Kasich leading FitzGerald by 7 points
The latest Quinnipiac University poll finds that Governor John Kasich holds a 7 point advantage over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald when it comes to the 2014 gubernatorial race.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Kasich has a 44 percent to 37 percent advantage over FitzGerald. Voters in the survey reported that FitzGerald was unknown to them, and didn’t have enough information about him to form an opinion.
Kasich’s job approval rating is at 52 percent. That’s down slightly from June when he hit his peak of 54 percent.
Voters in the poll said Kasich deserves another term by 48 percent to 39 percent.
Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate owes thousands in back taxes
Ed FitzGerald’s pick for running mate in his bid for Ohio governor owes the IRS and the state of Ohio thousands of dollars in back taxes.
Senator Eric Kearney of Cincinnati, and his wife, are paying one thousand dollars a month to the IRS on an 84 thousand dollar tax debt.
The debt is tied to a company Kearney owns with his wife. It operates the Cincinnati Herald, which is an African American weekly newspaper.
Kearney says a former partner stole from him, resulting in the debt.
FitzGerald’s campaign says he knew about the debt when he selected Kearney.
Four more charged in Steubenville rape case
The Steubenville school superintendent and three more people have been charged following by a grand jury investigation prompted by the rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl last year.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the charges yesterday. The grand jury had investigated whether adults knew of the rape allegation but failed to report it.
Pilot Flying J settlement approved
A federal judge in Arkansas has approved $84.9 million in payments to settle claims that a truck stop chain cheated trucking companies out of promised rebates.
Nashville-based Pilot Flying J is owned by Jimmy Haslam, owner of the Cleveland Browns and his brother, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
Bipartisan legislation proposed to protect businesses
Bipartisan legislation in the Ohio House aims to make sure businesses in Ohio aren’t paying more taxes than necessary.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the bill will require the Ohio Department of Taxation to notify businesses if they overpay taxes and are due a refund.
Other protections being considered include requiring overpayments be credited to the next tax bill or refunded.
The Kasich administration says it will work with legislators on the bill to protect business taxpayers.
This comes after the Ohio Inspector General released a report showing that the department of taxation ignored the refund requests of businesses who were owed more than $30 million from overpayments.
AT&T bringing new jobs to Ohio
AT&T says it is bringing more than 230 jobs to Ohio, as the company works to expand wireless and Wi-Fi coverage, high speed internet, voice and cloud services.
The Plain Dealer reports more than 55 of those jobs will be in the Greater Cleveland, Akron and Canton areas.
The company says the positions include retail sales, IT, engineering, corporate support, business sales and service technician jobs.
Alternative energy targets to remain in place
A leading state senator says Ohio's alternative-energy targets will remain in place for now under a legislative compromise.
Senate Public Utilities Chairman Bill Seitz told The Associated Press Monday he's backed off a proposal to eliminate requirements for the use of renewables at the end of this year.
The Cincinnati Republican said a compromise bill expected today will keep Ohio's renewables rules in place through December 2018. Proposed revisions also eliminate Canadian hydropower as an eligible alternative and cap benefits returned to utilities from energy efficiency.
The legislation revisited a 2008 Ohio law under which utilities were required to produce 25 percent of their energy from either renewable or alternative sources by 2025.
Seitz said he's hopeful the changes will allow the bill to clear committee after Thanksgiving.
Corrections employees fired after escape
Four Ohio corrections employees have been fired over the escape of an inmate serving a life sentence for rape.
The employees were fired from the Mansfield Correctional Institution, two of them for failing to properly supervise tools at the prison, falsifying forms and forging signatures on maintenance inventories.
Those actions helped inmate James David Myers escape.
A third worker failed to properly supervise and count inmates who were on work duty and a fourth didn’t respond to numerous fence alarms.
On July 3, Myers used a pickax to break into a storage area and get three ladders, which he used to escape over three security fences.
Myers was arrested the next day after being recognized at a general store and was transferred to a higher-security prison.
Business push for lottery machines
Bowling alleys, bars and truck stops say they’d be happy to have the 1,200 next-generation lottery machines that were rejected by the Ohio Veterans and Fraternal Charitable Coalition.
Veterans and fraternal organizations turned down the machines last week.
The Ohio Lottery Commission offered the machines after electronic sweepstakes machines were banned in Ohio. The groups said the new machines would not make enough money to be worthwhile.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state Bowling Centers Association , Licensed Beverage Association and Fair Gaming Coalition are pushing to have the machines installed at bowling alleys, taverns and truck stops.
The lottery says it has no plans to use the machines beyond charitable efforts at veterans and fraternal organizations.
State attorneys say Controlling Board actions okay
State attorneys say an Ohio legislative panel acted consistently with state law and standard practice when it approved funding an expansion of the Medicaid program last month.
Two anti-abortion groups and six state representatives are suing the state Controlling Board and Ohio's Department of Medicaid over the decision.
They want the Ohio Supreme Court to order the board to declare its decision as void and stop Medicaid officials from using the board's approval to move forward with covering thousands more people under the federal-state health program.
The groups and lawmakers say such a ruling is necessary to prevent serious harm to the checks and balances of government.
Attorneys for Ohio said in a Monday court filing the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the case and were improperly seeking relief.
Sentencing date set in forced labor case
A judge has set a March sentencing date for an Ohio woman accused of using ice cream to lure a mentally disabled woman and her child to captivity in a forced-labor case.
Defendant Dezerah Silsby pleaded guilty in federal court last week under the terms of a sealed plea agreement.
The U.S. attorney's office says Silsby pleaded guilty to four counts of an indictment charging her with threatening the victim, beating her and making her do housework. Authorities say the ordeal lasted from early 2011 to late 2012.
Federal judge Benita Pearson on Monday set Silsby's sentencing date for March 25 in Youngstown.
Two other defendants face trial in February. A fourth has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate.