Jo Ingles (Ohio Public Radio)

Jo Ingles is an award-winning journalist who began her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s. Through the years, she’s worked in both radio and television as a reporter and production assistant. She’s assisted in the production of a presidential debate for ABC Television news, reported for a major commercial radio station in Louisville, and then came back to her native Ohio to begin working at the WOSU Stations in Columbus Ohio in 1989 to begin a long resume of work in public radio.

After working for more than a decade as a general assignment reporter at WOSU-AM, Jo was hired by the Ohio Public Radio/TV News Bureau where she’s worked for the past 11 years. She’s covered everything from tax hikes to Supreme Court proceedings to educational policies. Jo lives in southern Delaware county with her husband Roger and two children.

Faith leaders and advocates for the poor are calling on the federal government to do something to reform payday lending.

An advocate for the homeless in Central Ohio says Ohio’s laws that crack down on payday lenders have been ineffective at curbing some of the predatory lending practices. Bill Faith says payday lenders are finding ways to get around those new laws by using other areas of Ohio’s lending laws.

“They have exploited those loopholes and we have tried multiple ways to close those loopholes,” he said.

casino, gambling
Adam Tinworth

Some state lawmakers say casino revenue hasn’t been as high as originally promised a few years ago when Ohio voters approved those casinos. So the lawmakers say they will introduce a bill that would rein in a tax break those casinos have been receiving.

Republican State Senator Bill Coley has a message for casino owners who he says have broken promises made to voters.

ohio.gov

The director of the state panel that regulates public utilities is stepping down from that role. But he won’t really be leaving the commission.

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Director Tom Johnson says personal reasons have led him to the decision to step down. But he does intend to stay on as a member of the commission. That term would end in four years. 

Johnson, a long time state lawmaker who became chairman last April, says he’ll stay in the top position until a replacement has been found. One of the leading contenders for that replacement could be Andre Porter.

Both Democrats and Republicans have launched major voter turnout efforts in advance of the November 2014 election.  vote election voters
elycefeliz / Flickr/Creative Commons

Some Democratic state lawmakers say they might vote against the proposed transportation budget because of a provision that could restrict voting rights. The plan would make it more difficult for some college students to vote in Ohio.

casino, gambling
Adam Tinworth

Ohioans have more gaming options now that the state has casinos and video lottery terminals at race tracks. But the charitable groups that rely on bingo to support their missions say expanded gambling is making it more difficult to raise funds these days.

The Children's Toy Fund organization provides terminally-ill children with toys and has depended on charitable bingo for decades. But Jason Bogavitch, a spokesman for the group, says it is getting harder to make enough on the games anymore to make ends meet.

The statewide task force studying community and police relations in the wake of several high profile shootings heard from Governor John Kasich this week. 

The Governor says it’s important for the law enforcement, state and community leaders on the panel to come up with a clear message for their communities.

“We want to kind of prepare the ground to say 'here’s what we’ve done, here’s why we’ve done it and this is why we think it’s important,'" he said. "At the same time, law enforcement has got a lot on their back too.”

Protesters took to the streets in Cincinnati in 2008 demanding gay marriage rights.
Jere Keys / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio and Michigan Democratic parties have come together to file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on a gay marriage case it is considering. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says the parties want the nation’s highest court to overturn an appeals court decision that upholds bans on same sex marriage in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.

A bill has been introduced in the Ohio legislature that would give businesses within the state an incentive to hire veterans.

Democratic State Representative Herschel Craig says businesses should want to hire veterans.

“Hiring veterans is not just good will. It is good business.”

Craig explains veterans have valuable skills. And yet, Representative Niraj Antani says too many veterans are unemployed.

“Veteran unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans is tremendously high – 11.8% - whereas the state unemployment rate is low – 4.8%.”

In December, Ohio lawmakers passed a new redistricting process to put on the Ohio ballot this fall. But that plan doesn’t affect all redistricting, only legislative districts. Democratic State Rep. Mike Curtin has come up with a similar redistricting plan for congressional districts too.

“The 16 congressional districts in Ohio are even more badly hyper gerrymandered than our state legislative districts. They are all absurdly drawn districts. Everyone acknowledges that. And yet we are not dealing with it,” he said. 

Paradox 56 / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Kasich’s proposed two-year budget makes big changes to the formula used to fund K-12 schools. He says those districts that have the highest property wealth and the highest income from taxpayers will get less money from the state.  And he knows that might mean many suburban schools will be flat funded, or even face cuts.

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