Auditor uses Alexa app

Staff Reports

Auditor’s Office becomes first in Ohio to release an ‘Alexa’ app

Auditor Clarence Mingo

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo announced that the Franklin County Auditor’s Office has become the first auditor’s office in Ohio to release an application for an Amazon Echo or Dot powered by Alexa.

Residents can now ask Alexa questions ranging from how they can obtain a dog license, to when property taxes are due, to which taxing entities receive property taxes. Users can also hear instructions on how to search for property, how to reach the office and how to challenge the value of their property.

NBC News yesterday reported that 25 percent of all American households now have an Alexa. The report also stated that Alexa has captured 70 percent of the voice market share in the United States.

“There are likely more than 100,000 of these types of devices in Franklin County,” Mingo said. “We want to make getting information about our office as easy and hassle-free as possible and this new technology just adds another easy-to-use layer to that process.”

To download the Franklin County Auditor’s Office skill:

Download the Amazon Alexa app on your phone or tablet and then open “Skills” within the Alexa’s app menu button (the menu button is located on the top-left-hand corner of the main page designated with three horizontal bars).

Search for “Franklin County” and then click on “Franklin County Auditor.”

Click on “Enable Skill.”


After downloading the skill, users interested in the Franklin County Auditor’s Office should say to their Echo or Dot, “Alexa, ask Franklin County” and then ask a question related to the auditor’s office.

For more information, please visit or call 614-525-7315.

AFGE Endorses Richard Cordray, Betty Sutton to lead Ohio

Aug. 9, 2018

Cordray, Sutton demonstrate “tireless support for public service,” union says

WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees today announced its endorsement of Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton for governor and lieutenant governor of Ohio in the November election.

“Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton have demonstrated tireless support for public service and public-sector workers during their lifetimes of service as elected officials and public servants,” AFGE District 6 National Vice President Arnold Scott said.

“Richard Cordray has the experience to take on the challenges of serving as Ohio’s governor. He served as the first consumer watchdog at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, recovering over $12 billion for more than 30 million Americans during his tenure as director. Prior to his service in Washington, Richard served as Ohio’s Attorney General and was a fierce advocate for consumers and Ohio workers,” Scott said.

“While serving in Congress representing Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, Betty Sutton had a 100 percent voting record on AFGE issues. Betty is a fierce advocate for AFGE members and workers throughout Ohio and the nation,” Scott said.

More than 78,500 federal employees live in Ohio – supporting the military, caring for veterans, ensuring the safety of the flying public, and getting Social Security recipients their benefits accurately and on time. There are nearly 149,000 active and retired federal workers in Ohio.

AFGE is the largest federal employee union in the country, representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers in all functions of government. District 6 represents more than 42,000 federal workers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

For the latest AFGE news and information, visit the AFGE Media Center.

If you would rather not receive future communications from American Federation of Government Employees, let us know by clicking here.

American Federation of Government Employees, 80 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 United States

Attorney General DeWine Accepts Diversity in Business Award

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

August 9, 2018

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today accepted a Diversity in Business Award in the Outstanding Diverse Organization category from Columbus Business First.

“The Ohio Attorney General’s Office embraces diversity and inclusion, and I am honored that we are being recognized for these efforts,” said Attorney General DeWine.

The Diversity in Business Award is given by Columbus Business First to individuals and organizations who demonstrate excellence in encouraging diversity in all areas including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, and religion.

For more information about diversity and inclusion at the Attorney General’s Office visit the website at www.Ohio

DeWine Announces Development of New Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

August 9, 2018

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that his office is developing a statewide system that will increase transparency surrounding the collection, submission, and analysis of sexual assault kit evidence in Ohio.

The “Ohio Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Tracking System” will give those who have undergone a sexual assault forensic examination the option to track the status of their rape kit evidence online.

“Sexual assault survivors have already gone through unimaginable trauma, and not knowing where their cases stand can be agonizing,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This new system will empower survivors by giving them the ability to instantly and anonymously find out where their evidence is located and whether or not it has been submitted for testing.”

By entering a barcode number into the free, online program, survivors who choose to use the system will be able to follow their evidence as it proceeds from collection at a medical facility, to inventory at a law enforcement agency, to analysis at a crime lab, and to storage or destruction.

New legislation introduced by State Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) seeks to require all agencies involved in the chain-of-custody of sexual assault kits to participate in the tracking program.

“As we continue to help and encourage victims of sexual assault to rebuild their lives, it is imperative that we provide them the ability to check the status of the testing of their rape kits quietly and discreetly,” said Senator Kunze. “Affording them the opportunity to do so in a safe, secure manner ensures their privacy. We can allow survivors to continue moving forward with the option to check on the progress to help with the emotional healing and journey to moving forward from their horrific experience.”

“Attorney General DeWine and his office have demonstrated tremendous leadership and diligence when it comes to this issue. The bills introduced this week in the House and Senate represent a crucial next step in the process,” said Representative Pelanda. “I look forward to working with Attorney General DeWine, my great colleague Senator Kunze, and my brothers and sisters in the House of Representatives as we move forward with this legislation.”

Attorney General DeWine is also creating an advisory group to study best practices and provide advice on how Ohio’s tracking system should operate. The advisory group will include victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners, law enforcement, prosecutors, and representatives from hospital associations and crime laboratories. The members of the advisory group, who will be announced at a later date, will give special consideration to protecting the privacy of survivors who use the system.

“We are excited to see this initiative coming from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office,” said Rosa Beltre, executive director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “It is important to reform how rape kits are handled and tracked in the state of Ohio, despite the many challenges and difference of opinion. We collectively can choose to do nothing because of funding and road blocks, or as we have done today, we can choose to take steps within our circle of influence to make a difference. We owe this to every survivor in our state.”

The development of the program, as well as any maintenance and equipment, will be financed through Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. VOCA funds, which are administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, are from federal settlements, fines, and fees and must be used to enhance victim rights and services.

Throughout his career, Attorney General DeWine has been an advocate for victims of crime in Ohio. After taking office in 2011, he launched the Ohio Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative, which resulted in the testing of nearly 14,000 old rape kits that investigators had never sent to a crime lab for DNA analysis.

“This new tracking system will also help ensure that an accumulation of untested rape kits never happens in Ohio again,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Survivors expect their kits to be submitted for analysis in a timely manner, and this new program will increase accountability and transparency throughout the entire process.”

To date, Attorney General DeWine’s SAK Testing Initiative has led to 5,071 hits in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and hundreds of attackers have been prosecuted. In response to the success of the initiative, new law was enacted in 2015 requiring that law enforcement agencies in Ohio submit sexual assault kit evidence to a crime laboratory within 30 days.

DeWine Announces Ohio Prosperity Jobs Plan

Monday, August 13, 2018

CINCINNATI, OHIO – Speaking before a crowd of supporters in Cincinnati, Mike DeWine and Jon Husted today announced the “Ohio Prosperity Plan,” their job and economic growth plan, which they will implement as Governor and Lt. Governor of Ohio.

“The most important thing that our state’s leaders can do is make Ohio the kind of place where Ohioans have the opportunity to get good-paying jobs, provide for their families, save for a good education, have a sound retirement, and live their own version of the American Dream,” said DeWine. “Jon Husted and I have a vision for the future that will help Ohioans tear down whatever barriers might be holding them back from reaching their dreams.”

The Ohio Prosperity Plan is a comprehensive plan to prepare our workforce for in-demand and growing industries, encourage investment in Ohio, and implement meaningful regulatory reform to clear the pathway to prosperity.

“Mike DeWine and I have a plan to create an Ohio that works for everyone – for businesses, for workers, for families, and for every person who wants to chase the American dream for themselves and ensure that their kids have every opportunity they want and deserve,” added Husted.


JobsOhio has revolutionized the way we create and retain jobs in Ohio, but creating jobs is not enough – we must prepare Ohioans to fill jobs that are in-demand and in growing industries.

Establish regional job-training partnerships throughout Ohio with local businesses, education providers, and community leaders to give people the skills they need to compete and win in the 21st century. Currently, there are more than 75 job training programs across more then 12 state agencies. The DeWine-Husted administration will work to better coordinate these efforts so we can improve services and funding streams.

Pressure the federal government to remove strings attached to federal job training dollars and block grant those funds to Ohio so the state can work with regional partners and make decisions that actually benefit communities. Job training efforts should be managed by local people who know better than Washington what jobs are available.

Design a match-making application that actually connects people seeking work to businesses who are hiring. Instead of relying on job-board style website, the DeWine-Husted administration will partner with the technology community to develop an application supported by the data on that is more consumer-friendly for the modern world.

Fund the completion of at-least 10,000 in-demand industry certificates in order to create and recruit top-notch tech talent, with the commitment they will stay in Ohio and work. There are many quick job training programs at a cheap cost with high job-demand in Ohio. For example, a basic coding degree and a business analytics degree each could take as little as three months to complete at a cost around $600. The DeWine-Husted administration will partner with companies, technical centers and community colleges to provide easy access to job seekers and help bring awareness to these in-demand job opportunities.

Spearhead common-sense occupational licensing reform to remove bureaucratic barriers to employment that make it harder for qualified, skilled workers to find a job. We believe in encouraging people to work, not discouraging it. The DeWine-Husted administration will update Ohio standards to simplify the process for people and make it easier to reach reciprocal agreements with other states. Additionally, we will review and ask state occupational licensing agencies to issue temporary licenses to military members and spouses who are licensed in another state and have moved to Ohio for active duty.


From the days of Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers, Ohio has been the heart of innovation and bold ideas. We have the opportunity to bring the best talent to Ohio by recognizing and rewarding new ideas.

Establish Opportunity Zones for economically distressed communities. Ohio has the opportunity to bring billions of dollars in private investment to help revitalize communities that need it the most. By conforming Ohio tax law to include the Opportunity Zones established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, we can provide a brighter future for thousands of Ohioans with better jobs.

Permit researchers at Ohio’s universities to own the intellectual property they create at the institution. This move will prove Ohio is serious about attracting the best and brightest minds and creating an environment where they can thrive. As a result, Ohio will become a magnet for the most innovative researchers in the world and make our state more attractive for private research investment and entrepreneurial ventures.

Expand broadband infrastructure across Ohio to make Ohio a frontrunner in mobile edge technologies. Our state cannot be tech-friendly when some people and communities don’t have access to the digital highway that allows them to particulate and grow. Understanding the cost involved, the DeWine- Husted administration will work closely with the private sector to expand our broadband infrastructure.


Ohio has made great strides toward streamlining regulations, but we need to go a step further to make sure Ohio is the best state in the country for job creation and work.

Suspend the implementation of any regulation that negatively impacts job creation, outside of those that are necessary for health and safety purposes.

Encourage more robust input from Ohioans on regulations by expanding the Common Sense Initiative to allow citizens to help locate and halt regulations that negatively impact businesses and job growth.

The Republican Ticket will hold a similar event in Columbus announcing the plan and travel the state on the “Ohio Prosperity Tour.”

Mike DeWine and Jon Husted are the Republican Nominees for Governor & Lt. Governor of Ohio. Download photos and other media tools at

Secretary Husted Statement on 2016 Election Performance Index Report Release

Friday, August 10, 2018

COLUMBUS – The 2016 MIT Election Performance Index was published yesterday and shows that under Secretary of State Jon Husted’s watch, Ohio has improved its national ranking from 37th in 2008 to 21st in 2016, increased its score from 60 percent in 2008 to 77 percent in 2016, and exceeded the national average overall in nine categories in 2016. The report is based on information from the 2016 presidential election cycle. All of the following may be attributed to Secretary Husted:

“The way we run elections in Ohio has improved year after year because elections officials at every level have been committed to innovative, common sense reforms and making it easy to vote and hard to cheat.

“In fact, everything we’ve done to improve our elections – including online registration and change of address, expanding ballot access, ballot tracking, and cutting down wait times on Election Day – has resulted in a better experience for voters.

“Ohio’s election officials believe that when it comes to election administration, ‘good enough’ is never good enough. It’s for that reason that we continue to seek out ways to make the process better and deliver well-run elections.”

Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to Honor The Woodlands

COLUMBUS – The Woodlands in Newark has been selected by Secretary of State Jon Husted as one of August’s featured businesses for the Ohio Business Profile program.

A representative from the Secretary of State’s office will visit The Woodlands to present a certificate highlighting this accomplishment. As part of the Ohio Business Profile program, Secretary Husted declared August as “Nonprofit Businesses” Month to highlight nonprofit entities across the state.

The Woodlands provide comprehensive prevention, education, and treatment services to the residents of Licking County and surrounding communities. They are organized into three district service departments – the outpatient department, the outreach department, and their domestic violence shelter.


A representative of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.


Presentation of a certificate honoring The Woodlands for being featured in the Ohio Business Profile program.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018, at 2:00 p.m.


The Woodlands

195 Union Street, Suite B-1

Newark, Ohio 43055


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Today (August 8), the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) and its Republican enablers, chief among whom is State Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell), Chair of the Ohio House Education Committee.

The Court ruled that the law governing student attendance is unambiguous, and the state has every right to ask for proof that students are logged in and learning. The state can now definitively claw back the $80 million+ that ECOT overcharged taxpayers by fabricating attendance of its students.

“The Supreme Court today confirmed what Democrats have said for years: the state should obviously be able to demand proof that students are learning. This means the Republican lawmakers who enabled ECOT – especially Education Committee Chairman Andrew Brenner – are complicit in the fraud of Ohio taxpayers,” said Louise Valentine, candidate for Ohio Senate in the 19th District. “Rep. Brenner took $27,500 in campaign contributions from ECOT while they defrauded taxpayers of at least $80 million and failed to educate students. He’s not fit to continue serving in the Ohio House, let alone run for future offices.”

Andrew Brenner has had a long and sordid affair with ECOT, including blocking bills as Education Chairman that would have held ECOT accountable, publicly supporting the e-school, and even supporting using taxpayer money to pay students to attend their own graduation or take tests. Most egregiously, Brenner accepted more than $27,000 in campaign donations from ECOT’s CEO Bill Lager, and then tried to deny it when called out. He has thus far refused to donate the money.

Supreme Court Ruling on ECOT Reaffirms Dave Yost Had Full Authority to Stop Scam School

CLEVELAND — TODAY (August 8), the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) in a 4-2 ruling, confirming the Ohio Department of Education’s action was lawful when it found the now-defunct scam charter school over-billed Ohio by millions of dollars. In addition to putting an end to ECOT’s scam once and for all, the ruling blows a huge legal hole in Auditor of State Dave Yost’s most recent argument — that he could not have stopped the school, which was run by one of his biggest donors. Yost had repeated the argument despite the fact that he now claims that for years he had “moral” issues with the school to which he gave financial bookkeeping awards and that he never even bothered to ask a court about his legal qualms.

Democratic nominee for Attorney General, Steve Dettelbach, released the following statement:

“Today’s ruling puts to rest the absurd claim used by Dave Yost and others that they couldn’t stop ECOT without a change in the rules. As the court ruled, state law required ECOT to keep participation records to substantiate its funding. Yost could have required the school to produce these records a number of times, but instead, he backed down — once within days of ECOT sending him checks.

“The enabling of ECOT by Yost and other politicians to whom ECOT gave millions serves as Exhibit A for what is wrong with Columbus. These politicians helped a big donor game the system and steal hundreds of millions from Ohio’s children at the expense of taxpayers. As Attorney General, I will use the power of the office to push hard not just to recover the hundreds of millions stolen from taxpayers by ECOT but to hold every person involved accountable — no one is above the law.”


Yost Claimed He Could Not Have Stopped ECOT’s Scam by Requiring Participation Records.

“The facts were not fully before us until the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) changed its funding documentation and review requirements,” Yost said. [, 7/8/18]

“We could not have in 2014 said that we’re going to measure participation. We don’t get to decide that,” [Yost’s spokesperson] said. [, 10/20/17]

But the Ohio Supreme Court has Ruled that Participation Records Were Required All Along.

“’We determine that R.C. 3314.08 is unambiguous and authorizes ODE to require an e-school to provide data of the duration of a student’s participation to substantiate that school’s funding.’” [Ohio Supreme Court Decision, Columbus Dispatch, 8/8/18]

Yost Never Even Looked At ECOT Attendance Reporting Despite Flags & Backed Down When ECOT Objected.

“Until this year, neither the state auditor’s office nor the department seriously questioned ECOT’s attendance or funding.” [Columbus Dispatch, 8/14/16]

“Teeters also testified that he persuaded state Auditor Dave Yost’s office to not request log-in durations during a special examination of the school in 2014, instead providing certifications from teachers on the number of hours that students were participating. For years, the state accepted ECOT’s word that students were attending classes and provided state funding under an agreement the courts ruled was no longer enforceable.” [Columbus Dispatch, 8/11/17]

Paid for by Dettelbach for Ohio.


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued the following statement today (August 8) regarding the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling in Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow v. Ohio Department of Education:

“Today’s Ohio Supreme Court ruling is the result of more than two years of litigation through my office, as well as the efforts of the Ohio Department of Education before that, to hold ECOT accountable. This victory in our state’s highest court removes questions which could potentially slow down or delay proceedings to recover taxpayer dollars. My office will continue our efforts to recover taxpayer dollars from William Lager and other ECOT affiliates. I commend the work of special counsel and attorneys in my office on this case and on the recovery litigation to come.”

Supreme Court of Ohio Candidates Sign OSBA Clean Campaign Pledge

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Aug. 9, 2018) – The Ohio State Bar Association’s (OSBA) Judicial Election Campaign Advertising Monitoring Committee today announced that all four of the candidates running for the Supreme Court of Ohio have signed its “clean campaign agreement.”

Maxine Thomas, of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation and chair of the OSBA’s Judicial Election Campaign Advertising Monitoring Committee, confirmed that Judge Craig Baldwin, Justice Mary DeGenaro, Judge Michael P. Donnelly, and Judge Melody Stewart, have agreed to conduct their campaigns in accordance with the agreement and in line with the guidelines in Cannon 4 of the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct.

Judicial elections are different in many respects from elections to executive and legislative positions. A judge is not seeking to “represent” constituents in the same sense that nonjudicial officials do, and by virtue of their judicial oaths, judges must be prepared to administer justice to all in a non-partisan manner and to retain an open mind on issues or matters that may come before them.

Since 2002, the Judicial Election Campaign Advertising Monitoring Committee has monitored election advertising in Ohio Supreme Court elections, speaking out when it has encountered communications that impugn the integrity of the court or attempt to lead people to think a candidate might decide a case in a predetermined manner. As part of the process, the Committee asks each candidate to take personal responsibility for the content of advertisements or statements they or their authorized committees issue, and to publicly disavow ads from other sources that run afoul of the pledge.

“I want to thank the four candidates and their committees for working with us to maintain the highest standards in judicial elections.” Thomas said. “We believe the public and our judicial system at large are best served when judicial campaigns focus on candidates’ credentials, experience, and temperament. This allows Ohio voters to make better informed decisions at the ballot box and ultimately, to send fair and impartial jurists to the bench.”

OSBA President Robin Weaver noted that the OSBA Judicial Election Advertising Monitoring Committee and the “clean campaign agreement,” have played an important role in refocusing the tone and conduct of Supreme Court elections in Ohio.

“At the time the Committee was established, Ohio had earned some notoriety for the partisan nature of its Supreme Court elections and the role of special interests in seeking to influence the bench,” Weaver said. “The OSBA felt a responsibility then, just as it does today, to step up and do our part to promote and uphold public trust and confidence in the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. This is a role we take very seriously.”

In addition to the work of the Judicial Election Advertising Monitoring Committee, the OSBA, through its bipartisan Commission on Judicial Candidates, will be issuing ratings of the four Supreme Court candidates in coming weeks.

About the Ohio State Bar Association

The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 26,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

ICYMI: A Rough Week for ECOT and its Enablers, Led By Auditor of State Dave Yost

Saturday, August 11, 2018

ICYMI…A Rough Week for ECOT and its Enablers, Led By Auditor of State Dave Yost

CLEVELAND — Media coverage this week highlighted the Ohio Supreme Court’s 4-2 decision against the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), blowing a hole in Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s argument that he could not have held the scam e-school accountable. In addressing the school’s demise, reporters and editorial boards did not gloss over the corrupt politicians who enabled the school’s taxpayer theft for years — led by Steve’s opponent, Auditor of State Dave Yost.

See for yourself:

The Akron Beacon-Journal/ editorial board underscored the point that despite the attempts of ECOT Enablers to pretend to get tough on ECOT now, voters should not be fooled.

The court ruling points to something else in this campaign season. William Lager bought favor through political money, generous contributions mostly to Republicans. Now, after looking the other way, Republicans are quick to give the impression of cracking down. Yet the court appears to reinforce that, say, Dave Yost, Mike DeWine and Keith Faber could have moved much earlier, warning lights flashing years ago. The documentation required under the law as part of the 10-hour rule was ripe for examination.

Similarly, the Columbus Dispatch amplified Auditor of State Dave Yost’s failure to act on ECOT, noting Yost’s excuse that he couldn’t move to prevent taxpayer theft until a change in the rules. Not so much.

Democrats have been hammering on Republicans in recent months for failing to act sooner against ECOT, which collected about $1 billion in state money since 2000 and was operated by Bill Lager, a top Republican donor. Democrats continued that after Wednesday’s ruling.

“Today’s ruling puts to rest the absurd claim used by (Auditor) Dave Yost and others that they couldn’t stop ECOT without a change in the rules,” said Steve Dettelbach, the Democrat opposing Yost in the race for attorney general. “Yost could have required the school to produce these records a number of times, but instead, he backed down.”

Keep your eyes peeled for future stories exposing the failures of the guy who was supposed to be checking ECOT’s books. And remember, while the shock factor of this scandal can be tough to wrap your head around, Dave Yost’s role in all of it is very simple: Dave Yost was in charge of reviewing ECOT’s books every year. He had both the opportunity and the power to stop the school from stealing tens of millions from taxpayers. There are more questions unanswered about why he didn’t stand up to his donor.

Dettelbach for Ohio

The Wilds Celebrates Birth of Giraffe Calf

Cumberland, OH – The Wilds is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai giraffe calf. The calf was born in the pasture during the late afternoon of July 10 and appears to be healthy. The birth was also visible to guests on an Open-Air Safari Tour at The Wilds, providing for an unforgettable experience. The Wilds animal care staff noted that the calf is strong and staying close to his mother. The Animal Care team at The Wilds will continue to monitor the young calf’s development and health over the coming weeks.

The calf’s father, Raha, was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in April 2006, and the calf’s mother, Lulu, was born at Cincinnati Zoo in October 2012. This calf is Lulu’s first calf. The breeding of Raha and Lulu was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program designed to increase the genetic health and diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care.

The calf may be visible to guests on both Wildside and Open-Air Safari Tours; however, the calf and his mother will remain under the watchful eye of The Wilds staff.

“Welcoming a giraffe calf to our herd is always an incredibly exciting time for our team,” said The Wilds Vice President Dr. Jan Ramer. “Not only is this birth a milestone here at The Wilds, but it also gives us great hope and a foothold to sustain declining populations of this species in their native ranges.”

Giraffes are listed as “vulnerable” on the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species™, primarily due to habitat degradation and poaching. In an effort to reduce threats to giraffes, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds support several conservation projects in giraffe range countries across Africa, including the Serengeti Giraffe Project based in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Giraffe Research and Conservation Trust in Kenya, and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Namibia and Uganda.

Calves are born after a gestation period of approximately 15 months. The mother gives birth standing up, and within a few hours of birth, calves can stand and run on their own.

Male giraffes can grow to be 18 feet tall at their horn tips and weigh between 1,800 and 4,300 lbs. Females are between 13 and 15 feet tall and weigh between 1,200 and 2,600 lbs. Giraffes are the tallest of all extant land-living animal species, and are the largest ruminants. Their native ranges are savannas, grasslands or open woodlands in central and southern African countries.

About The Wilds

The Wilds, one of the largest conservation centers in North America, is home to rare and endangered animals from around the world along with hundreds of indigenous species. The mission of The Wilds, a nonprofit organization, is to lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife. The Wilds is located at 14000 International Road in Cumberland, Ohio, about 90 minutes east of Columbus. Normal hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day from May through September, and on Saturdays and Sundays in October. For more information, visit

Secretary Husted, Ohio’s Community Colleges Announce Partnership to Support Elections Cybersecurity Efforts

New initiative made possible through recently announced HAVA funds

COLUMBUS – To ensure county boards of elections have the support needed to meet recently released elections security standards, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced a new collaboration between his office and the state’s community colleges. This public partnership gives local elections officials access to knowledgeable information technology (IT) professionals who will be able to help guide and assist them in complying with the cybersecurity requirements outlined in Directive 2018-15.

“To maintain the integrity of our elections, we must constantly be working at both the state and local levels to innovate and improve our elections security measures,” Secretary Husted said. “While this can sometimes be a daunting task, Ohio’s two-year colleges are well-positioned and have the expertise to help us achieve these goals.”

Ohio has designated $4.9 million of the more than $12 million in Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds for county boards of elections to enlist the help of IT consultants, known as “Pathfinders,” to meet various cybersecurity standards set by federal security resources. Today’s announcement allows for willing and capable community colleges to serve as these Pathfinders.

“The core mission of community colleges is to educate, elevate and serve our local communities and I can think of no better way of meeting this mission than by helping to ensure voters maintain faith in the election process,” said Dr. Steve Johnson, Sinclair Community College President. “Thanks to this partnership envisioned by Secretary Husted, cybersecurity and IT faculty from community colleges throughout the state will be able to offer their expertise to county boards of elections to make the security of our election system as strong as possible.”

In the directive issued last month, the Secretary of State’s Office instructed county boards of elections to utilize the Center for Internet Security’s Elections Infrastructure Playbook to identify areas IT and security improvements can be made. The directive also calls on boards to consult the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for phishing campaign assessment and vulnerability scanning.

Pathfinders will assist county boards in conducting this work and launching initiatives to meet requirements set forth in the various resources.

“Federal entities like the National Security Agency (NSA) and the DHS are realizing the many ways two-year colleges can assist in reducing cyber vulnerability and enhancing data security,” said Jack Hershey, President and CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. “Several of Ohio’s community colleges have already stepped up to the plate to take active roles in this effort.”

The NSA and the DHS have jointly sponsored the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) program. The program is focused on reducing vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense, while also producing professionals with cyber defense expertise.

Two-year institutions are included in this program and participating schools receive a CAE2Y designation. The CAE2Y designation has already been earned by three of Ohio’s two-year colleges: Clark State Community College, Sinclair Community College, and Terra State Community College.

In addition to Ohio’s community colleges, qualified public and private entities may also serve as Pathfinders.

Earlier this year, Congress appropriated additional HAVA funds to states as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. The initiative aims to improve the administration of federal elections, with a particular focus on security improvements and technological advancements. Ohio will receive a total of $12,186,021 in federal funding, while also providing a five percent match of $609,301 by March 23, 2020.

Targeted Treatments Give New Hope to Patients with Brain Tumors

New study links biomarker with increased rate of survival

COLUMBUS – It wasn’t the first wedding anniversary present that Lori Mines was hoping for. After seeking treatment for a debilitating migraine, Lori was diagnosed with advanced stage brain cancer. The prognosis for the disease is usually poor, but researchers are giving some patients with malignant brain tumors new hope for a longer life through research to help predict tumor aggressiveness and survival based on the unique characteristics of their tumors.

In a new study at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, experts found that survival among patients with a specific biomarker called MGMT promoter methylation more than doubled when treated with specific chemotherapy and radiation. “Historically the treatment has been a black box without a real standard-of-care therapy,” said Arnab Chakravarti, MD, Chair of Radiation Oncology and senior author of the new study published in JAMA Oncology June 28, 2018. “That’s why utilizing predictive biomarkers is so important.“

By tailoring treatments through identified biomarkers, experts want to give those diagnosed with brain cancer renewed hope for both their care and their lives. “We’re examining novel clinical trials, targeted therapies, immunotherapies, some of which look very promising right now,” he said. “There’s definitely hope.”

A researcher at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute examines a brain tumor sample under a microscope. A new study finds that a genetic biomarker can help guide treatment for some patients by predicting how they will respond to specific therapies.

Dr. Arnab Chakravarti reviews scans of a brain tumor. A new study at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute identified a specific biomarker that can help predict tumor aggressiveness and patient survival.

Lori Mines talks with a friend. Diagnosed with a brain cancer in 2016, she credits new individualized treatments with helping maintain her quality of life, giving her more time with her husband and daughter. Mines celebrates her 40th birthday with her friends and family. Lori was diagnosed with a brain cancer in 2016 and is hopeful that advancements in individualized cancer care will give patients like her a better quality of life. Mines poses for a picture with friends at her birthday party. Lori was diagnosed with a brain cancer just before her first wedding anniversary. Despite her prognosis, she has been fighting the disease, undergoing two surgeries as well as multiples rounds of chemotherapy treatments.

Ohio State Bar Association Certifies Paralegals

COLUMBUS — (July 9, 2018) The Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) today announced that 12 paralegal professionals have met the requirements to earn “OSBA Certified Paralegal” designation, joining the 231 current OSBA Certified Paralegals across Ohio. (Please see attached list).

“We congratulate the latest group of Ohio paralegals to achieve their certifications,” said OSBA 2018-19 President Robin Weaver. “Paralegals are critical to the success of our justice system and this program is incredibly helpful for attorneys and law firms seeking highly qualified professionals to join their practice.”

By definition, a paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. To be eligible for the OSBA paralegal certification program, an applicant must meet specified requirements related to education/experience, continuing legal education, and references, and then must pass a written exam. For a detailed description of OSBA paralegal certification requirements, please visit the OSBA website.

OSBA Certified Paralegals are certified for four years, and must meet reporting obligations to maintain certification. At the end of the certification period, a paralegal may be recertified if the continuing legal education and reference requirements continue to be met.

About the Ohio State Bar Association

The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 26,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.

2018 OSBA Certified Paralegals

(Home zip codes provided unless otherwise indicated; city names indicate firm locations)

Cincinnati: Mary F. Collins/The Cincinnati Insurance Co. – 45067

Columbus: Emilie E. Forman/Ohio State Bar Association – 43215; Leah R. Beswick/Saia and Piatt, Inc. – 43206; Samantha L. Holton/Manley Deas Kochalski LLC – 43212; Amanda Oyer/Law Office of Gary L. Grubler – 43009

Cleveland: Julie Carr/MIM Software Inc. – 44077

Dayton: Julie McNabb/Tracy & Tracy – 45005

Independence: Rebekah E. Shalashnow/Wegman Hessler & Vanderburg – 44124

Mentor: Candace Polcar/Ziccarelli & Martello – 44060

Toledo: Laura L. Dierks/Semro Henry & Barga LTD – 43551; Laural Seewer/Malone Ault & Farell – 43614

Youngstown: Shannon Musser/Kisling Nestico & Redick, LLC – 44436

From ECOT to Big Pharma, Yost Goes to Bat for Big Donors

CLEVELAND — The Dettelbach for Ohio campaign called out Auditor of State Dave Yost for once again choosing to help his donors at the expense of Ohio.

“The one thing Ohioans can count on from Dave Yost is that he will always look out for the special interests bankrolling his campaign,” said Dettelbach for Ohio Campaign Manager Ian Moskowitz, adding, “It’s been over a year since Dave Yost ignored calls to recuse himself from the ECOT scandal. Since then, Yost botched a second whistleblower tip likely allowing the trail of evidence to grow cold. Now he’s doing the bidding of the big drug companies being sued by Ohio by spreading lies with the money they’ve put in his pocket.”

Moskowitz continued, “This is all part of a disturbing pattern of Yost putting his donors first. Yost didn’t put taxpayers before Bill Lager, and history shows he won’t put Ohio ahead of the opioid industry that is funding his campaign.

“Unlike Yost, our campaign has refused contributions from big drug companies. We need to break the cycle of corruption in our Statehouse and replace career politicians with tough, committed leaders like Steve Dettelbach who the people of Ohio can trust to tackle the most difficult challenges.”

Steve Dettelbach Reports $751,000+ Raised, Passing Yost in Cash On Hand

CLEVELAND — Dettelbach for Ohio Campaign Manager Ian Moskowitz released the following statement today after the campaign filed a report showing it raised $751,408 in the last filing period. Today’s filing ups the campaign’s total to $4.25 million raised for the cycle — and $3.4 million in cash-on-hand, surpassing Yost.

“Our campaign is grateful for the thousands of Ohioans who are backing Steve because they want an Attorney General who is a career prosecutor who will work to end political corruption. Ohioans are tired of typical politicians like Dave Yost who put their special interest donors over the needs of working Ohioans, and it shows in the wide range of folks who are supporting Steve Dettelbach. With 4.25 million raised, our campaign continues to gather the resources we need to communicate our message across every county in Ohio.

“There’s a reason that the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, President Obama, and thousands of Ohioans are throwing their support behind Steve — they know he has a record of taking on tough cases and will be an Attorney General who takes on dangerous criminals, wealthy special interests and corrupt politicians from both parties, because no one is above the law.”

Staff Reports