Ohio News

Two injured, portion of I-270 closed following crash on west side of Colulmbus

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 20:05

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two people were injured and a portion of I-270 south is closed following a crash on the west side of Columbus Sunday night.

According to Columbus Police, two people were hospitalized, both in stable condition, following the crash.

The right two lanes of I-270 southbound near West Broad Street and Sullivant Avenue will be closed “for a while,” police said. Motorists are urged to find an alternate route.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio Dominican offers incoming freshmen a unique welcome

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 19:56

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio Dominican University is welcoming new students to campus in a creative way.

ODU held a new student welcome drive-in on Sunday.

Adhering to social distancing guidelines, students arrived on campus in their cars while faculty and staff cheered, held signs, and handed out “welcome” gifts ahead of the fall semester.

Organizers came up with the idea about two months ago when they realized they wouldn’t be able to hold typical “welcome” events because of the pandemic.

“We’ve been really just playing it by ear, but we really wanted to make sure that we were able to put on a big event like this so we can really make sure that the freshmen feel like they’re getting the ODU welcome that they really deserve,” said ODU Career Coordinator Allison Grosick.

Grosick said a majority of the university’s nearly 200 freshmen are local students. For those who reside out of state, they received a personal phone call welcoming them to the school.

Fall semester begins Aug. 17 with a mix of in-person and online instruction.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio extends contact sports practices order, allows competitions for non-contact sports

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 19:34

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has extended an order allowing for practices for contact sports and competition for non-contact sports as long as those teams follow prescribed COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

The initial order, signed on July 4, expired on July 15, allowing for The Basketball Tournament to be held in Columbus. There is no expiration date for the new order.

The new order, signed Aug. 1, allows for competition between non-contact sports, which were allowed to resume practice at the end of May.

The new order also defines contact sports as the following:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Rugby
  • Field hockey
  • Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Wrestling
  • Hockey
  • Boxing
  • Futsal
  • Martial arts

Scrimmage and interclub competitions for contact sports are allowed under the new order.

Teams will be allowed to compete provided they follow the guidelines of the order, which include:

  • Testing of all players, coaches, athletic trainers, support staff, and officials before traveling to and while at the competition
  • Conduct daily symptom assessments.
  • Athletic trainers must wear a face covering while attending to players.
  • Coaches and officials are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when possible.
  • Strict social distancing by players who are not actively engaged in practice or competition.
  • Immediate isolation and medical care for someone who develops symptoms.

Many central Ohio high school sports programs have shut down in the last week due to either positive cases of COVID-19 or fears of the coronavirus spreading among student-athletes and coaches.

The new sports order is below. App users, tap here.

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Corrected Third Orderd Amended Order Contact Sport (Text) Coronavirus in Ohio resources: const listItem = document.querySelector('.latestPost'); let requestURL = 'https://www.nbc4i.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?categories=64132'; let request = new XMLHttpRequest(); request.open('GET', requestURL); request.responseType = 'json'; request.send(); console.log(request.response); request.onload = function() { const page = request.response; populateHeadline(page); } function populateHeadline(jsonObj) { const myLink = document.createElement('a'); myLink.href = jsonObj[0].link; myLink.innerText = jsonObj[0].title.rendered; listItem.appendChild(myLink); }
Categories: Ohio News

Ohio’s last call order hits Columbus bars hard on first weekend

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 16:06

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As the first weekend of having the order in place comes to a close, local bars are feeling the effects of the 10 p.m. last call order.

It’s an effort from Gov. Mike DeWine to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants said Friday and Saturday went as they expected, with owners saying then that they’d lose out on a lot of sales by not being able to sell drinks after 10 p.m., and that’s what they said happened.

Gov. DeWine signs Liquor Control order mandating 10 p.m. last call

While drinks have to be finished by 11 p.m., bars and restaurants can stay open later just to serve food.

However, many said that’s not worth it.

Fours on High usually relies on the late-night crowd. They adjusted their hours and opened a little earlier, then closed at 11 p.m.

The manager said sales for this weekend were down at least 50 to 60 percent of what the bar had recently been doing on weekends.

“Obviously losing those sales from 10 to 2 is drastic for all businesses, not just us,” said Fours manager Cory Harmon.

Governor DeWine says coronavirus outbreaks coming from bars

The general manager of Yogi’s in Columbus said they took a big hit this weekend, too.

“Probably a third of our sales that we would normally have is just gone,” said Yogi’s general manager Taylor Childs. “Especially on a Friday and Saturday to do it. It wouldn’t be that bad if it was a weekday, but to start it on a Friday, it kills all momentum going into the weekend and it’s tough to rebound that going into this week.”

The Ohio Investigative Unit did not issue any citations to bars in the Columbus area this weekend for serving drinks too late.

An attorney representing several bars said he plans to file a lawsuit over the order on Monday.

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Categories: Ohio News

THE SPECTRUM: Turmoil at the Ohio Statehouse, next round of coronavirus relief

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 13:42

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – This week on The Spectrum:

* The shake-up is over, but is the Ohio Statehouse ready to settle down?

Just nine days after former House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested in connection to a massive bribery scandal, his Republican colleagues stripped him of his title and selected a new leader – Rep. Bob Cupp.

However, Cupp takes over a position that’s been the center of major controversies for years.

* The talks are at an impasse, the benefits are expired, and the virus is spreading. It’s the perfect storm for 51 million unemployed Americans.

Members of Congress were unable to come to terms this week on the fifth coronavirus relief package. Republicans accused Democrats of wanting to fill a liberal wish list. Democrats were outraged by a Republican proposal to include funding for a new FBI headquarters and billions for defense spending.

Republicans, like Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, said the $600 a week benefit must be reduced.

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* Sen. Portman offered his opinions on the next coronavirus relief package.

Now, two other Ohio legislators, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan and Democrat Rep. Joyce Beatty, discuss the debate going on in the House of Representatives over what should and shouldn’t be included in the package.

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* Republican strategist Jordan Ohler and former Chief of Staff for the Ohio House Democrats Keary McCarthy take a look at the turmoil at the Statehouse and getting that next round of relief into the hands of Americans.

Categories: Ohio News

Coronavirus in Ohio Sunday update: 93,031 cases, 3,529 deaths

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 10:07

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state. 

As of Sunday, Aug. 2 a total of 93,031(+944) cases were reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 3,529(+14) deaths and 10,900(+43) hospitalizations. There are a 68,394 presumed patients who have recovered from the virus in Ohio. 

The Department of Health adds the data when it is informed of a case or death. The information is backdated to the actual date the person started exhibiting symptoms or the date the person died.

Thursday’s case count increase is the largest for Ohio since the beginning of the pandemic.

Governor DeWine said he has asked the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to call a meeting to enact an emergency rule relating to liquor sales. The commission approved that rule Friday morning and DeWine signed it into effect for that night.

Gov. DeWine signs Liquor Control order mandating 10 p.m. last call

“The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors. Patrons either stay at one location, sometimes for hours or bar hop. Either way, they interact with many different people – especially the younger crowd,” said DeWine.

The governor said a second shutdown would be devastating to bars, and he’s not doing that at this point.

First night with early last call in place, lawsuit expected Monday

DeWine said we have seen outbreaks associated with bars across Ohio, including Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus.

Governor DeWine opened Thursday’s news conference discussing the Board of Pharmacy’s decision to ban the sale of hydroxychloroquine for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus.

That decision was reversed earlier today at the request of Governor DeWine.

The governor revealed the latest Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. The map shows 10 fewer counties at a Level 3 than last week. In central Ohio, Delaware, Union, Pickaway and Marion Counties moved from Level 3 to Level 2.

Fewer red counties, more orange counties in Ohio as COVID-19 spreads to rural areas

The governor announced Tuesday that effective August 9, child care in providers may return to normal, statutory ratios and class sizes. Providers have the option of keeping their current lower ratios and getting a subsidy, or going back to normal.

Requirements for face coverings, symptom checks, temperature checks and frequent cleaning will remain.

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Categories: Ohio News

Survivors of slain Columbus-based Marines mark grim anniversary

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 09:51

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jason Dominguez remembers vividly his last conversation with David Kreuter, as they were doing an overnight security watch from a rooftop in western Iraq.

Marine Cpl. Dominguez and Sgt. Kreuter usually joked around, but this night 15 years ago was different. Kreuter proudly showed him a photo of his 7-week-old son. “Wow, you’re a father!” Dominguez exclaimed.

“Yeah, I am,” replied Kreuter, 26, who then talked excitedly about getting to see and hold baby Christian for the first time. “His priorities in life had just shifted,” recalled Dominguez, who, like the rest of the Lima (pronounced LEE’-muh) Company Marines, also looked forward to the end of their tour of duty in a couple more months.

The next day, Aug. 3, Kreuter was among 15 people killed by a roadside bomb near the town of Hiditha. Eleven of them were Lima Company Marines.

The Columbus, Ohio-based Reserve unit was among the hardest-hit of the war in Iraq, losing 23 men after 180 deployed in early 2005. They held a reunion in 2015, and another was planned this month but had to be canceled amid coronavirus restrictions.

The first day of the reunion would have included a Marines-only workshop on coping with their painful memories and trauma all these years later, said Bryan Hillberg, a survivor who lives near the village of Waynesville in southwest Ohio.

“Some stuff is seared into your brain and some of it is just fuzzy,” said Hillberg, 39.

Seared in: Aug. 3. Hillberg’s head and shoulders were out of his amphibious assault vehicle as the lance corporal served as gunner for the second vehicle in the convoy, just ahead of the one hit by the bomb.

“When it blew, it shook everything,” he said. “I remember looking back and it flipped it and split it in a way that with all the dust and everything, the shape looked normal. I looked at my buddy and said ‘Thank God, they missed.’”

He quickly realized he was wrong.

Dominguez was two vehicles back from the exploded one.

“You saw the orange ball of fire and you just knew,” Dominguez said.

It was the final blow of a deadly week in that area: Two Lima Company Marines also were killed while “clearing” houses of any possible insurgents, and six Marine snipers were lost when their outposts were overrun by insurgents.

Lima Marines who witnessed the bombing were invited by their commanders to return to their base and meet with counselors, Hillberg said. They declined, some saying the World War II Marines their company traces roots to wouldn’t have left the battle on Iwo Jima.

The following few days are the fuzzy ones.

One day when they were clearing houses, Hillberg suddenly couldn’t go into the next one. He told his team leader, who directed him to take cover nearby. Soon, tears were rolling down from behind his sunglasses.

“I was just bawling,” Hillberg said. “I cried it out … then we just pushed on.”

Although the reunion is canceled, Kreuter’s parents were recently able to host an annual golf tournament that benefits a memorial scholarship fund. It was iffy for a while, especially before the state reversed an order closing golf courses.

Ken Kreuter said they’ve raised more than $125,000 through the tournament that grew out of an annual pancake breakfast in David’s honor. They award $1,000 scholarships to Cincinnati-area students.

His wife, Pat Murray, helps keep up a network of the Marines’ survivors, although Kreuter said they have lost touch with some. Some others also have memorials and benefits in their children’s names, and a traveling tribute exhibit was created more than a decade ago.

“The saddest thing,” Pat said a few days ago, “is no new memories have been created with David. That really hurts.”

Dominguez, a father of two children, has his rituals this time of year. On July 28, he visited the grave of Columbus-area native Cpl. Andre Williams, one of two Lima Marines killed that day in 2005 while clearing houses. As he always does, he left a coin for Williams.

On Aug. 3, he usually meets up with other survivors and family members, winding up at a Waffle House to trade stories and memories. Because of pandemic restrictions and concerns, he’s not sure how many people will participate this year.

“You celebrate the time you had with them,” Dominguez said of the slain Marines. “You tell your kids about it. You think about the choices you have, choices to live a life that is worthy of their sacrifice.”

Categories: Ohio News

19-year-old Grove City man killed in Athens County crash

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 07:27

ATHENS COUNTY, OH (WCMH) — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a crash in Athens County that left a man dead. 

According to the OSHP, at about 2:50am, Sunday, Asher J. Messer, 19, of Grove City was driving a 2003 Hyundai Elantra eastbound on US Route 33 near Hawks Nest Road, when he lost control and slid left of center into the path of a westbound 1999 Ford F-350 pick-up. 

Messer was pronounced dead at the scene.  

The 32-year-old male driver of the Ford was taken to O’Bleness Ohio Health with non-life threatening injuries. 

The driver of another vehicle that was struck by debris from the crash was uninjured.  

U.S. 33 was closed for approximately 4 hours due to the crash, but it has since reopened.  

Troopers continue to investigate the crash, but say alcohol is not considered a factor and safety belts were in use.  

Categories: Ohio News

Few showers, cooler Sunday

News Channel 4 - Sun, 08/02/2020 - 03:07

Low pressure will track across the central Great Lakes. Showers are wrapping around the storm and will affect primarily the northern half of the state. Residual clouds will hold readings mainly in the 70s.

The weather will remain unsettled early next week with low pressure aloft, keeping a small chance for showers Monday and Tuesday. Drier conditions will develop midweek, with cooler weather later in the week and highs only near 80 degrees.

Forecast
Sunday: Mostly cloudy, sticky, scattered showers mainly north half. High 79

Tonight: Some clearing, little cooler. Low 66

Monday: Partly sunny., scattered storms p.m. High 82

Tuesday: Mix clouds and sun, few pop-ups. High 82 (64)

Wednesday: Partly sunny, nice. High 80 (60)

Thursday: Sunny, pleasant. High 79 (58)

Friday: Mostly sunny. High 83 (61)

Categories: Ohio News

One person in critical condition following Franklinton shooting

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 20:33

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One person is in critical condition Saturday night following a shooting in Franklinton.

According to Columbus Police, the shooting occurred at approximately 10 p.m. in the 200 block of Avondale Avenue.

Police remain on the scene investigating.

Categories: Ohio News

OSU coronavirus pledge draws criticism as campus sets to reopen

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 20:10

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Just weeks before the start of the fall semester, colleges nationwide are changing up their back-to-school plans because of COVID-19.

However, new guidelines from Ohio State University have been met with criticism.

According to the university’s website, students, faculty and staff are required to sign the Together As Buckeyes pledge, acknowledging the risks of coming back to campus during the pandemic.

The pledge is part of the university’s online training it is using to educate students, staff, and faculty of OSU’s coronavirus guidelines.

The pledge acknowledges an understanding of and commitment to the behaviors described in the training. It is not a legal waiver.

But students and professors are reacting online, concerned that the pledge frees the university from liability.

OSU will welcome students back to our campus for the fall semester Aug. 25.

Categories: Ohio News

One critical following shooting in Linden

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 16:39

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One woman is in critical condition after a shooting in Linden Saturday evening.

According to Columbus Police, the woman was shot in the neck.

She was taken to Grant Medical Center after a shooting on the 1900 block of Cleveland Avenue at approximately 6:15 p.m.

Police said a man was also shot, but fled the scene.

No further information is available at this time.

Categories: Ohio News

Despite pandemic, Komen Race for the Cure goes on

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 16:14

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – Even during a pandemic, thousands of people are supporting one of the country’s biggest breast cancer fundraisers.

The Komen Columbus Race for the Cure kicked off virtually Saturday.

The event is iconic in Columbus, with the Race for the Cure turning the downtown area pink in past years.

However, while things may look a little different this year, the message and the goal are the same.

What this year’s in-person crowd lacks in numbers, they’re trying to make up for in enthusiasm.

Derek Ivory, knows as “Loud Mouf,” has been calling for a cure since his girlfriend Mimi was diagnosed with breast cancer. She passed away from the disease in 2017.

“It was a short period of time, I would say within six months,” Ivory said.

Within that time, the couple started writing songs full of facts and inspiration.

“Her dream was to not let anyone forget her or let anyone else go through this, and that’s what I’m trying to relay across to people,” Ivory said.

For the past several years, he’s been relaying the message to the 20,000 people taking part in the Race for the Cure.

This year, he and others are showing their support virtually.

“So it’s definitely different, but people are interacting online, so we’re feeling a little bit of that community and that virtual hug we enjoy every year,” said Alyssa Petrella, director for the Race for the Cure.

A few thousand people are raising money from where they are to help fund groundbreaking research, treatment, and help for patients and families.

“You might do jumping jacks in your living room, you might do a dance party, you might walk around your neighborhood, however you want to celebrate, that’s what we’re encouraging folks to do,” Petrella said.

And for folks like “Loud Mouf” Ivory, it’s still a chance to keep Mimi’s memory alive.

“She would be so proud,” he said. “I know she’s looking down on me.”

It’s not too late to get involved. Click here to see how you can help out.

Categories: Ohio News

Fraternity gets up to “good trouble” in honor of John Lewis

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 16:13

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Men around the world, including here in central Ohio, are making some good trouble in honor of late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis.

The Rho Chi Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity held a food drive at New Fellowship Baptist Church in Columbus Saturday, collecting non-perishable food items for the food pantries of Unity Baptist Church and Resurrection Missionary Baptist Church.

Fraternity members said Sigmas actively serve their communities, which is something fellow Sigma Lewis was known for.

“He was just like every other brother, and he did not put himself on any type of pedestal,” said Rho Chi Sigma chapter president Andre Harper. “He was always active in the fraternity, he was always at conclave, always took the time to spend time and talk to young brothers such as myself, and I’ll never, ever forget that.”

Anyone who would like to donate can visit rocksolidsigmas.org for more information.

Categories: Ohio News

After two months, Columbus organizers seek to revitalize protests against racism

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 16:08

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More than two months after protests started in Columbus, organizers are working to keep demonstrators motivated.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked the initial protests which carried on for weeks.

Organizers said that recently, things have slowed down and they want them to get going again.

On Saturday afternoon, there were a few dozen people chanting by the Ohio Statehouse.

Earlier this summer, that was a daily occurrence. 

On Saturday, a group marched from Goodale Park and spend most of the day listening to speakers, talking about different ways to organize and about what they can do to not get burned out.

The name of Saturday’s event was 150 Days of Injustice: Revitalize Black Lives.

Organizers said the 150 days comes from the fact that it has been nearly 150 days since Breonna Taylor was killed by police in Louisville, KY.

Organizers said the Revitalize Black Lives part of the name comes from them wanting to keep demonstrating against racism and police brutality.

“We’ve seen the Columbus protests die down a lot,” said demonstrator Samantha Sizemore. “A lot of people are scattered doing individually led things, which is great, but we wanted to bring our collective power back together and just really motivate folks and realize the injustice is still here.”

“It’s still important even though it’s been two months and maybe it’s not the top of peoples’ minds anymore,” added demonstrator Kelley Fox. “It’s still just as important as it was on, like, what, May 25, something like that, whenever this all started.” 

Organizers said some small steps have been made when it comes to progress over the past couple of months, but added there’s still a lot more work to do.

The march comes nearly a week after the Columbus City Council approved a number of measures to address police reform within the city.

Categories: Ohio News

Coronavirus in Ohio Saturday update: Latest number of cases to be released at 2pm

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 10:27

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health will release the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state at 2pm, Saturday. 

As of Friday, July 31 a total of 91,159(+1,533) cases were reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 3,489(+47) deaths and 10,790(+112) hospitalizations. There are a presumed 65,788 patients who have recovered from the virus in Ohio. 

The Department of Health adds the data when it is informed of a case or death. The information is backdated to the actual date the person started exhibiting symptoms or the date the person died.

Thursday’s case count increase is the largest for Ohio since the beginning of the pandemic.

Governor DeWine said he has asked the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to call a meeting to enact an emergency rule relating to liquor sales. The commission approved that rule Friday morning and DeWine signed it into effect for that night.

Gov. DeWine signs Liquor Control order mandating 10 p.m. last call

“The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors. Patrons either stay at one location, sometimes for hours or bar hop. Either way, they interact with many different people – especially the younger crowd,” said DeWine.

The governor said a second shutdown would be devastating to bars, and he’s not doing that at this point.

First night with early last call in place, lawsuit expected Monday

DeWine said we have seen outbreaks associated with bars across Ohio, including Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus.

Governor DeWine opened Thursday’s news conference discussing the Board of Pharmacy’s decision to ban the sale of hydroxychloroquine for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus.

That decision was reversed earlier today at the request of Governor DeWine.

The governor revealed the latest Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. The map shows 10 fewer counties at a Level 3 than last week. In central Ohio, Delaware, Union, Pickaway and Marion Counties moved from Level 3 to Level 2.

Fewer red counties, more orange counties in Ohio as COVID-19 spreads to rural areas

The governor announced Tuesday that effective August 9, child care in providers may return to normal, statutory ratios and class sizes. Providers have the option of keeping their current lower ratios and getting a subsidy, or going back to normal.

Requirements for face coverings, symptom checks, temperature checks and frequent cleaning will remain.

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Categories: Ohio News

Foreign threats loom ahead of US presidential election

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 07:49

NEW YORK (AP) — As the Nov. 3 presidential vote nears, there are fresh signs that the nation’s electoral system is again under attack from foreign adversaries.

Intelligence officials confirmed in recent days that foreign actors are actively seeking to compromise the private communications of “U.S. political campaigns, candidates and other political targets” while working to compromise the nation’s election infrastructure. Foreign entities are also aggressively spreading disinformation intended to sow voter confusion heading into the fall.

There is no evidence that America’s enemies have yet succeeded in penetrating campaigns or state election systems, but Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign confirmed this week that it has faced multiple related threats.

The former vice president’s team was reluctant to reveal specifics for fear of giving adversaries useful intelligence.

Because of such secrecy, at least in part, foreign interference largely remains an afterthought in the 2020 contest, even as Republicans and Democrats alike concede it poses a serious threat that could fundamentally reshape the election at any moment. Biden’s campaign is increasingly concerned that pro-Russian sources have already shared disinformation about Biden’s family with President Donald Trump’s campaign and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill designed to hurt the Democratic candidate in the days leading up to the election.

When asked directly, the Trump campaign refused to say whether it had accepted materials related to Biden from any foreign nationals. Trump was impeached last year after being caught pressuring Ukrainian leaders to produce damaging information about work Biden’s son did in the country, even though repeated allegations of corruption against the Bidens have been widely discredited.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a key Trump ally and chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, denied having accepted any damaging materials on Biden from foreign nationals after at least one Ukrainian national, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, told The Washington Post he had shared tapes and transcripts with Johnson’s committee and Trump ally Rudy Giuliani. House Democrats announced Friday they have subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents he turned over to Johnson’s panel.

“It does a disservice to our election security efforts when Democrats use the threat of Russian disinformation as a weapon to cast doubt on investigations they don’t like,” Johnson spokesperson Austin Altenburg said.

The 2020 campaigns and party committees have been receiving regular briefings from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, whose director, Bill Evanina, released a rare public statement last week confirming Russia’s continued work to meddle in the U.S. election.

Evanina said that Russia, as part of an effort to weaken the U.S. and its global standing, has been spreading disinformation to undermine confidence in American democracy and “to denigrate what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’ in America.”

The threat is not limited to Russia. China, a target of escalating condemnation across the Trump administration in recent weeks, has been looking for ways to affect American policy, counter criticism of Beijing and pressure political figures it views as opposed to Chinese interests, Evanina said, while Iran has been involved in circulating disinformation and anti-American content online.

Trump’s team reported no specific foreign threats against the president’s campaign, but campaign general counsel Matthew Morgan highlighted the Republican Party’s yearslong effort to install various voter ID requirements across the country — including photo verification, signature matching and witness requirements — as an important tool to block foreign interference.

“Contrary to their narrative, the Democrats’ efforts to tear these safeguards apart — as they sue in 18 states across the nation — would open our election system up to foreign interference,” Morgan said. “That’s why we’re fighting back — to protect the sanctity of our election system.”

Despite Morgan’s argument, there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in U.S. politics, whether by American voters or foreign nationals.

And there is no evidence, as Trump repeatedly charges, that an increased reliance on mail balloting this fall leaves the electoral system particularly vulnerable to outside meddling. The president pointed to those baseless claims this week to suggest delaying the election, something that can’t be done without support in Congress, where Democrats and Republicans alike rejected the notion.

There is ample evidence, however, that foreign powers are trying to sow confusion by spreading misinformation in addition to seeking to hack into political campaigns, as Evanina said last week.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, a Republican, described Trump’s warnings about mail voting “absurd” and “ridiculous.”

“He should be far more forceful and far more direct in condemning foreign interference,” Ridge said in an interview. “The enemy is not within.”

Foreign interference played a significant role in the 2016 election, of course.

U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russian operatives seeking to boost Trump’s campaign hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s servers and later shared damaging messages with WikiLeaks while running a covert social media campaign aimed at sowing discord among American voters.

All told, the Justice Department charged 25 Russian nationals in a covert effort to spread disinformation on social media and in the hacking of Democratic emails. While Trump has downplayed the threat of Russian meddling, he authorized a 2018 cyberattack against the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.

Lest there be any doubt about continued foreign interference in 2020, U.S. officials confirmed this week that Russian intelligence services have been using a trio of English-language websites to spread disinformation about the politically charged coronavirus pandemic.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in an interview that foreign adversaries “never stopped trying to interfere with our election process.”

He noted that the foreign meddling includes some new tactics compared with 2016. He noted, for example, that the Internet Research Agency is operating under a different name.

Warner declined to be more specific about 2020 interference, which has been discussed in classified briefings. He said he has a “huge concern” that voters don’t appreciate the true nature of the threat.

“The idea that we could be headed into Labor Day without the American public being officially put on notice seems grossly inappropriate,” Warner said.

Categories: Ohio News

Showers and a few strong storms, muggy weekend

News Channel 4 - Sat, 08/01/2020 - 01:31

One of the hottest Julys on record will give way to a comparatively cool and wet start to August.

Low pressure will track north from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes through the weekend. Showers will overspread central Ohio with a few rumbles of thunder. A few storms later in the day could contain gusty winds and hard downpours. The rain will taper off to showers overnight.

Showers will linger on and off for part of Sunday, with more dry hours in the afternoon as low pressure shifts northeast past the eastern Great Lakes. Cloudiness will hold temperatures mainly in the 70s this weekend.

Hurricane Isaias will push past Grand Bahama Island today and threaten the Florida Atlantic Coast Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane.

The weather will remain unsettled early next week with low pressure aloft, keeping a small chance for showers Monday and Tuesday. Drier conditions will develop midweek, with seasonal temperatures in the mid-80s.

Saturday: Showers, few gusty storms , muggy. High 81
Tonight: Showers, storm. Low 70
Sunday: Cloudy, sticky, showers linger. High 77
Monday: Partly sunny., scattered storms p.m. High 82 (64)
Tuesday: Mix clouds and sun, few pop-ups. High 82 (64)
Wednesday: Partly sunny, cooler. High 80 (60)
Thursday: Sunny, pleasant. High 79 (58)
Friday: Mostly sunny. High 83 (61)

Have a good weekend! -Ben

Categories: Ohio News

2020-07-31 ISS Sighting

SpotTheStation - Sightings for Marysville - Fri, 07/31/2020 - 23:34
Date: Friday Jul 31, 2020
Time: 9:24 PM
Duration: 4 minutes
Maximum Elevation: 27°
Approach: 18° above NNW
Departure: 11° above E

2020-07-31 ISS Sighting

SpotTheStation - Sightings for Marysville - Fri, 07/31/2020 - 23:34
Date: Friday Jul 31, 2020
Time: 11:00 PM
Duration: 2 minutes
Maximum Elevation: 37°
Approach: 14° above WNW
Departure: 37° above WSW

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