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Special Features
Gay Games 9: Bringing the World to Ohio

From August 9 – 16, the International Gay Games took up residence in Cleveland and Akron in what was an inclusive sporting and cultural event. Revisit Amanda Rabinowitz's coverage of the games and go to WKSU's Tumblr page for additional images and posts.

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Become a fan of WKSU on Facebook and follow @WKSU on Twitter for online updates and more. Follow @WKSUnow for the WKSU playlist.

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WKSU News
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A new pipeline might link Ohio's natural gas supply to customers in North Carolina. (TIM RUDELL)NTSB's first word on Cleveland plane crash
Other noon headlines: death case, charter schools, pipeline, politics

  • NTSB first review of Case plane crash
  • Death penalty affirmed in Cleveland case
  • Cleveland hired charter school specialist
  • Pipeline could stretch from W. Va. to North Carolina
  • Libertarian gubernatorial candidate continues fight to get on the ballot 
  •   M.L. Schultze reports

    Put-in-Bay police under scrutiny for alleged misconduct
    Other morning headlines: VA Medical Center hosts open house in Cleveland; Gas prices inch up

    WKSU's morning news headlines:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    The town hall will be open to vets, family members and the public. (Cleveland VA)Cleveland VA schedules town hall for today
    Local VA staff will help with scheduling and other issues; meanwhile, former Cleveland chief is to be sentenced on Sept. 17

    The Cleveland VA Medical Center will be holding a town hall this afternoon to get feedback on its services. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald is counting on labor and memories of S.B. 5. (M.L. SCHULTZE)FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
    As Labor Day kicks off the official political season, voters at the bellwether county fair don't seem terribly excited about the governor's race

    Labor Day unofficially marks the time when politics moves from the obsession of the political class to the at-least-passing interest of casual voters. 

    And Stark County has the kind of bellwether status that makes Labor Day weekend at the fair a must on the calendars of candidates.

    WKSU’s M.L. Schultze stopped at the fair to gauge how far news about in the governor’s race has penetrated so far.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Buckeye Square resident Constance Denson sits in her new efficiency apartment. (Brian Bull)New facility to help the chronically homeless in Cleveland
    The complex will give homes to people with disabilites who have been regularly homeless

    The fight against chronic homelessness in Greater Cleveland area is marking another milestone. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Brian Bull reports.  (more)

    Derek Gordon, park director, says the new track material is more durable and functional than the previous material used.  (The City of Canton)Canton's Stadium Park is starting reconstruction of walking track this week
    The project is expected to be completed by mid-October

    Canton residents who use Stadium Park’s walking track will have to find another place to exercise for the next month or so.

    A $320,000 reconstruction project will begin this week. Park Director Derek Gordon says the new brown surface will be much easier to repair than the old red rubber surface.  (more)

    An electricity grid manager develops plans for winter months
    PJM Interconnection wants to create incentives and penalties for generators to make sure that they produce what they say they will

    Right now, the cold winter months might be the last thing on your mind. But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, an electricity grid manager is working on plans to head off trouble when temperatures drop.  Andy Chow reports


    Monday, September 1, 2014

    Ed FitzGerald is relying heavily on labor to turnn out to boost his lagging campaign. (BRIAN BULL)Labor Day parades draw the kinds of supporters Ed FitzGerald needs
    The Democratic gubernatorial candidate plans no major shifts in the final two months of the campaign

    For many, Labor Day is still a work day. This includes police, firefighters, nurses…and political candidates. WCPN's Brian Bull came across one contender who worked the crowds at Cleveland’s big parade earlier today.  (more)

    Record low number of Ohioans in the labor force
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports just 59% of Americans 16 and over have declared that they are part of the labor force – in Ohio, that figure is just under 63%.

    This Labor Day, there are a record low number of Ohioans in the labor force – fewer than there have been since October 1978. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked to two economic experts who see that number – and others – in very different ways.  Karen Kasler reports

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Angela Boyer holds the future of a species in her hand. Freshwater mussels like the purple cat's paw are America's most endangered animals with more than half of them facing extinction.  (Jeff St.Clair)Exploradio: Saving America's most endangered animals
    The eastern U.S. has more freshwater mussel species than anywhere else in the world, and more than half of them are facing extinction

    Ohio is the last home of one of the rarest animals in the world. It’s a formerly widespread freshwater mussel called the purple cat’s paw. Only about 20 of the mollusks are known to exist.

    In this week’s Exploradio, WKSU’s Jeff  St.Clair examines a species on the brink and how protecting it could help save Ohio’s waterways.  Jeff St. Clair reports


    Friday, August 29, 2014

    Investigators combed the CVNP after Hillary Sharma's body was found Thursday night, about 1/4 mile north of this spot on the Highland Road Bridge in Brecksvile (K. Bhatia)Body found in Brecksville park identified as Hillary Sharma
    The 30-year-old Eastlake woman has been missing since Aug. 19

    The body found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park Thursday has been identified as 30-year-old Hillary Sharma. The Eastlake woman was last seen August 19, and her car was found two days later in a Parks parking lot. Spokeswoman Mary Pat Doorley says Brecksville and Sagamore Hills officials were part of the 10-day search.  Kabir Bhatia reports

    Investigators combed the CVNP after a body was found Thursday night, about 1/4 mile north of this spot on the Highland Road Bridge in Brecksvile (K. Bhatia)After body is found, CVNP continues investigation into Hillary Sharma disappearance
    30-year-old Eastlake woman's car was discovered in the park Aug. 21, and a body was found Thursday night in Brecksville

    Cuyahoga Valley National Park is open and operating as normal after a body was found near the Highland Road Bridge last night. Park rangers had been searching for Hillary Sharma -- an Eastlake woman last seen 10 days ago – when a body was discovered about a quarter-mile north of the bridge.

    Park spokeswoman Mary Pat Doorley says the investigation continues as officials review yesterday’s activities and await the medical examiner’s report.  Kabir Bhatia reports

    Ohio Supreme Court chief justice Maureen O'Connor says the courts deserve more equity in funding. (Ohio Supreme Court)Ohio courts coming up short in funding
    The state's top judge says the courts are not getting their fair share

    The head of Ohio’s Supreme Court is calling for a boost in funding. Their efforts are starting with collecting as much data as possible.  Andy Chow reports

    Travel is expected to be up this Labor Day weekend. (Charlie Cowins)AAA is expecting large travel numbers this Labor Day weekend
    Lower gas prices and an early start to the holiday weekend have more Ohioans traveling this year

    Labor Day weekend is shaping up to be a big travel holiday this year.

    Robin Blose says AAA expects nearly 35 million Americans to travel more than 50 miles from home during the holiday.

    She says a number of factors have led to the largest travel number in years.  Lyndsey Schley reports

    The NAACP and League of Women Voters are among the groups suing to get Secretary of State Jon Husted to restore the first seven days of early voting. (FILE PHOTO)Absentee ballots mailed as early voting lawsuits continue
    Suits are asking that Ohio restore "Golden Week," the first 7 days of early, in-person voting

    More than 6 million Ohioans are being mailed absentee ballot applications today. But as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, in-person voting is still in flux.  Kabir Bhatia reports

    Cumminity groups across the state are trying to use Bills of Rights to keep fracking away from their community. (WKSU File Photo)Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
    Local groups in Kent and Youngstown are working on similar measures

    Another Ohio city is trying to stop fracking and fracking waste with a local ballot issue.

    Carolyn Harding speaks for the Columbus Community Bill of Rights, which is pushing a measure similar to ones that have passed in Mansfield and Broadview Heights.  Karen Kasler reports

    Cost to make Toledo water safe increases
    Other noon headlines: Supporters for fired OSU band director show up at trustees meeting; Nearly $45 million Bolivar Dam project underway

      Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Body found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park river during search for missing woman
    Other morning headlines: Absentee ballot applications to be mailed today; Candlelight vigil to be held Sunday for plane crash victims

    WKSU's morning news headlines:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Chef Doug Katz created a fixed price menu at Provenance to complement the Cleveland Museum of Art's yoga exhibition. It includes socca crepes, ginger/carrot soup, kale salad, and red rice pudding for dessert. (Beth Kretschmar)Nourishing mind, body and soul: Yoga, art, and chickpea crepes
    These are the last days to see and savor "Yoga:The Art of Transformation" at the Cleveland Museum of Art and its Provenance Restaurant

    Relax, take a deep breath. But don’t get too comfortable if you’ve been meaning to see the yoga exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art. It closes a week from Sunday. 

    Along with more than 100 paintings and sculptures tracing yoga’s history from the 8th century through modern times, there’s culinary art.  WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports in today’s Quick Bite about the special foods being offered in the museum’s restaurant to complement the exhibition.  Vivian Goodman reports


    Thursday, August 28, 2014

    FitzGerald insists he isn't giving up, just streamlining and focusing on face-to-face campaigning. (M.L. SCHULTZE)Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
    FitzGerald says: 'What does Virginia know?'

    The University of Virginia’s Crystal Ball is the latest political prognosticator to declare Ohio’s governor’s race is virtually over. It’s putting incumbent Gov. John Kasich in the “safe” category.

    The report says the already long-shot hopes for Democrat Ed FitzGerald have grown longer since reports surfaced that FitzGerald was found parked with a woman in his car at 4:30 in the morning two years ago. Then came revelations that he had not had a regular driver’s license for nearly a decade.

    The editor of the Crystal Ball, Kyle Kondik, says FitzGerald’s problems have scared national Democrats away.  (more)

    Jim Bisenius, founder of Bully-Proofing Youth, says working with the victims of bullying is the best way he's found to combat bullying.  (Bully-Proofing Youth)Bullying lawsuit against Green Local Schools approved to continue
    The case will proceed in U.S. District Court

    A federal appeals court says a bullying lawsuit against Green Local Schools will continue in U.S. District Court.

    Lisa Shively filed the suit in 2011 on behalf of her daughter, who said she was harassed largely for being Jewish.

    Therapist Jim Bisenius is the founder of Bully-Proofing Youth, a prevention program. He says the best way to combat bullying is by working with the victims and bullies directly.  (more)

    Richard Ross says a combination of higher standards statewide and local implementation is crucial. (M.L. SCHULTZE)Ohio's school superintendent says the state needs higher standards
    Asked about the Common Core, he says Ohio also need local schools to figure out the best ways to reach those standards.

    Ohio’s superintendent of public education isn’t offering specifics when asked about the Common Core, but does say Ohio needs to raise its academic standards across the board. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more from Richard Ross’s visit to North Canton today.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Governor John Kasich campaigning at Stampco Industries in Euclid where he was endorsed by the Ohio Manufacturers' Association.  Behind him is Stampco owner and OMA member Bill Sopko. (Kevin Niedermier)Ohio manufacturers back Kasich, while FitzGerald stumps with labor
    Ohio Manufacturers' Association says their industry will keep growing under Gov. Kasich; FitzGerald warns that anti-union bills could re-emerge

    Republican Gov. John Kasich was at a Cleveland-area metal-stamping plant today, where he received the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association endorsement. 

    Manufacturing jobs in Ohio have increased by more than 2 percent annually since 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics.  Kasich credits his tax cuts and business policies for attracting jobs to places like Ford plants in the state.   Kevin Niedermier reports

    Akron General Hospital will partner with the Cleveland Clinic (WKSU)Local leaders are watching the Akron General/Cleveland clinic partnership
    The deal preserves the hospital's employment, but there's concern that local leadership could shrink

    Akron and Summit County leaders are closely watching the move toward a new partnership between struggling Akron General Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.

    Connie Krauss is Summit County’s community and economic development director. She’s relieved the deal was reached to preserve  Akron General and its nearly 5,000 tax paying employees.

    For now, the Clinic has a minority interest in Akron General. But Krauss is concerned about what could happen to the hospital’s local leadership if the Clinic uses its option to fully acquire the hospital after one year.  Kevin Niedermier reports

    Labor Day weekend traffic expected to be highest since recession
    Other noon headlines: Drone interferes with medical helicopter; Church in Lorain damaged by fire

    The WKSU noon news headlines:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Cleveland voters will likely decide traffic camera issue in November
    Other morning headlines: OSU denies "name clearing" hearing for fired band director; Heroin overdose deaths down slightly in Cuyahoga 

    The latest WKSU morning news headlines:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports


    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern says exhaustive vetting of every aspect of a candidate would be cost-prohibitive (Karen Kasler)Ohio Democratic Party chairman says his party will win in November
    Chris Redfern says he's not thinking of removing Ed FitzGerald from the Governor's race

    Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern says says he's not thinking of removing Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald and isn't worried about him dragging down other Democratic candidates. Questions have surfaced in the last month about FitzGerald driving without a permanent, valid driver's license for nearly a decade. And FitzGerald has had to explain why he was found two years ago, with a woman who was not his wife, in a parked car near Cleveland. For now, Redfern says the party is focused on getting Democrats to turn out at the polls in November.  Jo Ingles reports

    Doug Bort, Michelle Meier and their new Art museum's "Intent to Deceive" kicks off with an original fake
    Canton Museum of Art examines "Fakes and Forgeries in the Art World" -- and raises some money with the auction of one of its own

    A Cleveland couple now owns a Winslow Homer – kind of. They bought it knowing full-well that it’s just a few weeks old and a copy, not the more than century-old original that’s been hanging in the Canton Museum of Art.

    WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more from the kickoff of the museums new exhibit: “Intent to Deceive.”  M.L. Schultze reports

    John Charlton Ohio Department of Education challenges charter-school operator
    State accuses Portage County Educational Service Center of completely disregarding the interests of students, parents and the public

  • Update: The Portage County Educational Service Center issued a rebuttal tonight to the claims by the state. Their written statement has been added to the bottom of this story.

  • A troubled charter-school sponsor in Northeast Ohio is being investigated for allegedly trying to restart a troubled charter school in Southwest Ohio.

     The Ohio Department of Education sent a letter to the Portage County Educational Service Center this week accusing it of trying to repackage the VLT Academy in Cincinnati – which was closed this summer – as a school called Hope 4 Change.

    The letter accuses Portage of “actively and intentionally circumventing” the state laws that govern charter schoolS and their sponsors.

    The education department’s John Charlton says VLT went out of existence this summer after its local sponsor backed away.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Joe Roman of the Greater Cleveland Partnership says higher standards for education are a must for business. (File photo)Ohio businesses push to retain the Common Core
    Ohio businesses protest proposals to repeal the education standards, saying they need an educated workforce

    A statewide coalition supporting the Common Core education standards is bringing forward several groups to oppose the latest effort for a repeal. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports -- the latest is a group of business leaders.      Andy Chow reports

    Sam Mullet Sr. and his followers could get a new trial following today's appeals court reversal of their beard-cutting convictions. (WKYC)Ohio Amish hate-crime convictions are overturned
    Appeals court says jury in the trial of Sam Mullet and his followers was not given the proper instructions regarding religion and hate crimes

    A federal appeals court has overturned the beard-cutting convictions of an Amish bishop and 15 of his followers.

    Sam Mullet was convicted of orchestrating the attacks on other Amish, which prosecutors say were hate crimes, but the defense argues were only family disputes.  Kevin Niedermier reports

    Investigators are try to determine what caused this Cessna 172-R to crash, killing everyone on board.   (WKYC)Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
    Investigators still looking into what the caused the generally safe and easy to fly Cessna 172-R to go down

    The small plane the crashed Monday killing all four Case Western Reserve University students onboard is a popular model for flight training.

    Ben Satyshur is an instructor and aviation safety manager for Kent State University’s flight school, which has five of those planes in its training fleet.

    The aircraft is designed to carry a maximum load of 764 pounds. Satyshur says the Cessna 172-R has a good safety record and is easy to fly, even fully loaded.  Kevin Niedermier reports

     State says Portage County tried to dodge Ohio charter school law
    Portage Educational Service Center is accused of trying to reopen what was the troubled VLT school in Cincinnati

    The state is accusing a Portage County education group of breaking the law by trying to reopen a troubled charter school 250 miles away. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the dispute.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Punderson manor overlooks the lake and the 741-acre park in Newbury.  ODNR is spending $6.2 million to renovation and upgrade facilities at Punderson, part of an $88 million lift to Ohio's 74 state parks. (ODNR)Punderson gets a $6.2 million upgrade
    After years of neglect, Ohio's state parks are getting an $88 million boost

    After years of tight budgets, Ohio’s state parks are getting an $88 million make-over.

    Officials this week announced $6.2 million in renovations and additions to Punderson State Park in Geauga County. Ohio Department of Natural Resources director James Zehringer says the investments are long overdue.  Jeff St. Clair reports

    Kent State University Professor Emeritus Tim Smith says the court has long ruled in the favor of the government in public records cases. (Kent State University)Public records expert says Kasich ruling is part of a larger trend
    The Ohio Supreme Court has been cutting back public records laws for the last decade, retired professor says

    The Ohio Supreme Court has denied a public records request for information on threats to Governor John Kasich.

    The court unanimously rejected the request from a blogger, Plunderbund, request for access to records of threats made to the governor. The court ruled today that the reports count as security records, which do not need to be disclosed.

    Tim Smith is a professor emeritus at Kent State University and a public records expert. He says the court has increasingly carved out exceptions to Ohio’s public records law.  Lyndsey Schley reports

    Sam Mullet Sr. was leader of an Amish sect that feuded with other Amish and with break-away members of his own group. (File photo)Appeals judges overturn Ohio Amish hate-crimes conviction
    Panel says jury instructions on religion were incorrect

    A federal appeals court has overturned the hate-crime convictions of 16 Amish people from Ohio, saying a judge gave incorrect instructions in the case.

    The 16 were involved in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish people with whom they were feuding. Prosecutors said the five attacks in 2011 were retaliation against Amish who had defied their leader, Sam Mullet Sr.

    Prosecutors say the attacks were hate crimes because of religious differences. Defense attorneys challenged the constitutionality of the federal hate crimes law -- saying it was too broad. The trial judge, U.S. District Judge Aaron Polster, sided with prosecutors. 
     
    But the appeals judges said he went too far in instructing the jury on how to weigh the role of religion in the case.

    “When all is said and done, considerable evidence supported the defendants’ theory that interpersonal and intra-family disagreements, not the victims’ religious beliefs, sparked the attacks,” the ruling said.

    The 69-year-old Mullet was not present for the attacks. But he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for overseeing them. 

    Many Amish people believe it conflicts with the Biblical instruction to cut women's hair and men's beards once they marry. 

    The Associated Press is reporting that some of the defendants have served their time and returned home.     M.L. Schultze reports

    Ohio health officials are closely watching the blue-green algae bloom around Canada's Pelee island. (Pelle Island )Pelee Island algae alert hasn't impacted Ohio's Lake Erie shore
    But, Erie County health officials are monitoring the Canadian island situation just 26 miles away

    Health officials are warning residents of Canada’s Pelee Island not to use the water or beaches because of a Lake Erie toxic algae bloom. The island is just 26 miles north of Erie County on Ohio’s lake shore.

    The county’s director of environmental health, Bob England, says the Pelee Island warning has put his department on higher alert. He says so far, none of the water treatment plants in Erie County have reported elevated levels of the blue-green algae. And he says they’re monitoring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s algae prediction site.  Kevin Niedermier reports

    The state high court says public records law doesn't cover threats against Gov. Kasich. (File photo)Ohio Supreme Court says investigations into threats against the governor are not public record
    Its unanimous ruling today cites an exemption for security records

    The Ohio Supreme Court says threats against the governor are not public record.

    In a unanimous ruling, the court today denied a request from a liberal blogger for reports from the Ohio Department of Public Safety of threats made to Gov. John Kasich. Among other things, Plunderbund Media wanted the copies of the final investigations into those threats.

    The court said all of that qualifies under Ohio’s public records law as security records, which are exempt from disclosure.

    Tim Smith, a professor emeritus at Kent State and former managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, says the court has been narrowing the definition of public records.  M.L. Schultze reports

    Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan (Ohio Supreme Court)Cuyahoga judge is publicly reprimanded
    Peter Corrigan was convicted of drunken driving following a 2012 incident

    Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan has been reprimanded by the Ohio Supreme Court for his drunken driving conviction.

    The unanimous decision cited Corrigan’s clean record in deciding against a more severe penalty.

    Corrigan had pleaded no contest – and was convicted -- of driving under the influence of alcohol and impeding the roadway. He’d been discovered in December of 2012 slumped over the wheel of his car at an intersection. He was sentenced to three days in jail and probation and his license was suspended for a year.

       M.L. Schultze reports

    High court disqualifies Cuyahoga judge charged with kidnapping, assault
    Other morning headlines: NTSB investigating fatal airplane crash; More charges filed in massive credit union fraud case

    The latest WKSU morning news headlines:   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

    Kent State University is mourning the loss of football center Jason Bitsko, who died unexpectedly Aug. 20.  (Kent State University )Pluto: How Kent State football should honor its fallen teammate
    Pluto says KSU should "play like and act like Jason" this season. Jason Bitsko died last week due to an undetermined medical issue. 

    It’s been one week since Kent State University’s football team lost Jason Bitsko. The Dayton-area junior center for the Flashes was found dead in his off-campus apartment due to an undetermined medical issue.

    The team will remember Bitsko throughout the season by wearing his number “54” on their helmets. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about how losing a player unexpectedly affects a team and how the players should honor his legacy.   Amanda Rabinowitz reports

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    Special Features
    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.

    (more )



    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.

    (more )



    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.

    (more )



    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.

    (more )


     
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