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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ohio became the first state to rollback green energy standards. Critics say the jobs report may have made a difference. (WKSU file photo)What happened to Ohio's green-jobs report?
The state says the methodology was flawed; critics says the Kasich administration just wanted to keep a lid on the results

The increasing attention focused on a green energy jobs report paid for by the state has sparked debate over how forward the Kasich administration was in revealing its findings. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow report.  Andy Chow reports

Friday, November 21, 2014

A warmer winter means more opportunities for winter construction. (Flickr/Conrad Kuiper)A warmer winter is good news for construction crews
Last year's polar vortexes led to delays in construction projects

Last year, the polar vortex delayed many construction projects in our region. Equipment broke down, crews could not work, and many materials had shipping problems. But as WCPN's Brian Bull reports for Ohio Public Radio, the construction outlook is warming up.  (more)

Supporters of voter photo ID laws are making another push in Ohio. Opponents say they want to suppress the vote. (File photo)GOP proponents of voter photo IDs continue their push
If the leadership won't bring it to a vote, Rep. Becker says he'll take another route

Backers of a bill that would require Ohio voters to show a photo ID are frustrated because that measure has been stalled in committee.

Republican State Rep. John Becker of Cincinnati, one of the sponsors of the bill, says supporters had hoped the Legislature would take it up. But since that hasn’t happened, he and others are circulating what’s called a discharge petition to force it to the floor of the Ohio House.  Jo Ingles reports

Police officers from around the state attended Winebrenner's calling hours today; the funeral is tomorrow. (KABIR BHATIA)Hundreds gather for slain Akron officer's calling hours
Some describe it as losing family; the funeral is tomorrow

Hundreds of people are at the University of Akron this afternoon for calling hours for slain police officer Justin Winebrenner.  The 32-year-old patrol officer was shot last Sunday while reportedly trying to subdue a man brandishing a gun at a South Akron bar.

Kenny Welch is a mental-health technician who works closely with many Akron officers.  He’s among those gathering at the James A. Rhodes Arena, and says it feels like a family member’s funeral.  Kabir Bhatia reports

The wrongly accused Ricky Jackson walks to freedom after 39 year in prison.  (Kevin Niedermier)A pair of wrongly convicted men are freed today
A then 12-year-old witness recants his testimony

Two Cleveland men are free today after spending nearly four decades in prison for a murder they didn’t commit.  Kevin Niedermier reports

Chef Paul Minnillo of Flour in Moreland Hills says one way to be sure your turkey won't dry out is to give it a nice long saltwater bath. (Zachary Duvall)From the Quick Bites archives: How to brine your turkey
Chef Paul Minillo of Flour in Moreland Hills says brining is one way to make sure the bird stays moist

Whether your turkey arrives fresh from the farm or frozen from the supermarket, a common complaint at the Thanksgiving table is that it's too dry. 

The cure for that might be a refreshing saltwater bath. Not for the cook, but for the gobbler. 

Today, WKSU's Vivian Goodman raids the Quick Bites larder for brining tips from a master chef.  Vivian Goodman reports

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Abortion rights supporters protest at the Statehouse in Columbus when the Heartbeat bill was first being considered last year.  (WKSU 2013 file photo)Controversial abortion restriction passes Ohio House committee
The 'Heartbeat Bill' has received mixed reviews and required some political maneuvering to pass

An Ohio House committee has passed a controversial abortion bill that would ban the procedure at the point when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. But Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, some behind the scenes maneuvering was needed to get the bill passed.  Jo Ingles reports

 (Ohio Municipal League)Ohio cities oppose state red light camera bill
Ohio Municipal League says legislation amounts to a ban

A bill that would require cities to station a police officer with each red light or speed camera has passed the Ohio Senate. But cities that use those traffic cameras claim it’s basically a ban on those devices -- and treads on home rule. Kent Scarrett is with the Ohio Municipal League, which opposes the bill.  Karen Kasler reports

Innocent Cleveland man to be released from jail
Ricky Jackson will be a free man Friday after serving 39 years in Cuyahoga County Jail for a crime he didn't commit

Ricky Jackson will be released from prison Friday after serving 39 years for a murder he didn’t commit. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Joanna Richards reports the judge, defense attorneys and prosecutors agree that the case against the Cleveland man fell apart after a key witness admitted his testimony was false.  (more)

President Barack Obama is set to announce his plan to reform the immigration system. (WKSU archives )Northeast Ohio immigration groups welcome talk of change
President Obama will outline changes in immigration policy tonight he thinks he can make without Congress

President Obama is set to unveil his proposed changes to the nation's immigration system tonight.

According to CNN, one topic could be deferring the deportation of parents of U.S. citizens. Michael Byun is the executive director of Asia Services in Action. He says the Asian community as well as the Latino community will be affected by Obama’s plan.  (more)

House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn says he thinks it's important House Democrats have some input on who the next Ohio Democratic Party chair will be. (Ohio House of Representatives)Ohio House Democrats say they need a role in the search for a party chair
Newly elected House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn believes House Democrats influence how the party is perceived by the public

As the Ohio Democratic Party continues its search for a new chairman, the new minority leader of the House is weighing in on what should happen during the rebuilding process. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.  Andy Chow reports

Olmsted Falls Mayor Ann Marie Donegan hopes her city's new webpage will be more popular than the one recently driven offline by a hacker. (Ann Marie Monegan)Hacking drives Olmsted Falls' website offline
Host company blames the site's 1990s technology

The Olmsted Falls city webpage has been off-line for nearly a week because it was hacked. But according to the mayor, it hasn’t been missed.  Kevin Niedermier reports

Cleveland Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam says Pilot/Flying J 'paid every trucking company back [it] owed any money to,' but a new lawsuit filed this week says Haslam himself knew about the fuel rebate scheme (K. Bhatia)Cleveland Browns’ owner Haslam says Flying J lawsuits should end soon
Haslam says the company still needs to settle with about seven or eight companies

Cleveland Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam says lawsuits involving the other company he owns have been “difficult,” but he takes full responsibility for what happened.
Pilot/Flying J admitted to cheating hundreds of trucking companies out of diesel fuel rebates.
A lawsuit was filed last week by two of the companies, claiming Haslam himself knew about the scheme.
During an appearance at today’s Akron Roundtable, he said he’s confident the case is being dealt with and should be over soon.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says a broader solution to a broken immigration system needs to come through Congress. (File photo)Portman is skeptical heading into Obama's immigration speech
Ohio senator threatens legal action if Obama goes with 'prosecutorial discretion'

Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman acknowledges he doesn’t know the details of the immigration policy President Obama will outline tonight. The president might lean on a policy known as prosecutorial discretion, which allows presidents latitude in deciding which laws they’ll enforce. If that happens, Ohio’s Republican senator says he’ll consider legal action to stop it.  M.L. Schultze reports

Rob Portman has been flirting with a presidential run since spring (File photo)Portman still interested in a presidential run; is reticent on Kasich
Ohio's senator says he expects to make a decision soon

Early reviews say Ohio Gov. John Kasich has pretty much stolen the show among the presidential prospects at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Florida this week. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze notes, though, that another Ohio Republican is still considering a run.  M.L. Schultze reports

Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, an abortion opponent. (State of Ohio)Ohio Statehouse hearing on abortion bill grows heated
Other headlines:  Cleveland cop sentenced, early blast of cold slows harvest

  • Statehouse hearing on abortion bill grows heated
  • Former Cleveland cop sentenced for having sex with underage girl
  • Early snow hampering winter crop harvest
  •   (more)

    Joffrey Ballet ballet master Gerard Charles can relate to the young dancers. His first ballet was The Nutcracker at age 6. (Vivian Goodman)Young ballet students leap at the chance to be in Cleveland's Nutcracker
    The Cleveland Orchestra and the Joffrey Ballet will present the holiday favorite again this year at Playhouse Square

    Cleveland hasn’t had a resident ballet company since 2000. 

    But since 2002, young dancers have had the chance to perform in a holiday classic at Playhouse Square. 

    Next week, the Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet are teaming up again for Tchaikovky’s "The Nutcracker.'  

    WKSU’s Vivian Goodman watched as children from the area’s many ballet schools auditioned.  Vivian Goodman reports

    After writing Is there a 'Cleveland School' of television?
    A new book -- and a writers panel tonight at PlayHouse Square -- asks if Northeast Ohio's museums, libraries, cold weather and ethnicity may have created a perfect storm for TV and comedy

    Cleveland TV was once a reflection of the ethnic melting pot on the north coast. A new book takes a look at Cleveland’s TV past. And there’s a panel discussion tonight looking at Cleveland’s influence on television all across the country. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.  Kabir Bhatia reports

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    Rick Hodges (Ohio Department of Health)Hodges is confirmed as head of Ohio Health Department
    The ex-lawmaker and Turnpike commissioner is the first non-physician to head the department in 16 years

    The controversy over the nomination of the head of the Ohio Turnpike Commission to lead the state Department of Health carried over into his confirmation vote in the state Senate today. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

       Karen Kasler reports

    Kent State Police Officer Miguel Witt poses with his new K-9, Dexter. A grant from the Ohio Department of Homeland Security supplied the animal and training. (Kent State University)Kent State University adds a new bomb dog to its force
    Ohio Department of Homeland Security supplies five universities with the dogs

    The Kent State University Police Department is adding a second four-legged officer. Dexter comes to Kent State as part of a grant funded by the Ohio Department of Homeland Security.

    Kent State is one of five Ohio universities receiving a bomb-sniffing dog. Police Chief John Peach says having the second K-9 helps prepare the university.  (more)

    Ohio plans its second infant-mortality summit next week in Columbus. (Ohio Department of Health)An Ohio mother looks for answers to Ohio's infant mortality rate

    Ohio remains among the worst states when it comes to infant mortality – and Cleveland continues to have one of the worst rates in the state. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is citing both statistics in his push for a bill to collect data on the deaths and to search for patterns. But in a conference call with reporters – the kind of call Brown usually dominates -- the senator stepped aside while a Parma Heights woman told her story.   M.L. Schultze reports

    Human Rights Campaign's 2015 CEI Ratings of Ohio-based companies. (Human Rights Campaign)New ratings highlight Ohio's workplace inclusion
    Thirteen of 26 Ohio companies received a perfect score

    LGBT work place equality is growing across Ohio.

    The Human Rights Campaign released its 2015 corporate equality index today. On the list, 13 Ohio-based companies received a perfect score. The ratings take into account things like non-discrimination policies and the benefits companies offer to domestic partners.

    Squire Patton Boggs in Cleveland got a perfect score for the seventh year in a row. Managing partner David Goodman says inclusion is important to the law firm.  (more)

    An ultra high-speed Internet system is coming to Cleveland's Health-Tech Corridor (in blue). (City of Cleveland)Internet speed is about to become much faster in downtown Cleveland
    Construction of an ultra high-speed fiber optic line is coming to the city's Health-Tech Corridor

    Cleveland is expected to become one of the few U.S. cities to have a special, super-fast Internet connection hailed as a major job creator.  Kevin Niedermier reports

    Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown says the XL pipeline could cost Ohio (U.S. Senate)Ohio's Sen. Brown says XL pipeline could raises prices in Ohio
    Republicans, joined by 14 Democrats tired and failed to override the filibuster. Ohio's Brown was not among them.

    Ohio’s Democratic U.S. senator says his vote against the Keystone XL pipeline was based on concern for Ohio’s economy as well as the environment. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on Sherrod Brown’s stance in the ongoing battle.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Rep. Fred Strahorn is now the Ohio House minority leader. (Ohio House of Representatives)Ohio House Democrats pick Fred Strahorn as their new leader
    Rep. Strahorn says he will try to push his party's agenda despite its small numbers

    A Dayton-area lawmaker will take over as head of the House Democrats in the next General Assembly.  Andy Chow reports

    The review found that the band tolerated many sexualized traditions and had a culture of peer pressure. (Sam Howzit)Former AG's investigation affirms the troubles with the Ohio State Band
    Betty Montgomery's findings parallel a university investigation

    After a four-month review, former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery has released her findings into the Ohio State University Marching Band.

    For Ohio Public Radio, WOSU's Mandie Trimble reports the university asked Montgomery to investigate the culture of the band in the wake of the firing of Director Jon Waters.  (more)

    The Class of 2015 will, for the first time, include a designee from past eras of pro football. (M.L. SCHULTZE)Pro Football Hall of Fame picks 26 semifinalists for the Class of 2015
    Eight on the list are first-time eligibles

    The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its semifinalists for the class of 2015 and in a bit of a twist, the group has grown from the usual 25 to 25. That's because there was a tie vote.

    Here's the semifinalist list, selected from 113 nominees. In January, the list will be paired further to 15 finalists.

    The actual class will be selected on Jan. 31.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Mount Union has won 11 NCAA Division III championships, a record for any football program in any division in a playoff format.   (University of Mount Union)Northeast Ohio has two big time, small college football teams
    The University and Mount Union and John Carroll University are among the best Division III college football teams in the nation

    Northeast Ohio has two of the nation's top-ranked small college football teams: The University of Mount Union in Alliance and John Carroll University near Cleveland. Both teams begin Division III tournament play this weekend and it could be the start of a long rivalry. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about the dynamic between Mount Union, which has won 11 championships, and John Carroll who wants to make a statement.  Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Republican Rep. Gerald Stebelton says that some teachers are less qualified than others and pay should reflect that. (Ohio House of Representatives )Ohio House committee votes to eliminate salary schedule for teacher pay
    Sections of merit-pay provision mirror SB 5

    The state is one step closer towards repealing the law that mandates a minimum salary schedule for teachers opening the door to a merit-based pay system. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow was at the committee meeting for the vote.  Andy Chow reports

    Republican Rep. Dave Hall says he wants to give the Senate ample time to address the issues brought up in the bill.  (Ohio House of Representatives)Ohio House committee passes bill addressing toxic algal blooms
    Rep. Dave Hall says the process is moving quickly now

    It’s been three months since toxic algae left hundreds of thousands of people in Toledo without water. And a bill that would try to deal with algae blooms has now moved a step closer to law.

    Ohio Rep. Dave Hall of Millersburg chairs the House Agriculture Committee, which passed a sweeping bill with many changes. Hall admits it’s been slow because so many interested parties were involved but says it’s moving quickly now.  Karen Kasler reports

    A middle-aged man is the second patient at the Cleveland Clinic to receive a face transplant. The 24.5 hour surgery in September was led by Dr. Francis Papay who says the patient is doing remarkably well. (Cleveland Clinic)Second face transplant is called a success by the Cleveland Clinic
    Doctors replace 90 percent of disfigured man's face through Department of Defense research grant

    The surgeon who led the Cleveland Clinic’s second face transplant says his patient is doing remarkably well.

    The recipient is a middle-aged man severely disfigured in a car accident.

    Dr. Francis Papay led a team of nine surgeons who in September replaced 90 percent of the man's face in the 24-hour procedure.

       Jeff St. Clair reports

    Scott DiMauro, vice president of the Ohio Education Association, says test scores are used to label, blame and shame students, teachers and schools.  (Ohio Education Association)Bill would cap time allowed for standardized testing in Ohio schools
    The Ohio Education Association's Scott DiMauro believes there's a larger underlying problem

    Lawmakers want to set a limit on the amount of time spent on mandatory state testing in schools. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, many believe the cap is just scratching the surface of a bigger problem.  Andy Chow reports

    Advocates for protection for gay and lesbian people under Ohio law (JO INGLES)Religious leaders urge Ohio to pass anti-discrimination laws
    The West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church wants housing and employment protection for LGBT people

    Religious leaders from around Ohio say the state must pass new laws to protect gay and lesbian people.

    Rebecca Hug with the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church says LGBT individuals are not protected from job or housing discrimination under current state laws.  Jo Ingles reports

    The massive Cleveland police chase and shooting two years ago left two unarmed people dead. (WEWS)Cuyahoga probate judge signs off on a $3 million chase settlement
    The city is paying the families of a couple killed two years ago

    The families of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams have settled with the City of Cleveland over the massive police chase and shooting that resulted in their deaths.

       Kevin Niedermier reports

    A wind turbine spins in front of the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. A report sponsored by the Ohio Development Services Agency says 31,322 Ohioans work in the alternative energy industry. The agency now says the report is flawed. Ohio withholds 'green jobs' report then demands its money back
    Ohio agency claims report on 'green jobs' is flawed more than a year after it was completed

    The state development agency is demanding its money back from a Virginia-based company that conducted a survey of the number of ‘green jobs’ in Ohio. WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports.  Jeff St. Clair reports

    Suspect arraigned in Akron police shooting
    Other headlines:  report expected in OSU marching band investigation, Cleveland Clinic performs a second face transplant

  • Suspect in Akron police shooting arraigned
  • Report expected on OSU former band director
  • Cleveland Clinic performs second face transplant
  •   (more)

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    Special Features
    Special Thanksgiving Programming on WKSU

    WKSU celebrates the holiday with music, stories, documentaries, live advice from Lynne Rosetto Kasper and more on Thursday, Nov. 27.

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    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.

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