Tag Archives: Ohio

Ohio Pastor Charged for Opening Church to Homeless People in Freezing Weather

“This is actual religious persecution of a Christian by the state,” said one journalist. “An actual violation of religious liberty.”

By Julia Conley. Published 1-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: Dad’s Place/Facebook

Outrage spread Friday after the story about a pastor in Ohio who was arrested and charged for opening his church to homeless people when extreme cold weather struck his town gained national attention.

Chris Avell, the pastor of an evangelical church called Dad’s Place in Bryan, Ohio, pleaded not guilty last Thursday to charges that he broke 18 restrictions in zoning code when he gave shelter to people who might otherwise have frozen to death.

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Florida Abortion Rights Defenders Surpass Target for Ballot Measure

Supporters of the Florida measure—similar to other initiatives across the country—say they are “confident that voters will approve our amendment.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: CBS News

As of Friday, Florida residents and groups fighting for a state constitutional amendment to limit government interference with abortion care have collected enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot this November.

The proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution states that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”

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‘Welcome News’: EPA Starts Process of Vinyl Chloride Risk Assessment

“This is one of the most important chemical review processes ever undertaken by the EPA,” said one of the agency’s former regional administrators.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 12-14-2023 by Common Dreams

Aerial photo of East Palestine derailment site taken 02-24-23. Twelve rail cars remained on site. Photo:: Governor Mike DeWine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it had begun the process of prioritizing vinyl chloride for evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Vinyl chloride, which is primarily used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, was one of five chemicals the agency earmarked for a risk assessment. The move comes eight months after a disastrous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, which included five cars carrying 115,000 gallons of the dangerous chemical.

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Post-Dobbs Bans Leave 14 States With No Abortion Clinics

A new analnysis shows how “abortion bans, extremist harassment, and the financial realities of operating community-based clinics make it increasingly difficult for independent clinics to stay open.”

By Brett Wilkins Published 12-5-2023 by Common Dreams

Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St Paul, Minnesota May 2019. Photo: Lorie Shaull/flickr/CC

Scores of independent reproductive health centers have been forced to close or stop offering abortion care, with 14 states now having no abortion clinics, a report published Tuesday revealed.

Abortion Care Network (ACN) released its annual Communities Need Clinics report, which details how “abortion bans, extremist harassment, and the financial realities of operating community-based clinics make it increasingly difficult for independent clinics to stay open” after the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court canceled half a century of federal abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization a year-and-a-half ago.

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Day After Texas Fire, Report Reveals US Hazardous Chemical Incidents Occur Almost Daily

“Hazardous facilities must be required to do more to protect workers and communities,” said Coming Clean’s federal policy director.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-9-2023 by Common Dreams

The Sound Resource Solutions facility made solvents for glue and paint remover.. Photo: @JamaalBowmanNY/X

A shelter-in-place order has been lifted in two Texas counties after a chemical plant fire on Wednesday, which came on the eve of a report showing just how frequent such incidents are across the United States, particularly at sites tied to the fossil fuel industry.

There have been at least 287 hazardous chemical incidents—including explosions, fires, and toxic releases—this year alone, and over 825 since the beginning of 2021, according to the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters’ online database.

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In ‘First Major Blow to Big Pharma,’ Federal Judge Blocks Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Injunction

The judge said plaintiff the Chamber of Commerce “demonstrated neither a strong likelihood of success nor irreparable harm.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 9-30-2023 by Common Dreams

Graphic: KFF

A federal judge in Ohio on Friday blocked an attempt by corporate interests to stop Medicare’s historic negotiation of certain drug prices with pharmaceuticals.

Medicare gained the power to negotiate drug prices as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), but the several industry groups and drug makers have sued to forestall the program, arguing that it is unconstitutional, CNN explained. One of those groups was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which filed its lawsuit in June. The Ohio judge Friday rejected its request for a preliminary injunction to block the program before October 1, the date by which pharmaceuticals must agree to negotiate or not.

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To Protect Abortion Rights, Organizers Urge Ohioans to ‘Vote No on Issue 1’ in Tuesday Election

“Preserve your voice and protect our democracy,” said one Democratic lawmaker. “Vote NO on August 8th to ensure fairness and equity in the democratic process.”

By Julia Conley. Published 8-7-2023 by Common Dreams

Organizers pose for a photo as they rally in opposition to Issue 1, a measure on ballots in Tuesday’s special election in Ohio which would raise the threshold needed to amend the state constitution.
 (Photo: @shammasmalik/Twitter)

Recent polling in Ohio has shown that a majority of residents disapprove of a proposed measure that will be on ballots across the state in a special election on Tuesday, but abortion rights advocates have spent recent days warning voters that failing to block the proposal could have major repercussions for reproductive freedom in the state.

In the special election, Ohioans will be asked their position on Issue 1, which if approved would raise the threshold for passing new constitutional amendments to 60% rather than a simple majority.

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‘Huge Victory’: Ohioans to Vote on Abortion Rights Amendment in November

The news is “a potential game-changer for reproductive rights in Ohio,” said one journalist, but the pro-choice movement must still clear another electoral hurdle in an August special election.

By Julia Conley. Published 7-25-2023 by Common Dreams

Protest Against the Ohio Heartbeat Bill on June 1, 2019 at the Ohio Statehouse. Photo: Becker1999/flickr/CC

The pro-abortion rights movement in Ohio has gathered enough momentum to place a referendum on the ballot this coming November which could codify the right to abortion care in the state constitution—but advocates on Tuesday warned of a caveat which could make the amendment harder to pass unless rights advocates clear another hurdle next month.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Tuesday that petitioners calling for the measure to be included on the ballot on November 7 collected more than 495,000 signatures in support of their effort, far surpassing the required 413,446 signatures.

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Like Tobacco and Big Oil, Secret Docs Show Chemical Companies Knew PFAS Dangers

“These documents reveal clear evidence that the chemical industry knew about the dangers of PFAS and failed to let the public, regulators, and even their own employees know the risks.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-1-2023 by Common Dreams

Activists protest PFAS outside the Massachusetts State House in Boston on June 16, 2022. (Photo: Seaside Sustainability Inc./Twitter)

An analysis of previously secret documents published Wednesday sheds new light on how chemical corporations aped Big Tobacco by conspiring to conceal the extreme toxicity of a class of synthetic compounds contaminating the Earth’s air, water, soil, plants, and animals—including most of the world’s people.

Commonly called “forever chemicals” because they do not biodegrade and accumulate in the human body, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—which include PFOS, PFOA, and GenX—have myriad uses, from nonstick cookware to waterproof clothing to firefighting foamAccording to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PFAS is linked to cancers of the kidneys and testicles, low infant weight, suppressed immune function, and other adverse health effects. It is found in the blood of 99% of Americans and a similar percentage of people around the world.

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‘Can’t Win, So They Cheat’: GOP Tries to Keep Abortion Rights Off Ballot After Big Losses

“Republican lawmakers pushing these efforts want 41% of voters to block ballot initiatives that 59% of voters support. This is not democracy.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 4-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 21, 2019. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, voters in Kansas, California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana used the ballot initiative process to show their support for reproductive freedom, both by defeating GOP-backed anti-abortion measures and approving constitutional amendments aimed at preserving abortion access.

Those losses for anti-abortion Republicans and their wealthy backers have led the party to ramp up its attacks on the ballot initiative process itself in several states.

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