Funding Levels For State's School Districts In Limbo During Budget Talks

May 29, 2015

The deadline for a new two-year state budget is just a month away. The House and the Governor have different proposals and the Senate is expected to deliver their version in about two weeks. Local school districts will have to wait to see what finally gets adopted.

Gov. John Kasich wants to change the school funding formula to put more state money into the hands of poor districts. He wants the state to look at the average income in a district, not just its property values, to decide how much money the district gets.

State Lawmaker Wants To Remove Time Limits On Rape Convictions

May 27, 2015

A freshman lawmaker wants to crack down on cases of rape and domestic abuse in Ohio.

State Rep. Greta Johnson of the Akron area says her bill would get rid of the statute of limitations altogether for rape crimes. It would also make all spousal rape and sexual battery illegal.

Johnson, a former prosecutor, says there’s only one way to describe rape.

“It is a murder of the soul. It is something that every victim defines their life in as everything that happened before and everything that happens after,” Johnson said.

Ohio Laws May Hamper Local Liquor Boom

May 20, 2015
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio is seeing a boom in locally-made products. Communities around the state are enjoying the local coffee scene and the newest craft brew. One of the fastest growing industries is the local liquor scene. But a slew of antiquated rules might be hampering the movement.

Greg Lehman has become an expert at showing off his company.

“We’re running our distillery today. We’ll crash cool it down and once it’s cold then we add the yeast. The yeast doesn’t like it too hot so that yeast will attack the sugar and it will convert the sugar into alcohol,” Lehman said.

Dottie Stover / University of Cincinnati

A University of Cincinnati researcher, studying the safety of hookah steam stones, has found residues of toxic metals in simulated smoking scenarios.


Hookah steam stones are billed by the companies who make them as "hookah without the tobacco risk," and commonly considered a safer alternative to cigarette smoking.


But Amberlie Clutterbuck, a UC doctoral student, found residues of toxic metals that included chromium, arsenic and cadmium.


Sheriff: Majority Of Work Finished In Tamir Rice Investigation

May 13, 2015
Nick Castele / WCPN

The Cuyahoga County sheriff says the majority of the work is now done in the investigation into the shooting of Tamir Rice. The 12-year-old was fatally shot by Cleveland police last November. This was the sheriff's first update on the case.

Sheriff Clifford Pinkney kept his remarks brief and took no questions from reporters. He walked through a basic outline of the case and said it was nearing completion.

Group Files Lawsuit Against Ohio Over Voting Rules

May 12, 2015
Jon Husted is Ohio's 53rd Secretary of State

In advance of the 2016 presidential race, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted faces another lawsuit over the state's voting rules. 

The lawsuit was filed by a group called the Ohio Organizing Collaborative.

Among the provisions it challenges are rules limiting each county to one early voting location, as well as the elimination of Golden Week, when voters can register and cast ballots the same day. The suit alleges African-American, Hispanic and student voters are disproportionately affected.

An Ohio lawmaker is working on a bill that would require law enforcement officers throughout the state to wear body cameras. The legislation is coming soon.

Democratic State Rep. Kevin Boyce says 30 other states are considering requiring police officers to wear body cameras and he wants Ohio to be number 31.

“The whole idea is that to better protect our law enforcement officers who work to protect us every day and also to continually find ways to strengthen the integrity of the process where police officers interact with the public,” Boyce said.

Lawmakers Consider Measures To Ease Ohio Gun Restrictions

May 7, 2015

Several bills to loosen restrictions on guns took the first step toward becoming law. Supporters say the bills would lift overly burdensome regulations, but others say it’s a sign that Ohio is going in the wrong direction.

Republican State Rep. Ron Hood of Ashville wants to change the law to essentially allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit—which means bypassing background checks and training.

He says lawful gun owners in Ohio deserve these changes.

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.


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.