This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in conjunction with WOSU 89.7 NPR News. Please join Eye on Ohio's free mailing list or download the WOSU Public Media Mobile app as this helps provide more public service reporting to the community. This week the Ohio Civil Rights Commission released a letter of determination finding probable cause of disability discrimination after a Dublin couple was unable to open an assisted living facility in the area. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission says it is “probable” that the city of Dublin broke state law by discriminating against the elderly with recent zoning changes. The new city law followed a suspicious fire that broke out amid a months-long neighborhood dispute.
The Ohio Department of Health released more hospital capacity and equipment numbers yesterday, as the first Ohioans received their first vaccine doses and the U.S. death toll exceeded 300,000. Click to look at bed and equipment availability at a hospital near you.
Marcia Gassaway was in the first wave of Ohioans put out of work by COVID-19. The single mom from Cleveland went to the emergency room on March 15. Due to her coronavirus-like symptoms, doctors ordered that she be quarantined at a special facility. Now, she’s recovering at home with her children, calling the unemployment help line over and over again. “I call every day, every day,” she said.
In recent years, the state has encouraged local electric vehicle manufacturing while also encouraging fossil fuel production; shaky economy spells more uncertainty ahead
A set of bills aimed at promoting electric vehicles in Ohio is among the state legislation on hold across the country as lawmakers grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Ohio’s legislature has not been friendly to clean energy in recent years. Those efforts led first to a freeze and then last year’s gutting of the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards.
Electric vehicle measures might fare better because of their potential to boost electric utility sales and bolster in-state auto manufacturing. However, it’s unclear when they’ll return to the agenda and whether they can be passed during this session. House Bill 546 would slash electric vehicle registration fees in half.
The Ohio River watershed is dotted with thousands of small dams. Many are remnants of bygone days of grain mills and the steel industry, which used dams to pool water needed during production. The dams are no longer needed. And, because they can be a safety hazard to boats and a barrier to fish, there are efforts to remove them and restore free-flowing rivers. But not everyone is ready for it. A mayor’s vision starts with dam removal
After years of pushing for the removal of the old steel industry dam crossing the Mahoning River in his northeastern Ohio village near the Pennsylvania border, Lowellville Mayor Jim Iudiciani said it’s coming down this summer.
“They call me the dam mayor, and for good reason, finally,” Iudiciani joked.
One year into his first term, Ohio’s top utility regulator, Samuel Randazzo, has signaled that winning approval to build and operate wind and solar projects in the state could be even more difficult in the future. At the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the Ohio Power Siting Board, which Randazzo also chairs, recent decisions have blocked a new solar development and imposed new restrictions on wind energy — moves consistent with Randazzo’s longtime criticism of renewables as a registered lobbyist and lawyer representing heavy industry before the utilities commission. Also, the commission is now defending Ohio’s decision to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants in a filing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — an about-face from its stance in 2017 opposing a federal bailout of old coal and nuclear plants.
Gov. Mike DeWine’s 2019 appointment of Randazzo, a veteran energy lawyer and lobbyist, followed a rapid and opaque approval process that overlooked two of Randazzo’s ongoing small consulting companies, both of which have done business with FirstEnergy subsidiary FirstEnergy Solutions, (now Energy Harbor) federal bankruptcy records show.
Randazzo declined an interview request to comment on the companies or to elucidate what he sees as the PUCO’s mission.
Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston, the state’s voice for residential utility consumers, has been pushing to reform the nomination process for the PUCO, noting that the majority of commission members are either former employees of power companies or have represented them.
And while Randazzo has not always been at odds with consumer advocates, his long opposition to renewable energy is making its mark in Ohio regulatory decisions. Sam Randazzo (Photo Credit: the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio)
A long hostility to clean energy
Randazzo told state lawmakers during his 2019 confirmation hearing that as a commissioner he would have no view for or against any particular technology — despite a pattern of publicly criticizing renewable energy.
As chair of the Public Utilities Commission, he testified before lawmakers last year on Ohio House Bill 6, which authorized subsidies for nuclear and coal generation but basically gutted the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. His comments stressed the cost of the standards but not their benefits.
This story was funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.
Ohio lawmakers reached across the aisle to introduce a new bill that would close a property tax loophole on commercial property sales in the state.
Reps. Mike Skindell (D-13) and Doug Green (R-66) co-sponsored HB449 in late December. The proposed law would not allow businesses to avoid conveyance taxes by spinning off commercial properties into shell companies.
“We have been seeing a loss of revenue because of companies being placed in these LLCs. So when the property is transferred, it’s in the LLC and that [conveyance] fee is avoided. So what you have is a situation where the counties have less revenue on these, then they have to raise it on other people,” Skindell said.
PARKERSBURG, W. Va. – Tommy Joyce is no cinephile. The last movie he saw in a theater was the remake of “True Grit” nearly a decade ago. “I’d rather watch squirrels run in the woods” than sit through most of what appears on the big screen, he said. But there’s a film that opened Dec.
On Friday, Cincinnati City Councilmember Jeff Pastor introduced a motion to examine police practices after an investigation by the Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and Stanford University's Big Local News program found that blacks and black neighborhoods were more likely to be traffic stop targets. Read the full story on the Cincinnati Enquirer's website. Investigation: Blacks, black neighborhoods most likely to be traffic stop targets in Ohio’s 3 biggest cities Sidebar: Can an officer's perception of you alter your ticket? Biracial man's 'white' tickets dismissed, 'black' tickets sustained Sidebar: Beleaguered Cincinnati agency probing stop complaints rarely faults cops Methodology and Caveats: See step by step how we calculated the results. Access the data: Stanford's Big Local News Project
ByNoah Dormady, Matthew Hoyt, Alfredo Roa-Henriquez, and William Welch |
This calculator provides cost and/or savings estimates of how much money you may have paid (or saved) each month following retail electric deregulation. It’s based on data shared with Eye on Ohio and the Energy News Network from a study that looked at how extra fees and more competition have impacted utility bills. (Note, however, that it doesn’t account for the expected costs of House Bill 6, passed in July 2019.)
What’s a cross-subsidy effect? A cross-subsidy exists when one group pays a higher cost in order to allow another group to pay less.
Two types of cross subsidies appear on Ohio electric bills. The first type (Type I) is when residential or commercial customers pay a higher rate (cents/KWh) than industrial customers (e.g., Amazon or Honda).
The second type (Type II) of cross-subsidy is when non-regulated utility costs are passed through to regulated customers.
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. Jermiah Miller, a biracial man with self-described pale skin, said he feels like he has a foot in two worlds: one in which cops view him as white, the other as black. He believes he’s treated better when he’s perceived to be white. Miller, 26, was ticketed for driving with a suspended license and other charges four times last year. Twice cops listed his race as white, and twice as black.
In the two instances in which he was listed as white, Miller’s charges were ultimately dismissed, according to court records.