Daily briefing – Dec. 23

Staff report

* At the Tri-C Public Safety Training Center earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – outlined legislation that would help keep Americans safe from ISIS and other terrorist threats. Brown also renewed his call for closing the terrorist gun loophole to stop individuals who are known or suspected terrorists—including those on the “No Fly” list—from purchasing a firearm.

“We need to ensure that those on the frontlines protecting us have all the tools they need to respond to threats, and to root out these terrorists at home and abroad,” Brown said. “That’s why I’m sponsoring legislation to keep Americans safe from ISIS and other terrorist threats. This bill would help state and local law enforcement agencies train for active shooter incidents, develop specialized antiterrorism investigation programs, and root out homegrown extremism. We must use every available resource to combat the threat posed by extremists with access to deadly weapons.”

During a news conference, Brown was joined by Cuyahoga Community College Police Chief Clayton Harris who discussed how Cuyahoga County first responders could use resources for antiterrorism training programs to properly respond to an active shooter attack. Brown’s bill would provide grants to state and local law enforcement agencies for antiterrorism programs and training for active shooter incidents, while bolstering community partnerships to combat homegrown extremism or the recruitment or radicalization of those living in the U.S.

* The Ohio Inspector General has issued a report of investigation today initiated after administrators at the Ohio Department of Transportation reported employees had dumped multiple truckloads of polluted dirt and debris into a southern Ohio waterway.

The inspector general launched an investigation in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Environmental Crimes Task Force for Ohio. The multijurisdictional investigation team confirmed a crew from Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 based in Chillicothe was engaged in a ditch-cleaning project along State Route 327 in Ross County. The crew loaded the dirt and debris into dump trucks, drove east into Vinton County to a site just north of the intersection of State Route 327 and State Route 671, and dumped several loads of polluted material over a guardrail. The material slid down an embankment on the east side of State Route 327, and into Salt Creek, a federally protected waterway.

The inspector general determined there was reasonable cause to believe several state employees acted wrongfully and delivered a number of recommendations to the director of the Ohio Department of Transportation. The Ohio Department of Transportation has paid more than $120,000 in costs for remediation, including a $35,000 civil penalty paid to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

* The Ohio Development Services Agency awarded 38 communities grants to rehabilitate, repair, and construct affordable housing for low-income Ohioans as well as provide homeownership and rental assistance. The Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program grants total nearly $23.6 million. The grants are funded by the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs.

No grants were given to communities in Crawford, Morrow, Richland or Knox Counties.

“We work with local communities to improve our neighborhoods and the quality of life for all Ohioans,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

The Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program uses a flexible, community-wide approach to improve affordable housing for low- and moderate-income Ohioans and neighborhoods in Ohio communities.


Staff report