photo of Thomas Skala
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Are Akron's Hoped-For Downtown Dwellers Ready to Leave Their Cars Behind?

The city of Akron is looking to boost the number of people living downtown. Could that mean adding thousands of cars -- or adding thousands of people who decide they don’t need a car? WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia has more on how transportation could be changing in the Rubber City.

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Tunnel Boring Machine Known As Rosie
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Akron’s billion-dollar sewer project includes cutting a 30-foot high, mile-long tunnel under downtown. A special boring machine is being put together for that. It’s called Rosie -- for Rosie the Riveter -- and Rosie is really big. 

Imagine a 747, its wings folded back, pushing along 160 feet below ground. Rosie is bigger-around, longer, and --  at 1,100 tons -- a good bit heavier.

photo of Thomas Skala
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The city of Akron is looking to boost the number of people living downtown. Could that mean adding thousands of cars -- or adding thousands of people who decide they don’t need a car? WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia has more on how transportation could be changing in the Rubber City.

HEROIN FENTANYL
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson says the mixing of deadly synthetic heroin with cocaine is spreading the opioid crisis to the African American community. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on Gilson’s testimony in Washington today.

The Ohio House has passed a resolution asking the federal government to consider alternatives to Ohio’s E-Check program. The program affects seven counties in Northeast Ohio and requires older vehicles to be checked for emissions with a free test every two years.

Once again, state lawmakers are trying to green light new rules for how communities can use speed and red light cameras, especially smaller communities that get a big percentage of their revenue from tickets. 

Columbus Democratic Rep. Hearcel Craig is going after communities without mayors’ courts that are running traffic camera programs. He says some violations come with fines in the hundreds to thousands of dollars which he says is “abusive and excessive."

photo of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Politicians around the country and here in Ohio are sounding off on the allegations that a Republican congressional candidate body slammed a reporter and has been criminally charged. One top Ohio Democrats says this is part of a larger cultural shift.

A reporter is accusing U.S. House hopeful Greg Gianforte of slamming him to the ground during an attempted interview in Montana, and Gianforte is facing an assault charge.

photo of Lake Erie
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are sifting through President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which has gotten a lot of heat from Democrats. There’s one issue that has riled up some of Ohio’s leaders on both sides of the aisle.

The White House’s budget proposes eliminating the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which works to clean the lakes and protect them from long-term threats.

NRML GRL
NRML GRL

A performance tonight at one of Akron’s underground venues blends experimental music and visual art.

For this week’s Shuffle, The Devil Strip magazine’s music editor Brittany Nader says the show is organized by Hive Mind, which is one of Akron’s do-it-yourself spaces that showcases independent artists.

photo of fantasy sports user
SHUTTERSTOCK

A measure that would revise rules on fantasy sports, which haven’t been touched in decades, is on its way to the Ohio Senate after passing the House.

Under the proposal, players would have to be 18 or older and the companies running fantasy sports competitions would have to be licensed by the state.

House leaders are quick to note that fantasy sports as we know it today is entirely different than the paper-and-pencil version from the 90's.

Canton near the interchange of Market  and Tuscarawas
Tim Rudell / WKSU

One part of downtown Canton is now going to hold two economic development district designations.  The first involves a bit of history, while the other is all high tech.

A state law passed in August lets cities create Downtown Redevelopment Districts where they can offer tax incentives for developing new or rehabbing existing properties.

To qualify, an area needs to have at least one historic building in need of renovation. Canton has more than one.  And it has something much newer that is making another kind of district designation possible.

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From NPR

It may not be possible to imagine a more terrible crime.

Courtney Pieters, a 3-year-old girl from a suburb of Cape Town, went missing on May 4. Her body was found nine days later, buried in a shallow grave about two-thirds of a mile from her home. She had been raped twice.

"This is one of the saddest incidents I've come across," South African President Jacob Zuma said May 18.

A school district near Houston has apologized after a 13-year-old student received an award declaring her "Most Likely to Become a Terrorist."

The award was one of several "insensitive and offensive fake mock awards," the Channelview Independent School District said in a statement, and the teachers in question have been disciplined, KHOU in Houston reports.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Updated at 10:47 a.m. ET

Denis Johnson, the author behind the seminal collection Jesus' Son, has died at the age of 67. Jeff Seroy, a spokesperson for Johnson's publisher, Farrar Straus and Giroux, confirmed that the National Book Award-winning novelist died Thursday but offered no further details.

"Denis was one of the great writers of his generation," FSG's president and publisher, Jonathan Galassi, said in a statement Friday. "He wrote prose with the imaginative concentration and empathy of the poet he was."

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