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Jay Hanselman / WVXU

A Cincinnati Council committee has rejected a proposal to hire an outside independent counsel to investigate whether Mayor John Cranley had a role in firing former Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.  

@mrswillshakes / via Twitter.com

Cincinnati police are looking into an incident involving a hate symbol painted on a sign at a local Jewish seminary.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Denise Driehaus starts her new job as Hamilton County Commissioner today. Even though she won't take the ceremonial oath of office until Thursday, the former state representative has been sworn in.

In November, she defeated incumbent Republican Dennis Deters to give Democrats control of the board for the first time in six years.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

A roomful of patients have blank stares as they eye medical students and professionals inside a $3.3 million simulation laboratory at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

Ordinarily, if a presidential candidate were to win the battleground state of Ohio by a fairly sizeable margin of 446,841 votes out of slightly more than 7.8 million cast, you might think that candidate and his political party in Ohio would be on very good terms.

That margin of victory for Donald Trump is the largest for a GOP presidential candidate in Ohio since George H.W. Bush in 1988.

Ohio Republicans should be dancing in the streets.

FirstEnergy

Ohio has a big coal industry, but also has a lot of land for wind energy development. And state officials seem to be floating in the middle as far as energy policy goes.

This year, the energy issue pulled the state in two different directions.

Two of the state’s biggest electric utilities started the year by introducing a new term – “Power Purchase Agreements”.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Four Cincinnati council members are calling for an investigation into the firing of the former Cincinnati Police Chief.   Jeffrey Blackwell was dismissed in September 2015. Terms of a settlement related to his departure came out earlier this week.

Andy Chow

This year began with a shift in the tide when it comes to accountability and transparency for charter schools in Ohio. But the year ends with some big questions marks remaining about what standards online charter schools should meet.

This year an enrollment audit found that the state’s largest online charter school dramatically over-reported how many full-time students were enrolled.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

The Justice Department and two locally owned banks have reached a settlement over so-called "redlining." 

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati and former Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell reached a negotiated settlement agreement in August, which ended his threat to take any legal action against the city for his termination in September 2015.

Abortion is always a contentious issue at the Statehouse. This year was much the same, as abortion ban bills took front and center stage amid the backdrop of the controversial election season.

Early in 2016, state lawmakers cut $1.2 million worth of federal funds from Planned Parenthood. That legislation, which was pushed by Ohio Right to Life, took money that was earmarked for birth control, cancer screenings and other preventative services away from Planned Parenthood and gave it to community health clinics instead. 

Every two years there are more than a thousand bills introduced in the Ohio General Assembly that never get enough support to pass the House and Senate and are left to die at the end of the session.  This year, many controversial bills passed. But there are still plenty of bills left on the cutting room floor.

AAA

New numbers for 2016 show 26 percent of Hamilton County drivers pulled over for operating a vehicle under the influence were impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

A slew of bills that in other years might have been too controversial to touch not only got hearings at the Statehouse this year - they actually passed.

For six years, Janet Folger Porter of Faith 2 Action tried to get lawmakers to pass what is known as the “Heartbeat Bill’, a plan that makes abortion illegal at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected – as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. If it passed, it would be the most extreme abortion ban in the country.

And this year, she succeeded.

Incoming Ohio Senate president Larry Obhof (R-Medina) has been in the Senate since 2011, and he takes over with some challenges ahead.

One of the first things that lawmakers will have to face is an issue that was only partly solved in the lame duck session – how to make sure there’s enough money in the fund that pays benefits to unemployed workers. A major overhaul was scrapped after an analysis showed it would cut $3.5 billion in worker benefits while increasing employer taxes just over $700 million.

Obhof said that’ll be on the agenda in the first four months.

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