Black history, childhood trauma, coronavirus, and scamming seniors

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    Catching Our Eye:

    History Thursday. As we come to the end of Black History Month, the Ohio History Connection‘s Karen Robertson has written for us the story of Columbus’ Vanguard League, which worked in the 1940s against discrimination at Columbus theater venues. After scoring victory there, they turned their attention to schools and housing. Read about it here.

    Childhood trauma. WYSX in Columbus’ Ben Garbarek is reporting, “Ohio Lawmakers want to declare state of emergency on childhood trauma.”

    “Governors often declare a state of emergency after severe storms, but what about childhood trauma? Some lawmakers want the state to deal with that issue with the same urgency as the opioid crisis.

    “Two Democratic representatives unveiled a resolution urging the governor to declare a state of emergency. Advocates said trauma for children can occur from a divorce, a death, neighborhood violence or any number of tragedies.

    “’We’re having trauma babies the same way they had crack babies in the ’80s and nothing is being done about it,’ said Ronald Hummons, a mental health advocate from Cincinnati. ‘There’s nothing that’s even been addressed about it.’”

    Coronavirus. Cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton is reporting, “Ohio Congress members want government action on coronavirus.

    “Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday asked Senate Appropriations Committee members to provide him with $2.5 billion to fight the coronavirus epidemic that originated in China and is spreading across the globe.

    “Members of Congress in both political parties said the administration wasn’t taking the potential virus threat seriously enough and was ‘lowballing’ its funding request, as Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, put it.

    “’This is not the time to short change the American people,’ said Shelby. ‘This is the time to step up.’

    “Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California called the funding request ‘long overdue and completely inadequate’ to cope with the emergency’s scale. She noted the 2020 budget proposal that Republican President Donald Trump submitted to Congress earlier this month would have cut money for the Centers for Disease Control, and pledged that the House will ‘swiftly advance a strong, strategic funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis.’”

    Scams for seniors. Mahoning Matters staff are reporting, “Governor, director warn older Ohioans about phone scams.

    “Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment issued a consumer alert to warn older Ohioans of two telephone scams targeting them in an attempt to steal their personal information.

    “’Unfortunately, older adults are one of the most targeted groups for scammers,’ DeWine said in a news release. ‘We want to make sure older Ohioans are armed with the information they need to protect themselves in case they receive a suspicious call.’

    “‘We have been informed by several of our stakeholder partners of scams seeking to take advantage of our older Ohioan population,’ Froment said. ‘I urge people to be extremely cautious when deciding to share their personal information and to consider contacting organizations directly to initiate conversation and information sharing.’”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.