Last Build Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:42:30 +0000Copyright: NPR Digital Services RSS Generator 0.94
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:48:15 +0000Some neighbors of the Republic Steel plant on Canton’s east side want to know if it is the source of dust that settles on their properties. They also want to know if the dust is hazardous. A delegation from a housing development just south of the steel mill asked Canton City Council earlier this month for a study of the dust and where it is coming from. They went to council because the city health department handles air pollution control in Canton. Health Commissioner Jim Adams says, "We operate under contract for the Ohio EPA to operate an air monitoring network to look for compliance with air quality standards. We write permits and do facilities inspections. And we investigate complaints.” Adam says sample-gathering and testing started at mid-month in the area of the mill. He also says his staff has experience with the location and the steel complex. “We do regular inspections a minimum of every two years. They are unannounced inspections. And we would actually go into the facilities
Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:18:56 +0000A new poll finds that President Trump's performance since taking office has done little to change the minds of Ohio voters. Lauren Copeland is associate director of Baldwin Wallace University’s Community Research Institute , which conducted the poll in late February and early March. Copeland and her students wanted to find out whether Ohio voters were changing their opinions about Trump after his first two months in office. The short answer: They aren’t. “Ninety-four percent of people wouldn’t change their vote despite what’s been a tumultuous 64 or 65 days for the president," Copeland says. Of the small number (2.4 percent) who said they definitely would have voted differently, four-out-of-five said they would have gone for Hillary Clinton. But about 8 percent said they would have voted for Trump. Immigration remains a huge divider in Ohio, as does the wall with Mexico. A large majority of people who voted for Trump say immigrants threaten safety. The survey also found Ohioans are
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:29:58 +0000Republicans in the House and Senate have reached a compromise on the transportation budget. The House and Senate went back and forth in a joint committee on a number of issues, especially raising fees. In the end, the House got its measure allowing counties to hike the vehicle registration fee by $5. Republican Rep. Rob McColley says the fees can provide a boost to local road projects. “With cars becoming more fuel efficient, people driving less miles, the strain is being put on our local governments and they’ve asked for assistance.” The transportation budget also creates avenues to increase deputy registrar fees and for utilities to tack on fees for local development. A measure that guaranteed nearly $50 million to local projects was pulled.
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:25:19 +0000The number of babies born with drug withdrawal is eight times the rate of 10 years ago. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, the sharp climb is a direct result of Ohio’s opioid epidemic. Babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, experience symptoms ranging from low birth weight to seizures. In 2006, 20 infants were born with NAS for every 10,000 live births. In 2015, that number skyrocketed to 155 infants per 10,000 live births. Rick Massatti of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says this growth mirrors the other alarming increases in opioid abuse. “We don’t want to accept this as the new normal; we don’t want to accept this as the status quo," he says. Massatti points to the Maternal Opiate Medical Support , or MOMS, a program that helps expectant mothers who are addicted. The state has requested for federal funding for the program.
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:17:11 +0000Gov. John Kasich spent several weeks pushing to keep Medicaid expansion as the U.S. House was considering phasing it out with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Kasich was back on a national talk show Sunday, reacting to the flurry of last-minute moves that ended with the repeal being pulled just before a vote. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports. Kasich fought Republicans to get Medicaid expansion passed in Ohio and has had notable disagreements with Democrats as well. But on CNN’s State of the Union, Kasich touted bipartisanship and criticized Republicans for not working with Democrats to make major changes in a major program. "That's pathetic. First of all, it's not the old days anymore? If you don't have the old days back from the standpoint that people are Americans before they're Republicans and Democrats, nothing will get done.” And he also said Democrats should be called out if they aren’t constructive and helping out.
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:14:14 +0000The 41 st Cleveland International Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, with hundreds of films from around the world. For the second year , the film fest will also offer “ Perspectives ,” a free virtual reality festival running in a storefront at Tower City. The response last year was so positive, organizers have expanded it from four days to 11. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia spoke with the film fest’s Mallory Martin, who curates “ Perspectives ." Martin says there are two-dozen virtual reality and multimedia projects this year, which range from films to "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories to videogames. All of the content aims to “bring the world to Cleveland,” according to Martin. She finds that the goal of many virtual-reality productions is to create empathy through more of an active viewing experience. Visitors will again be able to leave comments at the “Perspectives” exhibit this year, with much of the content shown on Samsung phones. Two films – “ Pearl ” and “ Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:10:50 +0000Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan is already looking to the future when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. He says it's not perfect, and lawmakers need to sit down and find ways to fix it. More than 200 people attended Ryan's town hall at the University of Akron on Saturday , a day after House Republicans backed away from voting on a replacement for Obamacare. Ryan says one of the reasons for that may be the public response lawmakers got from constituents. President Trump said he plans to wait for Obamacare to explode, but Ryan says that’s not a good idea, either. “For those people who, maybe the Affordable Care Act was not working for, now you’re punishing them. "Let’s sit down and help them. His plan was going to throw 24 million people off of healthcare; we’re trying to get people onto healthcare. And we need the president to be an adult and sit down and work with us.” Ryan is also looking to next year’s mid-term elections, saying voters in Northeast Ohio need to get more
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:00:44 +0000Democrats in the Ohio House are in the process of picking a new state representative for Barberton and south Akron. Greta Johnson, who held the 35 th House District seat since January of 2015, has resigned to become assistant Summit County law director. Who will finish Greta Johnson’s term—it runs through the end of 2018 —is up to the House Democratic Caucus , says Professor Stephen Brooks of the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics . “This is not as if there is going to be a primary and general election and all of those kinds of things. This is within a party process.” Applications for the appointment and candidate interviews are going through a selection committee of five House Democrats. Johnson says, “Those individuals will make a recommendation to the caucus. And then every member of the caucus will vote on the replacement. So, it’s done at the state level, rather than here in Summit County.” But Brooks says the state caucuses, Democrat or Republican, tend to
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:54:06 +0000Cuyahoga Falls City Council will vote tonight on whether to proceed with the $10 million makeover of the city’s mostly empty pedestrian mall. The plan to redevelop Front Street has been percolating for three years; Mayor Don Walters usually jokes that the street was closed to automobiles in 1978, and they began regretting the decision in 1979. He says council is enthusiastic about the proposal to open the street up to cars and refurbish much of the two-block area. And he adds that the new shopping area will probably also benefit from the struggles of Chapel Hill Mall in Akron, which has lost two of its three anchor stores in recent years. “A lot of the smaller shops within there are already looking to relocate, and they would do well in a downtown environment.” He says the nearby Howe Avenue shopping corridor, which is in Cuyahoga Falls, should not be greatly affected by a revitalized Front Street, since it has mostly big-box stores. As part of the plan, the Front Street amphitheater
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:52:00 +0000Akron's St. Thomas Hospital was the first in the world to admit alcoholics for treatment. That was in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous. A doctor carrying on that tradition at that hospital today has an inside understanding of what it takes to get sober. On this Week’s Exploradio, Dr. Nicole Labor shares her insights on treating addiction .
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:24:00 +0000Lawmakers have a busy week ahead of them as they work on the general and transportation budget ahead of Gov. John Kasich’s annual State of the State address . The House and Senate will get together to hash out a final deal on the transportation budget . Lawmakers have gone back and forth on proposals to increase the car-registration fee. After weeks of subcommittee hearings, the giant budget bill is back in the House Finance Committee for another round of full committee meetings. The House is expected to roll out their changes by the end of April. The bill that would cut down on prison time in favor of community control and probation will get a third hearing in the Senate. And opponents will testify against a bill that would regulate step therapy. That's alsoo known as the “fail first” treatment, when insurance companies require patients to use a cheaper drug first instead of what a doctor originally prescribes.
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:59:46 +0000Parents of children with serious medical conditions are pleading with state leaders to keep funding intact for a program that helps pay for treatment. Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget calls for changes to the Children with Medical Handicaps , the agency that provides funding for children with serious illnesses. Randi Clites of Ravenna has a son who suffers from hemophilia, cancer and bleeding of the brain. She worries about the proposal to move the program from the Health to the Medicaid department. “We are extremely worried. We belong in Health. Our kids are chronically ill. And that they want to move us to a payer system and that’s all they see our families as – in the Medicaid program – it’s so disheartening.” The funds in the program help parents, even those who are middle class with private insurance, pay for out-of-pocket costs associated with their children’s long-term care. Some Ohio lawmakers are signaling they are not in favor of the change.
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:54:45 +0000A three-day conference on hunger wrapped up today (Saturday) at Walsh University in North Canton. Two groups, the Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit and the Food Waste and Hunger Summit , are combining efforts in the event called “Summit Squared: One Movement. Exponential Impact.” Assistant Dean Rachel Hosler says the conference is a way to keep students and community members informed on ways to end hunger and food waste so close to home. “Something that I think we missed is that nationally, 1-in-8 people are food insecure, but here locally in Stark County, it’s 1-in-4. So it is an issue that we are seeing first hand, and Walsh really wants to be the leaders addressing that from the university perspective.” For the last day, the topic will address the importance of nutrition during first 1,000 days with a mother and child, and how it can profoundly affect a child’s ability to learn and grow. Students will also give presentations on how to make a positive impact on campus.
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:40:36 +0000President Donald Trump’s go-ahead for the Keystone pipeline that will run from Canada to the Gulf shore is triggering concerns from Ohio environmental groups. While the Keystone pipeline never gets close to Ohio, environmental groups believe President Donald Trump's giving it the go-ahead creates a bad precedent. Ohio Environmental Council ’s Melanie Houston says the Keystone project doesn’t go far enough to protect land and water. “What we want to see at the OEC is that there’s adequate protections for drinking water before oil and gas projects go forward and that’s what we’re going to be looking at for some of the pipelines that are proposed in Ohio," Houston says. There are two major pipelines planned for Ohio with federal oversight. Houston notes that both are natural gas pipelines which don’t pose as big of a threat as oil.
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:33:08 +0000Akron has reached an agreement with a group to run its Mud Run golf course . First Tee of Greater Akron will take over day-to-day operations. The organization uses the game of golf as a means to promote healthy choices among young people. First Tee’s Executive Director Frank Stams says his organization will bring many benefits to the course. “We thought this would be an opportunity for us to manage this facility with kind of a focus on our angle, which is an expertise in golf from a more financially-efficient and customer service-related focus.” The city has been looking reduce costs and increase programming at the course. The course will be open to the public on April 1 st , depending on the weather.
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:30:44 +0000State Rep. Greta Johnson, whose 35 th district includes Akron and Barberton, officially leaves the Ohio Legislature Sunday. She announced several weeks ago she was resigning before the end of her term. On the way out of Columbus she had a message for Gov. John Kasich. Greta Johnson, a Democrat, sent Republican Gov. John Kasich a letter asking him to do more to fight the opioid epidemic in Ohio and to declare it a health emergency. Johnson says both his efforts, and those of the Legislature, have been piecemeal and uncoordinated. “You have to look at them all together, and the way certain legislation will interact. Instead, we’re just throwing bills at different committees and hoping that they don’t interfere with each other. "So, the Legislature has not responded in the way that they should have. But, certainly, our top administrator and executive has not done so either.” Johnson says frustration with how things are done in Columbus is part of why she resigned. But an opportunity to
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:11:57 +0000Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan says as of this morning, neither Democrats nor Republicans know which way the vote on the GOP health care bill will go. But he says if it passes, it will hurt Ohioans who depend on Obamacare for pre-natal and mental health services, and those caught up in the opioid epidemic. “What I think is most significant for people who are on the fence, it repeals care for substance abuse. We all know the tragedies we see everyday in Ohio with regard to the heroin epidemic. There will be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people who will not be able to access treatment for substance abuse.” Ryan says the added health care costs from the GOP bill are also expected to cause 25 percent of Ohio’s hospitals to close, something he says will hit rural areas especially hard.
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:09:47 +0000A coalition of advocates for the poor have a new report on poverty in Ohio. They're using it to call on Congress to save multiple programs that would help low-income Ohioans. The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies says a single parent with a minimum wage job has to work more than 100 hours a week to be self-sufficient. The group’s Philip Cole says President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would cut a lot of the programs and grants that would help support and lift people out of poverty . “You talk about pulling the rug out from under hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and talk about Medicaid and the changes that want to do to Medicaid in addition to the things we just mentioned you’re talking about leaving people out in the streets,” Cole said. The "State of Poverty" report also found 40,000 households where grandparents are the primary caregivers, which Cole says is rising because of the drug epidemic.
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:08:01 +0000A new bill being considered at the Statehouse would restrict the way police agencies could use drones . The legislation has bipartisan support for different reasons. This bill is sponsored by unusual bedfellows. Democratic Sen. Mike Skindell says he’s sponsoring the bill because he wants to make sure police agencies don’t use drones to unfairly gather evidence against suspects. Republican Sen. Kris Jordan , who doesn’t agree with Skindell on much, agrees this legislation is needed. “We still deserve the right to privacy that our founders intended for us to have when they wrote out the bill of rights protecting our civil liberties,” he said. Basically, the bill would say law enforcement agencies would need to get warrants from the court in order to be able to use drones to gather evidence. Jordan says there need to be some safeguards to protect Ohioans from being unreasonably targeted by law enforcement. “There aren’t enough guardrails up there to limits, I guess, the potential for
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:04:12 +0000A bill that would ban discrimination in housing or employment based on sexual gender or identity has been introduced in the legislature. Democratic Rep. Nickie Antonio says this legislation is not new. “A version of this bill has been introduced in the general assembly in the state of Ohio, since 2009.” Antonio, the state's first openly lesbian lawmaker, says gays, lesbians and transgender people are discriminated against because current state law does not prevent it . She notes many major companies have already adopted this policy on their own. Antonio says, even if this bill were passed, it would still include exemptions for religious organizations. No majority Republicans have signed on to the legislation yet.