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A number of groups are collecting bottled water for residents in Flint, Michigan.

The City of Dayton and Jet Express, Inc., are working together to collect water for the city that’s been harshly affected by elevated lead levels in its drinking water. 

Karen Kasler

There were more than 200 people identified as potential human trafficking victims in Ohio last year – nearly all of them female, and more than a quarter of them under 18. Those are the latest stats from a report presented to the state's task force on human trafficking. 

The number of potential victims is up slightly over last year’s report. But officials say there’s a detail that explains that.

“It absolutely is the case that increased awareness yields more people being helped, ” said Ohio's human trafficking coordinator Elizabeth Ranade-Janis. 

The Ohio Supreme Court is considering the role of the school bus driver for student safety.
Wikimedia

An Ohio initiative is seeking to boost access mental health consultants in an effort to curb the number of children expelled or suspended from kindergarten, preschool and other early childhood education settings.

The state's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says 75 counties are expected to benefit from $9.1 million set aside in the state's two-year budget to help fund the initiative. Up to 64 mental health consultants will work with teachers and at-risk students in early learning programs such as Head Start and preschool.

Charles D P Miller / Flickr Creative Commons

Late winter begins today throughout the United States. In the South, the early wildflowers start to bloom; in the North, the January thaw forecasts spring.

Along the 40th Parallel, about halfway between the Gulf of Mexico and the Canadian Border, cardinals and doves begin to sing before sunrise.

In just a couple of weeks, the first red-winged blackbirds arrive in the Ohio Valley. Not long afterwards, the first snowdrops flower and the maple sap runs.

On Friday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency announced a lawsuit against Pineview Pines Estates mobile home park in Dayton. DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the owner, Tim Dearwester, for numerous violations of Ohio’s safe drinking water laws.

MReece / Flickr

Ohio Governor John Kasich recently signed into law new statewide regulations ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft. The new laws trump regulations put in place by local governments.  

The legislation sets up new requirements for drivers, including background checks, insurance, and photo IDs. Drivers will also have to provide riders with upfront cost estimates for their trip.

The bill’s co-sponsor, State Representative Bob Hackett, says it clears up confusion for drivers.

Pete "comedy_nose" / Flickr/Creative Commons

The latest Ohio School report card data shows Dayton Public Schools' graduation rates lag behind every other school district in the Miami Valley. According to a new study by the Ohio Education Policy Institute, those rates are reflective of a larger trend among the state's school districts.

 

The analysis revealed that school districts with more low-income students had graduation rates 23 percentage points lower than affluent districts. 

Shortly after the Japanese made their surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941 they invaded the Philippines. Those islands had been under American control since the Spanish American War and the US forces there were ill prepared to repel the invasion. The Philippines fell quickly to the Japanese.

User: Coaster420 / Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Ohio’s legislative leaders have a task force and are holding public meetings to study the possibility of allowing some sort of medical marijuana here.  But regardless of what they do, a national group plans to put a medical marijuana plan before voters this fall.

The Marijuana Policy Project has been active in passing legalized marijuana plans in five states. Spokesman Mason Tvert says it plans to put legalization of medical marijuana on Ohio’s ballot this fall, regardless of what the state legislature does.

 

Coming up in today’s program – If you’ve ever wondered why WYSO’s signal tends to drop out in certain areas of the Miami Valley, we’ve got the answer for you – and a solution to the problem. We'll also recap some of the week's big stories from around the state.  Full details below.

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