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Last Build Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2016 02:05:27 +0000


Former MetroHealth Exec Is Indicted, Accused of Shaking Down Residents, Misdirecting Patients

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 23:48:48 +0000

A former executive at MetroHealth Medical Center has been indicted by a federal grand jury. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Nick Castele reports the charges include racketeering and conspiracy to commit bribery. The indictment alleges that Dr. Edward Hills gave MetroHealth dentists inflated bonuses and allowed them to work additional part-time jobs, in exchange for cash and such gifts as a TV and Louis Vuitton briefcase. Three other dentists were also indicted in the case. Hills directed MetroHealth Dental, and also served as the hospital’s chief operating officer from 2010 to 2014 and interim CEO in parts of 2012 and 2013. The indictment also alleges that Hills sent dental residents to work at private dental clinics run by his codefendants, while those residents were being paid by MetroHealth. U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon says, “Hills also referred Medicaid patients to those dental clinics when those Medicaid patients could have been and should have been treated at MetroHealth.’

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Voices of Voters: People of Color Try to Separate Promises from Pandering

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:53:14 +0000

One-in-three eligible American voters are people of color, and this presidential election has the most ethnically and racially diverse voter base in American history. But the campaigns have been using strong, racially charged language. In this installment of the Statehouse News Bureau’s series featuring voices of voters, correspondent Andy Chow talked to voters to get their perspective on how campaign rhetoric has impacted them as people of color. “Racism has taken a huge uptick in this country," maintains Puja Datta, a 29-year-old political activist from the Columbus area. Datta is also a first generation Indian American whose parents were immigrants to the U.S. from Calcutta. “I had somebody walk past me and say, ‘You know, my people need jobs in this country, too,’ because I think I looked like I was going to a job interview. (It was) like, ‘Your people don’t need jobs; your people get out of this country;my people need jobs.’” Datta, who created the progressive group Ohio

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Vice President Biden Pushes in Clevthe 'Moon Shot' for Cancer Research

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:00:50 +0000

Vice President Joe Biden was in Cleveland today to talk about boosting cancer research. He addressed the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit. About a year ago, Vice President Biden, who lost his son Beau to brain cancer, called for a “cancer moonshot” to eradicate the disease. Earlier this year, President Obama launched a federal taskforce aimed ay directing a decade of progress toward a cure in just five years. At the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, Biden listed some of the progress, including heightened prevention efforts, easier and quicker access to clinical trials, and, most importantly, better sharing of research data. “The health-care industry, especially, needs accuracy in forecasting, not soon, but now. If we could gather data from multiple sources and merge it and allow correlations, a new McKinsey study report says we could guide doctors and diagnosis in treatments and boost productivity by 0.7 percent every year.” Biden says combining more genetic and

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Voices of the Voters: Millennials Hold Onto Values, Primary Candidate Picks Ahead of Election

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:26:10 +0000

Millennial voters are tied with Baby Boomers as the largest single group of potential voters. The Pew Research Center says they make up 31 percent of the voting population in America. They’re also the least likely to vote. “Good evening from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., I’m Lester Holt, I want to welcome you to the first presidential debate.” An enthusiastic crowd packed a Columbus movie theater, eagerly waiting to watch the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This crowd, which was heavy on the pro-Clinton side, treated the debate like a spectator sport. They laughed. "I call it ‘Trumped up, trickle down,’” Clinton said at the debate. They booed. “Well it did collapse…” Clinton said. “That’s called business by the way,” Trump responded. More booing. And they cheered. “I know you live in your own reality,” Clinton said. “Oh!” the crowd responded. Hot commodityThis viewing party was at the Gateway Film Center just outside of Ohio State University

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Kent State Professor Gets a Federal Grant to Study Bias Among Younger Police Officers

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:52:51 +0000

A Kent State University economics professor is part of a federally funded study of police bias. Associate Professor Shawn Rohlin says the $280,000 Department of Justice grant looks build upon his earlier research on bias in younger officers. Rohlin, and another economics professor from Syracuse University, have been studying the Syracuse City Police Department. He says they’ve found some encouraging news. “It seems to be that newer cops, young cops, are profiling, but that they’re improving over time. It takes about three to four years and they seem to improve. So it’s not some inherent bias against minorities, it seems to be, at least in the early analysis that we’re done, they improve over time which means it’s not intentional, it’s just a lack of information. That’s called in economics, statistical discrimination.” Rohlin compares that to someone who automatically assumes a person with a college degree is smart. With the federal grant, he says researchers will take this information

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Ohio Unemployment Climbs a Tenth of a Point from August to September

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:42:45 +0000

Ohio’s jobless rate ticked up slightly last month. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports September’s jobless rate was 4.8 percent, up a 0.1 percent from August. Government, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and the health-care industries lost more than 3,000 jobs, but around the same number were added in the finance sector. But even with the uptick, Ohio’s jobless rate remains below the nation’s unemployment rate of 5 percent, and a full point above its all-time low from April 2001.

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Trump Draws Thousands To Brook Park, Condemns a Dishonest Media

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:29:59 +0000

It was another weekend of presidential campaigning in Northeast Ohio. Donald Trump attracted thousands of people to the I-X Center in Brook Park, 24-hours after Hillary Clinton appeared before about 1,500 at Cuyahoga Community College. Surrogates for Hillary Clinton staged an event before Trump's appearance; just as Trump supporters lined up outside Clinton's speech. Trump spoke for about 45 minutes on Saturday night before an enthusiastic crowd, outlining his plans for his first 100 days in office and injecting some humor into his familiar notes about rigged elections and voter fraud. “There are 1.8 million dead people that are registered right now to vote. And folks: some of them vote. I wonder why? I wonder how that happens. Maybe they’ll vote for Trump, I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t be saying anything.” The appearance at the I-X Center in Brook Park was similar to a rally he held there in March. That was a simpler time for Trump, when he was on an upward trajectory and didn’t

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Commentator E.J. Dionne Tells Akron He Can't Wait For This Election to be Over

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 12:14:00 +0000

Washington Post columnist and NPR commentator E.J. Dionne is predict a victory for Hillary Clinton on Election Day, but getting no joy from the race leading up to it. “I value every day that I am on this earth.But there are 19 days left until this election, and I cannot wait until they are over. I have enjoyed this election less than any election in my entire life -- because I think there is bitterness to it and a lack of connection to problem solving.” Dionne also told the Akron Roundtable Thursday Donald Trump may continue to be politically active even if he loses. E.J. Dionne’s address to the Akron Roundtable will be broadcast in its entirety Thursday at 8 p.m. on 89-7, WKSU.

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Hillary Clinton Stumps at Tri-C in Cleveland

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 12:03:51 +0000

In a speech that tried to reach out to voters of all parties -- and no party -- Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton largely addressed issues that appealed to her liberal base – increasing the minimum wage, college affordability and clean energy. But it was her criticism of her opponent that appealed most to the crowd at Cuyahoga Community College Friday night. Clinton was jovial as she asked the audience if anyone had watched the presidential debate Wednesday night – teeing up her punch line. "Well, that was the third and last time that I will ever have to debate Donald Trump. I have now spent 4.5 hrs on stage with Donald proving once again I have the stamina to be president and commander in chief." She referenced Trump’s refusal to promise that he would accept the outcome of the election. Clinton said his comment was a threat to the nation’s peaceful transition of power. "But we know in our country the difference between leadership and dictatorship, right?" Audience

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Savannah James Christens Akron-based Goodyear's Newest Blimp, Wingfoot Two

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 11:39:14 +0000

Goodyear’s newest blimp – Wingfoot Two – was christened Friday by Savannah James – wife of LeBron James -- at the company’s hangar in Suffield. Savannah James christened the blimp on a wet and windy day in front of hundreds of employees and their families. The festivities included a performance by the University of Akron marching band. Goodyear christened Wingfoot One, the first of its new class of airships, two years ago. The two most recent additions to the fleet are technically not blimps. They’re semi-rigid airships. True blimps are non-rigid. Tech upgradesThe new airships are faster, bigger and quieter than the previous generation of blimps, with a top speed of 73 mph and a length of more than 80 yards. Rick Nicodemus from Akron has been with Goodyear’s IT Department for 38 years, and he brought his family to see the christening. “Oh, it’s like flying a jet plane. They let us go through it when they were first building it and it looks like a pilot’s cockpit in there, it’s so

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Portman and Strickland Face Off in Final Senate Race Debate Before the Election

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:09:00 +0000

The two major party candidates for U.S. Senate in Ohio held their third and final debate in Cleveland last night. Freshman Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, faced former Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat. Each tried to link the other to their party’s presidential candidate. The default campaign mode for these two has been Ted Strickland blaming Rob Portman for trade deals with China while Portman blames Strickland for causing the Great Recession. Last night they linked each other to the top of their party’s ticket. Portman has recently distanced himself from Donald Trump by withdrawing his endorsement, but Strickland thought it took long. “He stood by Donald Trump when he called women pigs and when he mocked a disabled person. And it wasn’t until it was in his political calculation to try to disassociate himself," Strickland said. Portman said his Democratic opponent should have condemned Hillary Clinton. “When Hillary Clinton called half of Donald Trump’s supporters deplorable, said they

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Chagrin Falls Townie Opens A Place to Come Home To

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:07:00 +0000

Nostalgia is the key ingredient at a restaurant that recently opened in Chagrin Falls. It’s new, but the menu is retro, and the location's familiar. For seven years, the sign outside said Fresh Start Diner, and before that for half a century it was Dink’s Colonial Restaurant, a Chagrin Falls culinary landmark. Jack Krissinger has renamed it North Main Diner. “I’m the owner-operator-chef-general crazy person.” He’s a Chagrin Falls townie from way back. “My mom and dad still live in the same house for the last 44 years.” They’re regulars at his new diner along with other folks he grew up with; "a lot of the guys I played soccer with in Chagrin, and a lot of the people I graduated with have stopped in.” New owner a former regularGrowing up, when it was Dink’s, Krissinger himself would stop in often. “I used to sit on the end of the counter. I’d get a burger and fries, and I paid 15 cents extra for the lettuce on my burger. And it was just kind of the local place that you could actually

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Preparations are Underway for the Start of the World Series in Cleveland Next Week

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 03:12:43 +0000

Cleveland is getting ready for the Indians’ first World Series run in 19 years. The first game will be at Progressive Field in Tuesday. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on the sports frenzy in Northeast Ohio. The World Series tickets went fast, too fast for Robert Kesizer of Wadsworth who got in line about a half hour before they went on sale at Progressive Field. “When they opened the box office at 10, the processing of the tickets was really slow, I think just because everybody’s online trying to get tickets. It took forever for each person. I was probably about tenth or eleventh in line, probably the first four people in line got tickets then they shut it down. All in all it was pretty orderly, but I’m pretty disappointed I didn’t get tickets, but that’s the way it goes.” Indians officials say sales were supposed to be online only, but a mention was left on the team website that box office tickets would be available for the playoff games, and that confused some fans. Meanwhile,

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What Is a County Executive, and Why Do Only Two Ohio Counties Have One?

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:57:43 +0000

Only two of Ohio’s 88 counties have a county executive, and both are in Northeast Ohio. This November, voters in one of those counties will be choosing their next county leader. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on why this form of government took root here; it’s a story that starts with a sex scandal and ends with public corruption. In Summit County, Democrat Ilene Shapiro and Republican Bill Roemer are running for county executive. They’re running to manage the county’s half-billion-dollar budget and departments ranging from Economic Development to Job & Family Services. Summit has had an executive since 1981, after voters approved what’s known as the charter form of government. “Most everyone else has the commissioner form of government," explains Stephen Brooks, a political scientist at the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute. “It’s usually three individuals who are elected and in some senses serve both the legislative and the executive activities of county government.” That’s in

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Investigation Shows Ohio Failed to Refund Oil and Gas Lease Overpayments

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:31:33 +0000

Ohio’s government watchdog is recommending changes with the agency that issues permits for oil and gas drilling in Ohio. Ohio’s inspector general says his office found a series of issues in the Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources. The investigation says that office failed to refund at least 47 over-payments for well applications, totaling more than $13,000. The inspector general's report says after they voiced concerns to ODNR, a state database used to track drilling permits was changed to make it look like the over-payers no longer had overpayments on their accounts. The inspector general says they never received a clear answer as to why. The inspector general also noted applications were sometimes changed without the applicant’s consent, and some applications weren’t processed in the time frame laid out in state law. No criminal charges were recommended, but the report suggests ODNR create a system to track overpayment credits, and speed up the

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Candidates for Summit County Executive Talk Economic Development, Public Safety

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:24:38 +0000

Republican Bill Roemer and Democrat Ilene Shapiro are running for Summit County executive. Shapiro currently holds the office, having been appointed to it this summer after the cancer-related death of long-time Executive Russ Pry, who also was a Democrat. Bill Roemer, a former Summit County Council member, is trying to become the first Republican elected to the county’s top administrative job. Ilene ShapiroShe is a 10- year veteran of County Council and council president for the last three. Before her political career she was a local business executive. Her campaign is stressing, among other things, continuity with the work of former Executive Pry. She says this will be especially true in the area of fiscal management of county and in aggressively responding to opiate addiction issues. “We are working collaboratively with the 31 entities that are in Summit County to solve these addiction related problems. And, especially with that one, you need everybody at the table.” Shapiro cites

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Trump Will Accept the Result of the Election...If He Wins

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:08:11 +0000

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited one of Ohio’s most Republican counties to motivate his staunch supporters to go out and vote. Trump doubled down on what he said in last night's final presidential debate: that he wouldn't pledge to accept the results of the election outright. Trump has been playing this issue up more than any other in the past week, claiming the elections could be rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor. In front of a big crowd in Delaware County, Trump added fuel to that fire. “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election -- if I win!” Trump continued to build doubt by linking Clinton to other claims of corruption, such as rigging a town hall during the primaries. Jon Husted, Ohio’s top elections official -- who has said he will vote for Trump -- has rejected the idea of election rigging.

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Illegally Purged Ohio Voters Can Cast Provisional Ballots

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:54:08 +0000

A federal court has ruled thousands of Ohioans who had been removed from the voter rolls must be allowed to vote in this election. The court told Secretary of State Jon Husted to allow voters who have been removed from the voter rolls since 2011 to vote in this election. Mike Brickner is with the Ohio ACLU. “The vast majority of people who were illegally purged will be able to show up either early, in person to vote or will be able to show up on Election Day, cast a provisional ballot and have that provisional ballot counted.” Husted said he had removed voters who had died, had incorrect addresses or were deemed as inactive voters because they hadn't voted in multiple elections He says he will comply with the court's order to count votes of people who remain eligible and still live in their original county. The court will revisit the issue after the election to determine a permanent ruling.

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The View From Pluto: 'A Remarkable Spirit and Big Heart' Did It For The Cleveland Indians

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:56:58 +0000

The Cleveland Indians are in the World Series for the first time in 19 years. The Indians won their first pennant since 1997, blanking Toronto 3-0 yesterday in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Indians' playoff run has been the most unexpected. "This Indians team is the most fun, unlikely, unpretentious group I have seen to win and go to a World Series, and I go all the way back to all those teams in the '90's. I had more fun watching these guys than any of those." A rookie pitcher shinesThe Indians got a most unlikely pitching performance from rookie Ryan Merritt, who held the Blue Jays to a pair of hits over 4 1/3 innings and left the game with a 2-0 lead. "In baseball history, [Merritt] is the second least-experienced pitcher to ever start a postseason game. And he seemed to gain more composure as the game went on (versus) the experienced Toronto hitters. But did they know this kid was going to be able to do that? Of course they didn't. He

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Head Out On An Indian Summer Photo Safari Along Lake Erie's Shore

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:40:25 +0000

Fall colors are peaking in these last days of a warmer than normal October. For nature lovers venturing out with their cameras, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman offers the guidance of one of Ohio’s leading landscape photographers in today’s State of the Arts. It’s Indian summer, and we’re not just talking Tribe. It was 70 degrees and partly cloudy on a late September day when we met Ian Adams just east of Painesville and a mile west of the Perry nuclear plant. “We’re in the initial 20-acre tract of land that was opened in 2012 as the Lake Erie Bluffs,” says Adams. It’s a new unit of the Lake County Metroparks, and his camera knows it well. Ian Adams now calls Cuyahoga Falls home. He left Birmingham, England, 40 years ago. “And for the last 25 years of that I’ve been a professional Ohio photographer, writer, and teacher.” Making others careAdams has authored two dozen books, most of them about Ohio, including two volumes of “A Photographer’s Guide to Ohio.” He’s a passionate lover of nature who

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