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ECOT Critics Says School Should Point Blame On Itself ECOT Critics Says School Should Point Blame On Itself

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 22:44:39 +0000

Thousands of students are either starting in a new school or still looking for a place to take classes after the closure of the state’s largest online charter school. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is still fighting the state’s clawback of $60 million and blames the state Department of Education for its fate. But one vocal critic says ECOT only has itself to blame. ECOT says it closed because the Ohio Department of Education wouldn’t accept a final deal regarding the collection of millions of dollars. Longtime ECOT critic Stephen Dyer with Innovation Ohio has said for years that the online charter school was falling short in educating the amount of kids it claimed it was teaching. But in reality, Dyer says ECOT closed because it could no longer pay its sponsor, Lake Erie West . “It is frustrating the failure of the school has had on educating the kids was not what necessitated the closure it was the failure of this school to pay the adults that were supposed to oversee them,"


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Trump's Threats to Withdraw From NAFTA Cause Worry For Ohio BusinessesTrump's Threats to Withdraw From NAFTA Cause Worry For Ohio Businesses

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 22:07:09 +0000

Negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA , enter their sixth round this week. And some Ohio companies are worried the U.S. will follow through on the President's threat to withdraw from the nearly 25-year-old agreement. Trump has repeatedly called NAFTA the " worst deal ever ." But that feeling isn't shared by a lot of area business owners. "Ohio has benefited a lot from it over the course of the last quarter century or so," said Marty McGann. Marty McGann is with the Greater Cleveland Partnership , which represents some 8-thousand companies in Northeast Ohio. He's meeting this week in Montreal with business advocates from Mexico, Canada, and other U.S. cities. One of their main goals is to figure out how to keep the U.S. in the game. "Nobody's disagreed that there's need to modernize this agreement. I think it's really about making sure those modernizations take place," said McGann. McGann declined to elaborate on what specific policies would make a more


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Ohio Statewide Races are Getting National AttentionOhio Statewide Races are Getting National Attention

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 21:56:17 +0000

History suggests that the party not represented in the White House does well in midterm Congressional elections – and this year Ohio’s five executive offices, including governor, are also on the ballot, along with U.S. Senate. It's likely these races will get a lot of national attention. Republicans control Congress and the White House, and President Trump’s popularity is at a historic low. There are no incumbents running for governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state or treasurer. And the entire Ohio House is on the ballot. Kyle Kondik is from Ohio and is the editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball , a political newsletter out of the University of Virginia. He says this is a huge test for Democrats in Ohio. “If Democrats can’t perform well in Ohio in this kind of environment, I think it does lead one to question whether the state’s kind of perpetual swing state status might be sort of going away.” The newsletter forecasts Ohio as leaning Republican in the governor’s race, and


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Sen. Sherrod Brown: Shutdown is About More Than DACASen. Sherrod Brown: Shutdown is About More Than DACA

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:11:58 +0000

Federal employees around Ohio face uncertainty today as a government shutdown enters its third day. Senate Democrats continue to press for a bill to address the fate of Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It's a political gamble that could hurt Democrats in the midterm elections, especially in states like Ohio, which went for President Trump and his tough stance on illegal immigration. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, up for re-election this fall, said there's more at stake for him than the Dreamers. “The issue is much bigger. The issue is, we can't simply continue with one-month-at-a-time budgets," Brown said. Brown, speaking before Monday's early-morning procedural vote, says he supports a short-term funding plan of just two or three days to re-open the government and continue negotiations.


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Morning Headlines: Ohio EPA Asks Feds to Stop Rover Pipeline; Akron Tax Hike Will Go to Fire, PoliceMorning Headlines: Ohio EPA Asks Feds to Stop Rover Pipeline; Akron Tax Hike Will Go to Fire, Police

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 13:42:01 +0000

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Jan. 22: Ohio man who pled guilty to terrorism charges will be sentenced; Protesters stage rally in support of Youngstown businessman facing deportation; Ailing death row inmate's attorneys renew calls for firing squad option; Akron's Thirsty Dog brewery strikes deal with Applebee's; Akron's income tax hike will go toward fire, police and public service; Ohio EPA asks feds to halt Rover pipeline construction; Cleveland Clinic resident delivers a baby mid-flight; Ohio man who pled guilty to terrorism charges will be sentenced An Ohio man who admitted he plotted to kill military members in the U.S. after receiving training in Syria will be sentenced after a short delay. Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud is scheduled to appear in federal court in Columbus today. Court documents unsealed last year show Mohamud pleaded guilty more than two years ago to terrorism charges. Government prosecutors want a judge to impose a 23-year sentence. They say Mohamud


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Summit County Council Considers Raising License Fees to Fix RoadsSummit County Council Considers Raising License Fees to Fix Roads

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:39:00 +0000

Summit County Council will hold public hearings later today on a proposal to increase vehicle registration fees by $5. The move could generate more than $2.5 million per year for road projects. Heidi Swindell, a spokeswoman for the county’s engineering department, says with no growth in other funding, this is the only way the county can keep up with inflation. “People like to have good bridges and safe roads, so I’m hopeful that this is something everybody can agree on.” The County Council will give a presentation on the proposal and hear public comment this afternoon at 4:30 and again next Monday.


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Ohio Debates Work Requirements for MedicaidOhio Debates Work Requirements for Medicaid

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:39:00 +0000

The budget Ohio'a GOP Legislature passed last year requires the state to apply for permission to impose work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid recipients. That could mean thousands of Ohioans could lose their health-care coverage. General disagreement Generally, conservatives and liberals disagree strongly over work requirements for Medicaid recipients. From the right is Rea Hederman with the Buckeye Institute , which calls itself a free market think tank. “Healthy people can work, they can go to job training and this will help them over the lifetime as they acquire valuable skills to make them worth more in the labor market.” And from the left is Wendy Patton with Policy Matters Ohio , which studies labor and other issues from a progressive perspective. “Work requirements are redundant and unnecessary because this population is already working.” A recent report Patton says the Kaiser Family Foundation shows 60 percent of Medicaid recipients are working , while another 10 percent


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University of Akron Researcher Delivers Polymer Pain Relief to Fight the Opioid CrisisUniversity of Akron Researcher Delivers Polymer Pain Relief to Fight the Opioid Crisis

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:28:00 +0000

One way the state of Ohio is trying to combat the opioid crisis is by funding new technologies to prevent addiction. Last month the University of Akron shared in $10 million in state grants as part of that initiative. On this Week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair looks at how a personal experience with opioids inspired a local researcher’s quest for new methods of pain relief.


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Weekend Protests Challenge ICE Decision to Keep Youngstown Businessman in PrisonWeekend Protests Challenge ICE Decision to Keep Youngstown Businessman in Prison

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 03:27:03 +0000

A Youngstown businessman facing deportation remains in prison and on a hunger strike, three days after Congressional action was expected to at least temporarily free him. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the case, which led to a weekend of protests in Youngstown. The protests were organized as word spread that Amer Adi had been transferred to the private federal prison in Youngstown Friday while his family was awaiting his release at the Geauga County jail. They had expected him to be freed after a House Judiciary subcommittee – which is considering a bill from Congressman Tim Ryan to give Adi permanent residence – had asked the Department of Homeland Security to review the case. Adi’s wife of 29 years, Fidaa Musleh spoke at Saturday’s rally in downtown Youngstown. “We’re not going to give up, of course not.” Yesterday, the Council on American Islamic Relations rallied for two hours outside the Northeast Ohio Correctional Institution, where Adi is being held. Gubernatorial candidate


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Death-Penalty Documentary Makes its Ohio DebutDeath-Penalty Documentary Makes its Ohio Debut

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:27:00 +0000

A new documentary about the death penalty is coming to Ohio ahead of the state’s next scheduled execution on Feb. 13. The advocacy group Ohioans to Stop Executions is sponsoring screenings throughout the state. “The Penalty” puts Ohio front and center in the death-penalty debate. It includes a look at the state’s checkered history with lethal injection drugs through the 2014 case of convicted murderer and rapist Dennis McGuire. The state used an experimental drug combination that appeared to cause McGuire to suffer and was slow to end his life. Director Will Francome says he doesn’t want his film to be preachy, but he does want it to encourage debate. "I think it's a good time to be discussing those things, especially since the last execution, of Alva Campbell, had complications as well," Francome said. The film also questions some common arguments in favor of the death penalty. “We’re often told that the death penalty is there to give victims closure," Francome said. "I learned that


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Cleveland Women's March Draws a Smaller Crowd Than 2017, But Continues Resistance to President TrumpCleveland Women's March Draws a Smaller Crowd Than 2017, But Continues Resistance to President Trump

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:51:49 +0000

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Cleveland on Saturday for the Women's March marking one year since President Trump took office. Last year’s marches were partly a protest against Trump's inauguration. Laura Smith of South Euclid says that sentiment was still present at this year’s march in Cleveland. “I think if we had someone who supported women and their rights, we’d still be active," Smith said. "But I don’t know if we’d still be marching and making our voices heard as loudly as we have in the past year and a half.” One notable change since last year is the Me Too movement bringing to light high-profile cases of sexual harassment against women. Darrell Starnik made the trip downtown from his home in North Royalton to support women’s rights. Starnik says the Me Too movement changed the tone at this year's march. “It’s good to see women speak out," Starnik said. "Men, even men who aren’t idiots, probably didn’t realize how bad it is for women. And they all pretty much have a


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Closing Affinity Medical Center Could Impact EMS Services in Western Stark CountyClosing Affinity Medical Center Could Impact EMS Services in Western Stark County

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:47:10 +0000

A judge's decison has put, at least for now, a hold on plans to wind down operations at Massillon’s Affinity Medical Center. However, if western Stark County’s only hospital does shut down, EMS services for the area are expected to be impacted. Time is the issue, says Massillon Fire Chief Tom Burgasser. Taking critical patients to the ‘next nearest’ emergency rooms -- in Canton can add 10 to 20 minutes to getting them to needed help. And, he says, that’s especially a problem for cardiac cases. “In the cardiac world, time is muscle. Until you get cardiac intervention, you’re going to continue to experience the chest pains, you’re going to get heart damage. And that cardiac muscle is not able to be regenerated. Once you lose cardiac muscle, it’s gone.” Burgasser, a long-time paramedic himself, says the Massillon Fire Department’s EMS units made more than 3,000 runs to Affinity Medical Center last year.



Akron Becomes The First City to Partner with eBay to Spur Local Retail SalesAkron Becomes The First City to Partner with eBay to Spur Local Retail Sales

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:07:55 +0000

The city of Akron is teaming up with eBay to help its brick and mortar businesses make the move toward a digital marketplace. They’re passionate about their customers, they are hiring, they are exciting and full of energy. We love entrepreneurs! We’re builders, and the sense I get is that Akron is a building town, and that’s why we’re here. Ebay’s CEO Dan Wenig told small business owners and media his reasoning for eBay’s interest in making Akron their pilot city for the “Retail Revival” initiative. The program is meant to connect Main Street business owners to the digital marketplace. Akron is the first U.S. city to be a part of it. This will allow business owners to take their marketing in a new direction. So, a company like eBay coming in with the vast resources that they have to grow exposure of our company is critical. Akron’s “TinyCircuits” founder and president Ken Burns knows that with eBay’s help, his company can grow further through the digital marketplace.


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ECOT Closing Sends Thousands Of Students To Different Schools ECOT Closing Sends Thousands Of Students To Different Schools

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:05:45 +0000

An estimated 12,000 students must figure out where to go now that the state’s largest online charter school has closed. Marred by budget problems and alleged failure to comply with regulations, ECOT’s sponsor decided to back out. The sponsor and the school met in a Franklin County courtroom today to figure out what happens to the school’s funds and records. Instead of a hearing, the judge had ECOT and its former sponsor, Lake Erie West, go into mediation. As John Borell with Lake Erie West explains, they came up with a tentative agreement. “We’ll have an interim master appointed to take control of ECOT’s assets in the short term while the (Ohio) Supreme Court’s appeals are pending, and we’ll also supervise the procedure the ODE has in place for a suspended school," Borell says. ODE being the Ohio Department of Education. Arguments on ECOT’s case with the Ohio Supreme Court are set next month. Borell says ECOT is already working on transferring student records to different school


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Dennis Kucinich Chooses an Akron City Councilwoman as his running mateDennis Kucinich Chooses an Akron City Councilwoman as his running mate

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 04:58:05 +0000

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich has selected an Akron councilwoman has a running mate in his bid to be Ohio’s next governor. Tara Mosley Samples joined the ticket today and immediately promoted ideas such as a higher minimum wage and more healthcare. In announcing their plans, Kucinich and Mosley-Samples said they’ll win because they’re an alternative to the politics of divisiveness and exclusion. And, Mosley-Samples says having an African American woman on the ticket will amplify that difference for emerging change makers in the electorate. “ One thing we talked about was inclusiveness. And in the African-American community, the feeling is that they’ve been forgotten. And, as we learned from Alabama, black women are the key to this.” Mosley Samples has been on Akron City Council since 2013 and is a former court reporter, bailiff and manager of a law office. After leaving the stage from their joint announcement, Kucinich and Samples talked about how they believe they can win with a


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New Report Finds Ohio Union Membership Holds Steady for Fifth Straight YearNew Report Finds Ohio Union Membership Holds Steady for Fifth Straight Year

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 04:47:54 +0000

For the fifth year in a row, the number of unionized workers in Ohio remained relatively stable. That's according to a report Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But some experts disagree on what the trend means for state policy. According to the data, about 12.5 percent of Ohio workers are unionized. That's about one in every eight workers. And that ratio hasn't really changed in the past several years. Right to work Amy Hanauer is director of the progressive think tank Policy Matters Ohio. She wants to see union membership go higher. "Many years into a recovery right now, we are seeing very limited wage growth," Hanauer says.. She maintains greater union participation would help more workers bargain for better wages. But she worries memberships could drop if Statehouse Republicans pass a so-called "right-to-work" bill. H.B. 53 would bar public employers from requiring their employees pay fees to a union. Robert Alt, who heads the conservative Buckeye Institute, is for it. "You


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Ohio's Unemployment Is At Its Lowest In Almost a YearOhio's Unemployment Is At Its Lowest In Almost a Year

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 04:35:40 +0000

Ohio’s unemployment rate inched down in December. Ohio's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent last month, down a tenth of a point from November. That’s the lowest level since March of last year. The number of unemployed Ohioans has decreased by 14,000 in the past year from 284,000. The December unemployment rate for Ohio decreased from 5.0 percent in December 2016, but it’s still off from October 2015, when the jobless rate was at its lowest point in 14 years. And the state’s unemployment rate last month was more than a half a point higher than the nation’s, which was just over 4 percent last month.


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Kaptur applauds decision to reject the Ohio EPA's list of impaired watersKaptur applauds decision to reject the Ohio EPA's list of impaired waters

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 04:32:54 +0000

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur applauds the U.S. EPA ’s recent decision to withdraw acceptance of the Ohio EPA ’s assessment of impaired waterways. The federal agency changed its mind because the assesssment did not account for Lake Erie’s open waters. Kaptur points to a three-day period in 2014 during which Toledo residents were told not to use their tap water. The warning came after toxic algae blooms leaked into water treatment facilities. “That there was this false distinction between the river and the lake. Well, in fact, the river dumps into the lake and it carries all of the nutrients with it.” Kaptur says the clean water act dictates that when a state fails to assess its waters, the federal EPA must step in and take action. This time, the federal EPA sent the notice back to the state. The actions the Ohio EPA will take moving forward are not clear.


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New Bill Would Ban Revenge Porn New Bill Would Ban Revenge Porn

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:53:29 +0000

National stats show 1 in 25 people is threatened or harassed by the sharing of explicit images of themselves online without their consent or knowledge. And right now, it’s not illegal in Ohio to do that. But there’s a new bill that hopes to ban so-called “revenge porn”. Last year, Youngstown mother Katelyn Bowden found out nude pictures of her were online when an acquaintance confessed to posting them after stealing her ex-boyfriend’s phone. Bowden founded an online group of survivors working against revenge porn and image abuse. “I was told that, to the state of Ohio, a cell phone had more rights than me, a human being. I was hurt, I was depressed, I felt ashamed for taking photos within the confines of a trusting relationship.” The bill from Democratic Sen. Joe Schiavoni of the Youngstown area would make sharing nude pictures without the subject’s consent a first degree misdemeanor. 38 states already ban non-consensual sharing of explicit images, but victims say it’s hard to get


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Pillich Chooses Running Mate Pillich Chooses Running Mate

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:46:47 +0000

Four of the five Democratic gubernatorial candidates in this May’s primary have announced their running mates, with Connie Pillich making known her choice Thursday. Pillich chose Scott Schertzer, the Mayor of Marion and Ohio Municipal League President, as her potential lieutenant governor. Schertzer says he and Pillich have something in common. “I’ve been very successful in a red/purple county. As a Democrat, I’ve done very well in my mayoral races and city council races. And I think I have a deep understanding and appreciation for the needs, wants and concerns or rural voters.” Schertzer also has a background in public education – he taught for thirteen years before becoming mayor ten years ago.


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