WEDNESDAY MARCH 19
Republican lawmakers on Tuesday said "Hell naw" to Gov. Ted Strickland's notion that Keno machines are a good way to offset state budget deficits. According to the AP, Strickland says the bingo-like game could add about $73 million to the education department to keep many schools from cutting interesting classes and extracurricular activities out of their budgets. Republican State Rep. Jay Hottinger says that too much of the revenue will come from poor people and that the Ohio Lottery Commission should make more "scratch off" games that rich folks enjoy playing. But representatives for the hundreds of private schools across Ohio say those parents will avoid whatever golf-themed lottery games the commission tries to get them to play.
THURSDAY MARCH 20
The Lakota school district is once again in trouble with the NAACP, this time for punishing a teacher for racist actions and not telling the public until later. The latest incident involves social studies teacher Matthew Waits sending two black students to another room to take a test because he assumed they'd need more time due to the darker pigment of their skin. Waits' five-day suspension is the fourth incident at Lakota that's caused accusations of racial insensitivity, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gary Hines, president of the Butler County NAACP, was particularly upset that during his suspension Waits just stayed home and played Nintendo when he could have been learning about racial tolerance.
FRIDAY MARCH 21
American truckers have decided to slow down their 16-wheelers because it's more expensive to drive fast than to drive the speed limit. According to the AP, truckin' companies across the country are imposing restrictions on their drivers' speeds because going 65 instead of 75 saves more than a mile per gallon. Some truckers are now combining loads rather than hauling stuff straight to their customers, a concession some truckin' experts fear could lead to the emergence of competition. One truckin' company owner said he fears that someone might invent some crazy single-engine machine that pulls all the trucks across a metal track and there won't be truck drivers anymore.
SATURDAY MARCH 22
A debate broke out across the campus of Malone College in Canton after the school censored its student newspaper for printing a photo of four blurry naked dudes. The story, which ran in the Christian college's student paper, The Aviso, described an incident a few weeks ago in which a group of dudes ran around a dormitory naked and got in trouble for it by a resident advisor. A college spokesman said that kind of public school humor isn't funny even if the dudes' faces and ding dongs were blurred out in the photo. Student groups are now debating which is funnier: groups of naked dudes or the part in the book of Deuteronomy that describes what will happen to any dude who loses his "privy member."
SUNDAY MARCH 23
The Cincinnati Enquirer today reported on a rift between Kroger Co. and chemical company Monsanto, which owns the rights to a not-so-natural supplement that boosts the milk production of cows. Kroger is defending its right to label milk as "free of Posilac," but Monsanto says that by acting proud of not using the chemical Kroger is implying that it's bad. Kroger likened the situation to a 2002 dispute between Dole and the U.S. Treasury Department after a Dole ad campaign insisted that its juices didn't taste like nickels. Monsanto has argued that American currency is now worth 10 percent less than it did in 2002.
MONDAY MARCH 24
At least 70 people from the Cincinnati area, many with ties to Oak Hills High School, were arrested in southeastern Indiana over the weekend and accused of raucous partying. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that 41 adults and 29 juveniles were arrested in a place called Milan Friday night after police responded to a celebratory gathering of around 150 people. Many partyers were either "hanging out" or "chilling" in a barn behind the main house, and some even tried to run away when police showed up to kill the buzz. Those charged must appear in Ripley County Superior Court to defend themselves on such classic partying charges as giving alcohol to minors, disorderly conduct, underage drinking and marijuana possession.
TUESDAY MARCH 25
The Cincinnati Enquirer has added another chapter to its ongoing series "Look How Desperate Poor People Are for Money," a collection of reporting dedicated to the embarrassing ways poor people try to provide for their families. A story on The Enquirer's Web site today scratched the surface of a potential "black market for stolen diesel fuel" by following up on the arrest of a man in Colerain who was charged with siphoning fuel out of a construction tank. What started as a joke among reporters about how the diesel-breathed man got his truck stuck in some mud during the heist became serious reporting when someone called the owner of the construction company and learned that he was unhappy that his fuel was stolen. For the next part of the series, Enquirer reporters are expected to use the Internet to figure out what part of a catalytic converter is actually worth money.
CONTACT DANNY CROSS: firstname.lastname@example.org