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Ohio Archives for 2018-01

BWC Sends Inaccurate Tax Forms to Ohio Businesses

 

Over 40,000 inaccurate tax documents from the Bureau of Worker's Compensation were sent to Ohio businesses.

 

Television station Channel 13 in Toledo reported that a major glitch out of Columbus is to blame.

 

The BWC says that 44,000 incorrect 1099's went out to employers who received a rebate on premiums all over the state.

 

The correct forms went to the IRS, but not to employers.

 

Companies should not file their taxes until the corrected forms arrive, which is expected to be soon.

 

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AEP Ohio Crew Arrives Safely in Puerto Rico

 

AEP Ohio sent 14 line workers to Puerto Rico over the weekend to assist with power restoration efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September.

 

The team joined four AEP Ohio storm restoration experts who have been on the ground helping since early January.

 

Crews flew out of Columbus and were joined on the plane by 28 line workers from their sister companies in Indiana and Kentucky. Appalachian Power, Indiana Michigan Power and Kentucky Power. The plane also stopped in Tulsa to pick up 22 additional line workers.

 

The group of 64 AEP workers safely arrived in Puerto Rico this past Saturday evening.

 

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State Program Helps Keep Ohio Workers Healthy

Officials with Ohio’s insurance fund for injured workers stopped in Hardin County Friday to unveil a free program designed to improve the health of workers who are at greater risk for on-the-job injuries.                                                                   

Sarah Morrison, administrator and CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, said Better You, Better Ohio will offer a variety of resources to help workers track their diet, quit smoking, get in shape and manage chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.

 

Employees approved through a registration process will receive a $75 gift card after undergoing a health risk assessment and biometric screening. Participants will then have access to digital coaching, educational materials, wellness tracking tools, a mobile app and other resources.

 

Morrison said Better You, Better Ohio! will target employees of businesses with 50 or fewer workers in construction, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries that experience higher injury rates on average than others.

 

The program will be available February 1.

 

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Drivers Appear to be Embracing Self-Driving Vehicles

 

Drivers are beginning to embrace self-driving vehicles, according to a new study from AAA.

 

The annual survey reveals 63 percent of U.S. drivers are afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, down from 78 percent in early 2017.

 

Although fears of self-driving vehicles appear to be easing, U.S. drivers report high confidence in their own driving abilities.

Despite the fact that more than 90 percent of crashes involve human error, 73 percent of U.S. drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers.

 

Men, in particular are confident in their driving skills, with 79 percent considering their driving skills better than average, compared to 68 percent of women.   

 

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OSP Raising Awareness About Human Trafficking

 

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is collaborating with state police in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois as well as with Truckers Against Trafficking to raise awareness about human trafficking.

 

The initiative began on Monday and concludes this Saturday.

 

The weeklong initiative’s goal is to train and educate those who are in a position to see human trafficking taking place, such as commercial motor vehicle drivers, public transportation companies, rest area attendants and truck stop employees. By teaching these individuals the signs of human trafficking, and how to report it, they can provide an additional layer of security on Ohio’s roads.

 

Troopers will hand out information cards to help identify signs of human trafficking and ask people to report suspected trafficking.

 

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Ohio's Unemployment Rate Drops in December

 

Ohio's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December 2017, down from 4.8 percent in November.

 

Ohio’s non agricultural wage and salary employment increased 2,500 over the month.

 

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in December was 270,000, down 9,000 from 279,000 in November. The number of unemployed has decreased by 14,000 in the past 12 months from 284,000. The December unemployment rate for Ohio decreased from 5.0 percent in December 2016.

 

The U.S. unemployment rate for December was 4.1 percent, unchanged from November, and down from 4.7 percent in December 2016.

 

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Governor Signs Legislation Advancing Autonomous Vehicle Technology

 

Gov. John R. Kasich signed an executive order creating a one-stop shop that will make it easier for researchers to advance connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.  

 

The new center, DriveOhio, will bring together those responsible for building infrastructure in Ohio with those who are developing new transportation technologies to better coordinate efforts and connect transportation providers with automotive and equipment manufacturers.

 

Initially, DriveOhio will be housed within the Ohio Department of Transportation.

 

Last year, Ohio announced the creation of new smart highway projects to complement its transportation research corridors along the Ohio Turnpike and a 35-mile stretch of U.S. 33 in central Ohio.

 

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January is Deadly Month for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

 

The month of January is considered to be the worst month of the year for carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Unintentional carbon monoxide exposure claims on average 439 lives per year in the United States with many more people landing in emergency rooms for treatment, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Risk factors are at their highest this time of year.

 

Carbon Monoxide is odorless, but is sometimes associated with the smell of natural gas. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pains and confusion. If you experience any of those common symptoms, she says to immediately leave the residence and call 911.

 

The CDC recommends you install a battery operated C O detector and replace the batteries in the spring or fall during time change, but if you haven't replaced them in a while, now is a great time to do so.

 

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ODA Urges Response to Census

 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture urges Ohio farmers and producers who have not yet done so to respond to the United States Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture.

 

Responses are accepted in the mail and online through February 5.

 

Census data is used to support rural infrastructure; farm service agency loan programs; natural resources conservation services programs and rural development funds.

 

USDA has improved the online form making responding easier and more convenient than ever. Additionally, federal law requires that all responses are secure and confidential.

 

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Meteor Reported Over Detroit Tuesday

 

The National Weather Service reported that the bright light and what sounded like thunder in the sky across the Detroit metropolitan area may have been a meteor.

 

Some residents in Detroit reported hearing what sounded like thunder as a bright light was visible across the metropolitan area Tuesday night.

 

The Columbus Dispatch reported that the National Weather Service said it may have been a meteor that moved across the area.

 

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed later that a meteor blew up over the Detroit area with enough force to register as a 2.0 earthquake.

 

Some residents reported their homes shaking.

 

The weather service said that by about 9 p.m. it had received dozens of reports.

 

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Ohio Amish Man Requests Overturn

An Amish Leader from Ohio is filing for an Appeal of his 2012 convictions.

 

Samuel Mullet Sr. the leader of a break away Amish group out of Eastern Ohio, is asking a Federal Judge to overturn his convictions from 2012. According to Mullet Sr., his attorney made serious mistakes during his trial and multiple appeals. Samuel Mullet Sr. was convicted for directing the hair cutting attacks in which members shaved off other members beards.

 

Mullet Sr. is currently serving an 11 year sentence.

 

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Ohioans Pay Among Lowest in Nation for Insurance

 
COLUMBUS — A national study revealed that Ohioans pay among the lowest average premiums in the nation for auto and homeowners insurance, Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment announced.
 
“The Ohio insurance market is strong and competitive,” Froment said. “In turn consumers are provided the opportunity to choose from many offerings to find the right policy at the right price.” 
 
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners determined Ohioans paid an average of $819 (9th lowest) for homeowners insurance and $703 (14th lowest) for auto insurance in 2015 (the most recent data available) compared to the respective national averages of $1,173 and $889. The combined average savings for Ohioans is $540 below the national averages.   
 
Froment advises consumers to compare products from different companies to help save money. She also urges people to regularly evaluate their insurance needs and amounts of coverage. 

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Applications Accepted For Ohio Tax Amnesty Program

 
COLUMBUS, OH – (January 2, 2018) – The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Ohio Tax Amnesty. Ohio Tax Amnesty officially began yesterday on January 1, 2018, and will end on February 15, 2018. This limited-time program is available to eligible taxpayers—individuals and businesses—with unreported or underreported tax debts. Over the course of the next six weeks, taxpayers who fully pay qualifying tax delinquencies will owe no penalties and only half of the interest normally charged. ODT is encouraging eligible taxpayers to take advantage of the Ohio Tax Amnesty and move forward without tax liabilities.
 
“The Ohio Tax Amnesty is intended to help well-meaning taxpayers to make good on their obligations and it allows the State of Ohio to collect outstanding tax revenues to help keep tax rates low for everyone,” said Ohio Tax Commissioner Joe Testa.
 
Testa says similar amnesty programs in the past have resulted in millions of dollars of additional tax payments from thousands of participants. That money was funneled back into state and local government services benefitting all Ohio residents. The goal this year is to generate upwards of $20 million in tax revenue for the State of Ohio.
 
Applications and instructions for the Ohio Tax Amnesty are now available online via http://www.OhioTaxAmnesty.gov/PrepareAndApply. To file, eligible taxpayers must mail their completed applications, tax returns, and full payments to this address by February 15, 2018:
 
Ohio Department of Taxation
 
Tax Amnesty
 
P.O. Box 183050
Columbus, OH 43218-3050
 
 
As ODT announced last year, the Ohio Tax Amnesty includes the following taxes: individual income tax; school district income tax; employer withholding tax; employer withholding for school district income tax; pass-through entity tax; sales tax; use tax; commercial activity tax; financial institutions tax; cigarette and other tobacco products taxes; and alcoholic beverage taxes. The Ohio Tax Amnesty will only be available to individuals and businesses with a tax liability that is unknown to ODT, and only for taxes that were due and payable as of May 1, 2017.

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Ohio Ag Council to Award Scholarships

 

The Ohio Agricultural Council is offering up to six $1,500 scholarships to students pursuing their education in agricultural-related areas of study and to help promote agriculture and agri-business as a growing field of career opportunities.

 

Scholarship recipients are selected based on excellent academic record, outstanding leadership qualities, community involvement, and exceptional essay responses. High school and college students are encouraged to apply.

 

Applicants or their parent or legal guardian must be a resident of the State of Ohio. The applicants must have declared, or plan to declare, a major in agriculture at any two-year or four-year college or university. The application deadline for the 2018-2019 school year is February 28.

 

Applications can be downloaded at Ohio Ag Council dot org.

 

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