COLUMBUS, Ohio – FirstEnergy Corp.’s agreement this week to pay a $230 million fine in the ongoing federal investigation into an Ohio Statehouse bribery scheme has generated more criticism from GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci who is seeking to take the 2022 Republican nomination from incumbent Governor Mike DeWine.…Read More
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to double down on an incentive program to encourage more Ohioans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as cases are on the rise in the Buckeye State.
Speaking to reporters at a ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of a highway project in Columbus, DeWine said he expects to announce a new program soon in an effort boost the state’s vaccination percentage, which ranks as one of the lowest in the nation.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – House Bill 240 (HB240), the Parents Right to Know Act, received its first hearing in the Ohio House Primary and Secondary Education Committee on Wednesday soon after ramped up pressure came from Rep Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp), Ohio Value Voters (OVV) and a report from The Ohio Star drew attention to the law and committee Chairwoman Gayle Manning (R- North Ridgeville) who was suppressing the bill according to Stoltzfus and OVV.
However, Stoltzfus told The Star in an interview that Manning intentionally and passive-aggressively caused a three-and-a-half-hour delay in the hearing start time. “She is angry at me, and other folks, for putting pressure on her to hear conservative bills and that is the way she is taking it out on me,” said Stoltzfus.Read More
A bill aimed at forcing schools to disclose sexually graphic curricula to parents is being blocked by Representative Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) in her capacity as Primary and Secondary Education Committee Chair, according to the sponsor of the legislation and Ohio Value Voters (OVV), a civic organization.
Known as the Parents Right to Know (House Bill 240), the proposal seeks to enforce school compliance with venereal disease and teen pregnancy prevention instruction requirements and mandates schools get parental permission before students receive teaching that goes outside the letter of the law.
Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp), a primary sponsor of the bill, said, “It’s just sad that we have the majority in the House and the Senate and a Governor that’s a so-called Republican and we cannot pass this common-sense legislation.”Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Over 3,200 pages of Dr. Anthony Fauci emails contain at least one reference to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) doctor – Paul Kilmarx – sent an email in April 2020 stating that DeWine would be part of a group of Republican governors who would be “most interested and helpful” to “encourage implementation and create demand” for a COVID-19 Response Corps.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) said in early March that he was leaning more toward a run for governor than a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2022– that’s if he chooses to surrender his seat in the U.S. Congress.
“I’ve been asked about it by a lot of people I and others respect,” the two-term congressman told The Star about a prospective gubernatorial bid.
He added, “If I had the absolute perfect hand, I would not play those cards until September.”
The remainder of the interview follows.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) said in early March that he was leaning more toward a run for governor than a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2022– that’s if he chooses to surrender his seat in the U.S. Congress.
Davidson won a seat in the U.S. House in 2016, winning his first bid for public office. He was an underdog that year in a special election called after then-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH-08) announced his resignation.
The Sidney, Ohio native took on a handful of notable elected officials yet ended up winning the 15-person race by eight points to secure the Republican nomination. He went on to win the special general election. Later in the year he won the traditional general election to keep the seat.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Memorial Day is a federal holiday honoring and mourning the men and women who died while in performance of their duties in the U.S. Military. An Ohio state-funded news outlet chose to kickoff Memorial Day weekend with a video tribute to Ohioans who suffered COVID-related deaths.
“This Memorial Day weekend, we remember some of the nearly 20,000 Ohio husbands and wives, parents and grandparents, siblings and loved ones lost to COVID-19 with the words of those who knew them best,” read the Tweet from the Statehouse News Bureau.Read More
Governor Mike DeWine unveiled a program to entice Ohio adults and children alike to get the COVID vaccine on Wednesday – the State of Ohio will give away $5MM and five college scholarships. Winners will be drawn weekly over five weeks from a pool of vaccinated Ohioans.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A member of the Ohio House of Representatives announced that he will release a resolution today at 4:00 p.m. created to cancel statewide masking and distancing mandates.
Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster) announced on Twitter “[t]oday, at 4 pm we will file a concurrent resolution to rescind the restrictive health mandates that have barred Ohioans from their freedoms and liberties granted to them under the Constitution. It will end the mask mandate, school mask mandates, and the social distancing mandate.”Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A bill drafted in the Ohio House of Representatives that would remove penalties enforced on businesses for COVID violations may have a rallying point after two separate videos were sent to The Ohio Star – in them tipsters allege Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud and her husband are both spotted on separate occasions inside a Columbus area establishment where there appear to be violations of statewide COVID regulations.
According to information obtained from the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU)– the officials who go undercover in bars and restaurants – the establishment where both McClouds are seen had not received a citation for violating COVID orders between March 2020 and March 2021.Read More
An Ohio man filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Ohio State Board of Education (OSBOE), the board president, and four board members. The lawsuit claims the agency overstepped authority in passing a racial resolution and argues the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights of free speech and to petition his government for redress of grievances were violated when he was barred access to a public forum during an April meeting.
Daniel Regenold claims the OSBOE went beyond its authority under Ohio law when the agency passed a resolution last July – Resolution to Condemn Racism and to Advance Equity and Opportunity for Black Students, Indigenous Students and Students of Color.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Tuesday former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, Jr.
Soon after the jury released their verdict, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine released the following statement.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Monday Nan Whaley, Democratic Mayor of Dayton, announced that she will run to be the next Governor of Ohio.
The Ohio Star received tips over the weekend that Whaley had already begun calling donors last week to raise money for the contest.
Whaley was elected Mayor of Dayton in 2013 and re-elected in 2017 when she was uncontested.Read More
Mike Gibbons announced Tuesday that he will run for the Ohio seat in the U.S. Senate up for grabs in 2022. A Cleveland Republican, Gibbons is an investment banker, entrepreneur and real estate investor who made his first bid for U.S Senate in 2018 when he competed in the Republican primary.
The Ohio Star talked with Gibbons Tuesday morning shortly after he announced his candidacy. His full press release can be viewed below.
“I’ve got five kids and five grandkids. I’ve never been more frightened for their future in my life,” Gibbons responded when asked why he’s running. “When I started, I didn’t know I’d do as well as I have. We were able to send our kids through college and grad school without loans – I started with nothing.”
Former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton released a statement Tuesday revealing that she will not seek the 2022 Ohio Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
“It has been a tremendous honor to be asked to consider a run for the U.S. Senate. Like many of you, I have a profound reverence for the office, and for those who have answered the calling to public service,” wrote ActonRead More
David DeVillers is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio who secured an indictment against then-Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder and four others in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme.
While Mike DeWine was Attorney General in 2018, he awarded DeVillers the Mark Losey Distinguished Law Enforcement Service Award.
This week the Republican Governor announced DeVillers will be joining a public-private partnership between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and a select group of talent on loan from a few of Ohio’s largest businesses.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Just one day following Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of Senate Bill 22 (SB 22) – legislation aimed at rebalancing power by giving the Ohio Legislature oversight of government rules and orders – the Senate and House both took up the bill and both chambers voted to override the veto.
SB22 will become law in 90 days.
The Senate was first and voted 23-10. Minutes later the House began floor debate and then voted to override 62-37.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – During a Monday COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine said he will veto Senate Bill 22 (SB22) on Tuesday – a proposed law that provides scope and duration to government power during public health emergencies. After the veto, the bill would then go where it originated, the Ohio Senate. There it could be brought to a veto-override vote.
Ohio Senator Andrew Brenner (R-District 19) told The Ohio Star he believes the upper chamber will consider and override the bill as early as Wednesday – an override would require 20 “yes” votes. It passed the Senate 25-8 the first time.Read More
LIMA, Ohio – The Ohio State University-Lima is recruiting students to voluntarily submit COVID tests by entering them into a raffle for prizes each time a student tests.
“The more often you test, the better odds to win!” That is the statement sent to Ohio State University-Lima Students March 17 when the Spring COVID-19 testing protocols were announced.
Airpod Pros, a MacBook, gift cards, and more prizes are promised in a raffle style drawing, as well as a free Ohio State shirt the first time a student tests.Read More
When Governor Mike DeWine announced March 4 that Ohio’s COVID related restrictions would be lifted based on a specific case rate, it didn’t take long to get people talking.
The announcement came on the same day that Connecticut set a date to lift capacity requirements on most businesses and organizations. Two days prior, Texas and Mississippi had announced an ending plan to mask mandates, as well as opening businesses without capacity restrictions. And the Friday after DeWine’s announcement, West Virginia and Arizona declared they are reopening all businesses.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wednesday afternoon Senate Bill 22 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 57 to 37. Five Republicans did not cast a vote – Paul Zeltwanger (Mason), Tracy Richardson (Marysville), Mike Loychik (Bazetta), Jeff LaRe (Violet Twp.), and Ron Ferguson (Wintersville).
One Republican, Nino Vitale, voted against the bill despite being an outspoken opponent to the DeWine Administration’s pandemic health orders. Vitale was also one of a handful of lawmakers who supported articles of impeachment based on alleged executive overreach during the state’s handling of COVID.
The Senate concurred on the House changes so now SB22 will be sent to Governor DeWine where he has the choice to approve, veto or do nothing – in the event of the latter, the bill would become a law after 10 days.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 9 was the one-year anniversary of Executive Order 2020-01D, the state of emergency “to protect the well-being of the citizens of Ohio from the dangerous effects of COVID-19.”
During a briefing the same day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the emergency as a tool to allow the State of Ohio to purchase health-related items.Read More
It’s been over seven months since the FBI announced a criminal complaint stemming from Ohio House Bill 6 (HB6). Arrests were made for what feds call a bribery and racketeering plan bankrolled by First Energy Solutions to elect state representatives and a House Speaker that would ensure the bill passed (and stopped efforts to repeal it) – giving a $1.3 billion bailout to two Ohio nuclear energy plants.
A new report lays out the $1M relationship between First Energy companies and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s campaign.
Republican Governor Mike DeWine offered Ohioans a “new deal” late Thursday, saying, “When Ohio gets down to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders in the state will come off.”
The announcement came in a specially called press briefing that started at 5:30 p.m., during which DeWine encouraged Ohioans to take the COVID vaccine and to stay the course with nonpharmacological interventions: masks, distancing, state orders that limit crowds and limits on long personal contact.Read More
It was spring of 2020 and three friends were sitting in their regular gathering place in the Short North – the district just north of downtown Columbus.
“We were looking around at all these businesses downtown; boarded up, closed or empty – more employees than customers,” said Lad Dilgard, a management consultant and real estate investor.
He continued “behind every one of those is a story; the story of an entrepreneur, manager, supplier, landlord, employees and customers. There are horror stories going on. COVID-craziness with all the lockdowns. We wanted to give businesses some visibility. What they’re going through and the collateral damage they are suffering.”
Fast forward to March 2021 – after weekly Saturday morning sessions during which one of the three buddies would bring breakfast and another lunch, the trio released a short film under the banner of their own production company, Fire Owl – Behind the Mandates: Untold stories of local businesses.Read More
Wednesday, U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R) called on Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine to remove all COVID mandates and re-open businesses 100 percent.
“Mike DeWine and Amy Acton have done a horrible job handling the COVID response and completely trampled on the freedoms, liberties, and livelihoods of everyday Ohioans. Today I call for Ohio to fully re-open and allow Ohioans to get back to work, get their kids back to school, and remove our statewide mask mandate,” Mandel said.
Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud endorsed two mandates – one related to sporting events and the other to mass gatherings.Read More
The Ohio Republican Party (ORP) will select its next leader Friday when the State Central Committee (SCC) members cast their votes for chairman.
SCC members will meet in person at the Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center or join the meeting virtually. The SCC currently has 65 members who are eligible to vote as opposed to their traditional roster of 66 – one seat is vacant. The Ohio GOP leader will be decided by a simple majority vote.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine ordered all United States and State of Ohio flags to be lowered Tuesday to half-staff on all buildings and public grounds throughout the state until sunset on Friday. The proclamation is in lockstep with the president of the United States who…Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senate Bill to Establish Legislative Oversite of Governor’s and Agency Orders Now in Ohio House
Last Wednesday Ohio Senate Bill 22 (SB22) passed the upper chamber 25-8 – all Republicans were in favor, all Democrats opposed.
SB22 was introduced by primary sponsors Terry Johnson (R-District 14) and Rob McColley (R-District 1) and establishes legislative oversight to the Governor’s and health orders.
In its original form, the bill granted the General Assembly authority to immediately rescind a public health state of emergency declaration along with rules and orders the Governor and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued related to a public a health state of emergency.Read More
Friday, former Ohio lawmaker John Becker, who represented Ohioans from House District 65 between 2013-2020, announced his candidacy for Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP).
The top spot in the Ohio GOP is open after former Chairwoman Jane Timken announced her resignation on February 5 to run for the U.S. Senate.
The Southwestern Ohio Republican declared his candidacy in a letter to the ORP State Central Committee that contained his resume.Read More
Jane Timken, former chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party (ORP), announced Thursday she will seek the 2022 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that is currently occupied by Republican Rob Portman who announced last month he will retire from federal politics at the end of his current term.Read More
Scammers took nearly all of the $330 million in reported improper payments the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services made with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds, Director Kimberly Henderson said earlier this month. That amount was funneled, in part, through 56,000 fake claims which were identified in December. There were also overpayments on legitimate claims.
But there may be more fraud – much more – that is not yet reported.
Whether the $330 million is from misappropriation that happened in December alone, or is a pile of results spanning several months, is unknown. Henderson said total losses will likely be pinpointed at the end of February.
“They should be able to pinpoint the amount weekly, or monthly,” said Ohio State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova). He continued, “we need to get checks and balances in place to ensure money isn’t stolen in the first place.”
One Ohio State Senator told The Ohio Star the Director has signaled to him that the amount of money lost in ODJFS processing is likely in the ballpark of $1B.Read More
During his COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced the statewide curfew – which had been amended to begin at 11:00 p.m. from its original 10 o’clock start – expired Thursday and that he would not extend the order.Read More
During a COVID briefing last week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced the statewide curfew could be lifted as early as this week if COVID hospitalizations stayed below 2,500 for seven consecutive days.
Over the last week, inpatient beds filled with COVID confirmed and probable patients numbered as follows:
February 2: 2,486
February 3: 2,380
February 4: 2,251
February 5: 2,172
February 6: 2,026
February 7: 1,969
February 8: 2,012Read More
The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers (CFT) filed an injunction in Hamilton County Municipal Court last Friday to stop Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) from conducting in-person learning.
The union, which represents 3,000 teachers, claims classroom learning is unsafe until all teachers have received both rounds of the COVID vaccine.Read More
Ohio is the seventh most populated state in America, but according to CDC COVID data on January 28 the Buckeye State ranked 43RD in vaccine doses distributed per 100,000 people.
Ohio ranked 47th out of 51 (including the District of Columbia) for the number of people who had received a second dose of the COVID mRNA antidote.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine (R) announced on Friday the vaccination schedule for Ohio K-12 schools – public, private and career-tech.
DeWine’s administration identified school personnel required for in-person learning and laid out a four-week schedule for those eligible to receive their first jab containing one of the vaccines the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted authorization for emergency use – Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.Read More
State Senators Terry Johnson (R-District 14) and Rob McColley (R-District 1) introduced Senate Bill 22 Tuesday, a proposed law aimed at providing oversight to the emergency declarations made by the governor, as well as the governor’s and health orders that flow from the state of emergency.
SB22 gives the legislature the authority, by passing a joint resolution, to immediately rescind a public health state of emergency declaration, as well as related rules and orders.Read More
The day after Ohio Governor Richard Michael DeWine (R) ordered hundreds of millions in spending cuts to state government, he and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced six projects set to receive tax assistance approved by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (OTCA).
The six businesses are Jo-Ann Stores LLC, Kalera Inc., Cross Country Mortgage LLC, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, CBTS Technology Solutions, LLC and High Road Holdings LLC.Read More
Ohio’s statewide curfew will be extended after COVID-related hospitalizations dipped below 3,500 for the seventh consecutive day on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine (R) announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) recommended altering the statewide curfew to 11:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. when COVID-related hospitalizations fall below 3,500 for seven consecutive days. Tuesday was the sixth consecutive day, Wednesday the seventh.Read More
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) will not seek a third term representing Ohio in Washington. “Today, I am announcing that I have made a decision not to run again in 2022,” said the institutional Republican in a Monday morning press statement.
“This doesn’t mean I’m leaving now – I still have two more years in my term and I intend to use that time to get a lot done.” He said he looks forward to being able to focus all his energy during the remainder of his term on legislation and challenges facing America instead of dividing his efforts to raise money and campaign.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine wrote a letter to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Nominating Commission Wednesday telling them to offer new candidates for the vacancy left by the resignation of former PUCO Chairman Samuel Randazzo. DeWine rejected the slate of four finalists screened by…Read More
Inpatient hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases dropped again on Tuesday – brining the overall decrease to 30 percent over the past month, according to the state COVID website. Despite acknowledging the dip during the Tuesday press briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) shied away from calling it a trend.Read More
January 15 marked three weeks since Christmas – two from New Year’s celebrations. Statewide hospitalizations have trended downward since Christmas and deaths more so, according to the Ohio COVID dashboard.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) authorized 1,000 active Ohio National Guard (ONG) members Friday to assist federal authorities in Washington, D.C. Earlier in the week DeWine signed an executive order to activate ONG troops – estimating 200 would go to America’s capital city.
“The activation of additional Guard members follows a request from the U.S. National Guard Bureau Thursday evening for extra support,” read a statement released by the Governor’s communications team.Read More
A Buckeye football legend known for “The Catch” against rival Michigan, dropped the ball according to Trump Republicans when he and nine other GOP representatives voted with 222 Democrats in the U.S. House to approve a second impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.
Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) released a statement on Wednesday explaining his support of a Democrat initiated impeachment – a single article alleging incitement of insurrection.Read More
Gov. Mike DeWine held a briefing Thursday morning where he announced the Ohio Statehouse and government buildings in Columbus will be closed between January 17 and January 20. Next Wednesday, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president.
Also, the governor signed a proclamation mobilizing hundreds of Ohio National Guard members to be utilized as needed in Columbus and around Ohio. To assist federal authorities in D.C. DeWine, ordered 580 ONG members active earlier in the week.Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed two bills on Tuesday – one establishing requirements for low-speed electronic scooters, the second modifying employment laws.Read More