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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An amendment to an Ohio agriculture bill may kill whole bill
Gov. Kasich will likely veto the bill if the phone-service addition stays

One of the many additions to a huge agriculture bill that’s already passed the House could end up dooming the entire thing. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.  Karen Kasler reports

Wiley Bridgeman (left) who was released late last week, after a witness recanted their account first made in 1975.  On the right is his brother, Kwame Ajamu, who was convicted of the same crime but was released on parole in 2003. (WCPN's Brian Bull)NE Ohio brothers are released from wrongful conviction in time for holidays
Police coerced a young boy into saying they were involved in the murder nearly four decades ago

Cleveland resident Wiley Bridgeman says he’s going to enjoy an “anonymous” holiday season. He is one of three men who spent decades in prison for a crime they did not commit. Both Bridgeman and fellow prisoner Ricky Jackson were released last week. Ohio Public Radio's WCPN's Brian Bull has more.  (more)

Slavic Village Association Director Chris Alvarado and Councilman Tony Brancatelli, framed by two of the abandoned home that will be demolished.  (M.L. SCHULTZE)The reformation of Blaine Murphy and Slavic Village
Serial house flipper's last $250,000 in restitution will demolish as many as 30 eyesores

The last quarter-million dollars in restitution from a key player in Cleveland’s housing crisis was delivered to Slavic Village today. The money will be used to tear down three-dozen homes in the devastated neighborhood. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on  the story of Blaine Murphy's reformation.  M.L. Schultze reports

All Ohio locations of Friendly's closed on Sunday and Monday. (Mike Mozart/Flickr)Friendly's closes its last 14 Ohio locations
Industry expert says restaurants like Chipotle are big competitiors for restaurants like Friendly's

Friendly’s restaurant chain closed its last 14 restaurants in Ohio on Sunday and Monday.

Aaron Allen is the CEO of a restaurant consultanting firm that bears his name. He says family-dining restaurants like Friendly’s are having trouble competing in the current restaurant market.  Lyndsey Schley reports

Cleveland police to release Tamir Rice shooting video today
Other morning headlines: Gov. Kasich set to veto toxic algae/telecommunications bill; Head of Austen BioInnovation Institute stepping down 

WKSU morning news headlines for Wednesday, November 26th:  Amanda Rabinowitz reports

 From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank you
Commentator Terry Pluto says after more than 35 years as a writer, he's still thankful for job, the readers and his community

Each year around Thanksgiving, WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto dedicates one of his Plain Dealer columns to thank his readers. And, he adds in what he’s thankful for in the past year. After more than 35 years in journalism, Pluto says he's most thankful for the readers, his community and its fervent sports fans.  Amanda Rabinowitz reports

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams answers some heated question at the Cudell Rec Center forum. (Kevin Niedermier)Clevelanders vent frustration and fears over police shooting of 12-year-old
City sponsored forum draws hundreds with questions on how and why Tamir Rice was killed, and what happens now

The aftermath of the Cleveland police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was evident across the city Tuesday. Mayor Frank Jackson held a community forum to answer questions about the incident at the Cudell Recreation Center where Rice was shot after brandishing a toy gun. Earlier in the day, hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Cleveland. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on the mostly peaceful displays of anger, frustration and concern.

   Kevin Niedermier reports

A video released today shows a Cleveland police officer shooting Tamir rice who was brandishing a toy gun. (Kevin Niedermier)Tamir Rice video shows Cleveland officer fired at the boy within two seconds
Cleveland police release surveillance tape, dispatch audio and officers' names

The city of Cleveland today released the surveillance video along with 9-1-1 and police dispatch audio from last weekend’s fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice.  Kevin Niedermier reports


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Construction to widen I-71 (ODOT) I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus is construction free -- finally
Six lanes, three each way, are now fully open

For the first time in the life time of most Ohioans, I-71 between Cleveland in Columbus is not under construction heading into a holiday weekend. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on this historic moment.  Tim Rudell reports

The Third Grade Reading Guarantee is meant to raise the bar on a student’s reading skills. (Ohio Department of Education )Ohio's third-grade reading guarantee results are in
About 4 percent of students were prevented from progressing to the fourth grade or need special classes

The final numbers for Ohio’s third-grade reading guarantee are in after schools went through the first full year of testing. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.  Andy Chow reports

Three Cuyahoga County police officers are indicted
All are accused of misusing law-enforcement computers

Three police officers in Cuyahoga County have been indicted – accused of using law-enforcement computers to run unauthorized background checks on friends, family and even prospective dates. 

According to the county prosecutor’s office, the charges include tampering with records, forgery and unauthorzied use of property. The prosecutor says there’s no connection among the three officers other than their patterns of improperly using the computers. 

Thirty-two of the charges have been leveled against Cuyahoga County sheriff’s deputy William Cattren. He’s also accused of forging a letter disparaging a prospective sheriff’s department employee. The other charges are against Oakwood officer Marcia Krone-Master and East Cleveland Officer Antonio Malone.

   M.L. Schultze reports

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman has announced he won't be running for mayor next year. (Andy Chow)Columbus Mayor Coleman hasn't considered running for the U.S. Senate
He says his focus is on getting the Democratic National Convention in 2016

A big name in the Ohio Democratic Party says he’s not planning on running for re-election. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports Michael Coleman is also saying he's not interested in higher office.  Andy Chow reports

John Green says Ohio is a strategic target for both Democrats and Republicans (The University of Akron )Columbus named one of three finalists to host 2016 presidential convention
The other two finalists are Brooklyn and Philadelphia

The Democratic National Committee has named Columbus one of three finalists for its 2016 presidential convention.

John Green is the director of the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute. He says the state’s capital city has a reasonably good chance of securing the convention.  (more)

Faber has reservations about the bill's constitutionality of the bill. (Sen. Keith Faber)Ohio anti-abortion groups pressure Faber to support the heartbeat bill
Senate president and Gov. Kasich -- and well as Ohio Right to Life -- have reservations about the constitutionality of the bill

Backers of the controversial measure called the "heartbeat bill" being considered in the Ohio House are trying a new strategy to get Ohio lawmakers to pass it during the lame duck session. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles has details.  Jo Ingles reports


Monday, November 24, 2014

 Ohio expects a strong holiday retail season
Projections call for spendng of more than a half-billion dollarsover last year

Researchers are predicting a major year in retail sales over the holiday season. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow takes a look at the factors playing into the big spending.  Andy Chow reports

Ohio's wind and solar energy standards were put on hold by the GOP Legislature. (File photo)Work began today on the next step for Ohio's clean energy standards
Ohio's green energy standards have been frozen since 2012

This was the first day of work for a group of lawmakers who were brought together to study the state’s green energy standards. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the panel was created by a new law that froze those standards for two years.  Karen Kasler reports

Rep. Mike Foley Retailers say Ohio would be unfair to force them to pay OT for holiday work
Democratic lawmakers want to require triple OT for work on Thanksgiving Day

The upcoming holiday weekend revives the debate over whether stores should start their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.  Andy Chow reports

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice (Family Photo)Cleveland police shooting raises questions about training
Following the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, Ohio lawmakers are looking to improve regulations.

Two Cleveland police officers are on leave after a fatal shooting of a 12-year-old boy on Saturday.

The shooting, along with similar ones this year, raises questions about the training an officer receives on use of deadly force. David Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, says now is the time to review policies and make changes.  (more)

Charlie Sifford (PGAtour.com)Local golf legend receives nation's highest civilian award
Brecksville resident Charlie Sifford to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Correction: A transcript of Professor Schlossman's quote was incorrect, as was the title of his book, in the earlier version of this story.

A Northeast Ohio man who is one of golf’s pioneers is now receiving one of the nation’s highest awards. Tonight, President Obama is awarding Charlie Sifford the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Sifford broke professional golf’s color barrier 14 years after Jackie Robinson did so in Major League Baseball. Steve Schlossman, author of the book “Chasing Greatness: Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, and the Miracle at Oakmont, "says Sifford’s recognition couldn’t have come at a better time.  (more)

Artist'a rendering of possible new look for Fawcett Stadium. Situated beside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, its where the annual Hall of Fame game is played  (Pro Football Hall of Fame)The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
Historic Fawcett Stadium, built as a WPA project in the 1930s, will get a new look and a new name

The Pro Football Hall of Fame  has landed its first large private investment in a billion-dollar plan to create a village around the Canton museum. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.  Tim Rudell reports

Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati chairs the Energy Mandates Study Committee. He pushed for the freeze of renewable and energy efficiency standards. (State of Ohio)Senate panel begins review of renewable energy mandates
Republican lawmakers, and Akron-based utility FirstEnergy, say six-year-old renewable energy mandates are outdated in the age of fracking

A state Senate committee began debate today on whether to keep Ohio’s renewable energy and efficiency requirements for utilities. 

This summer, Ohio became the first state to freeze its mandate that an increasing percentage of energy come from solar and other renewable sources.

The freeze also allows utilities to opt out of energy efficiency goals.

Trish Demeter with the Ohio Environmental Council says FirstEnergy is the only provider to drop energy efficiency rebates for customers.  Jeff St. Clair reports

Mayor Frank Jackson says the investigation will be transparent. (Screen capture)Both family of 12-year-old and the officer who shot him are 'devastated'
Cleveland officials ask for patience as an investigations into Saturday's shooting continue

Cleveland officials are pleading with residents to not let the shooting of a 12-year-old boy by a Cleveland police officer erode their trust in the police.

In a press conference today, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said the Airsoft gun that 12-year-old Tamir Rice was holding was indistinguishable from a real handgun. Rice was shot Saturday and died yesterday.  Lyndsey Schley reports

Drilling rig working in Carroll County, OH (WKSU)Ohio's new fracking solid waste disposal rules explained
Department of Natural Resources says a highlight letter to landfill operators will help prevent confusion about what is required

A ‘heads-up’ has gone out form Ohio regulators to operators of landfills that take in fracking waste.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.  Tim Rudell reports

Five-term Mayor Merle Gorden would no longer be able to run for the office if a ballot issue passes in February. (City of Beachwood)Beachwood signature drive would put term limits up for a vote in February
Residents likely will decide whether to enact three, four-year term limits for the mayor and city council

A group of Beachwood residents has collected enough signatures to force a vote in February on terms limits in the city.

If passed, the issue would limit the mayor and members of the city council to three four-year terms.

Brian Byrne led the petition drive. He says if it passes, it will put Beachwood more in line with neighboring communities.  Lyndsey Schley reports

Executive Director of Admissions, Recruiting and Marketing J.P. Cooney says the Ravenna campus will help meet student demands for more locations. (Stark State College)Stark State College will offer classes in Ravenna in its latest expansion
The college is offering more satellite campuses in response to student demand

Stark State College will begin offering classes in Ravenna during the spring semester.

J.P. Cooney is the executive director of admissions, recruiting and marketing at the college. He says the two-year school decided to offer classes at the satellite location in response to student demand.  Lyndsey Schley reports

Gov. Chris Christie has baggage, but he also has formidable political skills. So how do Ohio's Kasich and Portman measure up against him and against each other? (Republican Governors Association)Comparing Kasich and Portman and the national presidential field
'Crystal Ball's' Kyle Kondik talks about style and substance of the potential presidential candidates

Gov. John Kasich was a dominant presence last week at the Republican Governors Association conference, especially at some of the sessions seen by pundits as a very early, very dry run at the Republican primary. 

WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with the managing editor of the political blog, Crystal Ball, about the style and presidential potential of Kasich and of another Ohio pol: Senator Rob Portman – and comparing them to the national field.  M.L. Schultze reports

Kent Scarrett with the Ohio Municipal League says the proposed changes will put pressure on locals.  (Ohio Lobbying Association)Bill could overhaul Ohio's municipal tax system
Lawmakers are likely to vote on the complex bill in the next few weeks

In the next few weeks, lawmakers are likely to vote on a complex bill to overhaul the system used by some 600 Ohio cities to collect income taxes from residents and workers.

Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the bill is finally moving after getting a lot of push-back from those cities.  Karen Kasler reports

East Liverpool as seen from the Ohio River  Heavy metal worries in two eastern Ohio towns
Researchers are concluding a study of long-term health effects

Is heavy metal pollution affecting the brains of children in two eastern Ohio communities? A study guided by scientists from the University of Cincinnati, Kent State and Marietta College may soon tell us.  Tim Rudell reports

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (at podium) and Police Chief Calvin Williams discuss the latest developments into the Timar Rice shooting. (KEVIN NIEDERMIER)Video of Cleveland police shooting a 12-year-old is critical to the investigation
Tape won't be made public yet as the city begins a three-month probe

The investigation continues into the fatal police shooting this weekend of a 12-year-old boy who reportedly made threatening gestures with a toy gun. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, it will be months before the probe is complete, but some details are emerging.  Kevin Niedermier reports


Sunday, November 23, 2014

By Sunday morning, a small memorial for 12-year-old Tamir Rice was in place at Cudell Rec Center on Cleveland's west side. A group of his friends had gathered, and said they had warned Rice to be careful about playing with a realistic-looking BB gun (K. Bhatia)Neighbor says he removed orange tip from the BB gun that led to boy's shooting death by Cleveland police
Tamir Rice, 12, was shot and killed by police when he reportedly reached for a BB gun

A teenage neighbor says he's the one who gave a 12-year-old boy the BB gun that led to his being shot to death by a police officer Saturday afternoon in Cleveland. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Lundy says pay-day lenders are victimizing active-duty military. (State of Ohio)Democratic bill would crack down on payday loans to active-duty military
But it may be a long-shot in the Ohio House

Some Ohio lawmakers say active-duty military and vets are being taken advantage of by payday lenders. So they’ve introduced a bill that they say will provide safeguards.

The bill’s provisions include a cap on interest rates and a limit on the number of loans a military member can take out in a 60-day period.

Democratic State Rep. Matt Lundy says the bill would offer more protection than average Ohioans receive.  Jo Ingles reports


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hundreds of officers from around the country came to the University of Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena to pay tribute to Akron Officer Justin Winebrenner (KABIR BHATIA)Thousands remember Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner
Somber friends, family and fellow officers honor the first Akron police officer killed in the line of duty in 20 years

More than a thousand people packed the James A. Rhodes Arena Saturday as friends, family and fellow officers remembered Officer Justin Winebrenner. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports on the memorial for the first Akron police officer killed in the line of duty in 20 years.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Ohio became the first state to rollback green energy standards. Critics say the jobs report may have made a difference. (WKSU file photo)What happened to Ohio's green-jobs report?
The state says the methodology was flawed; critics says the Kasich administration just wanted to keep a lid on the results

The increasing attention focused on a green energy jobs report paid for by the state has sparked debate over how forward the Kasich administration was in revealing its findings. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow report.  Andy Chow reports

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Special Features
Special Thanksgiving Programming on WKSU

WKSU celebrates the holiday with music, stories, documentaries, live advice from Lynne Rosetto Kasper and more on Thursday, Nov. 27.

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Mean Kids: Bullying in School

Bullying is a bigger problem in Northeast Ohio than in the nation as a whole. It happens more often and it's reported less frequently. Our region has also been rocked by the suicides of bullying victims who saw no other way out. In this series, Mean Kids, WKSU's Vivian Goodman takes a closer look at the bullies, their targets and their weapons, as well as the tools Northeast Ohio is using to fight the problem.

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Kent State 1970: Hear it now

At the time of the events, WKSU reporters caught many of the key developments leading up to the shooting, the day of the tragedy and of the aftermath. The original audio, as well as photographs, reports and other text, has been gathered on a special web site: kentstate1970.org.

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May 4th Remembered

On May 4th, 1970, Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on Kent State students protesting the invasion of Cambodia, the escalation of the Vietnam War - and the presence of the guard on campus. Four students died; nine were wounded. The scene became an icon for the Baby Boom generation. And this year, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, as a site that contributed significantly to the understanding of the nation's history and culture. But for many, the history is not national. It's personal. And while it's fading out of many textbooks and memories, it's fresh in the lives of many others. WKSU is taking a look at the personal stories and larger lessons that grew from May 4, 1970.

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Good Jobs In Bad Times

The WKSU newsroom dove into the murky waters of the current employment situation in Northeast Ohio with the 8-part series Good Jobs in Bad Times. With their reports, the award-winning news staff covered topics that include high-paying tech jobs, careers that don't need a 4-year degree, the re-growth of agriculture as industry, working part-time full-time, drastically changing career paths, the truth about healthcare, bridge jobs after graduation and the future of the NE Ohio employment outlook.

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