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Story Ideas for Media 9/29/08


Ohio State study: Mortgage losses on owner-occupied homes lower than assumed.
Homeowners who are struggling with mortgages for their own residences are a relatively small part of the overall mortgage crisis, according to results of a new nationwide study of consumer balance sheets.
The study estimates that losses on first mortgages for owner-occupied homes may range as high as $180 billion.
While that’s a large amount, it is not catastrophic, said Randall Olsen, co-author of the study, professor of economics, and director of the Center for Human Resource Research at Ohio State University.
Instead, the results suggest that the biggest losses in the mortgage crisis are not for owner-occupied homes, but for commercial real estate loans, and loans for houses bought as investments or built on speculation, Olsen said. CONTACT: Randall Olsen, (614) 442-7348, Olsen.6@osu.edu
SEE: http://www.osu.edu/news/newsitem2151


Controversial Early Voting Period in Ohio is this week – through Oct. 6.
Residents in the key battleground state of Ohio have the unique opportunity to register to vote and immediately cast a ballot during a controversial seven-day period from Sept. 30 – Oct. 6. This is the result of an overlap between the state’s early voting period and voter registration deadline. Faculty experts from The Ohio State University, the nation’s largest campus, say that this could have a significant impact on the presidential race.
Ohio State political science professor, Paul Beck, says that Ohio is somewhat unique in the sense that this early voting period takes place in a critical state well before Election Day when campaign messages have not reached full speed.
Election law experts at Ohio State say that Ohio has already seen litigation on this matter.
“Every newly registered early or absentee voter in Ohio could be affected if the court decides that the Republicans’ interpretation of the law is correct and that a voter must be registered for 30 days prior to applying for an early absentee ballot,” said Terri Enns, a senior fellow at The Ohio State University Election Law.
A full list of Ohio State’s key election experts is online: http://www.osu.edu/news/experts/issues.php


Conference will examine the impact of race in the housing foreclosure crisis – Oct. 2-3.
As the nation continues to deal with the economic fallout from home mortgage foreclosures, Ohio State will assemble some of the nation’s leading experts on race, law, finance and real estate to discuss the disproportionate consequences on African Americans and Latinos. The National Convening on Subprime Lending, Foreclosure and Race, hosted by the Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity, will be held Thursday (10/2) and Friday (10/3) at the Hyatt Regency, 350 N. High St. Sessions will begin each day at 9 a.m. CONTACT: Kathy Baird (614) 292-8766, baird.11@osu.edu The conference agenda is available at: http://kirwaninstitute.org/

Ohio State Chinese Flagship Program offers instruction to two high schools via distance learning – Sept. 30. Students at Metro High School and Dover High School in Tuscarawas County will be participating in a distance learning Chinese lesson given by Metro High School Chinese Teacher Pin Pin Peng on at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday (9/30) at Metro, 1929 Kenny Road. During the lesson, students will greet each other, introduce themselves, then learn how to ask each other what grade they are in and how to answer the question.
Students will be using nearly $40,000 in equipment donated by The Ohio State University’s Chinese Flagship Program for this lesson. The donation allows a larger number of students to learn Chinese. This is particularly important as the state ramps up its economic development efforts around the globe, especially with China.
Professor Galal Walker, Director of The Chinese Flagship Program will be on site and available for interviews, as well as Metro’s Principal Marcy Raymond and Metro High School Chinese Teacher Pin Pin Peng. CONTACT: Stephanie Tresso, 221-2885x15, or Miranda Terrill, 221-2885x22.

Former president of Ireland to lecture at Ohio State – Oct. 9. The Honorable Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, will discuss “Women and International Policy” at Ohio State on Oct. 9. The lecture will take place at 4:30 p.m. at Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High Street.
Named a “Hero and Icon” by Time magazine’s top 100 men and women, Mary Robinson is recognized as one whose “power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world.” Robinson is an international leader in setting human rights standards and policy. The event is presented jointly by Ohio State’s International Studies program in celebration of its 65th anniversary, and by the John Glenn School of Public Affairs’ Barbara K. Fergus Women in Leadership Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public, but RSVP’s are required to http://glennschool.osu.edu/robinson.php