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Proposed Changes in Ohio's Budget Raises Concerns of Families of Children With DisabilitiesProposed Changes in Ohio's Budget Raises Concerns of Families of Children With Disabilities

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:59:46 +0000

Parents of children with serious medical conditions are pleading with state leaders to keep funding intact for a program that helps pay for treatment. Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget calls for changes to the Children with Medical Handicaps , the agency that provides funding for children with serious illnesses. Randi Clites of Ravenna has a son who suffers from hemophilia, cancer and bleeding of the brain. She worries about the proposal to move the program from the Health to the Medicaid department. “We are extremely worried. We belong in Health. Our kids are chronically ill. And that they want to move us to a payer system and that’s all they see our families as – in the Medicaid program – it’s so disheartening.” The funds in the program help parents, even those who are middle class with private insurance, pay for out-of-pocket costs associated with their children’s long-term care. Some Ohio lawmakers are signaling they are not in favor of the change.


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Walsh University Hosts Conference to Help End Food Hunger and Food Waste Close to HomeWalsh University Hosts Conference to Help End Food Hunger and Food Waste Close to Home

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:54:45 +0000

A three-day conference on hunger wrapped up today (Saturday) at Walsh University in North Canton. Two groups, the Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit and the Food Waste and Hunger Summit , are combining efforts in the event called “Summit Squared: One Movement. Exponential Impact.” Assistant Dean Rachel Hosler says the conference is a way to keep students and community members informed on ways to end hunger and food waste so close to home. “Something that I think we missed is that nationally, 1-in-8 people are food insecure, but here locally in Stark County, it’s 1-in-4. So it is an issue that we are seeing first hand, and Walsh really wants to be the leaders addressing that from the university perspective.” For the last day, the topic will address the importance of nutrition during first 1,000 days with a mother and child, and how it can profoundly affect a child’s ability to learn and grow. Students will also give presentations on how to make a positive impact on campus.



Ohio Environmental Groups Believe Approval of Keystone Pipeline Will Have a Negative Impact HereOhio Environmental Groups Believe Approval of Keystone Pipeline Will Have a Negative Impact Here

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:40:36 +0000

President Donald Trump’s go-ahead for the Keystone pipeline that will run from Canada to the Gulf shore is triggering concerns from Ohio environmental groups. While the Keystone pipeline never gets close to Ohio, environmental groups believe President Donald Trump's giving it the go-ahead creates a bad precedent. Ohio Environmental Council ’s Melanie Houston says the Keystone project doesn’t go far enough to protect land and water. “What we want to see at the OEC is that there’s adequate protections for drinking water before oil and gas projects go forward and that’s what we’re going to be looking at for some of the pipelines that are proposed in Ohio," Houston says. There are two major pipelines planned for Ohio with federal oversight. Houston notes that both are natural gas pipelines which don’t pose as big of a threat as oil.


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First Tee of Greater Akron Will Assume Day-to-Day Operations for Mud Run Golf CourseFirst Tee of Greater Akron Will Assume Day-to-Day Operations for Mud Run Golf Course

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:33:08 +0000

Akron has reached an agreement with a group to run its Mud Run golf course . First Tee of Greater Akron will take over day-to-day operations. The organization uses the game of golf as a means to promote healthy choices among young people. First Tee’s Executive Director Frank Stams says his organization will bring many benefits to the course. “We thought this would be an opportunity for us to manage this facility with kind of a focus on our angle, which is an expertise in golf from a more financially-efficient and customer service-related focus.” The city has been looking reduce costs and increase programming at the course. The course will be open to the public on April 1 st , depending on the weather.


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Outgoing Rep. Johnson Challenges Ohio's Gov. and Lawmakers Over the Opioid CrisisOutgoing Rep. Johnson Challenges Ohio's Gov. and Lawmakers Over the Opioid Crisis

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:30:44 +0000

State Rep. Greta Johnson, whose 35 th district includes Akron and Barberton, officially leaves the Ohio Legislature Sunday. She announced several weeks ago she was resigning before the end of her term. On the way out of Columbus she had a message for Gov. John Kasich. Greta Johnson, a Democrat, sent Republican Gov. John Kasich a letter asking him to do more to fight the opioid epidemic in Ohio and to declare it a health emergency. Johnson says both his efforts, and those of the Legislature, have been piecemeal and uncoordinated. “You have to look at them all together, and the way certain legislation will interact. Instead, we’re just throwing bills at different committees and hoping that they don’t interfere with each other. "So, the Legislature has not responded in the way that they should have. But, certainly, our top administrator and executive has not done so either.” Johnson says frustration with how things are done in Columbus is part of why she resigned. But an opportunity to


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Enter a Drawing to See Bolshoi's Ballet's "A Hero of Our Time"Enter a Drawing to See Bolshoi's Ballet's "A Hero of Our Time"

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:02:37 +0000

Enjoy Bolshoi Ballet 2016-17 Season’s final ballet, A HERO OF OUR TIME, with the opportunity to win a pair of Regal Montrose theatre tickets valid April 9 – “Give me everything, it is still not enough.” The story based on the larger-than-life hero Pechorin is adapted from Mikhail Lermontov’s literary masterpiece in three separate stories recounting his heartbreaking betrayals. Is Pechorin a real hero? Or is he a man like any other? This brand new production by choreographer Yuri Possokhov is a tragic poetic journey that can only be seen at the Bolshoi. Additional tickets can be purchased by visiting events/bolshoi-a-hero-of-our- time . #BolshoiBallet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_4cntVrZDY#action=share


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Northeast Ohio Congressman Ryan Calls Substance Abuse Care Cut the Biggest GOP Health Plan ProblemNortheast Ohio Congressman Ryan Calls Substance Abuse Care Cut the Biggest GOP Health Plan Problem

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:11:57 +0000

Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan says as of this morning, neither Democrats nor Republicans know which way the vote on the GOP health care bill will go. But he says if it passes, it will hurt Ohioans who depend on Obamacare for pre-natal and mental health services, and those caught up in the opioid epidemic. “What I think is most significant for people who are on the fence, it repeals care for substance abuse. We all know the tragedies we see everyday in Ohio with regard to the heroin epidemic. There will be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who will not be able to access treatment for substance abuse.” Ryan says the added health care costs from the GOP bill are also expected to cause 25 percent of Ohio’s hospitals to close, something he says will hit rural areas especially hard.


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'State of Poverty' Report Is Cited to Defend Ohio's Low-Income Programs'State of Poverty' Report Is Cited to Defend Ohio's Low-Income Programs

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:09:47 +0000

A coalition of advocates for the poor have a new report on poverty in Ohio. They're using it to call on Congress to save multiple programs that would help low-income Ohioans. The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies says a single parent with a minimum wage job has to work more than 100 hours a week to be self-sufficient. The group’s Philip Cole says President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would cut a lot of the programs and grants that would help support and lift people out of poverty . “You talk about pulling the rug out from under hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and talk about Medicaid and the changes that want to do to Medicaid in addition to the things we just mentioned you’re talking about leaving people out in the streets,” Cole said. The "State of Poverty" report also found 40,000 households where grandparents are the primary caregivers, which Cole says is rising because of the drug epidemic.


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Ohio Lawmakers Consider Requiring Warrants for Police Drones Ohio Lawmakers Consider Requiring Warrants for Police Drones

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:08:01 +0000

A new bill being considered at the Statehouse would restrict the way police agencies could use drones . The legislation has bipartisan support for different reasons. This bill is sponsored by unusual bedfellows. Democratic Sen. Mike Skindell says he’s sponsoring the bill because he wants to make sure police agencies don’t use drones to unfairly gather evidence against suspects. Republican Sen. Kris Jordan , who doesn’t agree with Skindell on much, agrees this legislation is needed. “We still deserve the right to privacy that our founders intended for us to have when they wrote out the bill of rights protecting our civil liberties,” he said. Basically, the bill would say law enforcement agencies would need to get warrants from the court in order to be able to use drones to gather evidence. Jordan says there need to be some safeguards to protect Ohioans from being unreasonably targeted by law enforcement. “There aren’t enough guardrails up there to limits, I guess, the potential for


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Ohio Lawmaker Introduces Anti-Discrimination Bill for Housing and EmploymentOhio Lawmaker Introduces Anti-Discrimination Bill for Housing and Employment

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:04:12 +0000

A bill that would ban discrimination in housing or employment based on sexual gender or identity has been introduced in the legislature. Democratic Rep. Nickie Antonio says this legislation is not new. “A version of this bill has been introduced in the general assembly in the state of Ohio, since 2009.” Antonio, the state's first openly lesbian lawmaker, says gays, lesbians and transgender people are discriminated against because current state law does not prevent it . She notes many major companies have already adopted this policy on their own. Antonio says, even if this bill were passed, it would still include exemptions for religious organizations. No majority Republicans have signed on to the legislation yet.


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The Cleveland Zoo is Rebranding to Promote its Conservation Work The Cleveland Zoo is Rebranding to Promote its Conservation Work

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:57:49 +0000

The Cleveland Metroparks Zo o wants the public to know the role it plays in worldwide animal conservation . So next month it will roll-out a new branding campaign. The campaign includes a new logo and the catch phrase, “Securing a future for wildlife.” Dr. Chris Kuhar is the zoo’s executive director. He says there is a lot for the public to know about the zoo’s world-wide conservation efforts. “We work with gorillas in Rwanda, we work with giraffes in Uganda, cheetah and lions in Tanzania and Kenya. So we have programs with turtles in Southeast Asia. Those core programs involve our staff and involve us growing projects all over the world.” Kuhar says most people don’t even know the zoo does this kind of work. “But they expect it. So I think there’s a little bit of a disconnect in public opinion at least in terms of understanding what we do. So, by putting that out there and talking about conservation a little bit more and making “securing a future for wildlife” the tagline that goes


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State Police Union Pushes to Change PTSD Coverage for First RespondersState Police Union Pushes to Change PTSD Coverage for First Responders

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:55:21 +0000

The state’s largest police union wants the Bureau of Workers Compensation to cover more claims for post-traumatic stress disorder in first responders. Right now, the Bureau will cover PTSD if a first responder has an injury that causes it . But Mike Weinman with the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio says that’s not necessarily how PTSD works. “It’s an accumulation of traumatic events, and then there’s a trigger. So seeing my partner getting shot and killed would be a trigger to the 20 years of things I’ve seen over the course of a career.” As he’s done for the last few years, Weinman is asking lawmakers to change the rules to allow first responders to get workers comp benefits for PTSD even if they don’t have physical injuries. Weinman says officers are self-medicating and even committing suicide and need help.


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Summit County Employers and Educators are Working Together to Close Skills GapSummit County Employers and Educators are Working Together to Close Skills Gap

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:53:53 +0000

Representatives from education, manufacturing and economic development in Summit County gathered in Akron yesterday to discuss efforts to better train workers to fill local jobs. The “ Align ” conference was an opportunity for the approximately 50 groups to strengthen the links between themselves. The event was sponsored by “ Conxus NEO ,” Summit County’s recently established organization for determining employer needs and the educational opportunities required to close the so-called “skills gap.” David Sattler runs a small parts manufacturing company and works with Conxus. He says all manufacturers have difficulty finding people with the necessary skills, and he believes big city school systems are one answer. “That’s going to be the area of growth for employment opportunities for our industry really. Those that wouldn’t have normally had the opportunity to see it, feel it, touch it or do any of that stuff, but they have the right skills, or can be given the right skills to be good


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New Summit County Program Aims To Help Immigrants Who Are Victims Of CrimeNew Summit County Program Aims To Help Immigrants Who Are Victims Of Crime

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:46:11 +0000

The Summit County prosecutor’s office is launching a campaign to help immigrants and refugees who are victims of crime. The new “We Can Help” campaign will feature brochures, signs and information in English, Spanish, Arabic and Nepali. The languages were chosen with help from the International Institute of Akron. The city has seen rapid growth in the Nepali population and other refugees in North Hill . Margaret Scott, chief assistant prosecutor, says the goal is to connect people with the prosecutor’s office, Rape Crisis Center, Battered Women’s Shelter and other agencies, as well as to further explain U.S. law. “We understand that it can be overwhelming to be from another culture. And you may not be sure what the laws are, or that there’s help available. So this is a campaign to put ads on billboards and buses to let people know where they can go for help.” Scott says one reason for the new program is that many immigrants may not even realize they’re being victimized. “What might be


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Northeast Ohio GOP Congressmen Split over Republican Health-Care PlanNortheast Ohio GOP Congressmen Split over Republican Health-Care Plan

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:53:05 +0000

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include Rep. Jim Renacci's decision to support the GOP bill. Northeast Ohio Congressman Dave Joyce has come out opposed to the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Other Ohio Republicans who have refused to back the bill so far have been from the most conservative wing of the party. But Joyce is considered a moderate – a faction that's largely been mum. In a tweet announcing his opposition, Joyce says he’s voted to repeal all or parts of Obamacare in the past and still maintains “we need a better healthcare system.” But he concludes the plan promoted by House leadership and President Donald Trump “was not a better solution.” He says he wants a bill that does not reduce funding for the Medicare trust fund and one that lowers costs for people who get health insurance through work. Joyce also said he wants a process that “is more deliberate, open and transparent.” Meanwhile, Jim Renacci, whose district flows from Lake Erie down


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After 22 Years, Brian Davis Is Stepping Down From the Northeast Ohio Coalition For the HomelessAfter 22 Years, Brian Davis Is Stepping Down From the Northeast Ohio Coalition For the Homeless

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 04:36:32 +0000

The head of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is stepping down after 22 years with the organization. He says it faces a challenging future in securing state and federal funding. Brian Davis began volunteering with the homeless group in the 1990s, and decided late last year that he would step down. The announcement to the public came during the coalition’s annual meeting yesterday. Davis says that, going forward, new leadership may be a good thing, since it might help the coalition to repair relationships that may have become strained in the past. “We’re the Coalition for the Homeless. Not the coalition for the homeless service providers, or the coalition for the mayor’s office or county council. I know who my constituents are and I try to represent them as effectively as I can.” “I’m good at advocating for a constituency. I’m good at community organizing. That’s not going to be the skill that’s going to be necessary to lead the homeless coalition; it’s going to be setting


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Ohio's Sen. Brown Says Gorsuch Embraces Corporations as People, and That's a Problem for DemsOhio's Sen. Brown Says Gorsuch Embraces Corporations as People, and That's a Problem for Dems

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:10:07 +0000

Democratic senators, including Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, are threatening to filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown says his objections to Gorsuch are over a series of decisions supported by the Colorado judge that Brown maintains put corporate rights ahead of human rights. “The last four justices have all been able to get more than 60 votes because they’ve not been so objectionable. They’ve not been considered so much to be in abeyance to the corporate interests in this country. That’s troubling to a lot of us.” Gorsuch was an appeals court judge in the Hobby Lobby case that gave private corporations the religious right to block employees from using company health insurance to pay for contraception. He said then he thought the decision should have gone even further.


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New Ohio Bill Puts $8 Million Into Training Truck DriversNew Ohio Bill Puts $8 Million Into Training Truck Drivers

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:15:02 +0000

The trucking industry says there’s been a driver shortage for two decades – and that there could be 175,000 unfilled trucker jobs in the next seven years. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a package of bills that seeks to put the brakes on that. One bill would create a $5 million scholarship fund for students to attend trucking schools. Another would streamline the conversion from military to commercial driver’s licenses. A third would change insurance rules to allow more 18- to 24-year-olds to become drivers. And the fourth would start a $3 million tax credit program for job training at trucking companies. Republican Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay is among the sponsors. “This is a huge opportunity for the state of Ohio. We have the job openings, 8,000 to 9,000 job openings.” The Republican and Democratic sponsors say in spite of the advances in self-driving and other delivery technology, there is still a need for drivers to move


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Shuffle: The Highlights, The Lowlights And The Challenges Of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100th Season Shuffle: The Highlights, The Lowlights And The Challenges Of The Cleveland Orchestra’s 100th Season

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:21:00 +0000

The Cleveland Orchestra 's 100th season will be busy and challenging. In this week's Shuffle, Cleveland.com classical music critic Zach Lewis says there's a lot to like, but there are also many uncertainties:


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Ohio’s New START Program Is Aimed At Families Affected By Parental Opioid AbuseOhio’s New START Program Is Aimed At Families Affected By Parental Opioid Abuse

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:37:09 +0000

With thousands of kids ending up in foster care because of the opioid crisis, the state is trying a pilot program to help children of addicted parents. Attorney General Mike DeWine says what’s being called the START program will begin in 12 southern Ohio counties with some of the highest levels of abuse in the state. “Ohio START is an intervention program ... that will provide specialized victim services such as intensive trauma counseling to children that have suffered victimization due to intensive drug use. The program will also provide drug treatment to parents referred to the program. The goal is to help programs fight their addiction in an effort to reduce the number of kids in foster care and decrease the reoccurrence of child maltreatment.” The two-year pilot program, which begins on April 1 , will be funded through a $3.5 million grant from the state’s crime victim fund.


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