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Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:37:45 +0000


The View From Pluto: For The Indians, The Hard Way Is The Right Way

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:11:25 +0000

Cleveland’s magical year in sports rolls on, with the Indians celebrating their first American League Central title in nearly a decade. They clinched a postseason berth by beating rival Detroit on Monday. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says clinching the division on the Tiger’s home field made a statement. Taming the Tigers"The Tigers have been treating the Indians like the little brother that was never ever going to grow up and beat us out," he says. Pluto says in the three years before Terry Francona was hired as manager, the Tigers dominated the Indians, with a 41-19 record. And he says even in 2013, when the Indians won 92 games won a wild card berth, the Tigers had a 15-4 series advantage. This year, the Indians have dominated, 14-2. "So, not only did the Indians win the Central Division, they wiped out the team that was trying to catch them," Pluto says. "If they didn’t do it at home, they wanted to do it in Detroit, I’ll tell you that much." Ramirez for MVP?Pluto says Jose

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Bill Clinton Celebrates What He Sees as a Debate Win For Hillary

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 07:56:55 +0000

Bill Clinton was still basking in what many regarded as Hillary Clinton's big win in the first presidential debate this week. And so were the roughly 400 people gathered to hear him in a high school gym in Cleveland last night (Tuesday). WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports: “Anybody watch that debate last night? Whoa!" With his usual blend of folksiness and broad-stroke policy, Bill Clinton described Monday night’s matchup as a rout, said he was “tickled to death” with Hillary Clinton’s performance and framed the election as a choice between the past and the future. “Wherever people are working together to make something good happen for everybody, good things are happening. Wherever they spend all their time dumping on each other and fighting, somebody may win an election, but nothing good is happening for ordinary people. This election’s about you and your future and you need to claim it. We are stronger together.” Clinton told the group at Ginn Academy on Cleveland’s east side that the

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Clinton and Trump Supporters Size Up How Their Candidates Did in the Debates

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:34:31 +0000

Among the tens of millions of people watching last night’s first presidential debate were dozens of volunteers and supporters in central Ohio, at gatherings put together by the Clinton and Trump campaigns. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler stopped by two of them. In a house in Groveport south of Columbus, a few dozen guests are spread out on chairs and sofas in the living room and the finished basement party room, watching their candidate Hillary Clinton. This is one of several watch parties the Clinton campaign has organized around central Ohio. These Clinton volunteers are intently watching and reacting, even as some get up to grab food and drinks from the spread laid out on the long brick bar at the back of the room. Among them is Ben Rowles, a human resources consultant from Reynoldsburg east of Columbus. Halfway through the debate he says he’s pleased with Clinton’s performance – and in her answers, which he says are specific. “I think there is a tenor, a temperament that is

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Cleveland Homeless Getting Help Voting in November's Election

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:29:33 +0000

Some of the estimated 3,000 homeless people in Cleveland are getting some help today registering to vote in November’s presidential election. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless set up registration tables at three shelters to help give them a voice in the country’s direction. Not having a permanent address makes voter registration more difficult according to homeless advocates. And, they say the elimination of “Golden Week” where people could register and vote on the same day, is also a problem. One of the registration tables was at the Bishop William Cosgrove Center in downtown Cleveland where Kyle Wright signed up to vote. He says this opportunity is very helpful. “As a homeless person, you be thinking you got a million and one things. This makes it so much more convenient for us because now we can take care of this and we can take care of all the other stuff we need like job searches and all that.” The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless will be driving as many of

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Ohio Lawmaker says "Infrequent" Voters Should Have Vote Restored

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:25:08 +0000

A state lawmaker says a newly issued court ruling will mean 1.2 million voters will be added back onto Ohio's voter rolls. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted improperly removed voters from the rolls. Husted said he was removing dead voters, those who hadn’t voted often enough or those who had moved. Democratic Representative Kathleen Clyde says some of those will be restored now due to this recent court ruling. “The 1.2 million are the infrequent voters that were purged and the voters that likely moved within the State of Ohio.” The U.S. District Court will develop a remedy soon to tell the state how to reinstate voters who it says were improperly removed.

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Ohio Lawmaker Defends Release of Report Critical of Online Charter

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:09:12 +0000

The state’s largest online charter school is crying foul after the education department released a report showing it fell short of its estimated attendance by more than 50%. But a top education lawmaker says Ohio taxpayers deserve to know what their money is going towards. A review of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow found that more than half of the students enrolled in the school didn’t do enough work to qualify as full time. ECOT argues that it was “childish” of the Ohio Department of Education to release that report before a judge could rule on a pending court case on the attendance audit process. But Republican Senator Peggy Lehner of Kettering says the state needs to know ECOT’s numbers. “At some point you have to say they’re protesting too much. Just show us the work. That’s all we care about, is that kids are being educated.” ECOT received $106 million from the state last year, and as much as $63 million could be clawed back.

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Lawmakers Make New Rules for Medical Marijuana from Other States

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 02:37:31 +0000

It could take more than a year before Ohio doctors could recommend marijuana for patients under Ohio’s medical marijuana program. But what would happen if someone in Ohio has obtained medical marijuana legally in another state and uses it here? Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports on the first bill to make changes in Ohio's medical marijuana program. Republican Rep. Kyle Koehler is sponsoring a bill that would set rules for which states would be approved for reciprocity agreements. In other words, if someone gets caught with medical marijuana in Ohio that was obtained legally in another state, that person would be free from prosecution for using that product in the Buckeye State. But two of the key parts of the bill say if the other state allows marijuana to be smoked or grown at home, that state wouldn’t be eligible for a reciprocity agreement with Ohio. The bottom line, under this bill, is states that are part of the agreement must have eligibility requirements that are

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Ohio Lawmaker Tackles Legality of Online Fantasy Sports Gambling

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 02:35:36 +0000

It’s hard to miss commercials from popular fantasy sports sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel which earn millions of dollars during the baseball and football season. But a state lawmaker says he wants to make it clear that a lot of what they’re doing is illegal in Ohio. Republican Senator Bill Coley of the Cincinnati area says daily fantasy sports sites are essentially gambling pools for profit which are already outlawed in Ohio. Coley has a bill requiring that 100 percent of the money paid into these games must be sent back out to the winners. But Marc La Vorgna, spokesperson for Fan Duel and Draft Kings, says Coley’s bill would outlaw a big chunk of what they do. “Other states have recently addressed this issue and have done so in a very clear and effective manner that puts some basic consumer protections around fantasy sports but made it clear that the games are legal.” The Ohio Attorney General’s office has said in a memo that the laws on pools for profits are unclear when it comes

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Cavs Starting the Quest for Another NBA Championship

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 01:01:01 +0000

The Cleveland Cavaliers have officially begun their quest for back-to-back NBA Championships. Today the team held its media day which marks the start of training camp. LeBron James says last season’s championship does not guarantee a repeat this season. Last June, the Cavs came from behind to beat the Golden State Warriors and bring Cleveland its first major sports championship in more than 50 years. But LeBron James says it will take another full-team effort if they want to do it again this season. “The good thing is we’ve got our guys back, most of our guys back, and we can get back into the flow of things. But we can’t shortcut anything. This is a new season. We are the defending champions, but that means absolutely nothing right now. Because this is a new season and we have to re-calibrate, get back to the fundamentals, get back to the basics of the game and work our habits everyday.” Unlike last season, the Cavs are starting out with no injuries to key players. But the team

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Ohio Department of Education Lobs New Accusations at ECOT

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:42:34 +0000

The state education department says Ohio's largest online charter school severely over-reported how many students actually attended class full time. But the school says the state's report is a slap in the face to a pending court battle. The state says only 40% of the more than 15,000 students enrolled at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow spent enough time learning during the day to qualify as full-time students. But ECOT consultant Neil Clark says it was childish of ODE to release that before this week's expected ruling from a judge hearing ECOT's challenge to the state's auditing process. “They haven’t won anything. They’ve just irritated the process because they obviously must feel like they’re going to lose the court case so they want to do this action first.” Depending on what the judge decides, more than 60% of the $106 million in state funding sent to ECOT could be clawed back.

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Quarter Million Ohio Absentee Ballots have been Submitted So Far

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 21:08:20 +0000

Ohio voters have returned more than a quarter million absentee ballot application requests for this fall's election. Secretary of State Jon Husted says, as of this past Saturday, over 800,000 absentee ballot applications have been received by county boards of elections statewide. Most of those ballots won’t be mailed out until October 12th, the day after voter registration closes. But more than 13,000 are on their way to military and overseas voters because their early vote period starts earlier under state law. Ohioans are being urged to check their voting status at to make sure they are properly registered. And if they want an absentee ballot mailed to them, they can request that online at the same website at the same time.

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Ohio Schools Discuss the Connection Between Poverty And Student Performance

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 15:27:44 +0000

Recently, Ohio School Report Card scores dropped for all schools as a result of changes in state standardized tests. The report cards also revealed a persistent trend, the poorer the students in a district, the lower the scores. StateImpact Ohio’s Michelle Faust reports a new federal law is pushing states to improve educational outcomes for low income children. When report cards came out recently, it was not without controversy. Districts did worse than last year because the tests and the expectations changed. It was harder to get a passing grade. “But the report card is important. It tells us useful information and we can't just ignore it in this state.” Howard Fleeter is an economist who consults for the non-profit Ohio Education Policy Institute. “As we raise the bar, we're increasing the challenge disproportionately for districts that are struggling the most.” Education v. economicsFleeter has examined the relationship between how well students do and their economic status. Looking

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Summit County Council Will Consider Medical Leave Proposal Tonight

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:56:28 +0000

A new proposal before Summit County Council tonight would allow employees to take off six weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child – a big change from the current policy. The Family and Medical Leave Act provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but County Councilwoman Elizabeth Walters is proposing to pay county employees for the first half of that leave. She estimates about four-dozen babies are born to county employees each year, and the new plan would include both mothers and fathers. “It’s a great recruitment tool for us. Because while we can’t be competitive with corporate America in terms of wages, we can provide benefits that support their life outside of work.” If passed, the new leave rules would be the first for a county in Ohio. Cities currently offering paid leave include Cincinnati, Dayton and Newburgh Heights. Councilwoman Walters says she has the support of County Executive Ilene Shapiro, and she has gotten positive feedback from the other members of County

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International Economic Development Council Convention Brings Business Leaders to Cleveland

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:49:22 +0000

The International Economic Development Council is holding its annual convention in Cleveland this year, bringing together thousands of business leaders from around the globe. The development council is a non-profit, non-partisan group whose members work for governments, the private sector and universities. This year’s conference will feature about 250 speakers on topics including how to “up-skill” workers, re-purposing space for retail and attracting talent from the LGBT community. Joe Marinucci is President of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and he chaired the host committee for the conference. He says attendees will be able to see some of the initiatives this area has taken on in recent years. “For example, University Circle. The Evergreen Initiatives of the Cleveland Foundation. Some of the neighborhood-based activities that have gone on here.” Marinucci also says it’s a chance to both show-off, as well as learn, for Northeast Ohio. “How communities are marketing themselves across

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Open Carry Advocates Walk Through Kent State University, Tour May 4 Memorial

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:40:42 +0000

About two-dozen people participated in an open-carry gun walk at Kent State University over the weekend. And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, they met several protestors near the spot where the National Guard killed four students, and wounded nine others, in 1970. Jeffry Smith has organized open-carry walks at several schools in Ohio, including one last year at the University of Akron. Each one, he says, is to encourage dialogue and curiosity about firearms. But the handful of protestors at the walk on Saturday said it’s disrespectful to carry firearms at Kent State because of the Vietnam-era shootings. Smith disagrees. “There is no parallel, as far as I’m concerned, between this and the May 4, 1970 shooting.” Sociology Prof. Jerry Lewis witnessed the May 4 shootings, and was asked by the school to give the open-carry walkers a tour of the site. “I had to think about it, because I didn’t want to be seen as someone supporting open carry. I think the way Jeff handled it, it was clear I

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Akron Looks for Input on a Plan for the Civic Commons

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:00:00 +0000

Akron officials are holding a meeting Monday to find out how residents want to use a $5 million grant to improve public spaces. The grant comes from the Knight Foundation's Reimagining the Civic Commons project, which awarded the grant to Akron, as well as Memphis, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia earlier this month. The project will allow residents to decide how the money will be spent to improve three civic areas around the city. Those areas are Park East, Summit Lake and the Civic gateway, which is defined as the area between Cascade Plaza and Lock 3. Katelyn Freil is a spokesperson for the Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition, which has been appointed as the organizer for the project. “I think what we want to stress to the public is that this project is really about them. We can’t do this project with them and so their support, their engagement is critical. So anyway they are interested in getting involved, we would love to have their support.” The first meeting will take place

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Cleveland Indians President Chris Antonetti: "Don't Count Us Out"

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 08:57:21 +0000

The Cleveland Indians are close to winning the American League Central division title for the first time since 2007. With the team preparing for the postseason, WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz talked to Indians president Chris Antonetti about the season that’s been filled with surprises and adversity.

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Rob Portman Talks About His Anti-Drug Legislation During Ohio's Rally for Recovery

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 01:06:16 +0000

Ohioans who are in drug abuse recovery programs and organizations that provide drug abuse prevention and treatment came together today at the Ohio Statehouse for the annual Rally for Recovery. Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman was there to talk about his proposed legislation aimed at stopping the flow of drugs being shipped in from other countries. He says there are some key issues that are being addressed. “Prevention, education, getting people into treatment. A lot of people aren’t going into treatment who need it. Most people are not. Probably 8 out of 10 heroin addicts in Ohio are not receiving the treatment they need.” Portman’s Democratic opponent in November, former Governor Ted Strickland, agrees it’s important to get more people into treatment. Strickland says it’s time for Portman and other Republicans in the U.S. Senate to put more money into treatment programs. Portman says about $37 million dollars for treatment has been added into a stop gap funding bill for the rest of

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Northeast Ohio Heroin Task Force Recieves National Recognition

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 01:02:11 +0000

The U.S. Attorney General is recognizing an effort by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Cleveland for its efforts to fight the heroin epidemic. The honor is for its community partnership for public safety. The U.S. Attorney’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force includes representatives from local law enforcement, judges, doctors, recovering addicts and addiction specialists. Among them is the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, Mike Tobin. He says the team was assembled in 2013 after realizing conventional methods alone were not enough to slow the growing epidemic. “We knew we couldn’t simply prosecute people, we knew we couldn’t just get treatment, we knew we couldn’t simply reduce the amount of pills being prescribed. The only way we hoped to stand a chance in stemming this tide is by working together and attacking the problem from all sides. And since then the Justice Department has tried to replicate that model in U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country.” Despite the efforts, opioid

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Former GOP Trump Foe is Now Chair of His Campaign in Mahoning County

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:41:45 +0000

An official with the Ohio Republican Party has been named the volunteer chair of the Donald Trump for President Campaign in Mahoning County after the former chair stepped down due to controversial racial comments. But, the newly named volunteer chair didn’t support Trump until recently. Tracey Winbush made no bones about her feelings for Trump at the Ohio Republican Party’s statewide meeting in April. “No, I don’t like Trump.” Winbush, like many of Ohio’s political leaders, was unapologetic in her support for Gov. John Kasich who, at that point, was still in the race. But there are questions about how Winbush can be a leader in a campaign she’s spoken out against. She also said this at that spring meeting. “I don’t like Hillary more and at the end of the day, I would rather have Trump than Hillary.” Winbush, an African American talk radio show host from Youngstown, is coming under fire for erasing some 17,000 tweets. In one of them she called Trump a racist, sexist demagogue. In

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