Republicans Argue Against Electronic Ohio Ballot Application

Ohio’s top election official acted reasonably when he barred counties from accepting absentee ballot applications electronically in the face of potential cyberthreats and a loosely worded law, lawyers for the state and Republicans argued in a court filing Wednesday.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s directive was also “consistent with more than a decade of bipartisan precedent,” according to groups including the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and the state GOP.

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Ohio State University President Sparks Controversy with Breonna Taylor Statement

In a video statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson ignited controversy with a statement about Breonna Taylor.

In the 45 second clip Johnson said:

“Breonna Taylor deserves justice, and this does not feel like justice. We cannot accept what has happened in Louisville, we grieve the tragic and senseless loss of Breonna Taylor, a daughter, a friend, a niece, a loved one, who was unarmed and asleep. The breakdown in the justice system and the killings of unarmed Black and Brown people in our country has become all too familiar, tragically. This isn’t going to stop until we create an anti-racist world. We must come together to draw strength from each other and advance our collective vision for a better world where we’ll one day have justice for all. There is much work to be done.”

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Ohio AG Blocks Nuclear Bailout Payout

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed to block the payment of nuclear bailout money from House Bill (HB) 6.

HB 6, a bill that bailed out of the nuclear company First Energy, is at the center of the corruption scandal that led to the ousting and arrest of former Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder.

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Self Serve Is Back, at Risk No Longer Cautioned in Dine Safe Order

Ohio’s Interim Health Director Lance D. Himes released an amended version of the “Dine Safe Ohio” order Wednesday.

The new order has permitted the use of “self service” food stations at “retail food establishments. The order stated that all “Retail food establishments that are regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture are permitted to resume use of their self-service food stations in accordance with guidance from the Department of Health.”

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State Rep. Grendell’s ‘Restore Ohio Now’ Bill Gains Momentum in Ohio House, Needs Speaker’s Guidance

Nineteen state representatives signed on to support law that would effectively put an end to COVID restrictions, the bill’s author, State Representative Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) told The Ohio Star Wednesday.

“Government cannot protect us from every single one of life’s risks,” Grendell said.

The Star reported that the Representative-crafted a bill that would immediately cancel Governor Mike DeWine’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Ohio.

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BREAKING: Ohio Football Mom Tased and Arrested for Not Wearing Mask at a Game

Alecia Kitts drove an hour and a half from Marietta to Logan, Ohio to watch her son’s football game.

In the first quarter she was approached by an officer from the Logan Police Department because she was not wearing a mask.

The video below shows the three-minute encounter between Kitts and the officer.

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Gov. DeWine Discusses Ohio COVID Updates

Governor Mike DeWine discussed programs Wednesday aimed at helping Ohio deal with COVID.

In an emailed press release, DeWine’s office announced the creation of a new demographic dashboard which will allow those interested to break down COVID cases by race and ethnicity, as well as age and county. DeWine said the “dashboard will help better track health inequities and disparities” and that “this data will also help put critical decisions into context for policymakers.”

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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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Sinking Approval and Boos Don’t Move DeWine Off the Dime 

Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine enjoyed an 81% approval rating in April for his handling of COVID – the top rating in the country.

By the end of August, DeWine’s rating saw the sixth biggest drop in the U.S. according to The State of the Nation – a 50-State COVID-19 Survey.

The report was created by a consortium of contributors from American colleges – Northeastern, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Kennedy School, Rutgers, Northwestern.

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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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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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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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Governor DeWine’s Comments on Nursing Home Visitation Spark Questions

Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed an order on July 2 that went into effect on July 20. The mandate permits outdoor visitations at senior homes around the state and prohibits indoor visits.

“If you have a loved one and you cannot get into a nursing home, that is the nursing home that is stopping you from going in – it is not the health department” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on September 17 during a semiweekly COVID press conference.

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Mixed, Mostly Quiet Response to Supreme Court Vacancy by Ohio Legislators

After the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, most of Ohio’s congressional representatives expressed condolences, almost none weighing in on whether or not Ginsburg’s replacement should be chosen before the election.

Of Ohio’s 16 congressional representatives, it appears only Representative Maria Fudge of Ohio’s 11th district has taken a stand on the issue, and then only by retweeting Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy’s statement on the subject.

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Gov. DeWine Did a Number of Things to Address COVID-19 This Week

Governor Mike DeWine’s office released a review of the state’s COVID-19 status and response as well as a list of actions taken by the state.

The governor updated this week’s coronavirus numbers, which saw 69 counties remain at their current level of exposure, and Preble County being downgraded from a level 3 to a level 2. In other COVID-19 news, the state has it’s own dashboard for COVID tracking of children and schools in conjunction with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and local health departments.

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Ohio Schools Report Low Cases of COVID-19 During Beginning of School Year

With the majority of Ohio school students back in the classroom, at least on a hybrid learning model, new data show COVID-19 cases related to school districts is relatively low.

Ohio’s new school dashboard and children’s dashboard launched this week, reporting 197 students and 122 staff members across Ohio have tested positive for the virus. That number is less than 1 percent of Ohio’s total cases so far.

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DeWine on Bill to Strike Down State of Emergency: ‘No! I Certainly Do Not Support That – We Have an Emergency’

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said during a press conference on September 17 he would not support a bill drafted by Ohio state Representative Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland). The legislation, “Restore Ohio Now”, seeks to cancel the state of emergency declared  on March 9 – consequently making impotent COVID orders made enforceable because of the emergency.

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Fox News Silences Former Speaker Newt Gingrich After He Points to George Soros as a Major Force Behind Big City Riots

Guess who does not want Newt Gingrich to talk about George Soros? Fox News, that’s who.

Fox News personnel’s reaction to Gingrich’s use of the “Soros” word drew notice on Twitter, a platform on which the former House speaker is currently blocked.

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America’s Marathon: Chinese Hegemony Inevitable Only If Cowardice Prevails

Much has been said and written about Thucydides’ Trap of late, ever since Graham Allison thoughtfully addressed it in his 2015 Atlantic article “Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?” and in his follow-up best-selling book in 2018 concerning that same question, Destined For War. The premise is that China has overtaken the United States and is in the process of edging it out, economically, politically, and militarily. There is a parallel between China and America’s dynamic now, with Pericles’ Athens and Archidamus’ Sparta in the 440s BC (where the former began to outgrow and out-power the latter), as well as with Germany outpacing England at the turn of the 20th Century, and in fourteen other major historical cases, the vast majority of which resulted in war. Whenever there has been discombobulation as a result of a rising power displacing a ruling power, fear results, and when a capable military power is fearful and unwilling to bend a knee to the new, war becomes inevitable.

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Governor DeWine Asks Trump to Base Space Force in Ohio

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine sent a letter to President Donald Trump Thursday asking that the new Space Force headquarters be located in Dayton.

“We are proud that Ohio is the birthplace, home, and future of aerospace,” Dewine stated, noting that “Ohio possesses a strong track record in populating science-rich jobs with a superior workforce.”

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Conservative Clergy of Color Offers Corporate Training Program As Alternative to Racist Narrative Pushed by Black Lives Matter

The Conservative Clergy of Color wants businesses to know they have an alternative to the racist rhetoric being thrown around for diversity training.

The organization this week announced the “Getting to All Lives Matter,” a fact-based, six-step training program that operates on the assumption all Americans want to build a better society. This is an alternative to the rhetoric pushed by Black Lives Matter, which attempts to scare businesses, they said.

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New Ohio Laws Expand Courts Jurisdiction, Deals with Addiction

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed several new bills into law Wednesday.

The new laws include the expansion of the jurisdiction of Ohio courts and stopping state officials from interfering with religious services. House Bill 272 prohibits “a public official from ordering the closure of all places of worship in a geographic area,” and stops public officials “from changing the time, place, or manner of conducting an election, except in certain circumstances.”

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Several Ohio Groups Oppose Bill to Freeze School Assessments During Pandemic

As Ohio schools, parents, students and teachers continue to navigate through COVID-19 restrictions, adjustments and challenges, the public needs more information about how schools are performing, not less, according to a state business group.

Ohio Excels, a business coalition focused on educational outcomes for state students, sent its president, Lisa Gray, to testify before the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, asking that Ohio not waive assessments for the next two years, which is called for by Senate Bill 358.

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Confusion Over Controversial 1619 Curriculum Appearing in Ohio Schools

State Senator Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) took to Facebook Wednesday to ease fears that the controversial 1619 Project may be included in the standards or curriculum for Ohio’s K-12 schools.

A rumor had been going around that the Ohio Board of Education would be voting on whether or not to approve the project’s works as part of the states’ history curriculum.

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Ohio Representative Diane Grendell Drafts Bill to End COVID Emergency in Ohio with ‘Restore Ohio Now’ Bill

Ohio State Representative Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) announced Wednesday the introduction of a bill to “terminate the COVID-19 state of emergency in Ohio.”

The representative lauded Governor Mike DeWine for his swift response to COVID saying that he “responded appropriately.” However, Grendell said the administration “continues to use the state of emergency to restrict businesses and all Ohioans.”

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Federal Judge Calls Pennsylvania Gov’s Orders Illegal, Ohio Gov DeWine Defends His Own Orders at Press Conference

Tuesday, a federal court in Pennsylvania issued a declaratory judgement, citing violations of the U.S. Constitution to strike down Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s authority to close businesses, issue stay-at-home orders and limit gatherings.

Although the decision is not binding in Ohio it sets precedent that other judges may reference.

Gyms, restaurants, sports businesses, water parks and dance studios are some of the businesses that have filed lawsuits against the Ohio Department of Health and Governor Mike DeWine.

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Students Suspended, Then Reinstated for 9/11 Activism

Football players in Little Miami, Ohio are being disciplined for showing their support to first responders and police on 9/11.

Bradley Williams and Jared Bentley carried  Thin-Blue, and Thin-Red Line flags onto the football field on the 19th anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers, Local 12 reported.

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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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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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Healthcare Activist Says Patients Aren’t Being Allowed Crucial Visitors

A nurse turned medical activist is accusing an Ohio Healthcare Provider of refusing to help her husband after she complained about the Hospital’s visitor policies.

Michelle Estel, says that she received a letter from Fairfield Medical Center (FMC), where her husband was receiving chemotherapy for his lymphoma stating that the hospital could no longer provide care to him since the relationship between he and the hospital was “no longer effective.” 

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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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Ohio Attorney General Yost Calls on Netflix to Remove ‘Cuties’

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost called on Netflix to remove the controversial new movie “Cuties” from their platform.

In a joint letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Yost, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested that the platform “voluntarily remove” the movie “from your service due to the great harm it causes to our children.”

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Ohio Representative Wants to End Political Dark Money

An Ohio lawmaker wants to shed more light on political contributions with proposed legislation that would force organizations to disclose funding sources for monies used for certain political purposes.
State Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chesterland, announced her plan to introduce what she’s calling the “Light of Day” bill, which she said would shine light on campaign funding and eliminate dark money.

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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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America’s Founding Biblical Values Can Heal Nation from Racial Strife, Conservative Clergy of Color Tells Christian Leaders

America’s biblical founding values can peacefully resolve the racial strife present in today’s culture, Bishop Aubrey Shines, chairman of Conservative Clergy of Color, said Saturday.

Shine delivered his remarks at the inaugural Get Louder Faith Summit at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. The summit addressed the issues dividing the nation and how to fight back based on America’s founding Judeo-Christian values.

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Ohio AG Announces New Cold Case Unit

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced in a press release Friday the formation of a new cold case unit.

Yost said in the release “we can make a difference, even when years have passed since a murder or sexual assault,” and told citizens to “consider how DNA testing advances have unmasked, time and time again, violent criminals who got away with living among us for too long.”

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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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Letter to the Editor: Athletics and Masks

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of watching my 2 children compete in a cross-country meet. They were thrilled to be able to compete! It was an absolutely beautiful weekend!  The place of attendance provided a tremendous amount of open, green space for spectators to easily socially distance. There were acres upon acres of a wide open, lush countryside; a magnificent landscape from which I could view my children as they participated.  Thank you for allowing these students to have a season. However, I feel that our school, as well as many other schools, are over-reaching and over-extending a couple of the Health Order recommendations; to the extent I feel such strict requirements may not be in the best overall health interest for athletes.

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Mainstream Media Declares Ohio Star Reports Rumors, Gov. Office Says Not So Fast

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s Press Secretary Dan Tierney clarified the governor’s remarks made on September 8 regarding internet rumors about Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) camps and kids being pulled from home to stay overnight at school being “garbage.”

Tierney said in an interview with The Ohio Star that messages the governor received over the weekend preceding the Tuesday press briefing came from concerned Ohioans who were commenting on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infographic that showed up on social media over the weekend.

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State Watchdog Seeks Probe of Utility Tied to Bribery Scheme

Ohio’s consumer watchdog has asked a regulatory agency to conduct an independent investigation of the state’s largest electric utility, FirstEnergy Corp., that federal authorities have tied to a $60 million bribery scheme involving one of Ohio’s most powerful politicians.

The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel in a motion filed late Tuesday with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has asked that outside investigators examine whether money collected from consumers “was improperly used for any activities in connection with HB6 instead of for electric utility service.”

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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 Public Health Advisory System – Keeping COVID Out of Nursing Homes a Mark Against Counties

This is part four in an eight-part series on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS) – the color-coded system designed to give a county-by-county threat assessment of COVID spread in Ohio.

This article will further examine indicator three (of seven) in the OPHAS: the proportion of cases not in congregate settings.

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Governor DeWine Insists Evidence Overwhelming on Masks for ALL K-12 but Ohio Pediatrician Iffy and White House Medical Advisor Disagrees

On Tuesday during a press conference to address Ohioans on COVID updates in the state, Governor Mike DeWine was asked about conflicting expert opinions on masking children – which he requires for K-12.

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Sunday COVID Numbers Show Downward Trends

Ohio’s COVID numbers were updated yesterday, revealing a downward trend across the major COVID indicators.

778 cases of COVID were reported Sunday, which is well below the 21 day reported average of 1061 cases. Deaths and hospitalizations are also down, with a drop from an average of 21 to 17 deaths yesterday, and 29 fewer people being hospitalized than the average of 75. 

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Ohio to Test Wastewater for COVID-19

In an effort to get ahead of COVID-19, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state would begin testing wastewater at a network of water treatment plants across the state.

Information from the new Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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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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Governor DeWine: Punts Real Issue, Hands-Off 6,000-Fan Variance to Browns and Bengals, Continues to Penalize Ohio

  Governor Mike DeWine announced on Saturday his grant of a spectator variance for the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Both NFL clubs received exceptions to the current state order limiting spectators to the lesser of 1,500 people or 15 percent of the fixed, seated capacity. The variance allows 1,500…

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