Ohio

Algae Forecast Grim This Year For Lake Erie

Jul 10, 2015
Satellite view of toxic algal bloom on Lake Erie
NASA Earth Observatory

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an especially bad year for Lake Erie algae. But that doesn't necessarily mean there will be more water shutdowns like the one in Toledo last year.

The updated forecast for this year’s algae bloom in western Lake Erie is grim. NOAA scientist Rick Stumpf says the bloom will undoubtedly be worse than last year.

"We are looking at more severe than 2014, not as bad as 2011," he said. "But potentially this could be the second worst bloom that we have seen on Lake Erie."

Lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich lauded the state budget for its tax cuts for small business owners. But it may actually include a tax increase.

The budget changes the current sliding tax rate scale for small businesses to a flat tax. And there’s a difference in the amount of income that can be deducted by small businesses between the two budget years. All that translates to a tax increase for the first budget year for business owners making up to $250,000.

Help Is On The Way To Fight Algae Blooms In Lake Erie

Jul 3, 2015
Karen Schaefer

After June's record-breaking rain, communities in western Lake Erie are bracing for another bad year for algae blooms. But help is on the way. A new federally-funded, tri-state initiative to help farmers reduce fertilizer run-off is ready to take the battle against algae to a new level.

Ohio Dumps PARCC Exam For Next Year

Jul 1, 2015
Arise Academy in Dayton is now closed, and former leaders of the school have been convicted of federal crimes.
User: Paradox 56 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio Department of Education has selected a new standardized test for next year to replace the exam known as Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). PARCC is the exam tied to the Common Core standards, and it was first put into use in Ohio during the 2014-2015 school year. Lawmakers included wording in the new state budget banning the assessment.

Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
User: Thoth188 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state budget is now on the governor’s desk, and he says he’ll sign it by the fiscal year’s end on June 30. 

Gov. John Kasich didn’t get a lot of what he wanted – for instance, increases in the sales, commercial activity or fracking taxes. But he says it’s the third budget in a row to cut income taxes.

“We push very, very big ideas here. And sometimes a victory is to push those ideas,” Kasich said. “You get as much of it done as you can.”

Office of Governor John Kasich

Gov. John Kasich is ready to run for president – he’s scheduled his campaign kick off for a few weeks from now at his alma mater. 

Kasich was back on Sunday morning TV – this week on CBS’ Face the Nation – and was once again asked about when he might officially join the crowded Republican presidential field. 

“We’re getting awfully close to making a decision,” Kasich said.

Couple Rushes To Courthouse After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Jun 26, 2015
Judy Lambright (left) and Danielle Van Brackel (right) were among the first couples in Montgomery County to get a marriage license following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday.
Ariel Van Cleave / WYSO

The U.S. Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Justice Anthony Kennedy read the majority opinion at 10 a.m. About a half hour later, Judy Lambright and Danielle Van Brackel were sitting in chairs at the courthouse filling out the paperwork for a marriage license.

Danielle was at home, nursing a cold, when Judy called her with the good news.

“And she just was bursting over the phone, crying,” Danielle said.
“I said, ‘I can’t believe it! I can’t believe they ruled,’” Judy said.

Ohio's State, Federal Lawmakers React To Supreme Court Decision

Jun 26, 2015
Thousands of Ohio residents using subsidies to pay for federally-mandated health insurance could lose that funding.
Flickr/Creative Commons

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Thursday to uphold subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. That means about 160,000 Ohioans will be able to keep getting money to help them pay for their individual health insurance plans on federal exchanges.

For health insurance companies like CareSource, the news was good.

“When folks have been able to afford insurance, they are now seeking care for things they put off for 5, 10, 20 years, and we’re changing lives with the Affordable Care Act,” CareSource Ohio Market President Steve Ringel said.  

But for others it wasn’t that simple.

State Budget Moves To Senate and House Floors

Jun 25, 2015

What should essentially be the final version of the state’s biennium budget is heading to the Senate and House floors after a conference committee vote last Wednesday night.

There’s still a 6.3 percent income tax cut across the board along with fairly big cuts for small businesses. The budget plan increases school funding by more than $900 million while increasing the cigarette tax to a total of $1.60 a pack.

Obergefell Optimistic About Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Jun 22, 2015

The U.S Supreme Court could soon release a decision that could result in one of the biggest steps toward LGBT rights in American history.

Jim Obergefell of Cincinnati married John Arthur, his partner of 20 years, before Arthur passed away in 2013. Obergefell is fighting to have his name listed on the death certificate of his partner of more than 20 years. He says being so close to a final ruling has caused nerves to set in. 

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