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Broadband legislation to be introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Broadband legislation to be introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

One of Ohio’s U.S. Senators is a cosponsor on legislation to allow broadband access to those laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D) plan to introduce the “Emergency Broadband Connections Act” to create a $50 credit meant for monthly internet service, and require service providers to provide service at reduced prices.The proposed legislation would also trigger eligibility for the benefit based on qualification for the National School Lunch Program, federal Pell Grants, or the Lifeline program.The announcement about the...

July 1, 2020
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At a county fair in Ohio amid COVID-19, distancing by keeping ‘one cow apart’

At a county fair in Ohio amid COVID-19, distancing by keeping ‘one cow apart’

A statue of a large steer greets visitors to the Pickaway County Fairgrounds, and this year, signs with cows on them could be seen at the entrance of each animal barn.The signs read: “Maintain social distancing. Keep one cow apart. Protect against infection.”Reminders of the coronavirus pandemic were everywhere at the first county fair held in Ohio this year, which wrapped up this past weekend. When I bought my ticket Friday afternoon, the man inside the entrance booth started to hand me my change, then stopped, remembering the safety protocol.“Oh, do you answer yes to any of the questions...

June 29, 2020
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Portman won’t commit to attending Republican National Convention; wants Ohio back to work

Portman won’t commit to attending Republican National Convention; wants Ohio back to work

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is committed to getting President Donald Trump reelected, having been recently named a “co-captain” to the Trump Victory Finance Committee.But don’t necessarily count on Portman to attend a convention or rally in Trump’s favor anytime soon, with health concerns about mass gatherings during the pandemic on the senator’s mind.Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning, Portman would not commit to attending an in-person Republican National Convention. It is currently scheduled for Aug. 24-27 in Jacksonville, Florida, with the present plan to host a traditional slate of...

June 26, 2020
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State senators introduce bill to make Juneteenth a paid holiday in Ohio

State senators introduce bill to make Juneteenth a paid holiday in Ohio

Will Ohio become the second state in America to make Juneteenth a paid holiday?That’s the hope of two bipartisan state senators who introduced Senate Bill 334 on Monday to make that happen.They are state Sens. Hearcel Craig, D-Columbus, and Andrew Brenner, R-Powell. Craig and Powell are joined by 12 other state senators, including Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights.Juneteenth is held each June 19 and commemorates the day in 1865 when African-American slaves in Texas learned they were free and that the Civil War was over.Nearly...

June 29, 2020
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Ohio lawmaker: If schools don’t open this fall, “real chaos” will ensue

Ohio lawmaker: If schools don’t open this fall, “real chaos” will ensue

In arguing that schools should be able to reopen on their own terms in the fall, a Republican legislator said the state health director shouldn’t be a part of that decision.State Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, to the Senate Education Committee that would give authority to local school districts — public, private and home-schooled — on deciding when they would reopen for the 2020-2021 school year, and the precautions put in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19.The bill would also prohibit “other public officials” from closing the schools.“I think if the schools don’t by and large open up...

June 15, 2020
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Ohio prisons chief says inmates getting ‘excellent’ health care; 63 dead, thousands infected

Ohio prisons chief says inmates getting ‘excellent’ health care; 63 dead, thousands infected

Ohio has decreased its prison population by less than 4% while some institutions have been virtually overrun by COVID-19.Four prison workers and 63 inmates have died since prison officials first detected the new coronavirus March 29. More than 4,500 inmates have tested positive, though officials believe this to be a massive undercount since they.But Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Director Annette Chambers-Smith believes she and her team have met the moment.“I think these people are getting excellent health care, both inside our prisons and inside our hospitals,” she...

May 21, 2020
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Protests again turn violent outside Ohio Statehouse

Protests again turn violent outside Ohio Statehouse

Protests turned violent Friday night into Saturday morning outside the Ohio Statehouse, with some demonstrators hurling rocks at police and police responding with anti-riot tactics.For the second night in a row, people gathered in downtown Columbus to protest the death of George Floyd. Video emerged this week of a Minneapolis police officer restraining Floyd with his knee on his neck just before his death. The officer was charged with murder in the third degree Friday.Floyd’s death is just the most recent instance of a recurring episode of a black man dying at the hands of a white police...

May 30, 2020
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Ohio House passes bill to shield businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits

Ohio House passes bill to shield businesses from COVID-19 lawsuits

The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that offers health care providers and general businesses a powerful shield from lawsuits related to COVID-19. would offer qualified immunity — protection from litigation — to health care providers like first responders or nursing homes during a declared disaster or emergency. The provider would not be liable to lawsuits or professional discipline if their act, or lack of action, leads to death or injury.To bring a lawsuit, a claimant would need to prove the action (or lack thereof) that caused injury or death constituted a...

May 29, 2020
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New COVID-19 cases on an eight-day upswing in Ohio

New COVID-19 cases on an eight-day upswing in Ohio

The new coronavirus accelerated its spread over the last week in Ohio, an analysis of state data shows.On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health published data showing 729 Ohioans contracted COVID-19, the most new cases reported in a 24-hour span since May 21.The 10-day average of new cases has ticked upward for eight days in a row and counting.Some of the new cases can be attributed to increases in testing. Since June 1, an average of about 12,200 people have been tested for COVID-19 per day, compared to 8,200 per day in May.New Ohio COVID-19 data:-45,537 total cases (729 new in last 24...

June 23, 2020
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Ohio Medicaid begins laying out plans for coronavirus testing at pharmacies

Ohio Medicaid begins laying out plans for coronavirus testing at pharmacies

Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran on Tuesday described plans for Ohio pharmacies to begin testing one of the state’s most vulnerable populations — the poor — for the novel coronavirus.The plans come as data about the virus from Ohio and elsewhere show a .In Ohio, the number of new cases has for days been far above the three-week average. And on Tuesday, the numbers of deaths, hospital admissions and ICU admissions due to the virus had all leapt considerably above their 21-day averages as well.In a phone interview, Corcoran sought to clear up about how Ohio pharmacies can...

July 1, 2020
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