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Democratic Lawmaker Files Complaint Saying She’s Forced to Work in Unsafe Conditions

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Many Democratic state lawmakers were upset Wednesday when they discovered an earlier seating plan that allowed social distancing in the Ohio House chamber had been scrapped in favor of one allowing all legislators inside the chamber. Now, one of those minority lawmakers has filed a complaint with the Franklin County Health Department…. Read More

A puppy plays with toys at a pet store in Columbia, Md., Monday, Aug. 26, 2019.

Ohio Ranks Second in Number of Puppy Mills Identified in New Animal Welfare Report

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio ranks second in a list of states with the most puppy mills, even after a law that was supposed to crack down on them. Ohio’s new law meant to prevent horrific puppy mill situations has been in place since 2018. Yet John Goodwin with the Humane Society of the… Read More

Karen Lampe, Dayton area child care operator

Child Care Operators Say Ohio Needs to Reopen Centers Now

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DAYTON, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — As retail stores throughout Ohio reopen after closing under state order for the coronavirus pandemic, some employees are scrambling to find a way to work without having reliable child care available. Dayton area child care provider Karen Lampe says the state needs to allow facilities like hers to open so parents… Read More

Uptown Athens during coronavirus emergency

Some Question Whether Ohio is Reopening too Quickly

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Non-essential businesses that were closed during the past month due to COVID-19 are now starting to reopen. But some worry that’s happening too quickly without proper safeguards. A group of doctors joined Ohio Democratic Party leader David Pepper to say they are concerned about reopening businesses without enough testing and safety… Read More

Real Big Puppy in Delaware, Ohio

Ohio’s Businesses are Getting Ready to Reopen

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio’s retail businesses that were shut down as non-essential are being allowed to open Tuesday. And by the end of next week, many restaurants, bars and hair salons will also reopen. If you meander downtown Delaware, you’ll see the Real Big Puppy pet boutique where you can buy leashes and personalized collars… Read More

Cows on the DeBruin family farm

Ohio Farmers Hit Hard by Pandemic

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio is among the top states for several agricultural crops and for food production and processing. But while farming is considered an essential business under the various shutdown orders, it’s a tough time for those who run the state’s 76,000 farms. Gene DeBruin owns a small dairy farm in Fayette… Read More

Uptown Athens during coronavirus emergency

Retail Businesses Can Start Offering Curbside Pickup on Saturday

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The order from Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton allows retail establishments to offer “curbside pickup, delivery or appointment-only” service beginning May 2. Customers must be limited to 10 at a time. Gordon Gough with the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants described what that might look like. “Order online,… Read More

A box to drop off ballots at the Athens County Board of Elections

Ohio’s Unusual Primary Election is Almost Over

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Today is the last day to cast a ballot in Ohio’s 2020 presidential primary. In person voting on March 17 was postponed and absentee voting was extended. This election, like many things these days, is unprecedented. Ohio voters who didn’t cast ballots before March 17th were instructed to vote by mail. But Mike Brickner with All… Read More

Open for carryout, but an empty parking lot means less business for Ray's Harvest House in Albany, Ohio

Restaurants Not Given OK to Reopen for Dine-in Service

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Dine-in service at Ohio’s restaurants is not among the business that will resume in a few days. Restaurants are asking Gov. Mike DeWine to allow them to open mid-May. The Ohio Restaurant Association’s Homa Moheimeni wants DeWine to announce now that he will allow restaurants to reopen for dine-in service… Read More

Children study online

Pandemic Highlights Importance of Broadband Access

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Much of what’s happening now in Ohio and for the foreseeable future is online, and that’s exposing some serious problems in broadband service across Ohio. With Ohio’s schools closed, teachers are putting their lessons online and millions of Ohioans are working from home. Tens of thousands are tuning into the… Read More

Voters cast their ballots on Election Day in McArthur, Ohio.

Voting Rights Group says this Primary’s Vote Total so Far is Just Half of 2016’s

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A voting rights organization says there are potentially a lot fewer voters who will cast ballots this year compared to the presidential primary four years ago. The group looked at totals so far for the March 17 primary that has been extended to April 28. Mike Brickner with All Voting is Local has compared numbers for… Read More

Attorney General David Yost

Lawsuit Filed Against Ohio Man Accused Of Price Gouging For N95 Masks

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The state has filed a lawsuit against a Cleveland-area man for hoarding personal protective equipment that is sorely needed by health care workers fighting coronavirus. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says Mario Salwan and some others sold N95 respirator masks on eBay for nearly 18 times the retail price…. Read More

Attorney General Dave Yost

Creditors Cannot Seize Stimulus Checks From Ohioans

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Most Ohioans will soon be getting a stimulus check as part of a federal aid bill signed into law last month. Banks and creditors might see this as an opportunity to collect. But, Ohio’s law enforcement chief is putting them on notice that they can’t touch that money. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says the stimulus checks are protected… Read More

Prison Bars

Advocates for Prisoners in Ohio’s Lockups say Thousands Should be Released Now

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio has its first inmate death due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Mike DeWine says an inmate at the Pickaway Correctional Institution has passed away. Last week, a corrections officer at the Marion Correctional Institution died from the illness. Governor Mike DeWine has recommended more than 200 prisoners be released from Ohio’s… Read More

Liquor Bottles

Restaurants Can Now Serve Liquor With Carry Out Meals

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio restaurants have not been able to serve mixed drinks and straight liquors since the state order that closed dine-in services took effect last month. Now, the state is making a change to its rules that will allow restaurants to serve those drinks along with take-out meals. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says the… Read More

graphic of a gavel on a blue background

Court Refuses to Overrule Ruling that Stops Ohio from Closing Abortion Clinics

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A panel of three federal court judges won’t get involved in a dispute over abortion and the state’s coronavirus order regarding elective surgery – which keeps facilities that perform abortions open for now. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed the state’s request to appeal a federal judge’s ruling preventing it from closing the six Ohio clinics that perform surgical abortions – two of… Read More

Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director

Ohioans Advised To Wear Homemade Masks During Pandemic

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Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio’s top health leader say Ohioans should to wear homemade and non-medical grade masks when they go out in public.But wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can’t get coronavirus. Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says masks can be made simply using any fabric, but they have limitations. “It isn’t going… Read More

Food from a foodbank

Ohio’s Food Banks Say They Need Help to Meet the Current Need for Services

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Leaders of Ohio’s foodbanks say they are overwhelmed by the demand on their services right now. They’re urging the federal government to increase food stamp benefits by 15% and asking Ohio’s leaders to kick in $25 million dollars to help pay for emergency services. The head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says the number… Read More

Sign on door of Columbus area Hobby Lobby Tuesday

Ohio’s Attorney General Explains His Definition of an Essential Business

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Hobby Lobby stores in Ohio are closed now after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sent the company a cease and desist letter. The company had claimed it was operating as an essential business. But as Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, that company isn’t the only one that is being questioned… Read More

Attorney General Dave Yost

State Mulls Over Its Next Move in Fight Over Abortion Clinics

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Earlier this week, a federal judge temporarily ruled Ohio cannot force abortion clinics to close under the coronavirus order banning elective, non-essential surgery. Now,  the state is considering its next move. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says the state still wants to stop clinics from performing surgical abortions, despite the court ruling that said it could not do that. He… Read More

Gavel leaning against a row of law books

Federal Judge Halts State from Restricting Abortions with Coronavirus Order

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state from using the coronavirus order that bans elective, non-essential surgeries to stop the six clinics in Ohio that offer surgical abortions from performing those procedures. The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett means for the next 14 days, Ohio officials cannot use the COVID19 order barring… Read More

People gather outside Holy Family Church in Columbus, which does outreach to the homeless in Franklin County.

Ohioans Experiencing Homelessness Face Special Challenges During Coronavirus Pandemic

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The more than 10,000 people in Ohio identified as homeless are already at a higher risk for catching communicable diseases but the coronavirus pandemic is making matters worse. Advocates for the homeless say it’s hard to maintain the 6-foot distance between residents in shelters, and keeping clean can be an issue. Jessica Jenkins, who works with… Read More

Attorney General Dave Yost

Controversy Over Whether Order Stopping Elective Surgery Applies to Abortion Clinics

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Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is ordering abortion clinics to stop all non-essential procedures. Those facilities are fighting back, saying their services are essential. Yost sent letters to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio and the Women’s Med Center of Dayton, telling them to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions. Predictably, Ohio Right to Life… Read More