1 Comment · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Attorney General Mike DeWine says Obamacare infringes on religious liberty, but Republicans just want special economic rules for religious institutions.
by German Lopez
59 days ago
Jobs fair needs employers, parking petition underway, JobsOhio meets deadline
The city’s Youth Job Fair needs more employers
to reach the city’s goal of 100, says Mayor Mark Mallory. The fair offers young people a chance to seek out jobs. Employers can sign up for the free booths at www.mayormallory.com.
The petition to stop the parking plan is at 4,000 signatures
— nearly half of the 8,522 required before April 5. Under the plan, the city will lease its parking assets to the Port of Greater
Cincinnati Development Authority to help balance the 2014 and 2015 budgets and foster economic development,
but opponents say the semi-privatization plan will cede too much
control of the city’s parking assets and cause rates to skyrocket.
Whether the plan is subject to referendum is currently being debated in court.
JobsOhio, the privatized, nonprofit development agency, met the deadline
on a subpoena issued by State Auditor Dave Yost to collect the agency’s
full financial records, which include public and private funds.
JobsOhio also said it will eventually pay back $1 million in public
funds. Gov. John Kasich and other Republicans argued only public
funds can be checked by the state auditor, but Yost says he’s allowed to seek a full audit. Kasich and the Republican-controlled
legislature approved JobsOhio in part to replace the Ohio Department of
Development, which can be fully audited.In a letter to the Latino Affairs Commission, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wrote that the children of illegal immigrants should be eligible for driver’s licenses
under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
(DACA) initiative, which allows the children of illegal immigrants to
qualify for a social security number and work permit. DeWine’s letter is
not legally binding, but since it’s coming from the state’s top legal
adviser, it could put pressure on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ legal
team as it continues reviewing Ohio’s driver’s license policy.Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning policy research group, is pushing an earned income tax credit (EITC)
that could act as a progressive replacement for Gov. John Kasich’s tax
plan. The tax credit benefits low- and middle-income people,
particularly those with kids. The Policy Matters report says the federal
EITC has been one of the most effective anti-poverty policies in the
A bill that will limit the referendum process was pushed through the Ohio House Policy and Oversight Committee,
despite warnings from members of the League of Women Voters and
Democrats that the bill might draw a constitutional challenge. The bill
would give petitioners 10 days to collect additional signatures if their
initial submission falls short. Under current law, members can
continuously collect signatures while the secretary of state and boards
of elections verify the initial batch. The Ohio Constitution gives
petitioners 10 days to file, not collect, additional signatures.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld unveiled his three-pronged strategy for reducing city blight. The plan would encourage the passage of a state law that would allow people to trespass abandoned properties to remediate them, focus demolition resources on hazardous buildings and expand the city’s vacant foreclosed property registry.
A report from Catalyst for Payment Reform and Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute gave Ohio and six other states a D for health care transparency. Twenty-nine states got an F, and only New Hampshire and Massachusetts got A’s.Ohio lawmakers are poised to raise the speed limit on interstates in rural areas to 70 mph.
When The Huffington Post asked Ohio Sen. Rob
Portman if he wished it hadn't required a personal experience with gay
marriage to alter his position to favor marriage equality, he
responded, “Well, it did.”
He added, “I'm more of an economic policy wonk. That's always been my
background and focus: budget issues and economic growth issues. … That’s
just where I was.” Portman came out in support of same-sex marriage two
years after finding out his son is gay.
T.J. Lane, the convicted Chardon High School shooter, will spend the rest of his life in prison after murdering three Ohio students. At hearings yesterday, Lane smiled and mocked the victims’ families.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is looking to fill more than 1,000 jobs.
NASA's advice for a near-term meteor strike: “Pray.”
Due to a severe lack of funding, NASA does not have the proper
technology to detect all the small asteroids in orbit that could level cities. If a
deadly asteroid is detected, the current plan is to crash a spacecraft
on it to slow it down or alter its course.
Would you get a vampire facial?
by German Lopez
59 days ago
DeWine says DACA recipients should be eligible to obtain driver's licenses
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has been reviewing its
driver’s license policy for the children of illegal immigrants for nearly
two months now, but if it was up to Attorney General Mike DeWine, those
people would already be eligible for driver’s licenses.
In a letter to the Latino Affairs Commission dated to March 19,
DeWine wrote, “It appears that the BMV would have to accept driver’s
license applications from individuals that fall under the Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative because they can provide
all of the information necessary.”
DACA is an executive order signed by President Barack
Obama that allows the children of illegal immigrants to qualify for a
social security number and work permit. According to DeWine, that should
be enough to qualify for an Ohio driver’s license: “With these
documents and any other documents normally required by the BMV, an
individual can provide the BMV with the information necessary to receive
a driver’s license.”
The BMV has been reviewing its driver’s license policy for DACA recipients for nearly two months. A previous CityBeat report
found the BMV is granting driver’s licenses to some of the children of
illegal immigrants, but what qualifies a few and disqualifies others is
DeWine’s letter is not legally binding, but since it’s
coming from the state’s top legal adviser, it could put
pressure on the BMV’s legal team as it continues reviewing the Ohio’s driver’s
“I encourage any citizen who is concerned about a law or
policy to contact their legislators and voice that concern,” DeWine
wrote. “As Attorney General, I do not have the authority to introduce or
vote on legislation.”
CityBeat originally broke the story regarding the
BMV policy through the story of Ever Portillo, who was not able to receive a driver’s license despite being a DACA recipient (“Not Legal Enough,” issue of Feb. 6).
CityBeat later heard stories and received documents showing what seemed to be internal confusion and conflict about the policy at the BMV. Between January and February, there was a
noticeable shift in the BMV’s messaging from flat-out barring DACA
recipients from obtaining driver’s licenses to reviewing the entire
process — a change that might be attributable to the barrage of statewide media coverage on the issue after CityBeat's coverage.
by German Lopez
DeWine calls for school staff training, Music Hall to be leased, bus money not for streetcar
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is proposing
training school staff and teachers to be first responders in the case
of an attack. The news comes in the wake of the massacre in Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which caused the deaths of 20
children and six adults. CityBeat proposed its own solution in this week’s commentary: Make this time different by focusing on mental health services and gun control.
Cincinnati will lease Music Hall for 75 years to the Music Hall Revitalization Company (MHRC). The lease
is part of a plan to renovate the iconic building to include more
comfortable seating, extra restroom capacity, heating, air conditioning,
improved plumbing and new escalator models. During the renovations,
Music Hall will be closed for 17 months.
City Council passed
a resolution promising not to use Metro bus money for the streetcar.
The supposed conflict between the city of Cincinnati and the Southwest
Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is being drummed up by the
media, but it’s really much ado about nothing.
Metropolitan Sewer District rates will go up by 5 percent in early 2013.
The Cincinnati Health Department is pushing
recommendations from a lead hazard study. The recommendations would
prohibit lead-based paint hazards and require all properties to be free
of lead-based paint, dust and soil. City Council is asking the health
department to carry out the regulations, and it expects from a plan and
timetable from regulators within 60 days. One study found getting rid of lead would do wonders for school performance
A Brookings Institute ranking placed Greater Cincinnati among the worst areas in the country due to falling home prices.
Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank agreed
to a $16 million settlement in a securities fraud case. The
four-year-old lawsuit was brought in the onset of 2008’s financial
crisis, when the bank’s stock plummeted as it took several large
Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino still needs to fill 450 positions in food and beverage, marketing, finance, security and more. A Washington Post analysis found casinos tend to bring jobs, but they also bring crime, bankruptcy and even suicide.
As expected, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is helping
Ohio’s economy. The state has 39,000 jobs attached to oil and gas this
year, and the number is expected to triple by the end of the decade. To
take advantage of the boom, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he will push his oil-and-gas severance tax in 2013. But the plan faces opposition from liberals and conservatives.
If Ohio Republicans tried to push “right-to-work” legislation, it would lead to a very nasty public fight, The Plain Dealer reports. Kasich and Republican lawmakers didn’t rule out
using ballot initiatives to push conservative ideas like right-to-work
in a press conference yesterday, but he did say he’s like a horse with
blinders on, focusing on job creation.
The animal and robot takeover have been merged in the BigDog robot. It can now obey voice commands, follow and roll over.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: News
at 04:00 PM | Permalink
Company, executive plead guilty to rigging bids to provide traffic cones
A Cincinnati-based company and one of its top executives
have pleaded guilty to circumventing Ohio’s competitive bid process, a
move the state’s top lawyer said cheated taxpayers out of tens of
thousands of dollars.
Attorney General Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that
Quattro Inc. pleaded guilty to two felonies while sales manager Timothy
O’Brien pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors. The pleas were made in
exchange for cooperation with the investigation.
The company was charged with submitting multiple bids on
road jobs under different company names, creating the illusion of a
competitive process while really manipulating the price they’d be paid.
They were supposed to provide traffic control devices, such as arrow
signs, orange barrels and cones.
The company pleaded guilty to one count of entering into
an unlawful combination contract, and one count of attempting to engage
in a pattern of corrupt behavior. It agreed to pay $42,796 in penalties
O’Brien pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in a
conspiracy against trade and agreed to pay $5,872 in penalties and
The charges were the first in almost three decades brought under Ohio’s antitrust statute, the Valentine Act.
by German Lopez
A federal judge ruled that in-person early voting in Ohio
must be extended to include the weekend and Monday before Election Day
for all voters. The ruling is a result of President Barack Obama’s
campaign team and the Democrats filing a lawsuit against Secretary of
State Jon Husted to extend early voting. Attorney General Mike DeWine
has vowed to appeal the ruling. Republicans have consistently blocked
all attempts to expand early voting in Ohio, citing costs and racial
politics.Cincinnati manufacturing is on a big rebound, according to
a new survey. The Cincinnati Purchasing Management Index, which is used
to measure manufacturing in the area, showed some decline in July, but
it is now bouncing back. The news could indicate a wider economic
recovery.Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in town Saturday.
During his speech, Romney pointed fingers to “cheaters” like China,
which Romney believes is unfairly manipulating its currency. (China has
not been manipulating its currency for some time now.) Romney also
rolled out his plan to restore America’s economy by emphasizing small
businesses and cutting government spending. But the Brookings Institute
says the unemployment rate would be at 7.1 percent if it wasn’t for
government cuts passed by state and federal governments in the past few
years. Romney also wants to cut back on the Environmental Protection Agency, which he says is
hurting local jobs with too many regulations.
Some Democrats are calling for Husted to resign. Dennis
Lieberman and Tom Ritchie, both who were fired for attempting to expand
in-person early voting to include weekends despite Husted’s uniform
rules demanding no weekend hours, said in a press release Husted should resign for missing a
critical deadline. The deadline was to establish the ballot language and
argument against Issue 2, a ballot initiative supported by Ohio Voters
First that would place redistricting in the hands of an independent
citizens committee. If Issue 2 is not passed, politicians will continue
drawing district boundaries, which typically leads to a process known as
“gerrymandering” that politicians use to redraw districts in
politically beneficial ways. In Cincinnati, gerrymandering has been used
to de-emphasize the urban vote — or African-American vote, according to
Doug Preisse, adviser to Gov. John Kasich — by redrawing district
boundaries to include Warren County. CityBeat previously covered the redistricting issue here.Competition in the Greater Cincinnati area has allowed
some cities to pay less for trash hauling services. Rumpke previously
held a stranglehold on the business, but that seems to be changing with the arrival of legitimate competitors — such as CSI and Forest Green.
The Obama campaign will open its offices in
Cincinnati tomorrow. The Obama team promises to use the offices for a
large ground game.The Ohio Board of Regents is calling on some Ohio colleges
to continue enrolling military veterans despite a temporary disruption
in federal benefits, which was caused by a loss of records.Former Gov. Ted Strickland might run again to knock Gov.
John Kasich out of the spot. Strickland is expected to speak at the
Democratic National Convention today.Rep. John Boehner of Ohio seems to have his geography
confused. At a speech, he said he wants senatorial candidate Josh Mandel
of Ohio to win to "run Harry Reid back to Nevada.” Reid is a U.S.
senator for Nevada.U.S. home prices rose in July by the most in six years.
The news could indicate a recovery in the housing market. The housing
crash is generally attributed as the primary cause of the Great
Recession.The Democratic National Convention is heading into day two
today. The convention is touting the new Democratic platform, which now
includes support for same-sex marriage. At the Ohio delegation in the
convention, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is often cited as a
potential presidential candidate for the 2016 election, criticized Kasich.A cure for baldness could be in stores as soon as five years from now.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
announced Aug. 23 that grant money will go to a local organization to
help homeless youth. Some of the money, which is taken from the State
Victims Assistance Act, will go to Cincinnati-based Lighthouse Youth
Services (LYS) to help victims of domestic violence, including gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, between the ages of 18 and 24.
by German Lopez
Cincinnati organization gets grant money to combat homelessness
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that
grant money will go to a local organization to help homeless
youth. Some of the money, which is taken from the State Victims Assistance Act,
will go to Cincinnati-based Lighthouse Youth Services
(LYS) to help victims of domestic
violence, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth,
between the ages of 18 and 24.
"These kids don't have to live on the streets and wonder
every day where they'll be getting their next meal,” DeWine said in a
The grant money, which totals $430,000, will be shared
between the Cincinnati organization and The Next Step, another homeless
aid organization based in Geauga and Portage counties.
LYS, which helps about 2,200 people in the Greater Cincinnati area each day, will get $137,500 year per year for two years.
The money will primarily go to the Lighthouse on Highland facility, which is located in Clifton. Bob Mecum, CEO of
LYS, says the facility helps youth between the ages of 16 and 24 that
are typically victims of violence.
During the day, Lighthouse on Highland provides nursing,
showering, washing, food, shelter, computer and case-management
services. At night, the organization acts as a 28-bed shelter. On
the average day, the facility helps 10 to 30 people with its street
outreach services and 40 to 60 people with its on-site services. On the
typical night, 27 out of 28 beds are filled.
“Through this grant from the attorney general offices, the services out of the Highland location will be funded,” Mecum says.
On average, LGBT youth face greater homelessness rates.
Even though LGBT youth makes up only about 10 percent of the general
youth population, LGBT youth makes up about 20 percent of the homeless
youth population, according to the National Coalition of Homelessness.
LGBT youth are also twice as likely to experience sexual abuse by the
age of 12, and they’re about 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of
sexual violence than heterosexual youth.
by Danny Cross
The World Choir Games kicked off last
night with an opening ceremony that CityBeat’s Anne Arenstein thoroughly
enjoyed. Arenstein in a blog described choirs from West Chester,
Loveland and Pleasant Ridge mingling with groups from Japan, Colombia,
Canada and Australia, along with “spontaneous singing and dancing.” The
event takes place at various venues through July 17. More info here.
Kentucky has a higher rate of women who smoke while
pregnant than other parts of the country. The state health department
has apparently felt the need to remind people that when you inhale
cancerous chemicals with a baby inside your body, the baby gets some
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is willing to offer the
full strength of his office should any knuckleheads try to rip off the
state’s new casinos. In a joint statement with Cuyahoga County
Prosecutor Bill Mason, DeWine articulated his dedication to stopping cheaters in casinos. The state charged seven people for increasing
bet sizes or removing bets when you’re not allowed to anymore.
President Obama has begun a two-day bus tour through
northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The tour is called ”Betting on
America” and will include a defense of Obama’s economic policies while
pointing out that the auto bailout worked and Mitt Romney outsourced
Mitt Romney is reportedly considering choosing a woman as a
running mate, and Romney’s wife says “I don’t have a problem with
London built a new skyscraper called “The Shard.” It’s 95 [expletive] stories high.
Reuters says there are positive signs for the struggling job market.
Veteran NBA point guard Steve Nash is joining the L.A. Lakers, and Pau Gasol says it will be a huge honor to play with the dude. Kobe says, "Meh."
by German Lopez
Trend follows other cities, states, countries and a majority of Fortune 500 companies
Cincinnati inched closer to
equality after moving forward Monday with a measure that would allow city
employees in same-sex and other partnerships to receive health insurance
With a push by Chris Seelbach,
the first openly gay councilman in Cincinnati, the measure passed the finance
committee with the support of all council members except Charlie Winburn, who
The approval came after a city
report found that same-sex benefits could cost as much as $543,000 a year if 77
partners took advantage of the benefits.
The report suggested City Council
mimic a system already in place in Columbus, which requires partners to prove
financial interdependency and that they have been together for six months.
If the measure passes City
Council, Cincinnati would be more caught up with other cities, states,
countries and companies that already grant health benefits to same-sex
couples. Earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign estimated that 60 percent
of Fortune 500 companies offer health benefits to same-sex couples, including
Procter and Gamble and Fifth Third Bank.
Altogether, it seems like a small
step toward equality. What’s unfortunate is none of it would be required if
same-sex marriage was legal in Ohio. If it was,
same-sex couples could get marriage benefits, including health-care coverage.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday approved
the petition language for an amendment that would overturn Ohio’s 2004 ban on
gay marriage. The new amendment would define marriage as “a union of two
consenting adults, regardless of gender.”
The amendment now moves forward
to the Ohio Ballot Board. If approved, it will then require 385,253 signatures
from registered voters and, finally, voter approval.Ohio banned same-sex marriage in
2004 with a majority vote of 62 percent. But Ian James, co-founder of the
Freedom to Marry Coalition, told the Huffington Post that he is optimistic
things will be different this time, citing recent polls that show the nation is
moving toward support of gay marriage.