Ohio Secretary of State LaRose Deactivates 97,795 Voter Registrations

  Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Wednesday that 97,795 voters were removed from the rolls after Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections identified the abandoned registrations as part of the maintenance process required by Ohio and federal law. “Getting rid of bad voter data from the voter rolls…

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COVID Hospital Utilization Fall but Concerns over Virus Mutations Fuel Ongoing Guidelines

Inpatient hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases dropped again on Tuesday – brining the overall decrease to 30 percent over the past month, according to the state COVID website.  Despite acknowledging the dip during the Tuesday press briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) shied away from calling it a trend.

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Three Weeks After Christmas, Ohio COVID Hospitalizations Trend Down

January 15 marked three weeks since Christmas – two from New Year’s celebrations. Statewide hospitalizations have trended downward since Christmas and deaths more so, according to the Ohio COVID dashboard.

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Gov. DeWine Quintuples Number of Ohio National Guard Troops Sent to D.C. for Presidential Inauguration

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) authorized 1,000 active Ohio National Guard (ONG) members Friday to assist federal authorities in Washington, D.C.  Earlier in the week DeWine signed an executive order to activate ONG troops – estimating 200 would go to America’s capital city.

“The activation of additional Guard members follows a request from the U.S. National Guard Bureau Thursday evening for extra support,” read a statement released by the Governor’s communications team.

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Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez Discusses Why He Voted to Impeach President Trump

A Buckeye football legend known for “The Catch” against rival Michigan, dropped the ball according to Trump Republicans when he and nine other GOP representatives voted with 222 Democrats in the U.S. House to approve a second impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) released a statement on Wednesday explaining his support of a Democrat initiated impeachment – a single article alleging incitement of insurrection.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Says the Capitol Will be Closed for Four Days Next Week for the Inauguration

Gov. Mike DeWine held a briefing Thursday morning where he announced the Ohio Statehouse and government buildings in Columbus will be closed between January 17 and January 20. Next Wednesday, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president.

Also, the governor signed a proclamation mobilizing hundreds of Ohio National Guard members to be utilized as needed in Columbus and around Ohio. To assist federal authorities in D.C. DeWine, ordered 580 ONG members active earlier in the week.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Signs Two Bills – One Regulating Motor Scooters, Second Modifying Workplace Laws

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed two bills on Tuesday – one establishing requirements for low-speed electronic scooters, the second modifying employment laws.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Activates 580 Members of Ohio National Guard to Keep Peace in D.C. and Columbus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order Tuesday to activate for duty 580 members of the Ohio National Guard (ONG).

During the COVID press conference, DeWine said he talked with Major General John C. Harris and based on that communication anticipates that 380 of the activated guard will remain in Ohio, while 200 will be sent to Washington, D.C to assist in the January 20 Presidential Inauguration.

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Governor DeWine Signs Multiple Acts into Ohio Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) endorsed 31 legislative acts last week which now become part of Ohio law.  The list of the bills below comes directly from press releases issued by the Governor’s office.

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Ohio Investigative Unit Stakeout and Issue Summons to Six Ohio Bars and Restaurants Saturday Night

Saturday night the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) cited six establishments around the state for violating Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders relating to safe dining and staying home after 10:00 p.m.

Citation cases will now go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission – potential penalties include fine, temporary closure, liquor permit suspension and/or revocation.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Reviews 2020 Progress to End Human Trafficking

  Attorney General Yost outlined the progress his office made during 2020 – reviewing arrests, rescues, prosecutions as well as the education and legislation efforts designed to achieve the goal “where no one is bought or sold in Ohio.” One statewide anti-human trafficking effort – Autumn Hope –netted 109 rescues…

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New Ohio Website Makes Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports More Transparent

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced he fulfilled his pledge to bring more transparency to the Secretary of State’s office.

Unanimously passed at the end of 2020,  Senate Bill 107 (SB107) is an act to “allow certain entities to file campaign finance statements electronically, to require the Secretary of State to make the information in those electronic statements available online.”

The online repository “enhances transparency by allowing campaign finance reports for local candidates and committees to be filed electronically with county boards of elections,” the press release stated.

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Jim Renacci Holds Town Hall Meeting to ‘Plan Ohio’s Future’

Former United States Representative from Ohio’s 16th congressional district, Jim Renacci, held a special town hall meeting on Thursday to “plan Ohio’s future.”

“I want to talk about yesterday,” began Renacci.  “As someone who served in the House, and even though I wasn’t there yesterday, it is a moment I will never forget.”  The former congressman continued by saying people who broke the law weren’t Trump people, Biden supporters, Democrats or Republicans, they were “criminals who broke the law and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

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Ohio Governor DeWine Delivers Update on State Response to COVID

Governor DeWine held a 90-minute briefing during which Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff contributed.

The following information was relayed by the trio during the Tuesday session.

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Gov. DeWine Signs Five Ohio Legislative Acts into Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a video conference ceremony on Wednesday where he signed five Ohio legislative acts into law.  

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Ohio Secretary LaRose Releases Results County Post-Election Audits

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced Tuesday that county post-election audits are complete.

“In yet another example of unprecedented transparency, LaRose has provided the results of county post-election audits online for the first time,” wrote Maggie Sheehan, the secretary of state’s press secretary, in a statement.

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Ohio Legislature Set to Begin New Year Under Even Stronger Republican Majority

The 2020 General Election added one additional Republican to the Ohio Senate and three additional Republicans to the Ohio House of Representatives.

Republicans now hold a 25-8 majority in the Senate and outnumber Democrats 64-35 in the House.

That increase in Republican lawmakers may spell hope for conservative Ohioans who are still hoping for legislation – for example, Senate Bill 311 – that restricts Governor Mike Dewine’s 11-month restriction reign ranging from the Arnold Classic to the requiring people be in a residence by 10:00 p.m.

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DeWine Backs Down on Stand-Your-Ground Opposition, Signs Ohio Gun Bill into Law

Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 175 despite hubbub he may veto the act.

“I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation. While campaigning for Governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal. That is why I have signed this bill today.”

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Ohio Speaker Cupp Ignores Rep Keller Request to Take Up House Gun Bill, Instead House Opts for Senate Version of Stand-Your-Ground

Former Ohio State Representative Candice Keller (R-Middletown) attempted to bring two pieces of legislation to the House floor for consideration and vote at the end of a marathon session but was virtually ignored by Ohio Speaker of the House Bob Cupp (R-Shawnee Twp.).

The session began at 11:15 a.m. on December 17 and ran past 1:30 a.m., around the time Representative Keller moved to suspend Ohio House of Representatives Rule 66 – which requires a bill to be placed on the House Calendar at least 24-hours in advance of consideration, unless voted upon by a majority of the House otherwise.

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Federal Court Preliminarily Sides with Nine Ohio Christian Schools Claiming Toledo-Lucas Co. Health Dept Resolution Unconstitutional

The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request made by nine Ohio parochial schools to stop a resolution issued by the Toledo-Lucas County Department of Health that shut down in-person learning in the plaintiff schools.

The court issued a temporary order halting the health department from enforcing the resolution in the schools based on the likelihood the order violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Issues Executive Order and Signs Several Bills Including One Bill Requiring Fetal Remains Be Buried or Cremated

This week Governor DeWine added several new laws to the books and required the state to pony up money for grandparents and extended family members raising their related children.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Announces Health Dept Curfew Order Which Contains Several Exceptions

Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Director’s Second Amended Order that All Persons Stay at Home During Specified Hours Unless Engaged in Work or Essential Activity.

Sources inside the state government told The Star in November that the original curfew order came as a reaction to significant backlash from Ohioans as information leaked that Governor DeWine was going to push for another shutdown.
One source said, “people in the room when the decision was made agreed that a curfew wouldn’t do anything significant,” but would be an acceptable compromise the DeWine team would accept.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Rescinds Quarantine Guidance for Classrooms and Schools, Not Sports and Extracurriculars

During a COVID briefing on Wednesday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine rescinded the State of Ohio guidance suggesting students quarantine after being in close contact with other COVID-positive students in school and the classroom.

“Today we are changing our guidance,” said DeWine, who continued “I know that there’s been a great deal of pain – students not being able to do things because they are in quarantine. I fully understand that and I’m sorry that happened, but we had to follow the CDC guidance.”

The Governor said the decision was based on an evaluation of Ohio students, a CDC report involving students in Mississippi, and priority the Governor has given to teachers and staff to receive the COVID vaccine.

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Ohio AG Yost Files Brief in Favor of Religious Schools, Says Health Department Orders Unconstitutional

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals backing three Ohio Christian Schools and a community organization who brought a lawsuit against the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.  The department issued an order barring in-person learning for all students in grades 7-12 from December 4 to January 11.

Monclova Christian Academy, Emmanuel Christian, St John’s Jesuit and Citizens for Community Values (CCV) are the plaintiffs.    The Court demanded a response from Toledo-Lucas County Health Department on Tuesday, December 29.

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Fewer COVID Patients in Hospitals, ICUs and on Vents in Almost Every Region in Ohio

  Governor DeWine or Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff spend a portion of press briefings discussing the issue of hospital capacity, often warning Ohioans that if cases continue to climb, hospitals around the state will be overrun and care for other non-COVID patients may be crowded out. Consequently, The…

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Obhof Backs Down from Early Threat to Override Veto on SB311 but Bill May Not Be Dead

It was Tuesday, December 22, the day many in favor of a veto override on Senate Bill 311 (SB311) believed to be the last day for the Ohio Senate to consider and vote on the bill that would restore power to the legislature and check the authority of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and its director to quarantine and isolate healthy people.

A group assembled atop the steps leading into the Senate Chamber.  Senate President Larry Obhof (R-22) stepped into the space between doors just outside the entrance to the Senate Chamber and was peppered with shouts. “Get 311 on the floor!”  “Hold the override vote Obhof!”

The Senate President looked at the citizens and repeated the talking point Ohioans had heard from the Senate for over a week – “the House doesn’t have the votes.”

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American Medical Association Spokesperson Says Claims The Association Rescinded Statement on Hydroxychloroquine Are Misinformation

opioids

Ohio purchased 2 million doses of arguably the most controversial drug being touted as an effective therapy in treating COVID – the spend totaled $602,629.

Consequently, when the rumor that the American Medical Association (AMA) reversed course on their April joint statement warning about the prescription of HCQ, Ohioans took note – especially since a review of clinical studies found that early dispensation of the drug may help keep patients form worsening in their battle with COVID, which would alleviate pressure on hospitals concerned about capacity.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine, Who Owns Pfizer Stock, Has Received $22,700 in Contributions from the Drug Company Since 2018

  Governor DeWine unexpectedly called a press conference on Monday.  It was the day the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Ohio and DeWine called it “historic,” our “hope” and the “beginning of the end” of COVID.  A video of he and First Lady Fran DeWine can be viewed below as the…

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One-on-One with Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro

Last week The Ohio Star reported on the Ohio Education Association (OEA) Position Statement, which called for schools to suspend in-person learning immediately until January 11. The document outlined four steps the union urges government leaders and schools to follow – reset, restart, reprioritize and resource.
OEA President Scott DiMauro accepted the invitation to talk with The Star in a one-on-one interview.
The Star asked questions submitted from Ohioans around the Buckeye State.

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Ohio AG Yost Argued for SCOTUS to Reject Texas and Rule on Electors Clause

On Wednesday The Ohio Star reported that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was taking a “deep dive into the legal theories” of the lawsuit Texas filed in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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Governor Mike DeWine Warns Ohioans to Watch Hospital Capacity as Health Director Mulls Outpatient Treatments for COVID-19

During the Thursday COVID briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he “took an oath to do everything to protect the lives and wellbeing of fellow Ohioans” and that the next three weeks will be the most critical in battling COVID.

DeWine then stressed the importance of Ohioans understanding and keeping an eye on hospital capacity in their respective communities.

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Ohio’s Biggest Teachers Union Calls for Immediate Closure with Four-Phase Position Statement

On December 3 the Board of Directors of the Ohio Education Association (OEA), Ohio’s largest labor union for educators, voted unanimously to adopt the position to immediately suspend all in-person learning in the state until January 11.

The OEA released the statement on December 7.

The position statement calls for state leaders and educational institutions to “reset”, “restart”, “re-prioritize” and “resource” in order to “ensure that the needs of Ohio’s students, educators and communities are met,” according to the union’s statement.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Taking ‘Deep Dive into the Legal Theories’ of Texas Lawsuit Filed in U.S. Supreme Court

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the United States Supreme Court, according to the AG’s December 8 press release.

The Lone Star State’s top legal advisor alleges that the four states broke federal election laws by ignoring the role of the legislature in each state to choose electors and make election laws.

The Center Square reported Attorneys General from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina and South Dakota are also expected to join Texas in the lawsuit.

The Ohio Star contacted Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to find out if Ohio will join.

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Ohio Will Stop Verifying Antigen Tests, Count Them All Positive

Embattled Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, whose party is considering impeachment and overriding his veto of a recent dually-passed bill to limit the pandemic powers of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), called a COVID briefing on Monday to update Ohioans on the state’s response to the virus.

The most significant announcement was that beginning on Tuesday, November 8 the state will no longer trace people who test positive from antigen tests to confirm results.

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Only 23 Percent of Republican Voters Would Vote for Gov. DeWine in a Primary

A statewide survey conducted by the Strongsville, Ohio GOP asked respondents “If a qualified Republican ran against Governor DeWine in the Republican primary, for whom would you vote?”

Only 23.8% said they would vote for DeWine, while an unnamed “qualified Republican” would get 39.2% of the vote.  Thirty-six percent were not sure and 1% would support an “other” candidate.

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Ohio Secretary of State LaRose Certifies Ohio Election Results

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose officially certified the results on Friday of the 2020 presidential election.

In a press release, the top election officer’s Press Secretary Maggie Sheehan, the office called the election “record-setting,” proof that voting “was most secure and more accessible than ever before.”

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Ohio Governor and Chief Medical Advisor Asked About Speeding Up Delivery of Therapies to COVID Patients

The Ohio Star reported that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called a special press conference on Monday, November 23 alongside the Ohio Hospital Association leaders to address the state’s COVID hospitalization rise.

As reported, during the briefing doctors who lead each of Ohio’s three zones (the state is segmented into three areas) disclosed staffing shortages due to COVID quarantine orders, which had further depleted caregiving capacity already run thin by upticks in COVID hospital cases around the state.

The Star has received inquiries from readers describing their situations.  One woman told the story of her husband who was alerted that he had been exposed to COVID and within days began exhibiting symptoms. When he called his doctor seeking preventative therapies, he was denied.  The man was later admitted to a hospital for days, where he received therapeutic treatments that aided his recovery.

Consequently, The Star took the opportunity during Governor DeWine’s twice-weekly COVID presser on Tuesday to ask the following question:

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Ohio Governor DeWine Calls Special Presser to Talk State Hospital Capacity

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called a special briefing Monday to update Ohioans on the record number of COVID hospital admissions statewide. He was joined by members of the Ohio Hospital Association – Robert Wyllie, Cleveland Clinic; Andrew Thomas, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Richard Lofgren, UC Health; Ronda Lehman, Mercy Health.

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As Gov. DeWine Vows to Veto Ohio Bill to Limit Director of Health’s Authority, Lawmakers Eye Override

Senate Bill 311 (SB311), a bill to limit the Director of Health order-issuing authority, will be vetoed by Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine.  The Governor has 10 days with which to exercise that right – speculation is he will take all 10.

However, SB311 is not dead.

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Ohio Public Health Advisory System – Indicator Seven, ICU Occupancy

Sustained increase in ICU bed occupancy is the most relevant of the bunch comprising the Ohio Public Health Advisory System indicators because it measures overall ICU capacity and specifically looks at COVID patients in intensive care.

Ohio logged 2,092 COVID cases by onset date on October 15. One month later that number grew to 6,087 according to the Ohio COVID dashboard.  Despite the run-up in cases and a spike in hospitalizations – which have not correlated to a matching percentage of deaths (which continue to hold well below peaks from April) no county in Ohio has tripped indicator seven.

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Ohio State Representative Cross Records His Hometown at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday

In a video that ends with a plea from Ohio State Representative Jon Cross (R-Kenton) to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Cross asks for Ohio to be opened and his district to be relieved from measures that are choking out businesses and workers.

Cross represents Ohio’s 83rd District, comprised of Findlay, Kenton and an area with over 119,000 Ohioans.

“This is not an attack on the Governor. This is my artistic way of drawing attention to the situation.”

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Ohioans ‘Cut Footloose’ on DeWine and His Order Limiting Private Gatherings

An Ohio mom organized a rally within earshot of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s home in Cedarville, Ohio to protest his recent orders. 

Over 300 Ohioans showed up between 8pm and midnight on Friday, November 20.  People came “from Canton, Portsmouth, Cincinnati and Dayton,” said the event organizer, Misty Murphy.

On November 11, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced not only a revamped masking order, but also a social distancing order.  The social distancing order prohibited people congregating in open areas. The order outlawed dancing.

“After all of his absolutely nonsensical orders, when he said ‘no dancing’ at his Wednesday night presser and took it to that level of stupidity, moms were done,” wrote Murphy, an Ohio mother of two.

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Bill Outlaws Locking Down Healthy, Has Veto-Proof Majority to Override DeWine Veto

The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that originated in the Ohio Senate – Senate Bill 311 (SB311) – by a vote of 58 – “yea,” 30 – “nay,” with 11 representatives not voting.

SB311 limits the Ohio Department of Health Director’s order-issuing authority and was sent to Governor DeWine’s desk – he has already vowed to veto the bill.

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Troy, Ohio Fire Chief Is Concerned About Negative Effect of Governor’s COVID Policies

Troy Fire Chief Matt Simmons has watched Ohio’s COVID response and the statewide statistics since Ohio began responding to the virus.

“We had the local health department come in and talk with us back in the beginning. What they were saying was pretty grim,” said Simmons.

Fast-forward to November and according to the state cite, COVID cases have gone up exponentially in previous weeks and hospitalizations for COVID patients have climbed to all-time highs.

But the statistics that Chief Simmons keeps mulling over are that Miami County (where Troy is located) has seen overdose calls increase by 137%, while suicide calls have spiked an alarming 500%.

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Gov. DeWine Congratulates Joe Biden on Winning 2020 Presidential Election Before Official Determination

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Thursday “we need to consider the former vice president as the President-elect.”

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Gov. Mike DeWine Re-Imposes Statewide Mandatory Mask Mandate

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine made time during Wednesday night’s special broadcast to laud Pfizer and their progress on a coronavirus vaccine before effectively re-instating a mandatory mask mandate across the state. “On Monday, our country received some very promising news regarding a Coronavirus vaccine that Pfizer is…

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Changes to Pennsylvania Election Laws Followed by Last-Minute Maneuvers May Lead to Historic Mishaps

The Pennsylvania Legislature passed Act 77 in October 2019 to make voting “more convenient and more secure” according to Governor Tom Wolf (D).  

Major features of the act include:

extending voter registration from 30 days before an election to 15 days;
allowing mail-in voting without an excuse to vote mail-in versus in-person;
extending mail-in request (online and by mail) and submission up to 50 days before an election;
extending the mail-in and absentee submission deadline from 5:00 p.m. the Friday before the election to 8:00 p.m. the day of the election.

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Gov DeWine Calls Special Presser Alongside Medical Advisors – Hospitalizations the Focus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, leaders of the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio’s incoming Medical Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff (formerly Chief Medical Officer at Ohio Health) conducted a 2:00 p.m. briefing.

The press conference was set to address the recent increase in hospitalizations and how the state plans to handle the matter.

“We are seeing in this state an unprecedented spike in hospital utilization,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.

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Pennsylvania Poll Volunteer: Election Totally Chaotic and Suspicious

A poll worker who checked in voters at the Radnor Municipal Building located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania’s Sixth Ward – about 13 miles outside of Philadelphia – said Tuesday was “total chaos.”

The worker, who we will call Sue (to protect her identity and safety), said that she worked the greater Philly area polling precinct in 2016 and never saw what she witnessed in droves on election day 2020.

People were angry, according to the election volunteer.

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