Rob Portman Will Not Seek a Re-Election to the U.S. Senate

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.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Rejects Utility Commission Candidates

  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…

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COVID Hospital Utilization Fall but Concerns over Virus Mutations Fuel Ongoing Guidelines

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.

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Three Weeks After Christmas, Ohio COVID Hospitalizations Trend Down

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.

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Gov. DeWine Quintuples Number of Ohio National Guard Troops Sent to D.C. for Presidential Inauguration

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.

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Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez Discusses Why He Voted to Impeach President Trump

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.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Says the Capitol Will be Closed for Four Days Next Week for the Inauguration

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.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Signs Two Bills – One Regulating Motor Scooters, Second Modifying Workplace Laws

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.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Activates 580 Members of Ohio National Guard to Keep Peace in D.C. and Columbus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order Tuesday to activate for duty 580 members of the Ohio National Guard (ONG).

During the COVID press conference, DeWine said he talked with Major General John C. Harris and based on that communication anticipates that 380 of the activated guard will remain in Ohio, while 200 will be sent to Washington, D.C to assist in the January 20 Presidential Inauguration.

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New Ohio Website Makes Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports More Transparent

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced he fulfilled his pledge to bring more transparency to the Secretary of State’s office.

Unanimously passed at the end of 2020,  Senate Bill 107 (SB107) is an act to “allow certain entities to file campaign finance statements electronically, to require the Secretary of State to make the information in those electronic statements available online.”

The online repository “enhances transparency by allowing campaign finance reports for local candidates and committees to be filed electronically with county boards of elections,” the press release stated.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Delivers Update on State Response to COVID

Governor DeWine held a 90-minute briefing during which Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff contributed.

The following information was relayed by the trio during the Tuesday session.

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Gov. DeWine Signs Five Ohio Legislative Acts into Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a video conference ceremony on Wednesday where he signed five Ohio legislative acts into law.  

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DeWine Backs Down on Stand-Your-Ground Opposition, Signs Ohio Gun Bill into Law

Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 175 despite hubbub he may veto the act.

“I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation. While campaigning for Governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal. That is why I have signed this bill today.”

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Ohio Governor DeWine Issues Executive Order and Signs Several Bills Including One Bill Requiring Fetal Remains Be Buried or Cremated

This week Governor DeWine added several new laws to the books and required the state to pony up money for grandparents and extended family members raising their related children.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Announces Health Dept Curfew Order Which Contains Several Exceptions

Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Director’s Second Amended Order that All Persons Stay at Home During Specified Hours Unless Engaged in Work or Essential Activity.

Sources inside the state government told The Star in November that the original curfew order came as a reaction to significant backlash from Ohioans as information leaked that Governor DeWine was going to push for another shutdown.
One source said, “people in the room when the decision was made agreed that a curfew wouldn’t do anything significant,” but would be an acceptable compromise the DeWine team would accept.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Rescinds Quarantine Guidance for Classrooms and Schools, Not Sports and Extracurriculars

During a COVID briefing on Wednesday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine rescinded the State of Ohio guidance suggesting students quarantine after being in close contact with other COVID-positive students in school and the classroom.

“Today we are changing our guidance,” said DeWine, who continued “I know that there’s been a great deal of pain – students not being able to do things because they are in quarantine. I fully understand that and I’m sorry that happened, but we had to follow the CDC guidance.”

The Governor said the decision was based on an evaluation of Ohio students, a CDC report involving students in Mississippi, and priority the Governor has given to teachers and staff to receive the COVID vaccine.

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Fewer COVID Patients in Hospitals, ICUs and on Vents in Almost Every Region in Ohio

  Governor DeWine or Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff spend a portion of press briefings discussing the issue of hospital capacity, often warning Ohioans that if cases continue to climb, hospitals around the state will be overrun and care for other non-COVID patients may be crowded out. Consequently, The…

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Obhof Backs Down from Early Threat to Override Veto on SB311 but Bill May Not Be Dead

It was Tuesday, December 22, the day many in favor of a veto override on Senate Bill 311 (SB311) believed to be the last day for the Ohio Senate to consider and vote on the bill that would restore power to the legislature and check the authority of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and its director to quarantine and isolate healthy people.

A group assembled atop the steps leading into the Senate Chamber.  Senate President Larry Obhof (R-22) stepped into the space between doors just outside the entrance to the Senate Chamber and was peppered with shouts. “Get 311 on the floor!”  “Hold the override vote Obhof!”

The Senate President looked at the citizens and repeated the talking point Ohioans had heard from the Senate for over a week – “the House doesn’t have the votes.”

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One-on-One with Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro

Last week The Ohio Star reported on the Ohio Education Association (OEA) Position Statement, which called for schools to suspend in-person learning immediately until January 11. The document outlined four steps the union urges government leaders and schools to follow – reset, restart, reprioritize and resource.
OEA President Scott DiMauro accepted the invitation to talk with The Star in a one-on-one interview.
The Star asked questions submitted from Ohioans around the Buckeye State.

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Ohio AG Yost Argued for SCOTUS to Reject Texas and Rule on Electors Clause

On Wednesday The Ohio Star reported that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was taking a “deep dive into the legal theories” of the lawsuit Texas filed in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

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Governor Mike DeWine Warns Ohioans to Watch Hospital Capacity as Health Director Mulls Outpatient Treatments for COVID-19

During the Thursday COVID briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he “took an oath to do everything to protect the lives and wellbeing of fellow Ohioans” and that the next three weeks will be the most critical in battling COVID.

DeWine then stressed the importance of Ohioans understanding and keeping an eye on hospital capacity in their respective communities.

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Ohio’s Biggest Teachers Union Calls for Immediate Closure with Four-Phase Position Statement

On December 3 the Board of Directors of the Ohio Education Association (OEA), Ohio’s largest labor union for educators, voted unanimously to adopt the position to immediately suspend all in-person learning in the state until January 11.

The OEA released the statement on December 7.

The position statement calls for state leaders and educational institutions to “reset”, “restart”, “re-prioritize” and “resource” in order to “ensure that the needs of Ohio’s students, educators and communities are met,” according to the union’s statement.

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Ohio Will Stop Verifying Antigen Tests, Count Them All Positive

Embattled Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, whose party is considering impeachment and overriding his veto of a recent dually-passed bill to limit the pandemic powers of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), called a COVID briefing on Monday to update Ohioans on the state’s response to the virus.

The most significant announcement was that beginning on Tuesday, November 8 the state will no longer trace people who test positive from antigen tests to confirm results.

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Ohio Governor and Chief Medical Advisor Asked About Speeding Up Delivery of Therapies to COVID Patients

The Ohio Star reported that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called a special press conference on Monday, November 23 alongside the Ohio Hospital Association leaders to address the state’s COVID hospitalization rise.

As reported, during the briefing doctors who lead each of Ohio’s three zones (the state is segmented into three areas) disclosed staffing shortages due to COVID quarantine orders, which had further depleted caregiving capacity already run thin by upticks in COVID hospital cases around the state.

The Star has received inquiries from readers describing their situations.  One woman told the story of her husband who was alerted that he had been exposed to COVID and within days began exhibiting symptoms. When he called his doctor seeking preventative therapies, he was denied.  The man was later admitted to a hospital for days, where he received therapeutic treatments that aided his recovery.

Consequently, The Star took the opportunity during Governor DeWine’s twice-weekly COVID presser on Tuesday to ask the following question:

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Ohio Governor DeWine Calls Special Presser to Talk State Hospital Capacity

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called a special briefing Monday to update Ohioans on the record number of COVID hospital admissions statewide. He was joined by members of the Ohio Hospital Association – Robert Wyllie, Cleveland Clinic; Andrew Thomas, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; Richard Lofgren, UC Health; Ronda Lehman, Mercy Health.

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Ohio Public Health Advisory System – Indicator Seven, ICU Occupancy

Sustained increase in ICU bed occupancy is the most relevant of the bunch comprising the Ohio Public Health Advisory System indicators because it measures overall ICU capacity and specifically looks at COVID patients in intensive care.

Ohio logged 2,092 COVID cases by onset date on October 15. One month later that number grew to 6,087 according to the Ohio COVID dashboard.  Despite the run-up in cases and a spike in hospitalizations – which have not correlated to a matching percentage of deaths (which continue to hold well below peaks from April) no county in Ohio has tripped indicator seven.

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Ohioans ‘Cut Footloose’ on DeWine and His Order Limiting Private Gatherings

An Ohio mom organized a rally within earshot of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s home in Cedarville, Ohio to protest his recent orders. 

Over 300 Ohioans showed up between 8pm and midnight on Friday, November 20.  People came “from Canton, Portsmouth, Cincinnati and Dayton,” said the event organizer, Misty Murphy.

On November 11, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced not only a revamped masking order, but also a social distancing order.  The social distancing order prohibited people congregating in open areas. The order outlawed dancing.

“After all of his absolutely nonsensical orders, when he said ‘no dancing’ at his Wednesday night presser and took it to that level of stupidity, moms were done,” wrote Murphy, an Ohio mother of two.

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Bill Outlaws Locking Down Healthy, Has Veto-Proof Majority to Override DeWine Veto

The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that originated in the Ohio Senate – Senate Bill 311 (SB311) – by a vote of 58 – “yea,” 30 – “nay,” with 11 representatives not voting.

SB311 limits the Ohio Department of Health Director’s order-issuing authority and was sent to Governor DeWine’s desk – he has already vowed to veto the bill.

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Gov. DeWine Congratulates Joe Biden on Winning 2020 Presidential Election Before Official Determination

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Thursday “we need to consider the former vice president as the President-elect.”

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Ohio State Representative’s Beef with Governor DeWine Now Includes Attorney General Yost

On Monday Ohio State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township, Clermont County) filed a motion with the Ohio Twelfth District Court of Appeals to strike down a brief Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed with the court.

AG Yost filed the amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of Clermont County Prosecutor D. Vincent Faris who Becker is attempting to make investigate charges Becker made against Ohio’s governor.

Becker and Faris ended up in the district appellate court after Becker filed a Private Citizen Affidavit (PCA) on September 28 in Clermont County.  As The Ohio Star reported, in the PCA  Becker alleged Ohio Governor DeWine committed 7 felonies and 3 misdemeanors as a result of his managing the state’s  COVID response.

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