(City of Akron) The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, awarded the City of Akron a 3-year Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant. The purpose of the grant is to develop a multidisciplinary working group that will be trained in a victim centered, trauma informed approach to review, prioritize, investigate, and prosecute sexual assault cold cases.
The grant will provide for:
Chief Kenneth Ball, Akron Police Chief, states, “The Akron Police Department is thrilled to receive this grant. The process was very competitive. Our selection represents an organizational goal of providing the very best services for crime victims and our community. There are still challenges ahead, but this is a very positive step toward securing justice in these cases.”
Currently, APD doesn’t have adequate staffing to support a comprehensive response to cold case sexual assault cases. Beginning in 2012, the Akron Police Department began assessing every sexual assault kit collected since 1993 in order to submit or re-submit the kits for DNA testing under the 2011 Ohio Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative. All SAKs in APD’s inventory were submitted and returned.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has tested and returned 1,822 tested sexual assault kits (SAKs) to the Akron Police Department (APD)—847 of which returned a CODIS eligible profile—from cases 1 year or older. 975 kits did not return a DNA profile, but additional evidence (clothing, linens, etc.) may exist that could be tested. There is a great need to provide follow up investigation for all kits and—where possible and desired by the victim—prosecution.
Mayor Dan Horrigan added, “This is an amazing accomplishment for our Akron Police Department. This will allow us to better meet the needs of victims of sexual assault and truly hold their abusers accountable.”
In a joint press release on Friday, the Cordray and DeWine campaigns announced a three-debate schedule leading up to the November Election.
The schedule is as follows: Wednesday, September 19 at the University of Dayton; Monday, October 1 at Marietta College; and finally Monday, October 8, at Cleveland State University.
Both Richard Cordray (D) and Mike DeWine (R) had previously refused to debate their Primary Election opponents.
See the full press release below:
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE FROM DEWINE AND CORDRAY CAMPAIGNS:
Campaigns have agreed to three gubernatorial debates COLUMBUS– Today (Friday, September 7), the campaigns of Rich Cordray and Mike DeWine announced that they have reached agreement on three campaign debates for the fall. Media partners and additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 Location: University of Dayton
Monday, October 1, 2018 Location: Marietta College
Monday, October 8, 2018 Location: Cleveland State University
* Hosted by the Ohio Debate Commission *
"We are excited for Ohioans to see up close why Rich Cordray is the clear choice to lead this state," said Michael Halle, campaign manager for Richard Cordray. "Rich has always stood up for working people in Ohio, and he is eager to discuss his vision to put money back in the pockets of middle class families and protect Ohioans’ access to quality, affordable health care.”
“I am glad we were able to agree on this series of debates ahead of the election,” said Dave Luketic, campaign manager for Mike DeWine. “Mike DeWine looks forward to discussing his innovative ideas to strengthen Ohio’s workforce, provide a world-class education for our kids, and deliver more opportunity for every Ohioan.”
The race for governor is heating up, as both major party candidates have begun to unveil their policy proposals.
Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine recently unveiled the children's services planks in their platforms. They both joined The Jasen Sokol Show on Thursday to talk about their ideas and answer questions submitted by listeners on how to improve education and the economy in smaller cities.
Reaction pouring in to the news Ralph Regula died at the age of 92.
The Navarre native was a 36-year veteran of Congress before he retired in 2009, leaving behind a legacy worth hundreds of millions of dollars through his influence as a leading member of the House Appropriations Committee. The Republican Regula and Akron Democrat colleague John Seiberling proved to be a powerful combination in the creation of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in the 70s, now standing as one of the most-visited sites in the country as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Regula and his wife Mary were also untiring advocates for the legacy of Canton's President William McKinley, even to the point of calling then-President Barack Obama a "dictator" for changing the name of Mount McKinkley National Park to Denali National Park to recognize native names for America's highest peak in Alaska.
Regula was known best as a political moderate who fought for social programs as well as fiscally-conservative policies, and was unafraid to reach across the aisle to seek agreement with opponents. Among those reacting is Attorney General Mike DeWine, who served in Congress with Regula, who called him a "model of a dedicated public servant" who even preferred to be called a "representative to Congress" rather than Congressman.
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(U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown) "Without Ralph, there would be no Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Without Ralph and Mary, there would be no First Ladies Historic Site in Canton. Those are just two bookends on an incredible life dedicated to public service. "Ralph was kind, effective, and always delivered for Ohio. I knew him well after our 15 years serving together, and loved every opportunity to see him. With his vote against NAFTA and so many others, Ralph put the working people of Ohio ahead of Washington politics. "Connie and I send our deepest condolences to Mary and their family. He'll be missed."
(U.S. Senator Rob Portman) "I was so sorry to hear of Ralph Regula's passing. What a great American. I am, today, offering my condolences to Mary and his entire family. Ralph Regula was small in stature but a giant of a man. An amazing public servant, he served in the United States Navy, and then he served in the United States House of Representatives for three decades. He loved Ohio, and he loved his hometown Nevarre, Ohio. He was a great champion for education. That was one his real passions. He and Mary both were tireless in their advocacy that everyone have the opportunity to get ahead through a good education. We're going to miss Ralph. He leaves a big void in Northeast Ohio—and our state and our country—and we offer our condolences to the family and hope that Ralph Regula's model of legislating—working on both sides of the aisle and getting things done—will be something that others can emulate."
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(Secretary of State Jon Husted) “With the passing of Ralph Regula, Ohio has lost a devoted public servant and leader. From his days at the Ohio Statehouse to his many years on Capitol Hill, Ralph set a standard for service and dignity that we should all aspire to achieve. In addition to being a model public servant, he was also a devoted husband and father. Tina and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family at this time.”
(State Auditor Dave Yost) “Ralph Regula was a true public servant, a man who put community above self. For 36 years, Ralph worked tirelessly in Congress to build relationships, forge consensus and break through bureaucracy to improve lives. His advocacy for Ohio was legend. Darlene and I extend our condolences to the Regula family.”
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(Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine) "Fran and I extend our deepest sympathy to Mary Regula, and to the children and grandchildren of former Congressman Ralph Regula. "Ralph was the model of a dedicated public servant. Instead of being called a Congressman, he preferred the term ‘representative to Congress.’ And throughout his 36 years in the U.S. House, he represented the people of Stark County and northeast Ohio incredibly well."His sense of public stewardship is reflected in the many projects he worked on including the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, the Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor, the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, the University of Mount Union and Stark State College."He and his wife, Mary, were the driving forces behind the National First Ladies Library in Canton, which honors the contributions of America’s First Ladies."With his senior position on the Appropriations Committee, and his role as the ‘Dean’ of the Ohio Delegation to Congress, he was a very effective advocate for our great state. There were many times I would go to him to ask for help on matters impacting other parts of Ohio and he always fought for them."Ralph Regula never forgot where he came from, and loved to return to his farm in Stark County. "Fran and I will miss our friend, but know that his legacy will live on through his family and the many public projects he was a part of."
Facial reconstruction technology is not new to forensics, but it is new to Northeast Ohio, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
In a press conference at Akron Police headquarters downtown, DeWine along with Akron Fire Chief Clarence Tucker, Akron Police Captain Jesse Leeser who heads the Detective Bureau, Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler, M.D., and other law enforcement officials, DeWine unveiled the facial reconstruction of a human skull that was found at the scene of an Akron fire.
The fire in question happened at a vacant home at 1345 Marcy Street back in 2012. Akron Fire Chief Clarence Tucker said that the department conducted their standard three-tiered sweep of the home and found no human remains. It was not until January 8, 2016, that the remains of John Doe were found. Captain Leeser said remains were found inside and outside the home. Just recently, forensic scientists with Ohio BCI and Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania were able to use facial reconstruction technology to put together the model (pictured.) It is their estimate that the John Doe is a white male, between 30 and 55-years-old. He's estimated at 5'9", but his weight, hair color and eye color remain unknown.
DeWine's office's hope is that someone might recognize the man and contact law enforcement.
As for the facial reconstruction technology, DeWine says it's been used in cases in Ohio before, but not in Northeast Ohio to this point.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine made the announcement that the entire state was expecting over the weekend: he's running for Governor in 2018.
DeWine made the announcement during his annual Ice Cream Social at his family's home in Cedarville, Ohio.
"I think I'm very well prepared and will be ready to go from Day 1 to make the decisions that a governor has to make," DeWine told the Jasen Sokol Show on 1590 WAKR during an interview Monday.
Of the challenges facing the state that DeWine said he'd be ready to face, the opioid crisis was tops on his list. He says he'll advocate for prevention programs in all Ohio schools, for students K through 12, to help nip addiction or even first-time drug use in the bud. DeWine says it's not necessarily about drug education, but really healthy life choices and decision making skills.
Speaking of education, the Attorney General says that there needs to be more accountability among Ohio's charter schools and all public schools in the state. He says he's not for more testing, but definitely for accountability.
You can see more on DeWine's campaign at his website.
DeWine joined The Jasen Sokol Show Monday to talk about his decision to run for Governor.
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:
Ohio's Attorney General Mike DeWine is considering filing criminal charges against Akron City Councilman Bob Hoch in connection to an ethics complaint filed back in 2015.
The complaint references Hoch's voting on certain legislation that benefitted his two sons who are both Akron firefighters. It was filed by a former city administration that had been involved in a public dispute with Hoch regarding his outspokenness on issues that directly related to the city fire department.
After an investigation by the Ohio Ethics Committee, the case has been turned over to the Attorney General's Office and a spokesperson says their prosecutors are involved.
Hoch, who has been on the Akron City Council since 2012, denied that there was any conflict of interest on his part.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the state has already saved more than $200-thousand dollars thanks to a rebate deal with the drug company that makes the medication used to help reverse overdoses before they become fatal.
Local EMS, fire and police agencies get a rebate on Naloxone syringes; the drug is often refered to as "Narcan" and so far 82 agencies in the state have taken advantage of the program, DeWine says.
Akron police Friday began carrying doses of the life-saving medication in police cruisers for those times when police respond first to the scene, ahead of paramedics. Local hospitals are helping with the supply.
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(Ohio Attorney General) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sent a letter to members of law enforcement today reminding them that rebates are available for law enforcement agencies that carry naloxone. When given to a person overdosing on opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, or a prescription opioid, naloxone can limit or stop the overdose by reversing the effects of the opioid on the brain.
In March, Attorney General DeWine announced that he renewed an agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to allow law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical services, and others to receive a $6 rebate for each Amphastar naloxone syringe purchased until March 2017.
During the first year of the rebate agreement, 82 Ohio agencies were reimbursed a total of more than $209,000 to offset the cost of the life-saving drug. "Heroin, fentanyl, and now carfentanil continue to take and risk the lives of many Ohioans every single day," Attorney General DeWine said in his letter. "For those of you who are not yet carrying naloxone, I strongly encourage you to do so. Naloxone is another tool to help ensure the safety of your community members."
According to a report released yesterday by the Ohio Department of Health, drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased from 2,531 in 2014 to 3,050 in 2015, including 1,155 fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths. Attorney General DeWine recently warned law enforcement about the risks faced by officers who field test potent opioids like fentanyl. Alerts sent out by the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) in June and July warned that law enforcement should collect drug evidence with caution. Because drug absorption can occur through mucus membranes or broken skin, BCI recommended that any suspected heroin or fentanyl not be field tested as it could contain potent synthetic opioids such as carfentanil.
"These drugs are so dangerous to anyone who encounters them that we've recently increased safety precautions for BCI forensic scientists who test these drugs in our state crime labs, and we also have naloxone on hand in case the drugs are accidentally ingested," said Attorney General DeWine.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office released a statement Monday morning regarding their pursuit of restitution for consumers who purchased generators from RHI Incorporated and never recieved them.
A lawsuit that has been filed claims that Marc J. Ryder, owner of RHI Incorporated, violated Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitaiton Sales Act in various counties, including Summit.
Below is the full press release:
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit seeking restitution from a seller accused of failing to deliver generators sold to Ohio consumers.
The lawsuit accuses Marc J. Ryder, doing business as RHI Incorporated, of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act.
Ryder sold generators to consumers of multiple Ohio counties, including Franklin, Summit, Muskingum, and Delaware, in some cases at home and garden shows or similar events. In the past two years, 10 consumers filed complaints against RHI, generally saying that they paid thousands of dollars for a generator they still had not received months after the sale. Two of the 10 complaints remain unresolved.
“Our goal is to protect consumers,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We’re seeking reimbursement for consumers who have lost money and an end to any violations of Ohio’s consumer protection laws.”
Filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court , the Attorney General’s lawsuit accuses Ryder of failing to deliver products or services within the required eight-week time frame, failing to register a business name, and failing to give consumers proper notice of their right to cancel under Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act. The Attorney General seeks an end to any violations of these laws, consumer damages, and civil penalties.
Attorney General DeWine encouraged consumers to be cautious when making large purchases from vendors. Tips to avoid problems include:
A copy of the lawsuit is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Former Ohio Governor, U.S. Senator, and Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich is being mourned by political leaders around the Buckeye State, including those who worked with him closely. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine served as Voinovich's lieutenant governor from 1991-1994 and also served alongside Voinovich in the Senate. DeWine joined Jasen to share his memories of 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."