Two months from Ohio primary date and legal wrangling over new maps persists

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The efforts to draw and approve new legislative and congressional maps for Ohio remain way behind schedule.  January has now become March, but legal challenges remain right where they were - before the Ohio Supreme Court. Ohio's primary election day is still set for May 3, despite calls to move it, due to the prep and planning time lost to the legal challenges over the maps. This week the Ohio Redistricting Commission adopted a new Congressional map that carves the state into 15 districts. Ohio will lose a seat in the United States House of Representatives as a result of the 2020 Census. That map creates 10 Republican districts, 2 Democratic districts and two others that are deemed toss-ups.  It passed with only Republican support.

Russia escalated its attacks gainst Ukraine this week with civilian targets being targeted.  The United National Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine says at least 752 civilians have died since Russia invaded Ukraine a week ago.  The actual number is likely higher.  More than a million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring European countries. 

In addition to the sanctions levied by the United States, state and local leaders have been adding to the global effort to support Ukraine and Ukrainian-Americans.  Those efforts include banning the sale of Russian vodka in Ohio to lighting up bridges and building in the state in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukraine flag.

A bill on its way to Governor DeWine would remove the need for permits to carry a concealed handgun in Ohio.  The Ohio House passed the bill this week.  The Ohio Senate had previously approved the measure.  In addition to removing the need for a permit, the bill would also would not require a handgun owner to tell law enforcement  about the concealed gun during a traffic stop.   An owner would have to answer law enforcement truthfully about any concealed weapon in their vehicle, however, if asked.

Two ordinances that would expand the patrol area for University Circle and Case Western Reserve University police were pulled before this week’s Cleveland City Council meeting.

The ordinances would have allowed the departments to patrol in the Little Italy neighborhood and a for the Case Western police to patrol in a small area north of Wade Park Avenue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its mask guidance last week.  The CDC says people can be indoors without masks in areas where hospitals are not being strained by the virus.  The CDC said people could still mask if they wished to do so or if they were at a higher risk for serious illness from the coronavirus.

Major League Baseball has scrapped Opening Day and canceled the first two series of the season after contract talks with the players union broke down.

It has been 27 years since Major League Baseball last lost games to a labor dispute.

The season marks the debut of the Guardians as the new nickname for the Cleveland franchise.

Guests: 

Anna Huntsman, Health Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
Matt Richmond, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

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