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Morning Headlines: HOF Village Loan Still Pending; Union Workers to Protest Agency Shop AgreementsMorning Headlines: HOF Village Loan Still Pending; Union Workers to Protest Agency Shop Agreements

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:58:24 +0000

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Feb. 23: Gov. Kasich among governors calling for health care reforms; Hall of Fame Village loan still pending; Utica Shale drilling company ends 2017 with profit; Doctor charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter seeks bond reduction; Franklin County will take over investigation into Cleveland bowling alley shooting; Bipartisan bill seeks tougher penalties for prostitutes; State lawmaker calls for review of permit process for state marijuana program; Collapsed historical building in Medina could be saved; Rover Pipeline denies blame for industrial solvent found near work site; Alliance students face charges after joking about shooting up high school; Crystal Clinic plans to hire 500 employees at new Fairlawn facility; Union workers to protest agency shop agreements in Columbus; Gov. Kasich among governors calling for health care reforms A bipartisan group of governors working to strike compromise on hot-button policy issues will take


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State of the Arts: Jun Kaneko's Giant, Colorful Ceramics Transform The Akron Art MuseumState of the Arts: Jun Kaneko's Giant, Colorful Ceramics Transform The Akron Art Museum

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:20:00 +0000

Artist Jun Kaneko ’s work can be seen from New York to Tokyo. He’s known for his larger-than-life ceramic sculptures. Now you can see them in Akron.


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Akron Business Owner Starts Magazine for Fellow EntrepreneursAkron Business Owner Starts Magazine for Fellow Entrepreneurs

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:36:11 +0000

A local entrepreneur is doing her part to help other African-American business owners find success. Da’Shika Wells is the founder of Akron-based VineWorks Marketing. Last month, Wells launched an online publication to guide entrepreneurs through some of the obstacles she’s experienced. Wells says the "Official Black and Brilliant Entrepreneur Magazine,” or “B.A.B.E. Magazine,” offers advice to black business owners, one of the fastest growing sets of entrepreneurs. "Realizing that many other people were faced with having the same struggles, just having tons of questions and not necessarily knowing who to access or where to go for help, I decided that that’s something I wanted to bring to the table with 'Official B.A.B.E. Magazine.'" The first quarterly edition was released last month.


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Former Cleveland Battalion Chief Claims City Policies Violate Free Speech RightsFormer Cleveland Battalion Chief Claims City Policies Violate Free Speech Rights

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:26:19 +0000

A former battalion chief for Cleveland’s Fire Division is suing the city, claiming it violated his First Amendment rights. Sean DeCrane previously sued the city after officials claimed he had leaked information to the media that Mayor Frank Jackson’s pick for fire chief lacked qualifications. DeCrane’s attorney, Subodh Chandra, says the two city policies, now in effect, that prohibit fire department employees from speaking with the media are unconstitutional. “This is well established law in Ohio, in federal jurisprudence, that a city cannot adopt a total ban on city workers communicating with the media, even if it’s stuff related to their jobs, because a complete and absolute ban is First Amendment suppression," Chandra said. Chandra says he believes that the ban was put in place in reaction to DeCrane’s alleged leak.


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Ohio Lawmakers Consider an Audit of Ohio's Medical Marijuana ProgramOhio Lawmakers Consider an Audit of Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:12:48 +0000

Ohio lawmakers are now weighing in with a proposed fix for problems with the process being used by the state Commerce Department in the medical marijuana program. Republican Sen. Bill Coley says his legislation gives Ohio’s auditor 30 days to do a full performance audit of growers’ license applications, then gives the department another month to correct problems. “By doing this, we can remove any clouds of suspicion or impropriety or any suggestions or innuendo of impropriety.” Auditor David Yost says he doesn't think the program can be paused now, though he’s continuing his audit. And he says he’s not certain an audit could be done in 30 days and he doesn’t know if there are there will be more problems discovered. “That’s kinda like asking if the Browns are going to be scoreless in the third quarter. You know you’ve got a pretty good gut answer to that question, but occasionally they surprise you.” Neither the Commerce Department nor Gov. John Kasich’s office responded to requests for


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Director David Jennings Retires After Nearly 40 Years With the Akron-Summit County Public LibraryDirector David Jennings Retires After Nearly 40 Years With the Akron-Summit County Public Library

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:07:59 +0000

David Jennings, the longtime director of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, is officially retiring next week. In his nearly four decades with the library, Jennings has played a pivotal role in the creation of the downtown library and the system’s 18 satellite branches. During that time he’s overseen the transition from card catalogues to digital downloads, and new roles in the community, such as providing a maker space. I caught up recently with Jennings and talked about all the changes he’s seen…


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Ohio Bill Seeks to End Illegally 'Re-Homing' Adopted ChildrenOhio Bill Seeks to End Illegally 'Re-Homing' Adopted Children

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 22:57:52 +0000

A lawmaker wants the state to crack down on adults who illegally move adopted kids from one place to another. The representative fighting the problem says this is just another form of human trafficking. Republican Dorothy Pelanda says she was shocked to find out an adopted child in her central Ohio district was moved from one house to another to another, and across state lines, without any court approval. This is known as 're-homing' and Pelanda says this has been going undetected. “Most typically money is exchanged. The family that wants to get rid of this child because they have not integrated into the family finds a family in Ohio that for a certain sum of money agrees to take the child. This is a form of human trafficking." Pelanda’s bill would trigger an investigation if a child is enrolled in school without the proper custody paperwork, or if that child goes to the ER.


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Ohio, Army Corps Reach Settlement in Dredging SuitOhio, Army Corps Reach Settlement in Dredging Suit

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 22:54:07 +0000

Ohio and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have settled a lawsuit over dredging in the Cuyahoga River. The state and the federal agency have fought for years over how to handle sediment scooped from the river. The Army Corps wanted to dump it out into Lake Erie, but the state said that was unsafe. Under the settlement, the Army Corps will bear the cost of disposing of sediment dredged in 2016 and 2017. That material was placed in confined disposal facilities, not in the lake. The settlement was filed Wednesday in federal court in Cleveland. Last year, a federal judge ruled against the Army Corps in a related case, saying it “unreasonably delayed” dredging the Cuyahoga in 2015. The Army Corps declined to comment on this case; it’s still considered ongoing because a judge hasn’t signed the settlement order. But the agency says last year was an encouraging one for the relationship between the Army Corps Buffalo District and the Ohio EPA. The two groups meet regularly and are working to


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Absent Investment, Congressman Ryan Says the Midwest is Left With NostalgiaAbsent Investment, Congressman Ryan Says the Midwest is Left With Nostalgia

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:16:17 +0000

More than a dozen Silicon Valley venture capitalists traveled to Youngstown and Akron yesterday, looking for ways to invest in the Midwest. The Comeback Cities Tour was organized by Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and his California counterpart, Congressman Ro Khanna . Ryan says the goal is to round out the uneven American economy by boosting entrepreneurs who are not based on the East and West Coasts. “If we line up the capital with the ideas, we will have growth in communities like this. And we will be OK with a comprehensive immigration plan that brings people into this society because those are entrepreneurs, too," Ryan said. "But if there’s not money behind that in communities like ours, people will default to nostalgia.” The group of investors included J.D. Vance , who grew up in Ohio and whose book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” detailed economic and cultural desperation hitting in parts of the Midwest. His fund focuses on entrepreneurship outside the Silicon Valley.


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Morning Headlines: Jackson 7th Grader Dies After Shooting Self; Settlement Over Cleveland DredgingMorning Headlines: Jackson 7th Grader Dies After Shooting Self; Settlement Over Cleveland Dredging

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:40:42 +0000

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Feb. 22: Corps of Engineers and state reach settlement over Cleveland harbor dredging; Cleveland high school students stage walk-out protesting gun violence; University of Akron pays former presidents more than $620,000 to teach; Cleveland physician and gubernatorial hopeful falls short of signatures needed to make the ballot; Cleveland killer joins litigation challenging Ohio's lethal injection practices; Cuyahoga County employees placed on paid leave amid investigation; Democratic candidate for state treasurer calls for economic study of private prisons; State auditor Yost says medical pot program should proceed despite application problems; Jackson Middle School student who shot himself has died; Judge upholds law allowing businesses to file profit taxes directly with the state; Corps of Engineers and state reach settlement over Cleveland harbor dredging The federal agency that maintains shipping channels along Lake Erie has settled a


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Shuffle: Matt Hectorne Explores the Struggles of the Touring MusicianShuffle: Matt Hectorne Explores the Struggles of the Touring Musician

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:38:00 +0000

Singer-songwriter Matt Hectorne was raised in the South but now calls Northeast Ohio home. His latest album, “Work,” explores the challenges of living as a married musician often on the road. The album’s direct, one-word title refers to Hectorne’s own efforts to build a career and improve himself. Hectorne was born in Memphis and raised in Mississippi, but he grew weary of small-town life and eventually ended up in the Cleveland area. “There wasn’t too much modern stuff going on,” Hectorne said of the church he grew up attending. “It was a pretty old-timey kind of church, a lot of gospel and bluegrass influence.” Hectorne’s music embraces many aspects of southern rock and country: lyrics recounting personal struggles with romance and the demands of everyday life, assertive drumming and, yes, slide guitar. But his music also incorporates elements of gospel and ‘90s rock. Hectorne considers "Americana" to be a more inclusive way to describe his eclectic style. “I kind of like the twangy


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Silicon Valley Money Men and Women Look for Ohio InvestmentsSilicon Valley Money Men and Women Look for Ohio Investments

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:33:12 +0000

More than a dozen Silicon Valley venture capitalists are taking a closer look this week at what are often dismissed as rust-belt cities: places like Youngstown, Akron and Detroit. They’re trying to figure out if there’s a match to be made with their money and the region’s strengths. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on the Akron stop on what’s being called the Comeback Cities tour. The smell of the city’s rubber history still lingers in the stairwells in the old B.F. Goodrich plant on the south side of Akron’s downtown. But the discussion among the more than two dozen people in a loft conference room at what's now the Bounce Innovation Hub is about the future – and ways venture capitalists can stop flying over the Midwest and start investing in it. Congressman Tim Ryan , who helped organize the three-day tour, says the region’s argument is economic and beyond. “The economics match up to where these venture capital funds and businesses could say I could locate there, do the same thing I’m


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Akron Public Schools Teams with Kent State on Firestone Career Academy Akron Public Schools Teams with Kent State on Firestone Career Academy

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 05:09:29 +0000

Akron Public Schools announced it’s expanding its college and career academies through a partnership with Kent State University.


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The List of Ohio Primary Candidates Is FinalizedThe List of Ohio Primary Candidates Is Finalized

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:56:10 +0000

The list of candidates who will appear on the May 8 primary ballot for governor is officially set. It includes a surprise. Another Democrat is out of the gubernatorial race. Jon Heavey , a doctor from Cleveland, did not collect enough valid signatures to get on the ballot, though he had filed a financial statement giving himself a campaign loan of $1.5 million. Efforts to reach him for comment weren’t successful. That means people voting in the Democratic ballot have six candidates to choose from: Rich Cordray, Larry Ealy, Dennis Kucinich , Bill O’Neill, Paul Ray, and Joe Schiavoni. Connie Pillich dropped out last week and endorsed Cordray. The Republican ticket remains unchanged after all the signatures were counted – Mike DeWine will square off against Mary Taylor. Constance Gadell-Newton is the sole Green Party candidate. Statewide candidates appearing on the May Primary ballot include: For Governor and Lieutenant Governor Democratic Party Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton Larry E.


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NPR's Tamara Keith Talks Politics and the Challenges of White House Coverage NPR's Tamara Keith Talks Politics and the Challenges of White House Coverage

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:18:08 +0000

WKSU is co-sponsoring a live edition of the NPR Politics Podcast this Friday in Cleveland. It features NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith, along with podcast partner Scott Detrow , political reporter Asma Khalid , and editor Domenico Montanaro . Keith has an Ohio connection. She was a reporter at WOSU in Columbus providing local coverage of the 2004 presidential election. Keith says, while not every contest hinges on Ohio, we're still an important battleground state.


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Yost Says It’s Too Late to Stop and Fix Med Pot ProcessYost Says It’s Too Late to Stop and Fix Med Pot Process

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:01:08 +0000

Ohio’s Auditor says it’s probably too late for the state Department of Commerce to pause its medical marijuana processes to fix problems. He’s telling the department to focus now instead on defending lawsuits. Back in December, just days after it was discovered that the state hired a man with a felony drug conviction to score medical marijuana applications, Auditor Dave Yost called for the process to stop. “This is an epic fail. I’m outraged. And you know it really calls into question the integrity of the entire process. "The Commerce Department needs to hit the brakes, hit the pause button and needs to arrange for an independent review of how this all happened -- and whether the scoring and application process is really reliable. Is it on the up and up? Because right now, I think there are major, major question marks.” But the state’s commerce department didn’t do that. Yost started trying to audit the medical marijuana process. And in the past couple of weeks, more questions were


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Northeast Ohio Students Join the Call on Congress to Pass Gun ControlNortheast Ohio Students Join the Call on Congress to Pass Gun Control

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 03:45:52 +0000

Northeast Ohio high school students joined their counterparts nationwide, calling on Congressional leaders to take action to stop gun violence in the nation’s schools. Students at Lakewood High School walked out of their classrooms at noon and marched laps around their campus, chanting: “No NRA, No KKK, No facists USA and holding signs that read, “Silence never solved anything.” The protest comes a week after 17 students and teachers were killed in a shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. But 17-year-old Lakewood student Sean O’Neal says it’s not the first school shooting and not enough has been done to stop them. “The Florida deaths alone were too much. That coupled with all previous school shootings, which there’s not too much done about it, it’s baffling. It’s just too much death for no reason.” Protests also took place on school campuses in Westlake, Mentor and Willoughby.


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Planned Landfill Solar Farm is Expected to Save Money for Cuyahoga CountyPlanned Landfill Solar Farm is Expected to Save Money for Cuyahoga County

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 22:20:03 +0000

Cuyahoga County will soon be home to one of the largest solar arrays in Ohio. IGS Solar will build the farm on 17 acres of a 75-acre landfill in Brooklyn. Patrick Smith, vice president of sales for IGS Solar, says the company views the project as an opportunity. “We really see this as an opportunity for solar to be showcased in a non-traditional format using a landfill, which is really land that can’t be utilized for any other commercial purpose.” The county is expected to pay nearly $8 million for the project, which is actually a pre-payment for the electricity coming from the array. The overall project is expected to cost $10 million. The solar panels will help power 16 county buildings by feeding into the power grid. It’s anticipated to be completed in July.


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Jackson Middle School Student Dies From Gunshot WoundJackson Middle School Student Dies From Gunshot Wound

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 22:15:36 +0000

The 13-year-old who shot himself at Jackson Middle School yesterday has died. Jackson Police Chief Mark Brink held a news conference announcing Keith Simons died this afternoon at an Akron hospital. Brink says authorities are not ruling the death a suicide at this point. The chief says they are still investigating how Simons was able to get a .22 rifle onto his bus and into the school. “We have found nothing through social media that would indicate there was a danger for us yesterday from Keith, from friends that we have talked to, as well as people at the school.” No other students were injured. Brink says they haven’t been able to determine what Simons was trying to do with the gun.


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Akron Board of Ed's Newest Member Says She'll Listen to Community Needs FirstAkron Board of Ed's Newest Member Says She'll Listen to Community Needs First

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:18:48 +0000

Fifty-seven people were interested in the opening on the Akron Board of Education following the resignation of John Otterman last month. He stepped down following allegations of drug use and an overdose. Tuesday, the board picked Otterman’s replacement. Morgan Lasher grew up in the Akron area. She and her husband are raising their young son in the city’s Merriman Hills neighborhood. She is a partner in a marketing and public relations firm based in the city , and she has never been in politics. What drew her to add her name to the 56 others applying for the seat? Invested in Akron “First, I’m a mom I have a 2 1/2-year-old son, and so I have a vested interest in what happens next in the school system because of him. And I would say, too, that I am really excited about the future of city of Akron and I would like to play a part in what that could be.” First steps “I’d like to start talking to as many people as I can. As board members, it’s important for us to know that we are


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