trump supporters. The Jacksons are part of the #WalkAway movement.

The attacks against the Jacksons began shortly after a Trump rally in August 2018 at Orange High School in Delaware County. Marcella and her oldest daughter, who was wearing a MAGA hat, were clearly visible behind President Trump as he was speaking.

Suddenly, Mr. Jackson’s business associates began receiving threatening calls. The businesses were urged to stop working with the “racist, homophobe, anti-public school” Jacksons. They lost clients, including one of their biggest accounts. Then their landlord, a proud Leftist, refused to renew their lease.

4. Cincinnati Councilwoman Calls Reaction to Notre Dame Fire a ‘Prime Example of Privilege’

Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral nearly burned to the ground in April, but Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard called the reaction to the tragic event a “prime example of privilege.”

Dennard, who serves as president pro tem of the Cincinnati City Council, made the comments on Twitter.

“I’m saddened that the beautiful cathedral in France was damaged. But this is a prime example of privilege. White people don’t have to see me if they don’t choose to. Black people don’t have a choice. Please read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison,” she said.

5. Dash-Cam Footage Shows Sedrick Denson Repeatedly Telling Officers He’s a ‘State Representative’ During OVI Arrest

The Ohio Highway Patrol released dash-cam footage of Rep. Sedrick Denson’s (D-Bond Hill) April arrest. The first-term Democratic lawmaker was charged for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and felony drug possession.

In the video, Denson repeatedly tells the trooper that he’s a state representative. Denson apologized to his constituents, but denied that he was actually impaired.

6. Gun Rally Makes Clear 2nd Amendment Supporters Reject DeWine Gun Control Plan and Those Who Support It

Hundreds of Second Amendment supporters came to the Statehouse steps in September and stood for over two hours to hear Ohio Gun Owners’ Chris Dorr and other gun-rights activists talk about the need to push back against gun control legislation. There were no kind words for Governor DeWine or gun groups and legislators supporting DeWine’s agenda of expanded background checks and red flag laws.

In addition to Dorr, key speakers included leaders from Ohioans for Concealed Carry and four State Representatives: Ron Hood (R-Ashville), Candice Keller (R-Middletown), John Becker (R-Union Township) and Tom Brinkman (R-Mt. Lookout).

7. Records Show Michigan School Required Teachers to Attend Two-Day ‘Islamic Propaganda’ Seminar

A Freedom of Information Act request uncovered evidence of “a well-orchestrated Islamic propaganda campaign aimed at teachers in school systems throughout Michigan and several other states.”

According to an August report from the Thomas More Law Center, Michigan’s Novi Community Schools District conducted a two-day mandatory seminar for teachers presented by a paid Muslim consultant.

“We found that the teachers were subjected to two-days of Islamic propaganda, where Islam was glorified, Christianity disparaged, and America bashed—all funded by Novi taxpayers,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.

8. Dispatch Misleads as DeWine’s Office Asks State Highway Patrol to Investigate Gun Rights Advocate for ‘Inflammatory Comments’

A headline in The Columbus Dispatch in August said, “Patrol reviewing video by gun rights advocate threatening ‘bodies laying all over the ground.’”

The actual comment by Chris Dorr of Ohio Gun Owners (OGO) was: “There will be political bodies laying all over the ground.” The Dispatch did acknowledge in the body of the article that his words were “political bodies.”

DeWine’s staff requested the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s involvement based on Dorr’s video, which he created following DeWine’s announcement of a 17-point plan to combat gun violence.

9. Drag Queen Kyle Gale, AKA ‘Selena T. West,’ Calls for Protests at Fair

LGBT activist Kyle Gale, who appears on stage as “Selena T. West,” had previously targeted women who do not approve of him teaching and reading to their children while dressed in full costume. He then called for a protest of State Senate candidate Melissa Ackison at the Crawford County Fair.

The protest organizers accused Ackison of using her platform “to encourage hate and discrimination.”

10. Ohio Democrat Mocks Barron Trump, Says He ‘May Need’ Special Olympics Someday

An Ohio Democrat suggested in March that President Donald Trump’s administration shouldn’t cut funding for the Special Olympics because his 13-year-old son Barron “may need it someday.”

Ellen Connally, former Cuyahoga County Council president and Cleveland Municipal Court judge, made the comments in a Facebook post.

“Trump kills funds for Special Olympics. Baron [sic] may need it someday,” she wrote. In the comments section of her post, another Ohio Democrat, Jocelyn Conwell, said she’s heard “from a reliable source” that Trump’s “kid does have special needs.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].








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