Aaron McDade

News Intern

Aaron McDade is a senior journalism major at Kent State University, set to graduate in the spring. He has worked as an assigning editor and a reporter for the Kent Stater, the university’s student-run newspaper and plans to pursue a career in sports journalism after graduation. His interests include sports and politics.

Ways to Connect

BOUNCE Innovation Hub
Bounce Innovation Hub / BOUNCE

Akron’s Bounce Innovation Hub is set to reopen to the public tomorrow with coronavirus guidelines in place. The new precautions include social distancing and requiring anyone in a public area to wear a face mask.

Bounce’s Chief Operating Officer Jessica Sublett says they’ve been hosting virtual programming while they were closed, but she thinks providing a place to safely work together in person is important.

photo of a water fountain

As Ohio businesses begin to reopen, the coronavirus may not be the only illness they’ll need to be concerned about. Health officials are advising them to take steps to avoid the spread of Legionnaire’s disease.

photo of Sen. Rob Portman

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) is back in Washington along with the rest of the Senate. However, Portman is advocating for Congress working and meeting remotely, as millions of Americans have begun to do during the coronavirus pandemic. The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Portman, held the first remote meeting in the history of the Senate last week.

a photo of a zoo animal

The Akron Zoo is offering a number of virtual options to keep its animals connected with their fans. The options range from having a parrot or macaw join your Zoom meeting to having one of their turtles or possums paint a picture for you.

Spokesperson Elena Bell said these programs also give the zoo another way to bring in revenue while it remains closed to visitors during the pandemic.


As parts of Ohio’s economy begin to re-open over the next few days, the manufacturing industry is getting some tips. The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, better known as MAGNET, released guidelines and a checklist for each phase of the re-opening.

MAGNET President and CEO Ethan Karp said the organization has tips on everything from the Paycheck Protection Program to sanitation and safety concerns.

photo of Akron Marathon

The Akron Marathon is canceling two summer events. The cancellations follow restrictions set by the city of Akron on city-sponsored events of more than 250 people until September 7. Canceled races include the National Interstate 8k and 1 Mile scheduled for June 27, and the Goodyear Half Marathon and 10k scheduled for August 8.

However, Marathon president and CEO Anne Bitong says they are doing what they can to make sure the canceled races don’t go to waste.

photo of Sen. Rob Portman

Congress is working on the next stimulus package to help the economy weather the coronavirus pandemic. One of the largest pieces of the package is expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business loan service that ran out of money last week.

a photo of the Covelli Centre

According to the Ohio Department of Health, Mahoning County has the second most COVID-19 deaths in the state, along with having the fifth most cases.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH 13),  who represents the area and lives in nearby Trumbull County, says no one is exactly sure why Mahoning County’s number of cases and deaths are so much higher than their neighboring counties, which all have at least 300 fewer cases. He also says they are prepared if the numbers continue to rise and hospitals become overwhelmed.

Former General Motors Lordstown plant

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week issued a permit to General Motors allowing for construction of a battery making factory in Lordstown.

G.M. is partnering with LG Chem of South Korea on the $2.3 billion project. It will be built on a site adjacent to G.M.’s old Lordstown assembly plant, which is being retooled to produce electric pickup trucks. 

Congressman Tim Ryan says it is a new opportunity for the region.

a photo of Tara Smith

A recognized expert on epidemiology agrees Ohio’s social distancing measures are making a difference in reducing the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Kent State hosted a Facebook Live Q&A with professor of epidemiology Dr. Tara Smith Thursday. Smith says Ohio hasn’t seen its coronavirus peak yet, but there are encouraging signs. 

book cover
Robert Giles

The 50th anniversary commemoration events for the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University were canceled because of the new coronavirus, but some are still working to make sure the tragedy is not forgotten.

“When Truth Mattered: The Kent State Shootings 50 Years Later” is a new book from Robert Giles, a former managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal.

photo of Ben Rancman and sons

Living under the coronavirus umbrella has changed the daily routine of millions of Americans, including the staff at WKSU.

Census image

April 1 is Census Day across the country, named for the date by which every American should have received at least one invitation to complete the 2020 Census.

Greta Johnson, with Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro's office, said they always anticipated challenges in gathering accurate census data. She said refugees and immigrants are often hesitant to participate out of fear the information could be used against them. 

photo of Kent State basketball

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) has cancelled the remainder of the men's and women's college basketball tournaments due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. MAC comissioner Jon Steinbrecher made the announcement Thursday. The University of Akron and Kent State University were both scheduled to play today. The start time of Akron's game against Ohio University was initially going to be pushed back from noon to around 1 p.m.

a photo of an eviction notice

Akron Municipal Court has adopted an amendment to an eviction-related rule. The new amendment to rule 29 is designed to protect tenants, requiring more information from landlords to be submitted before an eviction action can be filed in court.

Landlords need to provide a copy of the lease agreement, prove that they own the property and show the property is properly registered with the county rental registry. Executive Director of Community Legal Aid Steven McGarrity says the rule change won’t have the consequences some landlords say it might.

Picture of a Cleveland RTA bus

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will begin a new sanitation policy Monday to combat public concerns about the coronavirus. RTA staff will use a disinfectant recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to sanitize all buses at least once every 24 hours, and rail cars every 72 hours.

Photo of Sherrod Brown

Ohio will soon receive federal funding to help test for and potentially care for coronavirus cases. Senator Sherrod Brown says the Senate is about to approve more than $8 billion in funding for coronavirus research and testing, and a portion of that money will go to Ohio.

illustration of coronavirus

A local expert on China says the coronavirus outbreak has already impacted some Ohio businesses. A professor in Akron’s global business institute, Mahesh Srinivasan says some tire and medical implant manufacturers have seen disruptions in their rubber supply chain, but two main factors have delayed the impact elsewhere.

First, tariffs have forced some businesses to find alternate supply sources outside China, and second is the annual disruption in supply that occurs around Chinese New Year.

photo of early voters in Stark County

A local elections official says Ohio’s upcoming primary is drawing similar public interest and registration numbers as 2016. Tuesday marked the deadline to register to vote in the March 17 primary election. Portage County deputy elections director Terry Nielsen says it’s important for voters to know their ballot, and make sure their voice gets heard.

a photo of the farmers' market

Despite a disappointing season last year, the Countryside Farmers' Market at Highland Square in Akron will be back this summer. Market manager Serena Jones attributed last year’s lack of activity to the weather, saying it rained almost every Thursday the market was open. Jones said the decision to return was mission driven.