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Questions linger two weeks after East Palestine train derailment

The cleanup of portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that derailed Friday night in East Palestine, Ohio, continues on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023.
Gene J. Puskar
The cleanup of portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that derailed Feb 3 in East Palestine, Ohio, continues. Photo taken Feb. 9. 2023.

The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency visited the site of a train derailment in the village of East Palestine Thursday to get a first-hand look at the site. Two weeks ago, the Norfolk Southern train derailed and caught fire.

Initially, concern focused on five of the derailed cars carrying vinyl chloride—a chemical used in plastic product making. The railroad carried out a controlled release and burn to avert an explosion. But though the fire from that burn is out and the evacuation order lifted, questions, anger and anxiety linger for the residents of East Palestine.

Many packed a meeting Wednesday night that people expected to involve representatives of Norfolk Southern. But hours before the meeting, the railroad pulled its people citing concerns over threats.

Here are some other stories on today's Reporters' Roundtable.

Attorney General Dave Yost this week announced that charges filed against a NewsNation reporter will be dropped. Police pushed Evan Lambert to the ground and handcuffed him during the governor’s press conference last week. Lambert had been doing a live shot during the governor’s news conference, which is pretty common practice for reporters.

Ohio House Republicans revealed their priority bills this week, introducing measures on topics such as cutting the state income tax, modernizing adoption, a universal voucher or backpack bill for students and another effort to ban transgender athletes from girls and women sports.

House Republicans are also introducing House Joint Resolution 1. This is the measure that would raise the threshold of voters needed to pass a constitutional amendment from 50% plus one vote to 60%. Proponents say the measure is needed to protect the Ohio constitution from being hijacked by special interests. Opponents say it is undemocratic.

-Abigail Bottar, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Ken Schneck, Editor, The Buckeye Flame
-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."