Christmas movies, education plans, access to health care and driving while Black

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    Friday Funday

    Ohio’s 2018 Libertarian candidate for governor Travis Irvine, a comedian and filmmaker, has been showing screenings of his latest movie around Ohio and the U.S. over the past several weeks.

    The movie? Killer Raccoons 2: Dark Christmas in the Dark, which was filmed using the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.

    It’s very silly.

    Catching our eye:

    The education plan. The Dayton Daily News’ Jeremy P. Kelley is reporting on state Reps. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, and Robert Cupp, R-Bluffton, explaining the Cupp-Patterson Ohio education reform proposal to area residents:

    “The bill has had multiple hearings in the Ohio House Finance Committee, and Cupp said House leadership wants to vote on it in 2020 so it becomes part of the state budget in summer 2021.

    “Cupp said the plan starts with an effort to determine a ‘base cost’ of how much it takes annually for school districts to educate a child. That calculation considers class sizes, the need for principals and administrative staff, supply and technology costs and many other factors.

    “He said the base cost figure would vary by district depending on their situation, but a statewide average is about $7,100, significantly above Ohio’s current per-pupil figure of $6,020.”

    Access to health care. NBC’s Pete Williams is reporting on the the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing in a 2-1 decision Wednesday “that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional. But it sent the case back to the trial judge for another look at whether the entire law is invalid or if some parts can survive.”

    “The nature of the decision and the fact that it comes so late in the year make it highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will weigh in on the fate of Obamacare during its current term, which ends in June.”

    Driving while Black. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Max Londberg and Eye on Ohio‘s Lucia Walinchus are reporting on their investigation, conducted alongside Stanford University’s Big Local News Program, into “police stops to assess how the three largest communities in Ohio use public safety resources and to identify potential bias in policing.”

    Black drivers are “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…

    “In Cincinnati, police made 120% more total stops per resident in predominantly black areas. In Columbus, police made 84% more total stops per resident in neighborhoods that were at least 75% black. Cleveland issued 26% more tickets per resident in predominantly black areas.”

    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.