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Unemployment Office sign

Judge Orders ODJFS To Review All Denials For Unemployment In 21 Days

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has 21 days to decide appeals from people who were denied federal pandemic unemployment assistance, according to a ruling from a Franklin County judge. This could have a big impact on the backlog of 150,000 appeals at ODJFS. William Hummel filed the… Read More

Prison Bars

Is There Finally Some Agreement On The Need For Bail Reform In Ohio?

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKSU) — In the early 1980s, Robin Turner got caught up in the world of drugs. She was arrested and incarcerated pending trial until her brother helped her post bond. “I lost my housing. I had to pack up and move and move back in with my mom,” she said. Today, she is… Read More

Body Camera

In Ohio, Videos Are Public Records But Sometimes Police Refuse To Release

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (ideastream) — Over the past few years, police departments across the country have grappled with what to do when a video in their possession captures the use of deadly force by a police officer. After 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by a Cleveland police officer in 2014, the city of Cleveland initially withheld… Read More

The shadow of a jail door

Advocates Face Challenges In Reforming Ohio’s Sentencing Laws

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKSU) — The number of offenses for which someone can be charged with a felony in Ohio has increased more than five-fold since the 1970s. And advocates say criminal sentencing remains uneven and tough to navigate. Ohio’s legislators have been passing bills to help people after they leave prison, but little is being… Read More

FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

FirstEnergy Charged In House Bill 6 Scandal, Agrees To $230 Million Penalty

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — FirstEnergy will pay $230 million after entering into a deferred prosecution agreement over charges that the company bribed then-House Speaker Larry Householder and former Public Utilities Commission chair Sam Randazzo. The company admitted it “conspired with public officials and other individuals and entities”, according to a release from Acting… Read More

Antonio McMullen (left), from the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, with Levi King at the Peacemakers' office in Slavic Village.

Cuyahoga County Gun Court Seeks New Ways To Stop Gun Violence

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (ideastream) — Officially, the new docket in Administrative Judge Brendan Sheehan’s Cuyahoga County courtroom is called the violence intervention program. Unofficially, it’s the gun docket. Sheehan got into the details of their lives with several of the program’s participants during recent hearings, asking each: Where are they working? Are they getting their high… Read More

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US Opioid Lawsuits On Verge Of Settlements With 4 Companies

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The yearslong effort by state and local governments in the U.S. to force the pharmaceutical industry to help pay to fix a nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis took a major step forward Tuesday when lawyers for local governments announced they were on the verge of a $26 billion settlement with… Read More

Nelsonville, Ohio

Nelsonville City Council Member Sues Fellow Council Members Over Removal Votes

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — A Nelsonville City Council member is suing his fellow council members in federal court over efforts to remove him from office. Greg Smith alleges in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the council’s actions violated multiple constitutional rights, including his right to due process and free speech. WOUB reached out to members… Read More

Athens County Courthouse

Mother Accused Of Covering Up Family Sexual Abuse Pleads Not Guilty

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — An Athens woman accused of trying to hinder investigations into alleged sexual abuse of her children pleaded not guilty to several felony charges Wednesday. Deborah Bellar, 49, was placed under a $1 million bond. She was arrested Tuesday after indictments were issued against her, her husband and two of her sons…. Read More

The Justice Center in Cleveland, the complex which houses the Cuyahoga County jail.

Another Effort To Reform Ohio’s Cash Bail System Launched

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers launched another effort to overhaul the state’s bail system, which has been talked about for years and is backed by conservative and liberal groups. The newly introduced Senate bill doesn’t eliminate cash bail, but caps it at 25% of a person’s monthly net income. Sponsoring Sen. Rob McColley… Read More

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‘Monster’: 7 Life Sentences For Ex-VA Hospital Worker In Deaths

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former nursing assistant has been sentenced to seven consecutive terms of life in prison for injecting seven elderly veterans with fatal doses of insulin. Reta Mays was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Mays didn’t say why she did it before being sentenced on seven counts of… Read More

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Witness Testimony Continues In Landmark W.Va. Opioid Trial

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Witness testimony has begun in a landmark opioid trial in which local governments in West Virginia have sued three large drug distributors that have been accused of fueling the opioid epidemic. Cabell County and the city of Huntington argue that the drug distributors created a “public nuisance” by flooding the area… Read More

Gavel leaning against a row of law books

Trial Against Opioid Distributors Set To Begin In W.Va.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A trial is set to start in a lawsuit filed in West Virginia accusing three drug distributors of fueling a local opioid epidemic with excessively large shipments of painkillers over several years. The city of Huntington and Cabell County filed the lawsuit against drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. The… Read More

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8 Indicted In Alcohol-Related Death After Fraternity Party

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Prosecutors say eight people have been indicted in the alcohol-related death of an Ohio college student found unconscious after a fraternity party. Six of those indicted Thursday are charged with involuntary manslaughter. They range in age from 19 to 23. Twenty-year-old Bowling Green State University sophomore Stone Foltz was found by… Read More

Jake Wagner

Man Pleads Guilty In Fatal Shootings Of Rhoden Family

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WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — A man pleaded guilty in the murders of his child’s mother and seven other members of her family on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of when the shootings were discovered in southern Ohio. Edward “Jake” Wagner pleaded guilty to 23 counts in Pike County court in a deal with prosecutors that spares him… Read More

Gov of Kentucky at podium with sign language interpreter next to him

Kentucky Judge Blocks Follow-up Attempt To Limit Beshear COVID Orders

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky judge has temporarily blocked another attempt by Republican lawmakers to restrict Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd extended a temporary injunction Wednesday. It applies to a measure passed over the governor’s veto. The measure specifies which of Beshear’s pandemic-related orders… Read More

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New Abortion Law Won’t Be Enforced For Now

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A law that requires burial or cremation of fetal tissue from an abortion will not go into effect Tuesday as planned. An Ohio judge granted a preliminary injunction, stopping enforcement of the new law requiring fetal remains from an abortion be buried or cremated. Abortion clinics had requested this delay,… Read More