In 15 years as a journalist, the most gut-wrenching, powerful story I’ve ever written happened this past January when I interviewed Athens resident Alex Andrews less than a week after he had been shot in the face through his kitchen window around 2 in the morning by an unknown assailant.

He remembered it all, in vivid detail.

As I wrote in The Athens NEWS at the time:

He remembers getting up at around 2 that Thursday morning for a snack. He recalls cutting up vegetables. He remembers hearing a sound at the window and turning to see the […]

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Case File A Secret, Too

A three-judge panel dismissed an ethics complaint against Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy that was filed by ProgressOhio and signed by doctors, patients, consumer groups and medical students.

Though the ethics complaint was dismissed, the identity of the deciding judges and legal reasoning remain secret.

“This dismissal shows that Ohio’s most powerful state court is also its least accountable,” said ProgressOhio Executive Director Sandy Theis. “Those handling the complaint refused to even identify the judges who cleared Kennedy.”

brief letter that announces the dismissal states, “[u]nless the justice against whom the […]

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It’s not a new rule, but whether she likes it or not, and regardless of her claim that she’s her own person, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor’s burden going forward as she runs for governor next year is to carry Gov. John Kasich’s cross, hand hewn over eight years from policies and programs that ranged from merely misguided to brazenly bad.

Now that he’s endorsed her for his job, Kasich’s cross will naturally weigh heavy upon her like the burden Ohioans feel who face an uncertain, if not fearful future from tax cuts they didn’t benefit from, and healthcare benefits they […]

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Some week, huh? It’s getting so that a columnist can’t limit the words to a single exciting episode.

So let’s begin with Donald Sr. He and Melania shot off to Paris for Bastille Day (As if he cared about such trivial things). But, yep. Photo-ops galore where he told the world that France was “beautiful” and, to her face exclaimed to Brigitte Macron, the French president’s wife, “You’re in such good shape,” undiplomatically adding, “She’s in such good physical shape. Beautiful.”

(She’s 64; Emmanuel Macron, 38 – a non-issue for French voters.)

But The Don had to find […]

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After being caught lying last week about Ohio, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence came back with – you guessed it – more lies.

Lying has become the default modus operandi of the Trump Administration, so this should surprise exactly no one.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Pence, former governor of Indiana, singled out Kasich during a speech at the National Governors Association gathering in Providence, Rhode Island.

“I know Gov. (John) Kasich isn’t with us, but I suspect that he’s very troubled to know that in Ohio alone, nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists, leaving […]

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Ohio’s junior U.S. senator and deficit hawk in Washington, Rob Portman, waltzed to an easy win last year when he used the state’s nation-leading opiate crisis as his chief campaign strategy to appear reasonable.

What was unreasonable was the senator voting against a budget bill that funded his plan, claiming “wasteful spending” in other parts of the bill forced him to vote  to orphan his plan that he crowed he worked so hard to get into the bill.

“Commonsense conservative” Rob Portman – President George W. Bush’s budget director – is against government spending when it comes […]

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The choice advocates have opened a can of worms that may erupt into warring factions within the choice movement. The floodgates of draining public funds from public common schools into private unaccountable and non-transparent hands have been opened. The current federal administration intends to flood choice programs with public funds. The same is true in Ohio and many other states.

The choice factions are each lobbying for a market share that fits their agenda. The corporate charter school moguls have a bevy of lobbyists that ply substantial influence on the flow of public dollars to private education entities.

Parochial education leaders are ramping up […]

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I hope you don’t have big plans to spend the July 22 week end in Columbus. That’s the-save the-date Ohio Republican dinner in which the state capital will be clogged with traffic of hay wagons, flivvers and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci’s motorcycle from the remote Republican districts that now dominate the state’s political culture in the fatal grip of Donald Trump’s legions. By every measure, the party would have it no other way.

We need no further evidence than the breathless appearance of Vice President Mike Pence as the featured speaker – a gala that could only have […]

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It’s the 11th time CNBC has ranked America’s top states for business based on ten standard criteria that paint a portrait of strength and weaknesses. The State of Washington earned top honors this year as Ohio moved up to 16 from 22 last year.

But in two key categories – Quality of Life (QOL) and Business Friendliness (BF) – the results for the Buckeye State were depressing, if not alarming, as Ohio won 40th place for the former and 37th for the latter.

Gov. John Kasich made a big deal when he first […]

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State Rep. Kathleen Clyde wants to be Ohio’s next secretary of state because she believes we deserve better.

“No matter where they live, whether it’s in a big city or a small town, black or white, young or old, we need to be working hard for the people of Ohio,” Clyde said in an interview with Plunderbund last month. “Unfortunately, our state leaders have an outdated way of doing things, a lack of transparency, and the same old stale ideas and misplaced priorities that favor those who are already doing just fine.”

In Ohio, the 2018 Election will be a […]

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