CLOSINGS AND DELAYS:

AIM for the Handicapped, Alter High School, Anna Local Schools, Ansonia Local Schools, Arcanum-Butler Local Schools, Ascension School, Auglaize Industries, BSF Dayton Day Women, Beavercreek City Schools, Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools, Bellefontaine City Schools, Benjamin Logan Local Schools, Bethel Local Schools, Bethlehem Lutheran School, Bishop Leibold School, Botkins Local Schools, Boys & Girls Club of Dayton, Bradford Public Library, Bradford Schools-Miami Co, Bridgescape Learning Academy of Dayton, Brookville Local Schools, Brunner LIteracy Center, Cardio Pulmonary Wellness-Spngfld, Care-A-Lot Preschool-Botkins, Carlisle Local Schools, Carousel House Preschool, Catholic Central School, Cedar Cliff Local Schools, Centerville Schools, Chaminade Julienne H.S., Christian Academy-Sidney, City Day Community School, Clark Preparatory Academy, Clark-Shawnee Local Schools, Clinton County Head Start, Community Christian School, Covenant Childrens Academy, Covington Exempted Village Schools, Crossview Christian Tuesday School, DECA Middle, DECA Prep, Dayton Business Technology High School, Dayton Christian School, Dayton Early College Academy, Dayton Islamic Sch. & PreSch., Dayton Leadership Academies, Dayton Public Schools, Developmental Disabilities Clark Co., East Dayton Christian School, Easter Seals Ad. Daycare Shiloh H., Easter Seals Adult Day Services-Beavercreek, Easter Seals Adult Day Services-Springfield, Easter Seals Adult Day at Sunrise, Eaton Community Schools, Effica Montessori, Emerson Academy of Dayton, Evangel Academy, Fairborn City Schools, Fairlawn Local Schools, Faith Preschool, First Baptist Fairborn Wee School, Fort Loramie Local Schools, Fort Recovery Local Schools, Franklin Monroe Local Schools, Funk Lab Dance Center, GCESC Programs Bellbrook Site, Germantown Christian Schls., Germantown Senior Center, Ginghamsburg Pschool & Child Care, Global Impact STEM Academy, Graham Local Schools, Green-Oak Preschool, Greene County Career Center, Greene County Learning Center, Greeneview Local-Jamestown, Greenon Local Schools, Greenville City Schools, Greenville St. Mary's School, Guiding Shepherd Christian School, Hardin-Houston Local Schools, Heritage Center of Clark County, Holy Angels in Dayton, Horizon Sci. Acad-Dayton Downtown, Horizon Science Acad.-Elementary, Horizon Science Acad.-H.S., Huber Heights Christian Academy, Huber Heights Schools, Huber Heights Senior Center, Imagine Schools-Dayton, Immaculate Conception School, Incarnation School, Indian Lake Local Schools, Jackson Center Local Schools, Jefferson Township Local Schools, K12 Gallery & TEJAS, Kettering City Schools, Kid's Institute Inc., Kirkmont Presbyterian Preschool, L&M Products Inc., Lebanon City Schools, Legacy Christian Academy, Lehman High School, Liberty High School, Life Skills High School-Dayton, Mad River Local Schools, Marion Local Schools, Mechanicsburg Exempted Schools, Miami East Local Schools, Miami Valley Career Tech Center, Miami Valley Child Dev. Centers, Inc., Miami Valley School-Wash. Tnshp, Miamisburg City Schools, Middletown Christian Schools, Milton Union Schools, Minster Local Schools, Mississinawa Valley Local Schools, Mont. Co. ESC Special Ed. Pgm., Mother Brunner Sch./Precious Blood, Mound Street Academies, National Trail Local Schools, New Bremen Local Schools, New Knoxville Local Schools, New Lebanon Local Schools, Newton Local Schools, Nicholas School, Nightingale Montessori School, North Dayton School of Discovery, Northeastern Local, Northmont City Schools, Northridge Schools, Northwestern Local School, Ohio Business College Truck Driving Academy, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Our Lady of Rosary School-Dayton, Pathway School of Discovery, Piqua Catholic School, Piqua City Schools, Pixie Playschool, Preble Shawnee Local Schools, RT Industries, Randolph Eastern School Corp, Randolph Southern School Corp., Rehab Center & Neuro Devel, Richard Allen Schools, Risen Christ Lutheran School, Riverside Local Schools-Logan Co, Russia Local Schools, S and H Products, STEAM Academy of Dayton, Salem Christian Academy, Second Harvest Food Bank, Senior Center of Sidney/Shelby Co., Shelby Hills E.C.C, Sidney City Schools, Sidney Holy Angels, Southeastern Local Schools, Spin-Kemp Christian Preschool, Spring Valley Academy, Springboro Community Schools, Springfield Christian School, Springfield City Schools, Springfield-Clark CTC, St. Albert the Great School, St. Anthony Elementary, St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School, St. Brigid School, St. Charles Elementary, St. Helen School, St. Henry Local Schools, St. Luke School, St. Marys City Schools, St. Patrick's in Troy, St. Peter Catholic School-Huber Heights, St. Peter Early Childhood H. Heights, Summit Academy Community School - Dayton, Summit Academy Transitional H.S., Summit Academy-Middletown, Summit Academy-Xenia, TAC Industries Inc., Tecumseh Local Schools, Temple Christian School Dayton, Tipp City Schools, Tri-County North, Tri-Village Schools, Triad Local Schools, Trotwood-Madison City Schools, Troy Christian Schools, Troy City Schools, Twin Valley Schools, Upper Valley Career Center, Urbana City Schools, Urbana University, Valley View Local Schools, Vandalia Butler City Schools, Versailles Village Schools, Victory Christian School-Urbana, Wayne Local Schools, Webster Street Academy, West Carrollton City Schools, West Liberty-Salem Local Schools, Wilmington City Schools, Xenia Community Schools, Yellow Springs Schools,

Races for governor, state legislature key for redistricting

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 12:43 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 12:43 PM


            FILE - In this June 27, 2017, file photo, Gov. Jay Inslee talks to reporters about ongoing budget negotiations, in Olympia, Wash. As chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, Inslee will be working to elect governors from his party this year to counteract the Republican dominance in state legislatures. Governors in most states are key to the redistricting process that will follow the 2020 Census. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte, File)
FILE - In this June 27, 2017, file photo, Gov. Jay Inslee talks to reporters about ongoing budget negotiations, in Olympia, Wash. As chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, Inslee will be working to elect governors from his party this year to counteract the Republican dominance in state legislatures. Governors in most states are key to the redistricting process that will follow the 2020 Census. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte, File)

Buoyed by a string of electoral victories during President Donald Trump's first year in office, Democrats will wage a renewed battle this year to wrest control of Congress from Republicans.

Yet the contests with the greatest long-term consequences could be listed elsewhere on the ballot —for governors and state lawmakers who will shape the boundaries of congressional districts for the decade to come.

Voters in two-thirds of the states will be electing governors to new four-year terms in 2018. Of those, 26 will be vested with the power to approve or reject congressional maps that will be redrawn after the 2020 Census.

Although most of the thousands of state lawmakers responsible for redistricting will be chosen in 2020, a total of 766 will be elected to four-year terms in nearly two dozen states where they will play a role in approving congressional maps.

Winning a governorship ensures a political party has at least some say in redistricting. Matching a governor with a legislature led by the same party — as Republicans have done in three times as many states as Democrats — gives a party the potential to draw favorable districts that could cement its power for a decade.

This year is "enormously consequential for redistricting," said Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who tracks redistricting nationwide. "The 2018 elections will in some cases decide — and in the rest of the cases, tee up — who is actually in charge of drawing the lines in 2020."

During the last redistricting, Republicans who swept into control of numerous governorships and state legislatures in 2010 used their newfound power to draw lines that helped them win and retain majorities in the following years.

An AP analysis published earlier this year found that Republicans won as many as 22 additional U.S. House seats in 2016 over what would have been expected based on their average vote share in congressional districts across the country. That helped provide the GOP with a comfortable majority — instead of a slim one — over Democrats.

While Democrats also have drawn congressional districts to their advantage, the AP's analysis found nearly three times as many states with Republican-tilted House districts among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress.

"There is an epidemic of gerrymandering," said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who recently took over as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, "and the best way to cure it is to elect some Democratic governors so at least there is a person at the seat of the table."

A total of 36 governor's races are on the ballot next year, though two of those are to fill out two-year terms.

The Democratic Governors Association is targeting races in eight states — Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that it believes could nearly wipe out the GOP congressional advantage if Democratic governors were able to forge favorable maps.

Republicans are targeting many of the same states while also hoping to flip Democratic governorships in Minnesota and elsewhere, and protect their turf in Arkansas, South Carolina and Texas.

"The majority of the House of Representatives is absolutely on the line," said Jon Thompson, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association. "If Republicans want to hold on to the House in this next decade, governors' races are immensely important."

The GOP will be defending 26 governorships in 2018, nearly half of which will be open because incumbents can't or chose not to run again. Democrats will have nine governorships on the ballot. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, also is up for re-election.

Republicans control two-thirds of all state legislative chambers and hold a trifecta of the governor's office and both legislative chambers in 25 states, compared with just eight for Democrats.

Their past success means Republicans will be on defense in 2018. Adding to their challenge is a century of history, which shows that the party of the president typically loses ground in midterm elections. A turbulent first year for Trump has heightened Democratic hopes that their victories in a small sampling of 2017 elections (Democrats gained a net of about 30 seats around the country) will carry over into the new year.

"Gerrymandering creates a structural barrier that under normal circumstances is very difficult to overcome," said Kelly Ward, executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. But a "tsunami-type election is going to, I think, put more seats on the table than otherwise would be."

Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, acknowledges that Republicans are likely to lose some seats in 2018, particularly in places that had voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump. Yet Republicans still expect to retain their overall advantage in state capitols.

In places such as Illinois, Republicans will be hoping to re-elect a GOP governor who could counteract a Democratic-led Legislature during redistricting. Elsewhere, such as in Pennsylvania, it's Democrats who are hoping to re-elect a governor to offset a Republican-led Legislature.

Gains by the minority party in either of those states' legislatures also are important, because they could prevent the majority from overriding a gubernatorial veto of redistricting maps.

The stakes will be particularly high in Alabama and Maryland, the only two states where the governors and all lawmakers in both state legislative chambers will be up for election to four-year terms. In many other states, staggered Senate terms mean only half the members will be on the ballot, and House or Assembly members serve two-year terms.

Alabama has been a solid Republican state, but Democrats have new hope in state contests after Democrat Doug Jones narrowly defeated Republican Roy Moore in a special U.S. Senate election in December.

Maryland, by contrast, has been traditionally dominated by Democrats, who used a governmental trifecta to draw pro-Democratic congressional districts after the 2010 Census. But it's now led by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who holds generally favorable public approval ratings heading into the 2018 elections.

Hogan declined to say whether redistricting makes his re-election more important for Republicans, noting instead that he will continue to push for creation of a non-partisan redistricting commission.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing challenges to Maryland's congressional map, as well as to a Wisconsin state Assembly map that favors Republicans.

If justices adopt a new standard for determining whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional, it could affect districts in those states for the upcoming elections and force all states to rethink the way they draw lines after the 2020 Census.

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Associated Press writer Brian Witte in Annapolis, Maryland, contributed to this report.

___

Follow David A. Lieb at: http://twitter.com/DavidALieb

Steve Bannon to testify before House Intel Committee in Russia probe

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 11:19 AM

Who is Steven Bannon

Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, will testify before the House Intelligence Committee next week in its probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

An unidentified source told Reuters on Thursday that the interview will take place Tuesday behind closed doors. It will focus on Bannon’s time as Trump’s campaign chief and not on his time in the White House, according to Reuters.

In preparation for the interview, Bannon hired Washington attorney Bill Burck to represent him, NBC News reported Friday. Burck was previously hired to represent former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House counsel Donald McGhan in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, according to Law360.

Burck is representing Bannon only before the committee and not in Mueller’s probe, NBC News reported.

Trump named Bannon, the former chairman of the conservative news website Breitbart News, as his campaign chief in August 2016. After his inauguration, Trump appointed Bannon to fill the newly created position of White House chief strategist.

He left the Trump administration in August 2017, almost exactly one year after joining Trump’s presidential campaign.

>> Related: Steve Bannon out as White House strategist

Days before his exit, Bannon faced scrutiny for an interview he did with the liberal magazine The American Prospect, contradicting the president's warnings to North Korea of "fire and fury" in response to threats. Tension between the pair intensified last week after Bannon was quoted in journalist Michael Wolff’s controversial tell-all book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

>> Related: 10 stunning claims about Trump White House from 'Fire and Fury'

Bannon told Wolff he thought a meeting set up by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others in June 2016 was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” Trump slammed Bannon in a statement after the comments were made public, saying, “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

Bannon later apologized for the comments.

>> Related: Report: Bannon apologizes for comments about Trump family in new book

Bannon announced Tuesday that he would be leaving Breitbart News for the second time in two years.

>> Related: Report: Steve Bannon stepping down as executive chairman at Breitbart News

"You have not heard the last from me," he wrote in a Twitter post announcing his departure.

Federal judge temporarily blocks Trump administration's plan to end DACA

Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 @ 5:55 AM

Trump Denies Making Deal on DACA with Democrats

A federal judge in California dealt a blow to the Trump administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – also known as DACA – on Tuesday by temporarily blocking their ability to do so.

In his ruling, Judge William Alsup said DACA must stay in place until litigation over the program is complete. He also said that the Department of Homeland Security’s “decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise.”

The judge’s ruling will allow recipients who didn’t renew by last year’s deadline to submit renewal applications, but no new applications will be allowed to be submitted.

>> Read more trending news 

“Dreamers’ lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, according to The Hill. “Today’s ruling is a huge step in the right direction.”

“America is and has been home to Dreamers who courageously came forward, applied for DACA and did everything the federal government asked of them,” Becerra continued. “They followed DACA’s rules, they succeeded in school, at work and in business, and they have contributed in building a better America. We will fight at every turn for their rights and opportunities so they may continue to contribute to America.”

The Trump administration announced in September that it was ending the program; however, earlier on Tuesday, during a meeting with Republicans and Democrats to discuss immigration issues, Trump appeared willing to negotiate a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants – a move that stunned both Democrats and Republicans.

“My head is spinning with all the things that were said by the president and others in that room in the course of an hour and a half,” Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said, according to The New York Times.

During the meeting, Trump also appeared to support Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein’s call for a clean DACA bill, which would push off dealing with issues like border security until later.

In a tweet Tuesday evening, though, he did seem to harden his resolve on the border wall, saying that a southern border wall must be part of any “DACA approval.”

Oprah 'intrigued' by idea of running for president, friend Gayle King says

Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey attend The Robin Hood Foundation's 2016 Benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 9, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey attend The Robin Hood Foundation's 2016 Benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Longtime pal Gayle King said Tuesday that Oprah Winfrey is “intrigued” by the idea of running for president, although she said it’s still unclear whether the media mogul is seriously considering a run.

>> Read more trending news

“I don’t think at this point she is actually considering it,” King said on “CBS This Morning.”

“She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way, but I don’t think she’s actively considering it.”

Two of Winfrey’s friends, who were not identified, told CNN on Monday that she was “actively thinking” about running for president. Her long-time partner Stedman Graham told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that Winfrey “would absolutely do it."

"It's up to the people," he added.

King said Tuesday that she thought Graham misunderstood the Times reporter’s question.

“He thought the reporter said to him, ‘Would she make a good president?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely she would,’” King said. “That's how he interpreted the question, because this is the thing. Stedman would never so cavalierly say absolutely she would do it. It's up to the people. He would never do that.”

Winfrey fueled speculation that she could look to mount a campaign in a rousing, nearly 10-minute speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Still, she denied having any presidential ambitions while speaking with a Bloomberg News reporter backstage at the awards show.

She was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her contributions to the entertainment industry and used her time onstage to address the “#MeToo” movement. The movement has encouraged more women to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

What You Need to Know: Oprah Winfrey

"I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," Winfrey said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me too' again.”

King, who was at the Golden Globes when Winfrey gave her speech, described being in the room as “electrifying.”

“It was the right person giving the right speech at the right time,” she said. “She wanted that moment to be more than women wearing black dresses of solidarity. She really did want to speak to young girls around the country. She really did want to say, ‘Enough already,’ and I think she delivered on all that in a very eloquent way. Will she run for president? I think it's a very, very intriguing idea myself."

The left points to ‘Fire and Fury’ as the case against Trump. They should look again

Published: Monday, January 08, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Three remaining copies of the book
Three remaining copies of the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff are displayed at a Barnes & Noble store, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in Newport, Ky.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The book “Fire and Fury” offers reported behind-the-scenes stories about Donald Trump’s White House. But are the stories credible? A roundup of editorials Monday takes a look at the issue.

Opinions from the right:

Fire & Fury signifying nothing

From The Orange County Register: The author of ‘Fire and Fury’ has an ego just about as big as Trump’s. Who are we to believe?

Has Trump lost his mind or has CNN lost its bearings?

From Townhall: Will CNN ever be able to get over the fact Trump became president?

Why hasn't Wolff's dementia-Trump been seen in public?

From the DC Examiner: The author of “Fire and Fury’ claims Trump is unstable, with those on the left all-to-eager to believe the behind-the-scene accounts. But, have we really seen that at Trump’s public events?