Newsmaker: Anne Goodman, president, Cleveland Foodbank. Social service agencies say the long recession is bringing unprecedented demand for emergency food supplies. The annual Harvest for Hunger drive began this week with the goal of supplying that need. The Foodbank handed out more than 27-million pounds of food last year, distributed through local pantries and other agencies.
Roundtable: Elizabeth Sullivan, editorial page editor, The Plain Dealer; Keith Reed, editor, Catalyst Ohio magazine; Brian Tucker, publisher and editorial director, Crain’s Cleveland Business.
Lordstown Jobs: General Motors says it will bring a third shift to the Lordstown plant this summer when the company ramps up full production of the new compact Chevy Cruze. That will mean adding 1200 workers, bringing total employment to 4500. A GM official described Lordstown as ‘ground zero’ for the company’s resurgence.
Foreclosure Initiative Leaves Ohio Behind: Ohio leaders expressed outrage this week when the Obama administration directed $1.5-billion for foreclosure relief to five states, none of them Ohio. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, among others, argues Ohio has suffered foreclosure-related woes longer than any other state and deserves to be at the head of the line when it comes to doling out money that will help homeowners with troubled mortgages.
Electric Becomes Mourning: 30-plus years ago, utilities now part of FirstEnergy offered deep discounts to owners of all-electric homes. The offer was attractive in a time when there was a shortage of natural gas for heating. But recently, FirstEnergy got the green light from the Public Utilities Commission to end the discount. Owners of electric-heated homes suddenly were getting shockingly higher bills. They’ve gone to court and to lawmakers seeking relief.
Afghanistan: The U.S. military death toll in Afghanistan recently passed the one-thousand mark as the U.S. and European allies mounted a campaign to root out Taliban and Islamist fighters from their refuges in urban areas. The Obama administration ordered up a troop surge to carry out the assault, expected to take a year or longer.