COLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – Ohio headline highlights is a weekly Saturday roundup of second tier stories on people, politics and government for this past week.
OSU tuition going up (again)
To compensate for an anticipated cut in state spending, Ohio State University will raise tuition for the fall. OSU president Gee said trustees will wait until after March 15 – when Gov. Kasich submits his two-year budget – to clearer what the budget picture is before deciding what to do. Trustees decided last May to increase tuition 7 percent for the current school year – 3.5 percent for summer 2010 and another 3.5 percent for fall quarter. Full-time, in-state students are paying $9,420 a year.
Supreme Court initiative wins national recognition
The Ohio Law and Leadership Institute, which provides legally based instruction and leadership training to students in underserved communities, was recognized for excellence by the American Bar Association. The program establishes a pipeline program for those intending to complete college and enter the legal profession.
Kasich places faith in Matthews
Ohio Gov. Kasich has hired John Matthews as his Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the Governor’s Office. Matthews, a 20-year veteran of state government who earned his undergraduate degree from OSU, has a history of public and social service, working with grassroots and community organizations and government agencies to address social issues.
National commentator headlined black history program
Roland Martin, a renowned national commentator who has been featured on CNN and the Tom Joyner Morning, spoke at the 13th Annual African American Legislators’ Day Luncheon in the Atrium of the Ohio Statehouse.
Texting while driving bill back
State Rep. Nancy Garland (D-New Albany) re-introduced legislation to ban texting while driving. The bill is designed to protect the people of Ohio from the dangers caused by people texting and driving on the roadways. Texting while driving would be a primary offense and labeled a minor misdemeanor with a fine of up to $150 dollars.
Kasich makes trustee appointments
Lawrence J. Kidd of Jackson County will serve as a member of the Rio Grande Community College Board of Trustees. Bruce A. Langos of Dayton in Montgomery County will serve as a member of the Third Frontier Commission. Darryl Mehaffie of Greenville in Darke County will serve as a member of the Edison State Community College Board of Trustees.
Ohio Dem leaders asks Boehner to remove Cong. Schmidt from House committee
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern asked Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH) in a letter to remove Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, based on a published report that has triggered an investigation into the undisclosed legal assistance given to Schmidt by the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund.
Funds to flow to firefighters
U.S. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said $312,483 has been awarded to three northwest Ohio fire departments by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) program. Winning departments are Chicksaw Community Mutual Fire Company, Mercer, $194,632; Springfield Township Fire Department, Lucas, 65,601; Rossford Fire and Rescue Department, Wood, $52,250.
China calling Toledo
Now that Chinese buyers have committed to buy Toledo’s Docks restaurant and entertainment complex, Mayor Mike Bell says he’s returning to China in May, with a group of city officials and business leaders, to further strengthen investment ties with the country. Bell first traveled to China last fall, a trip credited with triggering the purchase. Toledo’s Marina District could be the next asset up for sale to Chinese investors.
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow
Summit County GOP Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, one of Ohio’s most controversial political insiders, will take home $120,000 courtesy of Sean P. Dunn & Associates of Columbus, the main lobbying firm for the University of Akron, who hired the former UA Board of Trustee member to work the system in Columbus on behalf of US. Dunn is paying Arshinkoff $10,000 a month as part of the $270,000 contract the university awarded him.
Kasich denounced for calling OHP officer “Idiot”
Critics of Gov. John Kasich have pointed to a video of him calling a Columbus police officer an “Idiot” after he was ticketed for approaching a public safety vehicle with its emergency lights on.
New BWC board members
Gov. Kasich appointed Stephen E. Lehecka, Mark J. Palmer, Dewey R. Stokes and Nicholas W. Zuk to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors.
Ohio AG sues Christian school,BP
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued a Cleveland-based Community of Faith Christian School alleging multiple violations of Ohio consumer law, including misrepresenting the degrees it offered to students. DeWine also filed a complaint against oil giant BP alleging it was wholly unprepared to prevent and deal with the Deepwater Horizon disaster that decimated Gulf shore states last year.
Auditor ready to audit Auditor’s office
In what he said was making good on a campaign pledge to be an independent guardian of the public interest and setting the example to show the effectiveness of performance audits, new Ohio Auditor Dave Yost is seeking proposals for a performance audit of his office.
Ohio high court rules on volunteer transition work groups
Ohio’s Supreme Court ruled that privately organized working groups of business leaders, government employees and private citizens, that have been making informal recommendations for the smooth transition of Cuyahoga County government to its new format, are not “public bodies” or “public offices,” and therefore are not subject to the requirements of Ohio’s open meetings and public records statutes.
Ohio jobless vets reach high level
The unemployment rate for veterans of recent wars is higher than it’s ever been, and Ohio the average annual unemployment rate for all veterans in Ohio rose from 10.5 percent in 2009 to 11 percent last year, moving the state into the top five states with veterans unemployment rates of 11 percent or higher.
Lake Erie fish could be harmed by blue-green algae
Toxic algae in Lake Erie may be interfering with certain fish reproductive systems, a four-year study supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. Scientists now believe the algae may be a catalyst for sex changes and other reproduction problems in fish.
First execution for Kasich
Gov. Kasich didn’t spare the life of Frank Spisak, a triple murderer and Nazi sympathizer from Cleveland, who was executed last week using sodium thiopental, a drug no longer manufactured in the U.S. Next up for execution is Johnnie Baston, 36, of Lucas County, who will die from pentobarbital, a fast-acting barbiturate that is more readily available.
Click ‘Subscribe’ above to have the next CGE column delivered via email to you. Read more stories on people, politics and government in Ohio here, or on Facebook or Twitter. Send news or tips to [email protected]