Former State Rep. Nina Turner Files FEC Paperwork Setting up a Possible Second Congressional Run

Democrat Nina Turner filed paperwork Monday with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that would allow her to run for Congress again, according to cleveland.com.

Turner filed FEC paperwork – called a “statement of candidacy” – that does not oblige her to run for office after Ohio redraws its district maps, the news outlet reported.

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Ohio County Sherriff’s Office Says It Will Not Enforce Local City’s Indoor Mask Mandate

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that it will not enforce the indoor mask mandate that Gambier passed this week.

“If you have read information from the Gambier ordinance concerning the mask mandate, it indicates a $25 fine and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is the enforcing body,” the sheriff’s office said. “I have spoken with Mayor [Leeman] Kessler and informed him that deputies will not be citing anyone for violations. We will not put deputies in that situation. We have not enforced mask mandates in the past, and we will not enforce this mandate.”

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Newly Introduced Ohio House Bill Would Give Ohioans Data Privacy Rights

Two Ohio legislators put forward a bill Monday that would protect data rights for Ohioans.

In House Bill 376, introduced by State Reps. Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) and Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.), it would “establish data rights for Ohioans while requiring businesses to adhere to specified data standards,” according to the Ohio House of Representatives press release.

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Vetoes Bill That Would Have Allowed Ohioans to Shoot Off Fireworks on Certain Holidays

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill Friday that would have permitted Ohioans to legally shoot off fireworks on several holidays.

When Senate Bill (SB) 113 was introduced by Ohio State Senators Michael Rulli (R-Salem) and Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), the bill wanted to allow Americans to celebrate certain holidays legally, according to the Rulli press release.

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Ohio Reaches Record Settlement with Publicly Traded Pharmaceutical Company for Alleged Overpayment of Services

Dave Yost

Centene Corp (CC) reached a record settlement agreement Monday with Ohio for its alleged overbilling of the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) for its pharmaceutical services.

America’s largest Medicaid managed care organization agreed to pay $88.3 million to Ohio after Dave Yost, the state’s attorney general, filed a lawsuit in March, according to a Yost press release.

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Both Ohio Chambers Introduce Bi-Partisan Bills Trying to Reform Cash Bail in Ohio

Bi-partisan bills in both the Ohio state House and Senate introduced this week seek to reform the way the cash bail system works in the Buckeye State.

The dual legislation pieces, Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 315, would replace the current cash bail system with a new one determined by a person’s ability to pay the bail.

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Two Ohio House Republicans Join Democrats in Voting in Favor of Creating Commission to ‘Investigate’ Capitol Riots

Two Ohio Republican House of Representative members on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill that creates a commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol Riots.

Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) and David Joyce (R-OH-14) joined 33 other Republican house members in voting to create the commission. This bill passed the House by 252 – 175 votes.

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Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney Faces Another Republican Who Wants to Challenge Her in the State’s GOP Primary

  Another Wyoming Republican is throwing his hat into the GOP primary race in an effort to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY-At Large District). Darin Smith, a Cheyenne-based businessman, announced his candidacy Friday, according to a press release. The Wyoming native describes himself as “pro-God, pro-family, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-veteran, pro-oil…

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Chinese-Backed Ohio Hospital Researcher Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Stealing Trade Secrets

  A Dublin, Ohio hospital researcher was sentenced to 33 months in prison after being convicted of “conspiring to steal exosome-related trade secrets concerning the research, identification and treatment of a range of pediatric medical conditions.” Yu Zhou pleaded guilty last year to stealing scientific trade secrets at the Nationwide…

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Daylight Saving Time Starts Today

Americans – except for those in Arizona and Hawaii – will wake up this Sunday, March 10, and realize an hour has been deleted from their day. Welcome to daylight saving time! Beginning on March 14 2:00 a.m. through November 7 2:00 a.m., clocks will ‘Spring forward’ an hour.

The short answer to why we go through this yearly ritual is so that we can enjoy more of the natural daylight in the Summertime. So the hour people will lose on Sunday is totally worth it to enjoy more daylight in the Summer!

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Senator Marsha Blackburn and Other Republican Senators Have ‘Concern’ About the College Board’s Relationship with Chinese-Backed Confucius Institutes

  Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) along with six other Republican Senators sent a letter Tuesday to the College Board (CB) questioning the organization’s relationship with the Chinese-backed Confucius Institutes. In the letter, the senators expressed “concern” about CB’s relationship with the Confucius Institute. The CB is a non-profit organization that…

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Newly Released Photos Show Bill Clinton Enjoying Massage from an Alleged Jeffrey Epstein Victim: ‘Would You Mind Giving It a Crack’

Ahead of Bill Clinton’s scheduled Democratic National Convention speech tonight, The Daily Mail published explosive, never-seen photos of the former president enjoying a neck massage from an alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim.

Some of the photos published by The Daily Mail show Chauntae Davies, who was 22 years old at the time, giving Clinton, then 56, a back massage. These photos were taken during an African humanitarian event in 2002. Clinton and Davies accompanied Epstein on the visit.

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Joe Biden Tells Fox News That He Has Chosen a VP, Campaign Quickly Denies It and Says He Was Joking Around

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told Fox News that he had chosen a vice presidential candidate; however, Biden’s campaign denied he had selected a running mate.

While riding his bike Saturday morning, Fox News asked Biden if he decided on a vice presidential nominee. The former vice president jokingly said he had chosen a person and told Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that it was “you” he had decided upon.

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Gov. DeWine Tests Positive for the Coronavirus on His Way to Meet President Donald Trump

Governor Mike DeWine was headed to Cleveland to meet President Trump who is visiting the state today. During his ride to the Burke Lakefront Airport, he took a rapid response test which returned a positive result for the coronavirus.

DeWine is headed back to Columbus after his positive test. Currently, the 73-year-old has not experienced any symptoms, according to the Governor’s statement.

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Jim Jordan Battles with Dr. Anthony Fauci on If Protests Cause the Coronavirus to Spread

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) continually questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci about whether protests cause the spread of the coronavirus during the House’s coronavirus hearing on Friday.

Despite Jordan’s repeated attempts to get Fauci to answer this question, Fauci side-stepped the question and said that he didn’t have “any scientific evidence that protests spread the coronavirus,” but rather it was crowds that increased the “acquisition and transmission” of the coronavirus.

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Ohio State House Representatives Introduce Bills to Revise State Campaign Finance Laws

  Ohio state House Representatives introduced two pieces of legislation Monday that aims to reform state campaign finance laws. These bill proposals come a week after Speaker of the House Larry Householder and four other people were arrested by the FBI. These five men are accused of “worked to corruptly…

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Ohio’s Largest School District Will Start the School Year Online

Columbus City Schools (CCS) Superintendent/CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon announced Tuesday that Ohio’s largest school district will start the 2020-2021 school year virtually.

CCS will be online for the first quarter for the next school year. The first quarter of the school year will start September 8 and end October 27.

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Three of Four Democratic Toledo City Council Members Arrested for Alleged Bribery Temporarily Step Down

Three of the four Democratic Toledo City Council members accused of taking part in a bribery and extortion scheme have agreed to temporary suspensions, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper and Larry Sykes will continue to get their annual $27,500 council salaries, and their temporary replacements will be paid the same salary on a prorated basis. If the council members plead guilty or are convicted of the charges, the city could recover any funds paid to them during their suspensions.

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Sen. Sherrod Brown Proposes a Resolution That Declares ‘Racism’ a Public Health Crisis

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a resolution along with Sens. Corey Booker (D-New Jersey) and Kamala Harris (D-California) that wants to say “racism” is a public health crisis.

“We will not make progress until we acknowledge and address all of the ways that centuries of racism and oppression have harmed Black and brown Americans,” Brown said. “This resolution is an important step toward recognizing the racial disparities in healthcare that have existed for far too long while also outlining concrete action we can take now to help reverse them.

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Leading Ohio Republicans Ask Larry Householder to Resign After His Recent FBI Arrest

Leading Ohio Republicans have called on Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford) to resign after his recent arrest for allegedly participating in a $60 million bribery scheme.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested Householder along with Matt Borges, the former Ohio Republican Party chairman; Jeffrey Longstreth, a longtime political strategist for Householder; Neil Clark, the former budget director for the Ohio Republican Caucus; and Juan Cespedes, a Columbus lobbyist.

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George Floyd Riots Caused Over $6 Million in Damages to Downtown Cleveland Businesses and Property Owners

  The wave of unrest in Cleveland that followed the controversial death of George Floyd caused an estimated $6.38 million in damages to downtown businesses and property owners, according to Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) President and CEO Joe Marinucci. DCA is a non-profit organization that works with downtown Cleveland entities…

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Nearly 60 Percent of Ohio Now Required to Wear Face Coverings in Public

  Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday that eight new counties were added to the Red Level 3 Public Emergency. When an Ohio county reaches this level its population is required to wear a face covering in public. Level 3 is considered an area where exposure and spread of the…

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Gov. DeWine Vetoes Bill Looking to Limit Emergency Public Health Order Violations

For the first time as governor, Mike DeWine vetoed a bill Friday that restricted penalties for people who violate public health orders.

Senate Bill (SB) 55, which was introduced by state Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green), would have allowed Ohioans who violate public health orders to receive a warning rather than receive fines. According to the bill, if people did not follow the public health orders then it would result in a fine no more than $100 for each subsequent violation.

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Gov. DeWine Calls for Unity to Help Fight Coronavirus

  In a special primetime address Wednesday night, Gov. Mike DeWine urged Ohioans to take the appropriate actions needed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Since the beginning of July, the number of coronavirus cases in Ohio has increased by almost 20,000. Furthermore, since June 1 the state’s COVID-19…

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Dave Yost Files Lawsuit Targeting a Pharmacy Benefit Manager Company for Allegedly Making Millions by Overcharging Ohio

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), for allegedly breaking multiple contracts that allowed the company to profit millions from overcharges to the state.

A PBM is a company that controls the drug benefit program for employers or health plans according to verywellhealth.com.

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Ohio Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Would Make February 26 ‘Dr. Amy Acton Day’

Two Ohio lawmakers want to honor former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton by giving her own day.

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) introduced House Bill 724 on Monday that would be designated February 26 “Dr. Amy Acton Day.”

February 26 is the date of choice because Gov. Mike DeWine named Acton the ODH director on this date in 2019.

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AG Yost Files Injunction Trying to Stop Illegal Alcohol Sales in Ohio

  Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a preliminary injunction on Wednesday aimed at trying to stop the illegal flow of liquor sales in Ohio. This injunction, which is one of the first-ever lawsuits surrounding the 21st Amendment, comes after a month-long investigation that showed many out-of-state wine and liquor…

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Ohio State Professor Arrested for Allegedly Using $4.1 Million in American Grant Money to do Research for China

  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Son Guo Zheng, an Ohio State rheumatology professor and researcher, with alleged grant fraud and making false statements for not disclosing that he maintained employment in China while continuing to work at American universities. Zheng allegedly accepted “$4.1 million in grants from…

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George Floyd Protests Cause Nearly $158,000 in Ohio Statehouse Damages

  Repairing damage to the Ohio Statehouse and surrounding Capitol Square that occurred during protests against racial injustice will cost about $158,000, according to the board that oversees the property. That tally from protests in Columbus between May 28 and June 18 doesn’t include repairs for damage on other state…

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Gov. DeWine Determines Seven Ohio Counties Must Wear Face Coverings in Public

Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week seven counties in Ohio will start wearing face coverings in public as the coronavirus cases continue to surge in the state.

Counties that need to follow this mandate are currently in Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency, according to DeWine’s press release.

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Franklin County Sees Surge in Suspected Drug Overdoses in 2020’s First Quarter

Franklin County saw a 55 percent increase in suspected drug overdose deaths for the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019’s first quarter.

Between January and March of 2020, Franklin County experienced 191 drug overdose death. During this same time span in 2019, the county saw 123 deaths.

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Gov. DeWine Unveils New Guidelines for Schools Reopening in the Fall

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday new guidelines schools will follow when they open up again in the fall.

According to the guidelines, schools will have to assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy.

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Ohio House Democrats Introduce Bill That Would Limit Law Enforcement’s Ability to Get Military-Grade Equipment

Ohio House Democrats introduced a bill Thursday that would restrain state law enforcement’s ability to secure military grade-equipment.

House Bill (HB) 721, which was introduced by state Representatives Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Erica Crawley (D-Columbus), wants to reform Ohio’s participation in the federal program 1033. This program provides law enforcement agencies with military equipment from the Defense Logistics Agency at discounted rates or no cost.

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AG Yost Submits Brief Asking GM to Give Back Its $60 Million State Tax Credits After Breaking Agreement by Closing Lordstown Plant

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost submitted a brief to the Ohio Tax Credit Authority that demanded General Motors (GM) repay $60 million the company received in state tax credits after breaking its promise to Ohio and the Mahoning Valley.

Eleven years ago, GM started collecting tax credits for its Lordstown plant. In exchange for its tax credits, the auto giant said it would maintain Lordstown plant operations till 2028 and retain 3,700 jobs through 2040, according to Yost’s press release.

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Four Democratic Toledo City Council Members Arrested for Allegedly Accepting Bribe Payments for Official Acts

  The FBI has arrested Democratic Toledo City Council members Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes and Gary Johnson Tuesday for allegedly “accepting bribe payments for official acts.” Two years ago, the FBI began its investigation into the Toledo City Council for “soliciting/and or accepting cash, checks, money orders, or…

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Ohio House Democrats Introduce Three More Bills Focused on Reforming the State’s Law Enforcement Conduct

Ohio House Democrats introduced three new pieces of legislation Thursday aimed at reforming police officer conduct in the state.

With the addition of these three new proposals, House Democrats have introduced four pieces of legislation this week that focused on police conduct and procedures. House Bill 706, the first bill the Democrats introduced on Tuesday, focused on implementing more training for state law enforcement.

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Ohio Speaker of the House Threatens to Remove Capitol Square from City of Columbus

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) announced he is looking into whether the Ohio Capitol can be annexed from the City of Columbus’ city limits as a result of the city not protecting the Capitol from recent protests.

“We’re researching it currently. If Columbus isn’t interested in protecting state property we need to consider removing Cap Square from the City,” he said in an emailed statement.

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Ohio AG Tells Ohioans Who Believe Their Unemployment Compensation Overpayment Notices Were Sent By Mistake to Appeal

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost released a statement Tuesday encouraging all Ohioans who received a notification about an overpayment of unemployment compensation to appeal their cases if they think their notices were sent by mistake.

“It’s no secret that despite the state’s Herculean efforts, it was crushed with the unprecedented volume of new claims flooding in simultaneously,” Yost said. “We will aggressively pursue any cases of fraud, but we want to make sure any non-fraudulent cases referred to us for collection have been thoroughly reviewed and appealed as is your right.”

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Ohio House Democrats Introduce Criminal Justice Reform Bill That Would Require More Training for Law Enforcement

Ohio House Democrats introduced a bill Wednesday that seeks to implement more training for state law enforcement officers.

In House Bill 706, whose primary sponsors are state Reps. Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) and Thomas West (D-Canton), would require police to undergo training in de-escalation techniques, mental health issues, implicit bias.

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Gov. DeWine Endorses Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Dayton Area Being the New Permanent Home for the Space Force

Gov. Mike DeWine backed the idea of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) and the surrounding Dayton region being the new headquarters for the United States Space Command.

“Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Dayton region would be excellent hosts for the U.S. Space Command’s new headquarters,” he said. “This area is already home to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and Air Force Material Command. It’s a powerful combination and a synergy that you can’t find anywhere else.”

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Gov. Mike DeWine Condemns Protest That Vandalized Ohio Statehouse

Gov. Mike DeWine released a statement on Friday showing his displeasure with the recent vandalism at the Ohio Capitol.

“I have spoken with Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. Richard Fambro about security at the Statehouse, and I shared with him my anger and disgust at the vandalism that occurred at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday. I support the right to peacefully protest. However, defacing, damaging, and vandalizing our state capitol and its grounds are wrong, and such actions are criminal,” DeWine said.

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Ohio’s May Unemployment Rate Stands at 13.7 Percent

The Ohio Department of Family Jobs and Services released numbers Friday that showed Ohio’s unemployment rate in May at 13.7 percent.

Ohio’s unemployment rate is trending in a downward direction as the state’s unemployment rate went down almost four percentage points from April to May.  As the unemployment rate continued to go down, the Buckeye State had 211,000 unemployed workers go back to work in May.

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Group Seeking to Change Ohio Election Laws Suspends Signature Collection for Its Initiative Campaign

Ohioans for Secure and Fair Election (OSFE) announced Thursday that it was suspending its ballot initiative campaign trying to make major changes to Ohio’s election laws.

“While this is certainly not the outcome we hoped, planned, organized, fundraised, or campaigned for, we come to this decision with pride in our work, appreciation for our coalition partners, and a clear vision for the future,” said Toni Webb, the campaign manager for OFSE.

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Former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Starts Super PAC to Help Joe Biden Get Elected

Matt Borges, who was formerly the Ohio Republican Party chairman, has started a Super PAC with the intent of helping Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden win in November.

Borges along with former top Bush and Trump administration officials, including former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, launched Right Side PAC with the hope of getting disgruntled Republicans to vote for Biden.

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Columbus State Community College Says It Will Remove Its Christopher Columbus Statue

  Columbus State Community College (CSCC) announced Tuesday it will remove its Christopher Columbus statue that has been on its Columbus downtown campus since 1988. “In taking this action, we are being mindful of societal change and forward movement,” Columbus State Board of Trustees President Anthony Joseph said. “We do…

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Nearly 24,000 Ohioans Have to Repay Unemployment Benefits Due to Overpayments

Almost 24,000 people who received unemployment benefits will have to pay back the benefits as a result of overpayments, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) announced this week.

ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall said that there is nothing she could do about the overpayments because it’s a federal issue, not a state issue, according to News5Cleveland.

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Ohio House Unanimously Passes Bill Trying to Make Changes to the State’s Unemployment Compensation System

The Ohio House unanimously passed House Bill 614 on Thursday, which seeks to reform the state’s unemployment compensation system.

In the bill proposed by state Reps. Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville), it looks to modernize a system that was not prepared for the onslaught of unemployment claims this year.

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Ohio House Democrats Send a Letter to DeWine Asking for the Stoppage of Police Tear Gas Usage

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) along with other Ohio House Democrats sent a letter on Tuesday to Gov. Mike DeWine asking that tear gas usage be banned.

“During the past week, tear gas, pepper spray and mace have all been used by police against peaceful protestors in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton and Akron,” the letter says. “We are extremely concerned about the use of tear gas and other chemical agents, which are banned under the Geneva Protocol, on the general population and the dangerous impact these agents may have on public health.”

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Gov. Mike DeWine Asks Advisory Board to Develop Minimum Standards for Mass Protests

Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that he asked Ohio’s Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board (CCPAB) to begin developing uniform minimum standards related to mass protests in an effort to improve community-police relations in the state.

“These new efforts are just the start of our work to improve law enforcement accountability, transparency, training, and minority recruitment,” DeWine said. “We are working with the law enforcement community, elected officials, and community organizations as we continue to move forward.”

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Gibson’s Bakery Cross-Appeal Brief Seeks Original $33 Million in Punitive Damages from Oberlin College

Gibson’s Bakery filed a cross-appeal brief Monday after Oberlin College filed its appeals brief last week seeking to overturn a trial court’s decision which made the college pay the bakery $25 million in damages.

The damages relate to Oberlin College making defamatory statements about the bakery after three minority students plead guilty to shoplifting. After these three students plead guilty, Oberlin College students not involved in the case accused Gibson’s Bakery of racial profiling, held protests outside the bakery, and said the store had “a long account of racial profiling and discrimination.”

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