a photo of the Democratic presidential candidates at Otterbein University

The Democratic presidential debate in Westerville attracted a lot of attention on how the party could swing more suburbs in the state. But the leader of Ohio's Republican party questions that strategy. 

Ohio Democrats say suburbs are starting to swing blue, which could signal a path for a presidential nominee to win the state.

But Jane Timken, chair of the Ohio Republican Party, was on Otterbein University's campus during the Democratic presidential debate Tuesday to counter that argument.

Fairness Act Gains GOP Support in Ohio House

2 hours ago
a pride flag

More lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would expand rights for LGBTQ people in Ohio by protecting access to housing and employment. The bill, which is known as the Fairness Act, is getting a boost from a Republican backer. 

The Fairness Act is gaining momentum with its introduction in the House. State Rep. Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) says this is an issue that his fellow party members should support.

a photo of Nan Whaley

The group, Ohioans for Gun Safety, is moving full steam ahead on its drive to put a ballot issue on gun sale background checks before Ohio voters. It continues collecting signatures for the petition effort, and it got a boost Wednesday from the mayor of a city that recently dealt with a mass shooting. 

photo of judge gavel

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Oct. 16

a photo of former Cavs coach David Blatt

As the Cavs get ready to open the season with new head coach John Beilein, a former coach is back in the headlines. David Blatt, who led the Cavs to the NBA Finals in 2015, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Blatt was fired halfway into his second season -- the year the Cavs won the title. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto reflected on Blatt's brief and tumultuous NBA career.

Erik Drost / Wikimedia Commons

The Cleveland Browns enter the bye week at 2-4 and 0-3 at home this season. The latest disappointing loss was to the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks, 32-28. Now, Cleveland has two weeks to regroup before facing the undefeated Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots on the road.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said that while several questionable calls by officials went against them, it was a game the Browns should have won. 

Pluto said the officiating in this past Sunday's game was the worst he'd ever seen.

A photo of Carol Dunitz in her Uncle Sam outfit

When political candidates come to town, they attract a lot of attention. People who sell shirts and other items set up shop to sell their wares. A professor from Washington D.C. stopped in Westerville Tuesday, carrying a sign to advertise her product – a musical about the 2020 election.

Carol Dunitz is walking around in a shiny Uncle Sam costume, carrying a sign to advertise her musical. Dunitz, who has a doctorate in speech and theatre, says her musical is about the 2020 election and includes songs that address a variety of issues.

a photo of attorney and inmate Glenn Mayer

A new lawsuit filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court alleges that a corrections officer attacked an inmate who was having a medical episode. It's the latest in a series of suits filed against the County over accusations of inmate abuse at the jail.

Former inmate Glenn Mayer has a muscle condition that causes involuntary twitches.  It landed him in the medical unit at the county jail, where he says he was attacked by a guard.

photo of Akron Children's Hospital

Akron Children’s Hospital is leading the way in developing national guidelines for prescribing pain medication to children after surgery.

The process has led to a 44% reduction in narcotic prescriptions.

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Kerwyn Jones says his team developed the new guidelines after looking at prescription practices at five medical centers.

GM CEO Barra Joins Talks; Deal to End Strike May Be Near

Oct 15, 2019
Tony Browning (left) poses for a portrait with his wife, Sherry Browning, as they hold the picket line in front of the South Gate of the GM Metal Fabrication Division, Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.   Tony is a third generation United Auto Workers un

General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined negotiators at the bargaining table, an indication that a deal may be near to end a monthlong strike by the United Auto Workers union that has paralyzed the company's factories.

photo of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the 16 nominees eligible for induction in 2020.

The ballot features diverse artists from several countries across different genres of music. One even has a connection to Northeast Ohio.

This year’s ballot features:


Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Oct. 15:

Sad looking dog behind rusted chain link fence

Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase penalties for people convicted of cruelty to pets and other companion animals. 

Ohio Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) says first-time animal cruelty offenders can be charged with felonies under a law passed in 2016. But he says with newly passed criminal sentencing standards, even those who are convicted often spend no time behind bars. 

“If you smack them on the wrist for breaking the necks of puppies, that is not going to bode well for what they are going to do in the future to other animals or people.”

A photo of a football player with a head injury

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are looking into how kids can get back to school faster after a traumatic brain injury like a concussion.

Psychology professor Angela Ciccia said they will work with schools to identify students and observe their academic performance and behavior after injury.

They’re modeling their approach after a Pennsylvania program called BrainSTEPS.

A News Experiment Begins in Youngstown

Oct 14, 2019
a photo of the Mahoning Matters staff

An experimental local news project is up and running in Youngstown. has officially launched with the goal of helping to fill the void left when Youngstown’s 150 year old newspaper shut down over the summer for economic reasons. 


Riders of Akron Metro RTA Buses no longer have to worry about bringing along cash to pay for their ticket. The agency has launched an app that allows riders to pay their fare directly from their smartphones.

Metro RTA Spokesperson Halee Gerenday says the EZfare app will enhance the customer experience.


a photo of Otterbein University

Thousands of people are planning to be at Otterbein University Tuesday for the fourth 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate. Several groups are using the national event to get their own messages across outside of the debate venue. 

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is touring Ohio to discuss several issues such as guns, labor, and women's rights.

As a counter response to the debate, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel will be hosting a "Women for Trump" event in a nearby suburb.

Planned Parenthood Athens

An estimated 99,000 low income Ohioans who want birth control and reproductive health care services have fewer options now that Planned Parenthood nationwide has pulled out of the federal Title X program.

Planned Parenthood objects to a new rule that it says restricts the doctor-patient relationship. And in nine counties, it’s the only provider that accepted Title X funds.

a photo of the petition

A group that wants Ohioans to vote on an energy law that bailed out Ohio's two nuclear power plants has one more week to get enough petition signatures. They need nearly 260,000 valid signatures to put the law before voters next year.  

But supporters of the bailout are waging an unrelenting fight to stop that. 

The pro-bailout Ohioans For Energy Security has been urging people not to sign petitions that would put the bailout on the ballot – first with ads and mailers linking the campaign to China, and now targeting the people who’ve been hired to gather signatures. 

Otterbein University

Otterbein University is preparing for thousands of people to flock to its campus Tuesday to watch the fourth Democratic presidential debate. The party sees this as an opportunity to try to win over a block of voters who usually favor Republicans. 

Otterbein University has about 3,000 enrolled students. And its population could almost double as thousands pour in for the national presidential debate.

Several locations around the country were vying to host the event. But University President John Comerford says Otterbein was able to pull ahead for a number of reasons.

Photo of Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine’s package of proposals to reduce gun violence through mental health and gun policy changes is getting mixed reviews. 

House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) says the so-called STRONG Ohio plan is weak, especially since it doesn’t include required background checks, which DeWine said early on he wanted and which Democrats have been pushing for.

“It makes it much harder for people in our caucus to get behind something that we don’t quite see as legitimate and strong and what people have requested from us,” Sykes said. 


Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Oct. 14:

a photo of sr. helen prejean

The nun who wrote the book “Dead Man Walking” says she thinks executions in Ohio and elsewhere are soon going to be a thing of the past.

Sister Helen Prejean said she thinks the time is right for Ohio to end the death penalty.

“Ohio is ripe for change,” she said.

photo of DeWine with the new license

In just less than a year, airline travelers will have to show a federally compliant driver’s license to get on a plane, or will have to bring a passport – even to fly within the United States.

Since the new license was rolled out in July 2018, only 27% of Ohioans have obtained it. Among them is Gov. Mike DeWine, who’s urging others to do the same – even if they don’t plan to take a trip.

photo of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder

Gov. Mike DeWine’s gun plan calls for using the so-called “pink slip” process to separate people thought to be dangerous from their guns. But Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) is questioning that approach.

Householder said many Republicans in the House don’t think reducing gun access is necessarily going to deal with the gun violence problem.