New poll shows Gov. Kasich tied for third in New Hampshire among Republican presidential hopefuls
A new NBC News/Marist poll out this morning has Ohio Gov. John Kasich tied for third place among Republicans running for president in New Hampshire. He's tied with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 11 percent behind frontrunner Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in second. Kasich is in Iowa tonight for the Fox News-Google GOP Debate.
Contract disputes could affect snowplow drivers and other city workers in Akron
Temperatures this weekend will be in the 40's and that's good for the city of Akron as snowplow drivers warn of a work slowdown if their new contract runs into a snag. Cleveland.com reports that the snow crews aren’t the only union members caught up in contract uncertainty as a new administration and city council weigh pay raises for city workers this week. City Council is holding an emergency meeting tonight to discuss union contracts that include raises for the city's police, fire and service employees and non-union administrators.
One dead in Tuscarawas County home explosion, natural gas believed to be involved
Authorities say a house explosion has left one man dead in Tuscarawas County. The man who died in the explosion Tuesday night in the village of Newcomerstown is believed to have been alone in the home. He has not been identified. A Columbia Gas Co. statement says the utility believes natural gas was involved but also noted the investigation wasn't complete. Newcomerstown schools canceled classes Wednesday due to debris on school property.
Bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio passes Senate
An Ohio bill that would divert government funding away from Planned Parenthood has cleared one of its final legislative hurdles. The Republican-controlled state Senate passed the legislation Wednesday. The House must now OK the bill before it could go to Republican Gov. John Kasich for his signature. House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says he expects his chamber to give its approval next month. The measure targets money that Planned Parenthood receives through Ohio's health department. The roughly $1.3 million, which is mostly federal funds, supports initiatives for HIV testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings and prevention of violence against women. The bill would restrict such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions. It wouldn't affect the amount of money available for such initiatives.
Legislative task force in Ohio takes up medical marijuana
A task force charged with exploring the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana in Ohio for medicinal use is beginning its work. The panel created by Republican Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger kicks off today. It includes House members and representatives of business organizations, law enforcement and medical associations. Although a sweeping 2015 marijuana legalization effort failed resoundingly, polling surrounding the issue made clear there's support among Ohio voters for legalizing medical marijuana. It's unclear what the task force might produce. Rosenberger says it's not a stall tactic to deter legalization proponents from going to the 2016 ballot. He says he wants as many facts and perspectives as possible before taking action.
Ohio House OKs bill to shield violence victims' address info
The Ohio House has approved legislation that would shield the addresses of victims of domestic violence, stalking and other crimes from use by government agencies. The bill passed Wednesday would let victims apply for a confidential address from the Ohio secretary of state if they're worried about attackers tracking them down. The address could be used when registering to vote or for any business with a government agency, such as a city water department, school or public university. The secretary of state's office would forward mail to the real address daily. Victims of sexual assault and human trafficking could also apply.
Possible changes in store for Ohio’s grand just system
The chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court says a committee will study possible changes to the state's grand jury system. Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor says the panel will recommend ways to improve the functioning of grand juries and steps to boost public confidence in the justice system. Citizens serving on grand juries decide whether felony charges should be brought against a defendant. O'Connor said Wednesday the group isn't exploring whether the system, created by the Ohio Constitution, should be eliminated. A spate of fatal police shootings in recent months led to suggestions that the court replace closed-door grand juries with a public indictment process. Secrecy of grand jury deliberations is among the topics up for review by the Supreme Court committee. The panel's report is due by June 15.