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With variants spreading, Ohio tries to reach the vaccine hesitant

With variants spreading, Ohio tries to reach the vaccine hesitant

After months of increasing vaccination rates and declining coronavirus cases, infections are again going up in Ohio.Gov. Mike Dewine and health officials on Thursday said the increase has put the state in a race against more-contagious variants that evolve from the “mutant swarm” that thrives so long as the virus has plenty of hosts to infect. However, limiting the number of hosts by getting Ohioans immunized might be hitting a ceiling. Despite more than a third of Ohioans receiving at least a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, the 2,742 new cases in the state on Thursday was  the...

Apr 9
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Ohio bill would prevent ‘discrimination’ against unvaccinated people

Ohio bill would prevent ‘discrimination’ against unvaccinated people

Sixteen Ohio House Republicans, six of whom have publicly announced their declination to take a COVID-19 vaccine, proposed legislation Tuesday to build legal protections for people who decline vaccinations.Under the bill, governments, schools and private businesses could still impose a vaccine requirement. However, the bill would force them to exempt anyone who submits in writing a claim of medical contraindication, “natural immunity,” or “reasons of conscience, including religious conviction.” After submitting their refusal in writing, people “shall not be required to do anything” more,...

Apr 7
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Three Ohio energy giants haven’t paid federal income taxes in three years

Three Ohio energy giants haven’t paid federal income taxes in three years

They’re making billions and they’ve gotten hefty subsidies from ratepayers. Yet three big energy companies doing business in Ohio haven’t paid federal income tax since the 2017 Trump tax cuts, according to a new report.In fact, Akron-based FirstEnergy, Columbus-based AEP and Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy had negative effective tax rates, according to the report by the , a nonprofit, non-partisan think tank. The paper, which analyzed tax disclosures in the corporations’ annual reports, found that 55 profitable companies didn’t pay any federal income tax in 2020, and 26 hadn’t paid any in...

Apr 7
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Ohio AG: Clear death penalty roadblocks or get rid of it

Ohio AG: Clear death penalty roadblocks or get rid of it

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost last week used an annual report to draw attention to the fact that 140 people are languishing on death row because Ohio’s death penalty machinery “has grown increasingly time consuming, costly and lethargic.”Yost, a former prosecutor, might be expected to call for ways to speed up executions. But in an interview Monday, he said he’s not doing that. “I’m saying that (the system is) broken,” he said. “Anytime that you have a law that is not fairly and equally enforced — and promptly enforced — it demeans all law and breeds disrespect for law.”Ohio has...

Apr 6
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How a powerful state law blocks Ohio cities from gun regulation

How a powerful state law blocks Ohio cities from gun regulation

The Ohio Supreme Court declined Wednesday to review an appellate court’s decision, letting stand a ruling that the city of Cincinnati cannot ban “bump stocks” on assault weapons.Cincinnati , designed to increase rifles’ rates of fire, in 2018 after a shooter used one during a 2017 massacre in Las Vegas that left 58 dead. The city has no legal right to set its own gun laws, .The final outcome, announced last week, is just the latest instance of Ohio courts ruling that cities cannot enact end-runs around a state legislature regularly seeking to expand gun rights.Cincinnati’s efforts met the...

Apr 6
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Ohio politicians condemned for pandemic comparisons to Nazi Germany

Ohio politicians condemned for pandemic comparisons to Nazi Germany

To Ohio lawmaker Kris Jordan, the mask requirement and the roll out of optional COVID-19 vaccines are two steps toward an American genocide like that of the Holocaust during World War II.“It’s just a mask, wear it. It’s just a shot, take it,” reads a March 31 Facebook post from Rep. Jordan, a Republican from Delaware County, who forewarned a slippery slope from pandemic mitigation to mass extermination. A screenshot of a March. 31 Facebook post made by State Rep. Kris Jordan, R-Ostrander.“It’s just a boxcar, get in,” the post concludes. “Every step away from freedom is a step closer to...

Apr 5
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Ohio Lt. Gov. bashes China on coronavirus, won’t address Trump

Ohio Lt. Gov. bashes China on coronavirus, won’t address Trump

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on Thursday continued to insist that in calling it the “Wuhan virus,” he was only raising questions about the Chinese government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic — not blaming the disease on Asians.At the same time Husted, a Trump supporter, wouldn’t address the former president’s handling of the pandemic in the United States — the country with  from the disease. Amid a wave of , Husted came under fire for his last week of an article about baseless claims by Robert Redfield, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Redfield said...

Apr 2
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GOP lawmaker wants to outlaw ‘vaccine passports’ in Ohio

GOP lawmaker wants to outlaw ‘vaccine passports’ in Ohio

A Republican lawmaker wants to prohibit “vaccine passports” in the state of Ohio, saying that doing so will ensure residents will maintain their freedom during the pandemic’s final stages.State Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Canfield, wants to outlaw any requirement that Ohioans show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination “in order to be allowed entry into an area of establishment,” a news release announcing the proposed legislation states. “Ohioans are encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccine for the health and well-being of themselves and others,” Cutrona stated. “However, a vaccine should not be mandated or...

Mar 30
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DeWine on veto override: ‘This is not the only crisis we will face’

DeWine on veto override: ‘This is not the only crisis we will face’

When lawmakers started debating a bill to give themselves power to strike down public health orders, Gov. Mike DeWine expressed hope they would ultimately reject the proposal.When lawmakers passed the bill, DeWine said he would veto it and expressed hope they would choose against overriding him. Less than 24 hours after issuing his veto, lawmakers voted to override it. DeWine said he is now hopeful they will consider making fixes to the law he finds most objectionable.Hope seems to spring eternal in the governor’s office, at least in public view. On Thursday, DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted...

Mar 26
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Details emerge on proposed bill to restrict ‘vaccine passports’ in Ohio

Details emerge on proposed bill to restrict ‘vaccine passports’ in Ohio

Republican-sponsored legislation will seek to prohibit the Ohio government from instituting a “vaccine passport” program, but the drafted proposal does not appear to restrict private businesses from doing so.Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Canfield, is soon introducing this bill in the Ohio House of Representatives. It has already received support from fellow Republican lawmakers. The term “vaccine passport” refers to showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination that could allow entry into a given place or public event.The vaccine is optional in Ohio, and Gov. Mike DeWine has given no indication the state...

Apr 12
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