Ohio House Bill 6 scandal inspires more questionable attacks in state legislative races

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Republican-controlled legislature passed Ohio House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout law that’s now at the center of a federal corruption investigation, and a Republican governor signed it.

But some Democrats played supporting roles in the bill becoming law, too, while some Republicans aggressively opposed it.

Don’t expect any of that nuance to be captured in political attacks that are swirling in hotly contested state legislative races.

One audacious ad from the Ohio Republican Party attacks Alexis Miller, the Democratic nominee for House District 89 in Northern Ohio.

The ad attempts to tie Miller, a first-time candidate, to the HB6 scandal by noting – accurately – that House Democrats provided the votes for state Rep. Larry Householder to be elected speaker. Householder and four allies, including a former Ohio Republican Party chairman, were arrested in July for allegedly using more than $60 million in bribe money from FirstEnergy Corp. to secure the passage of the law, which gives a former subsidiary $1.3 billion in ratepayer money to support two nuclear power plants.

“If Alexis Miller’s campaign is supported by the same people who supported Larry Householder, how can we trust her?” the mailer asks.

What the ad doesn’t mention is that Miller’s GOP opponent, state Rep. D.J. Swearingen, was appointed to the legislature by Householder, a Republican. Swearingen also received donations from FirstEnergy, ex-FirstEnergy lobbyist Juan Cespedes, who was among those arrested, and the House GOP campaign committee, which was financially supported by Householder’s operation.

Another mailer from the Ohio Democratic Party ties state Rep. Dave Greenspan, a Westlake Republican, to the HB6 scandal. Greenspan, first elected in 2016, is running against Monique Smith, a Democrat and former Lakewood city councilwoman.

The ad, which references the federal investigation as the “largest bribery and money laundering scheme ever in Ohio, is a boilerplate attack Democrats are waging against Republicans across the state. It might give a voter the impression that Greenspan voted for the bill.

But Greenspan didn’t just vote against House Bill 6, he’s sponsored two separate bills to repeal it, and even went to the FBI, aiding the federal investigation against Householder while the bill was still being debated, court records show. His refusal to vote for it led Householder to ominously threaten him in a text message that made its way into an affidavit from an FBI agent laying out the case against Householder and his allies.

The common thread between Greenspan and Swearingen: both are Republicans holding seats that are expected to be competitive in this November’s election. Greenspan represents a district that includes Cleveland’s western suburbs that could be a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, while Swearingen represents Erie and Ottawa counties, a potential swing area– and as a recent political appointee, his name has never appeared on a ballot.

It’s not just the Greenspan/Smith and Miller/Swearingen races. The HB6 scandal has inspired numerous questionable attacks, as Democrats try to take advantage of a corruption scandal, even by attacking first-time candidates who

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Ohio State student killed in shooting near frat house; suspect arrested

A teen has been arrested in the shooting death early Sunday of an Ohio State University student after an altercation outside an off-campus frat house, according to reports.

Columbus police said they found the victim Chase Meola, 23, in an alley next to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.

Officers responded shortly after 2 a.m. for a report of shooting.

OHIO STATE PLAYER OUT OF HOSPITAL AFTER WEEKEND SHOOTING

Mug shot for Kinte Mitchell, 18.

Mug shot for Kinte Mitchell, 18.
(Franklin County Sheriff’s Office)

Police said Kinte Mitchell Jr., 18, was arrested a few blocks away and charged with killing Meola, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

“Reports indicate that individuals were asked to leave a house party in the area, and an altercation occurred outside,” they said.

Police said Mitchell was not a Ohio State student and they were trying to determine how he wound up at the party.

ILLINOIS COLLEGE SHOOTING SUSPECT SURRENDERS IN CHICAGO, SCHOOL SAYS

Phi Kappa Psi had its student organization status revoked in June 2018 and is on disciplinary suspension through August 2022 due to hazing and endangering behavior, according to The Lantern, the Ohio State student newspaper.

“The Ohio State University community is in mourning, and our deepest condolences and support go to the family and friends of Chase,” campus police said in a statement.

Meola was a fifth-year marketing major from Mahwah, N.J.

He was a high school football standout who aspired to work on Wall Street, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

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“Wall Street is where I would like to see my self in the near future,” he said on LinkedIn, according to the paper. “Ohio State was a great place for me learn and perfect all my skills.”

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Here’s why Ohio lawmakers haven’t done anything about scandal-tainted House Bill 6 so far

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Following the July arrest of then-House Speaker Larry Householder on a charge he oversaw a bribery scheme to pass House Bill 6, dozens of Ohio lawmakers quickly signed on as co-sponsors of bills to repeal the tainted energy law.

But months later, it’s still unclear what, if anything, the Republican-dominated Ohio General Assembly will do about HB6 before the legislative session ends in December and the public starts paying for a $1 billion-plus bailout of two nuclear power plants in January.

The main reason, lawmakers and observers say, is because – much like congressional Republicans’ unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare in 2017 – there’s no consensus among GOP lawmakers on what, if anything, to replace HB6 with.

Some favor a straight repeal of HB6. Others think it should be replaced, and at least a few believe nothing at all should be done to alter it.

“They are all over the place,” said state Rep. Mark Romanchuk of Richland County about his fellow Republicans.

There are other reasons as well. Even Republicans who favor repealing and replacing House Bill 6 say they need time to study HB6, an enormously complex law that goes far beyond the nuclear bailout, and make sure that any changes they make to it won’t have unintended consequences for Ohioans.

Another factor is that the Senate appears to be leaving it up to the House to decide what to do, as HB6 originated in that chamber. And the House is led by Bob Cupp, a newly elected House speaker who is living up to his reputation for acting deliberatively.

“You’ve got Republicans in the caucus who think ‘This is all just going to blow over — if we just stonewall for long enough, people will forget about it,’” said state Rep. David Leland, a Columbus Democrat. “And then you’ve got people who want to do something, but they’re not sure what they want to do. And then you’ve got a speaker who doesn’t know what he wants to do. It’s a multi-faceted problem for the Republican caucus.”

Taking their time

After Householder and four allies were arrested in late July, Republicans and Democrats in the Ohio House each introduced bills to repeal HB6.

Soon after that, Cupp was elected and quickly formed a study committee to look into repealing and replacing HB6. But that committee has wrapped up hearings on the repeal bills until after Election Day.

The panel’s chair, state Rep. Jim Hoops, told reporters last week that concerns have been raised that repealing the law without replacing it could lead to unwanted consequences, and committee members want to hear more testimony before deciding what to do.

“You don’t want to react so quickly that you end up making a bigger mess,” said Hoops, a veteran GOP lawmaker who voted for HB6, during a separate interview last month.

Besides the nuclear bailout, there are a lot of other parts of HB6 that lawmakers have to decide whether to keep – including (among many other things):

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These Are The Smart Kitchen Appliances Ohio Homeowners Love

This post is sponsored and contributed by a Patch Brand Partner. The views expressed in this post are the author’s own.

Smart kitchen appliances can make your life more efficient. Here's how.
Smart kitchen appliances can make your life more efficient. Here’s how. (Shutterstock)

It’s not surprising, because a smart kitchen can make your day-to-day life much easier. Plus, appliances are easy to use and install. These are the best options to add to your home now.

A Smart Refrigerator

Want to check for milk from the dairy aisle? A smart refrigerator makes it easy, with products like the Samsung Family Hub, which has a built-in LCD screen to serve as your home’s command central. Think calendars, grocery lists, a message board, photo sharing features, and more.

Cameras inside the fridge let you check its content from a mobile app. If you prefer something higher end, Dacor offers a line of built-in, column-style refrigerators equipped with WiFi cameras.

A Smart Oven

Anyone can be a master baker with smarter cooking technology. For example, Bosch offers a collaboration with Drop that provides step-by-step instructions to hundreds of recipes. Plus, you can control the oven’s cooking times and temperatures through the company’s Home Connect App.

Another option is from Whirlpool, which has a range with scan-to-cook technology. That’s right, simply scan the UPC barcode on a food package (like a frozen pizza), and the oven will recommend directions, temperature, and cooking time directly to the appliance.


Want to make your kitchen smarter? Contact a contractor in your area.


A Smart Coffee Maker

If you’re not ready to invest in a major smart appliance, test the waters with your coffee maker. Try the Behmor Brewer Connected Coffee Brew System to enjoy pinpoint temperature control and brew remotely via a smartphone app.

From there, up your game with an impressive fridge. The GE French Door refrigerator with Keurig Brewing System will prep you a cup right from bed using Geneva, the manufacturer’s voice control assistant.

Add A Dash

If you already have the Amazon Dash button, you already know how easy it is to order everything on your grocery list with the press of a button. Now, manufacturers are incorporating this smart technology into appliances. Think coffee makers that know when you need more java and dishwashers that ask for more detergent.

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This post is sponsored and contributed by a Patch Brand Partner. The views expressed in this post are the author’s own.

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Kate Schroder in Ohio among Democratic challengers squelching GOP hopes for the House

Kate Schroder is a nightmare for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy’s Democratic challenger to launch first TV ad highlighting Air Force service as single mother Trump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association – White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill MORE (R-Calif.): She’s a 47-year-old political newcomer who has a real chance to knock off an entrenched Republican congressman in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Schroder is one of the stars of a surprisingly strong collection of Democratic challengers in Republican-held seats. Republican hopes of recapturing control of the House are fading fast.

Schroder began to run last year for the seat held by 12-term, 67-year-old incumbent, Steve ChabotSteven (Steve) Joseph ChabotCentrist Democrats ‘strongly considering’ discharge petition on GOP PPP bill Lawmakers call for expanded AI role in education, business to remain competitive The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association – Pence lauds Harris as ‘experienced debater’; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep MORE, in a Republican gerrymandered district. A public health expert and cancer survivor, she focused on expanding health care coverage and keeping Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which the Trump administration and her opponent have opposed.

The pandemic has elevated her profile and passion: “I don’t have to explain the importance of public health,” she told me.

With the huge focus on the presidential election and closely contested battle for the Senate majority, House races have received scant attention.

The Democrats gained 41 seats in 2018; Republicans a year ago thought they could win over a net of 17 seats to retake the majority. They reasoned that their most endangered incumbents lost last time and that many of the freshmen Democrats would be vulnerable this time. It’s not working out that way. When House Republican leader McCarthy this month set forth the agenda for when Republicans take charge of the House next year, it looked more like a reservation on the next voyage of the Titanic. There already are four or five open Republican-held seats the Democrats will almost certainly capture. Then, it’s generally agreed, each side has about a dozen competitive races. Democrats in very difficult districts like Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamWarning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina Trump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report GOP leader says he doesn’t want Chamber’s endorsement: ‘They have sold out’ MORE in South Carolina or Kendra HornKendra Suzanne HornGOP women’s group rolls out six-figure campaign for Ernst Trump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report Officials say NASA facing increased targeting by foreign and domestic hackers MORE in Oklahoma, two freshmen, or veteran Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonThe Hill’s Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida Peterson faces

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New Ohio House speaker’s sterling narrative has detractors

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — There were some whispers among members of the Republican caucus that Bob Cupp should be the person to lead the Ohio House. It was 2018. The federal investigation into the previous House speaker had left the dais empty for months and the chamber at a standstill.

But Cupp, who has served in all three branches of state government, demurred. It wasn’t the right time.

Fast forward two years and two House speakers, Cupp’s moment had arrived. The conservative Republican and former Ohio Supreme Court justice was elected July 30 to lead the House in what the state Attorney General says will be “the greatest challenge of his career.”

The House speaker remains one of the most powerful political posts in state government. The speaker has the ability to block or move legislation, in addition to helping determine how the state spends billions of dollars earmarked for health care, education, criminal justice and other government programs.

Cupp takes control of the House during an unprecedented moment of division and tribulation for the presidential battleground state, and therefore the nation, less than two months from Election Day. His predecessor, fellow GOP state Rep. Larry Householder, was indicted this summer on federal bribery charges in what prosecutors called the ‘largest bribery, money-laundering scheme’ in state history.

Cupp, a 69-year-old anti-abortion, pro-gun rights conservative, took Householder’s seat by one vote in the GOP-controlled House, with every single Democrat and a few Republicans voting against him. All the other candidates to replace Householder were also white, Republican men.

Following Cupp’s election, colleagues and supporters of him joined in an unofficial campaign, nominating him as “the last Boy Scout” in Ohio politics. He was praised as “an elder statesman,” as “studious and diligent” and as having “unimpeachable character.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost shared anecdotes about Cupp’s dedication to growing his own heirloom tomatoes in February so that he can enjoy them come June. His wife Libby, a retired educator, whom he met while attending a convention for College Republicans, showed photos of the three llamas they rescued, Lima (LEE’-mah) the Llama from Lima (LYE’-muh) — the Ohio city of which Cupp is a native — Mocha Latte and Phantom of the Opera, to reporters and members on the House floor.

Even Cupp himself has added to the narrative of his simple life and how it won’t change with the promotion.

“My wife will still make me take the garbage out every Sunday night. Clean out the cat litter boxes and those kinds of things,” Cupp told reporters upon being elected speaker. “I tell people if they think I’m more than I am, they should tell me because I don’t want to be.”

But there are other views of Cupp — including from an old opponent, former Democratic Justice William O’Neill, who alleged years ago that Cupp violated his post’s ethics in accepting campaign contributions from the same energy company that is now at the center of the federal investigation into his

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House of Representatives condemns coronavirus-related discrimination against Asians over objections from Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment related to the coronavirus over objections from Champaign County Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who dismissed the measure as another effort by Democrats to attack President Donald Trump.

“Everyone knows racism is wrong, but that’s not what this legislation is about,” said Jordan, who serves as top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said on the House floor.

Democrats who unanimously supported the measure argued it’s needed to fight racially motivated harassment and violence against Asians that stems from their being associated with the virus because of its origins in China. They cited prominent figures, including Trump, “resorting to anti-Asian rhetoric in speaking about the challenge of COVID-19,” as House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland described it.

In addition to condemning anti-Asian sentiment, the resolution calls on federal law enforcement to investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes against Asian-Americans, to collect data on the rise of hate crimes incidents due to COVID-19, and to hold perpetrators accountable.

The measure passed the House of Representatives in a 243-164 vote. All of Ohio’s Democrats backed the measure, as did Republicans Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River and Steve Stivers of Columbus.

In a speech on the House of Representatives floor to support the resolution, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York cited a report from the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council that said there have been almost 2,600 cases of anti-Asian discrimination related to the coronavirus since March 19, including “the stabbings of an Asian-American father and his two young children, ages 2 and 6, in Texas.”

“Public health entities including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recognized that labeling a virus by geographic or ethnic terms unfairly stigmatizes certain communities and ultimately harms public health,” Nadler continued, noting that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar condemned the use of the phrase ‘Chinese virus’ in testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, stating that ‘ethnicity is not what causes the novel coronavirus.’”

Jordan accused the resolution’s proponents of participating in a “cancel culture” mob, noting that media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS have referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese coronavirus,” “China’s coronavirus” and the “Wuhan virus.”

“In the new woke world, you can’t state the truth,” said Jordan, noting that the virus started in China, which lied to the world about the virus and its severity. He said those who are “politically correct” are stifling truthful statements about China’s role. He called the resolution and “where the left wants to take the country” dangerous for free speech rights.

“That’s how the mob operates today,” he said. “They’ll attack you if you don’t say it the way they want you to say it and this is dangerous. You can’t say China virus today. Tomorrow who knows what it will be?”

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Senate Committee approves three Ohio federal

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These Are The Kitchen Additions You Need In Ohio

This post is sponsored and contributed by a Patch Brand Partner. The views expressed in this post are the author’s own.

Why you need a wall oven and more this fall.
Why you need a wall oven and more this fall. (Shutterstock)

Fall has officially arrived in Ohio. So as we get ready to turn our focus back to life indoors, and spend football Sundays cooking up snacks, it’s time to evaluate how your kitchen functions.

If you could use more cooking space, storage, or better ventilation, act now. Consider these five essential upgrades and your holidays will be smooth sailing.

1. Wall Ovens

Ask any true chef/foodie and they will tell you, having an oven at eye level is something to brag about. What makes a hanging wall oven so special? Well, when it comes time to baste a turkey or check on your pie, it’s much easier to access and keep an eye on the contents.

Plus, you’ll enjoy extra elbow room having your range located away from the oven (perfect for preparing several foods at once). Not to mention, wall ovens with more than one compartment can bake multiple items at different temperatures. Many have convection, steam, and rotisserie options as well.

2. Cabinet Organizers

Did you catch the premiere of “Get Organized with The Home Edit” on Netflix? If you did, chances are you’re already on top of organizing your pantry. If not, it’s time to invest in some cabinet organizers and lazy Susans. Think about adding shelving and installing roll-out organizers. Being able to see all of your spices/condiments/baking ingredients, etc., is every chef’s dream.


Need a pro for your next kitchen renovation? Find a contractor in your area.

If you have ever wrestled to free a pan from a stack of heavy pots and lids, this one is for you. Install a large pot rack over your island, or against a free wall, and you will free up so much space in your drawers and cabinetry. And, you’ll be able to see all of your tools at the same time.

It’s also a great way to put things like copper pots and vintage cookware on display!

4. A New Dishwasher

Today’s modern dishwashers are a far cry from their older predecessors. They are more spacious, have impressive cleaning power, and are more energy efficient. Never pre-rinse your dishes again! Plus, you might be able to get a tax break for an Energy Star model.

5. Ventilation Systems

Air quality is top of mind more than ever these days. And along with having purified air, no one wants a smelly kitchen. If you’ve already upgraded your insulation and windows, it’s time to think about a new kitchen ventilation system. This will keep air circulating—and odor free.

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This post is sponsored and contributed by a Patch Brand Partner. The views expressed in this post are the author’s own.

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Ohio Students Hosting Large House Party Admits to Police They ‘All’ Tested Positive for COVID

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, students from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio threw a house party during Labor Day weekend which ignored school and city rules requiring masks, social distancing and gatherings no larger than 10 people.



A photo illustration of a policeman questioning a young person at a house.


© kzenon/Getty
A photo illustration of a policeman questioning a young person at a house.

When police arrived at the house on Saturday at 4:05 p.m., they discovered seven young men sitting on the porch, drinking and listening to music without masks. A total of 20 people were at the gathering. One house resident confirmed to police that he had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

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When asked whether he was supposed to be in quarantine, the student responded, “Yeah, that’s why I’m at my house,” and then claimed that everyone else in attendance had tested positive for COVID-19 as well.

“That’s what we’re trying to prevent,” the officer told the student. “We want to keep this town open. You’re not quarantining if you’re mixing with other people.”

Although students in the house began to leave as soon as police arrived, police ended up fining six men—five house residents and one visitor—$500 each for violating city ordinances forbidding gatherings of more than 10 people, a precaution to prevent a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

One of the residents fined by police claimed that the party guests simply showed up without being invited, but the police officer declined to discuss that claim further calling it “an argument for another day.”

Miami University officials told CBS News that any students found violating city COVID-19 ordinances could face disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct, including possible suspension or dismissal.

According to Cleveland.com, more than 1,000 Miami University students have tested positive for COVID-19 during the past two weeks. The school will resume in-person classes on September 21 with roughly 40 percent of the school’s nearly 20,000 students learning remotely online.

Newsweek contacted Miami University for comment.

Other universities have struggled to keep students from partying in defiance of rules meant to prevent coronavirus epidemics.

In late August, Ohio State University issued 228 interim suspensions for individuals and student organizations who attended or hosted large parties and gatherings in the university district.

Around the same time, Florida State University police arrested and charged seven students associated with the disbanded Alpha Tau Omega fraternity for hosting an “open house party.”

On September 10, Illinois State University said it was considering consequences for students who attended a 200-person “pop-up” party hosted by The Nelk Boys, a group of college-aged pranksters with nearly 5.7 million YouTube followers.

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Ohio House holds first House Bill 6 repeal hearing: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Talking it out: The Ohio House held its first hearing on Thursday for legislation that would repeal House Bill 6, the nuclear bailout bill that’s the center of a federal corruption probe. As Jeremy Pelzer reports, The Ohio House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight heard testimony from sponsors of bills to repeal House Bill 6. GOP members rejected an attempt from committee Democrats to send the Republican-backed repeal bill to the floor.

New top doc: Dr. Joan Duwve, currently director of public health for South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, will be the new director of the Ohio Department of Health, DeWine announced on Thursday. A former family physician and Ohio native, she previously worked for several Indiana governors and the Indiana University public-health school in Indianapolis. Per Tobias, Duwve is Ohio’s first permanent health director since Dr. Amy Acton resigned in June amid intensifying public criticism and harassment.

I’ll pass: Asked Thursday, DeWine avoided directly addressing the revelations from Wednesday that Republican President Donald Trump told Washington Post editor Bob Woodward on tape that he wanted to downplay the severity of coronavirus despite knowing the dangers, Seth Richardson reports. The recordings of Trump caused an uproar amongst his detractors, including Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown who – as the Columbus Dispatch’s Darrel Rowland points out is taking a bigger role in Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign – said Trump was gaslighting the public.

Summit rises: Summit County, which had been orange in last week’s coronavirus risk map, is now red, Laura Hancock reports. It joins five other counties in Level 3.

Jumping into the fray: The Trump campaign has intervened in several lawsuits over Ohio’s elections procedures, including on Thursday in a federal lawsuit challenging Ohio’s one ballot drop-box per county rule. Per John Caniglia, lawyers with Jones Day said in a court filing: “The Republican committees have a substantial interest in preventing changes to the ‘competitive environment’ at this late hour.” A judge set a Sept. 23 court hearing in the case.

Get your flu shot: DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted got poked on live TV with a flu vaccination in an attempt to spur others to get shots too. Meantime, the state reported 1,121 new coronavirus cases, higher than the 21-day average of 1,052.

Latest unemployment numbers: Both initial and continued unemployment claims fell again in Ohio last week, reports Jeremy Pelzer. For the week of Aug. 30 through Sept. 5, 17,983 Ohioans filed initial jobless claims, while 325,515 submitted continued claims.

Nay to ‘Ye: The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled against Kanye West in his effort to sue his way onto the Ohio ballot as an independent presidential candidate, Jeremy Pelzer reports. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose was justified when he rejected West’s candidate paperwork due to a signature mismatch by West’s running mate, justices unanimously ruled. Republican operatives have been trying to get West onto the ballot in Ohio and other

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