WYSO Morning News Update: Sports betting could start this fall in Ohio; Groceryland owners make pledge to donate profits
Your WYSO Morning News Update for May 18, 2022:
- Abortion constitutional amendment
(Statehouse News Bureau) — Democrats in the Ohio House and Senate say they want a constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion and reproductive rights. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports the Democrats said women, not politicians, should decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Sen. Nickie Antonio said two-thirds of Ohioans agree so this is for them. This is step one in a process to really bring the voice of the people, the majority of the people in the state of Ohio, to this discussion. Majority Republicans in the Ohio Legislature have passed restrictions on abortions and stand poised to pass more to completely ban it if the U.S. Supreme Court allows it. And Democrats know it’s a heavy lift to 3/5 of the legislature to pass it so if that doesn’t happen, they say they could collect signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
- Senators Predict Ohio Sports Gambling Will Begin in Fall
(Dayton Daily News) — Sports betting in Ohio could begin as early as this fall. Parker Perry, at DDN, reports State senators Niraj Antani and Kirk Schuring have been pushing for the legalization of sports gambling in Ohio. The most recent legislation signed by Governor Dewine said that sports betting can start by Jan 1, 2023. But Antani and Schuring say they believe it could start as early as this fall. The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced this month that they will begin accepting applications for sports gambling licenses on June 15th.
- Groceryland donations
(WYSO) — The owners of a south Springfield market have announced they will donate the store's first year's profits back to the community. Groceryland opened last year at the location of a former Kroger supermarket on South Limestone Street. WYSO food reporter Alejandro Figueroa reports. Groceryland opened in a part of Springfield that lacked access to a full service grocery store. In the zip code where the store is located the median household income is $27,000, nearly half the state's median. Vipul Patel, a local physician and co-owner of the market said the goal was always to support the community beyond just running a grocery store. "When you see the disparity, that's when you realize that the world is not fair to everybody. And sometimes to make the world fair, we have to take extra steps," said Patel. At the end of the year, Grocerylands profits will go toward scholarships for local high school students. As well to local food pantries.
- Amtrak in Ohio
(Columbus Dispatch) — Amtrak railroad services could be expanding in Ohio. The new routes would connect Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati. It is estimated to cost about $100 million to build. Amtrak says they would cover construction and operating costs for five years and then split the remaining costs with the state. State officials emphasize that the Amtrak expansion is not set in stone, but did say they are exploring the option.
- OEFFA Grant
(WYSO) — The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association awarded $30,000 in grants to beginning farms this week. The organization says the funds are intended to help new farmers recover financially from the pandemic. WYSO’s Claire Myree reports. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ohio is home to more than 33,000 beginning farms.That’s the 6th most in the country. Louise Gartner is the owner of one of them. She runs Fox Tail Farm in Clermont County. The farm originated in 2014 and now they grow food year round. Baby spinach, kale, carrots, and edible flowers – just to name a few. And like so many other businesses, Gartner said the farm was hit hard financially by the pandemic. “We just lost so much of our market share. Our primary customers were restaurants and then schools – both of those were shut down," Gartner said. Gartner also said the funds from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association will go toward a larger water line, a new sprinkler system, and a new tomato trellising system.