Biden Administration is Mandating Heat Pump Water Heaters, but Contractors Report Big Problems

Rheem Heat Pump Water Heater being installed by workmen

In April, the Biden administration finalized efficiency standards for residential water heaters, as part of a broader climate goal of electrifying the American household.

The Department of Energy estimates that, under the new rules, 50 percent of newly manufactured electric storage water heaters will utilize heat pump technology to be in compliance. The standards go into effect beginning in 2029.

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Lawsuit Says Ohio City Failed to Refund Taxes within 90 Days

Cleveland Money

Two northeast Ohio residents are lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed Wednesday against the city of Cleveland, saying the city owes taxpayers interest for not issuing tax refunds within 90 days.

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group, filed on behalf of Kate Wos of Strongsville and David Steffes of North Royalton, as well as all nonresidents of Cleveland who filed a city income tax return and received their refund more than 90 days after filing.

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Ohio’s Concealed Carry Law Resulted in Less Gun Crime Last Year, Study Shows

concealed carry

A study published this week by Center for Justice Research, a partnership between the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Bowling Green State University, revealed gun crime decreased in six of Ohio’s eight largest cities following the implementation of the Constitutional Carry law.

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Crime-Ridden Liberal Cities Have a New Favorite Scapegoat: Automakers

Chicago is the latest major city to sue Hyundai and Kia for failing to equip their U.S. cars for more than a decade with anti-theft technology, which was exposed on social media last year and made the vehicles a target for criminals.

“Unlike the movies, hot-wiring vehicles is far harder than it appears—unless that vehicle was manufactured by Hyundai or Kia,” the lawsuit filed Thursday by the city of Chicago states.

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Norfolk Southern Releases Statement After Train Conductor Fatally Injured in Cleveland

Norfolk Southern released a statement Tuesday after one of its employees was killed aboard one of the company’s trains that collided with a dump truck at a flat-rolled steel-producing facility in Cleveland, Ohio. A Norfolk Southern conductor identified as Louis Shuster was fatally injured early Tuesday morning at the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works property when a dump truck struck the train as it was moving through a crossing at the facility, according to a press release by the company.

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Ohio Communities Collect More Law Enforcement Fines than Most in U.S.

Ohio communities collected more fines and fees than local governments in nearly every other state, according to a new report.

A Reason Foundation report that examined revenues generated through law enforcement by local governments, showed Ohio ranked seventh in the country in collecting the most fines and fees 2020.

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Ohio Ballot Measures for the Midterm Election

With the midterm election, less than a week away Ohio voters are going to decide on bond measures, tax levies, charter amendments, bail considerations, and who is allowed to vote in local Ohio elections across the state.

With the large ballot at hand here is an overview of the state and city-wide ballot measures in Ohio.

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Buckeye Institute Disputes Expanded Municipal Taxing Authority in Ohio on Behalf of Blue Ash Resident

A Columbus-based think tank this week filed its legal response in the Ohio Supreme Court in defense of a Blue Ash man who believes the state cannot make him pay Cincinnati income taxes for a period of time he actually worked from home. 

The Buckeye Institute argued that a state law passed in March 2020 to allow jurisdictions encompassing an “employee’s principal place of work” to levy taxes on that worker even when he or she works from home is unconstitutional. Specifically, the institute notes that the federal Constitution’s dormant commerce clause in Article I, Section 8 disallows states to enact statutes that “unduly burden interstate commerce.” Buckeye attorneys also believe the Ohio Constitution constrains lawmakers’ ability to broaden cities and towns’ tax-collection power. 

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Cleveland Area Gets Nearly $8 Million in State Grants for Anti-Crime Efforts

Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced this week that a new $12.3 million funding package would go to local law enforcement agencies to address violent crime, with Cleveland and Cuyahoga County getting two-thirds of those funds. 

Nearly $1 million will go to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office, mainly to hire three new staff attorneys to help the jurisdiction make headway in its backlog of sexual and domestic violence cases. The Cleveland Division of police, the Cleveland State University Police Department and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office will meanwhile receive an approximate total of $6.5 million, largely to enhance police-officer pay. Euclid’s Police Department will also get $107,000, for technological improvements. 

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Ohio Judge Rules Pennsylvanian Needn’t Pay Cleveland Taxes for Work Done from Home

Dr. Manal Morsy

A Cuyahoga County, OH court this week ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania resident employed in Cleveland who argued she did not need to pay taxes to that city for work she did from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The plaintiff, Dr. Manal Morsy, executive vice president at the Athersys biotechnology company who lives in the southeastern Pennsylvania town of Blue Bell, would commute to Cleveland and stay through her workweeks before COVID hit in 2020. Whenever she worked outside of Cleveland previously, she would receive income-tax refunds from the municipality. Pursuant to a state law passed in March 2020 which stated that work from home during the public emergency would be deemed to take place “at the employees principal place of work,” the city collect the municipal income tax from her employer without refunding it. 

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Cincinnati Ranked in the Top Five Places to Retire in the United States: Report

One Ohio city ranks in the top five of best places to retire in the nation, and four others rank among the best of the nation’s largest cities, according to a new report from WalletHub, a personal finance website.

Cincinnati ranked third – behind only Charleston, South Carolina and Orlando – in the report that compared the retiree-friendliness of more than 180 cities using 46 metrics, such as cost of living to retired taxpayers to the state’s health infrastructure.

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DeWine Authorizes Nearly $4 Million for Local Law Enforcement Across Ohio

At a visit to Springfield this week, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) announced his authorization of nearly $4 million in grants to 16 police and sheriff departments across the Buckeye State.

The allotments come as the third round of DeWine’s Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program. Springfield’s police department itself gets a grant of $305,206.94. Those funds will go toward video-recording systems and automated license-plate readers to gather intelligence pertaining to gun-related violations. 

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Ohio Representative Jim Jordan: ‘The Laptop Was Real, the News Was Fake!’

Monday morning on ‘The Answer with Bob Frantz,’ host Frantz spoke with United States Congressman (R-OH) Jim Jordan about Hunter Biden’s laptop, Big Tech censorship, mainstream media, Ukraine, and Joe Biden’s continuing troubles.

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Three Men Charged in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy to Distribute over 1,100 Pounds of Cocaine in the Cleveland Area

Federal law enforcement officials announced the arrest of three men charged in a 30-count indictment for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy that is alleged to have brought over 500 kilograms, or approximately 1,100 pounds, of cocaine from Mexico to be redistributed in the Cleveland area, according to a press release by the Northern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Federal Jury Finds Former Westlake Investment Advisor Guilty of Stealing More Than $9.3 Million from Clients in Ponzi Scheme

Raymond Erker

Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that a federal jury returned guilty verdicts Wednesday against Defendant Raymond A. Erker, 50, of Avon, Ohio, following a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, according to a press release by the Northern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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USPS Will Conduct Audit Amid Mail Theft Uptick in Ohio

According to a U.S. congresswoman from Ohio, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will conduct audits of its policies and procedures after a massive uptick in mail theft and violence against mail carriers has the public up in arms. 

“For years now, Central Ohioans have struggled with slow and unreliable USPS deliveries, particularly in the Northland area serviced by the Innis Road branch and Southeast Columbus,” Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) reportedly said. “These audits are the first step to restoring the rapid, reliable deliveries Americans should expect from their Postal Service. We expect to receive full reports from the USPS following the completion of the audits in the coming weeks, and I will work with local officials to ensure the necessary investments and solutions are put in place.”

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Cleveland Post Offices Taping Mailboxes Shut as Thefts Continue

Ohio’s issues with mail theft and violence against postal workers do not appear to be slowing, as postal workers in Cleveland are taking extraordinary measures to keep thieves from stealing mail. 

 Just a week after The Ohio Star reported on a string of robberies of postal workers in the Columbus area, Cleveland’s United State Postal Service (USPS) employees have been forced to tape shut their ubiquitous blue mailboxes to prevent thieves from breaking in and stealing mail, according to reports. 

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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.”

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‘Mini-Soros’ Behind Bail Calculator That Set Alleged Waukesha Killer Free

A far-left philanthropist who has been called “mini-Soros” is allegedly behind bail reform laws across America, including the one in Waukesha County, Wisconsin that freed career criminal Darell Brooks on $1000 bail before he allegedly plowed his SUV into participants of the Waukesha Christmas Parade. 

Brooks was charged with six murders and a litany of other crimes after the attack, which also injured dozens more.

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Ohio Cities Spending Federal COVID Relief Dollars on Anything But COVID Relief

Of the $6.6 billion given to Ohio cities in federal pandemic relief funds, much of the money has been allotted for projects unrelated to COVID-19, or has not been allotted for spending at all. 

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March, providing a total of $1.9 trillion in federal funds for pandemic relief. That money was spread around the country, and cities were supposed to report their expenditure plans to the federal government by Oct. 31.

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Cleveland Residents to Vote on Measure to Give Citizens Power over the Police

Cleveland police sudan

Residents of Cleveland will vote in November on Issue 24, an amendment to the city’s charter that would give citizens the power of oversight of the police force.

The amendment, which has been endorsed by several progressive groups, would establish an “independent” council of community members to review “everything from disciplinary oversight to recruiting and training.”

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Ohio Judge Allows Municipal-Income-Tax Challenge to Go Forward

Dr. Manal Morsy

A judge has ruled a lawsuit challenging the city of Cleveland’s ability to collect income tax from a doctor who had not worked in the city during the pandemic can go forward.

Dr. Manal Morsy’s lawsuit, one of several filed against Ohio cities by The Buckeye Institute, tests a state law that was altered during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to allow cities to collect taxes from workers who did not work in those cities.

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose denied Cleveland’s motion to dismiss Wednesday.

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Ohio Parents Rally to Reopen Schools and Sports

Parents across Ohio are rallying for on-campus learning and extracurricular activities to resume as the school year starts.

More than 100 people rallied in the rain in front of Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools offices on Monday, according to cleveland.com. While some were there to show their support for online-only programs the vast majority called for the immediate re-opening of campus learning.

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Trump Administration to Send Federal Agents to Cleveland

Federal agents will be sent to Cleveland as part of “Operation Legend.” The operation, named after four-year-old Legend Taliferro who was killed in Kansas City, was created to help combat the uptick in violence in the wake of the George Floyd Protests. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams stressed that there will not be “Federal Troops” in the city.

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Ohio Dem Accuses State House Republicans of Failing to Address ‘Hostile Work Environment’

An Ohio Democrat claimed last week that current House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and his two predecessors “ignored requests dating back several years” to address “a hostile work environment in the Ohio House.”

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Ohio Dems Call for Banning Sale of Confederate Memorabilia at All Fairs

Ohio House Democrats unsuccessfully attempted last week to ban the sale, display, possession, or distribution of Confederate flags at county and independent fairs.

During a Thursday night debate on House Bill 665, a bill related to agricultural societies and public safety, Democrats introduced two amendments in an effort to crack down on Confederate memorabilia.

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Cleveland Has Three Cases of Coronavirus, Gov. DeWine Says, While Declaring State of Emergency in Ohio

Ohio’s first three confirmed cases of coronavirus are all in Cuyahoga County, said Gov. Mike DeWine, who announced a state of emergency on Monday.

The three patients in Cuyahoga County had contact with other people who had confirmed cases of COVID-19, DeWine said. The three patients are all in their 50s.

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U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland Expresses Intent to Continue to Prosecute Illegal Alien Reentry Cases

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, in Cleveland, has expressed its intent to continue to prosecute illegal alien reentry cases, which account for the majority of immigration offenses.

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American Inventor Series: Garrett A. Morgan, a Son of Slaves Who Invented the Traffic Signal

Garrett A. Morgan was born on March 4, 1877 in Claysville on the outskirts of Paris, Kentucky to two former slaves. He was one of eleven children and his family was forced to live in a segregated portion of the city, so Morgan left for Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 14 in search of better opportunities.

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Religious Liberty Law Firm Advocates for Opening Cleveland City Council Meetings with Prayer

First Liberty Institute, a leading religious liberty law firm, recently sent a letter to members of the Cleveland City Council informing them that opening meetings with prayer doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution.

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Cleveland Plain Dealer Publishes Op-Ed Calling Trump ‘Despicable Human Being,’ ‘Xenophobic,’ ‘Neo-Nazi’ and Alleged Rapist

Brent Larkin, who served as the editorial director of The Cleveland Plain Dealer for nearly 20 years, recently published an op-ed claiming President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign will be an “xenophobic exercise in white identity politics.”

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President Trump Visits Northeast Ohio for Fundraiser

  President Donald Trump visited Northeast Ohio Friday night for a fundraiser after swinging through Wisconsin earlier in the day. The event was a private fundraising dinner in the Hunting Valley area, but his campaign didn’t disclose any more details. Air Force One touched down at the Cleveland Hopkins International…

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Activist Arrested Outside RNC in Cleveland Plans to Burn Flag at Trump’s Independence Day Celebration

  An activist who was arrested outside of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland for burning the American flag is planning a similar demonstration for President Donald Trump’s July Fourth “Salute to America.” As The Ohio Star previously reported, Cleveland officials agreed to pay $225,000 in a legal settlement…

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ACLU and Allies Cite Trump’s Immigration Policies in Objecting to Cleveland’s Participation in Program to End Violent Crime

  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio and allied organizations don’t want Cleveland to participate in a federal program to crack down on violent crime because of the Trump administration’s policies. On June 3, Attorney General William Barr announced that Cleveland and nine other cities would be joining…

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