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Friday, December 19, 2014

Group organizing unique marijuana legalization ballot initiative
Other morning headlines: Ohio's jobless rate falls to 5%; NEO passed over for $25 million tax credit

WKSU morning news headlines for Friday, December 19:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

Owner Michael Bruno and Executive Chef Torsten Schulz enjoy a rare moment of relaxation before dinner guests arrive at The Blue Door in Cuyahoga Falls (Vivian Goodman)Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
The popular Cuyahoga Falls breakfast spot now serves elegant and expensive dinners

Pricey four-course dinners are now being served in a Cuyahoga Falls eatery better known for its bacon and eggs. 

The restaurant has a new executive chef, a new look, and a new concept. 

In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman takes us behind The Blue Door.  Vivian Goodman reports

Council President Kevin Kelley starts off the listening session at the Harvard Community Center last night. (KEVIN NIEDERMIER)Cleveland citizens call for better police training, oversight, interaction
At council's first stop on its "listening tour," residents get a chance to lay out ways to improve the city police department 

More community policing, better police training, and not allowing the police to police themselves. Those were some of the main themes last night during Cleveland City Council’s first “Listening Tour” session. Council is holding a series of the events in city neighborhoods to give residents a chance to offer their ideas on improving Cleveland’s police force.

   Kevin Niedermier reports

Thursday, December 18, 2014

NEOMED students can receive a full-tuition scholarship if they agree to work in an underserved community. (NEOMED)Mercy Health offers scholarships to NEOMED with an unusual requirement
Recipients would be required to work in an underserved community

Mercy Health will be accepting applications for full-tuition scholarships to the Northeast Ohio Medical University in the spring with some unique requirements.

Five scholarships will be offered to third- and fourth-year students. However, they require that students work for Mercy Health in an underserved area after residency for as many years as they received scholarship support.

Jeff Armada is the chief of staff at Mercy Health. He says there is a shortage of doctors in some parts of the country.  Lyndsey Schley reports

Governor Kasich before the Ohio Chamber of Commerce (Karen Kasler)Gov. Kasich: Ohio needs to get better control of charter schools
The newly re-elected governor lays out expectations for the coming year at a speech to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce

Gov.John Kasich appeared before the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Thursday, using the speech to size up 2014 and look ahead to the coming year.

One of the things Kasich said to expect in his budget next year is a crackdown on poor performing charter schools.  Karen Kasler reports

Cigar lovers have coveted -- and been unable to get -- Cuban cigars for five-decades. That could change (slightly) with the easing of embargoes against the island nation (K. Bhatia)Easing restrictions against Cuba may not light up the cigar market
The new rules would still not grant tourist visas, and only about $100 of alcohol and/or tobacco can be imported to the U.S.

The potential thaw in relations with Cuba has reignited debate over the five-decade embargo against the island nation. But as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, the move has cigar lovers stoked.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine also supports a bill to drop the statute of limitations on rape. (Ohio Attorney General's Office)Ohio bill to require rape kit testing within 30 days passes
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the new law codifies a successful program from his office

A bill that requires Ohio law enforcement agencies to send all their untested rape kits for testing within 30 days passed the House yesterday.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says he began asking these agencies to send the kits to his department in 2011.   Lyndsey Schley reports

Time Traveler Records has been on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls for 26 years. The store is closing December 31, even as the new Portage Crossing is reportedly increasing traffic in the area (Facebook)Cuyahoga Falls mayor says Portage Crossing should benefit nearby stores
The new shopping plaza is thriving, but one long-time neighbor is calling it quits

Cuyahoga Falls is welcoming one shopping center while saying goodbye to a long-time fixture of its State Road district.

Time Traveler Records says it’s being evicted after 26 years, and will close Dec.31. The store is in a strip mall next to the sprawling new Portage Crossing shopping plaza. Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters says he plans to reach out to Time Traveler’s owners about possibly keeping them in business, but other stores should not take this as the beginning of a trend.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Judge John O'Donnell will decide if prosecutors used tainted evidence to indict a Cleveland police officer and 5 supervisors. (Cuyahoga County)Will charges against Cleveland cops be dropped?
A Cuyahoga judge is deciding if the evidence in the November 2012 police chase and shooting is tainted

Cuyahoga County Judge John O’Donnell is deciding if prosecutors used tainted testimony to indict Cleveland police officers in the November 2012 chase and shooting of two unarmed people. A hearing on the issue ended this afternoon following a day and a half of testimony.  Kevin Niedermier reports

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will make recommendations to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission in response to high-profile shooting by police. (Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission)Ohio advisory group on police officer training convenes
Group will make recommendations to Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine assembled the first meeting of an advisory group that will make recommendations to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

The group was created in response to two high-profile killings: Police shot and killed a black man in southwest Ohio and a 12-year-old boy in Cleveland. They both had BB guns, and their families say they were threatening no one.

DeWine wants the panel to look over several elements of the officer training process.  Andy Chow reports

While the Supreme Court approved the red light camera process, a bill banning it is likely to be signed into law soon. (WKYC)Ohio Supreme Court clears red-light cameras and their appeals process
The ruling comes just as lawmakers are trying to put most of the cameras out of business

Just as state lawmakers pass a bill that will likely end most traffic camera programs in Ohio, the state’s highest court has ruled cities have the authority to use those red light and speed cameras. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.  Karen Kasler reports

 (WKYC)Ohio gas prices are the lowest in five years
Gas prices are expected to drop even more in 2015.

National surveys show consumers’ moods are brightening, and it’s not just holiday cheer.

The positive outlook has a lot to do with the steep drop in gasoline prices since last summer. And 2015 holds the promise of more price relief not only at the gas pump but also at grocery stores. For Ohio Public Radio, WOSU's Tom Borgerding reports.  (more)

Cleveland judge's law license suspended
Other midday headlines:  Governor talks about second term priorities, Cleveland man who admitted killing girlfriends gets life sentence

  • Angela Stokes' law license suspended
  • Kasich lays out second term priorities 
  • Drug dealer connected with fatal overdose sentenced
  • Cleveland man who admitted killing ex-girlfriend pulls life term
  • Columbus company offers free bag of mulch to customers who were shorted 
  •   (more)

    The Daily Show blasted Cleveland's police union for its reaction to Hawkins' shirt. (Daily Show screen capture)Jon Stewart tackles Cleveland police union over criticism of Browns player
    Daily Show segment drills down on union's demand for an apology

    Jon Stewart blasted the Cleveland police union on the Daily Show last night for its reaction to Browns player Andrew Hawkins wearing a “Justice for Tamir Rice” T-shirt at Sunday’s game.

    Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association President Jeffrey Follmer had demanded that the Browns and Hawkins apologize, saying athletes should stick to what they know best and “it’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law.”

    Jon Stewart included clips from the 58-page Justice Department report on Cleveland police use of excessive and unwarranted force, questions about how quickly police pulled up and shot the 12-year-old Rice and questions about the screening of the shooter when Cleveland hired him.

    The segment, called “Rage Against the Rage Against the Machine,” included some jokes – a clip of Barney Fife and what Stewart himself called “a cheap shot” over just how well any Browns player knows the game of football.

    But it ended on a serious note, with Hawkins response to Follmer.

    "To me, justice means the innocent should be found innocent. It means those who do wrong should get their due punishment. Ultimately it means fair treatment. So a call for justice shouldn't offend or disrespect anybody.”  M.L. Schultze reports

    Electron microscope image of the bacteria (bordetella pertussis) responsible for pertussis (whooping cough) (Flickr user Sanofi Pasteur
Photographer: Alain Grillet)Whooping cough keeps some Holmes County kids out of school
    Students at Berlin and Chestnut Ridge elementary schools are asked to stay home if they do not have the proper vaccinations

    Some students at Chestnut Ridge and Berlin elementary schools are starting Christmas break early this year.

    That's because the Holmes County Health Department is mandating that any student must stay home if he or she has not been vaccinated for whooping cough.

    Holmes County Health Commissioner Dr. D.J. McFadden says staying home can help because some people aren’t aware they are spreading the disease.  (more)

    10 indicted in alleged Akron dog fighting ring
    Other morning headlines: Akron cop murder suspect pleads not guilty; Effort to legalize fireworks fizzles out

    WKSU morning news headlines for Thursday, December 18:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Republican House Speaker Bill Batchelder of Medina first held office from 1969-1998, then served from 2007-2014. Term limits have forced his retirement. (ANDY CHOW)A goodbye from Ohio's second-longest serving lawmaker in state history
    Republican House Speaker Bill Batchelder, who began his Ohio lawmaking career in 1969, says goodbye in 2014

    The second-longest serving state lawmaker in Ohio history said goodbye to his colleagues in the House yesterday.

    Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.  Karen Kasler reports

    Dan Johnson used to fix The Black Keys vintage instruments at his Akron guitar shop.  But since 2009 he's been their trusted guitar technician on tour. (Adriane Biondo)The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
    String instrument technician Dan Johnson of Akron plays second guitar on a cover song in the current tour

    The Black Keys wrap up the North American leg of a world tour Sunday night in Kansas City. 

    Then they’ll let guitar tech Dan Johnson go home to Akron -- for a little while at least. 

    Guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Pat Carney live in Nashville now, but wherever the Keys travel, they rely on their hometown buddy to keep them in tune.  

    WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports that on this tour, the technician is also a musician.  Vivian Goodman reports

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

     Pluto: Athletes have a right to protest...within limits
    The Cavs' LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins wear t-shirts to protest recent police violence. Should it be allowed in sports?

    Pro athletes are taking a more visible role in protesting police violence. Cavs stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving recently wore “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts during pre-game warm-ups in Brooklyn. Those were the last words of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in an apparent chokehold by a New York City police officer last summer. This past Sunday, Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins wore a t-shirt over his uniform before the game that read “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford.” Both were shot by police while holding BB or pellet guns. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about public protest in pro sports.  Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Ohio has become a chief importer of fracking waste from other states, and environmentalists feared more would be coming from New York. (WKSU file photo)Ohio environmentalists: N.Y. fracking decision will have a big impact here
    More than half of the fracking waste disposed in Ohio comes from out of state

    Ohio environmentalists are celebrating the decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today not to open his state to fracking. And, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, that’s not just because of a sense of esprit de corps.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Bill Batchelder (WKSU file photo)Ohio House approves redistricting process, 81-7
    New process encourages approval from the minority party for future maps to be adopted

    In one of his final acts as speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Republican Bill Batchelder repeated the vote total for the plan to draw legislative-district maps.   Jo Ingles reports

    Christine Link, executive director of Ohio ACLU, says excluding religious or non-religious groups is a problem. (WKSU file photo)Ohio ACLU wants records for a state-supported, religious-mentor program
    The Community Connections mentoring program now includes a religious mandate

    The state’s leading civil liberties organization is planning a public records request to find out more about a state-supported mentoring program for schools.

    State school Superintendent Richard Ross, an appointee of Gov. John Kasich, says schools that want to join the Community Connections program can partner with a business or a non-profit, but must also have a faith-based organization on board.

    Chris Link of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says the governor’s apparent preference is a problem.  Karen Kasler reports

    Man outside homeless shelter (Flickr/EvasVillage)Report: More are hungry and homeless in the Greater Cleveland area
    Living-wage jobs remain a big issue

    The Greater Cleveland area is seeing a greater need for emergency food assistance, as well as an uptick in homeless families.

    WCPN's Brian Bull reports the annual U.S. Conference of Mayor’s status report on hunger and homelessness recently highlighted the level of homelessness in Cleveland.  (more)

    Cleveland Councilwoman Dona Brady wants the city to bring police mini-stations back to the neighborhoods. (City of Cleveland)Cleveland councilwoman wants police mini stations reopened
    Brady says community policing tools would help reduce crime and satisfy parts of a Justice Department review

    In the 1990's, the Clinton administration funded community policing efforts in cities and included police “mini stations.” In each Cleveland Council ward, one or two officers staffed the stations in rec centers or store fronts. Now, one city council member wants to bring back mini-stations to help heal the rift between the community and police.  Kevin Niedermier reports

     (WKSU file photo)Study: Ohio Public schools get less state aid per student than charter schools
    Public schools have to make up the difference at the local level

    A new study by an Ohio education watchdog group says local tax revenue is indirectly subsidizing charter schools.

    For Ohio Public Radio’s WYSO, Ariel Van Cleave has the details.  (more)

    Kenan Ivery is facing dozens of charges related to the shooting at Papa Don's pub in Akron. (Screen capture)Accused killer of Akron police officer pleads not guilty
    Kenan Ivery faces the death penalty

    The man accused of killing Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner officially answered that charge in Summit County court this morning – as well as answering to other charges that could lead him to death row. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.  M.L. Schultze reports

    A fracking well in southeast Ohio blew over the weekend, forcing the evacuation of homes in Monroe County. (WKSU file photo)Eastern Ohio gas well continues to spew gas out-of-control
    A fracking-well leak has forced the evacuation of more than two-dozen homes in rural Southeast Ohio

    Natural gas continues to spew from an out-of-control fracking well in eastern Ohio.

    Bethany McCorkle from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources describes it as a well blowout.  (more)

    David Pepper, Ohio Democrat Party's new chairman ( Pepper wins chair, Turner key in new ODP leadership
    Pepper wants to bring the party together

    The Ohio Democratic Party has elected new leadership. The new chair is David Pepper, former Hamilton County Commissioner and the failed candidate for recent campaigns for Attorney General and Auditor. And as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, he’ll be joined by another former statewide candidate and State Senator.  Jo Ingles reports

    Judge to rule whether tainted testimony was used in deadly police chase
    Other morning headlines: First Energy shakes up management; First Ohio teen death from flu recorded

    WKSU morning news headlines for Wednesday, December 17:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Ohio school superintendent Richard Ross Ohio adds religious requirement to mentoring program
    Ohio school Superintendent adds requirement

    If you want to be part of Governor Kasich’s program to mentor for Ohio school children, you’ll have to have a religious affiliation.

    The Ohio Department of Education is now soliciting grant applications from organizations but interested parties must have a faith-based connection to be accepted.

    State Impact Ohio’s Mark Urycki reports.  Mark Urycki reports

    Richard Ross, Ohio state school superintendent (WKSU file photo)Ohio adds a religious mandate to a state-supported mentoring program in schools
    Ohio Superintendent Richard Ross defends the religious requirement

    State school superintendent Richard Ross has raised some eyebrows by adding a religious element to a new state-supported mentoring program in schools.

    Gov.Kasich has called on business people and faith-based organizations to take part in his Community Connections mentoring program. Now Ross and an advisory board have made a requirement that the sponsoring organization include a “faith-based” partner.

    Education department spokesman John Charlton says a student will have a chance to see how a business leader is successful.  Mark Urycki reports

    Tucker Jolly, emeritus professor of tuba at the University of Akron, originated the city's celebration in 1980. (Courtesy of the University of Akron)Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
    Hundreds of tubists take the stage every holiday season

    Holiday spirit will resonate in Akron Saturday at Tuba Christmas. 

    This will be the 35th annual event, bringing together Christmas revelers and hundreds of tuba players for the songs of the season. 

    WKSU’s Vivian Goodman has a preview.  Vivian Goodman reports

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Judi Hill is the first new president of the Akron NAACP chapter in the last two decades. (M.L. SCHULTZE)Hill is the new president of the Akron NAACP
    She calls for the organization to make more room for younger people

    For the first time in more than two decades, the Akron NAACP has a new president. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the results of yesterday’s  election.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Lt. Dave Belcher, president of the Ohio Fire Officials Association; Nationwide Children’s Hospital ER Dr. Gary Smith, the president of the Child Injury Safety Alliance; Sherry Williams, CEO of Prevent Blindness Ohio; Upper Arlington Police Chief Brian Quinn; Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn; and Betty Montgomery, the Prevent Blindness Board of Directors chair and former Ohio Attorney General. (KAREN KASLER)Officials and advocates push Ohio lawmakers to reject the fireworks bill
    Doctors say even consumer-grade fireworks are dangerous

    A bill that would allow Ohioans to set off fireworks is up for a vote in the House tomorrow. And a coalition of safety officials, pediatricians and other advocates are hoping the bill will sputter out.

    The measure eliminates the requirement that buyers sign a form promising to take the fireworks out of state to ignite them. It is known as the “liar’s law” because it is so often disregarded.

    But Prevent Blindness Ohio Board of Directors chair Betty Montgomery, the former Attorney General, says there is no rush to change it.

       Karen Kasler reports

    outgoing ODP chair Chris Redfern (Andy Chow)Former governor could have saved Ohio Democrats in the last election
    Outgoing Ohio Democratic Party chief believes Ted Strickland could have stopped the Republicans sweep

    Outgoing Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern says he believes former Gov. Ted Strickland could have prevented the Republican wave in November that resulted in a sweep of alll statewide offices.  Jo Ingles reports

     (Ohio Citizen Action)Environmentalists call for more oversight of fracking-waste disposal
    Ohio officials stand by their inspections

    An advocacy group says hundreds of millions of gallons of fracking waste is being dumped into oil and gas disposal wells without strong oversight. But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, the state stands by the strength of its program.  Andy Chow reports

    Columbus City Schools are eligible for the parent-trigger law but it has not been used. (Columbus City Schools)'Parent trigger' option has not yet been exercised in Columbus schools
    Many parents don't know they have options to convert low-performing schools to charters exists

    Improving low-performing public schools is a problem that has troubled educators and parents for decades. This year, Ohio is trying a new tactic, allowing parents to take over a troubled school.

    Under a pilot project set by Ohio lawmakers, nearly two dozen Columbus City schools are eligible for the so-called 'parent trigger' option. With an end of year deadline, the state's largest district has not received a parent petition. For Ohio Public Radio, WOSU's Tom Borgerding reports.  (more)

    Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area Executive Director Dan Rice says the Towpath Trail and other tourism activities have been a boon to the Ohio economy. (Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition)Ohio & Erie Canalway is designated a National Heritage Area via the U.S. defense bill
    Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act will lead to federal funding for the area

    The Ohio & Erie Canalway is one of the winners coming out of the National Defense Authorization Act that Congress passed last Friday.

    The Canalway’s designation as a National Heritage Area expired in 2012 and will be renewed thanks to language by Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in the bill. This makes the Canalway eligible for federal funding.

    Dan Rice is the executive director of the Ohio and Erie Canalway National Heritage Area. He says the Canal boosted the Ohio economy back in its heyday and the heritage area is doing the same.  Lyndsey Schley reports

    A screen capture from the Walmart video of the shooting. (WKSU FILE PHOTO)Family of John Crawford III sues the Beavercreek police and Walmart
    Suit alleges officers along with Walmart are partially responsible for the shooting death of Crawford

    The family of John Crawford III has sued Walmart and the Beavercreek police for damages. Police fatally shot the 22-year-old black man inside the Beavercreek Walmart on Aug. 5th. They were responding to a call saying he was holding a gun. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun sold in the store.

    The suit, filed in federal court today, alleges the individual officers as well as the police chief, the city of Beavercreek and Walmart are partially responsible for Crawford’s death.

    Richard Schulte, one of the lawyers for the family, spoke at a news conference crowded with supporters.  (more)

     (FORDHAM INSTITUTE)Charter school advocate calls for more oversight and money for the schools
    Fordham Institute says Ohio lawmakers may be closer to changing the law to eliminate potential conflicts-of-interest

    An advocate for charter schools is calling for Ohio lawmakers to make big changes in how charters are run in the state. The Fordham Institute study finds current laws invite conflicts of interest and self-dealing.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Big Fun Owner Steve Presser says he has been happy that his store has been filled not only with retro toys but customers. (Brian Bull)Small businesses is feeling upbeat about holiday sales
    Big Fun owner says his store has been busy during December

    In the competition for holiday profits, some small businesses are sounding particularly upbeat despite the advantages online and big-box retailers would seem to have. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Brian Bull reports.  (more)

    The Hugo Boss plant in suburban Cleveland is once again slated to close. (Kevin Niedermier)Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
    The German company says it's closing the plant, but employees say they've heard that before and changed the suit-makers plans

    A new fight to keep the Cleveland-area Hugo Boss plant open is heating up. The German suit-maker announced early this month it will close the facility in April, putting 170 people out of work.

    As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the workers plan to fight for their jobs just as hard as they did in 2010 -- when they convinced the company not to close.

       Kevin Niedermier reports

    Pepper on course to be next ODP head
    Other midday headlines:  Ohio confirms first child flu death this season, Goodyear to close Latin America HQ - relocating staff to Akron

  • Ohio Democrats uniting on Pepper
  • Ohio confirms first pediatric flu death this season
  • Goodyear closing Latin American regional office
  • Ohio Turnpike taps new head
  •   (more)

    Man accused of shooting, killing Akron officer to face death penalty
    Other morning headlines: Tamir Rice's mom speaks to AP; State says scammer got access to 600 Ohioans' resumes

    WKSU morning news headlines for Tuesday, December 16:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Jessica Kimble outlines the apprenticeship for the operating engineers union. (M.L. SCHULTZE)Akron's jobs for sewers program packs the house
    Trade unions answer questions and make a pitch

    The largest infrastructure project in Akron’s history is turning into a job-training program as well. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on a move to fix an environmental problem – and close the skills gap.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Cleveland will once again host the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions in 2015, part of a three-year rotation that includes New York and L.A. (Amanda Rabinowitz)Many long-eligible acts headed for the 2015 Rock Hall class in Cleveland
    Blues-rock and pop-punk are some of the genres in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2015, along with one of the most famous musicians of all-time

    The Class of 2015 has been announced. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia takes a look at this year’s inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Kabir Bhatia reports

    New workers are recruited for Akron's sewer project
    Despite a recovering economy, Akron is looking for the public works project to translate into jobs for the unemployed and underemployed

    About 250 Akron residents showed up for pre-apprenticeship screening last night to see if they can earn a job on the largest public works project the city has ever undertaken.

    It’s a $1.4 billion sewer overhaul, and Akron wants as much as half of the workforce to come from the city. But contractors maintain a skills gap could get in the way. That’s why the city set up the sessions with the eight trade unions that have apprenticeships to qualify for the work.

    The city has already done similar training for commercial truck drivers, who will be hauling the dirt carved out for the massive tunnels. Assistant Service Director Phil Montgomery says a recovering economy means some workers have not had to wait for the public project.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    The 'A' strain H3N2 flu virus causes the most hospitalizations during the flu season, and this year it has mutated away from the variant prevented by the flu vaccine. Flu virus sidesteps vaccine
    This year's virus has mutated to a new variant that the vaccine does not fully prevent against

    Flu cases are up in Ohio compared to last year, and this year’s flu vaccine does not prevent one of the most common strains.

    Mary DiOrio is medical director at the Ohio Department of Health.  She says we could see a more severe flu season because the ‘A’ variant is on the rise.

       Jeff St. Clair reports

    Inside Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, Ohio (WKSU file photo)Caesars' financial problems should not be a problem for Ohio casinos
    Caesars Entertainment holds a 20 percent share of Cleveland and Cincinnatti casinos

    The Caesars Entertainment Corporation is 25 billion dollars in debt and has closed three casinos in the last year. reports this has caused concerns for two Ohio-based Horseshow casinos partially owned by Caesar’s.

    However, Director for the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV David Schwartz says the closings should not affect Ohio casinos.  (more)

    Safer Schools Ohio ( Depts of Education and Public Safety introduce new tip line to schools
    The line is free for all Ohio public and private schools

    The Ohio Departments of Education and Public Safety are providing a new way for students and parents to report an incident and stay anonymous.

    The incidents include bullying, suicide prevention or a threat of mass violence.

    Each tip will be analyzed by a special unit in the Ohio Department of Homeland Security.

    John Charlton of the Department of Education says it is important each call gets personal attention and that the right group is contacted.  Cory York reports

    The Port of Cleveland is on track to have a much better year than 2013. (Port of Cleveland)It's been a good year for Cleveland's port
    Number of ships visiting, international tonnage and bulk tonnage all up

    More goods came in and more went out of the Port of Cleveland this year than last. Port officials say international cargo will finish the year more than 20 percent ahead of 2013. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier has this look at the numbers.  Kevin Niedermier reports

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine introduces new online program for public records training in the Rhodes Tower in Columbus.  (Andy Chow)Ohio public records are going digital with an online training course
    Taking the course can help educate all Ohioans on important government issues and increase transparency

    Technology is being used to help Ohioans learn the laws on government transparency and public records.

    Ohio Public Radio’s Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.  Andy Chow reports

    Area of land being donated to park district (Google Maps)Ravenna resident donates 145 acres of land to Portage Park District
    Former park district commissioner fulfills nearly decade long vision

    The Portage County Park District has received a generous donation by a former park district commissioner.

    Virginia Shaw donated 145 acres of land near the Ravenna Arsenal to the district to ensure the protection of the property.

    Executive Director Kristine Craycroft says the donation was well planned.  Cory York reports

    Regulation of Ohio home health care industry found lacking
    Other headlines:  Ohio open records access training goes online, food pantries connect with clients via texting 

  • Regulation of Ohio home health care industry found lacking 
  • Training for access to Ohio public records goes digital
  • Ohio AG investigating police-involved shooting
  • Texting helps food pantries better connect with clients
  •   (more)

    Police union chief wants Browns player to apologize for protest shirt
    Other morning headlines: More than 100 toy guns turned in during buyback program; Legislature approves sales tax holiday

    WKSU morning news headlines for Monday, December 15:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Mental Health and Recovery Board of Portage County Executive Director Joel Mowrey says he hopes they can reduce recidivism with the new program. (Eric Wandersleben)Portage County launches an inmate trauma program
    The director hopes the program will help inmates successfully transition back into the community

    Portage County is launching a program that could help inmates who have suffered trauma in their lives to successfully transition back into the community.

    Joel Mowrey is the executive director of the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Portage County. He says this program will train workers to treat inmates who have been through serious situations.  Lyndsey Schley reports

    Overflows were a design in sewer systems until the mid  1930s.  (WKSU, Mark Urycki)Akron recruits apprentices for its massive sewer overhaul
    Pre-apprentice outreach is tonight at East Community Learning Center

    Akron will continue scouting tonight for city residents who want work on a $1.4 billion sewer overhaul. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

       M.L. Schultze reports

     Ohio veterans have just about two weeks to claim bonus
    Deadline for Ohio Iraq vets to claim bonus is December 31

    The deadline for the Ohio Iraq bonus deadline is rapidly just about three weeks away. Dec. 31 is the last day a veteran can apply.

    To be eligible a person must be an Ohio resident at his or her time of service and when applying for the bonus.

    Ohio Department of Veteran Services spokesman Mike McKinney says the bonus will also go the families of members of the military who died overseas.  (more)

    A mastodon skeleton is nearly as fearful looking as the fully fleshed animal. People hunted these Ice Age giants, and may have contributed to their extinction 10,000 years ago in their last refuge in the Great Lakes region. (John Weinstein © 2009 The Field Museum)Exploradio: Mammoths, mastodons and the first Ohioans
    Prehistoric Americans found mammoths, mastodons, and other Ice Age giants when they settled in Ohio, and they may have contributed to the animals' demise

    A new exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History explores the rise and fall of the massive animals that populated Ice Age America.

    In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair looks at the role humans might have played in the demise of Ohio’s mammoths and mastodons.

       Jeff St. Clair reports

    David Pepper ( leading candidate for next Ohio Democrat chairman
    Vote is scheduled to take place Tuesday

    David Pepper is poised to be the next leader of the Ohio Democratic Party.

    As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, his main competition has withdrawn from the race.  Jo Ingles reports

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    Special Features
    Mean Kids: Bullying in School

    Bullying is a bigger problem in Northeast Ohio than in the nation as a whole. It happens more often and it's reported less frequently. Our region has also been rocked by the suicides of bullying victims who saw no other way out. In this series, Mean Kids, WKSU's Vivian Goodman takes a closer look at the bullies, their targets and their weapons, as well as the tools Northeast Ohio is using to fight the problem.

    (more )

    Kent State 1970: Hear it now

    At the time of the events, WKSU reporters caught many of the key developments leading up to the shooting, the day of the tragedy and of the aftermath. The original audio, as well as photographs, reports and other text, has been gathered on a special web site:

    (more )

    May 4th Remembered

    On May 4th, 1970, Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on Kent State students protesting the invasion of Cambodia, the escalation of the Vietnam War - and the presence of the guard on campus. Four students died; nine were wounded. The scene became an icon for the Baby Boom generation. And this year, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, as a site that contributed significantly to the understanding of the nation's history and culture. But for many, the history is not national. It's personal. And while it's fading out of many textbooks and memories, it's fresh in the lives of many others. WKSU is taking a look at the personal stories and larger lessons that grew from May 4, 1970.

    (more )

    Good Jobs In Bad Times

    The WKSU newsroom dove into the murky waters of the current employment situation in Northeast Ohio with the 8-part series Good Jobs in Bad Times. With their reports, the award-winning news staff covered topics that include high-paying tech jobs, careers that don't need a 4-year degree, the re-growth of agriculture as industry, working part-time full-time, drastically changing career paths, the truth about healthcare, bridge jobs after graduation and the future of the NE Ohio employment outlook.

    (more )

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    listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University