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 a football player with a head injury
COURTENEY / CREATIVE COMMONS

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.

photo of Judge Oldham meeting with school children
Akron Municipal Court

Judges in Akron want to clear up questions about how the judicial system works for people in the community.

Akron Municipal Court has launched a new program called Have Gavel, Will Travel, to connect judges with schools, churches, scout troops and other community organizations.

photo of paddlers on Summit Lake
ROSALIE MURPHY / THE DEVIL STRIP

Summit Lake is enjoying a revival, but it’s about more than just the body of water itself. The community's  turnaround is the focus of a new story in The Devil Strip “Revival of the People and the Souls on the Shores of Summit Lake.”

J.B. SILVERS
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

Healthcare providers across Ohio have taken steps to raise wages for their lowest-paid workers. Akron Children’s Hospital announced this week that its minimum wage will increase to 15 dollars an hour by next year.

University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and MetroHealth have planned similar increases.

J.B. Silvers teaches healthcare finance at Case Western Reserve University. He said this is part of a nationwide push to raise the minimum wage.

A photo of the Cleveland Orchestra
/ THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

Music is big business in Northeast Ohio. The Cleveland Orchestra commissioned a study to determine just how big.

It found the orchestra’s activities at Severance Hall and concerts at Blossom Music Center – which it owns – generated more than $135 million in spending in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The orchestra’s President and CEO Andre Gremillet says he wants to increase that impact in the coming years.

Perry nuclear power plant seen from the south
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The drive to halt the new law that bails out Ohio’s two nuclear power plants and put it before voters next year is running up against a high profile blitz to shut it down.

Each side is expected to be spending at least $3 million – to gather signatures, or on ads and fliers. Spokespeople for both sides discussed their thoughts on  the campaign.

photo of the entrance to the Bellwether Music Festival
DAVID GIFFELS

There’s a relatively new music festival near Dayton that bears the nickname many political watchers have given Ohio: Bellwether. For author David Giffels, who’s working on a new book about what's on the minds of voters ahead of next year’s presidential election, that was enough for him to include it in his travels around the state. In this month's check-in with Giffels, we talk with him about his recent trip to the Bellwether Music Festival.

a photo of flooding on a highway
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION / FACEBOOK

Flooding victims in Wayne and surrounding counties will have access to federal help when the Small Business Administration opens an office in the Wooster Red Cross Tuesday. In late July heavy rain damaged homes and businesses in and around Wooster.

The SBA will be taking applications for low-interest loans for two weeks. Public Affairs Specialist Carl Dombek says the loans aren’t limited to businesses.

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.

a photo of a Vindicator newspaper box
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

A digital news project in Youngstown says it won’t be chasing day-to-day stories. Editor Mark Sweetwood, formerly of The Vindicator, will lead the Mahoning Matters newsroom, staffed by two former Vindicator reporters.

Sweetwood says they will focus on topics people in the Youngstown region care about.

Photo of medical marijuana
Shutterstock.com

Since the state passed a medical marijuana law in 2016, not many growing sites, processing facilities and dispensaries have been approved by the state. This delay is slowing down the expansion of the cannabis industry. 

Tess Bennett's article "A Budding Industry" in the Devil Strip outlines the state of the medical marijuana industry in Akron. She said the state's not to blame because of how new the regulation process is for Ohio. "Road bumps are to be expected," Bennett said.

photo of money
MARK BELOKOPYTOV / FLICKR

As productivity continues to grow in Ohio, wages have remained stagnant. That’s among the findings in a new report from Policy Matters Ohio analyzing Ohio’s labor market.

photo of voting booth
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

There’s a big push underway by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to make sure that voter rolls are accurate and inactive voters are removed. September 6th  is the deadline for some 235,000 inactive voters to get in touch with the state. Jen Miller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio  discussed her group’s concerns with what’s going on.

photo of trucks on highway
SHUTTERSTOCK

A new report finds that compared to the rest of the country, Ohio’s highways are getting better.

The study comes from the Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank focused on market oriented solutions. It measured traffic fatalities, congestion and construction costs. 

Baruch Feigenbaum is the lead author on the report. He says Ohio’s overall ranking has improved.

photo of pistols and ammunition
KLATTIPONG / SHUTTERSTOCK

Cleveland City Council has voted to accept a $375,000 grant from a private foundation to fund gunshot detection technology. The technology would alert law enforcement when gunshots are detected in a high-crime area on the city’s east side, where the program is slated to be tested.

Fourth District Commander Brandon Kutz said the area has been prone to violence.

A photo of a flooded farm field
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

After weeks of heavy rainfall and flooding, 15 percent of Ohio farmland has gone unplanted. In states like Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska this usually triggers an uptick in farms filing for bankruptcy. But a report from researchers at The Ohio State University shows Ohio farms have not followed this trend.

Photo of flooding in Kent
LYDIA TAYLOR / WKSU

The Summit County Council Planning Committee is expected to vote on Monday whether to re-establish a task force to advise the county on sustainability.

According to Summit County Council member Elizabeth Walters, the last few months show a green policy task force is necessary.

photo of store interior of Empty Bin Zero Waste
TERESA MAZEY / EMPTY BIN ZERO WASTE

Ohio’s first zero-waste store is now open for business. The Canton store sells reusable items to replace single-use disposables like straws, facial wipes and sandwich bags.

Teresa Mazey opened Empty Bin Zero Waste after spending two years selling her products at markets and festivals. She says people are taking notice.

a photo of the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, CLEVELAND

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is introducing a new program intended to line up funding for community development projects.

It has launched an online tool, called Investment Connection, that allows community-based organizations to propose eligible projects to various financial institutions.

Assistant Vice President of Community Development Mary Helen Petrus said the Fed is specifically interested in proposals affecting low-income areas in Appalachia.

guardsmen extingishing a fire
TECH. SGT. JOSEPH HARWOOD / US AIR NATIONAL GUARD

The Ohio National Guard has completed its largest training exercise for emergency response. Camp Garfield in Ravenna and ten other military bases around the state took part in Vigilant Guard from August 5-8.

The training evaluates response to several different emergencies ranging from cyberattacks to natural disasters. Brigadier General Stephen Rhoades said these exercises help them identify gaps in their training.

photo of Tim Ryan with parents in Cuyahoga Falls
DAVID WILLIAMS / WKSU

Congressman Tim Ryan is joining Moms Demand Action on what he’s calling a caravan for change. Ryan (D-OH 13th district) stopped briefly in Cuyahoga Falls Wednesday morning on his way to Kentucky, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The group is urging McConnell to bring House-passed gun control legislation before the Senate. 

photo of crane setting steel beam
AKRON-CANTON AIRPORT

The final steel beam for the new concourse at Akron-Canton Airport has been set. The concourse is part of the airport's $34 million gate modernization and expansion program. 

Akron-Canton Airport President and CEO Ren Camacho said in a statement, "Our facility has worked well for the community for over 60 years; however, the time has come to accommodate larger aircraft, technology advancements and customer needs." 

photo of Sara Abou Rashed
DAVID WILLIAMS / WKSU

Educators and Administrators from around Northeast Ohio are attending a summit at Kent State this week, intended to better prepare them to teach the next generation of students about the history and legacy of May 4.

One of the speakers they heard from is Syrian immigrant, poet and activist Sara Abou Rashed. She believes it's important to accommodate students of all backgrounds. She spoke about the hurdles she faced transitioning to a new education system in a different language. She says the words of one teacher really stuck with her.

photo of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
CHRIS WALLIS / WKSU

In honor of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has created an exhibit that spotlights the connection between rock and football.

The exhibit includes football memorabilia like the helmet Roger Daltrey of the Who wore on the cover of the “Odds and Sods” album.

Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris said rock and football have always had a connection.

a photo of Tappan Lake
GOOGLE EARTH

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District will be getting a facelift. The board of directors has approved a $65 million plan to improve infrastructure, camping and portions of the waterfront.

The improvements are the second phase in the district’s master plan, which spent $130 million on phase one.

Deputy Chief of Planning and Projects Eric Stechshulte says phase two focuses on bringing more activities to the park, but he says they’re not done there.

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