Regulatory proceedings have big impacts on how much Ohioans pay for their electric service. How would you decide some of Ohio’s cases on electricity rates? Eye on Ohio, in a joint project with the Energy News Network, surveyed the biggest changes to the recent legal landscape. Each of the following problems is drawn from a real case decided by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio or the Ohio Supreme Court.
The PUCO’s five commissioners are appointed by the governor for rotating five-year terms, while the court’s seven justices are elected. As of May, five of the seven justices on the court were registered Republicans, and two were Democrats.
Lots of forfeiture money goes to association outside of public purview; giving checks directly to kids
This article is from Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join their free mailing list, as this helps provide more public service reporting. When the Vinton County Fair was canceled because of the pandemic, outgoing County Prosecutor Trecia Kimes-Brown wrote $100 checks to every child who completed a 4-H project this year. She did so in the name of anti-drug education through her Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF) account.
The move stoked the ire of Vinton County Auditor Cindy Waugh, who did not like the fact that Kimes-Brown gave cash directly to people right before her reelection campaign. (Though Kimes-Brown eventually lost anyway.)
The death of Breonna Taylor renewed interest in police forfeiture raids, and Eye on Ohio asked every prosecutor about their LETF accounts, the fund that benefits from seized cash. Eye on Ohio found:
A look at how overcrowding and poor design contributed to two of the worst national outbreaks
This article was provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. For the first two months after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., Ohio’s response set an example. Thanks to an early shutdown order, the state’s per-capita deaths from the virus as of late April were less than half of those in neighboring Pennsylvania, a state with similar demographics. But inside the two states’ prison systems, it was a different story.
By late April , the death rate from COVID-19 in Ohio prisons was 22 per 100,000, a rate more than 4 ½ times the overall Ohio rate and nearly twice the national rate.
As of August 14, there have been 77 inmate deaths known to be caused by COVID-19, and another 10 suspected— a rate of 160 deaths per 100,000 people.
In 2019, Taxpayers lost at least $11.25 million, While Homeowners and Banks lost up to $77 Million, But Title to Revamped Houses Remains Sound
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that an unusual foreclosure process that can result in people’s homes being sold without compensation for their equity should remain legal in the Buckeye State. However, in a recently released opinion the state justices couldn’t agree on the reasoning behind it.
Justice Judith French authored the lead opinion, joined by Justices Michael Donnelly and Robert Hendrickson. (Justice Robert A. Hendrickson, of the Twelfth District Court of Appeals, replaced Justice Melody Stewart.) They declined to comment on the constitutional issues presented by the case involving what are called “administrative foreclosures,” saying that they would not stop the process because the law governing these procedures was not “patently and unambiguously” unconstitutional.
Not to be confused with expedited foreclosures, administrative foreclosures send abandoned properties to a county’s board of revision, a committee that usually considers home values for property owners wanting to contest their taxes.
The press conference in October followed a well-worn script.
Community leaders and police gathered on the sturdy stone steps of City Hall, taking turns at a microphone, pleading with Clevelanders to abandon a code of silence. Once again, a child had been gunned down. This time, it was a first grader, who’d been sleeping when a torrent of bullets tore into a South Collinwood home. Six-year-old Lyric-Melodi Lawson’s life was cut short, senselessly, her blood spattered on the faces of other children sleeping around her. The community needed to step up and cast aside a “no snitch” rule, and work with the police.
Reporters from the nonprofit newsroom Eye on Ohio, The Cincinnati Enquirer and researchers from Stanford University’s Big Local News program examined police stops to assess how the three largest communities in Ohio use public safety resources and to identify possible bias in policing. Cincinnati, like all cities, has an imperfect policing record.
The landmark Collaborative Agreement aimed to improve police-community relations in the city amid rising tensions between police and black citizens. It has been touted as a national model of collaboration among police, city agencies and the community.
But a months-long traffic stop analysis has raised new questions about the ongoing effectiveness of the agreement, finding a racial disparity in traffic stops made by Cincinnati police officers. The findings, along with similar ones in Cleveland and Columbus, are being published alongside new information detailing delays and understaffing at the independent agency charged with investigating accusations of police bias.
Certain police actions, such as pulling over a driver or issuing a ticket, are more likely to occur in predominantly black neighborhoods in Ohio’s three largest cities than in white ones. And black drivers are also much more likely to be pulled over than whites, according to a review of 315,281 stops from 2009-2017 in Cincinnati, 128,157 in Columbus from 2012 through 2016, and 47,079 in Cleveland in 2016 and 2017.
But the analysis also found that some disparities were likely the result of police practices versus outright discrimination.
Reporters compared police stops in census block groups that were at least 75% white and compared them to ones that were at least 75% African American.
Three years after its failed bid at a merger with Cleveland, the poorest city in the state of Ohio ventures a comeback
EAST CLEVELAND — After dropping off a “wet one” (a man high on PCP) at University Hospitals Emergency Room, the ambulance pulled northeast onto Euclid Avenue near Cleveland’s border with East Cleveland. The mirror-finish of The Museum of Contemporary Art reflected trees in full summer bloom as the two East Cleveland firefighters made their way back to their engine house. They cruised by fast-casual restaurants in gleaming new buildings and the Case Western Reserve University Bookstore and the Cleveland Institute of Art building named for George Gund — the mid-20th-century Cleveland banker and philanthropist — before barreling under the concrete and wrought iron railroad bridge that separates Cleveland’s booming University Circle neighborhood from the broken-down streets of East Cleveland. “The scenery sure does change,” said Kyle Soca, the rookie piloting the squad, as the bridge shrank in the rearview mirror and the sidewalks became populated with boarded up storefronts and crumbling apartment buildings. State Sen. Kenny Yuko, who represents both sides of the bridge in the Ohio legislature, stated it more bluntly.