The top lobbyist for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a man linked to an ongoing federal bribery probe but never charged, has resigned after three years on the job.

Halfpoint / Shutterstock

Ohio’s hospitals report they are at or near capacity right now because of a surge in COVID patients, as medical professionals overwhelmingly continue to recommend COVID vaccines and masks. Even if the makeshift hospitals set up at the start of the pandemic were stood up again, that won’t solve the problem. There are not enough doctors, nurses and other staff to care for the influx of patients who are trending younger, are sicker, and in nearly all cases, unvaccinated.

As expected, a lawsuit has been filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio against the state’s Redistricting Commission over new four-year state House and Senate district maps. Those maps were approved on a party line vote last week, and Republicans admit they were drawn to preserve GOP supermajorities in both chambers.

Andrew Welsh-Huggins / Associated Press

Andy Douglas, a former Ohio Supreme Court justice who was part of the court’s liberal “gang of four” coalition that forced changes in the state’s school-funding system, died early Thursday. He was 89.

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

Gov. Mike DeWine is launching another effort to boost COVID vaccinations, this time specifically targeting young Ohioans. His new program will give people under 25 an opportunity to win college scholarships for getting COVID shots.

There’s yet another candidate in the crowded race for the Republican nomination for US Senate. State Sen. 

Matt Dolan, chair of the Senate Finance Committee and part owner of Cleveland’s baseball team, has joined the contest that will be decided in the GOP primary in May. 

Jo Ingles

Many communities in Ohio have adopted local mask mandates in recent days since a statewide mask mandate is off the table right now.

The Ohio Restaurant Association’s John Barker says COVID itself presents a lot of unknowns. But he says local mask mandates hurt restaurants because they provide another level of uncertainty.

Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has approved new state House and Senate maps that is likely to guarantee a Republican supermajority for the next four years. The move comes after days of debates behind closed doors and even those who voted for the maps say they believe the plans will be challenged in court. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.   

The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy

A seven-month study exploring early childhood education finds Franklin County lagging behind the nation in enrollment and significant differences in the experiences children have at home compared to out-of-home care settings. 

Dan Konik / Statehouse News Bureau

Children’s hospitals say they’re worried about rising cases of COVID in kids, with nearly half of all Ohio students not required to wear masks in schools. But that’s unlikely to change unless local officials make decisions to do that.

Dan Konik / Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio Redistricting Commission is still working on creating maps before today's deadline runs out. While leaders have been circulating around the Statehouse, none of the negotiations have been public. This has good government groups suggesting commissioners might be breaking public meeting laws. 

Dan Konik / Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio Redistricting Commission heard from thousands of Ohioans. Some have written or called lawmakers. And a few hundred have shown up at more than a dozen public hearings to make their voices heard. Some showed up at more than one hearing. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports on what Ohioans are saying.

Alison Holm

A Columbus middle school was on lockdown for several hours this morning, following a texted threat.

Age Friendly Columbus

Columbus, Franklin County, and Ohio State University officials today celebrated the opening of the Age-Friendly Innovation Center. The center will blend university research with the expertise of older residents to make communities more livable.  

The announcement that the federal government will review the Columbus police department and provide technical assistance in areas such as training and recruitment is a far cry from the last time the Justice Department examined the agency and signals the city’s willingness to cooperate, analysts say.

Ohio Channel

The two Democrats on the seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission unveiled their revisions to Republican-drawn maps for the House and Senate at the panel’s hearing in suburban Cleveland Monday evening.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is looking into possible action against President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees. Several Republican leaders from other states are already calling for a legal challenge. 

Statehouse News Bureau

Members of the panel that will approve new maps for Ohio House and Senate districts were lambasted Sunday by Ohioans who attended a public hearing in Dayton that went on for more than four hours.

Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

A coalition of voter rights advocates are slamming the maps for House and Senate districts introduced by the Ohio Redistricting Commission. An analysis by the groups say the district lines retain a Republican supermajority.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called President Joe Biden’s newly announced vaccine mandate affecting millions of American workers “a mistake” on Friday.

Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has adopted an official proposal for the new state House and Senate district maps. Now leaders will go to different parts of the state to hear public comment on the maps that were drawn by the Republican caucuses. But many advocates say they believe the process has been unfair.

Dan Konik / Statehouse News Bureau

Republican state lawmakers will be unveiling their proposal for new state House and Senate district maps at Thursday's Ohio Redistricting Commission meeting.

Columbus' mask mandate will return, in response to rising numbers of COVID cases and hospitalization.

The state is now accepting submissions for broadband expansion projects to reach regions of Ohio that don't have reliable access to the internet. The grant program has a pot of $250 million that's available to connect underserved areas. The millions of dollars in broadband expansion money was approved in the state budget.

Jo Ingles

Last spring, teachers were prioritized for vaccinations and there was a statewide indoor mask mandate in place, which meant masks in schools. So, when school ended and summer started, it appeared COVID was under control. Now, case numbers are as high as they were during last winter’s surge, and kids and school workers are coming back into those buildings. And while there’s been a lot of attention on angry parents who oppose mask mandates in schools, there are many who say they’re frustrated and that the numbers show masks are needed. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports.

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

Schools throughout Ohio are dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19. Some have temporarily shut down.  Others have gone to remote learning until the situation gets under control. As Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, how a school district can react is based on the plans they set forth this summer.

A judge is ordering West Chester Hospital to continue treating a patient with a controversial medication, at least for now. 

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

The start of the school year has been a rough ride for many kids who haven’t been on a regular schedule for more than a year, and for districts that are struggling with thousands of COVID cases among students and staff. But there’s another problem that’s grinding school operations across the state toward a stop – a bus driver shortage. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

The bill that would ban all mandatory vaccines in Ohio brought the state into a harsh national spotlight, and made many people wonder where the proposal came from in the first place. Now, text messages between the bill’s sponsor and the chair of the committee that’s hearing it are showing sometimes careful coordination on the controversial measure. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Jo Ingles

Ohio has joined 19 other Republican-dominated states in a lawsuit over the Biden administration’s extension of protections to halt discrimination against LGBTQ people.