Business news

Mike DeWine

Ohio’s attorney general is jumping into the debate over raising the minimum wage in Cleveland by saying it should be handled by the state instead of on the local level. 

Attorney General Mike DeWine says the Ohio Constitution gives the power to raise the minimum wage through laws, which he says only the state legislature can pass.

“Based on that we believe that the correct reading of the constitution is that cities cannot pass their own minimum wage laws.”

Rob Portman
U.S. Senate website

Three anti-dumping cases against foreign steel makers have come to a head before the United States International Trade Commission in the last seven days; with rulings already rendered in two. 

U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio says the flurry of action marks a new approach on the part of the U.S. to defending its industries against unfair trade practices. 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

The state auditor has taken a look at the food stamp program in Ohio and thinks there might be some abuse. 

Auditor Dave Yost looked at several factors in the federal food stamp program:  things like even-dollar transactions, multiple purchases within an hour and other unusual activities. He found signs of potential abuse but says it wasn’t widespread.

“It is a relatively small percentage. The trouble is the program is so big that even a small percentage of problem has a big price tag,” he said.

photo of Akron Civic

Akron officials have given developers till next month to get moving on the stalled “Lock 4” project.

Renovated Hopkins Airport exterior

City officials highlighted the first round of renovations at

What a Troubled Economy Could Mean for This Year's Election

Jun 27, 2016
photo of Cory Maidens

The economy.

It’s what Ohioans most often say when asked what troubles them. But what they mean when they say “the economy” requires asking when they were born and how life’s been since they began working.

Ohioans, like most Americans, have fractured views of how to strengthen the fragile economic recovery of the past eight years, though many vaguely agree that more good-paying jobs might do it.

Much of that comes from perspective. Those who entered the work force in the last 15 years haven’t tasted the good times.

ArcelorMittal's rolled steel

Protecting the American steel industry is the stated purpose of a pair of rulings handed down last week by the U.S. International Trade Commission. Another one is scheduled to be released Tuesday. 

Youngstown Continues Right-Sizing Itself

Jun 21, 2016
photo of Youngstown

The strategy of tearing down or shuttering parts of a city hit by severe population loss first gained national notice in northeast Ohio.  And, a dozen years after Youngstown began “right sizing” itself, the program is still going on.

With a population that has shrunk in the past forty years from over 150-thousand to less than 70-thousand, Youngstown has a lot of abandoned property. 

Jacob Duritsky

It costs less to do business in Northeast Ohio than most other places in the country. And the regional economic development organization, TeamNEO, says the lower wages, cheaper construction and property costs, and low-priced energy are helping create jobs here.  

The new TeamNEO report finds it costs a business about 10 percent less that the national average to operate here. Vice president of research, Jacob Duritsky, says industrial property cost 33 percent less, and hourly pay is lower.


Gov. John Kasich has not yet signed thebill  that would require the posting of a cash bond by those asking for court orders to keep polls open late. 

Kasich says he doesn’t want a situation where judges order polls to be open late based on something that’s on social media. But when it comes to requiring voters to post a bond to pay pollworker overtime costs before a judge could order polls to stay open late, Kasich says he’s not sure that’s necessary.

photo of Montrose Brubaker's

While bars and restaurants in Cuyahoga County are awaiting word on whether they’ve been approved for extended drinking hours during the Republican National Convention, Summit County has already gotten its RNC liquor waivers.

The Major Event Waivers allow serving of alcohol until 4 a.m.  State officials approved about 20 businesses in Summit County, including all six locations of Brubaker’s Pub. The chain’s V.P. of Operations Pam Mihalik says they have some special plans for the conventioneers.

Good Jobs, Green Jobs logo
Good Jobs, Green Jobs

Many of the nation’s environmental and economic problems could be eased with increased support for alternative energy. That was the message at the national “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” conference today in Cleveland.   

Many conference participants cited the $40 million federal grant for an experimental wind farm off the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie as an opportunity to turn Northeast Ohio into an alternative-energy hub. And they also called for a national renewable energy policy to drive more job creation.

Ticket Wing Facade, Canto-Akron Airport
Tim Rudell / WKSU

Akron-Canton Airport has opened one of the final components of its 10-year master plan,  and it’s a big upgrade for travelers.

It’s an expanded ticketing area to go with a revamping of the ground-transportation infrastructure.

Youngstown Air Force Station Expands

May 31, 2016
Youngstown Air Reserve Station
Youngstown Air Reserve Station

One of Northeast Ohio’s biggest military operations is getting bigger. A former commercial cargo hanger at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is to become a deployment terminal run by the Air Force Reserve Station there. 

The New Hilton Will Open in Downtown Cleveland Wednesday

May 30, 2016
Picture of the Hilton Cleveland Downtown

The new Hilton Cleveland Downtown is scheduled to open Wednesday.  The 32-story, county-owned hotel is next to the convention center and was planned as an important part of the city’s growing tourist and convention business.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Village Hotel Concept
Professional Football Hall of Fame

Work on another part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village in Canton is about to get underway.  The design of the four-star hotel and conference center was made public today, along with the announcement that construction will start in September. 

Closed Area Cleveland Hopikins
Kevin Niedermier / WKSU

Flying in America changed after airline deregulation in 1978.  It evolved toward dominance by big carriers along a path of consolidation and centralization of services.  Now, there are handful of national ‘hub’ airports through which most passengers are routed for cost efficiency.  And none of the major airports in our region is among them.

Part 4 of our series "Grounded," looks at where we go from here with air travel in and out of northeast Ohio.

Our big airports have been de-hubbed.

The FirstMerit building in Akron

Huntington Bank will pump more than $16 billion into communities impacted by its purchase of FirstMerit. The merger will result in the closing of more than 100 branches, mostly in Ohio and Michigan. Nearly half of the closings will be in the Cleveland, Akron and Canton areas.WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier has more on the bank’s community investment plan.


Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said Brown estimated the value of the changes at $12 million. It should have read $12 billion.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Columbus Wednesday to make an official announcement about new labor rules that are surprising the country. 

The downtown Columbus headquarters for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams was packed as Vice President Joe Biden announced new rules that extend the eligibility for workers to get paid overtime.

photo of Dr. Sara Laskey

Cleveland's MetroHealth hospital system has been chosen to test new, easier-to-read medical bills.

The Department of Health and Human Services contest is called "A Bill You Can Understand," and it aims to give patients medical invoices with fewer codes and confusing jargon. Anyone can submit a design until Aug. 10, and then MetroHealth and five other hospital systems around the country will test the winning entries this fall.

Policy Matters Ohio logo

State lawmakers are looking over a bill that would more than triple the tax credits offered to movie makers who film in Ohio. But critics on the left and the right are saying the program should be cut.

photo of CAK gates

Akron-Canton Airport has seen increasing air traffic since the mid-1990s.  But in the past two years, it’s faced new challenges with one airline cutting service, and others shifting some flights to Cleveland Hopkins Airport to fill the void left when United Airlines closed its hub.  In the third part in our series, Grounded, WKSU's Kabir Bhatia takes a look at how Akron-Canton actually has plans to expand and thrive over the next 20 years.

Downtown Cleveland's Recession Recovery Is Spotty

May 13, 2016
Picture of downtown Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland is rebounding from the recession, but there is still much work to do according to a new study. The report by Cleveland State University shows more people are living downtown, but there are fewer jobs in the central city than there were before the recession.

photo of blocked off entrance to concourse D

Concourse “D” at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has sat empty since May of 2014 when United Airlines shut-down its hub. Since then, predictions that the de-hubbing would deal a devastating blow to the region have not come true. In part two of our series, Grounded, WKSU's Kevin Niedermier takes a look at the positive and negative changes that have materialized. 

Nighttime photo of the Nautica Entertainment Complex

Jacobs Investment Inc. has announced plans to invest $405 million into the Nautica Entertainment Complex in the Flats.

The announcement includes plans for a mixed-use development that features living, working and entertainment options. The redeveloped space will be known as the Nautica Waterfront District.