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Child Injury Prevention Alliance

The city of Columbus is hiring more minoriy candidates as Columbus Police officers and firefighters. Officials give part of the credit to a two-year-old effort that includes residents in the hiring process as communitiy evaluators.

A nationwide report released Tuesday looks at how federal dollars are being spent on the opioid epidemic. The study from the Bipartisan Policy Center drills down on five states in particular, including Ohio, where federal spending increased from $10 per person in 2017 to $19 last year.

Mass transit advocates in Ohio got a huge surprise in the House version of the transportation budget – funding for public transportation soared by 150% over Gov. Mike DeWine’s original proposal.  And they're hoping the Senate will go along with that too.

highway in Columbus
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

There are some big changes in the transportation budget passed by the House compared to the proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said an 18 cent gas tax hike is needed to maintain and repair Ohio’s roads.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks during a public inauguration ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Columbus.
Ty Greenlees / AP/Dayton Daily News, Pool

Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to bolster arguments for raising the Ohio gas tax by 18 cents, promote programs to improve children's lives and discuss plans for fighting the opioid epidemic in the Republican governor's first State of the State speech Tuesday.

You can stream his speech below, courtesy of ideastream. The speech is set to begin at noon.

New Columbus City Council member Rob Dorans.
Clare Roth / WOSU

Rob Dorans will be sworn in this week as the latest member of Columbus City Council.

Flyers for Issue 1, the successful 2018 ballot issue that created a new redistricting process.
Nick Castele / ideastream

The state of Ohio and voting rights groups face off Monday in a Cincinnati courtroom to determine the fate of the 2020 political map.

Ohio GOv. Mike DeWine introduces Dr. Amy Acton as director of Ohio Dept of Health, filling out his cabinet.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Gov. Mike DeWine has filled the final position open in his cabinet, which is likely the most diverse in state history. Amy Acton, his pick to lead the Ohio Department of Health, has decades of experience as a doctor and administrator.

Maggie Parks has been attending a homebuyer's class at Homeport in order to get down payment assistance. She closed on her house in Milo Grogan last September.
Nick Evans / WOSU

This is the second of a two-part series on affordable housing in Columbus. Read part one here.

On a recent Saturday morning, bleary-eyed prospective homeowners bundled in winter coats piled into a classroom at Homeport in northeast Columbus. Kerrick Jackson, who leads the course, opens with a question: How do you get downtown? 

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Columbus City Hall has picked someone with close ties to the construction industry and organized labor to fill its latest vacancy.

E.J. Thomas is the director of Mid-Ohio Habitat For Humanity, and says many low-income families can't afford housing considered "affordable."
Nick Evans / WOSU

This is the first of a two-part series on affordable housing in Columbus. Read part two here.

Mattias Minarsch leads a group of about half a dozen Habitat For Humanity volunteers putting the finishing touches on a home in Linden.

Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Columbus City Council meets Thursday evening to get public input on finalists to fill an upcoming vacancy.

Former Put-in-Bay mayor Bernard "Mack" McCann pleaded guilty Friday to two misdemeanor counts of conflict of interest in a public contract in a deal with prosecutors, according to the Associated Press. 

McCann was indicted last year on six counts related to conflict of interest in public business. He resigned from his position on Wednesday but denied wrongdoing in his resignation letter. AP reports he agreed to leave office as part of his plea deal.

Interim mayor and former council president Jessica Dress says the news of McCann's resignation didn't come as a surprise.

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Technically, Columbus city elections are non-partisan, but both major parties usually put up slates of candidates for mayor and city council. Not so this year: No Republicans are running for a municipal office.

That means Democrats like Mayor Andrew Ginther are virtually assured re-election.

The U.S. government's public debt is now more than $22 trillion — the highest it has ever been. The Treasury Department data comes as tax revenue has fallen and federal spending continues to rise. The new debt level reflects a rise of more than $2 trillion from the day President Trump took office in 2017.

Despite being in the second-longest economic expansion since the post–World War II boom, the U.S. is projected to rack up annual deficits and incur national debt at rates not seen since the 1940s, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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