Author

Jake Zuckerman

Jake Zuckerman

Jake Zuckerman is a statehouse reporter. He spent three years chronicling the West Virginia Legislature for The Charleston Gazette-Mail after covering cops and courts for The Northern Virginia Daily.

In Ohio, COVID-19 on the rise: ‘We think the delta variant is the dominant one’

By: - August 3, 2021

With fewer than 1 in 2 Ohioans vaccinated, public health data shows COVID-19 is once again ascendant in Ohio as immunizations slow and a hyper-transmissible variant proliferates. More than 700 Ohioans are hospitalized as of Monday with COVID-19 — a far cry from hellacious peaks above 5,000 from last winter, but a 163% increase over […]

‘Freedom is being able to breathe:’ Ohio woman wrestles with long covid, seven months later

By: - August 2, 2021

When Rachelle Eaton wakes up, her husband needs to help her out of bed. At a stress test in June, five months after she was diagnosed COVID-19, six minutes of walking on a treadmill caused her blood oxygen to drop to 87%. Eaton, 52, needs to breathe in supplemental oxygen for 20 minutes every other […]

FirstEnergy said it bribed a regulator for $4.3 million. Here’s how it worked.

By: - July 29, 2021

FirstEnergy admitted in court documents last week it paid the state’s top utility regulator $4.3 million to use his perch to save the company hundreds of millions via friendly administrative rulings. The company’s allegation against Sam Randazzo, former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, came in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. […]

DeWine says he didn’t know about alleged $4.3m bribe of utility regulator he appointed

By: - July 27, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine distanced himself Monday from a utility regulator he appointed who was accused last week of accepting millions in bribes from FirstEnergy Corp. FirstEnergy said in a court filing last week that it paid Sam Randazzo $22 million in consulting fees in the decade leading up to his appointment as chairman of the […]

FirstEnergy paid $4.3 mil to top energy regulator and reaped the benefits, court docs state

By: - July 23, 2021

An energy lobbyist who Gov. Mike DeWine appointed as the state’s top regulator of public utilities received $22 million from FirstEnergy Corp. in the decade before his appointment — including $4.3 million paid just before assuming the post and specifically to execute official duties to benefit the Akron-based utility — court documents revealed Thursday. Sam […]

Bar machine operators gave $100k to nonprofit that pleaded guilty in statehouse bribery case

By: - July 22, 2021

A trade association connected to bar machine operators paid $100,000 to a political nonprofit that pleaded guilty to its role in an alleged bribery operation engineered by the former Speaker of the Ohio House, tax records show. The 2019 payment came from the Fair Gaming Coalition of Ohio (FGCO), which has deep ties to the […]

Report: 650,000 lead pipes still carry water in Ohio; 2nd most in U.S.

By: - July 19, 2021

As many as 650,000 lead pipes statewide deliver water to Ohioans, according to a report released last week by the Natural Resources Defense Council. This makes Ohio the second worst state in the nation as measured by the estimated number of lead pipes (technically known as lead-containing service lines) in the water system, behind only […]

University tries to beat the clock on COVID-19 vaccine mandate ban

By: - July 16, 2021

Using the clock to its advantage before state legislation outlaws the practice, Cleveland State University said it will move forward with its requirement that all on-campus students seek vaccination against COVID-19 before returning this fall. House Bill 244, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed Wednesday, forbids public K-12 schools and colleges from requiring any vaccine without […]

DeWine signs bill to temporarily ban school COVID-19 vaccine mandates

By: - July 15, 2021

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation Wednesday that could block schools from mandating vaccination against COVID-19 for the fall. In the dying moments of the final legislative session before a summer recess, lawmakers tacked the vaccine provision as an amendment onto an unrelated bill regarding educational opportunities for military children. The amendment: It passed on […]

New data: fatal overdoses leapt 22% in Ohio last year

By: - July 15, 2021

At least 5,215 Ohioans fatally overdosed on drugs last year according to new government data, a nearly 22% increase over 2019 numbers. The data, released Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics, shows the Ohio uptick was more modest than the national rate. More than 93,000 Americans fatally overdosed in 2020, a staggering total […]

She says vaccines make you magnetized. This lawmaker invited her testimony, chair says.

By: - July 14, 2021

After a discredited doctor’s conspiracy theories involving COVID-19 vaccines, magnetics and 5G towers made a mockery of the Ohio House of Representatives, the Health chairman blamed the sponsor of anti-vaccination legislation for inviting the doctor to testify before the committee. House Health Committee Chairman Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, said in an interview that fellow Republican Rep. […]

Ohio consumer watchdog asks regulators to revisit coal plant bailouts

By: - July 13, 2021

A consumer watchdog last week asked state regulators to revisit their decision to allow two Ohio utility companies to pass onto customers their losses on two coal-fired power plants they partially own. The Ohio Consumers Counsel (OCC), which represents residential ratepayers in utility issues, asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to revisit its […]