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.

House Republicans propose voter photo ID law, ending most absentee voting, and more

By: - August 18, 2021

Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives proposed sweeping voting restrictions last week that would impose new hurdles for voters to register and cast a ballot. The legislation, if passed, would require voters to present state issued photo identification to vote, eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, prohibit the use of ballot drop boxes and more. House […]

Ohio House rep protests vaccine mandates outside area hospital office

By: - August 16, 2021

An Ohio House representative joined a protest last week outside a Miamisburg hospital that announced a requirement that caregivers receive vaccination against COVID-19. Rep. Rodney Creech, R-West Alexandria, said he joined the demonstration because vaccines should be a matter of personal choice, and it’s not an employer’s place to require them. In an interview, he […]

Ohio one of few states to skip on eviction moratorium during pandemic

By: - August 12, 2021

When the new coronavirus emerged, a rush of 43 states and Washington D.C. instituted an eviction moratorium, temporarily blocking landlords from ousting tenants from their housing during a health crisis. Not Ohio. Two recent studies highlight Ohio’s lack of action on evictions as most other states, the U.S. Congress and eventually the CDC moved on […]

New state law blocks Ohio’s largest city from mask mandate, official says

By: - August 6, 2021

Amid a COVID-19 surge in Ohio’s most populous county, health officials wanted to once again require the use of face masks indoors to slow the spread of COVID-19. Unlike July 2020, however, this time they hit a wall. State legislation that took effect earlier this summer forbids health departments from issuing blanket health mandates among […]

Amid corruption scandal, energy money continues to flow to state lawmakers

By: - August 5, 2021

It’s going to take more than a bribery scandal on a historic scale to get energy money out of Ohio politics. Campaign finance reports, submitted late last week, show the campaign contribution pipeline from the natural gas and utility industries to Ohio lawmakers’ campaign accounts is alive and well. The vast majority went to Republicans, […]

No vaccine mandate for state health department, spokeswoman says

By: - August 5, 2021

The Ohio Department of Health will not require its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to return to the office, a spokeswoman said this week. Some employees are already working on-site at the department, mostly on hybrid schedules. More employees and departments will be “gradually phased in” to working on site, according to department spokeswoman […]

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 […]