Morning briefing – Nov. 18


* On World Prematurity Day, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded House passage of a bill he cosponsored to help prevent and treat prenatal opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The bill passed unanimously in the Senate in October and will now head to the President’s desk for his signature.

“Too many children are exposed to dangerous opioids before they are even born. Protecting babies from this scary reality should be a top priority,” said Brown. “With admissions for newborns affected by addiction on the rise, it is clear more must be done to give babies a healthy start. Once this bill becomes law, we will have the tools in place to help create new treatment and prevention efforts to curb neonatal abstinence syndrome. Ohio faces both a troubling infant mortality problem and an opioid abuse problem, and I am hopeful this law will provided needed solutions.”

* The question of ethics in government surveillance did not begin when Edward Snowden put the matter in front of the American public in 2013. For Dr. Jan Goldman, Associate Professor of Intelligence and National Security at Tiffin University, it has been an issue throughout his career. Goldman spent more than 30 years predicting threats to national security for the U.S. Government.

He was selected to speak at the Office of Naval Research’s Strategic Studies Group (SSG), a U.S. Navy organization with the sole purpose of generating revolutionary naval concepts for the future. His talk will be on “ethical surveillance in the age of unlimited technological encroachment” on November 20.

* Some of Jessica Summers’ artfully depicted personal experiences are being showcased in The University of Findlay’s Lea Gallery, located in the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion, through Dec. 11. A reception for the artist will take place Nov. 20 from 7-8:30 p.m.

Summers’ paintings, which are based on photos that incorporate dramatic lighting and angled techniques, tell the story of her home. She uses herself and her husband as characters to create ambiguous narratives. Though these pieces can stand on their own, they can also show a story over time.

“A home tells a story about its inhabitants, regardless of their presence. While personal spaces reflect our individual location, lifestyle and taste, domestic spaces universally read as intimate and familiar,” Summers stated.

* U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who serves as the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, was one of 13 senators named to the House-Senate Conference Committee that will negotiate a long-term transportation infrastructure bill. The conference committee will have its first public meeting Wednesday at 10 a.m. The committee members will negotiate a long-term authorization for the Highway Trust Fund, which has relied on a series of short-term patches since 2005.

“One of the best things we can do to help create jobs and grow our economy is to pass a transportation bill that rebuilds our crumbling roads, bridges, and rail. That goes for both routine maintenance and major projects, from the Brent Spence Bridge to the Cleveland RTA. We need to ensure our infrastructure uses more American-made products, like the guardrails, rebar, and rolling stock produced in Ohio. And we must make sure American companies can sell their products around the world by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.”

* The Best of the Buckeye Program, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair, is gearing up for its third season.

The program provides Ohio seedstock breeders an additional marketing opportunity, creates a source for moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige, and attracts new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair. Breeders are encouraged to request a Best of the Buckeye logo for use in printed and digital promotion of Best of the Buckeye eligible cattle. Email [email protected] to request the logo.

The Best of the Buckeye program will award up to $15,000 in participant and academic scholarships. The $500 participant scholarship opportunity is to offset the cost of purchasing, raising and exhibiting a Best of the Buckeye nominated calf. Scholarships will be awarded to less-experienced participants, ages 8-21, with consideration given to the applicant’s financial need. Scholarship applications can be found at and will be due on January 15, 2016. Scholarship recipients will be notified in February 2016, but must exhibit at either the Ohio Beef Expo or Ohio State Fair to receive the scholarship.

* U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Tuesday announced Senate passage of bipartisan legislation he cosponsored to provide the President with further sanctions tools to block the terrorist organization Hizballah’s financing and limit its access to logistical support. In addition to Brown – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – Senate Banking Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) cosponsored the bill. The Senate passed the measure by unanimous consent.

“This legislation provides the United States with additional tools to combat Hizballah’s sponsorship of terrorism, narco-trafficking, and other criminal activities. It would also ensure that foreign banks that do business with Hizballah will face severe consequences, including being cut off from the U.S. and international financial systems,” said Brown. “Given that the international nuclear agreement with Iran is solely focused on blocking the Iranian regime’s pathway to a nuclear bomb, it’s critical that we do everything possible to shut down Iran’s terrorist proxies like Hizballah.”

* Zanesville resident, Richard T. Bunner was awarded the 2015 Jenny Pomeroy Public Health Award by Prevent Blindness at its National Meeting in Chicago on November 5, 2015. Mr. Bunner has been involved with Prevent Blindness since the late 1970s when he was employed by the Ohio Department of Health’s statewide vision and hearing program. Rick has remained a strong advocate for the organization and its mission – to prevent blindness and preserve sight.

Rick started his Prevent Blindness experience at the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness and has been an active member of the Prevent Blindness national board of directors, public health committee, and government affairs committee, which he founded in partnership with Ohio Congressman Patrick J. Tiberi and chaired until recently.

Among Rick’s most enduring achievement for Prevent Blindness was his staunch advocacy to get the federal government, through the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau, to pay attention to children’s vision. After years of advancing this cause, he helped lead the charge that resulted in the development of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, of which he currently serves as an advisory member.

Staff report

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