Ad Spot

Juneteenth holiday sparks scramble in states

COLUMBUS (AP) — Congress and President Joe Biden acted with unusual swiftness this week in approving Juneteenth as a national holiday, a move that sent many states scrambling to clarify their policies on the observance with less than a business day’s notice.

Nearly all states recognize Juneteenth in some fashion, at least on paper.

Legislation to formally recognize Juneteenth had stalled in Ohio.

In another twist, many states have laws with provisions that automatically recognize all federal holidays — even those not named in state statute.

Such was the case in Ohio, where Republican Gov. Mike DeWine issued his Juneteenth statement on Thursday evening. In the manner of a hastily called school snow day, he noted the state’s automatic observance of all federal holidays and declared that most government offices would be closed Friday.

State Sen. Hearcel Craig, a Columbus Democrat who is Black, is sponsoring the bill making Juneteenth a paid state holiday.

He said Friday that it remains essential that lawmakers pass the legislation even after the federal holiday was declared. His bill cleared the Ohio Senate unanimously last session, but time ran out for its consideration in the House.

“This is the party of Lincoln,” he said of Republicans who control both Ohio’s legislative chamber. “My hope and expectation is that Ohio will choose to be a leader in the quest to honor Black history and the movement toward a more equitable world. And that’s not hyperbole. Ohio can and should be a leader with regard to this issue. It concerns not only African-Americans but all Americans. Put simply, Black history is American history.”

Lifestyles

Local author earns acclaim for children’s books

News

Brown reintroduces bill to protect vulnerable call center jobs in the U.S.

Columnists

Doug Johnson: Our worldly treasures can weigh us down sometimes

News

Ironton Wizardfest is set to return in November

Columnists

Tindall’s work was critical for the Apollo mission

News

The man with the vision

News

Ohio University suspends Delta Pi frat for hazing violations

Huntington, W. Va.

Pallottine Foundation of Huntington has new health program officer and communications, research manager

Gallery

GALLERY: Memory Lane 7-31-21

Gallery

FOCUS: Scenes from CCTC

Lifestyles

Jehovah’s Witnesses to hold global event

News

Baldridge issues statement on Commercial Liability Partners, Killen Power Plant decommissioning

News

Lawsuit: Ohio wrongly denying parole to ex-death row inmates

News

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in county

Columnists

Mark McCown: Attorney can be noble, but can’t be nobility

News

Ohio offering $100 coronavirus vaccination incentive to state employees

News

Diedrich Boulevard by Kroger to be down to one lane next week

Gallery

GALLERY: Night at the Lawrence County Fair

Columnists

Car buying hurt by the dying art of haggling

News

Ohio health officials won’t mandate mask-wearing in schools

News

Former Scioto jail officer indicted

Columnists

Don Lee: Learning to fly was not easy at the dawn of aviation age

Columnists

Do you love or dread family portraits?

News

Ohio National Guard, State Defense Force to scale back COVID-19 response force