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Monday, November 24, 2014

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 real a 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

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

A warmer winter means more opportunities for winter construction. (Flickr/Conrad Kuiper)A warmer winter is good news for construction crews
Last year's polar vortexes led to delays in construction projects

Last year, the polar vortex delayed many construction projects in our region. Equipment broke down, crews could not work, and many materials had shipping problems. But as WCPN's Brian Bull reports for Ohio Public Radio, the construction outlook is warming up.  (more)

Supporters of voter photo ID laws are making another push in Ohio. Opponents say they want to suppress the vote. (File photo)GOP proponents of voter photo IDs continue their push
If the leadership won't bring it to a vote, Rep. Becker says he'll take another route

Backers of a bill that would require Ohio voters to show a photo ID are frustrated because that measure has been stalled in committee.

Republican State Rep. John Becker of Cincinnati, one of the sponsors of the bill, says supporters had hoped the Legislature would take it up. But since that hasn’t happened, he and others are circulating what’s called a discharge petition to force it to the floor of the Ohio House.  Jo Ingles reports

Police officers from around the state attended Winebrenner's calling hours today; the funeral is tomorrow. (KABIR BHATIA)Hundreds gather for slain Akron officer's calling hours
Some describe it as losing family; the funeral is tomorrow

Hundreds of people are at the University of Akron this afternoon for calling hours for slain police officer Justin Winebrenner.  The 32-year-old patrol officer was shot last Sunday while reportedly trying to subdue a man brandishing a gun at a South Akron bar.

Kenny Welch is a mental-health technician who works closely with many Akron officers.  He’s among those gathering at the James A. Rhodes Arena, and says it feels like a family member’s funeral.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Heroin deaths in Cuyahoga County have risen 400 percent in ten years.  (Cuyahoga County)Cuyahoga County's heroin epidemic has a new, more deadly element
"Pink heroin" could reverse some gains the county has made again the drug problem

Cuyahoga County law enforcement and medical officials say during the past year they have had a little success turning back the heroin epidemic.

They cite increased enforcement and more education on the drug’s dangers.  But, during a press conference today they said heroin overdoses remain a leading cause of death in the county. And, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson says another problem is emerging in the region, heroin mixed with the drug fentanyl or so-called “pink heroin.”  Kevin Niedermier reports

The wrongly accused Ricky Jackson walks to freedom after 39 year in prison.  (Kevin Niedermier)A pair of wrongly convicted men are freed today
A then 12-year-old witness recants his testimony

Two Cleveland men are free today after spending nearly four decades in prison for a murder they didn’t commit.  Kevin Niedermier reports

October's jobless rate is lowest in six years
Ohio is one of 34 states where jobless rates fell last month

The state’s jobless rate fell to its lowest level in six years last month. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.  Karen Kasler reports

Chef Paul Minnillo of Flour in Moreland Hills says one way to be sure your turkey won't dry out is to give it a nice long saltwater bath. (Zachary Duvall)From the Quick Bites archives: How to brine your turkey
Chef Paul Minillo of Flour in Moreland Hills says brining is one way to make sure the bird stays moist

Whether your turkey arrives fresh from the farm or frozen from the supermarket, a common complaint at the Thanksgiving table is that it's too dry. 

The cure for that might be a refreshing saltwater bath. Not for the cook, but for the gobbler. 

Today, WKSU's Vivian Goodman raids the Quick Bites larder for brining tips from a master chef.  Vivian Goodman reports

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Abortion rights supporters protest at the Statehouse in Columbus when the Heartbeat bill was first being considered last year.  (WKSU 2013 file photo)Controversial abortion restriction passes Ohio House committee
The 'Heartbeat Bill' has received mixed reviews and required some political maneuvering to pass

An Ohio House committee has passed a controversial abortion bill that would ban the procedure at the point when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. But Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, some behind the scenes maneuvering was needed to get the bill passed.  Jo Ingles reports

 (Ohio Municipal League)Ohio cities oppose state red light camera bill
Ohio Municipal League says legislation amounts to a ban

A bill that would require cities to station a police officer with each red light or speed camera has passed the Ohio Senate. But cities that use those traffic cameras claim it’s basically a ban on those devices -- and treads on home rule. Kent Scarrett is with the Ohio Municipal League, which opposes the bill.  Karen Kasler reports

Innocent Cleveland man to be released from jail
Ricky Jackson will be a free man Friday after serving 39 years in Cuyahoga County Jail for a crime he didn't commit

Ricky Jackson will be released from prison Friday after serving 39 years for a murder he didn’t commit. For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Joanna Richards reports the judge, defense attorneys and prosecutors agree that the case against the Cleveland man fell apart after a key witness admitted his testimony was false.  (more)

President Barack Obama is set to announce his plan to reform the immigration system. (WKSU archives )Northeast Ohio immigration groups welcome talk of change
President Obama will outline changes in immigration policy tonight he thinks he can make without Congress

President Obama is set to unveil his proposed changes to the nation's immigration system tonight.

According to CNN, one topic could be deferring the deportation of parents of U.S. citizens. Michael Byun is the executive director of Asia Services in Action. He says the Asian community as well as the Latino community will be affected by Obama’s plan.  (more)

House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn says he thinks it's important House Democrats have some input on who the next Ohio Democratic Party chair will be. (Ohio House of Representatives)Ohio House Democrats say they need a role in the search for a party chair
Newly elected House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn believes House Democrats influence how the party is perceived by the public

As the Ohio Democratic Party continues its search for a new chairman, the new minority leader of the House is weighing in on what should happen during the rebuilding process. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.  Andy Chow reports

Olmsted Falls Mayor Ann Marie Donegan hopes her city's new webpage will be more popular than the one recently driven offline by a hacker. (Ann Marie Monegan)Hacking drives Olmsted Falls' website offline
Host company blames the site's 1990s technology

The Olmsted Falls city webpage has been off-line for nearly a week because it was hacked. But according to the mayor, it hasn’t been missed.  Kevin Niedermier reports

Cleveland Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam says Pilot/Flying J 'paid every trucking company back [it] owed any money to,' but a new lawsuit filed this week says Haslam himself knew about the fuel rebate scheme (K. Bhatia)Cleveland Browns’ owner Haslam says Flying J lawsuits should end soon
Haslam says the company still needs to settle with about seven or eight companies

Cleveland Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslam says lawsuits involving the other company he owns have been “difficult,” but he takes full responsibility for what happened.
Pilot/Flying J admitted to cheating hundreds of trucking companies out of diesel fuel rebates.
A lawsuit was filed last week by two of the companies, claiming Haslam himself knew about the scheme.
During an appearance at today’s Akron Roundtable, he said he’s confident the case is being dealt with and should be over soon.  Kabir Bhatia reports

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says a broader solution to a broken immigration system needs to come through Congress. (File photo)Portman is skeptical heading into Obama's immigration speech
Ohio senator threatens legal action if Obama goes with 'prosecutorial discretion'

Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman acknowledges he doesn’t know the details of the immigration policy President Obama will outline tonight. The president might lean on a policy known as prosecutorial discretion, which allows presidents latitude in deciding which laws they’ll enforce. If that happens, Ohio’s Republican senator says he’ll consider legal action to stop it.  M.L. Schultze reports

Rob Portman has been flirting with a presidential run since spring (File photo)Portman still interested in a presidential run; is reticent on Kasich
Ohio's senator says he expects to make a decision soon

Early reviews say Ohio Gov. John Kasich has pretty much stolen the show among the presidential prospects at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Florida this week. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze notes, though, that another Ohio Republican is still considering a run.  M.L. Schultze reports

Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, an abortion opponent. (State of Ohio)Ohio Statehouse hearing on abortion bill grows heated
Other headlines:  Cleveland cop sentenced, early blast of cold slows harvest

  • Statehouse hearing on abortion bill grows heated
  • Former Cleveland cop sentenced for having sex with underage girl
  • Early snow hampering winter crop harvest
  •   (more)

    Joffrey Ballet ballet master Gerard Charles can relate to the young dancers. His first ballet was The Nutcracker at age 6. (Vivian Goodman)Young ballet students leap at the chance to be in Cleveland's Nutcracker
    The Cleveland Orchestra and the Joffrey Ballet will present the holiday favorite again this year at Playhouse Square

    Cleveland hasn’t had a resident ballet company since 2000. 

    But since 2002, young dancers have had the chance to perform in a holiday classic at Playhouse Square. 

    Next week, the Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet are teaming up again for Tchaikovky’s "The Nutcracker.'  

    WKSU’s Vivian Goodman watched as children from the area’s many ballet schools auditioned.  Vivian Goodman reports

    After writing Is there a 'Cleveland School' of television?
    A new book -- and a writers panel tonight at PlayHouse Square -- asks if Northeast Ohio's museums, libraries, cold weather and ethnicity may have created a perfect storm for TV and comedy

    Cleveland TV was once a reflection of the ethnic melting pot on the north coast. A new book takes a look at Cleveland’s TV past. And there’s a panel discussion tonight looking at Cleveland’s influence on television all across the country. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.  Kabir Bhatia 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:

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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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