LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine isn’t optimistic that General Motors will bring a line of new vehicles to the sprawling Ohio assembly plant the automaker shut down last week, possibly for good.
GM indicated it has been in talks with one or more other companies about taking over the site for another use, said DeWine, a Republican.
DeWine told The Vindicator in Youngstown that “it’s clear to me that they’re looking not at putting a new line” of vehicles in the plant.
The assembly plant in Lordstown, which employed more than 4,000 workers just two years ago, built its last car a week ago, eliminating the final 1,700 positions left at the factory.
GM has not said whether it will be closed permanently, instead saying that the plant will be kept in a “state of readiness” and that its fate will be decided during contract negotiations later this year.
The automaker intends to shut down five plants in North America by early next year as part of a companywide restructuring . But the plant closing in the U.S. still must be negotiated with the United Auto Workers later this summer.
Political leaders in the state along with union officials and workers are leading a campaign to save the Lordstown plant, lobbying the company’s top executives. President Donald Trump also has voiced support for bringing new work to the plant.
DeWine said GM has not told Ohio officials that it has plans to use the factory in the future or revealed what other companies it has talked with about the site.
“My focus is to do everything to get jobs back in that plant, understanding that our hands are really tied until there is some movement from General Motors,” he said Tuesday, March 12.
DeWine said GM might let the state know more in four to six weeks.
“At some point, if we’re going to help, we have to be involved. The sooner we can be involved, the earlier we can start helping,” he said.
Governor issues emergency status in flood-impacted counties
Tuesday, March 12
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state of emergency has been declared in 20 Ohio counties damaged by flooding last month.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine declared the emergency status in the affected counties on Monday. DeWine said in a statement that many of those counties were still recovering from last year’s severe flooding. The emergency declaration is aimed at helping secure recovery assistance.
Some counties in the emergency proclamation are Adams, Athens, Brown, Gallia (GAL’-yuh), Guernsey, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence and Meigs (mehgz). The proclamation also includes Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington counties.
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency are meeting with county and township officials in each of the affected counties this week to assess the extent of the damage.
Ohio ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban moves closer to becoming law
By KANTELE FRANKO
Wednesday, March 13
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Republican-led Ohio Senate on Wednesday again passed legislation to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, moving the state a step closer to potentially enacting one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country.
The senators’ 19-13 vote sends the so-called heartbeat bill to the GOP-controlled House for consideration. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has indicated he would sign such a ban if it clears the Legislature.
Similar measures approved by lawmakers were twice vetoed by DeWine’s predecessor, Republican John Kasich, who said such a law would prompt a costly court battle and likely be found unconstitutional.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant. A handful of other states are considering Legislation to restrict abortions based on that marker.
The Ohio measure’s sponsor, Sen. Kristina Roegner, of Hudson, said using the existence of a fetal heartbeat as the defining line is clearer than determining a fetus’ fate based on its viability outside the womb, a marker established in court precedent. Roegner said viability can vary depending on the medical care and technology available under different circumstances.
Viability “is a moving target, and we need a new standard,” she said. “The heartbeat bill provides a sensible solution.”
Democrats unsuccessfully sought to include an exemption for cases involving rape and incest.
Sen. John Eklund, a Republican from Geauga County’s Munson Township, said he believes all abortion is wrong but opposed the bill because it didn’t include exemptions for such cases in which the pregnant females are victims.
“That creates or raises a deeply, deeply moral dilemma that I’m not altogether sure the Legislature should be making for that mother,” Eklund said.
The bill does include an exemption if the pregnant woman’s life is at risk.
The legislation’s passage in the Senate continued a celebratory week for abortion opponents in Ohio, where a divided federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a state law that blocks public money for Planned Parenthood.
Information from: The Vindicator, http://www.vindy.com