Ella Abbott

Ella Abbott is studying journalism and forensic anthropology at Kent State. Abbott has previously held the positions of senior reporter for the Kent Stater, the university’s student run newspaper, and editor-in-chief of Fusion magazine, Kent State’s LGBTQ magazine. Her interests are in public policy and crime.

Ways to Connect

A photo of Robinson Community Learning Center
GOOGLE EARTH

Akron families have a new way to get help with finances and access to food. United Way has opened a Family Resource Center at Robinson Community Learning Center on the east side.

The resource center will operate out of the school with a full time representative meeting with families and community members to help connect them to resources.

United Way president Jim Mullen says they want to be as accessible as possible.

A photo of the attendees at the Akron On The Table discussion.
ELLA ABBOTT / WKSU

Leaders of Akron cultural organizations discussed how to engage diverse people during an On The Table discussion Thursday.

It was one of about two dozen roundtable conversations focused on how to help the community.

Cathy Faye is the assistant director of the Center for the History of Psychology. She says their collections have a lot to offer to strengthen the community.

Kerry Jo Bauer, interdisciplinary professor at Kent State University, poses for a portrait in the Performing Arts Center of the university. Kent, Ohio. Sunday, Sep. 15, 2019.  Bauer worked as part of a team of costumers in the design department for the se
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

Viewers who watch a recently released Netflix series will see the work of a local woman.

Kerry Jo Bauer helped create costumes for “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.”

Bauer’s specialty is draping and she’s become known for “odd silhouettes.” After marrying an animal trainer, she began draping costumes for the Target dog and chimps in Super Bowl commercials.

From there, her name was passed to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the visual effects company for “The Dark Crystal.”

A photo of former Ohio House speaker Ryan Smith
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives is resigning and heading for academia. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports.

Republican Ryan Smith is resigning to lead Rio Grande Community College and Rio Grande University. The move isn’t a surprise because word of it has been circulating around the Statehouse for weeks.

photo of bike assembly station
NANCY LYON-STADLER

Akron-Canton Airport is looking to make it easier for travelers to Northeast Ohio to take advantage of the region’s bike trails.

The airport has unveiled its first bike assembly station.

Ren Camacho is the president and CEO of the airport.

“With folks looking to have healthier lifestyles, be more fitness oriented, we’re confident that this amenity will be both used by travelers and employees. So, we’re excited about the opportunity to provide that amenity.”

a photo of Summa's Akron campus
/ SUMMA HEALTH

Summa Health has earned back a key accreditation it lost two years ago. Summa’s vice president of medical education, Dr. Cindy Kelley, says the accreditation for its Emergency Medicine Program comes at the perfect time, because students are submitting applications to medical school programs like this one.

Kelley says the health system lost the accreditation two years ago due to an abrupt change of staff.

Picture of downtown Cleveland
WKSU

Today kicks off the first Welcoming Week in Cleveland. Hosted by Global Cleveland, the week offers a variety of events and special releases to celebrate immigrants in the community.

Joe Cimperman is the president of Global Cleveland. He says cities around the country have been doing these types of welcoming weeks, but this is the first one in Northeast Ohio.

a photo of Lance Mason
LISA RYAN / WCPN

A retired Stark County judge sentenced Lance Mason to life in prison today.

Mason is a former Cuyahoga County judge who assaulted and fatally stabbed his ex-wife, Aisha Fraser, late last year. Mason had previously pleaded guilty to the murder and other charges.

Photo of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
GOOGLE EARTH

Akron Children’s Hospital is trying to find ways to improve patient health before they need care. The first initiative is a pop up food pantry.

When the hospital surveyed 22,000 kids about barriers to health, 13% said food insecurity was a top concern.

Dr. Steven Spalding, Vice President of Population Health, says that number was overwhelming and they wanted to find a way to address the issue.

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.

A computer rendering of a land bridge
GREEN RIBBON COALITION

Labor Day Weekend traditionally marks the end of summer and many Northeast Ohio families may look to enjoy the weekend at Lake Erie. A Cleveland group is trying to advance the conversation around better connecting downtown Cleveland to the lakefront.

The Green Ribbon Coalition wants to bring the community into the development plans through panels and citizen advocacy.

A photo of Joe Miller speaking
THE OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

A state representative is joining the call for the state-appointed CEO of Lorain City Schools to be more transparent.

In a letter to David Hardy, Amherst Democrat Joe Miller requested financial documents, contracts and administrator evaluations.

Hardy was appointed to the post under the provisions of House Bill 70. Passed in 2015 it allowed for the state to take control of three failing school districts; Lorain, East Cleveland and Youngstown.

Miller says the bill doesn’t give districts the help they need.

photo of a Love Your Neighbor sign
ELLA ABBOTT / WKSU

Cleveland will be hosting its first Welcome Week next month. The event is intended to celebrate immigrants in the community.

Global Cleveland is organizing the event which will be the first of its kind in Northeast Ohio.

The organization’s president, Joe Cimperman says they want to highlight the impact of immigrants.

A photo of Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

In an effort to understand Ohio, an Akron-based author is traveling around the state. David Giffels believes the key to understanding the country ahead of the 2020 presidential election begins in his own backyard.

A photo of an eastern red cedar.
LUCAS GILLISPIE / FLICKR

Kent State researchers have received a grant to study a type of evergreen tree common on the east coast that’s changing the landscape as it moves west.

The university has received $914,000 from the National Science Foundation to understand how the Eastern Red Cedar tree is spreading.

David Ward is a professor of biological sciences and will be leading the project. He says the tree's expansion has broader implications.

photo of METRO RTA shuttle
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Akron Metro RTA is looking to make traveling to and from work easier by bringing transportation right to your door.

The transportation system was one of three winners of The Paradox Prize, a grant from the Fund for Our Economic Future, which looks to better connect people with employers.

Metro RTA will receive $75,000. It plans to use the funds to provide better transportation to jobs for workers, either from their homes or from the transit center in downtown Akron. 

A photo of Joann Fabrics in Hudson, Ohio.
GOOGLE EARTH

The head of Hudson-based Joann Stores joined other business leaders to speak out about the impacts tariffs are having on their companies.

Last week, President Trump announced a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods. It’s set to take effect September 1.

In a call with reporters Wednesday, Wade Miquelon says the tariffs don’t take into account that many of these businesses have developed their supply chains over years and don’t have alternatives.

a photo of Paul Helmke
INDIANA UNIVERSITY BLOOMINGTON

A gun control advocate says two provisions passed by Congress are prohibiting efforts to address gun violence.

Paul Helmke is the former president and CEO of the Brady Center, a nonprofit which advocates for gun control.

He spoke at the Akron Roundtable as part of their point-counterpoint discussion on gun violence.

Helmke, a Republican, also used to be mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

photo of Akron Art Museum garden
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Northeast Ohio residents have until midnight tonight to weigh in on how they would improve the arts in Akron.

ArtsNow launched the Akron Cultural Plan survey in June as the first step in gathering information from people who live, work and play in Akron.

Nicole Mullet is the executive director of the non-profit. She says often people will tell her they aren’t involved in the arts, but then find out they’re affected by it in ways they hadn’t realized – such as school art programs or church choirs.

Picture of elementary school classroom
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio is making back-to-school shopping a little easier this weekend. The state’s Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday and runs until Sunday.

The holiday provides an exemption on sales tax for certain back-to-school items at all Ohio stores, both online and in-store.

Tim Lynch is the Legislative Director for the Ohio Department of Taxation. He says it’s an effort to bring more business to Ohio retailers and make school supply shopping easier for families.

Photo of Sherrod Brown at the Press Club
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Sen. Sherrod Brown has unveiled new legislation Wednesday to put company profits back in the hands of workers.

Brown says the "Stock Buyback Reform and Worker Dividend Act" seeks to curb stock buybacks.

He says corporations’ main goal is to increase stock prices each quarter and increasingly they do this through purchasing their own stock.

“When President Trump and Mitch McConnell handed them the windfall in the 2017 tax law, those executives turned around and plowed that money right back into stock buybacks.”

An unknown species of Ohio bird rests on the hand of a person in the Summit Metro Parks.
DAN TOTH / SUMMIT METRO PARKS

A new hybrid bird species has been spotted around parks in northeast Ohio.

The bird is a type of warbler resulting from mating between Cerulean Warblers and Northern Parulas.

Park Ranger Ryan Trimbath was the first to spot the bird in 2014 while he was working for the Summit Metro Parks in Deep Lock Quarry.

He says the experience has opened his mind to when people claim to see new species.

Playhouse Square chandeleir
WKSU

Playhouse Square’s “Advancing the Legacy” campaign exceeded its $100 million goal expectation.The performing arts organization announced last week raised $110 million over the past five years.

Art Falco is the retired CEO of Playhouse Square who now serves as a senior advisor. He said organization is grateful to community members who recognize how important the theater district is.

Springfield Lake
GOOGLE EARTH

The village of Lakemore issued an advisory about harmful algal blooms on Springfield Lake.

Recent heavy rain caused more ground water runoff into the lake, which adds nutrients to the water and encourages algae growth. The algae produce toxins.

Summit County’s director of environmental health, Tonia Burford, says people should avoid contact with the water and be sure not to swallow it because that can lead to health problems.

A photo of Torsten Hegmann at a podium
ELLA ABBOTT / WKSU

Following a national search, Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute found its new director right on campus.

The university introduced Torsten Hegmann today at an event that included several department heads. Hegmann has been at Kent since 2011 and an assistant director of the institute for the past year.

Kent State President, Todd Diacon, said he expects Hegmann to be a collaborative leader.

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