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State Representative Jim Buchy… Mitochondrial Disease Awareness
September is Mitochondrial disease awareness month in memory of western Ohio’s own Corynna Strawser. Corynna dedicated her life to raising awareness for this rare and devastating disease and in her honor Senate Bill 300 was passed to allow us to carry on her fight. Mitochondrial disease, Mito for short, is an inherited chronic illness in which read more.
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Bullying in Ohio, By Melissa Martin, Child Therapist
How do agencies and organizations in Ohio prevent and intervene with bullying? Do they help or hinder? What is the bullying policy at your child’s school? What is a definition of bullying? “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time,” according read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… “Slummering” in Maine, By Aprill Brandon
Guys, I don’t want to alienate any of my readers, but I can officially say that I now “summer in Maine” like the rich people do. So please no longer make direct eye contact when addressing me, peasants. Ok, ok, busted. We’ll actually be slumming it in a small motel by the beach for barely three days, so technically I guess you could say we’ll be “slummering in Maine.” But you read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Agritourism is a Growing Trend in Ohio
When the Ohio winter ends and the warmer months come, you see many people moving outdoors for entertainment. A growing trend in Ohio is for Ohioans to take part in agritourism. Over the last 15 or so years, this industry has really taken off and we in the state legislature are doing our part to help it continue to be successful. Agritourism can be defined as the crossroads between agriculture and tourism. read more.
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Mr. History Wants… By Susan Olling
Some years ago, we went on a factory tour at the Harley-Davidson assembly plant in York, PA.  I thought that Mr. History’s  interest in this type of hog would go no further.  However, one of the toys on Mr. History’s wish list  is a top-of-line Harley.  This list also includes a 1930s fire truck, among other internal-combustion contraptions.  I always ask him where he plans to put all of these things read more.
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Greenville City Schools… Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year, GCSD Superintendent Douglas Fries
Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year.  Our administration and staff are eager to begin another year with the students, parents, grandparents, and community members throughout our district.  We hope to have everyone work together to make this another successful instructional and enjoyable year for all. I trust each of you have had a relaxing and enjoyable summer with your family read more.
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Ohio Republican Party… ORP Update
Focusing on jobs and the taxpayers. That's a major difference between Ohio Republicans and Ohio Democrats.  A little over 4 years ago, under Democrat Ted Strickland, our state faced massive job lost, tax hikes, and an $8 billion budget hole. Now our Republican team has delivered $5 billion in tax cuts, a $2 billion surplus and economic growth. This week Ohio Republicans continued read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Protecting Ohio’s Drinking Water
Around this time last year, 500,000 Ohioans in the Toledo area were forced to go without safe drinking water. They were warned they couldn’t drink the tap water in their own homes. This is something no family should have to go through, and that should not be happening in our state. Cities and towns across Ohio need to have the best, most up-to-date information on how to keep their drinking read more.
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All Is Not Lost, By Kate Burch
At our house, we joke about morning prayers consisting, at least in part, of sitting with our coffee and the daily newspapers, saying repeatedly, “Oh, God!” Yesterday, especial fervency was provoked by some disheartening news about Voice of America.  Started in 1942 as a means of countering Nazi propaganda, VOA is a taxpayer-funded read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… The Case of the Missing Dino Nugget, By Aprill Brandon
It’s lunchtime. Again. I know. You can’t believe it’s lunchtime again. Wasn’t it just lunchtime yesterday? And the day before that? How many times does this kid need to eat? But so goes the life of the parent of a toddler. Only, the thing is, this lunchtime is different. This lunchtime, you’re already hour 16 into your new diet. That stupid, stupid new diet you Googled and pledged an oath read more.
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State Rep. Jim Buchy… Making Ohio More Business Friendly and Improving Our Economy
Over the last 5 years the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has made changes to help it evolve from a problem, to a leader in economic development and job growth in Ohio. The growth is due to the presence of all the ingredients of a strong economy including: sound business decisions, a focus on safety and hard workers. In recent years, the BWC has been responsible read more.
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U.S. Congressman John Boehner… A Commitment to Providing Excellent Constituent Services - Washington, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today released the following column reminding Ohio’s 8th District of the many services he provides to help constituents navigate federal agencies, cut through red-tape, and get the answers they need: “This year, the IRS dropped 8.8 million calls on taxpayers in the months read more.
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New interest in Jamestown, By Susan Olling
The recent news stories about four sets of remains found on the site of a church that dates to 1608 will probably bring even more visitors to one of the most interesting parks in the National Park Service System: Historic Jamestowne.  None of the American History courses I took, back in the mists of time, mentioned Jamestown, Virginia, the read more.
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Deliberate Harm, By Kate Burch
A couple of weeks ago, one of my Facebook friends posted a photo of two young children, one white, one black, walking in a wooded scene, with hands clasped.  The caption above the photo was, “This is where we need to be.”  I commented, “Really, most of us are there already.”  No response received. A couple of my black friends have decried the recent and current worsening perceptions read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I just want to pay my bill, By Aprill Brandon
I don’t know if you guys have been keeping up with the news lately, but according to the headlines I’ve been skimming on Twitter, robots are poised to take over all our jobs. Or something like that. I never actually click on the links because as the mother of a toddler, all I really have time to read are listicles about how to lose 10 pounds in 10 days. (Note to the editors of Huffington Post read more.
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The White House… 50 Years Ago
Every year, I head back to the birthplace of a new America -- Selma, Alabama -- where a determined struggle for voting rights transformed our democracy 50 years ago. On March 7, 1965, Hosea Williams and I led a band of silent witnesses, 600 nonviolent crusaders, intending to march 50 miles to Montgomery -- Alabama's capital -- to demonstrate the need for voting rights in America read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Tax Relief for Ohio’s Non-Profit Veterans and Fraternal Organizations -- Two years ago we provided a property tax exemption in Ohio law for veterans and fraternals but bureaucrats in the tax department failed to recognize space used by such organizations for the not-for-profit service of the organizational members. In this biennial budget which we passed in June we included a provision that further outlines the intention of the legislature to provide that exemption to the space read more.
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Commissioners Corner… Airport news to come; July notes
From wet and cool to hot and humid, July has certainly been a mixed bag of weather. The first half of the month was a continuation of June with rain and cool temperatures almost daily, and now the last week or so, it has been more like a Darke County July, hot and humid. It really is time for us to start getting summertime weather here, so I guess we can’t complain read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Fighting to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs
Just like Medicare – which celebrated its 50th Anniversary last week – prescription drugs have helped Americans live longer and healthier lives. But for too many Americans, the high cost of prescription drugs forces them to choose between taking their full dosage and putting food on the table or keeping their lights on. And drug costs are on the rise. A report released last month by the Medicare read more.
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Death By a Thousand Cuts, By Kate Burch
Last week, our dishwasher went on the fritz and, before the repair was accomplished, the water heater sprang a leak!  There’s nothing like washing dishes by hand in cold water and taking cold showers to make one appreciate modern conveniences.  When we went to look at water heaters, we were surprised at how much the prices had increased.  The salesman and the installer shook their heads read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Medicare Turns Fifty
Fifty years ago this week, aging in America was forever changed for the better.  At the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a new law creating Medicare and Medicaid. Sitting beside him was former President Harry Truman, who would become Medicare’s first beneficiary – some two decades after he first proposed read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Federal Policies are Hurting the Middle Class
Under the current presidential administration, the federal government has enacted policies that claim to help the middle class. In actuality, they are hurting it. From Common Core to the Affordable Care Act, the current administration is expanding the income gap, evidenced by marketing patterns that are developing a class system which is more divided read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Unfortunately, based on a true story, By Aprill Brandon
Hey kids! You know how you can’t WAIT to become an adult and do all the COOL stuff that only adults get to do? Like: EAT ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST! OWN 12 PUPPIES! STAY UP ALL NIGHT! Well, children, ice cream gives you heart disease, puppies eventually grow old and lose bladder control and insomnia gives you wrinkles. And now, Auntie Aprill wants to tell you another read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday
In our household the back-to-school season brings with it many emotions, excitement, stress, busyness, exhaustion, as well as shock of the costs of new clothes and school supplies. I’m happy to share that the state has stepped in to help with at least the last one and next weekend will mark the first-ever back-to-school sales tax holiday in Ohio read more.
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“Good Government” (my eye!) , By Kate Burch
The so-called “liberals” who are outraged by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision have received a major smackdown in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  These same people insist that there is no problem with heavy governmental regulation on political speech; that free speech in general is not thereby imperiled; that they only seek “good government.”  They also were read more.
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Travel around D.C., By Susan Olling
If you’ve visited the greater D.C. environs, you are well aware of the transportation options available:  your vehicle or Metro.  I suppose you could take a cab, but why?  Tour buses don’t count. As you get to your hotel, you will have had the privilege of driving in some of the worst traffic congestion in the country with drivers who, for starters, don’t always read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… August? What do you mean it’s almost August? By Aprill Brandon
Things I planned to do this summer: Go to the beach as much as possible. Take my toddler to the Tiny Tot summer reading program at the library every Monday. Take a weekend trip to Maine. Sign my kid up for swimming lessons. Go camping. Go to the free sunrise yoga in the park. Wear sundresses and flowers in my hair. Drink a glass of wine on the back porch with my husband read more.
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Ohio Republican Party… Special Report – Kasich & More
History was made in Columbus on Tuesday as Governor John Kasich announced his candidacy for President of the United States.  Addressing a crowd of thousands of supporters at his alma mater, The Ohio State University, Kasich talked about his record of accomplishment at the state and federal  level - something no other candidate in the field can boast of - and his own read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… It Takes a Team to Help a Person Suffering from Addiction
Over the past year local leaders have been meeting to discuss our areas drug problem under the leadership of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce.  As a result of those discussions Ohio law has been updated to ensure medical professionals and mental health professionals are able to communicate regarding a patient suffering from drug addiction. Local leaders know it takes a team to help read more.
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The White House… A New Blue Marble
From President Obama: Just got this new blue marble photo from NASA. A beautiful reminder that we need to protect the only planet we have… Earth. Not mounted on a stand, with color-coded state and national boundaries, as schoolroom globes are prone to display. Instead, we see our world as only a cosmic perspective can provide: blue oceans, dry land, white clouds, polar ice read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Fixing Errors on Ohioans’ Credit Reports
Too many Ohioans are still feeling the effects of the 2008 financial crisis — particularly on their credit scores. More than 50 million consumers saw their credit scores plunge more than 20 points during the worst days of the crisis, from 2008 to 2009. Many still haven’t fully recovered. To make matters worse, one-in-five consumers has an error on his or her credit report. These errors can have serious read more.
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Silence Is Not Golden, By Kate Burch
This past week I viewed an unspeakable horror, and I cannot banish it from my mind.  It was video of a female physician, of some rank at Planned Parenthood, casually discussing, while eating salad and sipping wine, the use of ultrasound to guide the forceps as she performed an abortion so that the more valuable parts of the baby’s body would read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Working to Keep Avian Influenza Out of Ohio
Ohio’s $2.3 billion poultry industry relies on the health of the animals. As the second largest producer of eggs in the country, and home to over 40 million chickens and turkeys, Ohio needs to do its best to protect these crucial assets to our poultry industry. Avian influenza presents a serious threat to our agricultural sector, and we must go to every extent read more.
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Senator Sherrod Brown… Senate Passes Grant Program for Community Schools
Too many students face challenges outside of the classroom including hunger, homelessness, and a lack of access to health care. These challenges at home can undermine classroom performance and leave students struggling to keep up. Community schools help students and their families overcome the barriers to accessing these urgent read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Voted Most Likely to Write an Awkward Blog, By Aprill Brandon
Dear fellow high school classmates, ‘Sup? Or…I don’t know. Greetings! Or however the hell we’re supposed to address each other now that we’re all in our 30s. Hi? Hello? Salutations my brothers-and sisters-in-arms in the war known as the Public Education System? You’ll all be glad to know, as per your multiple requests in my yearbook, that I did, in fact, stay cool but didn’t freeze read more.
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The White House… The Iran Deal
Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States -- together with our international partners -- has achieved what decades of animosity has not: A comprehensive, long-term deal that will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal shows the real and meaningful change that American leadership and diplomacy read more.
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Fair Season, By Susan Olling
Fair season’s starting here in the Free State.  It would be unfair to compare county fairs here with some of those in Ohio (the one in Greenville comes to mind) or Indiana (land of Mr. History).  The first MoCo fair was in 1949.  Yeah, yeah, not as long as the Great Darke County Fair, but who’s counting?  We started volunteering at the MoCo fair twenty-one years ago, thanks to one of our read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Spongebrain NoPants (or How to Make Your Kid Wicked Smart), By Aprill Brandon - I’d always heard the phrase “a child’s brain is like a sponge, soaking up everything.” But it wasn’t until I had a kid of my own that I began to truly understand just what that meant. Their brains are, indeed, little sponges. Little, tiny, thirsty sponges that soak up any and all knowledge. In particular, any knowledge that may be left in read more.
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Judge Not… By Kate Burch
The ongoing frenzy to remove every symbol, every artistic representation, of the Confederacy from public view provides yet another example of what fallen creatures we humans are.  Fallen creatures and, too often, fools as well.  Politicians and pundits of the Left, especially—you know, the ones who tell us that we should have a “nuanced view”—are pronouncing the Confederate read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… A Road Map for State Spending
The state operating budget began as a proposal by Governor Kasich, submitted to the General Assembly back in February. Now that the bill has passed through the General Assembly and been signed into law by the Governor, we have a road map for state spending for the next two years. There are two main things we should note. First, we saw many compromises between the Governor read more.
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State Rep. Steve Huffman… House Bill 80: Supporting Ohio’s Number One Industry
As Ohio’s number one industry, agriculture is incredibly important to the well-being of our state. I am pleased to report that the Ohio House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 80, a piece of legislation designed to protect the budding agritourism industry. Agritourism is any agriculturally related educational, entertainment, historical, cultural, or recreational activity conducted on a farm read more.
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Some Thoughts on Obergefell v. Hodges, By Kate Burch
Listening to Rush Limbaugh yesterday as I was doing some scutwork in the house, I heard him ask why there was no public outrage, no flurry of demonstrations in the streets, following the Supreme Court rulings last week, particularly the one requiring all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage.” For a fact, there is plenty of outrage, but I think there is also plenty of resigned hopelessness read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Paying Ohioans the Overtime They’ve Earned
Too many Ohioans are still struggling in today’s economy. They work hard, but still have trouble getting by. For many workers, it feels as though the harder and longer they work, the less they have to show for it. They aren’t imagining things. Over the past three decades, wages for American workers have stagnated, while the number of hours workers spend on the job has gone up read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I’m happy… and it’s just the worst, By Aprill Brandon
Writer’s block. Block o’ the writer. Le bloc de scribe. Blockity block block. Block is a funny word. Block. Block. Block. And the word has lost all meaning to me. Block. It doesn’t even sound like a real word. Blockblockblockblockblockblock. I want cheese. I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I’ve been having a touch of the writer’s block lately. So please read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Big Tobacco’s New Assault on Our Children
Protecting our children from the dangers of tobacco products has always been a challenge — and now Big Tobacco has a new product it is actively peddling to children and teens. E-cigarettes are the new frontier in tobacco companies’ quest to get kids addicted while they are young. After just a few years on the market, minors’ use of e-cigarettes has now surpassed their use of traditional cigarettes read more.
Ohio Department of Transportation… Ringing in Fiscal Year 2016
Last night, Governor John R. Kasich signed into law the $72 billion, two-year state budget bill. The legislation continues the momentum of economic growth in Ohio. At the Ohio Department of Transportation, we are innovating and identifying creative ways to pay for our growing transportation system. The governor’s transportation budget enacted earlier this year supports jobs, economic growth, safety, and continues read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Marijuana, Monopoly, FOLLOW THE MONEY
It appears Ohioans will be determining the fate of the marijuana legalization debate in the near future.  I am interested to see how direct democracy will work in this situation.  I am excited about the freedom of Ohioans to cast a vote regarding their wishes, but remain concerned about recent trends in the use of the initiative. All too often these citizen-driven read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Happy Fourth of July
Two hundred and thirty-nine years ago a group of patriots began a grand new nation founded on a radical principle: that all men are created equal. More than two centuries later, we are still working to form the more perfect union our forefathers envisioned, based on that fundamental value. As recent as last week with the Obergefell v. Hodges read more.
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Inspiring! By Kate Burch
In recent times Americans have been roiled, it seems to me, by increasing alienation, unhappiness, anger, and unrest.  By my lights, the president who promised to bring us together has only increased racial tension and animosity.  Policies touted as benefiting all have damaged the polity, diluted liberty, and caused loss of opportunity and economic harm to many read more.
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Commissioners Corner… Grants awarded; Sheriff Dept. upgrade
The end of June means that the year is at its halfway point. It is hard to conceive that 2015 is on the downhill slide to 2016 already! The good news is we have had more than ample rain for our farmers, the corn looks really good, some bean fields have had some flooding problems, but all in all, this looks like a good crop year. Since we are one of the read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Local Advocates Successfully Restore Historic Preservation Tax Credit - "No!" If you ask most people if they could have an influence on their state government that is how most would answer, "No!" But, in the last couple of weeks the Ohio legislature has listened, your voice has been heard and your advocacy at the local level has had a huge impact. The Ohio Historic Tax Credit Program is highly competitive and read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… How Trade Changes Today
Today, President Barack Obama will sign into law two pieces of legislation that will change international trade and US jobs forever. First will be a renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), allowing the President to expedite large trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and bring them to Congress for a simple yes-or-no read more.
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Raising a glass of tea, By Susan Olling
Most Americans seem to have taken John Adams’s recommendations for celebrating what he called the “day of deliverance” (02 Jul 1776 actually, but that’s another topic) to heart.  While Independence Day is an important holiday, there are other dates during the period of 1775-1781 that are more important to this fan of the American Revolution read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I hate summer. There. I said it. By Aprill Brandon
I know what I’m about to say isn’t going to be very popular. But hey, you know what? Abraham Lincoln wasn’t universally appreciated for his views in his lifetime either. (Although anyone wishing to assassinate me needs to get in line behind my ex-boyfriends, my ninth-grade English teacher, Kim Kardashian, those Jehovah Witnesses that came to my door last week, Khloe Kardashian read more.
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The Supreme Court and Same Sex Marriage, By George Starks
As I write this, there are many things weighing on my side at the present time. Most notably, my health concerns. While doctors are taking up the majority of my free time and more so I've got some of the best neurologists in this area baffled. None of them, can't seem to figure out what is going on with my brain and the effect it’s having on my motor skills. My mobility has gotten worse in the past year read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Breaking Down Geographical Barriers for Success in Agriculture -- The school year has ended and now is the best time to fully examine the results of Ohio State’s “Agri-science in the City” program.  The close of this school year also marks the completion of the first full year of “Agri-science in the City”.  The program has connected one high school and one elementary in both Cleveland and Cincinnati with leaders in Ohio’s agricultural sector.  As a result read more.
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The White House… My Husband
Jim Obergefell is one of the plaintiffs in the case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court that held that, for the first time, any couple -- straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- can obtain a marriage license and make their commitment public and legal in all 50 states. We reached out to him to ask for his thoughts on this historic read more.
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The White House… Obamacare… The Affordable Care Act
On March 23, 2010, I sat down at a table in the East Room of the White House and signed my name on a law that said, once and for all, that health care would no longer be a privilege for a few. It would be a right for everyone. Five years later, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law and multiple challenges before the Supreme Court, here is what we know today read more.
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“Beware of Those Who Do Things in the Name of Good” By Kate Burch
Harold Hamm, chairman of the domestic Energy Producers Alliance, points out in the June 22 Wall Street Journal that the ban on exports of U.S. crude oil, left over from the Nixon era, has done great harm to the American economy and is hobbling the boom in U.S. oil production due to fracking.  Fully 28% of American oil refining capacity is foreign-owned.  Producers from other read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Investing in Infrastructure, Investing in Jobs
Several years ago my wife Connie and I were listening to one of my favorite radio programs, NPR’s Science Friday, and we heard an interview with author Earl Swift, who wrote a book called “The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways.” Mr. Swift related the story read more.
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Clear or Cloudy? By Carla Surber, Treasurer, Greenville City Schools
Transparency is a word that I remember from a very young age.  I had a first grade teacher, who addressed the windows in our 1930's classroom as transparent (clear) and the door glass translucent or cloudy.  That stuck with me.  The door panes were cloudy and only let a shimmer of light through.  Only glimpses of what was there, but never read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Obama’s Racial Detachment, Aloofness, and Stupidity, …Motivates Tragedies like Charleston, By Joe Facinoli - There has been Racial prejudice, misunderstanding, and hatred in this world, …ever since the first group of Primeval Cro-Magnon people, saw a second group of ancient primordials, who didn’t look nor act, …just exactly like they did. And maybe they hunted better, or had read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… A Special Father's Day for Ohio
I know a lot of men who have become fathers over the course of the last year and I can't help but be excited for them. I've had my turn with sleepless nights and ear infections with my three kids, so they can enjoy that part; still, there's nothing as rewarding or as hard as parenthood. What makes this Father's Day different from all the others is that some of these new fathers I know have read more.
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Taxing Times, By Kate Burch
Some years ago, Ohio instituted a sales tax, now 5.75%, on satellite TV services.  The cable TV providers successfully lobbied to avoid the tax, claiming that a sales tax, on top of “franchise fees” the cable companies were required to pay to the state, would put them at a competitive disadvantage.  The satellite companies have tried several times, unsuccessfully, to achieve equal read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… The Budget Process Approaches the Finish Line
With the Senate wrapping up their work on the budget, we are now looking at the differences between their version and the House’s version. I’ve spent the last month meeting with over half of Ohio’s Senators to discuss the provisions in the budget that I feel are most important to helping Ohioan’s succeed. In each of those meetings, I was pleased to know that the public servants in the Senate were heading read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Summer Nutrition for children
An End to the School Year Doesn’t Have to Mean an End to Good Nutrition - For most Ohio children, the school year is ending and summer has begun. Summer ought to be a time for our kids to enjoy playing outside, reading for pleasure, and spending time with family. But for too many children, summer means an end to nutritious meals served in schools. More read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… 34 Things I’ve Learned in 34 Years, By Aprill Brandon
My birthday is next week. Which means it’s that time again. Time to reflect on all the ways I’ve grown wiser. All the ways I’ve matured. All the ways I’ve perfected my spitball-throwing ability. And as such, here are the 34 things I’ve learned in 34 years… 1. There are a lot of horrible things that happen to people every day. The dude at Burger King forgetting your fries is not one of them read more.
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State Representative Buchy… The Horse Racing Industry is Growing in Ohio and Benefitting Local Agriculture -- Not long ago, the Horse Racing Industry was operating on small purses in Ohio.  With less prize money for winners, it was difficult to attract the best horses, leaving the sport and the agricultural industry that surrounds it struggling to remain afloat.  With little incentive to invest in Ohio’s racing industry, the best breeders and horses were leaving Ohio to race elsewhere.  This also meant read more.
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On the Other Side of the Edge…. It’s Time, and a No-Brainer, ….Legalize ALL Drugs, …and the Murders Go Away   (I’m Serious), By Joe Facinoli - It’s all about the Benjamins. Money, …is the Root of all Evil. Money, …sets the World in Motion. Money talks, …and B.S. walks. For the Love of  “…Money, Money, Money, …Mo—Ney, ...people will Steal from their Mother, …Rob their own Brother, …they will Lie, and they will Cheat, …and can’t even walk read more.
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Happy Anniversary, Mr. History, By Susan Olling
How dull/boring would our lives be without our spouses?   Our neighbors just celebrated what  I call a “speed limit” anniversary this year.  I think I can speak for Mrs. Neighbor in that life would be less exciting without our guys.  For example, Mr. Neighbor spent a day taking apart, in their basement, his Christmas present from his father-in-law: a chain saw.  When Mrs. Neighbor got home read more.
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Exploiting Human Weakness, By Kate Burch
Full disclosure:  I have never bought a lottery ticket; never gone to Vegas or even a casino; never bet on a horse at Keeneland when I have gone there to enjoy a day with friends or family.  That sort of risk-taking just does not appeal to me.  It is true that people from all walks of life and all income levels do engage in gambling, but it is far more costly and risks far more devastating consequences read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Helping Ohio Businesses Sell Their Products Around the World - Davenport Aviation is a small business in Columbus—an aircraft parts distributor that exports its products to Africa and South America. Its business has grown over the past four years with the help of the Export-Import Bank. Davenport Aviation is one of the 350 Ohio businesses that the Export-Import Bank has helped. This critical agency read more.
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The severance tax hike risks Ohio jobs and prosperity, By Joe Nichols
President Reagan once said, “[w]hen you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it.” The Ohio General Assembly should heed this wisdom as they debate whether increase the severance tax on shale oil and gas production. Of course, Ohioans should want more oil and gas wells, not less. However, the proposed tax increase creates incentives that will reduce future read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Fifty Shades of Grey’s Anatomy, By Aprill Brandon
I have to go to the lady parts doctor today. I know, I know. Ew. Gross. How dare I casually mention that I have a vagina! And on the Internet to boot, where children might see it! While on their way to whatever website 9-year-old’s are hanging out these days, which I’ll never find out because I am ancient! But just be glad you only have to read about it. I’m the one who actually read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Rewarding American Companies that Support American Jobs
For too long, companies have benefitted from shipping American jobs and profits overseas. While these companies have profited, American workers have faced joblessness and a poor economy. We should be rewarding American companies that do the right thing by keeping jobs in America and providing fair wages and benefits to their employees. This week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) read more.
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The White House… Check out the Hubble Photo
Hi, everyone -- I'm the President's Chief Science Advisor. And from time to time, I like to send quick, ad-hoc notes to White House staff on a variety of topics -- upcoming lunar eclipses, groundbreaking climate news, incredible photos from space. Things I've come across and found fascinating. Apparently, people really like them. So when a colleague recently suggested read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… How Trade is Like a Baseball Game
Folks in Washington like to make big promises when it comes to our trade deals. But for too long, we’ve seen nothing but bad results. We’ve seen what so-called free trade agreements have done to our workers and our communities over the past two decades. We’ve seen the factories close and the stores get boarded up. That’s why I voted against read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. My Triple Crown “Legacy”, …is now Over, By Joe Facinoli
I was always a “rail-bird”, …from as early as I can remember.  Always loved the “ponies”, even when I was too young to sneak into a track anywhere, …muchless be allowed to bet on them.  Watched them on TV, talked about them, and read whatever I could, …all from a tender age. When I was 17, after I had finished an evening shift at the read more.
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Not Only Broken Windows, By Kate Burch
James Q. Wilson, who died in 2012, was one of America’s most consequential political scientists.  Among a number of positive contributions, he developed the “broken windows” theory of policing which was used to extremely positive effect by Rudolph Giuliani during his tenure as Mayor of New York.  The theory was that, if police diligently address minor infractions of the law, such as defacing read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Darke County… a great, economical place to live
With the end of May being rainy and cool, it may seem like summer will never get here. However, June is here now and hopefully the weather will be more like we expect with warmer temperatures and lots and lots of sunshine. While Memorial Day is the official start to summer, June is the month when all children are out of school, grilling out with friends, and summer read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Why Western Ohio is the Best Place in the World
 I have always believed that Western Ohio is the best place to live, work and rear a family. As a son of Western Ohio, I have seen how our home has changed over the years while at the same time respecting its roots in agriculture and family life. While I have always believed it was the best place to live, we now have some proof thanks to a recent study conducted by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… What one word describes you? By Aprill Brandon
A few nights ago, my husband and I were in bed having a grand old time. The baby was finally asleep, the house was clean(ish), all work emails had been returned and all deadlines met(ish). We had a whole luxurious evening all to ourselves devoid of any responsibility.  Which is why, as I’m assuming you’ve already guessed, we were lying side by side in bed taking dumb pop culture quizzes on our phones read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Strengthening Local Governments Through Sound Money Management - As we continue through the budget process, I am mindful of the struggles of local governments because they play such a vital role in the everyday lives of Ohioans.  Without local governments, many of our roads would not be maintained, our fire departments would not arrive at the time of emergency and our police forces would not be able read more.
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The Land of the (Formerly) Free, By Kate Burch
Americans today live under a burden of laws and regulations so complex, convoluted, and contrary to common sense, that it is probably impossible for anyone not confined to bed, unconscious, in a nursing home to get through the day without breaking laws, even without the knowledge or intention of doing so.  The huge expansion of the regulatory state has been accompanied by a corresponding read more.
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Thank you for the humor, By Susan Olling
Will (you can fill in the blank) matter in five years?  With sports, things don’t matter in six months.  Even though my undergraduate degree is from Buckeye Nut U., what Mr. History calls that enormous state university in Columbus, Ohio, that doesn’t mean that I mindlessly follow its sports teams, or any others, with shameless loyalty.  There’s room for sports.  However, like other things, in moderation read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Combating Prescription Drug Abuse in Ohio
Drug overdoses are on the rise across Ohio. In 2013, we saw a record 2,110 fatal overdoses in our state. Opioid abuse in particular has wreaked havoc across Ohio, devastating thousands of families. When it’s easier for Americans to access opioids than it is for them access help to treat their addiction, we have a serious problem. That’s why I worked across the aisle this week to introduce the bipartisan read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Oh yes, another article about how to give your kids the best summer ever, By Aprill Brandon -- Here’s a fun story. The other day I was scrolling through Facebook when I happened upon an article with one of those irresistible yet general headlines that made it seem like it was ALL ABOUT ME. Naturally I had to click on it.  And it did not disappoint. The whole thing was devoted to how much better childhood summers were in the 70’s and 80’s read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Memorial Day
Following the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, Union veteran leaders established an annual Decoration Day to commemorate the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. In the years since, Decoration Day has expanded to honor all fallen soldiers from every theater of war, and we now know it as Memorial Day. This Memorial Day we honor the Ohioans who have laid down their lives for their country read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Pope Paul VI, …from the Grave, ...Comments on our Current, and Ugly, Social Condition, By Joe Facinoli - He died in 1978.    Thirty seven years ago. But he saw something back then, and before he passed on, Pope Paul VI left specific instructions for all the world’s governments, regarding how NOT to “quick fix” social inequalities, …as well as some very good reasons why, this would be such read more.
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Senate President Keith Faber… Honoring the Greatest Sacrifice
Last year at this time, I offered a prayer at a joint session of the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives honoring Ohioans who lost their lives while serving our country. I prayed that we would have no reason to meet again in 2015—that there would be no Ohioan lost in the service of their fellow man. This week I stood again before my fellow read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Dredging in Lake Erie is a Growing Topic of Conversation in Government - Of the five great lakes, Lake Erie is the shallowest. As a result, a large portion of the dredging that happens in the Great Lakes takes place in Lake Erie, our great lake in Ohio. Water quality in Lake Erie has been a major topic throughout this General Assembly, and I expect interest to grow in the coming years. In Ohio, the number one read more.
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Salute to Military, By Christina Chalmers
Each May, we take time as a country to celebrate our veterans, lifting them up for all the sacrifices they have made for the freedoms we have. And doing so is the good and right thing. We wouldn’t be the country we are without them. But this weekend, as we mark Memorial Day by saying thank you to our veterans, there’s another group whose sacrifice, service and love of this country needs read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Standing with Ohio Veterans and Military Families
Few duties are more important than honoring Ohio’s veterans. Just as we invest in and train our men and women during their military service, we must do so when they return to their communities, hang up their uniforms, and embark on the next phase of their lives. In 2008, I was proud to help pass the largest expansion of veterans’ benefits since the GI bill. The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance read more.
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Government Rail, By Kate Burch
It will be months, most likely, before we know the cause of the deadly Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia.  It does not have the markings of a terrorist attack, and the reports of projectiles possibly hitting the wrecked train, and at least one other, do not seem to be panning out.   The engineer, who I hear was well-liked, a real “train guy,” may have been inexplicably deranged or temporarily dysfunctional.  Time will tell read more.
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RAK:  “Random Acts of Kindness” at the Junior High, By Chris Mortenson, Principal, Greenville Junior High School - It is often heard that each generation of students has flaws that make them a poor representation for what our future has in store, as a community, as a state and as a country.  I am often asked how I can work in education and routinely told by others that they could not work in the education system and wonder why teachers would choose to do this each day.  My reply is read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… All I want to do is sit down, By Aprill Brandon
I remember once hearing a teacher say something along the lines of "an object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest, especially if that object is a person sitting in a coffeeshop and you want their seat." Or something like that. I don't know. I was too busy sending professional-grade orgami-esque folded notes to my best friend about very important topics read more.
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Travels with Mr. History (our top five), By Susan Olling
With Mr. History’s help, I was able to come up with our top ten places we’ve visited.  Last time were numbers six through ten.  Here, for your consideration, are our top five. 5.  National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, VA.  The best military history museum that doesn’t float (bonus points for the shape of the building).  Our first visit was shortly after it opened in 2006 (for the helicopters) read more.
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Reverse is always backwards, By Jim Surber
For the last five or six years, network television viewers have been enticed to investigate a financial instrument called a “reverse mortgage.” As Fred Thompson strolls along a busy street or garden path, he tells of a great new option for Americans which offers “options for retirement and security for your family.” Thompson, an actor and former conservative GOP Senator, certainly has the reputation, voice, and demeanor read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Baltimore is NOT the “Preakness”, ….it’s “The Wire” By Joe Facinoli - There have been 36 murders in Baltimore City since April 27th. That was the day Freddie Gray’s funeral was “celebrated”, at the New Shiloh Baptist Church in West Baltimore.  The date the riots, and the looting, and the fires all started, …here in “Charm City”.  Thirty six murders, …in 21 days.    Almost two per day.  Even Detroit and Chicago would read more.
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The White House… What Chabot College did for me, By Tom Hanks
Chabot College is a rambling series of academic buildings situated on 94 acres in Hayward, California. It offers more than 100 associate degrees and certificates, an intercollegiate national championship-winning ultimate disc team, and parking for a couple thousand cars. It's also my alma mater. Chabot's a community college -- and in the early 1970s, it was all free, save for the effort read more.
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Voodoo Nutrition, By Kate Burch
Last week the Chipotle restaurant chain decided to remove genetically modified components of menu offerings nationwide.  Whether this will turn out to be an effective marketing ploy for Chipotle remains to be seen.  It certainly will mean that their prices will have to increase. There was also, last week, a decision by a federal judge in Vermont declining to issue a preliminary injunction read more.
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State Representative Buchy… Our Pathway-Returning Control to Ohio’s Schools
The end of the school year is quickly approaching, and PARCC testing is wrapping up.  Overall, administrators are unhappy with the rollout of PARCC because it uses too much valuable time in the classroom and has been plagued with many technical problems.  The focus should be on learning, but teachers are forced to spend a lot of time testing their students read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Hey mom, I get it now, By Aprill Brandon
Hey mom, you should know…I get it now. No, I mean, I GET IT NOW. I know. And you probably already know I know (you’re a mom afterall) but I’m still going to say it. You are not perfect. You never were (contrary to what the dozens of cards featuring obscene amounts of glitter that I gave to you over the years said). You have flaws. Lots of them. I know, I know. Gee, Happy Mother’s Day to you read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… A Thank You to the Teachers
Educating young people is one of our nation’s most important responsibilities. A quality education provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the challenges of 21st century. Our teachers strengthen and enrich not only individual students, but entire communities and our nation. One of the ways we celebrate the vital role teachers play is by celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Baltimore:   Freddie Gray’s Life, ...and Death, …Display the City at its Worst, By Joe Facinoli - As I drove along West Garrison Boulevard, on a hot summer’s day in the Pimlico section of Northwest Baltimore, I noticed that the streets were, as usual for a mid-day, filled with all manner of activity.  The traffic light at Park Heights Avenue, my next cross street, had just turned yellow, and I could almost see my read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… The Budget Discussion Continues in the Senate
At this point in the budget process, the Senate is discussing their concerns with the budget and making changes as they see fit.  Amended Substitute House Bill 64, the state operating budget, passed in the House with bipartisan support in April. The bill will undoubtedly go through some changes before its passage in the Senate, and will then go to a read more.
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MAP Testing at Greenville City Schools, By Jeff Cassell, Principal, Woodland Primary, Greenville City Schools - At Greenville City Schools, we are passionate about student growth.  Student growth is about learning and the students acquiring the concepts and skills they need to flourish in the world over a period of time.  Measuring student growth is crucial, and as educators we need a measurement scale over time to accurately indicate this growth.  One of our read more.
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Travels with Mr. History (our top ten), By Susan Olling
Even though we live in a place people look forward to visiting, we like to get away from here when we can.  With Mr. History’s input, I came up with a list of some of the best places we’ve visited over the years.  There’s nothing scientific about the list of ten.  We did consider historic interest, gardening interest, and food (and shopping).  We’ve visited read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Guaranteeing Ohioans Paid Sick Leave
Each day, workers across the country face impossible dilemmas. Do they go into work knowing the risks to their own health and to others around them, or do they stay home and lose a paycheck? Do they send a sick child to school, knowing they’re risking the health of their daughter and her entire classroom, or do they jeopardize their job by taking a day read more.
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What a Difference Three Decades Make, By Kate Burch
This morning, I watched a 3-minute video of a speech by Ronald Reagan lauding the self-sacrifice of American veterans.  It flooded me with emotions of gratitude, admiration, national pride, grief, awe.  And nostalgia.  A lot of nostalgia. I miss the kind of leadership that inspires; that calls on us to be our best selves and to thereby build an ever better nation and share in growing prosperity read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Good thing I’m not one of those sentimental moms, By Aprill Brandon
I vowed long before I ever had children that I would never be one of those overly sentimental mothers. You know the kind. The ones that make keepsakes out of their children’s teeth and first baby curls, like some sort of socially acceptable child body part hoarder. The ones who cry at their kid’s kindergarten graduation ceremony (like that’s actually a thing, an actual important event) read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Protecting Ohio Jobs from Unfair Trade
At forums I’ve held across our state, Ohioans have made clear their opinions on unfair foreign trade deals. This week I echoed your voices loud and clear in Washington: the last thing we need is another NAFTA. Ohioans have felt the painful effects of these bad deals for years. This month I was in Dayton and met with Jimmy, who worked at Appleton Paper for 45 years. He was one of 400 workers laid off due read more.
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The White House… Teacher of the Year, President Barack Obama
I credit my education to Ms. Mabel Hefty just as much as I would any institution of higher learning. When I entered Ms. Hefty's fifth-grade class at Punahou School in the fall of 1971, I was just a kid with a funny name in a new school, feeling a little out of place, hoping to fit in like anyone else. The first time she called on me, I wished she hadn't. In fact, I wished read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Baltimore:   Black Leaders Doing Victory Laps for Freddie, …as the Social Insanity Continues, By Joe Facinoli - I have stories to tell, …of Baltimore. Of the place where I’ve worked, …of the city I enjoy so much, …and the metro area where I have chosen to invest, …have a family, and to live. I’ve been to West Baltimore, hundreds of times, …to Fulton Street, and to North Avenue, where the car “bonfire” took place read more.
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Who Will Stand For Us? By Kate Burch
Every person who is elected to public office in the United States takes an oath abide by and defend our Constitution.   So, it is disconcerting, to say the least, to read of two recent cases of serious affronts to our most important founding document. Hillary Clinton, so far the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, is openly saying that she does not like the First Amendment read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Potential Dangers Associated with Powdered Alcohol
Powdered alcohol is a new substance that could hit the shelves in liquor stores as soon as this summer.  I support the public’s ability to consume food and drink in a responsible manner and generally work to open the market up for broader consumer choice.  In the case of powdered alcohol, the facts don’t lie. This substance is untested and could be dangerous.  It is best to see how the market read more.
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GCSD Superintendent Update, Doug Fries, Superintendent
Spring 2015 - Due to six calamity days used this year, there will be one student makeup day on June 1st, 2015. With the close of the 2014-15 school year just a month away, it is time to congratulate another group of outstanding seniors who formally will become graduates on May 30, 2015. Two hundred and sixteen graduates are scheduled to receive their read more.
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Vice President Joe Biden… Upskilling
How many folks do you know who feel like they're stuck in their job? Think about it for a second. They've been working in the same position for a while. They work hard every day, and take pride in what they do. But they feel like they're going nowhere in their jobs and have no options to gain the education and training they need to move up. They want more for themselves and their families. Maybe it's a friend read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Strengthening STEM Education
For more than a decade, growth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs has been three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and drive Ohio’s innovation. With the STEM job market expected to continue its rapid growth, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Brian Schatz read more.
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We All Play a Role in Agricultural Pollution Abatement, by Janell Weiss and Jared Coppess
Water quality has long been a concern, and recent events in Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Mary’s, Buckeye Lake and the Gulf of Mexico have brought that concern to the front of people’s minds. Earlier this month, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1 (SB1) which aims to mitigate harmful algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Amid new read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. “If you can’t do the Time, …then don’t do the Crime.” By Joe Facinoli - Police departments everywhere, since the beginning of civilization, have always counted bullies, cowboys, intimidators, tormentors, and wannabe tough guys, …among their ranks. So has all of Society, …since the beginning of time. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and it’s certainly not civil, …but it is what it is. For thousands of years.  And Society has always read more.
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GHS - Career Tech Center, By Jon McGreevey, Director of Business Services & Career Technology, Greenville City Schools - Greenville High School Career-Technical Center is focused on preparing students for college, further skills training, or the workforce.  Greenville Career Tech programs provide students with an opportunity to gain and improve skills in communication, problem solving, citizenship, and leadership skills in a professional environment.  Small class read more.
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Taxes and the Deep Blue See! By Carla Surber, Treasurer, Greenville City School District
It’s the time of year when all of us go to work each day and turn to thoughts of taxes. Deductions from our paychecks, estimated taxes and the amount owed to Uncle Sam are a huge reminder that we live in a system of government services. We either struggle over the online filing with a tax package bought at the local store, or hire someone to do the deed for us. The current system began in 1913 read more.
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The Death of Divided Government, By Kate Burch
When Iranian President Hasan Rouhani accused the U.S. Congress of meddling in the negotiations over his country’s nuclear program, he was simply reiterating the attitude of the U.S. President.  Rouhani said that the only parties with any right to be heard are the seven nations involved in the talks.  Now, some may say that his speech on Iranian state television shows only that he does not understand read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Helping Ohio Families Afford College
During his presidency, Abraham Lincoln would meet regularly in the White House with ordinary Americans, even during the darkest days of the war. He called these meetings his “public opinion baths.” College costs are sky-high and climbing. Right now, many families across Ohio are waiting on their financial aid packages. For many students and their read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… The importance of being boring, By Aprill Brandon
It doesn’t happen all at once. I suppose that’s why it happens to so many people. It just tends to sneak up on you. And by the time you realize what’s happening, it’s already too late. Suddenly, you’re boring. I should know. I have completely morphed into the most boring person alive (even including that guy I met seven years ago who started every sentence with “Well, actually,” and thought read more.
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McLean, Sheridan and the Arlington National Cemetery, By Susan Olling
An important anniversary occurred earlier this month: General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia in 1865.  I’ve given some thought about the characters and locations in the four-year catastrophe that was the American Civil War.  Lincoln, Grant, Sherman and Lee are among the most remembered people from that war.  Gettysburg read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Hillary, “The Jackal”, …Feeds on the Slowest, and Lowest of Prey, By Joe Facinoli - She was fired in 1974, by the Chief Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, for lying, concealing evidence and precedent, and conspiring to deny legal rights to the President of the United States, during the Nixon Impeachment Hearings.  But Hillary Rodham didn’t care, …it was a means to an end.    Her prey was in sight, and all manner read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… A BWC Budget That Saves Ohioans Dollars
As we continue to move forward with the budget process here in the Ohio House, I wanted to highlight two of our budget bills that I am particularly proud of. House Bills 51 and 52, which are the budget bills for the Ohio Industrial Commission and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, respectively, include decreases that will save taxpayer dollars while still providing read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… I’m Here to Help
During his presidency, Abraham Lincoln would meet regularly in the White House with ordinary Americans, even during the darkest days of the war. He called these meetings his “public opinion baths.” That’s why I travel to each of Ohio’s 88 counties and meet with people from different backgrounds, and why I believe it’s so important to hear from you read more.
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Religious Intolerance, By Kate Burch
The uproar following passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by the Indiana legislature and its signing by Republican Governor Mike Pence may be making you shake your head.  Wasn’t the United States of America founded on principles of liberty and God-given human rights?  Doesn’t this law, which is simply the state version of the federal law signed by Bill Clinton in 1993, simply afford read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… 9 tips for successfully baby-proofing your home, By Aprill Brandon
1. Don’t have a baby. Just like abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, not having a baby is the only way to 100 percent effectively baby proof your home. Because no matter what you do, they will figure out a way around it eventually. And if they can’t, they will find a new, even more creative way to kill themselves while simultaneously read more.
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Ohio Means Jobs for Everyone
No matter whether you are a student, a veteran, or simply looking for new career ideas, Ohio has a great resource to help everyone with their next move. Ohio’s employment and resource website, OhioMeansJobs.com, is a one-stop shop to connect Ohioans with resources, tools and employers. This website is available to any Ohioan, for free, to upload resumes, create a profile, or simply search for jobs in the area read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. America Needs Rand Paul….  (Uh, …do we see a pattern here??), By Joe Facinoli - It’s the rare moment when I agree with anything that former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley might utter (read:   Never), but this time, …he got one right. Last week, on one of the endless national talking heads TV shows, the erstwhile “tax and spend” King of all governors (maybe ever), said that the U.S. Presidency read more.
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It Was a Pretty Bad Week, By Kate Burch
Sometimes it’s hard not to be dispirited.  First there was the spectacle of the new fascisti persecuting and financially ruining small business owners in Indiana in their campaign to force mainstream acquiescence to the homosexual activist agenda.  How is it that a small, vicious special interest group, purportedly representing 1-3% of the population, (though read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… The House Budget is Taking Shape
Now that April has come, we are starting to get a good look at what Ohioans can expect from the House budget. We have passed several pieces so far, including the Transportation and Public Safety, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Commission budgets. At the end of the month, we will be voting the full budget out of the House and sending it to the Senate for further evaluation. The governor’s read more.
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Some Are More Equal Than Others, By Kate Burch
It was reported yesterday that Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) warned against “blaming the victim” in the case of the fraternity brothers falsely accused of rape at UVA.  The bogus story of the rape, written by a gullible Rolling Stone writer, has been completely discredited, though the magazine is yet to print a retraction.  Now, just who, do you suppose, is the victim in Senator Gillibrand’s read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Not Another NAFTA
Earlier this month I traveled our state, meeting with workers and businesses about the future of U.S. trade policy. Ohioans are sending one message, loud and clear: the last thing we need is another NAFTA. Several years ago at my own expense, I toured a Mexican auto plant. It looked very similar to an American factory, with one key difference: the Mexican plant didn’t have a parking lot, because read more.
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Commissioners Corner… March a good month for the county
As this is written the sun is shining, finally, and the temps are in the 50’s for a change. Maybe, just maybe, spring is finally taking hold in Darke County. And none too soon, we might add! Hopefully, the farmers will be able to get in their fields and start the planting season, which is always the sure sign that spring is here! March has been a very good month for the County read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… I am an inferior woman! Hear me roar! By Aprill Brandon
Ugh. Why? Why do stupid people have to keep saying stupid crap, making me dust off my soapbox YET AGAIN?  Now I have to go looking for it YET AGAIN and …(grunting sounds)… it’s probably buried under a huge pile of dirty onesies and empty wine bottles and ...(rummaging noises)… I could be using this time to do something much more productive …(floor scooting squeaks)… like drinking wine while doing laundry read more.
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The Iran Deal: From President Barack Obama with comments by House Speaker John Boehner
Obama... Today, the United States, together with our allies and partners, reached a historic understanding with Iran. If fully implemented, this framework will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, making our nation, our allies, and our world safer. For decades, Iran has been advancing its nuclear program. When I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges read more.
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It's that time of year (again) , By Susan Olling
Those of us who call the greater DC environs home can thank (or malign) Mrs. Helen Taft for the annual looniness that goes on during the first couple weeks each April.  Her efforts in bringing all those cherry trees here over 100 years ago has created  “The National Cherry Blossom Festival”.  This DC area resident has another name for this two-week ordeal:  “The Festival of the Non-native Tidal Basin Bloomers”
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Will We Get Right to Work in Ohio? By Kate Burch
Recently, Governor Scott Walker signed a new law making Wisconsin the 25th Right to Work state.  This means that workers cannot be forced to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of keeping their jobs.  Our Governor has not been enthusiastic about Right to Work legislation, despite strong evidence that Right to Work law has improved read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Intolerance in Indiana, …on BOTH Sides, …Like Kids in a Sandbox, By Joe Facinoli - “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;  or abridging the freedom of speech….” --from the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, ratified December 15, 1791  In half a sentence, the Founding Fathers guaranteed for read more.
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A new option in the heroin epidemic, By Lauren Randall
A panel of nine public figures recently led a seminar on one of the most pressing, rampantly growing epidemics Darke County has seen in some time: heroin. The joint venture by the League of Women Voters and the Darke County Chamber of Commerce was hosted by Edison Community College, Darke County campus. Greenville Police
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The Dreaded VAT, By Kate Burch
The VAT, or Value Added Tax is a national sales tax on goods and services that is applied at each stage of production.  It is widely used in Europe and some other developed nations.  Rates, naturally, rise over time, despite politicians’ promises to the contrary.  VAT rates in Europe, according to accounting firm Ernst and Young, average 21.6%, up from 19.4% in 2008.  This is on top of
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Ohio Tax Quiz-Will You Pass It?
Our tax filing deadline is upon us.  This year, all the buzz is about the new Ohio Tax Quiz, which is a requirement to get your refund if you fall into certain categories considered high risk for tax fraud.  The goal is to ensure refund recipients are proving their identity, thus reducing fraud. The state of Ohio has contracted with LexisNexis to build a fraud reduction system
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Ensuring Healthy Pregnancies, Healthy Mothers, and Healthy Babies - Giving our children a healthy start in life begins with healthy pregnancies. But far too many areas in Ohio and across the country face a serious maternity care shortage. In fact, one quarter of Ohio counties lack access to even one OB-GYN physician. That’s right – 22 Ohio counties lack regular access to a practicing OB-GYN. This is unacceptable. Healthy read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Apparently I will do anything for love…even that, By Aprill Brandon
Meatloaf is a wise man. Or maybe he’s not. I don’t know. I never met the dude. Maybe he’s the kind of immature guy who unfriends you on Facebook because you never hit “like” on the pictures of his cat Harold. Honestly, I was just trying to think of a catchy first line that semi-segued to my topic. Which is that I am at a point in my life that I, too, would do anything for love
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. America Needs Ted Cruz, …and Ben Carson, …and even Elizabeth Warren, By Joe Facinoli - America needs Truth Tellers. Or at least those who deeply believe in the Truth that they Tell, …and who do not back away from it. It needs people who stand up for their Truths, and who don’t care who in their particular political party or affiliation agrees with them, …nor who may follow them, from anywhere in the rest of the country, for that matter read more.
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Coming Soon:  The Federal Food Police, By Kate Burch
Former NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s banning of super-size sugared soft drinks was just the camel’s nose under the tent.  The new “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” report, jointly issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services looks like much more than “guidelines.”  We have heard rumblings about
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Raising Awareness of Krabbe Disease
Several months ago I had an opportunity to meet a family in my district that tragically lost their daughter Maddison before her 2nd birthday.  We all know that there is no acceptable explanation for losing this precious life and that is why I am working to raise awareness about Krabbe Disease.  I am working for the passage of a bill that will make the second
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Self-Education, By Kate Burch
Aside from the embarrassingly obvious fact that the Left’s vilification of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for having completed “only” 3 ¾ years of college is a ploy to discredit him as a potential Presidential candidate (a la Sarah Palin, et al.), it’s time to think about the differences between warming a classroom seat and becoming educated. It is news to no one that performance of the U.S. educational
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Investing in Manufacturing to Grow Ohio’s Middle Class
We know that manufacturing jobs are a ticket to the middle class. They are critical to the economy of our state and our nation, and I joined President Obama in Cleveland this week to highlight the strength of Ohio manufacturing, and announce a new $500 million manufacturing investment. That investment includes $150 million for a textiles-focused
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Broke Wife, Big City… Clogging the toilet bowl of equality, By Aprill Brandon
What fools we are, us women. Prancing around with our right to vote and our equal rights amendment as though they all mean something. Thinking we can have our cake and eat it too (and if we eat it standing up in the kitchen it doesn’t have any calories). Well, I have news for you, America. As much as we say the women’s movement has helped us come a long way, baby, we have been deceived
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The Day Fast Approaches, By Kate Burch
The deadline for a nuclear arms deal with Iran is March 24.  President Obama seems to have believed that he could gain support for his plan to make significant concessions to one of the world’s main sponsors of terrorism by a defeat for Benjamin Netanyahu.  He tried to prevent the Prime Minister’s speech to Congress, and then belittled his speech
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State Representative Jim Buchy… The Budget: My Favorite Season of the Year
With the start of every new General Assembly, we in the Ohio House begin by working on the state budget. This process occurs every odd-numbered year with the governor releasing a proposed budget. The Ohio House then works on their version, followed by the Ohio Senate. We then concur on a version of the budget bill, which is submitted to the governor for
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Why Not Opt In? By David Torrance
There is a small but noisy movement trying to convince parents and students to “opt-out” of, or in other words, refuse to participate in Ohio’s new testing program for Ohio elementary, middle school, and high school students.  As a high school administrator, I am hoping that every student in the state will opt IN, and do the best they can on every test they have the opportunity to take. The primary reason
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The Truth Will Out, By Kate Burch
Many of us have long suspected that Global Warming/Climate Change (or whatever) is a scam.  Some of us, including my physicist husband, have known that it is a scam.  Demands that we common folk reduce our “carbon footprint” while the elites conspicuously consume have raised suspicions and ire.  The waste of billions on subsidies to failed “green” energy upstarts like Solyndra have troubled many
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Broke Wife, Big City… Rage against the green bean, By Aprill Brandon
As someone who was born into a loving family that lived in a prosperous country during a fairly enlightened historical period, I have rarely had to use that most basic lizard part of my brain. You know, that section of the human mind that is devoted entirely to mere survival. From the moment I was born, I’ve always had shelter. I’ve always had clothes on my back (even if those clothes were all neon
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OSU Extension Addressing Nutrient Management Issues in the State, By Sam Custer, OSU Extension, Darke County -- Water quality and nutrient management issues are getting more and more attention these days. With additional regulatory measures being debated in the state legislature, it seems that everyone has an idea about how to ‘fix’ the algal blooms in Lake Erie and elsewhere. And not surprisingly, the ‘fix’ depends on who you ask. The reality is that addressing nutrient management issues read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… House Bill 7 Moved Quickly to Help Our Students
Ohio House Bill 7 is a bill I sponsored at the very beginning of this General Assembly that clarifies that scores from this first year of all state assessments, including assessments from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), cannot be used to determine promotion or granting of credit. The House acted quickly on this legislation
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. General Stupidity in Ferguson, and Elsewhere, ….Only Affirms Racism, By Joe Facinoli - Since the beginning of time, there has always been conflict between people of different cultures, geographic territories, tribes, skin color, and means in which they choose to honor whatever put them here. It is human nature, …and we are weak.    Too weak, sometimes, to even understand how stupid we are, in our basic read more.
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Gearing Up for Class Warfare? By Kate Burch
The President’s forays into flyover country have lately involved touting his “Middle Class Economics” programs—programs that he says are designed to give everyone a shot at achieving the American Dream. Problem is, his proposals, such as universal child care and free community college seem geared more toward expanding the dependent class than giving a leg up to those who can thereby
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Senator Sherrod Brown… Ensuring Testing Does Not Take Away From Student Learning
In too many school districts, parents and teachers feel overwhelmed by the amount of student testing that is going on in our classrooms. Annual testing can be a useful yardstick to measure student progress and achievement, but too often our kids are inundated with duplicative tests that actually take time away from learning and instruction
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Broke Wife, Big City… It’s all fun and games until somebody poops, By Aprill Brandon
For all the crap you have to put up with as a parent (and I mean that as literally as possible), the compensation of watching your baby grow into a person right before your eyes almost makes it worth it. (Any other time I would say “makes it completely worth it and then some” but I just got done cleaning World War III from my baby’s butt and I’m still a little bitter and shellshocked). Butt seriously
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State Senator Bill Beagle… State Legislature Responds to Testing Concerns
Testing in Ohio schools has been a major topic of discussion over the last few months at the Ohio Senate and in our community.   I have heard from many parents, teachers, counselors and school superintendents about the new state tests being administered this year and the strain it has placed on our students and educators. The new tests are longer and more involved than the assessments Ohio has used in the past
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Seeing through tax cuts, By Jim Surber
Sometimes, they say, it is hard to see the forest for the trees. And sometimes it is difficult to determine our best interests when they are hidden by carefully crafted goals that are in the best interests of others. This comes to mind with the past and current situations in Ohio as a new state budget is being assembled. The crux of this story only appears in bits and pieces in local government and school financial reports
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Ohio Rep. Steve Huffman… Ohio House Passes Legislation Expanding the Use of Naloxone
Legislation is another step taken by House to address Ohio’s drug problem -- COLUMBUS—State Representative Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) today applauded the passage of House Bill 4 through the Ohio House of Representatives. This legislation works to take further strides in curtailing the opiate drug epidemic in Ohio by expanding access to a life-saving medication. House Bill 4 expands
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Speaker Boehner’s Press Office… Local Words of Support for Netanyahu Address
“I am a resident of Ohio’s 8th district, and I am a senior at Lakota East High School. I am writing to express my support of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s (upcoming) address of Congress. … I want the prime minister to know that members of the American public are aware of the severity of the threat that Israel faces. If people do not stand up, nothing will get done, and in this situation
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Standing Up for Workers Hit by Unfair Trade Deals
Trade agreements have wreaked havoc on Ohio’s economy over the past several decades, undermining Ohio’s manufacturing sector and making it easier for corporations to ship our jobs overseas. When Congress considered NAFTA, CAFTA, and every other free trade agreement, we were promised that they would create tens of thousands of jobs. But those jobs never materialized
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Netanyahu:   Forthright but Faultless, Arrogant, …but so Churchill, By Joe Facinoli - Only two foreign leaders have ever addressed a Joint Session of the United States Congress, as many as different three times, …and on last Tuesday, history had a hard time separating them. Winston Churchill.     Benjamin Netanyahu. Who else could stand before the greatest and most important legislative body in this world read more.
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This is What Leadership Looks Like, By Kate Burch
Watching Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress March 3 brought me to tears.  I wished—not for the first time—that we could have him, or someone like him, for our President. The Israeli Prime Minister was unimpeachably gracious, despite the disrespectful treatment he has received at the hands of our President and the fifty or so members of Congress who
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State Representative Steve Huffman… House Bill 74: Good Policy for Our Education System
The issues of school assessments, Common Core, and student performance have become highly debated topics not only in our state legislature, but across the country. As a newly-elected member of the Ohio House of Representatives, and a standing member of the House Education Committee, these areas of concern will continue to be discussed amongst my colleagues and I throughout the year
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What do We want to be Known for? By Will McCabe
At college, I am friends with people all over. Some are from the Cincinnati region, some from such small towns they make Greenville look like Metropolis; some are not even from Ohio. Everyone likes to talk about their hometown and their high school. Some brag about all of the state championships their school has won in football or basketball within the past few years. Others of how many students were
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And We Pay, and Pay, and Pay... By Kate Burch
Will Rogers, iconic American cowboy philosopher, once said, “Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”  One current example of the ongoing violation of the American taxpayer is the huge accumulation of student-loan debt---more than $1 trillion now---promoted and subsidized by the federal government, which is now working to make sure that it doesn’t have to be repaid
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State Representative Buchy… New Standards to Guide Agricultural Practices in Northwest Ohio
In west central Ohio, we are familiar with water quality problems because of the issues experienced at our inland lakes over the last several decades.  Most recently, we learned how changes to agricultural practices and advancements to the way we manage ecological systems in and around Grand Lake St. Marys are resulting in reduced nutrient loading in the lake.  It will still be some time before harmful algal blooms
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Broke Wife, Big City… Five years down, eternity to go, By Aprill Brandon
As I sit here typing this, it’s my five-year wedding anniversary. Added bonus, this year also marks ten years since my husband and I first met. I know, I know. So what am I doing writing and working on this oh-so-special day? But as I said, it’s been ten years. Using your anniversary to stare all googly-eyed at your significant other while you drink champagne and eat strawberries in bed is for new couples
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… The Importance of Career and Technical Education
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-in-three jobs requires post-secondary education or a certificate. American industries – such as manufacturing – increasingly need skilled workers, and, according to one study, almost two-thirds of all jobs created in 2018 will require post-secondary education or job training. One of the ways schools and businesses are working to close the skills gap is by investing
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Standing Up for American Jobs by Addressing Trade Cheats
There isn’t much Democrats and Republicans can agree on these days, but one idea is uniting senators on both sides of the aisle. This month I joined my colleagues of both political parties to announce the introduction of the Currency Undervaluation Investigation Act, to stand up to Chinese currency manipulation. This bipartisan plan could create five million jobs, increase our GDP by as much as $720 billion
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Representative Jim Buchy… My Committee Work During the 131st General Assembly
At the beginning of every General Assembly, the Speaker of the House appoints all members of the caucus to different committees. There are nineteen committees in all, and each member is appointed to different committees based upon their individual strengths and expertise. Speaker Cliff Rosenberger has appointed me to three House committees for this
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Oscars’ “Glory” :  Wrong-Headed, ...Reverse-Hateful, …Unworthy of King, By Joe Facinoli - The Oscars’ telecast last week was, as usual, …way too long, …much too self-congratulatory, …and filled with more than enough of the normal preachings and elitist smugness, which too often comes from a gathering of such pinheads, …having more money and fame, than either talent or common sense.  But I watched anyway, …as I do read more.
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Facts are Stubborn Things, By Kate Burch
In view of President Obama’s call to make community college tuition-free, requiring more billions of taxpayer dollars, it is time to consider the recent track record of community colleges. Obama’s stated rationale is that a two-year degree facilitates acquisition of a four-year degree, which he touts as the gateway to higher social and economic status. Information from the Clayton Christensen Institute
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Voices of our youth... What Have We Become? By Will McCabe
Technology is growing ever faster as years progress. Sure, I was never around without TV or air conditioning, but I do remember a time before I-phones and Blu-ray, and I do remember a time when my family didn’t have the internet and I practiced typing on a typewriter! Nowadays, kids a third of my age own devices that hold more technological power than even the
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Broke Wife, Big City… The 12 things I learned the first 12 months of my baby’s life, By Aprill Brandon -- 1. No matter how many times you check to make sure your baby is still breathing while he’s sleeping, you will still need to check one more time. And then, just to be safe, one more time after that. 2. Babies are born with the mistaken idea that diapers grow on trees. Which is why they think it’s totally cool to immediately poop the second they get a fresh diaper velcroed to their tooshie read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge….. Giuliani Had It Right, ….for about a Minute, By Joe Facinoli
For a brief moment last week, the seas parted, political correctness took a cigarette break, the heavens opened up, and someone actually had the courage to speak the truth, …about a serious, national matter. But then reality, and political consequence jumped back in, and he softened, and nearly recanted, his attempt at stating that “self-evident” truth. At a fundraising
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“I Support the PARCC Tests”, By Andrea Townsend, GCSD Director of Administration & Pupil Personnel Services -- I feel the need to make an unpopular statement of my opinion.  Here goes… I support the new statewide tests.  The new statewide tests developed by PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) are a series of high quality, computer-based K-12 assessments in Math and Language Arts. I know that my lack of distain for these assessments may shock some readers read more.
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Tax Reform Should Be Job One, By Kate Burch
New this year is a quiz that targeted taxpayers in Ohio must take before they may receive a state income tax refund.   This new program was developed to address what is said to be a dramatic increase in filing of false tax returns by individuals using stolen identity information to obtain illegitimate tax refunds. Data analysis of information on tax returns identifies suspicious returns: those that are
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Preventing a Shutdown that Threatens Ohio Fire Departments
The last thing Ohioans want is another shutdown that puts our safety at risk — but that’s exactly where we are headed if extreme factions of Congress don’t put partisanship aside and avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the next week. A DHS shutdown would hit Ohio’s fire departments particularly hard. With funding for more than 500 Ohio fire departments in jeopardy, I am fighting
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State Rep Jim Buchy… Providing Students Safe Harbor from the PARCC Test
This week the children in our community are beginning the most recent round of new high stakes testing.  As parents and grand parents we want to know that the students in our local schools will not be harmed by the new testing program that is surrounded by controversy. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group
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Broke Wife, Big City… You think you’re miserable now? Just wait… By Aprill Brandon
Remember when I was pregnant?  Of course you do. Everyone within a thousand mile radius of formerly pregnant me does. It’s hard to forget a real-life Stay Puft Marshmallow Woman wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting city and terrorizing the innocent town folk while loudly complaining about her swollen ankles.  Fortunately for me, those miserable 10-months (yeah, 10 months
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Creating Jobs, Saving Lives
Medical research not only creates jobs — it saves lives. But critical research — on cancer prevention, on new prescription drugs, and on cures for deadly diseases — is often left unfunded. In fact, nine out of 11 research grants go unfunded. The National Institutes of Health, or NIH, represents the cornerstone of medical advancement in the United States. It is our nation’s largest funder of life
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U.S. Representative John Boehner… Making Bureaucrats Account for the Costs of New Rules on Small Businesses - WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following statement today commending House passage of the Unfunded Mandates Information & Transparency Act (H.R. 50), legislation introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), to increase transparency on the costs of unfunded federal mandates and to ensure that those affected have the opportunity to provide input on the new rules read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Improving the Water Quality: Input from All Interested Parties is a Must - In western Ohio, we have been tackling the issue of water quality for several years at a number of our inland lakes that are very important to tourism in the region. We are familiar with the struggles to reduce nutrient-loading in our waterways.  With a lot of knowledge gained from our efforts, Ohio is extending efforts into many sub-watersheds that feed read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Our Clueless, Wimp of a President, …Brings a Knife to a Gunfight, By Joe Facinoli - There’s not usually a lot of Rules, …in a Fight to the Death.  Actually, there’s really only One:   Be the one who’s still breathing, …when it’s over.  But there are a few other “must do, …and not do” things that should be considered, while preparing to do battle for your Life (and/or your Way of life).   Like, …never tell your opponent that you read more.
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Something Else The Media Didn’t Tell You, By Kate Burch
County News Online would like to welcome Kate Burch to its family of contributors. A brief bio for Kate is posted below. Watch for her columns each Friday on CNO. If, like me, you are pleased to see a recent trend (or mini-trend) for more mothers to stay home with their babies and young children, you will be un-pleased to know that President Obama’s new plan to help middle-class families most
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Broke Wife, Big City… Birthday, By Aprill Brandon
I have a confession to make. And I realize by confessing this, there is a very good chance I will be thrown against the closest available car hood, handcuffed in the non-kinky way and hurled into one of those torture cells that don’t let you fully stand up by a mob of lithe, blonde, yoga moms who all became friends via Pinterest. But, consequences be damned. I have to get this off my chest
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U.S. Rep. John Boehner… Stories From Ohio Continue to Show Need For ObamaCare Repeal
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 596, which would fully repeal ObamaCare:  “I recently received a note from Annemarie, a small business owner in West Chester, Ohio, whose premiums have gone up by 26 percent in the last year under ObamaCare.  ‘I have always been very responsible with my money,’ she says
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The White House… It changed my life, it could change yours
Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. It's not a term that any kid typically knows, or should ever have to learn first-hand. But when I turned 12 years old, that was my diagnosis -- and it became a defining part of my life. It's a specific kind of liver cancer that affects children. It's rare -- you don't see it in your average patient. So I knew, even then, that it would take something more than a generic
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Boehner Statement on President Obama’s Budget
Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following statement on President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal: “Today President Obama laid out a plan for more taxes, more spending, and more of the Washington gridlock that has failed middle-class families. It may be Groundhog Day, but the American people can’t afford a repeat of the same old top-down policies of the past. “Like the president’s previous
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Low Gas Prices Benefit Ohioans: Methane Mandates are Not the Answer - We have all noticed the drop in gas prices. While this will probably be temporary, right now it is saving Ohioans a significant amount of money.  Ohioans now have access to increased discretionary spending which will continue to grow the economy in the state. Policies initiated by Governor Kasich and the legislature to increase energy exploration in eastern Ohio read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Two Real World Leaders, …and One Failed President, By Joe Facinoli - An Indignant, Unafraid, and Valiant King reacts in the way any clear thinking, and righteous person would. A Strong and Courageous Prime Minister steadfastly dedicates his life, and his country, to the fight against Evil. While a Failed and Confused President continues to vacillate, placate, pontificate, …and then insults Christians and other world read more.
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The dilemma facing local roads and streets, By Jim Surber
A few months back I wrote a piece about infrastructure challenges, now being faced by all Americans, concerning roads and bridges. Presently, those in Washington are debating and avoiding such things as increasing the national gas tax, and the President’s budget proposal in the trillions of dollars. While there are certainly big problems and decisions with federal highway funding, I want to share some information
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Broke Wife, Big City… A Mid-winter’s Nightmare, By Aprill Brandon
It always starts off with the same argument. “Is it even worth it?” “No. But what’s the alternative? Being stuck in the house for the fifth day in a row?” “Yeah. But it’s just so much work. So much thankless, unpaid labor. And I’m just so lazy.” “Exactly. You’re lazy. In the end, this is actually the easier way.” “Is it?” “Look, you can once again spend the day sitting on the floor playing peek-a-boo for HOURS
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… National Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month—an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the essential role mentors play in communities across the country. Mentors are caring adults who take time from their busy schedules to guide young people and help them make positive decisions, build on their unique strengths, and identify and achieve individual goals. Mentees are connected
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Secretary of State Jon Husted… Time to Cut Cost of Doing Business in Ohio
Urges legislative approval of a 21% cut in business filing fees -- COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is urging lawmakers to pass legislation to cut fees associated with forming a business in Ohio by approximately 21% to make it easier and less expensive to do business in Ohio. The proposed bill has been identified as a legislative priority for the Ohio House of Representatives by Speaker
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State Representative Jim Buchy… A Sales Tax Holiday to Relieve Costs Associated with Back to School Items -- Ohio families can now prepare for a new major retail shopping season. Senate Bill 243, which passed both chambers and was signed into law during the 130th General Assembly, means that Ohioans will be able to save sales tax dollars when handling their back-to-school shopping this coming year.  Ohio’s first ever Sales Tax Holiday will take place August 7th-9th, and experts say shoppers read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge….. Impetuous Libs See the World as very Small, …Only It Isn’t, By Joe Facinoli - Liberals want to live in a very small, micro-managed, everything should feel good and be just right for everyone, me-oriented, myopic world, …which they go about re-inventing every day, to suit whatever personal issue, or changing wind, works best for them at a given moment. Sorry, …but in the real world, …it just ain’t like that. They always side with the poorest, most down read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Darke County one of the best in economic growth
The New Year, like every year, brings fresh hope for better things. We celebrate the end of one year and all that it possessed, and we look with anticipation for new and better things ahead. The year 2014 was a very good year for the Commissioners, and for Darke County as a whole. We, like you, look forward to see what the year 2015 will bring
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Expanding Tax Relief for Working Ohioans
During his State of the Union address last Tuesday, President Obama made it clear that the key to economic prosperity is ensuring that even more Americans can get ahead. Too many Americans work hard and take responsibility, only to find themselves living paycheck-to-paycheck. To grow our economy, we must invest in education and manufacturing, while helping working Americans make ends meet
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Speaker Cliff Rosenberger Leading the 131st General Assembly
At the start of the new year, many changes took place here at the House. Some members of the General Assembly completed their terms as representatives while some new members came in to start their service to the people of Ohio. The new year and a new General Assembly also welcomed in a new Speaker of the Ohio House. Representative Cliff Rosenberger of Clarksville
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Broke Wife, Big City… Lie to me, baby, By Aprill Brandon
It probably started with the vegetables.  As soon as my baby was able to chew anything besides my tender bosoms, I shoved as many vegetables into his mouth as I could, cheerfully exclaiming the whole time how incredibly “nom-nom” they were. It was the first lie I told him. Vegetables are not, in fact, “nom-nom.” They are horrible. The only reason we humans eat them is so that we
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Expanding Health Coverage for Ohioans
Since its creation in 1965, Medicaid – a joint federal and state program – has provided low-cost health insurance to Ohio’s most vulnerable, including the elderly, physically disabled, and children. Beginning in 2014, the health law gave each state the opportunity to expand its Medicaid program to cover working families and individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the
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From the Other Side of the Edge….. Down 4 TDs in Fourth Quarter, …Obama Spikes the Ball Anyway, By Joe Facinoli - With his team down something like 42-7, midway through the 4th quarter, Barack Obama (struggling QB for the losing team) knew he had to pull something special out of his hat, …and fast. So, he threw all caution to the wind, along with all reason, truth, and propriety, and concocted a play, just for that moment, which made rules appear as mere suggestions, and read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Honoring Dr. King’s Lessons on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Dear Friends, It’s been 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the march from Selma to Montgomery for civil and human rights. Thousands marched alongside Dr. King for the 50 miles to Montgomery, walking 12 hours a day and sleeping in fields along the way. In a few weeks, I’ll be traveling to Selma for an anniversary commemoration with my friend, Atlanta Congressman John Lewis. John
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Broke Wife, Big City… A eulogy for procrastination (which I’ll finish writing later), By Aprill Brandon -- When you have a baby, many things are added to your life. Pure joy, for one. A love you didn’t know was possible, for another. Happiness. A sense of meaning. Wisdom (well, relatively…babies are super dumb so you are super wise in comparison). Of course, it’s a bit of a trade-off because you lose things too in the process. A good night’s sleep. Daydrinking. The ability to talk to people read more.
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U.S. Representative John Boehner… “An Affront to the Rule of Law and to the Constitution Itself”
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) spoke on the floor today in support of the House’s efforts to stop President Obama’s unilateral actions on immigration.  During his remarks, he directly quoted each of the 22 times the president said he didn’t have the authority to take this action: “Let me thank all my colleagues who have worked to put this bill together.  Today I rise
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The White House… Millions of Americans face these choices every day
Have you ever felt that sinking feeling of sending your child off to school with a fever because you truly had no other option? Showed up to work while battling an illness even when you know you won't be at your best, that you'll take longer to recover, and that you'll likely spread your sickness to others? Felt like you'd missed out on pivotal moments -- bonding with a newborn, spending
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The Speaker’s Meeting with Obama & Congressional Leaders
At the White House this morning, Speaker Boehner met with President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the bicameral, bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate to discuss topics including the economy, immigration, Authorization for Use of Military Force, and cybersecurity. The Speaker opened his remarks highlighting the new Congress’s action on jobs and
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. One Less “Brick” …in My Wall, By Joe Facinoli
From the time we are born, until we can’t feed ourselves anymore, everyone’s life is made and developed by a series of influences and experiences. The effects of these vital building blocks (“bricks”, if you will), on shaping the way we live and on what we become, are continuous and never ending, …even when we stop remembering them, …or haven’t thought
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Municipal Tax Reform Cuts Red Tape, Grows Economy
Of the many steps we have taken to improve Ohio’s economic situation, our latest effort involved making serious reforms to the way municipalities collect income taxes. House Bill 5, which passed the legislature at the end of the previous General Assembly, was signed by the governor and will go into effect this spring. The new approach to municipal income tax collection is paving the way for economic
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U.S. Representative John Boehner… Flipping The Script on Washington’s Bureaucracy
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) today issued the following statement on H.R. 185, the bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act, which the House passed despite a veto threat from President Obama: “The way the federal government hands down regulations is coercive and combative, as Washington takes opportunities away from hard-working people with little regard for
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Senator Sherrod Brown… Giving Ohioans an Alternative to High Interest Payday Loans
When unexpected costs arise before tax returns come in, workers are faced with a dilemma and many workers turn to predatory payday loans to make ends meet. These loans – which can carry hidden fees and can have annual interest rates more than 500 percent – often trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. There are more payday lending stores in the United States than
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Broke Wife, Big City… Sorry, not sorry, but really sorry kind of not really, By Aprill Brandon
I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I prefer to live every day like it’s New Year’s Eve, eating too much cheeseball and wearing outfits that are inappropriately shiny. So, when I say this next thing, it’s less a resolution and more…some sort of synonym for resolution that I am too lazy to look up.  I am done saying “sorry.” Not that there is anything I’ve been saying “sorry” for in particular
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The White House… America's College Promise, Secretary Anne Duncan
Yesterday, the President announced his "America's College Promise" proposal. It makes two years of community college free for responsible students. Yes, you read that right. Under his plan, any student who earns good grades would get two years of community college education at no cost. Think about this: The President's new proposal would let students earn the first half of a bachelor's
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Government Vs Media, By Mike Stegall, Darke County Commissioner
Ever since the invention of the printing press by Chinese monks using a method called Block Printing, 600 years before Gutenberg, the media and governments seemed to be at war with each other.  The media is looked at by most governments as an intrusion, a menace with a “gotcha” mentality that is their perception of the truth, or completely made up happenings from
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Political Correctness, and Religious Arrogance, …the World’s Tragically Evil Twins, By Joe Facinoli - On the one hand, today we are being told, taught, and fairly beaten into submission with the idea, that every culture, person, and lifestyle which we might encounter, …should be treated with unquestioned respect and acquiescence, no matter how different, conflicting, disagreeable, and/or repulsive, …they may be to us.   Political Correctness read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Preventing Falls This Winter
Did you know that falls are the number one cause of injury-related hospitalization and death among people 65 and older? Many of us did not worry about the risk of falling when we were young. We knew that if we fell, we’d get up with the assumption that the aches and pains were temporary. But for those of us at a higher risk, such as elders, pregnant women, or those already suffering from a previous injury
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Broke Wife, Big City… Napper’s Delight, By Aprill Brandon
Guys. GUYS. My baby napped in his crib. No. No, you don’t understand. My baby. Napped. In his crib. For one glorious hour and seven minutes (and 46 seconds, but who’s counting), my child slept in the daytime in the actual space that is specifically and scientifically designed for just such a purpose. As opposed to where he has taken every other single nap of his entire short life
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Sorry, …but Not ALL Lives “Matter”, …Whatever their Color Might Be, By Joe Facinoli - Black Lives DO matter, …at least 99% of them, anyway.  And White ones too, …though probably only 97 or 98% of these fair skinned souls (there’s an awful lot of really bad white folks out there).   And Brown, Yellow, and Red can also claim the same percentages of good and worthwhile people, who walk the earth in these fine hues.   As well read more.
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. “Dead Cop Society” Protesters,…Ignore the most Basic Point of All - By Joe Facinoli - You wouldn’t start reading a book in the second chapter, …would you? Of course not.   You’d miss the set-up, and the premise for the whole story. Would you begin telling a tale, or relating an experience, in the middle of the action, and then jump to the end,…to summarize? Obviously not.   You would completely confuse your audience read more.
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Commissioner’s Corner… Reflecting on our blessings
December is finally here.  Families have gathered together for the Holiday’s, schools have taken a much needed break, and decorations are everywhere to celebrate this most wonderful season.  Since this is the last month of the calendar year, it is always a good time to reflect on our many blessings the good Lord has given us this past year. If I were to list
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Happy Holidays
Connie and I wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season. As the year comes to a close and I reflect on my travels throughout Ohio, one common thread emerges: the compassion of Ohioans. Each week, I encounter Ohioans who volunteer to help others and improve their communities. Whether it’s sending care packages to our brave service members
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State Representative Jim Buchy… A Very Merry Christmas for Ohioans
Once again, the Christmas season is upon us. This year, many households in Ohio are poised to have a better Christmas than in years past. We have worked hard over this past year to put people back to work and in positions to provide for their families. Earlier in the fall the state unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, down nearly two whole points from the same time
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Broke Wife, Big City… ‘Twas the month of December, By Aprill Brandon
‘Twas the month of December, when all through the house/Not a creature was stirring, except for my husband (who was hunting a mouse)./The traps were all placed in the kitchen with care/In the hopes that a dead rodent soon would be there/I was nestled all snug and a ‘lil drunk in my bed/While visions of sexy fun times danced in my head/But Ryan in his PJ’s, armed with those silly traps
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Cuba… President Barack Obama
Yesterday, after more than 50 years, we began to change America's relationship with the people of Cuba. We are recognizing the struggle and sacrifice of the Cuban people, both in the U.S. and in Cuba, and ending an outdated approach that has failed to advance U.S. interests for decades. In doing so, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. I was born in 1961
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. A “Grown Up Christmas List”, …for a “World in Need” By Joe Facinoli - Every year about this time, a couple of cracks in the ol’ safety façade (which I’ve carefully constructed to keep the world around me manageable, and at bay, when most needed), allow in some unexpected moments of honest reflection, …and of true humanity. The cynicism wanes just a bit, …the aggravation from all the world’s frustrating and pointless doings read more.
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Ohio GOP Delegation Releases ObamaCare Horror Stories from Ohio
WASHINGTON, DC - Speaker John Boehner  (OH-08) and Representatives Steve Chabot (OH-01), Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Bob Latta (OH-05), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Mike Turner (OH-10), Pat Tiberi (OH-12), Dave Joyce (OH-14), Steve Stivers (OH-15), and Jim Renacci (OH-16) today released the following statement reacting to their constituents’ experiences
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Anonymity for Those Involved in Executions
A few months ago, I learned that state officials would not start executions again until certain protections were in place to keep the identity of those involved with the process private. What that means is the drug manufacturers and the physicians who are involved with the executions can rest easy knowing their names aren’t tied to the execution. This is a big roadblock that we need to get past so that
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Innovation
One of my most important jobs is to advocate for working families in Ohio. Middle-class families have felt squeezed by the number of jobs going overseas, especially in the manufacturing sector. A report released last week from the Economic Policy Institute found that from 2001 to 2013, the U.S. lost 2.4 million manufacturing jobs to China alone. Ohio has long been a leader in manufacturing
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Broke Wife, Big City… Without Christmas, it’s just…winter, By Aprill Brandon
Sorry, guys, but brace yourselves. I am about to Pollyanna-out on all of you. Maybe it’s because it’s my baby’s first Christmas or maybe it’s because I’m getting soft in my old age, but whatever the reason is, I am all about Christmas this year. I mean, I am downright excreting Christmas spirit out of my freaking pores. I have to admit, it’s a nice change of pace. Last year I was super pregnant
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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted… Bi-Partisan redistricting reform
COLUMBUS – Regarding today’s action on a bipartisan legislative redistricting reform proposal, all of the following may be attributed to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted: “This is great news for the people of Ohio. Legislative elections will be more competitive and the elected representatives more accountable to those they serve. The voice of the average voter got stronger today. I encourage Ohio
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Gitmo Torture, not so Bad, Compared to….. By Joe Facinoli
What was the hardest decision that you ever had to make, in your whole life? Think about it for a minute, …no hurry. Not which tie and suit to wear, to your boorish boss’ latest social climbing dinner party. Nor which college to send your lazy, C-student kid, in hopes he or she might do better than grilling double cheeseburgers for the next 40 years. And not whether to tell your partner
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Support Local This Holiday Season
Winter weather has arrived and Christmas songs are playing on the radio all across Ohio. Whether we were ready for it or not, the holidays are here. As Tina and I look forward to spending time with family and friends, we are also among the millions of other folks who are trying to wrap up their Christmas shopping. As you scour store shelves and online deals in search of the perfect gifts for those you love
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Keeping Ohio Workers and Children Out of Poverty
Ohioans – many of whom work multiple jobs while taking care of their children – deserve tax relief. And workers who lose their jobs or their pensions due to no fault of their own deserve help with health bills. While this makes sense to most Ohioans, too many Members of Congress may disagree. While some legislators don’t hesitate to give tax breaks to large corporations, they stop short of also providing
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State Representative Buchy… Adoption Reform Continues to Move Through the Legislature
As we begin to wrap up our work in Columbus for the rest of the year, we still have a few major tasks to accomplish. Among my highest priorities is reforming Ohio’s current adoption system to ease burdens on families and incentivize Ohioans to consider adopting children here in the state. Ohio law affords the father of any newborn child the opportunity to come forward and
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Broke Wife, Big City… Let’s let bygones be bygones, Santa, By Aprill Brandon
Dear Santa, Hiya, big guy. Remember me? Yes, yes, that Aprill with two L’s who “allegedly” set fire to Prancer when she drank too much eggnog and found that old stash of fireworks in the attic on Christmas Eve 2007. (But may I remind you, the trial ended in a hung jury so no hard feelings, yeah?). I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of my son, Riker, who due to circumstances beyond
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I “pass” on passwords
Are a lot of people totally frustrated with the necessity and operation of electronic device passwords? Could it just be me, or more likely a function of my age? I hate passwords. I used to dislike them, but it has gone well beyond that stage now. It is a passionate hatred. Today, you need a username and unique password to operate virtually every gizmo that is closely related to what used to be known
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The White House… Reach Higher Initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama
Hi, all -- Homero Magaña moved to America with his family from a small town in Mexico in 1993. Growing up in California, where his father was an agricultural worker, Homero had the chance to attend a summer program focused on preparing students for higher education. This program inspired Homero to go to college, and years later, he earned a graduate degree in school counseling
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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted… Legislative redistricting reform proposal
COLUMBUS – Regarding movement on a bipartisan legislative redistricting reform proposal in the Ohio House of Representatives, all of the following may be attributed to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted: “The latest proposal in the Ohio House of Representatives provides us with new hope that a bipartisan redistricting reform plan can be accomplished before year’s end
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Memories will have to be enough, By Bob Robinson
She had the face of an angel. I was this pencil thin nerd ‘stick’ who would go to the beach wearing a button-down shirt and shorts with black shoes and white socks. My sister Melinda had boys clamoring around her for as long as I can remember. Being Air Force brats we never stayed in one place long enough to have many friends, so we made the best of it and spent much of our time
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Orwellian Protesters, Change Dr. King’s History, …and Legacy, By Joe Facinoli - On a sweltering August afternoon in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, the de facto leader, champion, and soul of the American Civil Rights movement during that time, delivered his forever iconic, and deeply inspiring “I Have a Dream…” speech, in Washington DC, before over two hundred thousand fellow Civil Rights travelers, …and Abraham Lincoln’s ghost.  His special words read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Safety Concerns Spur Powdered Alcohol Ban
A new product under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no place in Ohio until it is proven safe and acceptable for use by experts at the highest level. I am working on legislation, House Bill 594, would ban the sale of powdered alcohol in Ohio to protect our citizens from the risks and dangers associated with this newly created substance. Powdered alcohol is a substance produced
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Attorney General Eric Holder… Following through after Ferguson
Following Michael Brown's tragic death, millions of people across the nation and around the world have focused their attention on unfolding events in Ferguson, both grieving together and making their voices heard. In recent days, many have been captivated by ongoing developments, anguished emotions, peaceful protests -- and, too often, deeply unfortunate images of unnecessary destruction
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Broke Wife, Big City… Some things don’t need a sequel… like pregnancy, By Aprill Brandon
I am not pregnant. I know, I know. You probably don’t care if I am or not. Unless you’re my husband, my traumatized dog or my uterus, you have no stake in my reproductive habits. But let me tell you, typing out those four words is among the top five best feelings in the world. Not that I’m anti-children or anything. I love children (except for that one kid…he knows what he did)
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Indictment Needed:   Of an Entire Culture, By Joe Facinoli
Now that a breath of truth has been allowed to surface, in the Ferguson, Missouri tragedy/turned social and economic fiasco, a few important things have become glaringly obvious: 1)   Had he lived, Michael Brown himself, would have been indicted, on several counts, including attempted murder, assault on a police officer, aggravated assault during a robbery, and perhaps more.   2)   All the so
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U.S. Rep. John Boehner… Massive New Rule Puts Millions of Jobs at Risk
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) issued the following statement today on the Obama administration’s costly new draft Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation: “The Obama administration’s massive new regulation - the most expensive rule ever proposed by the EPA - could slash family budgets by more than $1500 per year, reduce GDP
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State Rep. Buchy… Agriculture in the Classroom, Up and Running in Cleveland and Cincinnati
Fifty years ago in Ohio, the rural school districts looked to the big cities for the best practices in education. Today, big cities are looking to rural areas for clues on how to make their schools more successful.  They are focused on increasing graduation rates and students that are ready for college and the workforce.  In rural Ohio a common denominator in our successful schools is strong families
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Commissioners Corner… The official holiday season is upon us
November is becoming a memory, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and old man winter is approaching. Halloween starts the official Holiday season, but to most of us, Thanksgiving is the time it really starts. We hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving, and we hope the family and friends you shared it with also have a Merry Christmas, which is just around the corner
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Who is destroying America? By Jim Surber
This question rises frequently, although more often in the form of a declaration than a query. The usual alleged culprits are liberals, their leaders, and/or the anti-religious, which many consider to be one and the same. We again hear these assertions after the President’s recent actions on immigration. In the opinion of many, he has unpardonably sanctioned the breaking of our laws
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U.S. Representative John Boehner… Ohioans Aren’t Being Fooled by President’s ObamaCare Hype Machine - The president’s ObamaCare hype machine recently made its rounds throughout Ohio and across the country – making a stop in Cincinnati to pitch ObamaCare to our local area. As I’ve said many times, the Obama administration can try all it wants to “sell” his disastrous health care law to the American people – but Ohioans aren’t being fooled.  That’s read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… If my blog were a sitcom, this would be the Thanksgiving episode, By Aprill Brandon -- OPENING SCENE: Camera zooms in to clock beside Aprill’s bed. Time reads 4:43 a.m. Sound of baby crying. APRILL (lying in bed, eyes still closed): “Nope. No way. (Voice gradually getting louder) You wish I loved you enough to wake up this early on a holiday! Go back to sleep, Riker!” Crying continues. APRILL (eyes still closed, kicking her husband, Ryan, with her leg): “I’ll give read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Giving Back to Our Communities This Thanksgiving
As we approach Thanksgiving, Connie and I are reminded of all that we have to be grateful for this year. For us, the day marks a chance to gather with family and friends to share a meal and give thanks for our blessings. For many Ohioans, however, this Thanksgiving marks another day when they struggle to put food on the table for themselves and their families. Nearly 1.8 million Ohioans live in poverty
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State Representative Jim Buchy… CAUV Has Saved Farmers Billions
 The Current Agriculture Use Valuation has been a topic of discussion lately.  I support this modified tax rate for agricultural land in Ohio because it has saved around $10 billion for farmers in Ohio since 1973. Unlike previous tax laws, the CAUV is a tax assessment that allows farmland to be taxed based on its agricultural value, not on its full market value. The five factors that are included in the CAUV rate are cropping
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Addressing the Rising Cost of Education for Ohio Students
While a college degree continues to be an important goal for so many Americans, the rising cost of education has left too many Ohio students wondering how they will afford to pay for school. We know how important higher education is to the economic security of American households. M.I.T. economist David Autor recently estimated that, over a lifetime, workers with a college degree
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. The Cornered Rat, …Pokes at the Big Dumb Cat, By Joe Facinoli - Ever seen a rat, get caught in a corner, with no place to go and no way out? Lights shining brightly on it, hair on end, eyes wide open, and baring its teeth, as a last resort scare tactic?? Not a pretty sight, and indeed can be a bit scary, …but only to those who think this creature is still dangerous, and allow it to be just that, …even though its life may only be a moment from the end read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Addressing Infant Mortality on World Prematurity Day
The birth of a child is a cause for celebration. For most families, a new baby brings feelings of excitement and anticipation for the future. Unfortunately, one in every nine babies born in the United States is premature. For these families, the exciting new challenges of feedings and changings may quickly be overshadowed by the emotionally taxing challenge of navigating their children’s health complications and
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Broke Wife, Big City… You have to crawl before you can raid and pillage, By Aprill Brandon
For only being 9-months-old, my son has a lot of interests. I mean, a LOT of interests. All day long, he’s just interested in everything. For example, here’s a list of things my son is interested in: Pulling off his left sock. Dropping heavy, loud things on the floor. Shaking his head no. At everything. Licking the couch. Licking the dog. Licking my cellphone. Obviously eating the left sock
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Ohio Republican Party Update, by Matt Borges
Greetings! It was a big week for Ohio Republican leadership. Congressman John Boehner was re-elected as Speaker of the United States House, Ohio Senator Keith Faber was re-elected as Ohio Senate President, and Ohio Representative Cliff Rosenberger was elected as Speaker of the Ohio House. Speaker Boehner will continue to serve our state and country well as the leader of the House
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Boehner on Attempt to Sell Ohioans on ObamaCare
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R – West Chester) today released the following statement as Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell visited Cincinnati in an attempt to sell Ohioans on the president’s disastrous health care law. “The Obama administration can try all it wants to ‘sell’ ObamaCare to Ohioans, but the truth is that local businesses, families, and seniors
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. The “American Voter”, …or BHO in a “Mao Suit”.    Just WHO is it, …that’s “Stupid” ??!!  By Joe Facinoli  -  It’s a tie, heading into overtime.    Yes, I know it was a “gesture”.    And yes, other world leaders wore it too, even Putin, who made it look like a proud warrior’s outfit, oh btw.   But when you are the President of the United States, and you’re 6’ 2” tall, and 112 pounds, with shoulders like Taylor Swift, and a posture like Stan read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Health Insurance Open Enrollment Begins Tomorrow
Since the beginning of this year, more than 646,000 Ohioans have obtained a new health insurance plan through the health law—many for the first time. And starting on Saturday, November 15th, you can enroll in a new plan or change your coverage on the health exchange. In just a year, it is clear that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working. Because of the health law: Insurance
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U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup… You Deserve a Government that Actually Listens
WASHINGTON, DC – Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) highlights the House’s vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and other steps Republicans are taking to help get people back to work and hold the Obama administration accountable. Key quote: “You deserve a government that doesn’t just ‘hear you,’ but actually listens to you
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The White House… Giving thanks to our veterans, by Vice President Joe Biden
Mike Erwin saw tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. And when he got home, he kept on serving. When he came home, he started a community service group. Because, despite everything that Mike had given to his country by serving overseas, he wanted to serve his country at home, as well. This morning on Veterans Day, I had the honor of welcoming Mike and a team of his fellow veterans to the White House
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Ohio Conservative Review… Conservatism and the GOP News Ohio Politics, By John Adams
Asst. Majority Floor Leader: Battle Lines Drawn in Stacked OH Speaker’s Race -- Editor news note: Rosenberger Elected Speaker For Next General Assembly… details in a future CNO post -- I ran for a seat in the Ohio House because I strongly disagreed with those who think and act as though we can tax and spend our way to prosperity. In 2010, John Kasich sent Governor Strickland packing. At the time, I had
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Workers Compensation Refunds to Help Localities
A major focus of Ohio lawmakers ever since Governor Kasich took office has been to fight for skinny government. Saving local governments money is part of this fight. As part of this process, the Ohio Attorney General’s office initiated a program that helps local governments recover outstanding debt owed to them by Ohioans who didn’t pay their taxes. Debt recovery services like this are only the start of the assistance
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U.S. Representative John Boehner… Seek Opportunities to Honor Our Veterans Every Day of the Year - Our veterans have given all a person can give – so that we may live free – and we owe them a great debt of gratitude. So as we pause to pay tribute on Veterans Day, let’s not forget that honoring our men and women in uniform should be a daily honor – all part of a broader pledge to live up to the promises that our nation has made to them and their families. While saying read more.
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Honoring Ohio’s Veterans
On Veterans Day, we pause to remember those who have fought to preserve the rights we hold dear. This year marks the 60th observance of Veterans Day and the 95th anniversary of Armistice Day, which commemorates the end of the First World War. While the heroes of World War I are no longer with us, we are grateful for their service and for the service of the brave women
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Broke Wife, Big City… Ever get that feeling you’re being watched? By Aprill Brandon
My son’s current favorite toy is a stuffed dog. A stuffed dog that talks. And sings. And lights up. And requests in a bit too perky of a voice that you hug it. A lot. Like, a lot a lot.  And I’m pretty sure it’s trying to kill me. Oh sure, maybe you could chalk up my paranoia to watching one too many demented child’s toy-themed horror movies or too many late nights falling asleep to “The Twilight Zone” reruns
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. A 2 x 4 to the Forehead, …yet Somehow, …still as Arrogant as Ever, By Joe Facinoli - An old joke pointedly asks the question:   “What does a thousand lawyers, at the bottom of the ocean, signify?”   The answer, of course, is:    “A good start.”   Well, we may have indeed gotten that fortuitous new beginning last Tuesday, in DC, and in numerous, formerly “Blue” state capitals all around the country.   But it seems at least one serious observer, himself a read more.
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The White House… Here's What's Next, President Barack Obama
Yesterday, millions of Americans cast their ballots. Republicans had a good night, and I congratulate all the candidates who won. But what stands out to me is that the message Americans sent yesterday is one you've sent for several elections in a row now. You expect the people you elect to work as hard as you do. You expect us to focus on your ambitions -- not ours -- and
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Darke County Senior Scribe… Mother Goose… Let Loose, By Lois Wilson
Once again Senior Scribe Poet Laureate Lois Wilson delves into politics with her insightful look at the important events of the day. This time it’s a follow-up to the voter mandate on Nov. 4. Even President Barack Obama had to acknowledge the Republicans had “a good day.” You might find some of the phrasing familiar as Lois decided Mother Goose is an appropriate
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U.S. Representative Boehner… Humbled to Serve and Fight for the People of Ohio's 8th District
Washington, D.C. - Congressman John Boehner (R – West Chester) today released the following statement after receiving the overwhelming support of voters in Ohio's 8th Congressional District. “I am so humbled that the people of the 8th Congressional District have given me the opportunity to serve them and continue the fight for a smaller, more accountable, less costly government.  With their vote, Ohioans
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Ohio Republicans Sweep Statewide Office
Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges issued the following statement tonight on Republicans sweeping the statewide offices. "Four years ago our state was at a crossroads and voters decided to give our Republican team an opportunity to bring Ohio back," said ORP Chairman Matt Borges.  "Four years later our officeholders delivered. Ohio is coming back and Ohio is working again. Voters are returning
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Commissioners Corner… Time to reflect and be thankful
The month of October is now gone. Harvesting, Halloween, and raking leaves, are all either done or nearly so. As November and the start of the Holiday season rolls around, it is time to reflect and be thankful for the good things that have happened here in the County. I am sure that the farmers are very grateful for what looks like a bountiful harvest this year, and
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Broke Wife, Big City… The Mom Haircut and other parental sacrifices, By Aprill Brandon
I fought it for as long as I could. Because I was the cool mom. The edgy mom. The mom with the perfectly messy Botticelli-esque curls cascading halfway down my back like one of those vacant-eyed models randomly jumping in a field of wildflowers in an Urban Outfitters catalog. Except in reality, my long, wavy hair was always tied up in a school marm bun because my 8-month-old son has made it his
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Thanks for voting! By Commissioner Mike Stegall
I would like to thank the people of Darke County for turning out to vote on Nov. 4th.  Voting is one of our most precious rights, and we as citizens need to express our opinion whenever we get the chance.  I do not understand why anyone would not get out and vote nowadays, since it is so easy, and you can basically do it at your convenience.  I could give the speech about how people died for this privilege, how the forefathers
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Idiot Nurse, …Idiot Doctor, …Idiot (and Arrogant) Americans, By Joe Facinoli - What do you call the student who graduated last in their class, at Medical School?? Unfortunately, we would still have to call them:   “Doctor”.   What would you say to the student who finished last in their class, in Nursing School ?? Just as unfortunately, if we didn’t call them “Nurse Ratchett”, for their probable personality, and predictable bedside manner, we would be forced to read more.
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Darke County Senior Scribe… Another look at politics… Mother Goose Abuse, By Lois Wilson
Once again Senior Scribe Poet Laureate Lois Wilson is on top of the season with her insightful look at the important events of the day. For the second time this season it’s politics. Wilson offers a series of poems, each addressing a different look at our coming trip to the polls, then touching on another possibility two years down the road. Wilson's completed set - five volumes - of published poetry is now available
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Protecting Consumers from the Dangers of Powdered Caffeine
In May, Dennis and Kate Stiner faced a tragedy that no parent should have to endure. Their son Logan – a student athlete at Keystone High School in LaGrange, who planned on attending the University of Toledo this fall – died from ingesting too much powdered caffeine three days before his high school graduation. Since then, the Stiners have become courageous advocates for consumer safety so that no other
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Ohio Legislature Backs Innovative Program to Help Local Governments - A few years ago Ohio’s economy was on a downward spiral, our credit rating was downgraded and our state was in a fiscal mess.  When Governor Kasich took office we balanced the budget which required making up for an $8 billion dollar budget hole; and we did it without raising taxes.  Making difficult decisions was necessary at this time.  As the economy went down read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Oh my gourd, she murdered a pumpkin, By Aprill Brandon
I was 33 when I murdered and mutilated the dead body of my first pumpkin. I know. I know. How did I ever manage to make it this far in my life without committing veggiecide? I mean, ripping out the slimy entrails of innocent gourds is practically a rite of passage in this country. Even kindergartners are handed a knife and told to stab a pumpkin in the face. Well, it’s a long story, kids. One that I’m probably going
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The White House... An Ebola update from an NIH medical expert
Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently sat down to share an update on Ebola. He spoke about the measures the Administration is taking to respond to Ebola cases at home, while containing the epidemic at its source in West Africa. Speaking from his office at the NIH headquarters in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Fauci stressed that Ebola is not an easily
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Ohio Republican Party… Greetings! Update from Chairman Matt Borges
9 Days until Election Day! Our team is working hard to get our Republican leaders elected. On Saturday we had over 620 volunteers reaching out to voters across every one of our 88 counties. Over 30,000 doors were knocked and more than 31,820 phone calls were made. That's a solid start to our final Get Out the Vote push. Thank you to everyone that participated. The next nine days we must work even
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Review of the Law Enforcement Study Committee
As I travel west central Ohio, I continue to hear concerns about the growing drug problem in our region—and how it is affecting the entire state.  I have always been in favor of fighting drugs because they tear our families apart and cripple the workforce. That is why I traveled the state this summer to learn more about this problem and the obstacles that slow law enforcement’s ability to respond
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State Representative Richard Adams… Battling Breast Cancer and Raising Awareness
I hope this October, you’ve been able to join with others across the nation to honor, remember and reflect on the brave individuals who have battled, and are currently battling, breast cancer. First established in 1985, the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign seeks to generate attention for the disease and raise funds for research on its prevention, treatment, and
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U.S. Representative Boehner… Solving Our Spending Problem is the Key to Saving Medicare
This time of year, many seniors in our area have questions about Medicare, as Medicare Open Enrollment is from now until December 7.  That’s why my office stands ready to assist any constituents who may have questions about the Medicare Open Enrollment period or are experiencing issues with receiving benefits.  For more information about services available to seniors in Ohio’s Eighth Congressional District
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Darke County Senior Scribe… It’s that time of year… again! By Lois Wilson
Once again Senior Scribe Poet Laureate Lois Wilson is on top of the season with her insightful look at the important events of the day. This time it’s politics. Wilson offers two poems, each addressing a different look at the ludicrous antics of the political process. First there’s the eternal Pelosi, who is often remembered (not so fondly) for her famous statement: “We’ll know what’s in the bill when we pass it.” Then there’s the winsome
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Ending Veterans' Homelessness in Ohio
In gratitude for their courage and sacrifice for our nation, my office helps U.S. veterans access their medical and disability benefits and the overdue or replacement medals that they have earned for their military service. At a ceremony at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati last week – where I had the honor of presenting a Vietnam War veteran with seven medals
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Excesses, new and old, in political campaigns, By Jim Surber
Recent bantering in online comments about the huge amounts spent in modern Presidential campaigns got me to thinking. Is our spending on this unprecedented? I decided to do a little research, to learn how our ancestors dealt with this event, and was surprised at what I found. In the early years of the republic, gentlemen would be asked by other elite leaders to "stand" for political office, and the candidate's commonly-acknowledged
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Broke Wife, Big City… Do your ears hang low? By Aprill Brandon
When I was a kid, I had a penpal. Even better, it was a FOREIGN penpal. Every day after school, I'd run to the mailbox, quivering with anticipation, to see whether Penelope's letter had arrived from exotic Canada (where they put gravy on their French fries ... GRAVY). In fact, there were days I was so excited, I'd sit outside and actually wait for the mailman to come. Unfortunately, as I grew older, my enthusiasm
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Ohio Republican Party… Greetings! Matt Borges
Editor’s Note: Borges recently attended the Darke County Republican Pig Roast. 16 days until Election Day!  There is no time to let up. The Democratic turnout the vote machine is in full swing and we must surpass them. Ohio's unemployment rate fell to 5.6% in September, down from 7.4% this time last year. It was only four short years ago that unemployment was skyrocketing and Ohio's future was on unsteady
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Political Witch Doctors, …doing the Ebola “Heap Good Medicine” Dance, By Joe Facinoli - No disrespect to Native American medical “practitioners”, of a time long ago, but even those guys would have a better chance at curing Ebola, and tending for those inflicted with it, than what we’ve got going for us, …today. With a full spiritual commitment to their purposeful rituals and dances, and their artfully crafted, songful cadences of hypnotic read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Continued Interest in Reducing Nutrient Loading in Ohio Waterways - Lake Erie covers almost 10,000 square miles and serves as a source of pride for the State of Ohio.  Acting as the north coast of Ohio, this lake is a natural landmark known throughout North America and beyond.  Keeping the water in the lake potable and healthy is an important task that all Ohioans should be a part of. Lake Erie is a major source of tourism in the read more.
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U.S. Representative John Boehner… Travel Ban Should Be Considered by President as Ebola Crisis Worsens - WASHINGTON, D.C. -- “Our hearts go out to the health care workers who have contracted the Ebola virus here in the United States, as well as those who have been impacted by it around the globe.  We pray for their speedy recovery, and we pray for those who are helping to treat and care for these individuals, including our medical experts and military personnel who read more.
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Little Pictures, By Mona Lease
Hi, all!! Ok readers - Hands up - how many of you remember hearing not to borrow trouble - it will come soon enough on its own? I think trouble is here. I think we are trying to treat a "symptom" and the disease (if you will) goes unchecked. Remember our local school board wanting to pass a new levy a few years ago now? It failed the first two or three times. Now it's passed. Remember the president of the school board resigning and telling
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Enforcing Trade Laws to Boost Exports and Support Ohio Businesses -- When I travel across Ohio, I hear from business owners who have successfully expanded their companies, created jobs, and sold their products in foreign markets. In 2013, Ohio exports totaled a record-breaking $50.8 billion. To quantify that, every $1 billion in exports supports nearly 5,000 domestic jobs. And in Ohio, more than one quarter of our state's manufacturing jobs rely on exports. Last week, I joined read more.
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Broke Wife, Big City… Mommies don’t get sick days, By Aprill Brandon
I regret a lot of things. The fringe vest I wore for my seventh grade school photo. That time I asked for a “pixie haircut” and instead spent half of my junior year in college walking around with a mullet. Pretty much all of 2004. I even regret things I haven’t done yet, like when I finally finish this six pound burrito sitting right beside me. I’m going to eat it all. I know this. I’m going to hate myself for eating it all. I know this. And yet
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Preventing the Spread of Ebola in the United States
Over the last few weeks, we have heard a lot about the Ebola virus. The stories from Africa are heartbreaking – countries with limited resources are fighting to contain the disease and in many cases it is spreading faster than it can be controlled. In Liberia, Ebola cases are doubling every 15-20 days, with a million cases possible in western Africa by the end of the year if the current trends continue
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From the Other Side of the Edge…. Ebola:  Just more of the Politics of NonSense, By Joe Facinoli - It’s always about the “Spin” today.  First, last, and always, …it’s about how something can be “Spun”, to best political advantage. No matter who gets hurt, nor how many people might be negatively affected, …even if thousands of those people (or more) eventually die. It’s always about how the individuals charged with running things, the governments they belong read more.
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State Representative Jim Buchy… Sound Money Management of Public Dollars
When I was sworn in as a State Representative the first time around, I made it clear to my constituents that sound money management would be a focus of my time in the legislature.  Today, I continue to work for better handling of public moneys because taxpayers worked hard to earn that money. In west central Ohio, we have some of the best locally elected officials and they are good stewards
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The White House… One American's perspective
I watched the President speak about the economy earlier today -- maybe you did, too. He talked about how, even though we've rebounded from recession faster than almost every other advanced nation, we've still got a lot of work to do when it comes to rebuilding the middle class. It's easy to hear that and ask yourself, "What does the President mean when he talks about
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Ohio Republican Party… Portman works for Senate control
Today is the last day to register to vote in Ohio and early voting starts tomorrow!  As we fight to keep Ohio's comeback going, I wanted to make sure you knew about Senator Portman's efforts, not only in Ohio, but to take back the United States Senate.  Republicans have our best chance in a long time to take back the Senate and begin implementing reforms like we've seen in
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U.S. Representative John Boehner… Steps at the VA are Just the Beginning
Hearing directly from veterans in our own region on the veterans’ benefit claims backlog is what led to my pressing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for answers and accountability years ago.  Our veterans deserve nothing less. What we eventually uncovered were full-blown systemic problems at the VA. I know I’m not alone in how outraged I was by the horror stories, and we’re not going to let up until the issues at the VA are finally resolved
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U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown… Investing in Ohio Manufacturing and Innovation
In Ohio, and across the United States, manufacturing is helping to lead our economic recovery. Manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect than any other industry. For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is added to the economy. Ohio manufacturers are some of the most competitive in the world and workers are innovating right on the shop floor. To make manufacturing's recovery permanent, we must support American
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The White House… I may never get to stand on the podium
It was New Year's Eve in 2009 when my helmet saved my life. Training for the Winter Olympics in Utah, I was at the top of competitive snowboarding when I suffered a life-threatening traumatic brain injury that I'm still recovering from to this day. And while I can never snowboard competitively again, I hope to be a voice for the millions of Americans who grapple with diseases of the brain. Until my injury, I didn't spend too much time
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From the Other Side of the Edge….. but We’re all Going to Die from Ebola, …anyway, By Joe Facinoli - We have, very clearly in my estimation, lost our path as a nation, and a society.    The proof of that, is all around us, …in abundance. We should be celebrating life, in and about this glorious country, and our wondrous good fortune, at having been born in the midst of all the amazing opportunities it presents. Instead of being drawn into all the fretful, sickening, and deceitful situations read more.
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Commissioners Corner... Summer’s over… enjoy the fall weather and events
As the month of September comes to a close, we are reminded that colder weather is just around the corner. This has certainly been a nice cool spring and summer, and if the Farmer’s Almanac is correct, we are in for a cold, snowy winter.  But for now, let’s enjoy the fall colors, the cooler weather, all the High School sports
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State Senator Bill Beagle… Changing the Face of Manufacturing in Ohio
If someone asked you to name a career that was innovative and challenging, in a precise and highly advanced field, what industry comes to mind? If you answered manufacturing, you’d be right. October is the third annual “Ohio Manufacturing Month” and October 3 is “National Manufacturing Day,” and here in the Miami Valley we take this opportunity to celebrate those working in this growing industry. The days of dark and dirty manufacturing jobs
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Representative Jim Buchy… Shelby County: A Place Filled with Opportunity
West central Ohio is the best place in the world to live, work and rear a family.  I am fortunate that our local papers print Statehouse Updates, but often we forget to talk about how great our local communities are.  For the past few months I have periodically focused a column on the unique characteristics that make each county in western Ohio the best place to live, work and rear a family
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