Ohio bill focuses on use, funding of school features like AC
By KANTELE FRANKO
Tuesday, October 23
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio would have to study which of its schools have air conditioning, safety measures and certain other building features under a state lawmaker’s proposal to direct some school construction money specifically for those purposes.
Republican Rep. Niraj Antani, of Miamisburg, said every school should have those features but too many don’t.
There is no state tally on that, so the information is anecdotal. Early this school year, for example, a heat wave caused scores of schools around Ohio to close or send students home early, citing concern for students’ health. That prompted mixed reaction online and on social media, with some commenters questioning whether climate control in schools is necessary and some parents and teachers arguing that it’s what students these days are accustomed to and what is expected for a good learning environment.
At Lakewood Local Schools in Hebron, which has a very old elementary school with no air conditioning, educators used fans to circulate air in classrooms and hallways and distributed water and ice to help keep kids cool and offered to excuse absences if parents kept the youngest students home because of the heat, Superintendent Mary Kay Andrews said.
“It was bad,” Andrews said. “It affects their learning. It affects the staff.”
Antani is proposing that the Department of Education and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, which oversees the school construction and renovation program, gather information about which schools have features such as air conditioning, then allocate part of the funding going to the commission for helping schools meet some standard for those features.
Antani, who is running for re-election, said the system of how school infrastructure is funded in Ohio isn’t working and he hopes his proposal starts a conversation about changing it.
His Democratic challenger, Zach Dickerson, said Thursday that the lack of climate control in some schools has been a known problem for years, and he questioned why Antani didn’t seek to address it sooner. He also questioned the timing of Antani’s proposal, which was introduced weeks before the midterm election, leaving little time for lawmakers to consider it before their current two-year session wraps up at the end of the year.
Andrews said she is interested to see what happens with the legislation but that her district can’t wait to address its old infrastructure. It has a levy on the November ballot that would be used to build a new elementary school and address other needs, including fully air conditioning the middle school.
Meanwhile, the weather has changed and schools are preparing for their next temperature battle.
As Nordonia Superintendent Joe Clark pointed out weeks ago in a message about dealing with the heat: “Before we know it winter will be here, and we will have this discussion again regarding extreme cold.”
Gov. Kasich Affirms Continuing Commitment on Jobs for Ohioans with Disabilities
Washington, D.C. Oct. 24 – Gov. John Kasich has declared October 2018 Disability Employment Awareness Month in Ohio.
“Maximizing the skills and talents of all Ohioans is essential to our state’s success and the skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workforce, in both the public and private sectors, are vitally important,” writes Kasich in his proclamation. “Ohio’s workforce is enhanced when individuals with disabilities are employed and Ohio is fully committed to working with individuals to utilize their education, qualifications, talents and experiences to help them achieve employment.”
Citing the transformative work of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Kasich added, “Ohio is setting the standard for bringing business leaders and disability stakeholders together to reduce barriers faced by those seeking employment.”
This proclamation follows a solid year of job growth that saw 6,707 Ohioans with disabilities get new jobs last year.
Meanwhile, President Trump issued a statement saying that his Administration “reaffirms its support for all the employers who hire Americans with disabilities, providing opportunities for success. It is important that all our Nation’s job seekers and creators are both empowered and motivated to partake in our booming economy, and apply their unique talents and skills to the growing workforce.”
He added, “We recognize the achievements of Americans with disabilities whose contributions in the workforce help ensure the strength of our Nation. We also renew our commitment to creating an environment of opportunity for all Americans and educating people about disability employment issues.”
An annual celebration, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is dedicated to raising awareness about disability employment issues and celebrating the incredible contributions of people with disabilities. In total, there are 851,743 working-age people with disabilities living in Ohio.That total includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.
Among them, 304,940 or 35.8 percent have jobs. According to RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities, Ohio ranks 29th compared to the other states.
“Our nation was founded on the principle that anyone who works hard should be able to get ahead in life,” said Steve Bartlett, the chair of RespectAbility. Bartlett, a former U.S. Congressman, the former Mayor of Dallas and a principal author of the Americans with Disabilities Act continued, “People with disabilities deserve equal opportunity to earn an income and achieve independence just like anyone else.”
Ohio has been working hard on more jobs for people with disabilities since 2012. That year, Kasich signed an Employment First Executive Order that aligned community services and supports to empower more people with disabilities to enter the workforce.
Ohio is also home to a transformative model of competitive, integrated employment that is enabling thousands of youth with disabilities earn an income and become independent. From its humble origins in the emergency room of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Project SEARCH has become a global enterprise dedicated to empowering youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From Ohio, SEARCH now serves communities and employers in 46 states as well as the U.K, the EU and Canada.
Locally, the past May, Mercy Health-St. Rita’s graduated its fifth consecutive class of Project SEARCH interns. What makes this program special? “They’re learning job skills and gaining experiences and the whole end goal is to get a job,” said Leigh Taylor, Project Search instructor and coordinator. Five out of the six 2018 graduated have already gotten jobs thanks to the skills they have learned.
Every year Mercy Health-St. Rita’s and other SEARCH host sites gain the chance to recruit talented, trained and work-ready young people with disabilities.
“They’ve learned how to follow directions, pay attention, work with the adult working population because they did just come from high school. When they’re done here they receive their diploma from high school, they graduate from Project Search and they go into that adult working world in a competitive job,” added the Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Project Search instructor. From a site at Miami University in the west to Aultman Hospital in the east, to Lake County Board of DD/Deepwood in Mentor, Project SEARCH is achieving transformative outcomes.
Each site proves that when people with disabilities are given access to the workforce, both the individual and the employers benefit. People with disabilities can bring new talents and ways of thinking to the table. In addition, they are more likely to be loyal to a company once they are hired. Companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, Walgreens, UPS, IBM and Starbucks practice inclusive hiring and have had great success.
“People with disabilities bring unique characteristics and talents to Ohio’s economy,” adds Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President of RespectAbility. “People with disabilities can work in hospitals and hotels, or apply their talents to develop computer software and website design. There are no limits to what they can do.”
For more information about state rankings and employment resources, you can visit www.RespectAbility.org.
Ohio Secretary of State’s Office to Honor Development Consultants Incorporated
COLUMBUS – Development Consultants Incorporated in Dublin has been selected by Secretary of State Jon Husted as one of October’s featured businesses for the Ohio Business Profile program.
A representative from the Secretary of State’s office will visit Development Consultants Incorporated to present a certificate highlighting this accomplishment. As part of the Ohio Business Profile program, Secretary Husted declared October as “Ohio’s Future” Month to highlight a series of businesses who are using innovation to drive the future of the Buckeye State.
Development Consultants Incorporated is an IT engineering company responsible for the technology behind some of the most recognizable brands and government agencies in the world. They specialize in cloud computing, security, design, architecture, and engineering professional services.
Changing and Near Peak Conditions Now Spreading Across the State
Fall Color Report No. 4 – Oct. 24
COLUMBUS, OH – As we come to the end of October, Ohio is finally starting to see more and more changing and near peak conditions across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“Across the Buckeye State, the colors of the season are finally making themselves known,” said ODNR Fall Color Forester Greg Smith. “Expect to spot the bright reds of the black gum and some maple trees first, followed by the russet shades of the oaks and the bright yellow of the ginkgo trees a bit later.”
For many families, fall color road trips are only part of what makes this time of the year so special. The autumn experience is also enjoyable because of traditional activities, such as hayrides, carving pumpkins, Halloween campouts and much more.
The burst of color at the onset of the season also provides a perfect backdrop for hikers, bikers and horseback riders to make their way across the hundreds of miles of publicly-accessible trails. Anglers and boaters can also see priceless perspectives of Ohio’s fall foliage reflecting in the rippling water along miles of shoreline and waterways.
People interested in finding out where to find most eye-catching leaves throughout the upcoming fall color season should check out fallcolor.ohiodnr.gov/videos, Ohio’s official guide to the changing colors. This website includes:
Weekly color updates and information to help plan a fall color adventure.
Weekly videos from ODNR naturalists highlighting fall color hot spots around the state.
Links to fall activities, scenic road trips, unique overnight accommodations at Ohio State Parks and more.
Fall is a distinctive season in Ohio with an identifiable color palette of reds, oranges and yellows; cooler temperatures; and aromas and tastes of autumn’s harvest from apples to pumpkins. It’s such a fun, vibrant few months to enjoy time with those closest to you that it feels like a holiday — or perhaps a Falliday! To help visitors find those special autumn activities in Ohio, the Office of TourismOhio has created a new landing page, ohio.org/fallidays.
ODNR and TourismOhio encourage people to take fall color photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag #OhioFall18 and #FallidaysinOhio. Follow @ohiodnr and @OhioFindItHere on Twitter, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio. Find it Here. on Facebook and @ohiodnr, @ohstateparks and @ohiogram on Instagram to see more fall color photos.
Ohio State Parks is also having a photo contest this fall. Help us highlight the best of the great outdoors in a variety of categories for a chance to win great prizes! Enter today at ohiostateparksphotocontest.com.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.
TourismOhio, operating within the state of Ohio’s Development Services Agency, works to ensure Ohio is positioned as a destination of choice, enriching lives through authentic travel experiences. The branding Ohio. Find It Here. supports Ohio’s $44 billion tourism industry. For more, visit ohio.org.
Color Condition Key for the Fall Color Report: Mostly Green – no real fall color seen. Changing – still mostly green, less than 25 percent color. Near Peak – significant color showing – anywhere from 30 to 60 percent color. Peak – peak colors – as much as 85 percent showing. Fading – fading from peak conditions and leaves falling to forest floor.
Attorney General DeWine, U.S. Marshals Release Age-Progression Image of Wanted Fugitive
(CLEVELAND)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the U.S. Marshals Service Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force today unveiled an age-progression photograph of a wanted, violent fugitive who escaped from an Ohio prison more than 30 years ago.
A forensic artist with the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) created the age-progression image of Gordon Lambert, who would now be 63 years old, in an effort to generate new leads on his whereabouts.
Lambert was 32 years old in 1987 when he escaped from the Orient Correctional Institution in Pickaway County. The Cuyahoga County man was serving a sentence of six to 25 years on charges of aggravated robbery and felonious assault on a peace officer when he broke out of prison.
“This man has an extensive criminal history, and he should be considered armed and dangerous,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Our forensic artist created this image to give residents an idea of what he might look like today, and we urge everyone to take a very good look. He has ties to Cleveland and Florida, but he could be living anywhere.”
“Any piece of the puzzle that a tipster can provide could get our deputies to Lambert’s front door,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio. “We are hoping that this new age-enhanced photo is the key.”
Gordon Lambert is 5’9” and has blue eyes. He had brown hair at the time of his escape, although it may be gray today. He may be going by a different name.
A public bulletin issued by BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit was sent to every law enforcement agency in Ohio and to fusion centers across the United States.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Gordon Lambert should not approach him. Those with information should call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 866-4WANTED (866-492-6833). The task force is offering a reward for information leading to his arrest.
This is the third age-progression photograph created by BCI’s forensic artist. An image of a woman missing from Parma since 1990 was released in November 2017 and an image of a woman missing from Zanesville since 1985 was released in July.
Weekly Column for Publication: Sen. Sherrod Brown in Your Hometown
Rising to the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Challenge – Wednesday, October 24, 2018
We need a long-term strategy that allows all our students to reach their full potential—not one that accepts that an entire segment of our citizens will grow up with limited options, simply because of the color of their skin or the neighborhoods they grew up in.
That’s why this month we launched MBK Ohio, Ohio’s first-ever statewide coalition of My Brother’s Keeper. As part of the Kirwan Institute at The Ohio State University, MBK Ohio will work closely with the Obama Foundation to offer support, resources, and guidance to help Ohio communities sustain and grow their local My Brother’s Keeper chapters.
President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) in 2014, challenging cities across the country to work to combat the persistent opportunity gap between young African American men and their peers.
Data collected by the Kirwin Institute at The Ohio State University illustrates the challenges young African Americans in Columbus face. They found that one in five children of color in Columbus live in neighborhoods with “very high vulnerability,” exposed to poor performing schools, poverty, inadequate health care, and unsafe neighborhoods.
That doesn’t mean all of these kids are failing – it means that our society has failed to provide these kids with the same opportunities as their counterparts.
President Obama’s call to action encouraged communities to implement a cradle-to-college-and-career strategy to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential, regardless of the color of their skin or the zip code they live in.
Ohio has risen to that challenge.
In 2015, we launched our first two Ohio MBK programs in Dayton and Columbus. The chair of the Obama Administration’s MBK task force, Broderick Johnson, came to Ohio for both events. Over the next two years, we worked with community partners in cities all over Ohio to launch MBK efforts. We now have 10 chapters across the state, and we’re among the top five states in the country. We brought Broderick Johnson back to Ohio to kick-off efforts in Cleveland and Akron. We held launch events in Mansfield and Springfield, Stark County and the Mahoning Valley. And we brought another Obama administration official to Toledo and Lorain, to kick-off their MBK programs.
After President Obama left the White House, we knew we needed to work to keep these efforts going, and coordinate them around the state. We are not going to let President Obama’s work be undone – we’re building on his legacy.
Speaking to the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance in 2015 President Obama said, “This will remain a mission for me and for Michelle not just for the rest of my presidency, but for the rest of my life.”
We must have that same commitment in Ohio.
This change starts from the ground up, in communities across the state. It’s a youth group at First English Lutheran Church, where boys can talk to older mentors about the problems they see in their communities and their schools. It’s a high-school senior, volunteering at the food bank to take on food deserts in his community. And it’s a local DJ teaching hip-hop and dance to kids at his neighborhood community center.
But to make a lasting impact throughout Ohio, we need statewide coordination to identify what works, and share ideas and resources. That’s what MBK Ohio will do.
I’m grateful to our local chapters for their hard work and The Ohio State University for helping make MBK Ohio a reality.
While there is still important work to be done, this is one step toward following through on our commitment to setting all Ohio children up for success.
Janene Rawahneh Member of Beta Beta Beta at Ashland University
News from Ashland University
ASHLAND, OH (10/24/2018)— Janene Rawahneh of Westerville, OH, is a member of Ashland University’s Beta Beta Beta.
Rawahneh is a 2017 graduate of Westerville South High School.
Beta Beta Beta is an honor society for undergraduate students dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.
Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2018, is a mid-sized, comprehensive private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Religiously affiliated with the Brethren Church, Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.