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New Plan Would Allow Water Levels on Lake Ontario to Fluctuate More WidelyNew Plan Would Allow Water Levels on Lake Ontario to Fluctuate More Widely

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 05:36:49 +0000

Water levels in Lake Ontario have been regulated since the 1950s, and a new plan was announced Thursday. Not everyone is happy about it. The plan is called Plan 2014 , and it's designed to create more fluctuation between the lake's highs and lows. As water levels go up and down, coastal wetlands will flood and dry out more frequently. This mimics the natural state of the lake, which is important, according to Doug Wilcox. He's a professor of Wetland Studies at the College of Brockport in New York. "It's this process that maintains the diversity of wetland plant communities, but also the diversity of habitat for a whole variety of fish and wildlife species." Plan 2014 will also increase the productivity of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam, and aid the shipping industry. But homeowners along the south shore of Lake Ontario worry about their property eroding. Dan Barletta owns lakefront land in Greece, New York. He says it’s not fair to change the regulations. "People put money in based on


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Ohio Democratic Party Chair Reacts to John Glenn's PassingOhio Democratic Party Chair Reacts to John Glenn's Passing

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 02:59:22 +0000

Former U.S. senator and astronaut John Glenn has passed away at the age of 95. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles spoke with the head of Ohio’s Democratic Party. Glenn was a popular four-term U.S. senator from Ohio. State Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says Glenn was a driving force in Ohio politics. “He was this great historic figure but for those of us who got to know him he was also this great down to earth person who would just tell you what he thought. But every time you met with him, this deep rooted patriotism would come through. And it’s something that people will really miss. You just don’t see people like John Glenn anymore.” A public memorial service will be held at Ohio State University and Glenn’s body will lie in state at the Ohio Statehouse. Dates and times will be announced soon.


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Hattie's Cafe at the Summit County Courthouse to CloseHattie's Cafe at the Summit County Courthouse to Close

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:31:30 +0000

Hattie's Café will be leaving the Summit County Courthouse at the end of the year due to financial issues. The cafe, which employs adults with disabilities to train them for jobs in the community, is run by Hattie Larlham. Dotty Grexa is the vice president of vocational services. She says that while the decision was hard to make, the cafe is no longer needed for training purposes. “We’ve got a very large location inside of Canal Place in Akron that is basically in the same vicinity that the courthouse is in and it’s an extremely large operation where we can do all of that training. So we made the decision that we really didn’t need to have (Hattie’s Café in the Summit County Courthouse) as a training site.” She says all six employees at the courthouse will be moved to different jobs or training programs. The courthouse is searching for a new local nonprofit to replace the café, which closes on December 23 rd .


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Arts in Stark Picks New ChairmanArts in Stark Picks New Chairman

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:23:59 +0000

Arts in Stark has named Emil Alecusan as its new chairman. Alecusan has worked with the Canton city school board, the city chamber of commerce and is the CFO and vice president of Brewster Cheese . He has served on the Arts in Stark board for nine years Arts in Stark President and CEO Robb Hankins says that he is perfect for the chairman position. “I’ve been doing this for a few years around the country and I’ve never seen a community that devotes as many hours serving a community as Emil does,” Hankins said. Hankins says that Alecusan’s biggest task will be improving tourism in Stark County alongside the opening of the Pro Football Hall of Fame village. “When visitors come to the Hall of Fame village, we hope to bring those people to our tourism venue down to the city of Canton for starters and then have them start to extend their stays for maybe another day or so, and just see what we do have in Massillon,” Alecusan said. The Hall of Fame village is expected to be complete by 2019.


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Budget Office Report Contradicts Kasich's Claim Ohio is Headed for a RecessionBudget Office Report Contradicts Kasich's Claim Ohio is Headed for a Recession

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:16:36 +0000

Gov. John Kasich made a surprise appearance on the floor of the Ohio House on Tuesday. He told lawmakers to expect a tough budget because Ohio is on “the verge of a recession”. But a report from his budget office doesn’t back up that claim. Ohio’s unemployment rate is near the national average and economic growth has been up slightly – the opposite of recession conditions. But income tax revenue is coming in about three percent lower than projections. A report from the state budget office says lower revenues are due to rate cuts and a small business tax cut. But that office’s director Tim Keen says tax cuts have helped Ohio. “Our policies that make us a more competitive place – not withstanding the soft patch that we seem to be seeing and the risks that the Governor’s concerned about – have improved our circumstances relative to what might have been.” Lawmakers have made it clear they’re open to more cuts in Kasich’s upcoming budget, but not to tax increases to pay for them.


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John Glenn, Former Astronaut and U.S. Senator, Passes AwayJohn Glenn, Former Astronaut and U.S. Senator, Passes Away

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:14:24 +0000

Fighter pilot, astronaut and former US Senator John Glenn has passed away. John Glenn launched his career from eastern Ohio. He quit college to enlist after Pearl Harbor, became a Navy pilot, and then a test pilot. That led him to the US's newly formed space agency, NASA, which sent him up as the first American in orbit around the earth in 1962. He won election to the US Senate in 1974 and served for four terms. He ran for president in 1984 and was long considered a potential vice presidential candidate. Glenn’s last major public appearance in Ohio may have been when the airport in Columbus was renamed for him in July, where he talked about inspiring young people. “They, in their time, can do as many new things as have been done in aviation and in flying in the past.” In 1998, Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space, aboard the space shuttle Discovery. John Glenn was 95.


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Ohio's Prisons Director Calls For Sentencing Reform, Saying Ohio Can't Afford The AlternativesOhio's Prisons Director Calls For Sentencing Reform, Saying Ohio Can't Afford The Alternatives

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 01:59:06 +0000

The head of Ohio’s Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections says a projected tight state budget is one reason the lawmakers should change sentencing laws and support and make more use of community programs. As WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, Gary Mohr s ays the other is the increased chance for success. Ohio is hitting all-time records for its prison population, and Mohr says more than 8,000 of its prisoners are people serving sentences of less than a year – many on drug possession charges. He’s pushing for an overhaul of drug laws – including mandatory sentencing -- and diverting non-violent drug-addicted offenders to community treatment. He maintains that’s cheaper and more effective. “Does it make sense to spend $68 a day sending people to prison, where they have the ability and the likelihood they’re going to gain higher criminogenic interests, and be further detached from their family, jobs and the community at three times the rate of keeping people in the community?" Mohr also


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Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces He'll Challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown AgainOhio Treasurer Josh Mandel Announces He'll Challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown Again

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:44:34 +0000

Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel is calling for a rematch with Democrat Sherrod Brown . Mandel wants Brown’s U.S. Senate seat and seems to be counting on the momentum of Donald Trump. Drain the swamp, sanctuary cities, radical Islam -- all Trump campaign talking points. And they were also major points in Josh Mandel’s video to announce he’s running for U.S. Senate. “I will never back down from our enemies. I will never succumb to political correctness. And I will never forget that we are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values.” Mandel will need the support of Trump voters to beat well-known Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown, who defeated Mandel in their first matchup in 2012 . Mandel also is likely to face a strong primary contender in Congressman Pat Tiber, a long-time political ally of Gov. John Kasich. Mandel was the only statewide elected Republican who did not back Kasich in the GOP primary. He originally supported Marco Rubio. During a conference call with reporters


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Kent State Trustees Approve Formation of a Brain Health Research InstituteKent State Trustees Approve Formation of a Brain Health Research Institute

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:40:02 +0000

The Kent State University Board of Trustees has approved the formation of a Brain Health Research Institute to create synergies among the schools’ existing neuroscience and psychology programs. The new institute will concentrate on cognitive research as well as exploring neurodegenerative diseases. The university recently got $3.5 million in grants to study mindfulness-based stress reduction, and close to half-a-million-dollars to study Alzheimer’s disease. Paul DiCorleto, Vice-President of Research at Kent State, says the institute will not offer a new degree program. “There are many existing degree programs that fit under this heading of brain health research. This will use those programs; we don’t intend to start new ones, but who knows in the future? Maybe some of the collaborations lead to new curricular activities and then we would go forward with that. “This brings together many existing strengths including research into stress and trauma, brain injury, research into mindfulness


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East Cleveland Mayor Recall Could Influence Merger Talks With ClevelandEast Cleveland Mayor Recall Could Influence Merger Talks With Cleveland

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:30:17 +0000

A possible merger between Cleveland and East Cleveland has been further complicated by yesterday’s recall of East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton and Council President Thomas Wheeler. Leaders of East Cleveland have been pushing for Cleveland to annex their troubled city. Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley says though the talks stalled earlier this year, the two cities had agreed on the direction the negotiations would take. Now, with the recall of Norton and Thomas, he says the nature of the talks may have changed. “We just have to wait and see what happens. I don’t know what the new leadership will look like, what the new council will want to do. But, I’m going to take a step back, let the political winds, whatever, dust settle in East Cleveland, and when it’s time to resume discussions I’m going to be open to resuming discussions.” Kelley says it’s important that the new leadership is fully behind merging the two cities, because Cleveland is not going to move forward on its


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TSA Instagram Account Recognized by Rolling StoneTSA Instagram Account Recognized by Rolling Stone

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:26:07 +0000

Rolling Stone magazine has ranked the TSA's Instagram account at number four on its list of the best 100. The man behind that account lives in Butler County in southwest Ohio. Bob Burns also blogs for the TSA from his West Chester home. Each week, hundreds of thousands of people see photos and read stories about what the agency keeps off commercial flights. "It definitely helps people see what we're finding. I know on Instagram alone, we see so many comments of people saying, you know, 'I didn't think TSA actually found anything, and this Instagram account has opened my eyes.' You know we find an average of 60-70 firearms a week in carry-on bags, nationwide, so a lot of people didn't realize that." Burns worked at the TSA headquarters in Washington for several years, but eventually convinced his bosses he could do it just as easily from his home in Butler County.


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Ohio Lawmakers Pass The Nation's Most Stringent Abortion BanOhio Lawmakers Pass The Nation's Most Stringent Abortion Ban

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 12:55:24 +0000

The Ohio Legislature has passed one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the United States. The House and Senate yesterday both approved a ban on abortion at the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected – which can be in as little as six weeks into pregnancy. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, the bill will likely face a court challenge if Gov. John Kasich signs it. After years of trying to get the so-called Heartbeat Bill passed, and more than a year after it passed the House, Janet Folger Porter of Faith2Action was giddy after the Senate passed it 21 to 10. “I’ve been practicing this soundbite for about six years, so allow me to say it now, all glory goes to the God of the Impossible, praise to the name of Jesus.” Trump is the difference Ohio’s Senate President, Keith Faber, had been a critic of the heartbeat bill in past years, saying it was unconstitutional. But he says times have changed. “A new president, new justice appointees changed the dynamic and there


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The View From Pluto: For the Browns, 'Stopping the Pain' Must Mean Staying the CourseThe View From Pluto: For the Browns, 'Stopping the Pain' Must Mean Staying the Course

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:09:00 +0000

The Cleveland Browns return from their bye week staring down an 0-16 season. The front office recently held a staff meeting for all team employees to argue that this is not the time to make coaching and management changes despite the team now having lost 30 of their last 33 games. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz talked to our commentator Terry Pluto about the state of the franchise: The Browns play the Bengals this weekend at 0-12 on the season. The worst record in the history of the franchise was 2-14 in 1999, the first year the Browns returned to the league as an expansion team. "Last year, they were 3-13," Pluto says. "So, I’m listening to people say, ‘Well they got rid of a bunch of players from last year and they can’t win a game!' And I say, ‘So you’re telling me they messed up a 3-13 team?!’ When they were 3-13 last year, the Browns had the one of the older teams in the league, and they had the highest paid defense in the NFL. And they were still horrible. And when they fired everybody


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Portman Hopes to Fund Miner Health Benefits Amid Struggle For PensionsPortman Hopes to Fund Miner Health Benefits Amid Struggle For Pensions

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 23:30:55 +0000

The future of health and retirement benefits for mine workers remains uncertain, as more than 12-thousand of them could lose coverage at the end of this year. Ohio’s US Senator Rob Portman says healthcare for retired coal workers will likely be funded by making it part of an appropriations bill designed to keep the government operating through next spring. “I think we will, at a minimum, be able to get something in there to ensure these retired miners are not going to face a big spike in their health care costs.” Portman was less optimistic about miners’ pensions, saying there’s still a long fight ahead. President-elect Donald Trump promised to support coal miners during his campaign.


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Cuyahoga County Juvenile Division Lead Prosecutor Will Head Cleveland's New Youth-Violence ProgramCuyahoga County Juvenile Division Lead Prosecutor Will Head Cleveland's New Youth-Violence Program

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 23:04:50 +0000

Cleveland now has a cabinet-level chief to guide its new youth-violence prevention team. Today Mayor Frank Jackson announced the appointment of Cuyahoga County’s lead juvenile division prosecutor, Duane Deskins, to the position. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, Deskins will run a program that will attempt to cut youth violence by coordinating new and existing resources. Mayor Frank Jackson’s youth-violence prevention effort is an attempt to bring together public and private programs that work and to identify gaps that need to be filled. It includes a team of law-enforcement officers, crime analysts and intervention specialists Jackson says a coordinated effort is the only way to make real, sustainable progress. And he says that starts with giving Duane Deskins the power to make that happen. “This not going to be someone just running a program. This is a cabinet-level position that is higher than a director. This will be a chief, a chief. And his title will be Chief of Prevention,


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Ohio House Votes to Loosen Green Energy StandardsOhio House Votes to Loosen Green Energy Standards

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 23:00:00 +0000

The House passed a bill that would stop the government from enforcing the increased use of green energy for three years. Supporters say the bill still requires energy companies to increase the use of alternative resources. It just doesn’t mandate yearly increases. But opponents say this plan keeps kicking the can down the road on policies that they say helped progress the state’s green energy industry. That includes Republican Representative Mike Duffey of Worthington. “We can do energy efficiency and renewables without making the mandates for Ohioans, without giving control to utilities and without planning such large incentives that utilities have turned these programs into profit centers.” The bill is expected to pass the Senate by the end of the week.


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Ohio House Proposes a Temporary Solution to Fund Unemployment BenefitsOhio House Proposes a Temporary Solution to Fund Unemployment Benefits

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 22:45:39 +0000

The Ohio House of Representatives is calling for a temporary measure to deal with the state’s flagging unemployment compensation fund. The new plan would freeze increases to employee benefits for two years and slightly hike taxes for employers. Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger calls this a stopgap and a show of good faith that all parties are willing to make some sacrifices in order to overhaul the system. “Both sides are going to have to feel a little bit here if we’re getting to a solvency plan. They both realize that and I think that’s what their commitment is to show what they’re willing to do.” The temporary measure scraps an earlier bill which, according to a nonpartisan legislative report, would have cut employee benefits by 17 percent and raised taxes on employers but just under 2 percent. There's no official word yet on if the Senate is on board with the House’ proposal.


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Ohio's High Court Says Most Police Dash-Cam Video Is Public RecordOhio's High Court Says Most Police Dash-Cam Video Is Public Record

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 22:31:55 +0000

The Ohio Supreme Court says – with few exceptions – footage from police dash-cams are public records. A unanimous state high court ruled today (Tuesday) that the Ohio Highway Patrol should have immediately released more than an hour of video from a 2015 police chase. The state had maintained the footage was confidential because it could contain evidence. Jack Greiner is the attorney who sued the state on behalf of the Cincinnati Enquirer. He says making the video public is key to ensuring public oversight of police. “It’s important I think for the media and the public to have access to that video to serve the role of watchdog and make sure the police officers perform their jobs in a professional and responsible and competent way.” The decision does not affect body cameras. In a separate case, Greiner argued those, too, should be public. The Supreme Court has not yet ruled in that case.


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Fire Officials Investigate Lack Of Smoke Detectors In Home Where A Fire Killed FourFire Officials Investigate Lack Of Smoke Detectors In Home Where A Fire Killed Four

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:43:39 +0000

The investigation continues into a house fire in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood that took the lives of two children and their parents. City and state fire codes require smoke detectors near the sleeping areas of a home, and in a rental house the owner must provide them. But, Lt. Sierjie Lash of the Akron Fire Department says that wasn’t the case in the residence on East Tallmadge Avenue that went up in flames in early on Saturday.


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State Sen. Frank LaRose's Bill On Superfluous Primaries Heads to the Ohio HouseState Sen. Frank LaRose's Bill On Superfluous Primaries Heads to the Ohio House

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:13:06 +0000

A new bill is headed to the Ohio House to try to eliminate some of what its sponsor calls unnecessary primary elections. The bill requires a special primary election only if two or more candidates are certified to appear on the ballot. It does not base primaries simply on how many people file to run – which is how it’s done now. Republican State Sen. Frank LaRose says the reason for his bill is that candidates sometimes become ineligible – or even die – before the election is held, and the resulting uncontested special elections waste thousands of dollars. The state Senate unanimously passed the bill last month, and LaRose says he’s heard of no opposition in the House. “With only a few weeks of legislative work remaining, I don’t know if the House can get it done; I certainly hope they can and I would ask them to. But if not, we’ll bring it back next year.” LaRose -- who represents much of Summit, Stark and Wayne Counties – says he does not see it as a way to circumvent the electoral


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