Akron killer Ronald Phillips is in Lucasville - kept with just a wall and corridor between his cell in the Death House there and the Death Chamber where he's scheduled to recieve a lethal drug cocktail tomorrow.

Phillips, on Death Row for 24 years, is scheduled to die by injection for the 1993 rape and murder of three year old Sheila Marie Evans, the daughter of his then-girlfriend.

Phillips arrived shortly after ten this morning; while his "special meal request" is subject to change, WAKR's Ryan Lang reports he asked for a large cheese, bell pepper and mushroom pizza; strawberry cheesecake; a two-liter bottle of Pepsi; a 10 ounce bottle of grape juice and a piece of unleavened bread.

The U.S. Supreme Court has a bid before it for a stay of execution from critics who are contesting the three-drug mix used for lethal injection as a "humane" form that will minimize pain and suffering for Phillips. Critics are also asking Ohio Governor John Kasich to intervene, citing the drug cocktail isn't proven.

Barring any delays or stay orders from the Court or the Governor, Phillips will be receive the injection tomorrow morning after 10:00.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 04 April 2017 07:54

Pharmacy Board Approves New Opioid Limits

It didn't take Ohio's Board of Pharmacy to implement Governor Kasich's desire to cut down on opioid prescriptions. New rules were approved a week after Kasich announced efforts by the regulatory boards overseeing doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists to use "commonsense" limits on using opioids to treat acute pain. Supporters hope to cut the number of doses in Ohio by more than 100 million annually.

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(Ohio Pharmacy Board) The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy announced the approval of rules to help implement proposed limits on opiate prescriptions for acute pain. Announced by Governor Kasich and leaders of Ohio's healthcare regulatory boards last Thursday, the rules will support efforts by the Medical, Nursing and Dental Boards to place commonsense limits on the use of opiates for the treatment of acute pain.

"The Board is proud to play its role in helping to reduce opiate prescribing in Ohio" said Steven Schierholt, Executive Director of the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. "It is estimated that the state could see an annual reduction of 109 million opiate doses once the new limits are in effect."

The rules adopted by the Board will require prescribers to include a diagnosis or procedure code on every controlled substance prescription. This information will then be entered into Ohio's prescription monitoring program, known as the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS), by dispensing pharmacies to monitor compliance with the limits.

The rules will follow the Board's standard rule adoption process, including input from stakeholders and the public.

Published in Local
Monday, 20 March 2017 10:24

Renacci Announces 2018 Ohio Governor Run

Ohio U.S. Representative Jim Renacci has put the speculation to rest, confirming his entry into the 2018 Ohio Governor's race Monday morning. 

The announcement that he's filed the official paperwork with Secretary of State Jon Husted's office came in the 9 a.m. hour. 

In a release, Renacci said, "For far too long, career politicians in both Washington and Columbus have been looking out for themselves, not us, and now more than ever we need a serious, conservative outsider to lead our state who will always put Ohio first. We need a leader who will end the “pay to play” sweetheart deals that have corrupted Columbus.  We need a leader who truly understands what it takes to keep and attract good paying jobs to Ohio and who knows how to simplify our tax code for Ohio families and businesses. And we need a leader who will put an end to the over-regulation that continues to hold Ohio’s economy back."

See the Renacci Campaign video:  

Published in Local

Barberton municipal court Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger will be moving over to Summit County Common Pleas Court in April, filling the vacancy left as Judge Tom Teodosio now serves on the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals.

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(Governor's Office) Today Governor John R. Kasich announced the appointment of Jill Flagg Lanzinger of Barberton (Summit Co.) to serve as a judge on the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, General Division. Lanzinger will assume office on April 3, 2017. She must run in November 2018 to retain the seat for the full term commencing May 17, 2019. Lanzinger is replacing Judge Thomas A. Teodosio who has been elected to Ohio's Ninth District Court of Appeals.

Lanzinger received her bachelor's degree from Heidelberg University and her law degree from University of Akron. She currently serves as a municipal judge presiding over the Barberton Municipal Drug Court. She is a member of the Akron Bar Association, the City of Green Opiate Task Force and a board member of the Portage Lakes Advisory Council.

Published in Local
A small part of Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget is for teachers to shadow inside the job sector. Not surprisingly, this was met with a bit of controversy, especially since it appeared to be buried deep in the budget.

Becky Higgins, a former teacher at Copley-Fairlawn and now the president of the Ohio Education Association, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to share her thoughts. The shadowing in the job sector would be a requirement to renew teachers’ licenses, and Higgins echoed the inquisitive thoughts of her fellow educators.

The OEA president also touched on trade schools and the future of cursive.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 11:14

Kasich Signs Controversial Concealed Carry Law

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed controversial Senate Bill 199 into law Monday night, lifting the current ban on carrying concealed weapons in public places like daycares, public areas of airports, and school safety zones.

The bill also gives colleges and universities the authority to allow weapons on their campuses. Private businesses can still ban weapons under the new law, which designates it as the choice of any private business. Still no concealed carry in police stations and courthouses.

Published in Local
Friday, 09 December 2016 17:04

Phillips Denied Clemency Recommendation

The Akron man who's been on death row since 1993 may have just over a month left on earth. 

The Ohio Parole Board today recomended no clemency for Ronald Phillips, who first began serving his sentence 23 years ago after he was convicted of the rape and murder of his then-girlfiend's three year old daughter. 

The crime was horribly brutal; an autopsy found "severe trauma" in the death of Sheila Marie Evans, including damages to her internal organs and more than 120 bruises over her tiny body. Prosecutors said the injureis reflected several hours of a severe beating, then rape, before she died days after she was hospitalized.

The recommendation now moves to Governor John Kasich, who hasn't been receptive to considering Phillips' case in the past. Barring any last-minute court appeals, Phillips will die by lethal injection on January 12, 2017 in the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville, Ohio.

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(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that the Ohio Parole Board voted to recommend convicted murderer Ronald Phillips be denied clemency. Phillips' clemency request and the Board's recommendation now go to Ohio Governor John Kasich, who makes the final decision to grant or deny clemency.

In 1993, a Summit County jury found Phillips, then 19, guilty of Aggravated Murder, Felonious Sexual Penetration and three counts of Rape. In January of that year, Phillips brutally assaulted and raped three-year-old Sheila Marie Evans. Evans died as result. Among her injuries were severe trauma to her internal organs and more than 125 bruises to her face, torso, arms, legs and genitalia.

"Phillips brutally beat and assaulted Sheila Marie over several hours. She suffered for days before dying from her injuries. Phillips deserves the ultimate punishment for what he did," said Prosecutor Walsh. "This is the third time the Ohio Parole Board has denied Phillips clemency. My hope is that Governor Kasich follows the Parole Board's recommendation and denies Phillips clemency and gives peace to Sheila's family."

In its recommendation against clemency, the Board cited several reasons, and again called the repeated beating and rape of Sheila Marie Evans "clearly among the worst of the worst capital crimes."

Phillip's execution is scheduled for January 12, 2017.

Published in Local
Sunday, 12 June 2016 15:17

VIDEO Leaders Mourn Voinovich

Political leaders of all stripes were saddened to learn of the death of longtime Mayor, Governor and U.S. Senator George Voinovich, who passed away in his sleep last night. Voinovich was 79.  He retired from the U.S. Senate following the end of his term in 2010, but remained active in political circles and was a strong advocate for policies effecting fiscal responsibility and foreign policy directed at the Balkan states, reflecting his cherished Slovenian heritage and even served as a speaker at an event marking the 25th anniversary of Slovenia independence at Cleveland City Hall.

At a news conference on his retirement, and in his final remarks on the Senate floor, Voinovich continued to implore both sides of the political aisle to come together on agreement of issues most important to the responsible running of the country. He maintained his strong spiritual faith throughout his career, and made no bones about his feelings that God, family and public service were his highest priorities. (Video from C-SPAN)



Reaction was swift on news of Voinovich's death.

Governor John R. Kasich released the following statement on the passing of former Ohio senator, governor and Cleveland mayor George V. Voinovich:

"I am very saddened today by the passing of my friend George Voinovich. I respected him greatly and had a deep affection for him. His love for our state and his hometown of Cleveland was only surpassed by his love for his family and his wife Janet. He was guided by two ideas: love God and love your neighbor, and by faithfully applying them throughout his life he helped Ohioans see how much they could accomplish by working together.

"He was a unifier who thought outside the box, never gave up and worked hard for the ideas he believed in up until the very end of his life. Thanks to that leadership he saved Cleveland, governed Ohio compassionately and responsibly and was a candid voice for reason in the U.S. Senate. I am proud to have known him and grateful for what he did for our state and nation.

"To his wife Janet, his children and his many grandchildren, my family sends our condolences and heartfelt prayers at this difficult time, and on behalf of Ohio I send my gratitude for sharing this wonderful, dynamic man with us for so many years."

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on the death today of former U.S. Senator and Governor George V. Voinovich.

"Fran and I are heartbroken by the news of George's death. Our hearts go out to his beloved wife Janet, their children, and their grandchildren.

"George Voinovich was a good person -- a good man. He was a man of deep religious faith, and it was that faith that guided him in his decisions. He truly lived his belief that with God, all things are possible.

"He believed that his calling was to serve others -- his city, community, and country -- through his work in government. He also believed that everyone had God-given gifts, and that we all need to use our gifts to help others. He often talked about his mother, Josephine, who volunteered at the library at St. Aloysius well into her 80s to serve the children there.

"George was a mentor to me, but he was also my friend. I was honored to serve as his Lieutenant Governor and had the great opportunity to watch him lead and see first-hand his management skills.

"He was a tireless worker. George took home work every night and on the weekends. His administrative style and philosophy were to hire good people, hold them accountable, but let them run their departments.

"George was the long-time mayor of Cleveland -- a city kid, but he loved the Ohio State Fair! He loved being with the 4-H kids, working the bidders at the Sale of Champions, staying overnight with a farm family, and being a part of Ohio's great agriculture community. After he left the Governor's Office, he would continue to come to the Ohio State Fair with grandkids every summer. He was so proud of the Voinovich Livestock and Trade Center on the Fairgrounds.

"George took great pride in sharing Ohio's unique places with others. He had a passion for promoting Ohio tourism -- from the banks of the Ohio River to the shores of Lake Erie. He loved our state.

"George and Janet had a true partnership. They were best friends, and she was everything to him. He would often say that Janet was God's greatest gift to him.

"He loved his family fiercely and nothing mattered to him more -- nothing. He would get so excited talking about his grandkids, especially.

"Ohio lost a true leader, visionary, and statesman today."

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U.S. Senator Rob Portman issued the following statement today on the passing of George Voinovich:

"Jane and I are deeply saddened by this news. All Ohioans have suffered a great loss today.

"As Mayor, as Governor, and as Senator, George Voinovich exemplified everything good about public service. It was never about him, but always about helping others. He was an independent voice who never hesitated to speak his mind.

"The City of Cleveland, the state of Ohio and the nation benefited from his extraordinary service, but he had a special place in his heart for his beloved Cleveland. It is not an exaggeration to say he personally saved the city from default and revived the spirit of Cleveland through sheer force of will, an unyielding work ethic and an infectious optimism. There are so many signs of his contributions to Cleveland and the state of Ohio, from the Voinovich innerbelt bridge to the Voinovich Bicentennial Park to the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University, to community treasures like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that would not be here but for his leadership. These are all a testament to the love and respect that the people of Ohio had for him. But as in all of his public service roles, his intangible contribution was to lift peoples' hopes.

"In our conversations, for all of his political successes and accomplishments, what George Voinovich most wanted to talk about was family. Janet was his soulmate and partner in everything, and he loved his kids and grandkids and always wanted to know about my family. He knew family and faith were the anchors for everything else in life.

"I will miss a great friend and a true mentor, and our community will mourn the loss of a dedicated public servant without equal."

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Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement regarding the passing of former Ohio Governor and Senator George Voinovich:

"I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of George Voinovich. Former Governor and Senator Voinovich served our state with great distinction all his life. He was a consummate professional who always conducted himself with class and independent leadership. He will be missed."

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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today released the following statement on the death of former United States Senator and Ohio Governor George Voinovich:

"For over four decades, George Voinovich faithfully served the people of Ohio from Cleveland's City Hall, to the steps of the Statehouse and on our behalf in the U.S. Capitol.

"So often, he spoke of his work in terms of the impact it may have on our children and the future they would one day inherit. It was that vision that guided his work and that example we all seek to carry out even today.

"He was known for never taking advantage of his office, but instead, was frugal with the public's resources as if they were his own. He stood on principle, even when that stand risked his own popularity. In this way, he was a great man of principle and a true public servant. His death is Ohio's loss.

"The thoughts and prayers of a grateful state are with his family today."

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The Ohio Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairman David Pepper on the passing of former Cleveland Mayor, Ohio Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Voinovich:

"Today we mourn the passing of an Ohio giant, George Voinovich, a man who dedicated more than half of his life in service to the people of the Buckeye State. When I was a local elected official, I had the privilege of escorting then-Senator Voinovich on a tour of Cincinnati, and it was clear he was still a mayor at heart. He didn't miss a detail, and that's what a great public servant does -- focuses on the details and brings people together to find solutions. Our thoughts and prayers are with George's wife, Janet, his beloved children and grandchildren and our colleagues at the Ohio Republican Party, as we grieve the loss of a great Ohioan."

Published in Local
Saturday, 28 May 2016 11:20

Don't Bogart That Vote!

The group pushing for a constitutional amendment permitting the use of medical marijuana says it's satisfied with a law change on the way to Governor Kasich's desk, even though they don't consider it perfect.

Brandon Lynaugh, campaign manager for the group seeking signatures on petitions to place the issue on the November ballot, said in a statement it became "increasingly clear....our ballot issue camapaign had arrived at a critical juncture."

The group claims it had already collected several hundred thousand signatures but admitted the road ahead with a law permitting marijuana use for medical purposes would mean even more difficulty raising money and volunteers for the effort. Lynaugh said improvements made to the program showed a step forward and credited advocacy efforts by supporters.

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(Ohioans for Medical Marijuana) Statement can be attributed to Brandon Lynaugh, campaign manager for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana.

Late Friday evening, after considerable discussion, the decision was made to suspend our drive to place an issue on the November 2016 Ohio ballot.

We make this decision with a heavy heart as we will surely disappoint our many volunteers, supporters and patient-advocates who invested considerable time and effort in our movement.

It had become increasingly clear following the state legislature's passage of a medical marijuana law on Wednesday that our ballot issue campaign had arrived at a critical juncture.

With several hundred thousand signatures collected thus far, one option for our movement would have been to continue to pour our resources into obtaining the additional signatures needed to put the issue before voters.

But the reality is that raising funds for medical marijuana policy changes is incredibly difficult, especially given the improvements made to the proposed program by the Ohio General Assembly and the fact that the Governor is expected to sign the bill.

As we said following Wednesday's vote, the legislature's action on medical marijuana was a step forward, and thanks to the intense advocacy efforts of patients and their families, activists and our team the bill was vastly improved before passage. Removed from the bill was much of the red tape and onerous regulations that would have severely limited patient access, and added was a very important provision granting an affirmative defense to qualifying patients beginning this fall. Also stripped from the bill were troubling provisions raising the threshold for pain.

To be sure, there are shortcomings to the legislature's measure. There are a number of qualifying conditions which should have been included, and we firmly believe that patients should have the right to smoke and grow their own medical marijuana.

But, all in all, it is a moderately good piece of legislation passed by lawmakers who were pushed hard by the patient community.

We plan on continuing forward as an advocacy effort to ensure that the State of Ohio lives up to the promises contained in HB 523, but also working to better the program utilizing our amendment as a roadmap for those improvements.

But the reality is for us, this campaign to put our issue on the 2016 ballot ends today. To everyone who joined us on this effort, especially those patients and their families who will benefit from Ohio's new medical marijuana program, we owe you a debt of gratitude.

Brandon Lynaugh

Published in Local
Hillary Clinton picked up nearly 400 delegates in the Ides of March primaries, which was not a surprise. However, John Kasich threw a monkey wrench into the Donald Trump train by winning Ohio. What is next to come?

Dr. John Green from the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to break down Tuesday’s results. Dr. Green discussed Kasich’s victory, believing the Republican establishment will get behind the Ohio governor as the convention draws closer. Green mentioned the rise and fall of Marco Rubio, who bowed out of the race after losing his home state of Florida.

On the Democrat side, Dr. Green talked about Clinton cleaning up and the polls, and whether or not Bernie Sanders could run as an independent.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

Presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich has been making a push to win his home state ahead of the Tuesday presidential primary, but made a pit stop to grab some pizza and to talk to supporters at Luigi's Restaurant Sunday.

"If we win Ohio, we'll have to take some pictures because you might be taking a picture with the next President of the United States," Kasich quipped before a loud applause.

Kasich told supporters this is an important election, adding, we need substantive solutions to fix the country's problems.

"We got to have positive solutions in this country," Kasich said. "We can't be running around yelling at one another...like we see on T.V."

Bryan Williams, executive chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, offered his support for the Ohio Governor.

"We've had eight Ohioans become President of the United States. It would be nice to have the ninth one be John Kasich."

Williams boasted about the amount of experience Kasich has, stating he gets things done.

"There's one person left in the race who's done everything we want our next president to do: Cut spending, cut taxes, spend money in a better way and in a smarter way," Williams said.

Kasich urged people to get everyone they can to get out in vote on Tuesday before getting on the campaign bus to a rally in Hanoverton.

Published in Local
Sunday, 06 March 2016 12:41

The Economy: What Candidates Say

1590 WAKR, The Toledo Blade and other news organizations in Ohio are part of a collaborative effort to share stories and information leading up to the 2016 primary and general elections. In this report, Tom Troy of the Toledo Blade reached out to the various Presidential campaigns with a series of questions relating to Ohio's economy. This report contains the responses from those who answered his query.

LINK Troy's full report "Kasich, Sanders, Rubio offer ideas for Ohio's economic conceerns

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(Toledo Blade) Two candidates responded by the deadline – Sanders and Rubio. Kasich responded in writing a day later, but not to the question, and also asked for a conversation on the phone with the reporter, Tom Troy at The Blade.

Troy’s letter to candidates:

Dear Candidate:

The Ohio Newspaper Organization is preparing a package of stories about the Ohio economy for use in member newspaper, radio and television reporters this coming weekend, March 5 

This email is to invite you to comment. The deadline is noon on Thursday. The responses will be made available to our member organizations, which are the Akron Beacon journal, The (Dayton) Daily News, The (Cincinnati) Enquirer, The Columbus Dispatch, The Canton Repository and The (Toledo) Blade newspapers, Ohio Public Radio, and television stations in Dayton and Columbus. These new organizations cover communities with population of about 8 million people.

The findings that we will report show that:

  • Ohio is down more than 250,000 jobs since 2000 and still down nearly 80,000 since 2007.

  • In 2000, Ohio ranked 19th in the nation for median household income, and today is 35th, making the second-biggest drop in the nation.

  • Our biggest workforce loss has been in the goods-producing sector, which also was our highest paying sector.

  • Polls show the economy is the No. 1 issue for Ohio voters. 

Please say how you propose to shape U.S. policy to bring back to Ohio high-paying jobs that will restore economic security. You may include in your answer what you think are the reasons for the decline in median income in Ohio. In addition to whatever industrial or trade policies you think relevant, you may also address those issues that you think are relevant to economic security, such as tax policy, health care affordability, education, labor policy, international trade agreements and regulation. We ask that you provide us detailed policy analysis as possible.

Thank you,

Tom Troy,

Politics Writer, The Blade


Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida:

The economy is the #1 issue for Ohio voters, and for good reason: employment, wages, and median incomes have fallen, while the costs of health care, education, and living expenses have gone up. To reverse these trends, we need a president who not only understands the challenges of the 21st century economy, but a president with a comprehensive plan to address them.


It is impossible to address Ohio’s economy without discussing manufacturing. Over the last two decades, technological advancements have led to machines replacing workers; globalization has led to factories moving overseas; and the rise of information technology has led to a shift in demand away from producing products and toward performing services. No one knows these fundamental changes better than Ohio workers.


The future of manufacturing – and the Ohio communities that depends on it -can be very bright. But to make it so, we have to embrace the economic changes of our time – something few in Washington seem willing to do. 


We can start by revolutionizing higher education and skills training. We rely on a higher education system that looks down its nose at skilled trades. It tells our kids that if they grow up to work with their hands instead of a computer they’re somehow less accomplished. I promise you this: I will be the vocational education president. I will make skills training more widespread, more accessible, and more affordable. I’ll expand apprenticeships so education can come out of the classroom and into the real world. I’ll allow students to begin learning a trade as early as high school, so they can graduate ready to enter a good paying career without taking on mountains of student debt.


For example, I’ll help establish more programs like the one in Cleveland where high schoolers can work at GE’s manufacturing plant to gain practical experience and mentoring. The graduation rate for these students is 95 percent, compared to just 60 percent for Cleveland public schools.


We must equip today’s workers to fill today’s manufacturing jobs, but we also need to ensure new manufacturing jobs are created tomorrow. We can’t do that unless and until we fundamentally reform our tax code. Large companies in Ohio typically pay the corporate tax rate, which at a combined rate of 39.2% puts our companies at a significant disadvantage with our global competitors. My tax plan cuts taxes for all businesses to 25%, which will benefit not only larger companies, but the small businesses that employ over 2 million workers in Ohio. My plan also allows businesses to immediately expense every dollar they invest in the economy, helping them expand. For middle-class families, the plan creates a $2,500 Child Tax Credit to ease the costs of raising children in the 21st century. According to nonpartisan estimates, my plan will create millions of jobs, result in a massive increase in investment, and boost after-tax income for all Americans.


We also need a regulatory environment that allows Ohio businesses to prosper without unnecessary mandates from Washington. Rules like the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will result in massive energy cost spikes and have a disproportionate impact on Ohio manufacturers. One estimate from the National Association of Manufacturers found the annual cost of federal regulations to be over $2 trillion. We all want our air and water to be clean, but in many ways, President Obama has used his regulatory agencies to pursue an ideological agenda instead of one focused on keeping us safe. I have proposed enacting a National Regulatory Budget, which lets Congress put an annual cap on federal regulations so that agencies like the EPA cannot operate without checks and balances.


Energy production is a bright spot in Ohio’s economy, and I strongly believe we need to fully utilize all of our energy resources, including coal, natural gas, and renewables. When I released my comprehensive energy plan in Salem, Ohio, I laid out three guiding principles: optimize our resources, minimize government bureaucracy, and maximize private sector innovation. My plan will increase domestic production of energy both onshore and offshore, approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, and increase exports of natural gas. It will stop harmful regulations like new rules designed to impede hydraulic fracturing, and it will modernize our outdated education system to encourage high-paying jobs of the future. When I am president, we will not have a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax, which would hammer Ohio’s economy.


Education, tax, and regulatory reform will provide a huge boost to Ohio’s economy and increase prosperity for all. There are many other issues that must be addressed. Obamacare is raising costs and hurting the ability of employers to hire. That’s why I have put forward a consumer-centered alternative that provides individuals with a refundable tax credit to purchase health insurance if they do not receive it from their employer. I am strong proponent of free trade, but trade deals must be fair to American workers. And I believe our labor laws must reflect the economy of the rapidly changing economy and provide flexibility to workers.


Ohio has felt the impact of our struggling economy firsthand, but it is not too late to restore prosperity here and across the nation. To do so, we need a change of course from the failed policies of the last seven years. As president, I am committed to pursuing a pro-growth platform that will create jobs, boost wages, and make America the most innovation and business-friendly country in the world. If we do these things, we can make the 21st century a New American Century.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont

There is no doubt in my mind that the devastating loss of jobs and income in Ohio over the past fifteen years is due in large part to our failed trade policies. These bad trade deals, like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China, have destroyed good-paying manufacturing jobs in Ohio by incentivizing companies to ship jobs overseas. I have consistently opposed these bad trade deals in Congress. As President, I will work to reverse these trade agreements that have proven so costly to Ohio workers.

Adding to the burden of lost jobs and reduced income is the high cost of health care in this country. I am proposing a Medicare-for-All plan that will guarantee health coverage for all Americans, and lower the costs of healthcare for both individuals and businesses. This would provide an important measure of economic security for Ohio families.

While Ohio families have seen their median incomes fall, they have also had to worry about the rising cost of sending their kids to college. I am proposing a plan that will allow every American who studies hard in school to go to college regardless of how much money their parents make and without going deeply into debt. My plan will make tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout the United States. Ohio, with its many fine public colleges and universities, will benefit from a workforce that is not constrained by the high price of a great education.

Finally, to create more jobs in Ohio and across the country, I am proposing a jobs program that would put 13 million Americans back to work by investing $1 trillion in modernizing our infrastructure.”

Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio

The John Kasich campaign responded a day late, and framed the answer around his term as governor. The Kasich campaign spokesman also asked for time on the phone with the reporter.


Job Creation

Ohioans have created 400,700 new private sector jobs since January 2011. That ranks Ohio 8th among all states for total private sector job creation, up from 47th over the previous four years. Currently, there are 4.7 million Ohioans with a private sector job; putting Ohio more than 65,000 jobs over the November 2007 pre-recession level.


Per the BLS CES Survey, from 1990-2010 Ohio ranked 46th in private sector job growth rate. This ranking emphasizes the historical disadvantage dealt John Kasich when he came into office in January 2011. In an effort to disrupt and improve upon this two-decades long trend, John Kasich worked to improve the environment for job creation by cutting unnecessary bureaucratic red-tape, privatizing economic development, getting the state budget under control and cutting taxes by more than any sitting governor. In response, Ohio's private sector job creation growth rate ranking has skyrocketed 24 places to 22nd from January 2011 to December 2015. That is a stronger improvement than all but three states. 


Finally, since 2010 Ohio’s ranking in Forbes' Best States for Business study showed the Buckeye State improved from 38 to 15. That is the largest jump of all states from 2010-2015. Ohio scored its highest marks for its regulatory environment (No. 5 in the U.S.) and its quality of life. Source: Dayton Business Journal

Real Median Household Income


January 2011

January 2014

Absolute Growth

Percentage Growth

United States











Goods Producing Jobs

According to BLS data, goods producing jobs in Ohio shrank by 35.4% from 2000 to 2010. From 2010 to 2015, those jobs have grown by 89,600, or 11.1%. By comparison, from 2010 to 2015, good producing jobs nationwide have increased by 10.6%. 


This project examining the direction of Ohio’s economy was produced by Ohio  news organizations that have joined together to deliver stories that citizens identify as most important to their lives in 2016. More  than  30  newspapers,  radio  and  television  stations  agreed  in  December  to  cover  the presidential  election  in  a  way  that  best  represents  the  concerns  of  Ohioans,  and  holds  candidates accountable to those concerns.


Published in Local
Donald Trump may have cleaned up at the polls in New Hampshire, but John Kasich proved he is not going away. Kasich finished second in the polls at the New Hampshire primary, in a state he campaigned heavily in.

Lindsay McCoy, reporter at WFMJ in Youngstown and former member of the WAKR newsroom, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show early as Kasich's flight was landing. McCoy was covering the Ohio governor during his New Hampshire campaign, and she painted the picture of the mood of his camp this morning.

This was quite an impressive turnaround for Kasich, who was way back in the Republican pack, especially last week in Iowa. Kasich decided to focus his attention on New Hampshire with over 100 townhall meetings.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

Primary voters in New Hampshire are just hours away from casting their ballots in the first in the nation presidential primary. On the Republican side, it's believed to be a make-or-break primary for several candidates including Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Lindsay McCoy of WFMJ in Youngstown is following Kasich in the final days of his New Hampshire campaign. She joined Jasen to talk about the Kasich campaign and what it will take for him to stay in the race past Tuesday's primary.

Published in Local