Morning briefing – Nov. 25

Staff report

* The inspector general issued a report of investigation based on a complaint received from Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor alleging two state employees under her supervision submitted inaccurate timekeeping records.

The inspector general’s investigation reviewed records related to work activity for the lieutenant governor’s chief of staff, Laura Johnson, and Heather Brandt, Johnson’s executive assistant. The records brought into question both employees’ claim for pay for a substantial number of hours of work while away from the state office. In delivering the report of investigation to Lieutenant Governor Taylor, the inspector general cited inadequate oversight and an absence of supervision. Lieutenant Governor Taylor has been asked to respond to a number of recommendations within 60 days and include details on how the recommendations will be implemented.

The report of investigation has been provided to the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney and the Columbus City Attorney for consideration.

* One of the main challenges posed by the avian flu outbreak that has impacted the U.S. poultry industry in the past year is how to safely and effectively dispose of potentially hundreds of thousands of birds killed as a result of infection and eradication efforts.

“The U.S. strategy is to quickly identify the infected premises, depopulate, properly dispose of carcasses and manure, clean and disinfect the premises, and have 21 days of down time after cleaning before re-population can take place,” said Mohamed El-Gazzar, Ohio State University Extension’s poultry veterinarian. “As you might imagine, the logistics of depopulation and disposal are very challenging, particularly with the large-scale layer complexes, some of which have a capacity of more than 5 million birds.”

In 2015, this strategy has resulted in the culling of 7.5 million turkeys and 42.1 million egg-layer and pullet chickens, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* Susie’s Coats, a Toledo clothing giveaway for the needy that is organized by Susan Perry, a faculty member of The University of Findlay, will mark a decade of service with distribution scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at Cherry Street Mission’s Life Revitalization Center, site of the former Macomber High School, 1501 Monroe St.

Previous events were held outside at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. Organizers hope that this year’s indoor event will enable them to assist more people.

Staff report