Statehouse News Bureau




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Rebecca McKinsey

(March 26, 2012) — Rebecca McKinsey is a junior studying journalism and Spanish at Ohio University. Prior to working as a Statehouse News Bureau Fellow at The Columbus Dispatch, McKinsey interned at The Chautauquan Daily in Chautauqua, New York. She has worked for almost three years at The Post, Athens’ student-run newspaper, serving as a reporter, copy editor, columnist and most recently as campus editor.

McKinsey enjoys elephants, Josh Groban, traveling, photography and trying to speak Spanish. You can follow her work for The Columbus Dispatch on Twitter @RebeccaMcKinsey.


Ohio’s mayor’s courts, big business

(July 22, 2012) — The rap sheet against Ohio’s mayor’s courts says that some spend public funds on holiday parties and flower arrangements, fail to properly account for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and use traffic fines to prop up village budgets. Mayor’s courts have long drawn fire from opponents who say it’s time to throw the book at the state’s small-town “speed traps.”


Ohio’s local justice

(July 22, 2012) — Worthington’s mayor’s court is an imposing one, as mayor’s courts go. It has a judge’s bench, a podium at which defendants stand and a large projector screen to replay videos of traffic violations.


Judge in competency case of condemned killer glad for execution reprieve

(June 7, 2012) — The judge who is determining the mental capacity of a Cleveland killer was glad that Gov. John Kasich issued an unusual two-week reprieve from an execution scheduled for yesterday.


Kasich won’t stop execution of murderer

(May 31, 2012) — The execution of a Cleveland man will go forward as planned next week after Gov. John Kasich denied a request for executive clemency yesterday.


Key employees of Toledo casino granted provisional licenses

(May 24, 2012) — Several casino employees have been licensed just in time for today’s “soft” opening of the Hollywood Casino in Toledo.


Ohio House panel approves anti-cancer bill

(May 17, 2012) — A bill to generate money for screening and treatment of breast and cervical cancers should soon reach the Ohio House floor.


Controversial pension-overhaul bills go forward

(May 16, 2012) — Despite misgivings about new powers granted to boards of the state retirement systems, at least four of five bills making sweeping changes in public-employee pensions are expected to reach the Ohio Senate floor today.


More than 1,000 public officials late filing financial reports

(May 10, 2012) — Nearly 1 in 10 public officials in Ohio failed to meet the deadline for filing annual financial reports aimed at giving the public an idea of their earnings and gifts they receive.


Pension-reform bills put more on workers

(May 9, 2012) — Four pension-reform bills with bipartisan backing were introduced in the Ohio Senate yesterday, but union concerns stalled a fifth bill.


Four new bills push for pension reform

(May 8, 2012) — Four bills introduced today in the Ohio Senate with bipartisan backing would ignite reform for four state pension systems, but legislation for the fifth system was stalled because of labor concerns.


Pension reform might take a while

(May 3, 2012) — The saying “Measure twice, cut once” is typically attributed to carpenters, but a member of the General Assembly is urging his peers to do the same.


JobsOhio bill fixes public-records issue

(May 2, 2012) — After backlash from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the state Senate revised a bill yesterday to ensure that JobsOhio doesn’t receive more public-records exceptions than any other agency.


Local economy gets global view

(April 27, 2012) — This year, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s annual update on central Ohio’s economy extended beyond the region’s 12 counties and touched on dozens of foreign countries.


Take it slow

(April 20, 2012) — Seventeen crumpled orange-and-white construction barrels were placed in a Columbus State Community College parking lot yesterday, silent memorials to those who died in transportation work zones across Ohio last year.


City remains leery of storefront gambling

(April 19, 2012) — The Columbus City Council extended a moratorium on new storefront-gambling operations within city limits while state legislation to regulate them remains stalled in a committee.


‘Prepare to stop’ signs on way out

(April 14, 2012) — The state is getting rid of many of its “prepare to stop when flashing” signals that warn drivers that an upcoming traffic light is about to turn red.


OSU students prep “moon rover” race entry

(April 10, 2012) — This week, high school and college students will get the chance to tool around the moon sort of.


Trees will represent blossoming relations

(April 10, 2012) — Ohio will represent a century-long relationship with an unlikely symbol this month a fragile, pink flower.


Stark ads spur calls to quit lines

(April 7, 2012) — A graphic government campaign that offers “tips from former smokers” has caused a surge in calls to tobacco quit lines nationwide, even in states such as Ohio, where funding for cessation services has been cut in recent years.


Students’ empty holsters a protest of campus gun bans

(April 5, 2012) — Some Ohio State University students are wearing an extra accessory to class this week: empty holsters.


Utica man sentenced in fatal wreck

(April 3, 2012) — NEWARK, Ohio A Utica man was sentenced today to 100 hours of community service for causing a crash that took the life of his teenage passenger.


Man, 18, sentenced in fatal crash

(April 3, 2012) — NEWARK, Ohio Rachel Gattrell stood in the Licking County Juvenile courtroom yesterday, faced the young man whose driving caused the death of her 16-year-old daughter and told him that she had forgiven him.


Here’s some advice if you ever win the lottery: Keep quiet, guard ticket, hire advisers

(March 31, 2012) — You wake up today to discover you’re $640 million richer. What’s the first thing you do?


Orange Township fire levy may be on ballot

(March 28, 2012) — The Orange Township Fire Department in Delaware County might ask voters to approve a 7.9-mill property tax in November to replace funds that have been almost completely depleted.


Ex-director of humane society pleads guilty to theft

(March 28, 2012) — DELAWARE, Ohio The former Delaware County Humane Society co-director choked up as he apologized yesterday for stealing a pickup truck and tens of thousands of dollars.


Record lottery jackpot lures local players

(March 28, 2012) — People are lining up in Columbus, and across the country, for the chance to become the world’s luckiest jackpot winner.


Humane society thief pleads guilty

(March 27, 2012) — DELAWARE, Ohio The former Delaware County Humane Society co-director pleaded guilty this afternoon to stealing a pickup truck and tens of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit and its other co-director.