David Williams

intern

David Williams is an intern at WKSU for summer 2019. A junior at Kent State, Williams is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism. Williams has reported for The Kent Stater, the university’s student-run newspaper, since spring 2018. His interests include history and politics.

Ways to Connect

a photo of an eviction notice
DOUBLETREE STUDIO / SHUTTERSTOCK

Akron Municipal Court is clarifying two proposed amendments related to the city’s eviction process. Judge Jon Oldham said coverage of the amendments has caused some confusion.

photo of a snowy owl
PURPLE TULIPS (GRACE AND RAY) / CREATIVE COMMONS

Researchers at Black Swamp Bird Observatory near Toledo are studying the migration patterns of snowy owls as part of a research effort called “Project SNOWstorm.”

Research Director Mark Shieldcastle helped tag one owl, which they named Wolverine, with a new tracker after it was recaptured at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Walsh University Campus looking east
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Walsh University is putting a four-year freeze on tuition for incoming freshmen starting this fall.

Rebecca Coneglio is Vice President of Enrollment Management at the private university. She said the freeze is part of Walsh’s Four-Year Graduation Guarantee.

“We’ve worked with all of our academic schools and divisions. If students really commit to us, we’re committing to them and we feel like we can get students to graduate in four years so then they can get out and join the workforce or go on to graduate school.”

Senator Mitch McConnell says he now has the votes to move forward with impeachment proceedings. One of those votes is Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) who says he’s open to hearing from witnesses.

“The first stage of this is hearing the opening statements, seeing the evidence from both sides, you know, both House managers and the president’s lawyers having the opportunity to make their case and then to see where we go from there," Portman said. "So it doesn’t preclude witnesses and you know I’m not opposed to witnesses if that’s necessary to get the information that’s needed.”

photo of Rob Portman
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

In a break with President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper rejected threats to attack cultural sites in Iran should the country respond to a drone strike which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Senator Rob Portman supported the strike on Soleimani, but says he is opposed to attacks on cultural sites.

photo of trucks on highway
SHUTTERSTOCK

The abrupt closure of an Akron trucking company last month came at the end of a difficult year for the industry.

GDS Express shut down, putting 75 drivers out of work right before Christmas. Last Spring, Falcon Transport in Youngstown closed suddenly.

Photo of Freddie Kitchens
WKSU

The Cleveland Browns are once again searching for a new head coach. After leading the Browns to a 6 - 10 season, Freddie Kitchens is out of the role he held for less than a year.

a photo of a library read-in
ROD LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS

A new study shows young people of color in Ohio have fewer opportunities for economic advancement. The national study done by the Institute for Child, Youth, and Family Policy at Brandeis University measures the opportunity index in 100 of the United States largest metro areas.

Photo of flooding in Kent
LYDIA TAYLOR / WKSU

A Summit County judge is ordering the formation of the Yellow Creek Conservancy Court to determine whether the flood-prone area in western Summit County warrants its own watershed district.

After heavy rains flooded homes, residents in the Yellow Creek area stepped up to do something about it.

Mark Spisak is the director of the Yellow Creek Foundation. He said establishing a conservancy district will make it easier to manage the creek’s flow and curb erosion.

photo of large cats made out of tires
Goodyear

Penn State beat Memphis in the Cotton Bowl Saturday, where fans experienced an annual display from the game's sponsor, Akron-based Goodyear. The tiremaker unveiled life-sized rubber sculptures of both teams' mascots. A press release from Goodyear said "These sculptures embody the dedication to outstanding performance built into each tire and every player and coach on the teams."

The five-foot tall, 200 pound polymer predators were handcrafted by former minor league baseball player Blake McFarland from more than 260 Goodyear tires.

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

After months of negotiation, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Friday announced his support for the new NAFTA trade deal, also known as the U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

Brown worked with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to add a pro-worker provision to the USMCA. Wyden said the provision will help enforce labor standards to prevent offshoring of jobs. 

The provision will also protect the rights of Mexican workers, which Wyden said will prevent a race to the bottom, and level the playing field for workers across the country.

A photo of the drawing of parking deck
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State announced plans on Wednesday to improve parking and energy efficiency on its main campus as well as regional locations.

a photo of Grant Downes
FACEBOOK

The Southeast Stark County Village of Magnolia may be a model for civil political discourse.

After the November mayoral election the two candidates were tied. The decision came down to a coin toss this week.

Travis Boyd became mayor-elect as the coin landed heads-side-up.

Eastwood Field - Close Overview
JACK W. PEARCE / CREATIVE COMMONS

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are one of 42 teams Major League Baseball may cut in a move to upgrade facilities and improve pay for minor leaguers.

The Scrappers are a short-season Class A team affiliated with the Cleveland Indians.

General Manager Jordan Taylor said attendance is strong and cutting any team on the list would devastate local communities.

photo of floodplain between 14th street and Wolf Creek
GOOGLE EARTH

Some Barberton residents who live in a flood-prone area of 14th street will have the opportunity to relocate thanks to a $595,000 federal grant.

The grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be used to acquire and demolish 15 homes in the low-lying area next to Wolf Creek. Mayor William Judge said that area will be turned into greenspace.

a photo of the Freedom Trail
SUMMIT METRO PARKS

Voters in Summit County will decide in March whether to increase funding for Summit Metro Parks. The Park District is seeking renewal of a 1.46 mill levy that is currently on the books and adding .54 mills for a total levy of two-mills. The additional millage would cost the average homeowner an extra $1.58 per month.

Metro Parks spokesperson Stephanie Walton said the proposed levy will bring in another $6 million dollars to the parks each year.

photo of traffic on Ohio roads
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohioans who have their driver’s licenses suspended often face prohibitive fees to get their licenses back.

The state has offered temporary amnesty programs. Now a bill proposed by two Cleveland-area lawmakers would make permanent a reinstatement program to get people driving legally again.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Voters in Akron elected three new members to the Akron Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday. One of them made history.  

N.J. Akbar is the first openly LGBTQ Muslim elected in Ohio. Akbar is the assistant dean of University College at Kent State University. He said he was encouraged to run by a colleague at the university.

With his new position, Akbar wants to examine equity policies, increase flexibility in the academic calendar and be transparent about how the board operates.

A photo of Mustard Seed Market in Solon
GOOGLE EARTH

With CBD products rising in popularity and more farmers beginning to grow hemp, the USDA this week released its first set of proposed regulations for the hemp-derived oil.

One local retailer is welcoming that move.

CBD products were so popular at Mustard Seed Market, they couldn’t keep them in stock. The retailer  created an e-commerce platform to sell its own brand, Hemp Luxe.

a photo of a child with a nurse
ALLISON SIEGEL / CREATIVE COMMONS

An increasing number of Ohio children have no health insurance coverage. A report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families indicates the number of uninsured children in the state increased by 28% from 2016 to 2018. That amounts to nearly 30,000 children.

The Center’s Director Joan Alker authored the report. She cited policy changes as a reason for the loss in coverage.

Manufacturing
WIKIMEDIA / WIKIMEDIA

A report from the Commerce Department finds manufacturing’s share of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has shrunk to its lowest level in 72 years. Manufacturing made up 11% of GDP in the second quarter. It hasn’t been that small since 1947 and rose to a quarter of the overall economy in the 1960s.   

But an industry advocacy organization says manufacturing remains a central driver of Ohio’s economy. Matthew Fieldman is the vice president of external affairs for the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) and says the sector is thriving here.   

a photo of the new Boston Mill Visitor Center
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has opened what it’s calling its first “Front Door."

The Boston Mill Visitor Center is on Riverview Road in Peninsula. Park Superintendent Craig Kenkel hopes the new center will bring some new faces as well.

"We see this as being a place for those first time visitors who know nothing about Cuyahoga Valley and Northeast Ohio, but it’s also a place where returning visitors and local visitors can come and learn more about our interpretive scenes and the stories that comprise the National Park as well as its connection to Cleveland and Akron."

Aging Akron Police cruiser
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

A new dispatch system launched this month in Summit County will improve emergency response.

Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) replaced aging, DOS-based technology that had been used by the county, the cities of Akron and Green and the University of Akron.

Brian Nelsen is chief of staff to Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. He said the new system will enhance how first responders react to emergencies.

Photo of a person vaping
LINDSAY FOX / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A recent outbreak of Lung Disease linked to vaping has prompted pulmonologists at the Cleveland Clinic to explore the link between the two.

Doctors began conducting lung biopsies on patients with a history of vaping. Director of Pulmonary Pathology Sanjay Mukhopadhyay led the study.

"Some people who vape definitely get lung damage, and that was not known before on a microscopic level and we have proved that in this study beyond a reasonable doubt," Mukhopadhyay said.

photo of Akron Children's Hospital
/ WKSU

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.

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