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Published: Saturday, 1/21/2012

Permanent move for talk weighed


COLUMBUS -- Gov. John Kasich said Friday that if his State of the State Address in Steubenville goes well on Feb. 7, he may never have another one in the Statehouse.

"It's my understanding that this is the first time that a governor has ever made a State of the State outside of Columbus," the governor said. "I don't know what the gas mileage costs will be. Maybe people will decide to drive over there and not charge the state. I don't know.

"But I know so far the reaction in Steubenville has been somersaults," Mr. Kasich said.

Instead of delivering his annual assessment of the state's health and a look at his policies for the next year before House and Senate members, Ohio Supreme Court justices, cabinet directors, the press, and others at the Statehouse, Mr. Kasich will take his second such address to Wells Academy.

The Steubenville City School District elementary school is the top performer in the state in terms of test scores. It is also in a portion of the state where Mr. Kasich is placing heavy emphasis on renewed exploration for natural gas and oil exploration in shale.

"I think Steubenville has been ignored for 50 years," the governor said.

"It's so great to be able to give people a lift in a part of the state that has been beaten down for generations," he added. "I think it's fantastic, and it's worth every dime."

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