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Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 3:53 PM
Columbus — Democrat lawmakers and advocates for workers want to increase Ohio’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, which would mean a pay hike for 1.8 million Ohioans.
But the supporters readily admitted that there is little appetite for such a move among business groups and Republicans who control the Ohio General Assembly.
Don Boyd, director of labor and legal affairs for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, said “Generally speaking, we believe the free market should set the minimum wage, not the government.”
Boyd added that boosting the minimum wage could lead to job losses and higher prices for consumers.
Still, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, said, “I’ve been down here for nine years. You got to start somewhere. You got to start putting pressure on people. You got to have the conversations.”
In 2006, Ohio voted 56.65 percent to 43.35 percent in favor of a constitutional amendment that set the state minimum wage at $6.85 an hour and tied future annual increases to inflation. It exempts workers under 16 and small businesses.
Ohio’s minimum wage for 2018 is $8.30 an hour.
The federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour, was last increased in July 2009.
Eighteen states — Ohio among them — began 2018 with higher minimum wages, including 11 states that did so through legislation or ballot issues, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, New York and the District of Columbia each have plans in place to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over time.
Nationwide, 29 states and D.C. set minimum wages above the federal minimum wage. Five southern states have not adopted a state minimum wage.
The plan is to increase Ohio’s minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2019 and raise it 50 each year until it hits $15 an hour in 2025, said state Rep. Brigid Kelly, D-Cincinnati.
Hannah Halbert of Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning research think tank, said while Ohio’s economy has grown more than 65 percent in a generation, the poorest 30 percent of workers have lost buying power with their wages since 1979.
“The bottom line is wages in Ohio are just too low. A family of three with the sole breadwinner, again, working full-time year-round at minimum wage would earn $3,500 below the poverty line,” Halbert said. “Raising the age to $15 by 2025 would just simply restore some of the lost purchasing power, helping working families and increasing local spending.”
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 9:20 AM
CHICAGO — A video showing a family being escorted off a Southwest Airlines plane just before takeoff at Chicago’s Midway International Airport has has gone viral, WGN reported.
Alexis Armstrong, 24, filmed part of the incident on her cellphone. The video showed attendants telling a couple and their 2-year-old daughter to leave after the child had insisted on sitting in her father’s lap, WGN reported. The father said the girl had calmed down and there was no need to leave, but one of the attendants said “The decision has been made."
Armstrong, who was sitting a row back and across the aisle from the family, told WGN she did not think the family should have been kicked off the plane.
In a statement, Southwest said the conversation “escalated” between the crew and the customer.
“We always aim for a welcoming and hospitable experience and regret the inconvenience to all involved,” Southwest said in the statement. “The traveling party was booked on the next flight to Atlanta after the original flight continued as planned.”
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 7:11 AM
— Officials with The National Transportation Safety Board said construction workers were tightening cables on the newly constructed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University on Thursday before the structure collapsed, killing at least six people. And days before the collapse, a lead engineer reportedly noticed cracks in the bridge, according to the Florida Department of Transportation.
Friday night, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said their investigation is still in the early stages, but they know what workers were doing before the collapse. At this point, they don’t know if the work that was being done was the cause of the collapse.
“Our mission is to find out not only what happened -- we know what happened, the bridge collapsed,” he said. “We want to find out why it happened.”
At about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, law enforcement responded to the intersection of Southwest Eighth Street and Southwest 109th Avenue west of Miami to the bridge collapse. Several people were taken to the hospital and six were confirmed dead as of Friday evening. Authorities said they expected to find other victims during their recovery efforts.
On the day of the collapse, the main NTSB investigator for the said that there are 10 “diagonal members” that connect the walkway portion of the bridge to the canopy portion. He said on Thursday, construction workers were tightening cables within those diagonal supports.
“Construction crews were applying post-tensioning force that is designed to strengthen the diagonal member,” he said.
During the news conference, officials were asked about possible cracks in the structure. They said at this time, they have not confirmed that on their own.
Friday night, the Florida Department of Transportation released the transcript of a voicemail left Tuesday by the lead engineer with FIGG, the firm that designed the bridge. The engineer, Denney Pate, said there were cracks in the concrete.
“Um, so, uh, we’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that,” Pate said.
FDOT said in their release that no one in the office heard the voicemail until Friday, a day after the collapse.
Additionally, FDOT said that neither FIU nor the engineering firm ever warned them of any “life-safety issue.”
NTSB investigators were also asked about the cables shown in the photo renderings of what the bridge would look like when complete. In those depictions, the cables spread across the upper portion of the bridge much like the sail of a boat. Investigators said from their understanding, those cables “were only cosmetic; they were not structural members.” They had not been installed at this point because the second part of the bridge had not been built or installed.
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alejandro Camacho said that Southwest Eighth Street between Southwest 107th Avenue to Southwest 117th Avenue will remain closed indefinitely as the recovery efforts and investigation continue.
Sumwalt said they expect NTSB investigators to spend between five and seven days at the scene.
“That’s really just the beginning of our investigation because there’s a lot of work that goes into this,” he said.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:52 AM
— If you’re crying in your beer after the University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the ultimate bracket buster in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night, take heart. There is a free pizza waiting to ease your sorrow.
Little Caesars is honoring UMBC’s 74-54 victory against Virginia -- the first time a No. 16 seed has defeated a No. 1 seed -- with a free lunch combo on Monday, April 2.
The $5 Hot-N-Ready Lunch Combo will include four slices of pepperoni pizza and one 20-ounce Pepsi product per family, the company said in its promotional release. Orders must be made between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time. An important point: the order must be placed by 1 p.m. The rules in the promotion state that even if you were in line at 1 p.m., if the order has not been placed it will not be honored. In other words, arrive early.
Here are the details of the deal. You can read the full terms and conditions here.
Because "CRAZY HAPPENED" with a #16 beating a #1 (!!!!), everyone in America gets a free #LittleCaesars Lunch Combo on Monday, April 2nd.— Little Caesars (@littlecaesars) March 17, 2018
Congratulations & see our OFFICIAL RULES for more details: https://t.co/vHuy8315ee pic.twitter.com/8KGbskGFxt
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:12 PM
WASHINGTON — United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fired former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, two days before McCabe was set to retire, according to news reports.
Sessions said in a statement released Friday night that McCabe was less than truthful while under oath several times, according to The New York Times.
“The F.B.I. expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and accountability,” he said. “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”
In a statement Friday night, McCabe said his firing was politically motivated.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and the intelligence professionals," McCabe said.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and the intelligence professionals."— Vox (@voxdotcom) March 17, 2018
Read Andrew McCabe's full statement: https://t.co/Bg5HEMhemU
The Associated Press reported Saturday that McCabe has kept memos regarding his interactions with President Trump.
In an earlier interview, McCabe rejected the allegations that he was untruthful during internal hearings, the Times reported.
“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said.
“This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”
McCabe is a potential witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign
Shortly after midnight, President Donald Trump tweeted about the firing, calling it “a great day for democracy.”
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
John Dowd, President Trump’s personal attorney, told The Daily Beast on Saturday that he “prayed” that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein follows Sessions’ example and brings an end to the Mueller probe.
Trump’s personal lawyer John Dowd hopes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will shut down the Mueller probe https://t.co/FQX1RfZNiv— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 17, 2018
McCabe, who had been with the FBI for 22 years, resigned his position in late January, but stayed on at the agency until he was eligible to retire on Sunday.