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Buckeye Beat: November 2019


It's time to talk all things Ohio. Welcome to November's Buckeye Beat, I'm Pat Miller. And this month started off with some new faces filling spots on city councils, school boards, and courtroom benches. Election Day was November 5th, and Ohio voters headed to the polls. 

While there were no statewide offices to vote on this year, there were plenty of local positions up for grabs. In the State Capitol, Andrew Ginther was re-elected as the mayor of Columbus. 

And in Akron, incumbent mayor Dan Horrigan was also reelected to his position. An incumbent is a person already holding the elected position. 

The mayoral election in the village of Magnolia ended in a twist, or should I say a flip. Here, two candidates for mayor tied with the same number of votes. To decide on a winner, they flipped a coin. The silver dollar landed on heads, and so candidate Travis Boyd will serve as the new village leader. 

The previous mayor, who served for 40 years, also won his seat from a coin flip back in 1979. 

Now, for an update on a story we've been following since last season. Back in March, the final Chevy Cruze crossed the assembly line at the General Motors facility in Lordstown. The 6.2-million-square-foot plant at one time employed up to 4,500 workers. 

Some folks were hoping the plant would reopen after that auto worker strike that we have been following. But alas, the agreement reached by striking workers didn't include a new car for Lordstown. 

However, all hope is not lost. In November, a new company bought the plant, with plans to build an electric pickup truck called Endurance. Startup company Lordstown Motors Corporation hopes to hire 400 hourly workers to get the job done. 

Additionally, GM announced just last week that they've partnered with a company called LG Chem to build an electric battery production facility in Lordstown. The project will bring 1,100 jobs to Northeast Ohio. 

Lordstown might just end up as the Midwest's center of electric vehicles. 

Calling all space lovers and future astronauts! The next spacecraft to land on the moon is stationed right here in Ohio. The 25-ton Orion space capsule landed in Mansfield on November 24th. 

It came all the way from Florida, traveling inside a plane called the Super Guppy, named because it looks like a giant whale. Then it headed to NASA's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, where it will undergo scientific testing for the next four months. This is the last stage of testing for the spacecraft before it is sent on an unmanned flight to the moon next year. 

Well, winter's setting in, and I bet those rides at the summer county fair are far from your mind, but they were in the center of a recent bill signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine. 

House Bill 189 puts into place more safety checks for amusement rides. Think Ferris wheels, roller coasters, and the like. Now, ride operators will have to provide proof of ride maintenance and repairs. 

The bill is being called Tyler's Law after 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell, who was killed in a ride accident at the Ohio State Fair in 2018. Tyler's family joined Governor DeWine for the signing of the bill, which takes immediate effect. 

While we wait for warmer days with safer rides, I'm Pat Miller. I'll be back next month with more Ohio happenings.