The state of Ohio has been investigating its competitive energy market for a year now, and the state reports electric competition is growing, which means more options for consumers.
Energy choice itself doesn’t look like much: the lights go on, the lights go off, and you pay your monthly bill the same way. But in the past, a utility company—the name that’s on most people’s electric bills—also owned the actual power plant. Electric choice, which was passed in Ohio over ten years ago, is gradually moving the market away from that system.
Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are getting a raise starting in the New Year. The state’s minimum wage will go up ten cents from $7.85 an hour to $7.95 an hour. The automatic boost comes from a policy known as indexing, which Ohio has adopted along with 11 other states. Indexing raises the minimum wage to account for increases to the cost of living.
Jack Temple, a policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project, says the extra ten cents an hour can go a long way.
Some schools across the state are preparing students for a boom in the drone industry once the federal government, as is expected, allows civilian unmanned aircraft to fly in U.S. airspace.
The Federal Aviation Administration has until 2015 to present a plan for safely integrating drones into national airspace. Sinclair Community College already is training students for jobs using the technology, and Kent State University is doing the same.
Right now, if you can spare the cash, you can buy your own drone—or unmanned aerial vehicle, as the industry likes to call them. You can buy local, too, because the Dayton area is trying to shape itself as a hub for the growing commercial drone industry. In a couple years local companies would like to be using them for agricultural purposes, emergency response, entertainment, even surveillance.
"The FAA really needs to address the procedures and policies associated with flying these systems," says Maurice McDonald at the Dayton Development Coalition.