News

photo of Brandon Chrostowski
ANNIE WU / WCPN

A Cleveland Chef is taking another step to help people who have fallen on hard times. Brandon Chrostowski is helping a community nonprofit open a pizza shop called Ohio City Pizzeria.

Chrostowski is the founder and CEO of Edwin’s restaurant, where he trains and employs former inmates. This new venture has a similar mission.

photo of someone on a job website
rawpixel / SHUTTERSTOCK

Ohio’s unemployment rate was down slightly in June. It was an even 4% last month compared to 4.1 percent in May. 

Some companies in Ohio have jobs that are going unfilled right now.

The number of unemployed Ohioans decreased by 31,000 during the past year. In fact, Keith Lake with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said it’s now to the point that some businesses are having difficulty finding people to hire.

The QuTheatr rehearses
MARK AREHART / WKSU

As a potentially deadly heat wave with high humidity sweeps across the eastern United States, some Northeast Ohio cities are taking precautions. 

The following cities are offering cooling centers to their residents, with some even providing transportation:

Akron

Local community centers have extended their hours and will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. through Saturday.

Lawton Street Community Center, 1225 Lawton St.

photo of guns
KLATTIPONG / SHUTTERSTOCK

It looks like Ohio voters might get to vote on a proposed law that would expand background checks for firearm sales after all. A previous version of a petition that would start the process of putting it on the ballot to begin had been rejected last month.

photo of governor Mike DeWine
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Many of Gov. Mike DeWine’s 25 budget vetoes had to do with changes to Ohio’s Medicaid system. And part of that involves the two pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, the state uses as middlemen between Medicaid and pharmacists. The budget tries to rein in overspending on prescription drugs by moving to one single state-controlled PBM.

photo of Rep. Jim Butler
OHIO STATEHOUSE

Nearly half of the 25 vetoes that Gov. Mike DeWine issued when he signed the two-year state budget deal with health care and Medicaid, which is the state’s largest program. A member of the conference committee that worked on the compromise budget deal isn’t happy with those rejections.

a photo of derby cars
WKSU

Akron is hosting its 82nd annual All-American Soap Box Derby Saturday, where more than 400 competitors will race for college scholarships.

The event at Derby Downs begins with the first heat at 9 am.

President and CEO of the Soap Box Derby, Mark Gerberich, said it’s great to have another world championship event.

photo of Mike DeWine
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The proposed law that creates subsidies for nuclear, coal, and solar energy and ultimately changes everyone’s electric bills is stuck in limbo for two weeks. 

House Speaker Larry Householder said his chamber was one vote short of passing it this week, but Gov. Mike DeWine said he’s ready to sign the bill.

Akron's Main Street
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, July 19:

photo of John Nieberding
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

When Apollo 11 launched 50 years ago, it was propelled by a liquid hydrogen-fueled launch vehicle called Centaur – which wouldn’t have existed without decades of work by scientists at what’s today called NASA Glenn Research Center.

a photo of governor Mike DeWine
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the state budget 17 days after the constitutionally mandated deadline and 10 hours after a temporary budget expired. And when DeWine signed it, he included 25 vetoes.

a photo of Mandy Jenkins
DOUGLAS ZIMMERMAN / ZIMPIX.COM

When The (Youngstown) Vindicator announced it would stop publishing next month, it came at a time when Google Inc. and the McClatchy Co. were preparing to launch an experimental project in the local news space. 

They’re bringing that local news laboratory to Youngstown. 

Goodyear's iconic blimp
WKSU

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., based in Akron, was involved in the Apollo 11 mission 50 years ago. The company developed several components, including the flotation device for when the capsule splashed down.

This Sunday Goodyear and NASA team up again to launch an experiment to the International Space Station to see how silica can be reinforced in different environments.

a photo of a store selling CBD oils
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Most of the attention on lawmakers focused on their approval of a state budget 17 days after the deadline. But they also passed a bill to decriminalize hemp and license its cultivation.

Republican Rep. Kyle Koehler said Ohio is one of a handful of states that hasn’t allowed hemp cultivation. 

“It is imperative that Ohio moves quickly so that our farmers can take advantage of a domestic hemp marketplace and catch up with our neighboring states,” he said.

a photo of Lake Erie shoreline
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Now that the budget is signed, Gov. Mike DeWine said he’s already thinking about how to pay for water quality in Lake Erie after that two-year budget cycle ends.

DeWine wanted to front-load funding for clean Lake Erie initiatives by creating the H2Ohio Fund and putting $900 million in for the next decade.

Instead, lawmakers put $172 million in for the next two years. DeWine said he wants to take any surplus funds, which have been going to the state’s rainy day fund, and put those funds towards Lake Erie.

photo of entrance to FirstEnergy Solutions' Perry Nuclear plant
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The sweeping energy bill that would save nuclear plants from shutting down while making big cuts to renewable and efficiency policies has stalled. The house speaker says some of the representatives who would’ve voted “yes” on the measure weren’t present, so he put off the vote.

“We had four ‘yes’ votes when the bill left the House that were not here today.”

GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE / TWITTER

Finally, Ohio almost has a new two-year operating budget. Lawmakers who failed to meet the constitutional June 30th deadline worked from a temporary budget while deadlocked over tax cuts, education spending and more. But on the last possible day to pass a budget or another extension, lawmakers came together to pass a new $69 billion two-year budget to send to Gov. Mike DeWine. 

Photo of Mike DeWine
TY GREENLEES / DAYTON DAILY NEWS

Here are your morning headlines for July 18, 2019:

photo of Colorvine
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

An Akron band who were seasoned professionals -- while still in their teens -- has reunited to make a new album, and to tour, for the first time in over a decade.

photo of Lorain City Schools logo
LORAIN CITY SCHOOLS

In the state budget, legislators have agreed to a one year moratorium on state takeovers of failing school districts. That means districts like Dayton and Canton will not be put under the control of academic distress commissions. 

But, it’s not clear yet what that means for three school districts that have been under state control since 2015 when House Bill 70 was approved.

Mud Brook
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

A residential development on the former Sycamore Valley Golf Course in Cuyahoga Falls is moving forward, but residents want a Cuyahoga River tributary to be protected.

a photo of cleveland st patricks day parade
BRIAN BULL / WCPN

The two-year operating budget will move next year’s presidential primary to St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Republicans moved it to after March 15 so they could award all delegates to a single candidate. And they did it over the objections of Democrats.

photo of Sen. Sherrod Brown
C-SPAN

Sherrod Brown said trusting Facebook with your hard-earned money is delusional.

Facebook is developing a digital currency called Libra. The man in charge of the project is Calibra CEO David Marcus. He appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Tuesday.

a photo of a school bus
PEXELS

With just over a month left until school starts, some districts are still trying to find bus drivers.

William Andexler is the coordinator of transportation at Akron Public Schools. He said, in his own district and elsewhere, they’ve recruited drivers from anywhere they could.

“I’ve had people in the [Akron Public Schools] Board office get their Commercial Driver's Licenses to drive students. So all the districts are really creative on how we get the students home,” he said.

photo of a school hallway
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s high school graduation requirements are changing, with a new set of recommendations for incoming freshmen made by a group of businesses, a charter schools organization and some public schools. And the law that allows the state to take over academically distressed school districts was put on hold. Both of those provisions are in the new two-year state budget approved by lawmakers.

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