Senate Confirms John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence

The Senate confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX-04) on Thursday as President Trump’s top intelligence official in a vote straight along party lines.

Ratcliffe became Trump’s second permanent Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in a 49-44 vote, with all Democrats opposed. The vote along party lines was the first since the position was created following the 9/11 attack as generally there are never more than a dozen senators voting against a confirmation for the position, according to CNN.

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Ohio Lifts Stay-at-Home Order, Issues Urgent Health Advisory Instead

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine lifted the state’s stay-at-home order on Tuesday, changing it instead to an “urgent health advisory.”

Saying that Ohio had been successful in flattening the curve and that the rates of infection are down, DeWine cut short the stay-at-home order, instead shifting it to “strong recommendations.”

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Law on Takeovers of Underperforming Schools

The Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld a law that changed how the state intervenes with schools that consistently perform poorly. The court ruled on Wednesday in favor of the constitutionality of a law that shifts the operational control of a poorly-performing school from the elected school board to unelected CEOs hired by state-appointed academic distress commissions.

Youngstown, Ohio, argued that the law stripped school boards of its power, according to AP News. The court said the school boards are currently set up in a way that does not require school board to receive any specific power.

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Cherry Health, CBS News Slammed for Adding Staffers to Coronavirus Testing Line

A Michigan health system and CBS News have come under fire after Project Veritas revealed that a line for a COVID-19 testing site was staged for television cameras.

Cherry Health and CBS News denied directing staffers to form a line to appear as patients for a coronavirus testing site before later reversing their statement and saying that the staffers were in line to “provide a visual backdrop.”

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Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Asks Employers To Report Employees Who Refuse to Come to Work

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has set up a page on their website where employers can report employees who refuse to return to work as businesses set to reopen in the state.

Under the latest “Stay Safe Ohio” order, medical care such as a dentist or doctor visit that does not require an overnight stay reopened on May 1. Manufacturing, construction and distribution, as well as “general office environments,” reopened on May 4. Retail and service businesses are set to reopen on May 12, with social distancing practices.

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Ohio Schools To Remain Closed Through End of School Year, Governor Announces

Ohio schools will stay closed through the rest of the school year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday.

DeWine originally closed the schools starting at the end of March 16. He then extended the order, which was originally slated to end on April 3, to May 1. On Monday, he announced that schools would stay closed through the end of the school year.

“We’ve flattened the curve, but the virus remains. Also, to go back to school now with a relatively small amount of time left — many educators have expressed to me that this wouldn’t be a good idea even if the health situation was resolved,” DeWine said on Twitter. “We have to think about the risk to teachers, students, and our communities.”

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Ohio Attorney General Files Suit Against Man Selling N95 Masks at 18 Times Market Price

  Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced on Tuesday that he had filed a lawsuit against several people selling personal protective equipment for a markup online. Yost filed against Mario Salwan of Chagrin Falls and others for operating an eBay store under the now-deleted username “Donkey476.” The group sold N95…

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Ohio Now Allows Alcohol with Take-Out, Delivery

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule that allows restaurants to sell and deliver alcohol with take-out and delivery orders, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday.

The rule only applies to establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit and has restrictions on quantity.

Breweries can now sell beer and wine that are not their own without food purchase, although liquor must be purchased with food. Patrons are only allowed to purchase two drinks per meal, and all drinks must remain closed during transport per the state’s open container laws.

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Cincinnati Sees First Two Coronavirus Deaths

Cincinnati has seen its first two deaths from the coronavirus, the city’s Health Commissioner Melba Moore confirmed on Monday.

The two men who died were ages 86 and 71 and both had pre-existing conditions, according to The Enquirer.

“On behalf of the entire City of Cincinnati, we express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the patients who died as well as all families of those affected by this pandemic,” Mayor John Cranley said, according to Fox News affiliate Fox19.

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Delaware Says It Reports Negative Cases to CDC, Will Report to Public

The Delaware Department of Health has confirmed that it is reporting both positive and negative test results of coronavirus testing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite not making that information available to the public.

“Yes, we are reporting both positive and negative results to the CDC,” a spokesperson said in an email to The Michigan Star on Wednesday. “We absolutely understand the interest in knowing the number of negative test results received, as well as the number of positives.”

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Alabama Now Provides Negative Coronavirus Testing Data

Alabama is now providing aggregated data for the coronavirus pandemic, state officials told The Michigan Star earlier this week.

Per Section 1702 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires states to provide “aggregated data on testing and results from State and local public health departments.” Aggregated data includes both positive and negative test results.

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ACLU, Other Activist Groups Demand Voter Registration Deadline in Ohio Be Moved with New Primary Election Date

early voting

A collective of activist groups submitted a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose demanding that the changes to the primary election also follow the National Voter Registration Act and the Ohio Constitution.

The letter from League of Women Voters of Ohio, A. Philip Randolph Institute Ohio, ACLU of Ohio, Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights, and Demos reminded La Rose that the deadline for voter registration must be no more than 30 days before a federal election.

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Ohio to Distribute Temporary Pandemic Child Care Licenses

Ohio will issue temporary pandemic child care licenses to ensure communities have access to safe child care during the spread of the coronavirus, official announced on Wednesday. The temporary licenses are aimed at helping health and safety providers have a safe place for their children while they working to fight COVID-19.

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Trump Praises Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act During State of the Union Address

President Trump voiced support during his State of the Union Address earlier this week for the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would create a $5 billion annual tax credit for donations to state-based, locally-controlled scholarships. The act aims at giving one million children the opportunity to attend their school of choice.

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Michigan Trump Republicans Hold Rally at Rep. Slotkin Community Conversations Event

Supporters of President Trump held a rally at a “community conversation” event held by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-8-MI) at Oakland University on Monday. The representative recently published an editorial in the Detroit Free Press voicing her support for the impeachment, as well as a follow up piece defending her decision.

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House Ethics Committee Extends Investigation into Rep. Tlaib Over Misused Campaign Funds

The Ethics Committee from the U.S. House of Representatives released a report on Thursday recommending an extension of the investigation into Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), saying there is “substantial reason to believe” the representative misused campaign funds.

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Dip in Test Scores Correlates with Enactment of Common Core

Fourth and eighth grade students in the U.S. again showed no to little improvement in their average reading and mathematics scores, according to a report released this week, a decrease that correlates with the enactment of the Common Core.

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