Ohio Republicans aim to merge education agencies, give governor power

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 3:16 PM

            State Rep. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, explains a bill to combine the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation into a single Ohio Department of Learning and Achievement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
State Rep. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, explains a bill to combine the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation into a single Ohio Department of Learning and Achievement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A Republican-backed bill introduced Wednesday by state Rep. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, would combine Ohio’s departments of preK-12 education, higher education and workforce development into a single agency led by a governor-appointed director.

The new Department of Learning and Achievement (DLA) would be aimed at “better aligning Ohio’s public education system with the state’s workforce needs” according to a news release from House Republicans.

Gov. John Kasich spoke in favor of the idea two weeks ago, but with Kasich’s term ending this year, Ohio’s next governor, to be elected in November, might appoint the first director if this bill becomes law. The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee or had any hearings.

RELATED: State board calls for graduation changes

House Republicans argued that a unified, cohesive department would make Ohio more “fluid and flexible” in preparing students to succeed in the future. The bill would give the DLA director authority to appoint deputy directors to streamline policy development and implementation. That would take current policy roles away from the state school board – narrowing the authority of the 19-member body – 11 of whom are elected by the public.

Education stakeholders were varied in their reaction to the bill.

Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy at the Fordham Institute, said creating an agency under the direct oversight of the governor would ensure that governors are publicly accountable for executing Ohio education laws.

RELATED: Dayton “talent hub” plan aims at more than diplomas

“These changes would ensure that our next governor will truly have the ability to shape the direction of education and should result in more coherent policies and greater continuity,” Aldis said.

But leaders of three top school organizations – the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) – voiced concerns with the plan, ranging from the responsiveness of a larger bureaucracy to its ability to manage complex school funding.

“The proposal would move decisions about important topics such as setting the state’s learning standards, graduation requirements for students and school district report cards to a politically appointed staff as opposed to the current process that includes many opportunities for public input,” OSBA Executive Director Richard Lewis said.

RELATED: Schools push students to map their futures

The groups added that the proposed structure could cause major uncertainty for local schools every time a new governor is elected and appoints a new leader.

Greg Edinger, superintendent of two northern Ohio career tech centers, spoke in support of the bill at a press conference Wednesday.

“The focus on workforce and career preparedness at an early age aligns with our district goals and is essential for moving forward and addressing the critical workforce demands our state is seeing,” Edinger said.

RELATED: Schools urged to teach more “soft skills”

Democratic State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, who is running for governor with state school board member Stephanie Dodd as his running mate, called the move a “power grab” by Republicans seeking to weaken the elected state school board.

“There’s no excuse for taking control from Ohio voters and giving it to yourself – especially when it comes to our children’s education,” Schiavoni said.

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Service dog gives birth to litter of puppies at Florida airport

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:11 PM

WATCH: Service Dog Gives Birth to Puppies at Airport

A service dog delivered eight puppies in the terminal of the Tampa International Airport on Friday.

>> Read more trending news 

The two-year-old Labrador retriever named Elli, short for Eleanor Rigby, gave birth to seven males and one female puppy, according to Tampa Bay Fire.

An airport spokesperson told WTVT that a woman and her daughter were traveling to Philadelphia with a pair of service dogs when the female started going into labor. 

They knew she was pregnant, but didn’t know she was so close to giving birth. 

Proud dad, Nugget, stayed by her side the whole time.

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Victim identified in fatal crash, car fire in Trotwood

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:04 AM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 4:08 PM

Crash, car fire fatal in Trotwood

UPDATE @ 4:05 p.m.

The victim in a deadly early Friday morning crash in Trotwood has been identified as Antwahn Swain, 35, of Dayton by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

No preliminary information was available on Swain’s cause and manner of death.


The Montgomery County coroner has been requested to a fiery crash in Trotwood.

The crash was reported around 1:20 a.m. in the 5200 block of Little Richmond Road. Initial reports indicated one person was trapped in the car after the car crashed and caught fire.

>> Police: Suspected ice cream eating burglary causing Kettering school lockdown

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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Olivia Munn discusses Aaron Rodgers’ family issues for the first time

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:41 PM

Olivia Munn spoke out for the first time about her ex, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, during an interview with “Andy Cohen Live.”
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Olivia Munn spoke out for the first time about her ex, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, during an interview with “Andy Cohen Live.”(Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)

Olivia Munn has opened up about ex Aaron Rodgers’ family issues nearly one year after their split.

>> Read more trending news 

Munn appeared on Sirius XM’s “Andy Cohen Live” and said she only met the NFL Green Bay quarterback’s parents “a couple of times.” 

“Before he and I started dating, he hadn’t spoken to one of the brothers and his parents for eight months,” Munn told Cohen, according to Bravo TV

US Weekly reports that Munn and Rodgers dated for three years before their split in 2017.

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and actress Olivia Munn arrive at The 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic)

Rodgers’ brother, Jordan, got the final rose on ABC’s “The Bachelorette” during the show’s 2016 season. 

She told Cohen that she encouraged Rodgers to work on his family relationships. At one point, she said that she helped him draft bullet points to guide a conversation.

“I just think it’s really important to try to mend things in a family. And I encourage that,” Munn told Cohen. “But at the end of the day, I do believe that family and fame and success can be really complicated if their dreams are connected to your success.”

While they were together, Munn was blamed for causing the rift between Rodgers and his family, 24-7 Sports reports.

Rodgers is currently dating professional racing driver Danica Patrick.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: American Racing Driver Danica Patrick visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on May 22, 2018 in New York City. (Mike Coppola, Getty Images for NBC)

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Alberto: What is a subtropical storm?

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 1:25 PM

What is a Subtropical Storm?

Days away from the official start of Atlantic hurricane season, the first tropical system of 2018 formed Friday in the Caribbean Sea. 

The National Hurricane Center has begun to issue warnings on Subtropical Storm Alberto as the system makes its way over the Yucatan and into the Gulf of Mexico.

>> Read more trending news 

At 11 a.m. Friday, forecasters put Alberto 55 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico. The storm’s sustained winds were 40 mph and it was moving northeast at 6 mph. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the storm Friday afternoon. 

The NHC classified the storm as a “preseason subtropical storm.” While there is a difference in the classification of storms – from extratropical, to subtropical, to tropical – they are all capable of threatening life and property.

Here’s a look at the characteristics of both subtropical and tropical systems. 

Subtropical storms:

  • A subtropical storm is basically a low-pressure system that is partially a winter-type storm and partially a tropical storm. 
  • They are colder than tropical storms, meaning the core temperature is lower than a tropical storm’s core temperature. Warm water feeds tropical systems making them spin faster and become stronger. 
  • There is a closed low-pressure center of circulation with the storms, just as with tropical storms, but the rains and wind are not near the center. Instead, thunderstorm activity and strong winds are miles (sometimes hundreds of miles) from the center of circulation. Think of the shape of a comma.
  • Subtropical storms can and often do organize into tropical storms.
  • They are less likely to become hurricanes, though they can.
  • They are generally large storms. 

Tropical systems

  • Tropical storms are powered by very warm water, and are well-connected to the upper atmosphere. The warm water is drawn up into the system through the upper atmosphere and pushed down again as the cycle repeats, causing a heat pump effect that fuels the storm.
  • Tropical storms gain strength by thunderstorm activity around the eye, or center of circulation.

For  more  information on tropical systems, see:

>>Hurricane season: What is the Saffir-Simpson scale; how does it work; is there a Category 6?

>>What is a storm surge and why is it dangerous? 

>>How to use internet during a storm when your internet is down 

>>9 weather terms you should know when preparing for a hurricane 

>>15 safety tips that could save your life during a hurricane 

>>Hurricane evacuation: Helpful apps for finding gas, hotel rooms, traffic routes 

>>Here's how to keep your pets safe during a hurricane 

MIAMI, FL - MAY 24: Hurricane Specialist John Cangialosi (L) and Dennis Feltgen, the Communications and Public Affairs Officer, work at the National Hurricane Center as they look at a computer screen showing the first subtropical depression of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season on May 24, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Subtropical Storm Alberto formed Friday in the Caribbean Sea.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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