Ohio

Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Gov. John Kasich’s task force studying police and community relations has released its recommendations. The report calls for things like greater oversight of police departments, a focus on hiring minority officers and spending more on training. Kasich has issued an executive order help carry them out.

Kasich created an advisory board to come up with new standards for police departments statewide on issues like deadly force and hiring practices. The board was also charged with helping communities throughout the state better understand the role of law enforcement.

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The Federal government says the amount of fluoride in America’s drinking water should be reduced. This is the first change in fluoride recommendations in more than half a century.

Seventy years ago, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first city in America to fluoridate its water; a decade later Canton was the first in Ohio.  And, in 1962, the U.S. government said to improve dental health, all public water should include a fluoride additive of about 1 part per million. 

Not much changed until this week.

Study Says Ohio Kids Benefit By Switching Schools

Apr 28, 2015
Arise Academy in Dayton is now closed, and former leaders of the school have been convicted of federal crimes.
Paradox 56 / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study has found that closing schools in Ohio can be a good thing. A report from the non-profit Thomas B. Fordham Institute, finds students generally do better in math and reading when they move to new schools.

Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training is recommending some changes it says will improve policing statewide. This group wants some standards to determine who should get into training classes and increases training for officers statewide.

DeWine says there are few requirements for people who want to enroll in police officer training academics throughout the state.

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It’s the second year of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. All third graders are required to pass a reading test Tuesday in order to move to fourth grade—but not everyone is happy with this new system.

Following Agreement, Early Voting Will Be Easier For Ohioans

Apr 20, 2015
Both Democrats and Republicans have launched major voter turnout efforts in advance of the November 2014 election.  vote election voters
elycefeliz / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ohio may see an end to the long debate over early voting access after advocates reached a deal with the state’s top elections official. 

Ohio voters have more opportunities to vote early and in-person starting this November because of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU. 

The expanded schedule includes a full work week where polls will be open until 7 p.m. And Mike Brickner with the ACLU says voters will also have another Sunday open for voting during next year’s presidential election.

During the past decade, Ohio’s income tax has been cut several times. And it looks like it might be cut again as the Republican led legislature considers the state budget. But some lawmakers are questioning the value of those cuts.

Republican Finance Committee Chair Ryan Smith says it is important to cut income taxes, especially for small businesses. They would get another tax break under the house’s proposed budget.

The law enforcement training panel created by Attorney General Mike DeWine met for a final time Monday before it will issue a report later this month. 

The advisory group is expected to make recommendations on training standards for law enforcement, especially in community relations and in situations involving the use of force. Chair Reggie Wilkinson, who once headed the state’s prison system, says to make sure its report doesn’t just sit around – as task force reports often do – the group wants to consider recommendations that can be implemented without lawmaker approval.

Civilians Who Oversee Police Departments Gathered In Akron

Apr 8, 2015
Ainsley Cromwell says the cameras are a crucial tool, but won't have all the answers.
M. L. Schultze / WKSU

The civilians charged with watching over police departments in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and other Midwest cities traveled to Akron Tuesday to talk about body cams. But the conference touched on other issues of trust and relationships.

The session, “Body Cameras and their Importance in Building Community Trust,” was taking place about 40 miles south of where a Cleveland police officer is being tried for his role in a massive chase and shooting of two unarmed people two years ago.

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.

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