August 27, 2014

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Ohio College-bound students need to add meningitis vaccine to their ‘to do’ lists PDF Print
Saturday, August 23, 2014 8:00 PM

By Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite

Mid-August marks the time when many of our high school graduates pack up and head off to college for the first time. This time of year is always accompanied by packing lists and to-do lists. One item our students should be sure not to forget: their meningitis vaccination.

People of any age can get meningitis, but those most at risk include very young children, adolescents and, especially, those living in close quarters like college dormitories. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the meningococcal vaccine for everyone aged 11 to 18 years old. Those who are headed off to college should have a booster shot if their original dose was given at least five years earlier.

Current state law requires students in on-campus housing at public universities to tell administrators whether they have been vaccinated for meningitis. There is currently no legal mandate in Ohio that college students be vaccinated, though some other states have taken that step. In recent years, there have been several cases of meningitis at Ohio colleges, some fatal. Nationally, about 100 cases of meningitis occur on campuses each year. To protect students, some colleges require proof of vaccination as a condition of enrollment.

Unleashing America’s energy potential PDF Print
Saturday, August 23, 2014 8:00 PM

By Congressman Bob Latta

While trouble abroad has typically led to greater pain at the pump, Americans have experienced relatively stable gas prices over the past few months despite foreign crises. With the national average price for regular gasoline down more than 10 cents from last month, today’s fuel prices are both a contradiction of the past four decades’ trends and an example of the benefits that can result from increased domestic energy production.

American innovation in advanced energy development technologies has unleashed an abundance of domestic energy resources. In 2013, U.S. energy production rose more than the combined increases in the rest of the world to reach its highest level in 24 years. This is why the United States is now the number one producer of both oil and natural gas in the world.

This energy renaissance is not only strengthening North American energy security as domestic resources replace imports from hostile environments in Middle Eastern countries, but it is also fueling expansive job growth throughout the energy industry. While the energy industry supports nearly 10 million American jobs today, that number is expected to grow by 3 million by 2020. For Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District, this energy renaissance has already increased local business’s global competiveness, resulting in expanded operations and new jobs at home.

Yes, there is honor in all work PDF Print
Saturday, August 23, 2014 8:00 PM

There’s more to be celebrated on Labor Day weekend than the last blast of summer and the coming of another beautiful autumn.

It’s time to celebrate working folks—not just the ones who own or manage businesses, but the ones who work for them.

Even Labor Day is a busy workday for those who bag groceries, work in restaurant kitchens, checkout customers at retail stores, bus tables, haul garbage, patrol our streets and highways and defend our country.

They are the front line workers who take our abuse when we don’t like their bosses’ policies or when the equipment malfunctions. They are the ones who often work combinations of jobs to make the rent or pay tuition or keep the kids in sneakers and braces.

They are the ones who show up even when they don’t feel well, the ones who stay as long as it takes to get the job done. Many will start counting the days this Labor Day until they’re laid off for the season.

I like to say there is honor in all work, no matter what kind of work it is. As we pause this weekend to celebrate Labor Day, I am reminded of the following thoughts:

Know how taxes may affect decedent’s estate PDF Print
Saturday, August 09, 2014 8:00 PM

Q: Weren’t estate taxes eliminated in Ohio?

A: While the Ohio estate tax was repealed effective January 1, 2013, a decedent’s estate may have to pay a federal estate tax if the gross estate is more than $5.34 million dollars (“the exempt amount”).

Q: What is the tax rate for estates that exceed the exempt amount?

A: The tax rate is 40 percent. This rate also applies to generation-skipping transfer tax (when, for example, a distribution is made from a grandparent to a grandchild).

Q: Can any tax deductions be taken from the decedent’s gross estate?

A: Yes. Typical deductions include expenses associated with the decedent’s funeral and burial, debts and obligations, gifts to charities and most transfers to the surviving spouse.

Q: Should an estate file a federal estate tax return if all assets are transferred to the surviving spouse?

Bring back shop class PDF Print
Saturday, August 09, 2014 8:00 PM

By Josh Mandel

In high schools throughout America, shop class has been eliminated and kids are often told that the only way to be successful is to have a four-year college degree. I reject this approach and, to the contrary, believe we need to put shop class back in high schools and instill in young people a heightened sense of pride and purpose for entering careers in the skilled trades.

This important debate is illuminated by a Bureau of Labor Statistics study showing 48 percent of college graduates working in jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. As you read this today, there are young people throughout America who have four-year liberal arts degrees, thousands of dollars in debt, and are serving coffee at Starbucks or working part-time at the mall.

I believe that many of these young people would have been better off with a two-year skilled trade or technical education with actual skills to secure a well-paying job and many opportunities for upward mobility.

For example, I recently visited Pioneer Pipe in Marietta and learned that last year the company paid 60 of its welders over $150,000 and two of its welders over $200,000. The owner said he has had to turn down orders because he can’t find enough skilled welders.


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