COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – Ohio headline highlights is a weekly Saturday roundup of stories on people, politics and government for the previous work week that caught CGE’s eye but not his pen.
Ohio Cong. Kucinich settles olive pit lawsuit
Democratic Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich settled his $150,000 lawsuit against the House cafeteria, which served him a sandwich with an olive pit in it that split his tooth, necessitating “three dental surgeries,” “six replacement teeth” and “a substantial amount of money to fix.
SOS Husted hires Strickland ODJFS director
Secretary of State Jon Husted has hired Douglas E. Lumpkin, who ran ODJFS for former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, to be his chief operating officer.
Federal salaries added to Buckeye Institute database
The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions announced it has added federal salary information for 2008, 2009 and 2010 to data already available on U.S. Postal Service workers. The federal salary database is one of its eight searchable databases that provide information on salaries for teachers and state employees.
Columbus mayor has big campaign fund lead of GOP challenger
Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman has $416,000 in campaign funds, as he runs for reelection again. He has spent $140,000 plus since summer on travel, meetings, event tickets, meals and other expenses.
Kasich adds diversity to cabinet
With the permanent appointment of Michael Colbert to direct the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Gov. Kasich helps mute criticism that his cabinet lacks diversity because it has no African Americans.
Kasich relieves power line repair trucks from weigh stations
With ice covering the state, Gov. Kasich waived weigh station inspections for power line repair trucks coming in from other states. The storm gave Kasich a very visible opportunity to remove government barriers that otherwise would slow down offered help.
SOS Husted expresses concern of federal court ruling in state election
Ohio Sec. of State Jon Husted said he’s uncomfortable with “the continuing involvement of the federal court in prescribing which ballots should and should not be counted in a county judicial race in Ohio.” Husted’s statement comes in the continuing saga of Hunter v. Hamilton County Board of Elections, which is pitting the authority of Ohio courts against federal courts.
Kasick call to round up EPA workers for talk not cheap
The tab paid by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to bring its 1,200 employees to Columbus so new Gov. John Kasich could talk to them en mass totaled $5,450.
Unplowed roads cost Ohio big bucks
IHS Global Insight found, on behalf of the American Highway Users Alliance, Ohio loses an estimated $300 million a day in “economic opportunity” each day that roads remain uncleared after a massive winter storm, the majority of which results from wages and salaries of those whose pay suffers if they can’t make it to work, or the pay of people providing goods and services to those who are taking an economic hit because of a storm.
Consumers Counsel asks PUCO to modify Duke Energy costs
The Ohio Consumers Counsel said Duke Energy Ohio customers could save on their electric generation costs if the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approves modifications to the utility’s latest rate proposal suggested by them involving competitive bidding.
Ohio Health Care Freedom Act introduced into GA
A joint resolution pushed by the Ohio Liberty Council that would place a Constitutional amendment on the ballot in November was introduced into the Ohio legislature. The amendment intends to ensure health care freedom in Ohio and attacks the same individual mandate found in “Obamacare” that was ruled unconstitutional by a Federal judge earlier this week.
Ohio AG announces Medicaid fraud settlement
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a $26 million settlement with CareSource, a Dayton-based managed health care company, and its related corporate entities. The settlement resolves allegations that CareSource submitted false data and received reimbursements from Medicaid for health care services it did not provide.
Local solar energy company gets state help
GreenField Solar of Oberlin will receive $1-million from Ohio’s Third Frontier Program for a project that will help to lower the cost of solar electricity, State Reps. Matt Lundy (D- Elyria) and Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) announced. The funding source is the Third Frontier’s Photovoltiacs Program, designed to help Ohio companies grow and stay on the cutting edge of advanced energy.
PUCO looks to fill two seats
PUCO Commissioner Valerie Lemmie, whose five year term ends in April, is being considered for reappointment. Three other candidates also want it. Losing candidates may end up in a second round to fill a seat vacated by a former PUCO chairman. Gov. Kasich can follows recommendations from a nominating council or ask for a list of new candidates.
Former OSU star quarterback back in spotlight again
Former OSU star quarterback Art Schlichter is in the national spotlight again, this time on a sports ticket scheme that some say has swindled dozens of people out of millions of dollars. Schlichter asked people for money as part of an “investment opportunity” involving brokering and selling tickets for Ohio State football games and other prominent sporting events to various people. Schlichter then used the collected money to make large bets.
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