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Morning Headlines: Program to Help Ohioans Enroll in Obamacare Gets ShutteredMorning Headlines: Program to Help Ohioans Enroll in Obamacare Gets Shuttered

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:22:00 +0000

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 22: Cleveland seeks new site for planned dirt bike track; Stark County Jail is near capacity; Canton native will be inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame; Program to help Ohioans enroll for Obamacare gets shuttered; Akron Symphony launches mobile app; Cleveland gets a financial boost as more people go to Indians home games; Cleveland seeks new site for planned dirt bike track The City of Cleveland is searching for alternative locations to build a professional-grade dirt bike track. The track was originally planned for Marion Motley Park. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says he’s reconsidering the location after potential track operators expressed concerns about noise and safety at the original site. Cleveland.com reports Jackson is still planning to build the dirt bike track if a new location is found. The proposed complex originally consisted of a paved track as well as a dirt track, but now they will be split between two different


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Canton's Art Museum Turns Back-Room Construction Into Gallery OpportunityCanton's Art Museum Turns Back-Room Construction Into Gallery Opportunity

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 09:43:00 +0000

At most museums, what you see on display is often just a fraction of an entire collection. An exhibit at The Canton Museum of Art through the end of October is taking a challenge and turning it into an opportunity to show much, much more.


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SARTA Gets Federal Funds to Expand Fuel-Cell Bus ProgramSARTA Gets Federal Funds to Expand Fuel-Cell Bus Program

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 04:26:00 +0000

The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) is adding two fuel-cell buses to its existing fleet of five. The Federal Transit Administration recently gave SARTA $1.75 million to help fund the program, which will total eleven buses by the end of next year. Kirt Conrad, the CEO of SARTA, says the agency has the third-largest fuel cell bus fleet in the country. He says these buses are important for the community. “The biggest advantage really is that there’s zero emissions. There’s no pollutants, there’s no CO2. There’s nothing except water that comes out of the back of the vehicle. The second biggest is just since it’s an electric drive motor, it’s a very quiet vehicle, and it’s very efficient when it comes to starting and stopping.” In addition to buses, Conrad says SARTA is working with the Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research to deploy electric and fuel cell vehicles. According to a study by SARTA, these vehicles could create up to 65,000 jobs in the state.


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Lawmaker Wants Change in Report CardsLawmaker Wants Change in Report Cards

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 04:23:56 +0000

The bad grades for many school districts in the latest round of report cards has upset some parents and school officials. And now they’ve angered a state lawmaker who says he’s writing a bill to change the report cards. The report cards show how schools are doing in areas such as test scores, elementary school literacy, progress, graduation rates and preparedness for what comes after high school. This time, traditional public schools saw a slight improvement overall in the performance index, which measures individual student achievement. But most districts still got Cs. And just under 4 percent of traditional public school districts got As for how their students scored on 26 state tests. More than 80 percent got Fs in that category. Letter grades aren't the whole story State school Superintendent Paolo DeMaria says report cards show important data, but that the letter grades aren’t the only factor that determines good schools. “There are lots of things that aren’t measured on the


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Ohio's Lawmakers Continue Work on a Plan to Overhaul Unemployment CompensationOhio's Lawmakers Continue Work on a Plan to Overhaul Unemployment Compensation

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 04:16:06 +0000

The state seems to be one step closer to a plan that would make changes to the way the state funds the program that pays benefits to unemployed workers. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, the next step is getting both labor and business to approve the idea. Republican House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring says he’s put together a plan that could save the unemployment compensation fund from taking another hit like the one in 2008 when the state had to borrow billions of dollars from the feds. “My goal is to have something that would be a solvency plan and will be an equal share that will lead to solvency that will come from employers and employees,” Schuring said. Schuring says this plan was cobbled together with ideas from both Democrats and Republicans and is now under review by a non-partisan, research arm of the legislature. The state is currently operating on a system meant to be a temporary two-year stopgap until lawmakers could come up with a permanent plan.


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Morning Headlines: GM's Ohio Plants Go Green; Ohio EPA Doubles Fines for Rover Pipeline DeveloperMorning Headlines: GM's Ohio Plants Go Green; Ohio EPA Doubles Fines for Rover Pipeline Developer

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:53:45 +0000

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 21: General Motors' Ohio plants go completely green; Goodyear acquires German tire inspection tech company; Ohio EPA doubles down on Rover Pipeline; Cleveland police form task force with FBI to solve more homicides; 'Monty Python's' John Cleese comes to Cleveland; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo welcomes two gorillas; Vietnam Combat Veterans memorial will be on display in Perry; General Motors' Ohio plants go completely green General Motors’ four Ohio plants are planning to use only green electricity. The company announced it has signed long-term contracts with two wind farms in Ohio and Illinois that, once completed, will supply power to the plants. The Ohio wind farm will be owned by Starwood Energy Group and located in Paulding and Van Wert counties. GM will pay a fixed price for the first 12 to 15 years of the contract. The deal is part of a larger goal to power all GM plants worldwide with renewable energy by 2050. Once the two wind


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Shuffle: Akron Sound Punk Rock Pioneer Buzz Clic Returns HomeShuffle: Akron Sound Punk Rock Pioneer Buzz Clic Returns Home

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:40:00 +0000

Akron punk rock pioneer Buzz Clic is coming home. The Hudson native was the lead guitarist for the Rubber City Rebels that shaped the Akron Sound of the 1970’s. Clic, who left for Los Angeles with the Rebels decades ago, is playing one show Friday night at Jilly’s Music Room with his band, Buzz Clic Adventure. For this week’s Shuffle, Buzz Clic and Brittany Nader of The Devil Strip talk about the past and present. Nader wrote an article about Buzz Clic for The Devil Strip that talks about punk rock's roots in Akron. "The Rubber City Rebels were an important part of that. And it started at this small Akron venue called The Crypt that gave these bands a place to perform." “The Crypt was the beginning,” Clic says. It began with a cover band At the time, Clic was in a Top 40 cover band called King Cobra. They covered bands like KISS, wearing bright costumes, platform shoes and tossing around their long, brightly-colored hair. “We had been covering these bands note-for-note trying to


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Ohio's Senators Unanimously Support Super-Speed Links to Chicago and PittsburghOhio's Senators Unanimously Support Super-Speed Links to Chicago and Pittsburgh

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:33:10 +0000

Ohio senators have passed a resolution unanimously supporting the effort to bring a super-high speed transportation system to connect Columbus with Pittsburgh on the east and Chicago on the west. The route connecting the three cities is one of 10 finalists in a world-wide competition . Ir would allow Ohioans to go from Columbus to Chicago in a half hour or to Pittsburgh in less than 20 minutes. But Republican Sen. Kevin Bacon, one of the bill’s sponsors, says the legislation doesn’t come with a promise of money if the project is selected. “We’re not allocating state dollars to the project. Whether or not they seek public funding for the project in the future, I don’t know.” There are a lot of questions about how much the hyperloop would cost, the design and safety features of it and whether it would actually deliver on the fast speeds promoted. The resolution has no force of law, and sponsors say was meant to send a message that Ohio is willing to work to get it developed. A few years


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Lawmakers Argue Over Property Rights and Wind FarmsLawmakers Argue Over Property Rights and Wind Farms

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:25:22 +0000

The wind-energy industry says Ohio has essentially placed a moratorium on new wind farm projects because of trestrictions on where turbines can be placed. But some lawmakers maintain those tougher parameters protect the rights of landowners. So-called wind setbacks decide how far a turbine must be placed from a property owner who wants nothing to do with a project. Republican Rep. Craig Riedel represents a portion of northwest Ohio, home to the state’s biggest wind farms. He says he’s all for wind energy but believes new setbacks are needed, hoping to strike a balance between the current constraints and the much smaller setbacks proposed in the Senate. "Then set that as the minimum and then allow each individual township to decide for themselves whether or not they want to leave that as their setback for their township or extend it further.” The debate could be rolled into the larger issue of renewable-energy mandates. A bill to eliminate those mandates sits in the Senate.


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Hundreds Are Expected To Discuss Algae Blooms, Microplastics and Other Challenges to the Great LakesHundreds Are Expected To Discuss Algae Blooms, Microplastics and Other Challenges to the Great Lakes

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:15:15 +0000

Next month, environmentalists from across the region will meet to discuss their biggest challenges in cleaning up and protecting the Great Lakes. Restoring wetlands, fish success stories, and the relationship between wildlife and microplastics will all be discussed at the conference hosted by the National Wildlife Federation’s Healing Our Waters Coalition . The coalition consists of more than 145 groups. And more than 200 people involved in Great Lakes work are expected to gather in Buffalo for the three-day conference. A hot topic sis sure to be the algae blooms in western Lake Erie. The National Wildlife Federation’s Gail Hesse says more can be done to reduce phosphorus, which triggers the toxic blooms. “We have the targets for Lake Erie, and we have the individual tributary targets, such as for the mouth of the Maumee,” says Hesse. “We will be looking for how those targets could be incorporated into state water quality standards, which essentially govern how clean we manage our


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Ohio EPA Hikes Penalties Against Rover Pipeline to $2.3 Million and Turns the Case Over to the AGOhio EPA Hikes Penalties Against Rover Pipeline to $2.3 Million and Turns the Case Over to the AG

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:08:57 +0000

The Ohio EPA on Wednesday turned over of $2.3 million in civil penalties against the owners of the Rover pipeline enforcement to the Ohio Attorney General’s office. WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports on the latest in ongoing disputes with the pipeline operators.


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Morning Headlines: Radio Legend Webster Dead at 74; U of Akron Considers Bringing Back BaseballMorning Headlines: Radio Legend Webster Dead at 74; U of Akron Considers Bringing Back Baseball

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:00:10 +0000

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 20th: Majority of undergraduate college students graduated with debt last year, report says; Radio legend John Webster dies at 74; Akron Police Captain Brian Simcox placed on administrative leave; Domestic dispute ends in death of Youngstown man; University of Akron considers bringing back baseball and adding women's lacrosse; Majority of undergraduate college students graduated with debt last year, report says A report from the nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success shows well over half of graduates from Ohio public and private colleges graduated with debt in 2016. The average graduate owed $30,351. Roughly three out of four undergraduates from Kent State University finished their programs owing money. The typical Kent State bachelor’s degree recipient owed $33,234. The University of Toledo was on the lowest end of the public university spectrum, with the average undergraduate owing $24,437. On average,


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Brown Says GOP's Latest Obamacare Replacement Strips Away Addiction Treatment, Other Crucial FundingBrown Says GOP's Latest Obamacare Replacement Strips Away Addiction Treatment, Other Crucial Funding

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:29:50 +0000

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is criticizing the latest Republican effort to replace Obamacare, saying this new bill is worse than the others before it. The measure, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, would put Medicaid money into block grants and turn over control to the states. In a conference call, Brown questioned the proposal for its lack of attention to the opioid crisis. “Two hundred thousand Ohioans are getting opioid treatment because they have insurance through the Affordable Care Act. So (the bill) is worse in the sense there’s no opioid dollars in it, which causes concern in states like Ohio and New Hampshire and West Virginia.” Brown also rejects the phasing out of funding for states like Ohio that chose to expand Medicaid. Republican Sen.Rob Portman has hinted he supports elements of the bill, saying he believes Ohio would be able to distribute resources better than the government. Portman voted for the early GOP repeal effort


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Ohio House Again Considers Freezing Medicaid Expansion Via a Veto OverrideOhio House Again Considers Freezing Medicaid Expansion Via a Veto Override

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 22:23:25 +0000

Republican leaders in the Legislature are still looking at the possibility of freezing Medicaid expansion, a move the governor’s office says could result in a loss of health coverage for half a million people. Republican lawmakers have argued that freezing enrollment for the Medicaid expansion population is one way to prepare for the possible repeal of the federal health care law. They put it in the state budget, a provision Gov. John Kasich vetoed. Now Republican House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring says members are once again weighing a veto override vote. “We’re still working with our members regarding how that might play out and it’s too early to say whether or not we have the votes.” Supporters of Medicaid expansion say that money, which mostly comes from federal funds, goes a long way in helping Ohio provide opioid addiction treatment, among other things.


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Akron Tries to Figure Out How to Make Main Street Residential, Retail and GreenAkron Tries to Figure Out How to Make Main Street Residential, Retail and Green

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:00:07 +0000

Consultants helping Akron figure out what to do with its downtown met with about a hundred people last night to consider how to make Main Street more residential, green and vibrant. About a hundred people attended the session in one of downtown ’s destinations – the Akron Civic Theatre -- to talk about ways to fill in the gaps between “set” pieces like the Civic, ballpark and art institute with housing, retail, recreation and business. It was the second meeting of urban landscape consultants MKSK about the Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan, and it was designed to start filling in the framework to draw people downtown. Andrew Overbeck said it all must focus on the aptly named Main Street “from stem to stern, from Canal Place all the way to North Side. It’s the thing that’s going to hold downtown together. From there, we can spill out into these other streets, but we have to get Main Street right first.” Overbeck says some of the redevelopment is already underway with a new


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The ACLU Says Ohio is Violating Voters' RightsThe ACLU Says Ohio is Violating Voters' Rights

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:51:13 +0000

The Ohio ACLU has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing Ohio's removal of registered voters from the rolls because they choose not to vote is a "powerful tool of voter suppression." Ohio's system first raises questions when people have failed to vote for two years. It terminates their registration if they don't respond or vote over the next four years. Ohio ACLU Legal Director Freda Levenson says the state is violating the National Voter Registration Act. She adds that when voters are purged, they aren’t notified until they are turned away at the polls. “To purge voters like this doesn’t do anything to make elections better or fairer, or to keep voting rolls accurate. In fact, to purge voters for merely not having voted disenfranchises perfectly eligible people and makes the voting rolls less accurate and takes away integrity from elections.” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, has said the federal case is about “maintaining the integrity of our elections.” He says the


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The View From Pluto: Indians' Success Is Vindication For Owner Paul DolanThe View From Pluto: Indians' Success Is Vindication For Owner Paul Dolan

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:40:00 +0000

The Indians are riding a high heading into the postseason. They’ve won their second consecutive American League Central Division title, fueled by a historic 22-game winning streak. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says it’s vindication for Indians owner, Paul Dolan. "Dolans are cheap; that's all you hear," Pluto says. After last year's World Series run, the team raised its payroll from $97 million to $130 million, which is around the league average. Still, Pluto says, he gets emails from fans complaining that the team's payroll is average. Pluto says that while the Indians have spent more money, it's not the only factor that drives a winning team. The Indians were the only team outside the top 10 payrolls in the Major League Baseball to make the playoffs last year. "But there are a lot of teams that spend a lot of money and lose anyway," he says. Consistency The Indians have their fifth winning season in a row and this will be their third trip to the playoffs in that span. "You have to go


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Ohio Plans to Clear Pines From Mohican to Make Way for Native SpeciesOhio Plans to Clear Pines From Mohican to Make Way for Native Species

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:11:03 +0000

The Ohio Division of Forestry has come up with a plan to cut down some trees in Mohican-Memorial State Forest in order to allow others to grow. Before it was a state forest, farmers had planted pine trees in rows. Forest Manager Chad Sanders that prevents several native species from growing. “Every year, and by thinning, you are increasing the sunlight that comes down into the forest and native hardwood trees come up. We’re trying to promote this idea of restoration, that you’re restoring these farm fields that were planted in pine to more of a natural native hardwood band.” Sanders says they plan work on 20 to 48 acres every year. He says the whole project could take decades.


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Cleveland Forms a New Homicide Task Force with Cuyahoga County and the FBICleveland Forms a New Homicide Task Force with Cuyahoga County and the FBI

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:41:47 +0000

Law enforcement in Cleveland have organized a new task force to pursue open murder cases. The task force will include investigators from Cleveland police, the FBI and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says it’ll look into cases that go beyond Cleveland’s borders. “Their task is to review all the homicides that happened here in this part of Northeast Ohio to make sure we’re using every resource possible to get those solved.” In August, Mayor Frank Jackson said just under half (47 percent) of the homicides in Cleveland this year were solved. The new unit is called the Cleveland Homicide Review Task Force. It will start by pooling investigators already working in the homicide division, on the gang unit and in the newly formed Neighborhood Impact Community Engagement squad. Williams says the department is considering adding homicide detectives.


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Ohio Graduation Rates Could Dip This YearOhio Graduation Rates Could Dip This Year

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:37:45 +0000

Overall, the high school graduation rate in Ohio has been climbing since 2010. But changes to federal education policies could cause a decrease this school year. State report cards show the four-year high-xschool graduation rate reached more than 83 percent in the 2016-2017 academic year. But the federal Every Student Succeeds Act—or ESSA -- could impact that rate negatively, particularly for one group of students. “With the changes to the ESSA calculation, we would only be counting students with disabilities as graduates if they meet the same requirements as their non-disabled peers.” Kim Monachino with the Department of Education says there are 250,000 Ohio students with disabilities who were previously allowed to take different tracks to graduation based on their needs. But starting this year, alternative routes will no longer count toward the federally recognized graduation rate. That means in 2018, Ohio’s overall graduation rate could drop based on one group of students. The


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