WVXU’s decision to hire retiring Enquirer politics reporter Howard Wilkinson is the rare bright spot in the increasingly constricted world of local news gathering. Adding him to WVXU’s reporting staff
scored a twofer for news director Maryanne Zeleznik. In addition to his
sense of local and state politics, Howard is as passionate and
knowledgable about the Reds.
Judge rules state again capable of carrying out death penalty
Ohio can now resume carrying out executions for the first time since November 2011, after a ruling Wednesday from U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost of Newark. In January, Frost halted the Ohio execution of condemned murderer Charles Lorraine in light of several slip-ups by the state in following its own execution protocol. On Feb. 8, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Frost’s decision, ruling that the number of documented failures to follow procedure were enough to place an official moratorium on executions. The failures to follow protocol were reportedly mostly minor paperwork technicalities, including not properly documenting that an inmate’s medical files were reviewed and switching the official whose job it was to announce the start and finish times of the lethal injection. The state argued that the errors were minor, and didn’t legitimately affect the state’s ability to carry out humane executions. Frost, however, expressed frustration at the state’s failure to follow codes it had set itself. "Ohio has been in a dubious cycle of defending often indefensible conduct, subsequently reforming its protocol when called on that conduct, and then failing to follow through on its own reforms," Frost wrote in his January ruling. Frost's ruling means that the state will move forward with the April 18 execution of Mark Wiles, who was found guilty for stabbing a 15-year-old boy to death in1985. Frost recently denied Wiles' request for a stay of execution. Although his ruling sided with the state, Frost seemed somewhat wary of the state's promises to reform. Since the moratorium, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has allegedly scrutinized its procedural policies and implemented a new "Incident Command System," which sounds like an initiative for ORDC Director Gary Mohr to more closely micromanage the processes during state executions.
"This court is therefore willing to trust Ohio just enough to permit
the scheduled execution," Frost wrote regarding his rejection of Wiles' stay of execution. "The court reaches this
conclusion with some trepidation given Ohio's history of telling this
court what (they) think they need to say in order to conduct executions
and then not following through on promised reforms." To date, Ohio has executed 386 convicted murderers. Click here for a schedule of upcoming executions in Ohio.
I wander through all three dog kennels at
the Sharonville SPCA. Perry, Zyr, Rocky, Lance, Goldie, Sage, Sugar,
Boomer, Buddy, Macho. Pit bull, pit bull mix, pit bull, pit bull, pit
bull, pit bull mix. The list goes on. The shelter, only miles from the Hamilton
County border, is ridden with pits because it’s just outside the
Cincinnati city limits, where it’s still illegal to own a dog designated
as a pit bull or pit bull mix.
In mid- to late-October of 1973, just days
before tens of thousands of costumed kids were to hit the streets of
Cincinnati and surrounding communities for Halloween night, southwest
Ohio was under invasion — an invasion that seemingly came from the
heavens, and police and government officials across the region were on
In a Cincinnati neighborhood plagued by
high rates of blight, poverty and crime, the new $18.4 million Robert A.
Taft Information Technology High School in the West End couldn’t offer a
more contrasting narrative. While city police book killers and other
suspected felons right next door, Taft students are enriching their
minds in nine computer labs and exploring the world through wall-to-wall
Some allege candidate almost made racial slur at campaign event
Some critics of Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum
said video footage of a speech at a campaign event shows him starting to utter
a racial slur while referring to President Obama, then cutting himself off
While speaking to a group of supporters in Wisconsin on Tuesday,
Santorum said, “We know what the candidate, Barack Obama, was like. The
anti-war, government nig--, uh…” before stopping abruptly, then adding, “America
was, uh, a source for division around the world. And that what we were doing
was wrong. We needed to pull out and we needed to pull back.”
Although the uncompleted word sure sounds like it began with “nig”
and what Santorum said next in the sentence didn’t flow naturally with the
other words, a campaign spokesman today denied that the uncompleted word was “nigger.”
In January Santorum told a crowd of supporters in Iowa that he didn’t “want to make black people’s lives
better by giving them other people’s money.”
Here is the clip of Tuesday’s
speech. The remark causing controversy is spoken around the 34:30 mark. You can
decide for yourself.
Gov. Kasich gives task force 90 days to measure ability to identify victims
“Can you tell me how a 13-year-old kid can be snatched, blackmailed, drugged, raped, in our state? In our country?”That’s the question Ohio Gov. John Kasich asked audiences Thursday before signing an executive order to create the Human Trafficking Task Force, which is intended to combat human trafficking across the state and help victims recover. “I don’t think I can think of a greater evil than what we know as the human slave trade,” said Kasich, before signing the order. A 2010 study conducted by the Trafficking in Persons Study Commission revealed that about 1,000 American-born children are forced into sex trade in Ohio every year, while about 800 immigrants fall victim to human trafficking, either through sexual exploitation or manipulation into hard labor. Kasich’s executive order will give the task force 90 days to examine Ohio’s current ability to identify victims. The board of the task force will be comprised of representatives from youth prisons, public safety departments, state health and human services and the state Cosmetology Board (some trafficking is suspected in nail salons, which the Cosmetology Board oversees). “They’ll tell me where the holes are, but we have lot
more work to do,” Kasich said. “We need everybody in America to step in on
this.” Ohio is suspected to be a major player in the U.S. human trafficking industry because of its large immigrant population, proximity to Canada and growing demand for cheap labor in light of difficult economic times, according to the 2010 Trafficking in Persons report. There’s currently no state funding set aside for the task force; the task will work hand-in-hand with Attorney General Mike DeWine's Human Trafficking Commission to buffer already existing efforts.
There are several Ohio families whose military daughters died from “non-combat” circumstances, and their tragedy was amplified when the military tried to tarnish the victim’s reputation and even blame the victim for her own death.
Ohio Sen. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) proposed new
legislation to prevent new ownership of exotic pets such as gorillas and
lions to prevent incidents like the one in Eastern Ohio when dozens of
neglected animals were shot to death after their owner set them free and
For the first time in the history of the
NCAA Tournament, four teams in the Sweet 16 — a qualified quarter — are
from the state of Ohio, with Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio and Ohio State
moving on to make up 25 percent of the remaining teams fighting for a
chance at basketball supremacy.