- Associated Press - Monday, April 11, 2016

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The (Toledo) Blade, April 11

In a 3-2 vote last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted to allow an estimated 40 million Americans on food stamps, Medicaid, and other federal assistance to register for subsidies to put toward Internet service. For the first time, low-income Americans can qualify for a credit worth $9.25 a month. That money can be applied to broadband service as part of a voice bundle on cellular, fixed networks, or a standalone phone with no voice plan.

This is good news for the estimated 13 million people eligible for Lifeline who currently have no Internet service. With more educational courses and jobs requiring applicants to apply online, poor people are at an added disadvantage if they don’t have access to the Internet. As much as it may seem to some to be a useless extravagance, Internet service today is a basic utility- as necessary as water and electricity. This is a historic expansion of benefits that is long overdue.

Even so, the vote wasn’t unanimous. Two Republican commissioners wanted a plan that would have required low-income Americans on Lifeline to pay more out of pocket. They also wanted Internet providers to implement a faster speed standard, which would have driven up the cost of doing business…




The (Youngstown) Vindicator, April 11

Fifty years ago last month, the father of America’s civil-rights movement duly lashed out at the widening health gap between white Americans and minorities. Though not as brutal in the moment as were the billy clubs and attack dogs used to stifle discontent, the long-term pain of inaccessibility to basic health care dealt a harsh blow to the quality of life of blacks and other minorities. It also contributed significantly to the great divide between America’s haves and have-nots.

Two decades later in 1985, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its landmark report, the Secretary’s Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health, better known as The Heckler Report. It reinforced King’s angst by documenting the prevalence of health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. It called such disparities “an affront both to our ideals and to the ongoing genius of American medicine.”

Today, improvements in technology, standards of living and access to health care have begun to narrow those once colossal gaps. Nonetheless, health inequities remain a stain on our nation and an affront to our noble ideals…




The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon, April 11

While drunk driving is rightfully considered the greatest scourge of the roadways, distracted driving is creeping up on the ignominious list of highway risks.

In 2014, about 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Another almost 3,200 were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, with another more than 430,000 injured. Last year, 34 injury-causing accidents resulted from distracted driving in Ashtabula, and another 100 property crashes could be attributed to it.

Distracted drivers “can be just as deadly as a drunk driver,” said Lt. Bret Henderson, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Ashtabula County post. Henderson and other law enforcement agencies across the country are working to raise awareness this month of distracted driving.

This message is especially important this time of year, as more and more teens will be hitting the road for proms and then summer jobs. While 16-24-year-olds are the primary offenders, as cellphones become more and more ubiquitous in our culture, it is not uncommon to see older drivers fall prey to the siren call of their phones while behind the wheel…




The Canton Repository, April 11

Certainty? Out. Inevitability? Long gone. Predictability? Try again. Those all dropped out of the presidential primaries weeks ago.

In what has shaped up to be one of the strangest races in decades, all bets are off, which explains why Ohio Gov. John Kasich remains hellbent on staying in.

Related content Kasich’s ‘just wait’ promises could run out of timePoll shows Kasich trailing in Pennsylvania, but still matching up well vs. Democratic n…Kasich urges super PAC to drop “lying” from anti-Cruz commercialLast month, comedian Stephen Colbert joked about Kasich’s presidential aspirations following his lone victory in Ohio:

“Governor, here’s a riddle: What’s round on both ends and has got to be high in the middle? Because to secure the nomination at the convention in Cleveland this summer, Kasich would have to get 116 percent of the remaining delegates. We’d have to make him governor of every remaining state, plus some states we don’t even have yet. He’s looking very good in North Kentucksylvania and Massachippissippi.”

Thirty-two states have voted, 18 remain. Republican front-runner Donald Trump, suffering a damaging loss in Wisconsin last week, has a tough row to hoe to secure the nomination before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. No wonder he whined, with an air of entitlement ahead of the Badger State contest, about Kasich…




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