Karen Kasler | WOSU Radio

Karen Kasler

State Hires Data Theft Analyst

Jun 18, 2007

Tucked away in a nondescript downtown office building, Matthew Curtin's forensic computing company,Interhack, makes and breaks the codes that keep electronic information safe.

Curtin's newest challenge is helping Ohio determine exactly what data was exposed after a backup computer storage device was stolen out of a car June Tenth. The device contained tens of thousands of payroll, vendor and benefits records.

The state is warning its 64,000 employees that they could be at risk for identity theft, after a computer storage device containing their names and social security numbers was stolen from a state intern's car. Click on the icon to hear the story.

The Ohio Inspector General says that Frankie Coleman, the wife of Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman, filed time sheets which included hours she did not work.

The inspector general found that Mrs Coleman "came and went as she pleased from her state job" in the Ohio Department of Development.

The investigation also alleges that Mrs. Coleman "established a pattern of being tardy or absent from work" while serving on Governor Strickland's Transition Team which was chaired by her husband.

The state senator who's sponsored a bill that he says will bring competition to Ohio's cable TV consumers is upset over a report showing he received thousands from a company that will directly benefit from that bill. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Two thousand education experts, community leaders and public officials got together Wednesday in Columbus for a day long conference on the low high school graduation rates for African American males. They agree there's a problem, but they disagree on how to fix it.

Sewage in Lake Erie

May 23, 2007

An environmental group says northern Ohio cities are unleashing a health menace on the public, by pouring a very common but dangerous substance into Lake Erie.

Two Republican state senators are pushing back on a plan by Governor Strickland to extend car emissions tests in northeast Ohio.

The Democratic governor has proposed extending E-Check tests through 2009 in his budget proposal. The program had been scheduled to end in December.

But senators Tim Grendell of Chesterland and Kevin Coughlin of Cuyahoga Falls argue the tests do little to address the state's air quality problems and inconvenience thousands of motorists in the Cleveland and Akron areas where they are required.

Recent high-profile incidents involving bullies at schools have education leaders talking about how to take on the problem head on. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

More Non-smokers Expected in Ohio

May 3, 2007

The statewide smoking ban will bring good news to Ohio's anti-smoking agency, according to the state's budget director. But that news apparently means less money for that office. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Exotic dancers from across the state have announced they oppose restrictions on strip clubs.

Two dozen dancers appeared Tuesday morning at a Columbus news conference wearing suits, tops and slacks, or pink T-shirts reading "Dancers for Democracy." They say a bill now before lawmakers would prevent dancers from receiving tips and put them out of jobs.

The measure would impose earlier closing hours on adult businesses and require patrons to stay six feet from dancers. Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values led a petition drive in favor of the proposal.

A state senator says he wants to roll back Ohio's new rules on home septic systems. He says the rules are costing low income homeowners tens of thousands of dollars.

But supporters of those rules say they are necessary to prevent a public health crisis. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

The number of foreclosure filings in Ohio ballooned by nearly 24 percent last year.

The problem has brought together a group of two dozen lawmakers, business leaders and others to figure out what can be done to help homeowners who losing their homes and to stop it from happening to others.

A judge in Columbus is refusing to block Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (from trying to remove the top elections official in Cuyahoga County.

An attorney for county elections board chairman Bob Bennett argued this morning that Brunner is relying on a state law so vague it's unconstitutional. But Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge John Connor disagreed and said Brunner could move forward with a hearing to oust Bennett.

Bennett also heads the Ohio Republican Party, and his spokesman has charged that Democrat Brunner is engaging in political harassment.

Biros execution canceled

Mar 20, 2007

The U.S. Supreme Court has called off today's scheduled execution of convicted killer Kenneth Biros.

Prisons officials had prepared him for the execution scheduled at ten this morning. Six hours after that, the high court declined to hear the state's appeal of an order from a Cincinnati-based federal appeals court to delay the execution.

The wait was tough on relatives of the victim who traveled to the prison in Lucasville in southern Ohio.

A new report says contribution limits for legislative candidates and political party and legislative caucus funds in Ohio are too high.

The report from the New York-based watchdog Brennan Institute for Justice says Ohio is the only Midwest state that permits individuals to give the same maximum, $10,000, to legislative candidates as well as statewide candidates.

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