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Toledo Blade
Toledo, Ohio
"One of America's Great Newspapers": The Blade newspaper is northwest Ohio's premier source of information
Recent Activity
Last night I was watching presidential candidate Hillary Clinton prattle on about some weighty policy matter. I wasn't tuned in, though. Every time I watch her I see an empty tip jar. In terms of her candidacy for the Democratic nomination, I'm out. What politicians think about, say, legalizing marijuana... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at 419: The Diary
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Jo Ann Davidson, the former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, and former New Hampshire U.S. Sen. John Sununu are among the five officers of Gov. John Kasich's new exploratory committee. Not only that, but the committee includes Philip Geier, a prominent corporate Republican contributor who was one of... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Blade Slices
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Lake Erie walleye angler and Ohio State Buckeyes fan extraordinaire Bryan Johnson is battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and his family and friends have joined the fight. On April 26, they will hold a benefit to help cover the rising costs of Bryan’s home health care. There will be a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2015 at Blade Outdoors
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  A MONTH-long hunger strike at Ohio State Penitentiary reportedly ended today -- at least for now -- with prison officials agreeing to some of the demands of inmates who went without food since March 16. That's a good thing, but the state still needs an independent investigation into conditions... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2015 at 419: The Diary
The Ohio Water Sentinel Program seeks to educate, engage, and empower volunteers to restore, improve and protect Ohio’s waterways. Sierra Club will host a training session on Thursday, April 16, from 5-8 p.m. at the University of Toledo Lake Erie Center located at 6200 Bay Shore Road in Oregon. Future... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2015 at Blade Outdoors
Former Gov. Ted Strickland easily won the endorsement of the Ohio Democratic Party's executive committee over the weekend for the party's nomination for the U.S. Senate. The endorsement puts the state's Democratic political machinery behind Strickland, which is not insignificant. But the Democratic nomination will be made by Democratic voters... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2015 at Blade Slices
After media reports initially derailed Yvonne Harper’s candidacy for the vacant Toledo City Council District 4 seat with dug-up records of her overdue taxes and history of conflict with her coworkers, I was surprised she was willing to speak with me at all. But Ms. Harper happily agreed to come... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2015 at Crossroads
Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland today reported having raised $671,073 toward his campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) in 2016. That's less than the $757,043 reported raised by his (far less) well-known opponent in the Democratic primary, P.G. Sittenfeld, a Cincinnati councilman. Sittenfeld announced his campaign on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2015 at Blade Slices
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Matt Huffman, former state representative from Lima who was term-limited last year, is off and running for the GOP primary in the 12th Senate district. It could be a hard-fought battle, and will largely decide who represents the district because of its heavy Republican bent. The 12th District contains all... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2015 at Blade Slices
Among popular road-construction rants is the chestnut that [insert state name here] is “where the detours have detours.” It’s actually happening in East Toledo now because of emergency sewer work. Overhead construction on the Anthony Wayne Bridge overhaul project closed Miami Street this morning, and the Ohio Department of Transportation’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2015 at Road Warrior
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 In the supermax cells of Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, eight prisoners are into the fourth week of a hunger strike. At issue are policy changes recently initiated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction that revoked or restricted certain recreation, education and other programs, including religious services, to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at 419: The Diary
Six of seven Columbus City Council members endorsed Ted Strickland for U.S. Senate today. It's shocking, I know: Columbus has only 7 council members, while Toledo has 12! Back to the Strickland news... The former Democratic is running for the Democratic nomination against Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld. The winner... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2015 at Blade Slices
JOURNALISM can be a lot like social work. After writing a story or column about addiction, wrongful convictions, homelessness, or some other problem, a journalist inevitably gets calls from people asking, even crying, for help. My column last Sunday on a new program that starts Medication-Assisted Treatment for heroin addiction... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2015 at 419: The Diary
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Signs for candidates in the District 4 race have been showing up for a couple of weeks now. I like the Yvonne Harper sign for its message -if you get close enough to read it. And she claims the "endorsed Democrat" label. Hard to beat the oldie-but-goodie Ruth Ashford sign.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2015 at Blade Slices
LUCAS County Prosecutor Julia Bates made the right call in asking lawyers from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to prosecute now-retired Toledo Police lieutenant Frank Ramirez, who is charged in a plot to shoot a woman. Mrs. Bates told The Blade Editorial Page on Wednesday that she wanted to avoid... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Our View
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman's campaign now says it has more than $8 million in the bank for his re-election in 2016. That's about half of what he raised in his entire 2010 campaign against Democrat Lee Fisher. The campaign says it will report raising $2.75 million in the first quarter... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Blade Slices
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When I think of Jeff Reutter, I think of the magic van he used to pick up certain visitors - such as journalists - en route to Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory on tiny Gibraltar Island many years ago. He'd pick us up at one of South Bass Island's two... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Ripple Effect
The contest for the Democratic nomination for the 2016 U.S. Senate race continues today between former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld. Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Strickland. And Sittenfeld hired veteran Democratic strategist Dale Butland as his adviser and campaign spokesman. In a statement released today... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2015 at Blade Slices
  When I started at The Blade in late 2012, a young white Toledo police officer had just shot to death an unarmed black suspect during a fight. I was still living in Detroit then, and an incident like that would have rocked the city. But here, no one seemed... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at 419: The Diary
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Buried in the new state transportation budget is a strange measure that would require out-of-state college students who want to vote in Ohio to obtain Ohio driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations. Current law allows students to vote in Ohio while keeping their out-of-state licenses. If the transportation budget, which was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2015 at Crossroads
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Non-violent drug offenders are flooding local jails and state prisons. Up to half of the 400 prisoners in Lucas County jail on any given day are coming off a drug, mostly heroin and other opioids. Here’s how the revolving door works: Addicts are arrested for drug possession or petty theft.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2015 at 419: The Diary
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Todd Portune, a Democratic Hamilton County commissioner, issued a statement of condolence today on the death of Jack Ford. And he shared with me the campaign sign that might have been used in the campaign he and Jack were discussing. Portune briefly flirted in early 2014 with running for the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2015 at Blade Slices
STARBUCKS CEO Howard Schultz last week asked his servers to talk to customers about one of the nation’s most intractable and festering problems: race relations. He even took out full-page ads in USA Today to promote the campaign. But facing a viral firestorm, he pulled the plug on the idea... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2015 at Our View
P.G. Sittenfeld, a Cincinnati city councilman who is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Rob Portman, today endorsed the ResponsibleOhio amendment to legalize marijuana. (The Ohio Ballot Board approved the text of the amendment today.) Here is Sittenfeld's statement: P.G. Sittenfeld Statement on Marijuana Legalization “We need... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Blade Slices
Professor Robert Putnam, a native Port Clintonite and celebrated political scientist at Harvard, believes America is headed down a dangerous path toward economic immobility, and wants all Americans to get serious about reversing it. I spoke with week with Professor Putnam about his much-discussed new book on inequality, Our Kids:... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2015 at Crossroads