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


Ohio judge to hear arguments in early voting case – A federal judge in Ohio plans to hear arguments on when voters can cast an early ballot in the presidential battleground state, as civil rights groups and voting rights organizations seek to block the changes from being in place this November.

PPP: Competitive Statewide Races— Yes, Even For Governor—Expected In Ohio This Year – Just when first-term incumbent Republican Governor John R. Kasich thought his reelection this year would be a cake walk to and through Election Day this November, news from the latest Ohio Poll, by Public Policy Polling, shows the all-but certain victory for the Buckeye State’s go-go, CEO-style governor is anything but a foregone conclusion.

Farms are focus of studies on drinking water toxin – Scientists and farmers agree that phosphorus from agriculture runoff is feeding the blue-green algae blooms on Lake Erie linked to a toxin found in the drinking water of 400,000 people in Ohio and southeastern Michigan last week.

Cuyahoga County GOP Offers “Gay Games 9? Athletes, Fans Red Plastic Water Bottles. Nothing Else – With expectations that as many as 30,000 athletes and fans would attend the 2014 Gay Games 9 held in Cleveland and Akron, The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County seized on the chance to reach out to the LBGT community, a population that has yet to find a comfortable seat in the GOP’s so-called “Big Tent” party despite its dynamic growth as an important electorate.

Ohio committee to hold hearings on drug epidemic – A legislative summer committee on Ohio’s drug epidemic plans four meetings in August and September to hear testimony from state agencies, law enforcement and the public.

Your Utility Company Is Asking For A Bailout, And Guess Who They Expect To Pay For It? – FirstEnergy recently joined American Electric Power and Duke Energy in filing a request before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the state agency in charge of keeping utilities in check.

Ohio warns of government impostor phone calls – State officials say Ohio residents should be on the lookout for government impostor scams.

Remember In November: John Kasich Adored Richard M. Nixon, George W. Bush – When Richard M. Nixon, the 37th President of The United States, resigned 40 years ago last Wednesday, on August 8, 1974, following the now-infamous politically purposed break-in of national Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, it brought him, close confidants and advisers and the Republican Party down.

GOP officially OKs Cleveland for 2016 convention – The Republican National Committee erased any scintilla of doubt on Friday when its members cast a unanimous vote to make Cleveland the host of its 2016 national convention.

Remember In November: Back To School Edition – Once again, Governor John Kasich has released a campaign video that is purely personal in nature and devoid of any details about his track record as Ohio’s Governor. Kasich’s latest ad, Purpose, is intended to humanize the Governor and remind us that he’s just a humble, gentle man.

Palin: Low Minimum Wage A Bright Path To The Future – May we pause for a moment to give thanks to the presence in our midst of comic opera diva Sarah Palin, who brightens each day with cheerful lyrics that sustain us in the rush of awful news from around the world.

FitzGerald plans summit on water problems – Cuyahoga County executive and Democratic candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald is convening a summit on Lake Erie water problems.

Hypocrisy Alert: DeWine And Deters Warn Of Fake Cops, Scammers – Mike DeWine released a statement to the press this week, along with Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, warning Ohioans about “scam artists” who are “posing as … law enforcement officials.” While the threat may be real, the source of the warning comes from two guys who are hardly role models on the topics.

Judge extends temporary halt to Ohio executions – A freeze on capital punishment in Ohio will continue into 2015 after a federal judge extended a months-long moratorium on executions as questions mount about the effectiveness of a new, two-drug combination being used to carry out the death penalty.

Mike DeWine Puts Nearly $2 Million In Campaign Contributions “Back Into His Own Pocket” – Moving Ohio Forward is out with a new ad about Mike DeWine and his ever-growing pay to play scandal. The 30 second video, included below, does a great job of explaining and highlighting the problems with DeWine’s decision to hand out lucrative, unbid contracts to lawyers and law firms making obscenely large, and very unusual donations to his campaign coffers.

Attorneys dispute impact of Ohio voting changes – A federal judge in Ohio is weighing arguments over the impact of early-voting changes in the presidential battleground state, as civil rights groups and voting rights organizations seek to block recent restrictions from being in place this November.

Latest Kasich Job Record: Not Getting The Jobs Done, Losing Discouraged Workers – On Friday morning the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released the July jobs report and revised June figures for Ohio. The changes didn’t paint a pretty picture for a governor desperate to win a second term even though his weak performance so far would argue he has no control over job creation.

Ohio pilot program aimed at helping heroin addicts – A northwest Ohio county is getting a $650,000 grant from the state’s attorney general to help fund a pilot program for heroin addicts.

Common Core Opponents Bringing In “Paid Experts” To Testify – Ohio House Representatives Andy Thompson (R) and Matt Huffman (R) have introduced their latest version of a bill designed to prevent the Common Core curriculum from being implemented in Ohio. Their previous attempt at accomplishing this task, House Bill 237, was stalled when Education Committee Chairman, Gerald Stebelton, a supporter of Common Core, chose to ignore the bill and prevent it from ever coming up for a vote.

Democrat asks high court to dismiss GOP lawsuit – The Democratic candidate for governor has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to toss out a Republican lawsuit trying to force him to release key-card data showing when he enters and leaves county buildings and parking facilities as the Cuyahoga County executive.

Ohio investigators search suspected illegal casino – Ohio’s attorney general says state officials have searched a Mahoning County business suspected of operating as an illegal casino.

Toledo mayor requests help to avoid water problems – Toledo’s mayor wants state and federal officials, starting with President Barack Obama, to take action in cleaning up Lake Erie and helping cities improve their water treatment operations in order to prevent future water emergencies

Lawmaker says sentencing law shields drug dealers – Candidates for Ohio attorney general are backing alternate proposals for dealing with the state’s heroin epidemic.

Hearings set for Ohio proposed Common Core repeal – An Ohio House panel has scheduled three days of hearings next week on a Republican proposal to repeal Common Core learning standards in the state.

Ohio employers could see workers’ comp rebates – State officials have announced a plan to send Ohio businesses and public employers rebate checks from the state’s insurance fund for injured workers.

Cuyahoga County puts voting rights issue on ballot – Cuyahoga County voters will decide in November whether to approve a charter amendment that county officials hope will provide them with more authority to file lawsuits to stop or overturn restrictions on voting rights.

Ratings change eligibility for Ohio scholarships – The Ohio Department of Education says a recent recalculation of some school ratings changes the eligibility list for a program that provides vouchers for private schools to students at consistently underperforming public schools.

Ohio county workers disciplined for license issues – Several Cuyahoga County employees have been disciplined for lacking valid driver’s licenses while the county’s executive lacked a permanent one for years.

Flags fly half-staff for Ohio ‘trailblazer’ Kearns – Flags are being flown at half-staff over Ohio’s Statehouse in honor of a veteran public servant who worked to pass laws aiding the mentally ill and legitimizing the profession of advanced practice nursing.

Ohio lawmakers meet about Lake Erie water quality – State lawmakers from Ohio’s Lake Erie region are gathering to talk about what can be done to improve water quality and combat the blooms of algae on the lake.

Ohio Dems sue over lieutenant governor records – The Ohio Democratic Party is suing Gov. John Kasich and his running mate over access to records between the lieutenant governor and her top aide who resigned in June.

Ohio offers no-interest loans in water toxin fight – Ohio’s environmental regulators laid out a plan Thursday to assist cities with testing and treating their drinking water, a first step in the state’s response to a water emergency in Toledo that left 400,000 people without clean tap water.

Fung dismisses criticism of ad filmed in Ohio – Republican Allan Fung is dismissing criticism that he filmed a television ad for his bid for Rhode Island governor at a diner in Ohio.


News Sources: The Associated Press and Plunderbund