News

a photo of Pam Prisbylla
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Advocates for sexual abuse victims can be required to report and testify in court about the cases they are handling – unlike doctors and lawyers. Some victims of sexual abuse say have been retaliated against when that happens.

A bipartisan bill would grant those advocates privacy so they wouldn’t have to divulge that information.

David James
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The state of Ohio has released 2019 school district report cards, and Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James says the district is outpacing "most all other urban school systems."

Overall the district earned an achievement grade of D. 

But James points out, "Fifty-one percent of our 46 schools received report card grades of either A, B or C, and we continue to improve at a healthy rate."

Akron results include one A for Akron Early College High School. The rest of the school performances:

photo of Hiram College entrance
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Hiram College’s plan to reduce tuition by thirty-five percent for all undergrads could have an impact well beyond the school.

Hiram College President Lori Varlotta says the goal is to reduce the sticker shock of going to Hiram and ease concern when applying. Varlotta says in the past her students rarely paid the full price, which was $37,710.

Photo of lethal injection table
KEN PIORKOWSKI / FLICKR

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Sept. 12:

Ring Video Doorbell in box
Carter Adams / WKSU

A Northeast Ohio police department is part of a nationwide partnership with Amazon that uses a doorbell security system for surveillance.

Rocky River is the first police department in the region to use Amazon’s Ring video doorbell system, which allows residents to send videos of suspicious activity through an app called Neighbors.

Amazon hopes the app will create a safer environment, but critics are concerned about the risks of becoming a surveillance society.

photo of vaping products.
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state is spending four million dollars in an effort to keep kids from vaping.

This comes on the heels of news that there are now ten confirmed cases of severe pulmonary illnesses connected to vaping in Ohio and another fourteen are being investigated.

Nationally, there have been four-hundred and fifty cases and at least five deaths associated with the problem.

Execution Bed.
Statehouse News Bureau

A federal appeals court says an execution set for next May can go forward, because the condemned killer didn’t prove his claim that the state’s three-drug execution method is unconstitutional.

Attorneys for Wayne Keith Henness argued the mixture creates the sensation of waterboarding. But the 6thCircuit Court of Appeals said they didn’t prove that.

ROB PORTMAN
WKSU

Senator Rob Portman is lobbying for the passage of “the new NAFTA,” The trade deal negotiated by the Trump administration between the US, Mexico and Canada, known as the U.S.M.C.A.

The agreement has been awaiting congressional consideration. Portman says the deal will help the US economy.

“and U.S.M.C.A. is better for the ag (agricultural) community, better for our workers, better for industry, better for the auto industry,” senator Portman said. 

Portman says the new agreement will unify working standards for auto workers in each of the three countries.

photo of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

With congress back in session, Republicans say they are ready to pass the United States Mexico Canada Agreement.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says he expects to reach a deal with House Democrats this month on modifications to the U.S.M.C.A.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown introduced Lighthizer and supported his nomination. But Brown says the current deal isn’t strong enough at enforcing labor standards.

Graphic of uninsured rates by state in 2018
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 11: 

Sports Management Network Incorporated

If you’ve watched a Cleveland Cavaliers game on TV in the past 13 years, you likely heard the voice of Fred McLeod. The Cavs’ play-by-play announcer died suddenly on Monday. He was 67.  WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said the longtime broadcaster was about to enter his 14th season with an organization that he loved.

ERIK DROST / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Browns have less than a week to regroup after their embarrassing season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans. The team that's been hyped in the off-season was blown out by a score of 43-13. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto lists five things the Browns must fix heading into their Monday Night Football showdown on the road against the New York Jets. 

Backers of the women in leadership positions resolution, including Democratic Rep. Allison Russo (center),  Republican Rep. Sara Carruthers (back far right) and Democratic Rep. Thomas West (back right)  at the Ohio Statehouse.
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

In 2016, women represented more than 44% of the labor force in Ohio but just slightly more than 20% of the seats on boards of Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in Ohio. Some Ohio lawmakers want to change that and  are proposing a resolution they think will help.

State Rep. Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) credits Ohio’s top leader for creating more gender equity. “Gov. DeWine has more women in his cabinet than any prior governor,” she said.

a photo of Barberton mayor William Judge
SARAH TAYLOR / WKSU

For the third time, William B. Judge faced a challenger in the Democratic primary for Barberton mayor. And for the third time, Judge has prevailed. This time, though, the margin of victory was narrower than it has been in the past. 

In the September 2015 primary Judge captured 77% of the vote, easily defeating John Lysenko. In the September 2011 mayoral primary, Judge beat Bob Genet with 54% support.  

a photo of the flier
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A group fighting to protect the state law bailing out nuclear power plants is plastering the state with fliers. The mailings urge people not to sign a petition that would put a rejection of the bailout before voters, connecting the referendum effort to Chinese government interests.

These fliers are popping up in mailboxes everywhere. A bold Chinese flag draped over a fading American flag, with the message "Don't Give The Chinese Government Your Information."

a photo of Chris Stock
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A new patient advocate is being appointed to Ohio’s medical marijuana advisory board. House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) removed Bob Bridges from that post last week. But Householder’s newly appointed advocate has ties to the business side of the issue.

Senator Rob Portman at the Ohio Statehouse
Statehouse News Bureau

Senator Rob Portman is speaking out in favor of background checks and red flag laws to prevent gun violence. But he says that the senate will only act on a measure it knows the president will support.

Portman says he has conferred with senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

A federal red flag law would allow police to obtain a court order to confiscate guns from potentially dangerous people.

Portman said such intervention would have been appropriate in the case of the mass shooting in Dayton early last month.

a photo of people waiting to recieve medical marijuana at a dispensary.
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

An advocate for patients in Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Program says he thinks more needs to be done to better serve patients.

And he thinks he’s being retaliated against for speaking out about those concerns.

Bob Bridges was removed as patient representative on the Ohio Medical Marijuana advisory committee panel by House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford).

“I was not a yes man or a yes person.”

Brochures inside a Planned Parenthood office
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Two Planned Parenthood offices in the Cincinnati area are closing their doors. 

Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, says the Western Hills and Springdale locations are closing as a result of fallout over the Trump administration’s rule that Title X providers cannot talk about abortion.

a photo of Kenmore Boulevard businesses
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Community pride got a boost along Kenmore Boulevard this week with the Akron business district’s placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tina Boyes, executive director of the Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, says the designation is rejuvenating pride among residents.

Boyes says the organization has been working toward the designation since 2018.

photo of carbon emissions
JAMES KELLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK

Working to support wind and solar has become almost standard in states nationwide. Some are even phasing out coal, but not Ohio. It recently passed a law doubling down on subsidies for power plants.  

CALEB ARONHALT / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, September 10:

a photo of voters at a polling place
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

As of September 6, as many as 200,000 Ohio voter registrations may have been removed from the rolls by county boards of elections. But a final total won’t be available till the end of this week, after they report the numbers they deleted to the state.  

Secretary of State Frank LaRose stresses most of those removed are deceased voters or duplicate registrations. Voting rights groups tried to stop the process because they feared thousands of eligible voters would be removed by mistake, and LaRose admits there are flaws in the system.

photo of Perry nuclear power plant
JERRY SHARP / SHUTTERSTOCK

A group is gathering signatures to put a rejection of Ohio's nuclear bailout law on next year's ballot. National environmental groups are weighing in on the debate, saying the energy policy overhaul takes Ohio in the opposite direction of most other states. 

a photo of Blossom Music Center architect Peter van Dijk
MARK AREHART / WKSU

Peter van Dijk, the renowned Cleveland architect who designed Blossom Music Center, died Sept. 7 at the age of 90. In a career spanning more than five decades, van Dijk designed some of Northeast Ohio’s most recognizable buildings.

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