As opioid overdoses exact a higher price, communities ponder who should be saved – By Tim Craig and Nicole Lewis July 15 at 7:41 PM


Sheriff Richard Jones in Butler County, Ohio, refuses to let his police officers carry Narcan, a nasal spray that counters the effects of opioid overdose. (Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)

Why this Ohio sheriff won’t let officers carry the drug that saves people from drug overdoses

The coroner here in the outer suburbs of Cincinnati gets the call almost every day.

Man “slumped over the dining room table.” Woman “found in the garage.” Man “found face down on the kitchen floor of his sister’s resi`dence.” Man “on his bedroom floor — there was a syringe beneath the body.” Coroner Lisa K. Mannix chronicles them all in autopsy reports.

With 96 fatal overdoses in just the first four months of this year, Mannix said the opioid epidemic ravaging western Ohio and scores of other communities along the Appalachian Mountains and the rivers that flow from it continues to worsen. Hospitals are overwhelmed with overdoses, small-town morgues are running out space for the bodies, and local officials from Kentucky to Maine are struggling to pay for attempting to revive, rehabilitate or bury the victims.

As their budgets strain, communities have begun questioning how much money and effort they should be spending to deal with overdoses, especially in cases involving people who have taken near-fatal overdoses multiple times. State and local officials say it might be time for “tough love”: pushing soaring medical costs onto drug abusers or even limiting how many times first responders can save an individual’s life.

“It’s not that I don’t want to treat overdose victims, it’s that the city cannot afford to treat overdose victims,” said Middletown Council Member Daniel Picard, noting this industrial town in northern Butler County might have to raise taxes in response to the crisis.

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What a Hashtag Can Tell Us About Early Voting in Ohio – ISSIE LAPOWSKY 10.12.16. 4:20 PM


Twitter is by no means an exact measure of actual political support. If it were, well, trolls would be ruling the world—that is, more than they already are.

But it’s hard to ignore the surprising enthusiasm gap between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the hashtag #OHVotesEarly, which started trending on Twitter this morning as early voting kicked off in Ohio. Throughout the election cycle, Clinton supporters have often been out-shouted by Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’ more vocal voter bases. Today, however, the Ohio hashtag was brimming with photos of voters who had already cast votes for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, many of the tweets that included references to Trump were about how the hashtag is—you guessed it—rigged.

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But according to Twitter’s data, the enthusiasm gap is real. The social media site tells WIRED that of the tweets sent using the hashtag #OHVotesEarly over the last 24 hours, 75 percent included mentions of Clinton, while just 25 mentioned Trump. “It’s an inexact science,” says Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio, bqut it’s a staggering disparity, nonetheless.

It could very well have something to do with the fact that it was a Clinton supporter who originally tweeted the hashtag on October 2. It could also have something to do with the fact that Clinton’s Ohio digital team is spreading it far and wide. It could have something to do with the fact that the Trump campaign tweeted out the wrong start date for early voting when they asked supporters in Ohio a few weeks ago to get out and vote. Or, perhaps, it has to do with the fact that Trump is quickly losing his lead in Ohio, after The Washington Post published a video over the weekend in which Trump talks about sexually assaulting women on a hot microphone.

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Trump campaign chair in Ohio resigns over ‘no racism before Obama’ remarks – Paul Lewis and Tom Silverstone Thursday 22 September 2016 13.15 EDT


Kathy Miller, chair in a crucial Ohio county, resigned after the Guardian released video of her saying, ‘It’s their own fault’ if black people haven’t succeeded

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Donald Trump’s campaign chair in a crucial Ohio county has resigned after an interview with the Guardian in which she said there was no racism in America until the election of Barack Obama.

Kathy Miller, who was coordinating the Republican nominee’s campaign in Mahoning County, apologized for her “inappropriate” remarks on Thursday and said she would no longer have a role with the campaign.

Her resignation came just hours after the release of the first film in a series of election videos, Anywhere but Washington.

The video included an interview with Miller in which she said there was “no racism” during the 1960s and claimed black people who have not succeeded over the past half-century only have themselves to blame.

“If you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault. You’ve had every opportunity, it was given to you,” she said.

“You’ve had the same schools everybody else went to. You had benefits to go to college that white kids didn’t have. You had all the advantages and didn’t take advantage of it. It’s not our fault, certainly.”

Miller added: “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected. We never had problems like this … Now, with the people with the guns, and shooting up neighborhoods, and not being responsible citizens, that’s a big change, and I think that’s the philosophy that Obama has perpetuated on America.”

Mark Munroe, the Mahoning chair for the GOP, said he immediately contacted the Trump campaign in Ohio asking for Miller to be dismissed over her “insane comments”.

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Ohio Official Blasts ‘Sickening’ Voting Restriction BY ALICE OLLSTEIN APR 18, 2016 2:57 PM


In Ohio’s March 15 presidential primary, a car crash blocked a major highway near Cincinnati, leaving thousands of people stranded in their cars as the polls were set to close. A local judge received calls from voters frantic about losing their chance to cast a ballot, and ordered the polls to remain open just one hour later than scheduled. Now, a Cincinnati Republican is pushing a bill to make sure it’s much more difficult, and expensive, to get such an emergency extension in the future.

If legislation sponsored by Republican State Senator Bill Seitz is approved, anyone petitioning a judge to extend voting hours would have to put up a cash bond to cover the cost, which could range in the tens of thousands of dollars. If a court later finds that the polls should not have remained open, the voter would forfeit all the money. Only those who are so poor they can be certified as indigent would be exempted.

Rep. Dan Ramos, a Democrat who represents the working class Lorain community, told ThinkProgress he finds the effort “sickening.”

 

Ohio’s Huge Voter Fraud Investigation Turns Up Nearly Nothing by Kira Lerner Posted on March 13, 2015 at 12:52 pm Updated: March 13, 2015 at 2:00 pm


Forty-four non-citizens may have voted illegally in Ohio at some point since 2000.

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has been on a mission to weed outpurported voter fraud in the state since he took office in 2011. After launching an investigation into what he called an “expanding loophole” allowing non-citizens to vote in Ohio and potentially decide elections, he announcedThursday that 145 non-citizens were registered to vote illegally in 2014, amounting to just .0002 percent of the 7.7 million registered voters in the state.

Husted’s office would not provide any information about the 27 people it referred to the Attorney General’s office for further review. But in 2013, his office sent 17 potential cases — .0003 percent of total ballots cast in the state — to the AG who eventually referred them to county prosecutors. Most reports of voting irregularities were dropped by the county prosecutors because the “voter fraud” problems were determined to have been caused by simple mistakes and confused senior citizens, according to a Cleveland Plain Dealer investigation.

Voter fraud in Ohio is a fifth-degree felony and could carry up to a year in prison. But of the cases referred to prosecutors’ offices in 2013, most irregularities were caused by voter confusion or mistakes made by elections officials and not deliberate attempts to commit fraud, the investigation found. For example, Cuyahoga County looked into 15 cases referred from Husted’s office and chose not to pursue criminal charges against any of the individuals, concluding that the voters were confused about the “Golden Week” during which people can both register to vote and also cast their absentee ballot.

In total, only four people were convicted of voting fraud as a result of the 2013 investigation, Eve Mueller, the deputy director of communications for the Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, told ThinkProgress. Mueller said the office could not comment on the ongoing investigations into the newly announced cases.

“In all of the instances where potential voter fraud has been brought up, even outside of undocumented people who may be voting… the prosecutors have said, ‘this is not a person who was really trying to defraud the system. They made an innocent mistake and this is not what voter fraud really is,’” Ohio ACLU Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner told ThinkProgress. “I suspect that once a lot of these other cases that Secretary Husted has pointed out really come under scrutiny, most of them will not end up in convictions or prosecutions and again the number will be really small.”

Article continues:

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2015/03/13/3633472/husted-noncitizen-voters/

Judge blocks early voting cuts in Ohio – By Zachary Roth 09/04/14 01:26 PM—UPDATED 09/04/14 04:28 PM


A federal judge has blocked Ohio’s cuts to early voting and its elimination of same-day voter registration—a major voting rights victory in the nation’s ultimate presidential battleground state

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A woman casts her ballot for the US presidential election at an early voting center in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2012.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty

Judge Peter Economus ruled Thursday that the cuts violated the Voting Rights Act’s ban on racial discrimination in voting, as well as the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. He issued an injunction barring them from going into effect before the November election, and directed Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to add a second Sunday of early voting.

Husted said he would appeal the ruling.

“Today’s ruling kicks the door open to having different rules for voting in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, which is not fair and uniform and was not even acceptable to this court or the plaintiffs previously,” he said in a statement. “We must appeal this ruling, because we can’t simultaneously treat people the same and differently.”

State Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat who is running against Husted this November, had urged the secretary of state not to appeal the ruling, saying in a statement that doing so would “only create confusion a month before early voting is set to begin.”

Voting rights advocates cheered.

“This ruling will safeguard the vote for thousands of Ohioans during the midterm election,” said Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, which brought the case. “If these cuts had been allowed to remain in place, many voters would have lost a critical opportunity to participate in our democratic process this November. This is a huge victory for Ohio voters and for all those who believe in protecting the integrity of our elections.”

“Today’s outcome represents a milestone in our effort to continue to protect voting rights even after the Supreme Court’s deeply misguided decision in Shelby County,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, during a speech about the Justice Department’s investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri police department. The Justice Department had filed a supporting brief in the Ohio challenge.

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/judge-blocks-early-voting-cuts-ohio

The stigma of being an atheist in the US – By Aleem Maqbool BBC News, Columbus, Ohio 3 August 2014 Last updated at 19:39 ET


Atheists in the US are rallying together, launching a new TV programme and providing support for those who go public with their beliefs.

 

Atheist protest at White House

“Sometimes things need to be said, and fights need to be fought even if they are unpopular. To the closeted atheists, you are not alone, and you deserve equality.”

So goes the rousing speech from the American Atheists president, David Silverman, in the opening moments of the first US television broadcaster dedicated to those who do not believe in God, Atheist TV.

A series of testimonies from prominent atheists then follows.

“It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life and I completely advocate people ‘coming out’,” says Mark Hatcher, from Black Atheists of America.

“Coming out” is how many atheists in the USA describe what remains, for many, a very difficult admission to make publicly.

“Start Quote

Say it proud, ‘I’m an atheist!’”

Andrew SeidelFreedom from Religion Foundation

At one of the biggest gatherings of atheist students in the country, in Columbus, Ohio, Jamila Bey from the Secular Student Alliance said there were many attendees who were nervous about being interviewed and had indicated so by what they were wearing around their neck.

“Red lanyards mean ‘You may not talk to me’,” says Bey. “A number of the students we have aren’t ‘out’. Their parents may not know that they are atheist or questioning their religion.”

She said many were worried about being ostracised or were even scared of violence if they revealed they did not believe in God.

Lasan Dancay-Bangura, 22, is happy to talk to us. He is, after all, head of his university’s atheist student group. He lets out a deep, sad sigh as he recalls the moment he told his mother he was an atheist.

“Things were really not good to begin with. She was so angry,” he says.

“After a while I think she just accepted it. We still don’t talk about it. It looks like she’s not going to kick me out.”

Dancay-Bangura admits that he still has not told his father.

“I don’t want our relationship to be destroyed because of that,” he says. “You hear it all the time.”

“And you hear about people being kicked out, and sent to bible camps where they’re forced to be religious. I don’t want to lose my father to that.”

Student atheism conventionA student atheism convention took place in Ohio
Stickers at atheism convention

The parents of Katelyn Campbell, 19, from West Virginia, have been very supportive of her stance as an atheist. Her problem has been other members of the community. “In high school, when I walked down the hallway it would be completely silent, or I would be spat on,” Katelyn says.

Two years ago, she protested against the inclusion of religion and abstinence in her school sex education classes. She is still feeling the impact.

“Often times I’m really uncomfortable being out in public spaces in my community at home because people often bring that discussion to my face, which is a discussion of values that are very personal and very private,” she says.

A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre shows Americans would rather have a president who was either in their 70s, or openly gay, or who had never held any public office than one that was atheist.

Florida billboard - "Being a good person doesn't require god"

Astonishingly, a previous poll by Pew suggested respondents in the US regarded atheists as less trustworthy than rapists. One of Atheist TV’s new phone-in programmes, The Atheist Experience, has already had a taste of how many Americans perceive “non-believers”.

“So you were studying to be a minister, and now you don’t believe in God? You’re the devil,” one caller tells the host. “You’re a Marxist, you’re an atheist and you’re from Russia,” says another.

At the atheist student event in Ohio, they are trying to change things.

T-shirts are laid out for sale on one of the vending tables. “Godless Goddess” says one; “This is what an atheist looks like” says another.

Article continues:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28616115

Main Street Ohio Retailer Needs Congress to Pass E-Fairness Legislation – By Larry Hall, owner of Baker and Baker Jewelers in Marietta, OH. – 07/22/14 12:01 AM EDT


For nearly 40 years, I’ve held the reins at Baker and Baker Jewelers in downtown Marietta, Ohio. Spanning nearly a century, Baker and Baker has grown and evolved along with our community. Over the years, I’ve had to contend with a lot, but the current disparity between how our nation’s tax laws treat brick-and-mortar businesses like mine compared with our online competitors is perhaps one of the most insurmountable obstacles we’ve ever had to face. For the sake of Main Street businesses and communities nationwide, it’s time for Congress to do something to fix this problem once and for all.

 

Currently, most if not all of my online competitors are exempt from collecting and remitting state sales taxes. Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar businesses like mine must collect and remit these taxes every day on every purchase, putting me at an immediate 7.25 percent disadvantage here in Marietta. As any small-business owner will tell you, this is enough to make or break a business. I can generally match or beat a price — I have no issue competing against a nearby retailer or an online competitor — but I can’t tell a customer that I won’t bother charging them sales tax. The government would probably throw me in jail if I did that, yet my online competitors are invited to do that every day.  How is this a free market?

Article continues:

http://thehill.com/sponsored/content/212555-main-street-ohio-retailer-needs-congress-to-pass-e-fairness-legislation

 

LeBron brings joy to Ohio politicians – By Rebecca Shabad July 11, 2014, 01:00 pm


Ohio politicians reacted with joy on Friday to LeBron James’s decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers four years after he spurned the city for Miami.Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) said this is another win for Cleveland after the Republican National Committee announced this week the city would host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who represents parts of Cleveland and Akron, said she was thrilled LeBron is returning home. He’s a native of Akron.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said it was a “big week” for Cleveland.

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) said this was “more good news for Cleveland.”

James made the highly-anticipated announcement online for Sports Illustrated.

“I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home,” he said, after explaining he didn’t realize when he left Ohio four years ago that Northeast Ohio is “bigger than basketball.” He has been playing for the Miami Heat.The James decision wasn’t received as well in Florida, where the Miami Heat’s playoff expectations are likely to be diminished after four straight NBA finals. Still, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wished LeBron well.

Rubio predicted earlier this week that LeBron wouldn’t move back to Ohio.

Cleveland was crushed when James left the city. The Cavaliers immediately became one of the worst teams in the league, and fans burned James jerseys in the street. That ill will seemed to be forgotten, however, by Ohio politicians on Friday.Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) welcomed LeBron home and so did Rep. Steve Stivers (R).

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http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/211980-politicians-react-to-lebrons-return-to-cleveland

Leitch: Is 2014 the Year Soccer in America (Truly) Goes Mainstream? By Will Leitch June 1, 2014 8:00 a.m.


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Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty

On an unusually thick, humid September night in Columbus, Ohio, a short man dressed up like George Washington stopped me as I crossed the street and screamed in my face.

“America! America!!!! Motherfuckin’ America!!!! Fuck yeah!!!!”

A man next to him, wearing a Stars and Stripes top hat and an American-flag bandanna that obscured the bottom half of his face, stopped in the middle of the road and unleashed a bloodcurdling shriek. Then: “USA! USA! USA!” A hundred souls, all red, white, and blue, joined him. People got out of cars. Traffic stopped.

Half an hour earlier, the United States men’s national soccer team had defeated hated rival Mexico 2-0—dos a cero, as the notoriously taunting chant goes—to clinch a spot at the 2014 World Cup, which begins next week in Brazil. Columbus has been the site of several big moments in U.S. soccer, but this one surpassed them all. “This is a great crowd,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said after the win. “It’s become its own monster.”

In years past, Mexico—along with other nations in the region—has had distinct and undeniable crowd advantages playing on American soil; USA Today called the 2009 Gold Cup final at Giants Stadium “Azteca North,” after the Mexicans’ famously raucous home stadium. But not this time. The Columbus stadium was full of 24,000 American lunatics who partied throughout the night. It felt … European.

I’ve covered every major American sporting event, from the Super Bowl to the World Series to the Final Four to the Winter Olympics. And I have never seen a crowd like the one I saw in Columbus that night. Americans cheer for their athletes to succeed in the Olympics and other international competitions, but we generally recognize that these international competitions aren’t as important to us as our professional teams. (The Knicks will always matter more than the Dream Team.) But there was nothing obligatory about those fans in Columbus at all. This was more than passion; this was people rallying around a cause. These were zealots. Zealots for America.

Article continues:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/05/leitch-soccer-suddenly-a-major-sport-in-america.html