Ohio’s Seven-Day Average COVID-19 Death Numbers Near Pandemic Norm Despite Omicron

Despite continued panic from some of America’s COVID-19 officials, and even though the Omicron variant has cause cases to skyrocket, Ohio’s seven day average for deaths is not much higher than it has been throughout the entire pandemic.

As of Jan. 17, Ohio’s seven-day average for COVID-19 was 121 deaths, or 17.2 deaths per day. For context, Ohio’s population is nearly 12 million. 

Read More

GOP Rebel Bainbridge, Retired E & Y Partner, Details ORP’s $3 Million in Missing Equity, Blasts Party Treasurer Johnson, Who ‘Is Silent and Provides No Explanation’

  The retired Ernst & Young partner and Ohio Republican Party (ORP) central committee member, leading a lawsuit against the Ohio Republican Party and its Chairman Robert A. Paduchik and the party’s Treasurer David W. Johnson over questions in the party’s governance and books, responded to the December 30 “Open…

Read More

Ohio’s Jobless Claims Higher than Most of Nation

A recent report shows Ohio continues to struggle to recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic when compared with the rest of the nation.

A state-by-state comparison from the personal-finance website WalletHub showed the among the biggest increases in unemployment claims compared with a week ago. Ohio had the ninth-largest increase week-over-over.

“Ohio’s unemployment claims experienced the ninth-biggest increase in the past week. Compared to the same week in 2019, there are almost 75% more claims registered, and over 62% more compared to the first week of 2020, some of the highest increases in the country,” WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said. “Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Ohio has had an over 120% rise in unemployment claims, the 13th-largest nationwide.”

Read More

Ohio U.S. Senate Candidate Vance Slams FDA for ‘Racialized’ COVID Therapeutic Distribution

JD Vance

Ohio U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance spoke with The Ohio Star Monday about anti-white discrimination in monoclonal antibody treatment for patients with COVID-19.

“You should not, in this country, have your fortune determined by your skin color,” he told The Star, noting the irony of having the discussion on Martin Luther King Jr. day. “It’s a fundamental principle of our Republic that we should not punish or reward people based on skin color, but we’re doing that right now.”

Read More

Ohio Lawmakers Introduce Anti-Corruption Bill Aimed at State Vendors

Vendors wanting to do business with the state of Ohio would be banned if they are caught committing fraud under proposed legislation in the General Assembly.

What sponsoring lawmakers are calling anti-corruption legislation also is aimed at stopping influence and collusion. Ohio is one of a few states that does not have a law modeled after similar federal legislation.

“Ohio is potentially letting criminals get away with millions of dollars of ill-gotten taxpayer dollars by failing to adopt these long-needed and commonsense reforms,” Rep. Jeffrey Crossman, D-Parma, said. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t pass these bills to catch and punish fraud.”

Read More

Audit Reveals Ohio Paid $118 Million in Unapproved Medicaid Payments to Prisoners, Dead People

Ohio Auditor Keith Faber released a report on Thursday, detailing that the state dished out approximately $118 million in unapproved payments to prisoners in the state and deceased individuals.

Over a three-year period, $101 million was sent to incarcerated individuals in Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction facilities.

Read More

Semi-Conductor Factory Coming to New Albany, Could Rival China

After weeks-long speculation, it has been confirmed that a semiconductor company, which will produce computer chips, is moving into Ohio. 

“Jersey Township trustee Ben Pieper confirmed to NBC4 Thursday afternoon that a nearly 3,200-acre area northeast of Columbus in Licking County will become a massive computer chip factory,” according to that news outlet. 

Read More

Democrats Applaud Court Decision to Throw Out Ohio Legislative Maps

Ohio Democrats believe an Ohio Supreme Court decision that tossed out the state’s new Senate and House legislative district maps is an opportunity to create fairer districts, while Gov. Mike DeWine said court challenges were not unexpected.

The court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission 10 days to redraw maps it said did not comply with a 2015 constitutional amendment that requires an attempt to avoid party favoritism. The League of Women Voters, along with other groups, sued and claimed the maps heavily favored state Republicans.

Read More

Sen. Portman Weighs In on SCOTUS Decision Blocking Vaccine Mandates

 A U.S. Senator from Ohio released a statement Friday regarding Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling against President Joe Biden and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s attempt to mandate vaccines in the workplace. 

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) began his statement by saying that he is a strong advocate for COVID-19 vaccines. 

Read More

Exclusive: Blystone Whistleblower’s Attorney Ridicules Blystone’s Suit to Have Court Dismiss Complaint

The attorney for Sarah Chambers, the whistleblower, and former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone’s gubernatorial campaign, told The Ohio Star Blystone’s lawsuit filed Tuesday asking the court to order the Ohio Elections Commission to dismiss Chambers’ Oct. 28 51-page complaint against him is a futile and desperate exercise.

“The old saying is, if the facts are on your side, you pound the facts. If the law’s on your side, you pound the law. If neither the facts nor the law is on your side, you pound the table,” said Scott A. Pullins, the Mount Vernon lawyer, who has for many years represented candidates, campaigns and political action committees.

Read More

Ohio Supreme Court Rules State Legislative Redistricting Maps Must Be Redrawn

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has 10 days to redraw state legislative maps after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday recently drawn maps that favored Republicans did not attempt to avoid party favoritism.

The court also retained jurisdiction to review the new maps.

Read More

Ohio National Guard Stationed at Dayton Children’s Hospital

Some members of the Ohio National Guard, part of a group of 1500 deployed last week to help hospitals handle the Omicron surge of the COVID-19 pandemic will be stationed at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Springboro campus. 

According to several reports, the Guardsmen will be working at a testing site at the hospital, where testing is in high demand. 

Read More

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci to Invest $4 Million in His Campaign

Former congressman Jim Renacci, who is challenging Governor Mike DeWine in a GOP primary, announced on Wednesday that he will pour $4 million of his own money into the race.

The candidate, who has already spent $1 million on the contest, argued the added funds prove his dedication to defeating the incumbent governor.

Read More

Columbus Teachers Union Lobbying for Two Weeks of Remote Learning

A Columbus Teachers Union wants two more weeks of remote learning as Ohio and the rest of the country deal with the latest COVID-19 outbreak.

“We know we keep asking the district what are the metrics and how is it determined whether schools are closed. And they can’t tell us what they use or how they close schools. There’s no metrics or data that they will share with us in how they determine whether or not a school closes,” Columbus Education Association (CEA) president John Coneglio reportedly said.

Read More

Ohio Senate Hopeful Supports First Ohio Starbucks Unionization Effort

A Democrat U.S. Senate hopeful from Ohio declared his support for a Cleveland Starbucks store, which aims to become the retail giant’s first unionized coffee shop in the state. 

“Something big is brewing in Cleveland. Congratulations and solidarity to the workers taking this critical step to get the fair treatment and respect you deserve,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-17).

Read More

Ohio Attorney General Turns Away Proposed Law to Ban Vaccination Mandates for Second Time

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected a citizens’ petition on a proposed law that would support vaccine choice and privacy for the second time because it did not contain enough verified signatures.

Yost originally turned down the submission last month. It proposed the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Choice and Anti-Discrimination law that would require the state to protect the privacy and freedom of Ohioans in their ability to refuse vaccinations or gene therapy.

The proposed law would require the state to protect Ohioans’ privacy regarding vaccination choice from vaccine registries and discrimination, provide transparency, reinforce schools must honor vaccine choice and privacy, protect Ohio businesses honoring vaccine choice and provide legal recourse for vaccine choice and privacy violations.

Read More

Exclusive: J.D. Vance Launching Campaign Tour Thursday

J.D. Vance during tour

Author, attorney and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, will launch a statewide tour to connect with voters before this year’s primary election.

“The No BS Townhall Tour is about being honest with Ohioans and answering all of their questions directly,” Vance said. “Every day, we’re fed fake news by the corporate media and the ruling class they cover for. We’re going to correct the misinformation and answer the voters’ questions directly. Ohioans deserve no less, and I’m excited to kick off this statewide tour.”

Read More

Court Upholds Ban on Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee

A ban on requiring federal contractors in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee to be vaccinated against COVID-19 remains in place after a federal appeals court upheld an injunction imposed in November.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld an earlier ban with a 2-1 ruling earlier this week, but the ruling impacts only those three states.

Read More

Campaign Whistleblower Chambers Files First Request for Blystone’s Documents, Financial Records

The attorney for Sarah Chambers, the former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone’s gubernatorial campaign, filed her first request for records in support of her campaign finance complaint against her former campaign under consideration by the Ohio Elections Commission.

Scott A. Pullins, the Mount Vernon lawyer representing Chambers, named Blystone, his wife and treasurer M. Jane Blystone, and Friends of Joe Blystone, the campaign committee as respondents.

Read More

Cincinnati Border Patrol Says City’s Port Is Among Busiest for Smuggling

In a Wednesday press release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a press release detailing its efforts to curb smuggling through the port in Cincinnati, which it says ranked fifth in the nation for smuggling busts in fiscal year 2021. 

“From October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, Cincinnati seized 6,738 shipments, ranking the port in fifth-place for seizures among all 328 CBP ports of entry nationwide,” the release said. “Additionally, Cincinnati agriculture specialists issued 7,240 Emergency Action Notifications (EANs), the highest number of agriculture seizures ever recorded at the port.”

Read More

Audit Shows Clean 2021 General Election in Ohio

An audit by Ohio county boards of election showed a clean 2021 general election, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

LaRose recently announced post-election mandatory audits from all counties were finalized for the 2021 general election, and results showed a 99.9% accuracy rate in counties that used a percentage-based audit.

Read More

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Stands with Trump After Biden’s January 6 Attacks

In a press release Thursday, Ohio gubernatorial candidate and former congressman Jim Renacci made it clear that he stands with former President Donald J. Trump after President Joe Biden’s disparaging remarks. 

“It’s a shame that Joe Biden is using this day to divide Americans, distract from his disastrously failed presidency, and take cheap shots at President Trump. The liberal media may eat it up, but Ohioans, who voted against Joe Biden and for President Trump in the biggest landslide in our state in over thirty years, see right through it,” Renacci said in a press release on the anniversary of the mostly peaceful protests at the Capitol.

Read More

Primary Challenger Renacci Questions Ohio Gov. DeWine Claiming to be ‘Proud’ of Coronavirus Response

Jim Renacci, a GOP primary challenger to Governor DeWine, questioned the governor for claiming he was “proud” of his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

DeWine’s response followed a question posed in an interview with WJW, asking if his administration would have preferred to alter any decision he made during his response to the pandemic.

Read More

DeWine ‘Not Happy’ Only Half of National Guard Vaccinated as He Deploys Them to Ohio Hospitals

Amid their deployment to assist healthcare professionals during a surge of COVID-19 cases in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) says he’s not happy with the vaccination numbers among the state’s National Guard.

“This is a high-risk operation, you need to be protected,” DeWine said in a Thursday visit with National Guard members. “The best way for you to be protected is to get the vaccination. So, look, we’re not happy with where we are. We’re going to continue to push that with our troops.”

Read More

GOP Senate Hopeful JD Vance Pledges Fight Fire with Fire When We Get Power Back’ in January 6 Video

  The author of Hillbilly Elegy, who is one of the four major Republican candidates running to replace Ohio Republican Sen. Robert J. Portman, spoke out Wednesday on Twitter about the first anniversary of the storming of the Capitol. “Hi, guys. Tomorrow is the anniversary of January the 6th, the…

Read More

Ohio Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Announce Running Mates

Two Ohio Democrats running for Governor on Wednesday announced their running mates to serve as Lieutenant Governor for the state.

Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, chose Cuyahoga County Council Vice President Cheryl Stephens, and former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley selected State Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo).

Read More

Discrepancies in Ohio’s Official COVID-19 Data and Data from Other Sources

There are discrepancies in COVD-19 data provided by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and other prominent sources of information, The Ohio Star has learned. 

“According to our data, 1,704 Ohio residents died from COVID-19 in December,” Michelle Fong, a Public Information Officer for ODH said Wednesday. “Our report information is based on date of death when reported residence was inside Ohio.”

Read More

Stefanik Endorses Timken for Ohio GOP Senate Nom Week Before Timken Hosts Stefanik Fundraiser

  The top-ranking woman in the House GOP leadership announced her endorsement of former Ohio Republican Party chairwoman Jane M. Timken’s campaign for the 2022 Republican Senate nomination today through her E-PAC. “I’m thrilled to endorse Jane Timken because she is a true America First fighter with a proven record…

Read More

Exclusive: Chambers Tells The Ohio Star What She Told the FBI About Blystone’s Campaign, What FBI Told Her

The former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone’s gubernatorial campaign, who filed a complaint in October against that campaign, told The Star News Network she told two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents Blystone mishandled cash contributions to his campaign, while they told her their probe into Blystone goes beyond his run for governor.

Sarah Chambers said she met with the FBI special agents Julie Becker and Blane Wetzel November 18 in the Columbus field office at or around 1 p.m. “They don’t conduct interviews over the phone; they want to meet in person.”

The whistleblower said the FBI agents were very prepared for her interview. They each had copies of her complaint with many of the pages highlighted, along with printouts of articles from The Ohio Star.

Read More

Labor Shortage, Supply Chain, Inflation Hurting Ohio Small Businesses

Small businesses across Ohio find themselves in the middle of what one of the leading advocates in the nation calls a perfect storm of issues, causing continued concern and struggles.

A new survey from the Ohio branch of the National Federation of Independent Business shows labor issues, supply chain problems and inflation create significant hurdles as mom-and-pop businesses around the state continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

Ohio State University Medical Center Opens Drive-Thru COVID Testing Site

COVID Vaccine Parking sign

Ohio State University along with CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, teamed up to open a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility capable of administering 1000 tests per day to students at the school.

“We know that testing is an important tool in our battle against COVID-19,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, interim co-leader and chief clinical officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center said in a press release. “We remain committed to supporting the central Ohio community and to meeting the increased demand for COVID-19 testing. At this point, our focus is testing individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and those with significant exposures to people known to have COVID-19. Knowing your COVID status can help prevent you from spreading this virus to family members, friends and others you come in close contact with.”

Read More

Ohio Economists Uncertain About Sports Betting Impact

A group of Ohio economists are not as certain about the economic impact of legalized sports betting in Ohio as a national gaming research group that predicted the state eventually would be one of the largest gambling markets in the country.

Only 10 of the 23 state economists surveyed agreed legalized sports betting would outweigh the economic costs of intervention for problems associated with gambling addiction, according to a recent survey from Scioto Analysis, a central Ohio group that provides analysis of issues around the state.

Read More

Ohio Senate Candidate JD Vance Slams Biden for ‘Destroying’ Marines with Vaccine Mandate

U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance slammed President Joe Biden for hurting the U.S. Marines with a vaccine mandate for members of the military.

Vance, who served as a Marine during the Iraq War, has remained an outspoken critic of “wokeness” within the U.S. military.

Read More

Off-Duty Officer Killed in Cleveland Carjacking Ends Another Violent Year

Cleveland police sudan

Cleveland’s last homicide in a record-setting 2021 occurred when an off-duty police officer was shot and killed during a carjacking on New Year’s Eve. 

“Preliminary investigation indicates that a suspect approached the victim in the parking lot of the apartment building with a gun, a struggle ensued and the victim was shot twice by the suspect,” Cleveland police said in a statement. “The suspect then fled in the victim’s vehicle. The victim was conveyed to Fairview Hospital by Cleveland EMS where he was pronounced deceased.”

Read More

Data Shows Ohio Hospitals Not ‘Overcrowded’ with COVID Patients Despite Case Surge

Despite reports that some hospitals in the state are “overcrowded,” data from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) says otherwise. 

Many in the media and within the U.S. government’s public health apparatus are panicking as cases of COVID-19’s Omicron variant soar to record levels. 

Read More

Ohio Congressman Mike Turner Named Top Republican on House Intelligence Committee

Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH-10) was appointed Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, making him the top GOP official on the committee.

Turner, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, has served on the committee since 2015 and is a subcommittee Chairman on the House Armed Services Committee, making him one of the few members of the House of Representatives to hold both positions.

Read More

Exclusive: FBI Probing Ohio GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Blystone Campaign Finances Says Whistleblower’s Attorney

Joe Blystone

  In an exclusive interview with The Ohio Star, the lawyer representing a whistleblower and former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone‘s quest for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Sarah Chambers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are probing Blystone’s campaign finances. “Sarah and I met with them on Thursday,…

Read More

DeWine’s Office Declines to Comment on COVID Plan as Cases Surge

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s office told The Ohio Star Thursday that it will not address concerns about whether the current protocols in place to end the COVID-19 are actually working. 

The Star asked DeWine’s office if, amid the surge of Omicron variant COVID-19 cases, the governor’s office had any plan to implement new measures other than mandating mandates and encouraging vaccines that might help control the pandemic. 

Read More

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Opposes Calls for Additional Mask Mandates

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci on Wednesday opposed additional mask mandates, after healthcare leaders called the measure for children.

The statement from Renacci follows a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association to education officials and school board members across the state, asking for mask requirements for students.

Read More

Ohio Supreme Court Hears Challenges to State’s New Congressional Map

Ohio Republicans argued voters have more competitive congressional districts than before, despite claims in lawsuits the General Assembly gerrymandered new maps to benefit Republican candidates.

Attorney Phillip Strach, who represents Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, told the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday the state’s new congressional district map contains seven competitive districts, at least as many as any other plan offered.

Read More

Ohio Senate Candidate JD Vance Blasts Fauci for Suggesting a Vaccine Mandate for Domestic Air Travel

U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance on Tuesday blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci for suggesting the U.S. should consider a coronavirus vaccine requirement for domestic air travel.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained, in an interview with MSNBC, that he believes the mandate “is reasonable to consider.”

Read More

Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Slams Level of Government Spending Under DeWine

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci on Monday slammed the level of government spending over the past year under Governor Mike DeWine.

The former congressman and DeWine’s GOP primary challenger has remained critical of the incumbent governor’s policies.

Read More

Ohio’s Highway System Fails in National Rankings: Report

In a year, Ohio’s highway system fell from consideration as one of the best in the nation to average, based on a recently released report from the Reason Foundation.

The state ranked 13th in the nation a year ago in the report that analyzes overall cost-effectiveness, along with condition, fatality rates and time spent commuting. It remains above average, however, coming in at a 24th ranking in the nation in the most recent report.

“To improve in the rankings, Ohio needs to reduce its administrative disbursements or have those costs translate into better system performance. The state’s disbursements are three times higher than Ohio’s peer states. The state also needs to improve its urban arterial pavement condition,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Ohio’s administrative costs have increased significantly from the last report. The state’s three fatality rates have increased slightly as well.”

Read More

Ohio Supreme Court Set to Hear Challenge to State’s New Congressional Districts

The Ohio Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday, relating to the constitutionality of new congressional maps that were recently signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine.

The new map, passed earlier this year by the state legislature, established new boundaries for federal and state representation following new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read More

Sports Betting Officially Becomes Legal in Ohio

Sports Book Betting

Gov. Mike DeWine officially made sports betting legal in Ohio with his signature, but it will likely be more than a year before the first legal bet can be placed in the Buckeye State.

DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law late Wednesday, creating online, retail and kiosk legal sports gaming throughout the state, but officials believe it could be January 2023 before legal betting begins.

Read More

Governor DeWine Signs $4.2 Billion Package to Invest Federal COVID Relief Funds

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday signed a spending package to invest billions the state received from federal coronavirus funds.

House Bill 169, sponsored by State Representative Al Cutrona (R-Canfield), invests the funds in law enforcement agencies, education, and the state’s healthcare system.

Read More

Law Enforcement Officials in Ohio Seized $42 Million in Narcotics in 2021

Law enforcement officials, working as the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC), have seized approximately $42 million in illegal narcotics in 2021.

The comprehensive total blows past the $29 million total captured in 2020, an alarming trend for law enforcement officers and the state’s leaders. 

Read More

Ohio Lawmaker Wants Parents to Know What’s Being Taught In Schools

Ohio schools would be required to tell parents nearly everything about their child’s education, rather than only when asked, if proposed legislation becomes law.

Rep. Brett Hillyer, R-Uhrichsville, said talks of what children are being taught in schools around the country have turned into heated debate, and he believes parents want to be engaged in what their children should and should not be taught in Ohio classrooms.

“The Education Transparency Act ensures exactly that, transparency,” Hillyer said. “The purpose of the bill is to better equip parents to be engaged in their child’s education experience by giving them the transparency they have been clamoring for.”

Read More

Ohio Governor DeWine Signs Esther’s Law and ‘Born Alive’ Abortion Bill

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday signed multiple bills that the Ohio State Legislature passed earlier this year, including “Esther’s Law” and a “born alive” abortion bill.

The two laws could bring dramatic changes throughout the state, as supporters of each piece of legislation argue the bills are meant to protect members of vulnerable populations.

Read More