Ohio Headline Highlights is a new PBSunday roundup of select news from last week about people, politics and government in Ohio.


Kasich, Faber Prepare Pharmacy Board For New Anti-Choice Director – This past weekend we broke the story of John Kasich’s questionable appointment of Richard Hodges as director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio may establish poet laureate – Ohio is one of six states that don’t have an official state poet — but a bill in the Ohio Legislature could change that.

2nd FitzGerald TV Ad Draws Contrast With Kasich On Priorities, Rich Versus Working Families – Gov. John Kasich’s Democratic challenger, Ed FitzGerald, released his second TV spot on Monday.

Don’t drink the water, says 4th-largest Ohio city – Toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie fouled the water supply of the state’s fourth-largest city Saturday, forcing officials to issue warnings not to drink the water and the governor to declare a state of emergency as worried residents descended on stores, quickly clearing shelves of bottled water.

Ohio’s Private Schools Annually Receive Millions Of Dollars While Avoiding Accountability – This past Spring, Ohio House Bill 487 changed the rules surrounding the implementation of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, now requiring 3rd grade students using EdChoice Tuition vouchers to be held to the same standard as their public school peers.

New assessments for Ohio kindergartners – Ohio’s kindergartners will be assessed this year under a system that state officials say will help teachers measure what the students know and design lesson plans tailored to each child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Ted Strickland Rallies Dems For 2016: “We’re Going To Have Another Democrat In The White House” – Ohio Democrats held a rally in Columbus today in support of hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention in our state’s capital. Ted Strickland’s short speech stole the show.

Ohio Democrat says records part of political smear – The Democratic gubernatorial candidate, casting himself as a victim of a political smear, sought on Friday to explain police records from two years ago that showed him in an otherwise empty parking lot at 4:30 a.m. with a woman who isn’t his wife.

DeWine Shuts Down Sexual Harassment Investigation – It was revealed that AG Mike DeWine shut down a sexual harassment investigation in his office when the investigation began to focus on his long time friend William Schenck, later arrested for a DUI, DeWine refused to suspend or fire him.

Ohio water ban enters 3rd day – A water ban entered its third day in northwest Ohio after tests showed some toxins still contaminating Lake Erie, leaving residents to continue scrambling for water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Mike DeWine Opposes Rules To Protect Lake Erie From Algae Blooms – Earlier this week over 400,000 people in the Toledo area were left without water when toxins from an algae bloom in Lake Erie poisoned their public water supply. Yesterday Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine vowed to fight a rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency intended to protect lakes like Erie from the agricultural runoff that likely caused the problem.

Ohio files drug charges against liquor permits – State investigators filed more than 200 drug-related administrative charges against liquor permits in Ohio last year.

David Pepper Says It’s Time For DeWine To Stop Wasting Taxpayer Dollars Fighting Same Sex Marriage – Earlier this week Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine continued his fight against a Federal Judge’s decision to grant John Arthur the right to have his husband’s name appear on his death certificate. Arthur and Jim Obergefell, a Cincinnati couple, were legally married in Maryland. John recently passed away from ALS, but

Ohio lawmaker wants to block housing of immigrants – A Republican state lawmaker has introduced legislation to keep Ohio agencies from agreeing to house immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Public Education Advocates Rally Against Kasich’s Wasteful Spending On Failed Charter Schools – It wasn’t necessarily the big news of the day Thursday, but when the current head of the State Board of Education, Debe Terhar, said she won’t seek re-election to that panel, it likely elicited cheers of joy from a group of education advocates who rallied at the Statehouse today to hold charter schools.

Ohio seeking to host GOP, Dem conventions in 2016 – Cleveland has a virtual lock on the 2016 Republican National Convention, and Columbus is going after the Democratic one.

Ohio Has Lost 4,648 State Union Jobs Since John Kasich Took Office – According to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services , Ohio had 40,516 bargaining unit employees working for the state in January, 2011 ,when John Kasich first took office. As of July, 2014, three and a half years later, we are down to 35,868. That’s a loss of 4,648 union jobs – or 8.6%! Nearly half – 2,318 in total – were corrections/prison-related positions.

Water safe to drink in Ohio’s fourth-largest city – Two days after warning some 400,000 people in Ohio and Michigan not to drink their tap water, the mayor of Ohio’s fourth-largest city declared on Monday that the water was now safe and took a sip.

Gay marriage arguments ring a bell in Cincinnati – For Chris Seelbach, the legal challenges to state bans on gay marriage being argued this week in Cincinnati mark another milestone — not just for gay rights, but for the city he calls home.

Tainted Ohio water coming under increased scrutiny – Ohio’s governor is promising an extensive review of how the water supply for 400,000 people in Ohio and Michigan became tainted with a toxin over the weekend while a high-ranking state lawmaker is planning hearings on the blooms of algae fouling Lake Erie.

New Ohio health director’s background questioned – Critics of Ohio Gov. John Kasich are questioning his decision to nominate a non-physician to lead the state Department of Health.

Ohio water crisis: Threat isn’t going away soon – The threat of toxins contaminating water supplies along western Lake Erie is far from over even after Ohio’s fourth-largest city declared its water safe again.

Democratic convention team to visit Ohio’s capital – State and local elected officials in Columbus plan to show what Ohio’s capital city has to offer as they make their pitch to host the Democratic Party’s next presidential convention.

Gay marriage arguments flooding federal courts – Federal appeals courts soon will hear arguments in gay marriage fights from nine states, part of a slew of cases putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a final verdict.

Cincinnati rally precedes gay marriage arguments – Hundreds of gay marriage supporters have rallied in Cincinnati as a federal court prepares to hear arguments on challenges to gay marriage bans in four states.

Cincinnati council approves new city manager – Cincinnati City Council says it has unanimously approved a former Baltimore finance director as city manager.

Ohio lawmakers to hold forum on Lake Erie algae – A group of Ohio lawmakers is planning to meet outside Toledo next week to talk about the algae problems on Lake Erie.

Dems to discuss convention visit to Ohio’s capital – State and local leaders plan to join Democratic planners to discuss Columbus’ bid to host the political party’s presidential convention in 2016.

Gay marriage cases from 4 states go before judges – Judges Martha Craig Daughtrey and Deborah L. Cook made it clear fairly quickly they stood on opposite sides of the same-sex marriage debate.

GOP expected to formalize Cleveland convention bid – The Republican National Committee is expected to officially name Cleveland host of the 2016 national convention during its annual conference in Chicago.

Democrat mum on Ohio’s bid to host 2016 convention – A top Democratic official touring Ohio’s capital city gave little feedback Thursday on how she felt about the city’s potential to host the party’s 2016 presidential convention other than making one assessment: The ice cream is good.

Politician urges Cleveland Indians to change name – It’s time for the Cleveland Indians to drop their name and Chief Wahoo mascot, an Ohio state senator says.

Leader: Ohio prisons, vendor share responsibility – Ohio’s prisons director says his department and the private vendor that feeds inmates share responsibility for conditions that led to maggots at the women’s prison in Marysville.


News Sources: The Associated Press and Plunderbund