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Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Cavaliers bought a new $9 million scoreboard for The Q in time for the return of LeBron James last fall. (Brandon Davis)The sin tax may not be enough for the Cavs and the Q
Two experts say the Cuyahoga County dollars that could be sought by the Cavaliers would likely go toward behind-the-scenes updates is reporting that the Cavaliers may be asking Cuyahoga County for money to overhaul The Q, on top of the 20-year sin tax extension approved last year. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Portman says U.S. is sidelined by lack of trade authority. (File photo)Ohio's Sen. Portman pushes fast-track trade, which may be a campaign issue
NAFTA and other trade deals have proven controversial in Ohio

Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman is pushing Congress to give President Obama the ability to negotiate fast-track trade deals. 

Under what’s called Trade Promotion Authority, Congress must vote up-or-down on trade deals negotiated by the administration – with no amendments or filibusters. 

Portman, who was also the trade representative for President George W. Bush, says the authority is an important bargaining tool.  M.L. Schultze reports

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Faircrest Mill opened in 1985. It's one of three plants owned by TimkenSteel, a small start-up with a 100-year history of steelmaking (Jeff St. Clair)Canton's TimkenSteel expects a softer 2015
The specialty steelmaker saw a slight dip in the fourth quarter of 2014, and says decreased energy exploration could lead to less demand this year

TimkenSteel saw its earnings grow last year, but drop in the final quarter. And that could be a problem heading into this year as well. The Canton company separated from Timken last summer. Its most recent earnings report shows fourth-quarter revenue up by about 24 percent over the same period in 2013. But earnings were down by about a third.

During an earnings call today, Chief Financial Officer Chris Holding assessed challenges for 2015, which include rising pension costs and shifting markets.  Kabir Bhatia reports

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its newest class of enshrinees on the eve of Superbowl XLIX (Robert Sustesic)Pro Football Hall of Fame announces Canton's Class of '15
'The Bus' -- Jerome Bettis -- heads to enshrinement this August

The 2015 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced on the eve of the Superbowl, and includes six players who made it to a combined 50 Pro Bowls. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Friday, January 30, 2015

Ironworkers finish construction at an Air Force Museum building at Wright Patterson Air Force base. (U.S.A.F.)Officials try to figure out what defense cuts could do to Wright-Patt
The Ohio Federal-Military Jobs Commission and the Dayton Development Coalition held a forum this week

The Ohio Federal-Military Jobs Commission and the Dayton Development Coalition held one of a series of forums around the state to discuss federal job retention and expansion in the state. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Jerry Kenney reports on this week’s meeting in Dayton.  (more)

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has yet to confirm if will run for Senate. (WKSU file photo)Former Ohio Gov. Strickland make take on Portman in the 2016 Senate race
Former campaign advisor Sandy Theis says he hasn't made a decision yet

Citing sources, the Youngstown Vindicator says former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland will run against Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman next year. Other reports aren’t going that far, but say he is interested. As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, the race would be a study in contrasts.  Jo Ingles reports

A marijuana plant at a legal marijuana grow in Colorado.  (Creative Commons: Brett Levin)Oscar Robertson, Nanette Lepore are supporting Ohio marijuana initiative
ResponsibleOhio releases a partial list of backers and defends its position

Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson leads the list of those backing the latest push to legalize marijuana growth and use in Ohio. ResponsibleOhio released the partial list today of investors in the controversial effort to get the issue on the November ballot. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports that the list of investors also includes a fashion designer and former pro-football player.  Andy Chow reports

Clifford Pinkney is expected to get County Council's approval as Cuyahoga's next sheriff. (Cuyahoga County)Cuyahoga will get a new sheriff and a new job for the old one
Budish's plan will make Bova the safety director and Pinkney the sheriff

If county council says OK, Cuyahoga County will have a new sheriff -- and a new job for its old one. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the restructuring.  M.L. Schultze reports

Rails carry more than 1 million gallons of crude oil through Ohio weekly
Other morning headlines: Cuyahoga County to get first black sheriff; Akron fills fire chief, deputy mayor for public safety positions

Morning headlines for Friday, January 30, 2015  Amanda Rabinowitz reports

As part of the School children in Bath produce a seed-to-table garlic feast
Garlic Day at Old Trail School is part of its Edible Education program

A recent celebration in the cafeteria of Old Trail School in Bath featured the fruits of childrens’ labor. 

The kids planted their own garlic, peeled it, chopped it and carried it to the kitchen for a garlic feast.

In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports on the edible education of Garlic Day.  Vivian Goodman reports

SLIDESHOW: David Baker says an assisted-living center would honor the legacy of pro-football's best. (M.L. SCHULTZE)Assisted living for Hall of Famers: If they build it, will they come?
The $250 million first phase of the Pro Football Hall of Fame "village" includes an assisted-care center for the game's best and their fans

The newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be picked Saturday. Meanwhile, the hall itself is planning to grow -- becoming the focus of a “village” with training facilities, a conference center, a hotel … and an assisted living center devoted to aging Hall of Famers. From Canton, Ohio, M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU has more on what is perhaps the most unusual aspect of the project.  M.L. Schultze reports

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ohio Supreme Court chief justice Maureen O'Connor Ohio's top judge calls for off-year judicial elections
Says most voters don't view judges as being independent

The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court says she’s concerned about the lack of interest by voters in judicial races.

Maureen O’Connor says she wants to fix that by moving judicial elections to the years in which there are no races for president or governor.

But O’Connor says she needs lawmakers to pass this as a constitutional amendment to go to voters.  Karen Kasler reports

Gov. Kasich's two-year budget will be revealed Monday, and legislators on both sides of the aisle are waiting to see what sort of income tax cut will be coming to Ohioans (K. Bhatia)Ohio Statehouse leaders react to Gov. Kasich's hints about budget
The new two-year budget will be revealed Monday, and could include an income tax cut

The idea that Gov. Kasich would cut income taxes again comes as no surprise to four major Ohio party caucus leaders. They were assembled by the Associated Press for a panel discussion at the same time the Governor was speaking a few blocks away. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.  Karen Kasler reports

State Sen. Tom Sawyer says charter schools need more transparency, something House Bill 2 would require (State of Ohio)Statehouse Republicans, Democrats both looking for charter school reform
A new bill introduced by Ohio House Republicans does what many Democrats have been asking for

CORRECTION: By law, Ohio charter schools and their sponsors are non-profit. Many contract with for-profit management companies and the Ohio Supreme  Court is considering a case delineating their roles. This story originally said the schools themselves are for-profits.

Republicans in the statehouse have introduced a bill to reform charter schools, just as Gov. Kasich’s budget is set to possibly include language related to the privately run, publicly funded institutions. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Attorney General Mike DeWine and Auditor Dave Yost said they opposed the marijuana ballot issue by ResponsibleOhio. (Andy Chow)State leaders oppose marijuana ballot issue at media forum
Auditor says the ballot issue is a slippery slope

Four of Ohio's five statewide officeholders addressed a media forum today discussing their positions on various issues. The issue that drew the strongest opinions was the latest attempt to legalize marijuana.  Andy Chow reports

The mobile clinic will provide both physical and mental healthcare. (Enterprise Community Partners)Housing for former homeless offers mobile clinic for residents
Prices based on income to provide affordable care

The first step for helping the chronically homeless is getting them into housing. The next is to deal with their health problems.

A new mobile clinic in Cuyahoga County is doing just that.

Jennifer Eppich is the senior program director at Enterprise Community Partners. It leads the HousingFirst permanent housing program where the clinics are available.

Eppich says many of the residents have chronic physical or mental health issues.  Lyndsey Schley reports

If she's confirmed by the Senate, Loretta Lynch will pick up from Eric Holder in overseeing consent decrees with local police. (Wikimedia)Ohio's Sen. Brown plans to talk with AG designee about police oversight
Brown says there's no reason to think the Justice Department approach will change

Barring something unexpected, it will be up to Loretta Lynch to oversee what happens next with a proposed consent decree overseeing Cleveland’s police department. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke to Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown about what he expects from the attorney-general designee.  M.L. Schultze reports

Congressman Tim Ryan announced this week his evolution on abortion. (CSPAN file photo)Sen. Brown welcomes Ryan's evolution on abortion
But Sherrod Brown says he doesn't know if Ryan is lining up a run to join him in the senate

Youngstown-area Congressman Tim Ryan’s shift on abortion this week has ratcheted up speculation that he plans to run for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2016. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.  Lyndsey Schley reports

Ohio's Sen. Brown pushes pipeline supports to reveal contributions
His was one of a flurry of XL Pipeline amendments that failed, but slowed the bill in the GOP Senate

UPDATE: The Senate passed a bill late this afternoon  to mandate construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The vote was 62-to-36, shy of what's needed to override a presidential veto.

Among the flurry of amendments Democrats offered on the Keystone pipeline bill this week was one from Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown – who acknowledges it didn’t have much of a chance.

He wants disclosure of campaign contributions from those invested in shipping the tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf. Brown suspects the Kochbrothers have put big money behind the GOP push for the pipeline, but maintains he’s being nonpartisan.  M.L. Schultze reports

CWRU banking professors William Mahnic says to expect more bank branches to close as online banking grows. (CWRU)Online banking's upswing leads FirstMerit to close branches in four states
The Akron-based bank grew from a local to a regional bank during the recession

Akron-based FirstMerit Bank is closing 16 branches in four states to cut costs. Seven of the affected branches are in Ohio. Those are in Akron, Massillon, Strongsville, Ravenna, Ashland, Mansfield and Tiffin. FirstMerit officials say the increase in online banking is a big reason for this closings in April.  Kevin Niedermier reports

Akron police officer removed from patrol following arrest with gun
Other morning headlines: FirstMerit to close four NEO branches, Akron asks EPA for $150M

Morning headlines for Thursday, January 29, 2015:  Amanda Rabinowitz reports

Fairchild C-123 provider. Planes that blanketed Vietnam with Agent Orange were later used on domestic flights. (Wright Patterson Air Force Base)Study: Lingering Agent Orange may have poisoned Ohio reservists
Study is being cited by vets trying to change the VAs stand on toxic exposure domestically

A new study finds some Air Force reservists could have been exposed to Agent Orange while flying missions in the U.S. Vets who have been denied benefits claims are hoping the Veterans Administration will change its stance on Agent Orange exposure outside Vietnam. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace explains this independent report by the non-profit Institute of Medicine could help their cause.  (more)

Environmentalists say rollback of the green-energy standards has hurt Ohio economically as well as environmentally. (Wikipedia)Ohio's environmental groups set priorities for 2015
Bringing back the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards tops the list

The state’s major environmental advocates are weighing in on what they’d like to see accomplished at the Ohio Statehouse this year. As Correspondent Andy Chow reports, it all starts with supporting green energy.  Andy Chow reports

At last year's Cleveland International Film Fest, There's no off-season for the Cleveland International Film Festival
The CIFF runs March 18-29, but the staff is always busy planning events, designing programs and choosing programming

The Cleveland International Film Fest is still about two months away. But the staff is hard at work – and has been for some time. They’re reviewing more than 2,000 submissions for this year’s festival. They also have to figure out where to show the films, and how to fill the seats. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia has a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the 39th festival.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (Brian Bull)A crowd calls for bodycams and the Bible to help straighten out Cleveland police
U.S. Attorney Dettelbach and Mayor Jackson say there's no timeline for the consent decree

About 200 people filled an auditorium on the Cuyahoga Community College campus in downtown Cleveland, Wednesday to share reforms they’d like to see in the city police department.

Mayor Frank Jackson and U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach listened to ideas that could make their way into a consent decree being negotiated between the Justice Department and the city.  For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s  Brian Bull reports. 


Ohio Senate President Keith Faber  (Ohio Senate )Ohio Senate Republicans announce a top-10 list of priorities
Minimizing drug abuse, reforming education and affordable college are priorities

Ohio Senate President Keith Faber and the rest of the Republican majority caucus unveiled their top 10 priorities for the session. Some of their agenda matched their House Republican counterparts -- including getting people off of government assistance and tackling water quality problems.

Faber also said it’s time to deal with Ohio’s corrections and rehabilitation program and the fact that drug abuse is a big problem.  Andy Chow reports

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Ohio Governor John Kasich (Bill Rinhart)Ohio Gov. Kasich, Kentucky's Beshear talk taxes and tolls on a bridge
The two governors say there's a deal to share the cost and the tolls

The governors of Kentucky and Ohio say it will take tax money and tolls to replace the Brent Spence Bridge which carries I-71 and I-75 over the Ohio River. The two states will share the revenues of the tolls, and they’ll share the costs of building the replacement. 

While the bridge is technically Kentucky’s responsibility, Gov.John Kasich says Ohio is  willing to assist.


Congressman Tim Ryan was a Democrat opposed to abortion. He says his position has evolved. (CSpan)Ohio Congressman Ryan explains the change in his stand abortion
The Northeast Ohio Democrat is both praised and criticized for his shift 

A Northeast Ohio Democratic Congressman has changed his position on a controversial issue. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

   Jo Ingles reports

Scott DiMauro, vice president of the Ohio Education Association  (Ohio Education Association )Teachers at a Columbus charter school want to unionize
It would be the Ohio teachers' union's first inroad into the private, publicly funded schools

Teachers at a Columbus charter high school want to unionize. For Ohio Public Radio, WOSU’s Tom Borgerding reports the organizing effort is believed to be a first among the state's charter schools.


Ohio State Representative Cliff Rosenberger  ( House Republicans release their priority list the day after Democrats
The GOP's top priorities include a $100 million grant program for education for in-demand jobs.

On the heels of the announcement of the priorities of Ohio House Democrats, majority Republicans have unveiled their list of top items on their agenda. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has details.  Karen Kasler reports

In 2014 Cleveland invested a great deal of money into healthcare. (Creative Commons: leads the Midwest in health-care investment
Mega deals, institutions and the Third Frontier help make 2014 a banner year

Cleveland is known for its health-care industry. A new study reaffirms that reputation, showing 2014 was a banner year for investment. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Joanna Richards reports.  (more)

 LGBT leaders launch Affordable Care Act outreach effort
According to a Gallup poll, LGBT adults are more likely to be uninsured 

LGBT leaders across the state are reaching out to get gay, lesbian and transgender people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act by the February 15 deadline. The Center for American Progress found that in 2013, 34 percent of low-income LGBT adults were uninsured. That number improved to 26 percent last year. Stonewall Columbus Program Director Lori Gum says people are unaware that federal health insurance plans are not allowed to discriminate against LGBT people. And she says the removal of denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions has been especially helpful to the transgender community.   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

TimkenSteel's Faircrest plant recently installed the world's largest vertical bloom caster. The specialty steel company says its share prices are undervalued.  (Jeff St.Clair)TimkenSteel shares fall 20 percent in 2015
TimkenSteel says its shares are undervalued as weak energy sector contributes to drop in the company's stock prices

A slowdown in oil and gas drilling could be pushing stock prices down for local specialty steel maker TimkenSteel. 

Shares in the Canton company have fallen 20 percent since the start of the year. 

Reuters reports that some industry analysts believe TimkenSteel is ripe for a takeover by a larger steel maker. 

Steel industry analyst John Anton of IHS Global says despite a slowdown in the energy sector, demand for TimkenSteel’s products remains strong.  Jeff St. Clair reports

Cleveland police cadet fired after failing to disclose previous shooting
Akron doctor's daughter gets four years for doling out pain pills; Construction of Cleveland pedestrian bridge gets green light

Morning headlines for Wednesday, January 28, 2015:  Amanda Rabinowitz reports

Metalworker Dominic Falcione designed the new LED sign at Angel Falls Coffee Company in Akron's Highland Square so that the colors can change randomly and constantly. (Vivian Goodman)Akron's Highland Square celebrates community spirit and public art
Angels Falls Coffee Company has a new ceramic tile facade and a colorful sign made by neighborhood artists

The hangout at the hub of a historic Akron neighborhood has had a makeover.

Tonight the Highland Square community gathers before the new face of the Angel Falls Coffee Shop.

WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports it’ll be the official unveiling of some privately funded, locally focused public art.  Vivian Goodman reports

Kluber won the AL Cy Young award at the end of the season. He had an 18-9 record with a 2.44 ERA last year. Pluto: Indians ace Kluber is a refreshing sports success story
In the midst of drama surrounding Browns players Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel, Pluto says Kluber's remarkable season deserves the spotlight

Cleveland got a lot of attention in the sports world this past weekend when reports surfaced that Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon failed another drug test…This time, for alcohol. But, WKSU commentator and Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto says another Cleveland sports story deserves more attention: Indians Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.  Amanda Rabinowitz 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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