Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Aug. 24
The news in America was joyful. Two brave American health professionals, Dr. Keith Brantly and Nancy Writebol, flown to the United States after they fell ill with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, walked out of the hospital last week. Doctors say they have been cured.
Many patients weren't so lucky in Liberia, New Guinea and Sierra Leone, where fear, ignorance and a rudimentary public health system have been just as lethal as the deadly disease. West Africans and the world must deal with these issues as the virus' death toll in the region rises over 1,000.
Unfounded fears of Ebola aren't unique to Africans. A recent Harvard School of Public Health poll showed that many Americans don't understand how the disease is spread.
However, a lack of information about the deadly disease, spread by close contact with blood, vomit and other secretions, is deadly at ground zero in West Africa. Sadly, some West Africans don't even think that the disease exists.
Health officials there must do a better job educating people about Ebola and the world must help these suffering countries get medical supplies and recruit volunteer health professionals. ...
The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, Aug. 24
Improving the economy — providing more jobs — is the key to lifting individuals and families out of poverty. That has been made crystal clear during the last several years in Ohio. ...
Recognizing more effective steps need to be taken to attack poverty, Gov. John Kasich has established a new state office devoted to welfare reform. The Office of Human Services Intervention is intended to provide services to the poor more effectively, while lowering the cost to taxpayers. ...
One approach HSI Director Douglas Lumpkin may want to consider is obtaining current statistics. Even state officials who released a report on poverty earlier this year relied on numbers no more recent than 2012. ...
Kasich and Lumpkin seem dedicated to a comprehensive approach to the challenge, with initiatives in public education, health care, job training and placement and mechanical improvements in how benefits are delivered to those in poverty.
Lumpkin is to deliver recommendations to the governor before the end of this year. Kasich may be able to implement some by executive order, though others may require legislative action. After careful analysis to ensure the plan is good — not full of politically correct feel-good initiatives — state officials should move quickly to implement it.
The Ironton Tribune, Aug. 21
... (A) viral fundraising campaign — the Ice Bucket Challenge — is, ironically, the hottest thing on social media right now. People from all over the country have taken the challenge to dump buckets of ice water over themselves to raise money and awareness for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
It's a simple concept: Donate $100 to the ALS Association or film yourself dumping a bucket of ice cold water over your head. Then, publicly challenge others to do the same.
Some have asked, "How is ice water going to cure ALS?"
Well, it's not going to cure anything. But it has brought the disease into the forefront again and thankfully, most of those participating in the challenge are also donating money that will go toward finding a cure.
In fact, according to the ALS Association, almost $16 million was raised between July 29 and Aug. 18.
The Ice Bucket Challenge may seem strange to some, but this viral sensation has the potential to do a lot of good for many worthy charities all over the world. ...
The (Canton) Repository, Aug. 25
Two hundred years ago this week, Washington was burning. The President's House (later to be called the White House) and the Capitol were among the buildings that were torched by British soldiers on Aug. 24, 1814. ...
A brilliant re-creation on NPR's "All Things Considered" gave listeners an inkling of what Aug. 24, 1814, might have looked and sounded like to National Public Radio reporters. ...
But the fictional account also reminded us of something worth remembering: The nation survived its second war with Great Britain, just as it did the first, and became a stronger, better country.
It was a comforting reminder at the end of a horrible week that included the beheading of an American journalist by barbarians in Syria and the continuing spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa. ...
And, we confess, it was a week like too many others that left us wondering whether Americans' innate sense of optimism — perhaps the biggest key to our future as a country — is in danger of being extinguished.
Fortunately, we mustered our own innate optimism and took comfort in the thought that after 1814, America faced even more daunting challenges ...
We survived them, too. And became a better country.