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 streetview of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
GOOGLE EARTH

The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority says more than 20,000 families are waiting for housing assistance. A federal grant will allow it to help some of those most in need.

The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) is calling the project the Mainstream Voucher Program.

AMHA has about 4,000 families with disabilities who could benefit from the program. But the half million dollar grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will only fund help for 80 families.

a photo of Frank Stanek.
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

At Ashland University, the marching band has proven that age is no barrier to performance. At 70, the oldest member of the band gave his final performance during the last football game of the season.

Frank Stanek celebrated his 70th birthday this year. He's also a member of the Ashland Marching Band.

"Okay, we’re going to do a flashback," Stanek said. "I retired and was playing in community bands and got introduced to Tuba Christmases."

Apple Cider sits in a display case in the storefront of Beckwith's Orchard in Kent, Ohio. Friday, nov. 8, 2019.
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

An Ohio legislator from Akron has proposed changing the state’s official beverage from tomato juice to apple cider.

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) thinks the change makes sense as Ohio continues to grow and bring in more families.

“We have beautiful falls here in Ohio, and so when you think of the idea of going to an apple orchard, harvesting apples, turning that into apple cider or apple pie, it just gives you a new sort of feeling and idea about what Ohio can do next.”

A photo of Mike Kahoe outside the polling station holding a campaign sign.
KELSEY KAHOE

One of the new members of Revere Local Schools Board of Education is also a high school senior.

Mike Kahoe turned 18 on Oct. 10. On Tuesday, he was elected to the school board. He says this makes him the youngest elected official currently serving in Ohio.

Kahoe says his age may have been a barrier to overcome on the campaign trail, but that it’s a benefit on the board.

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.

Chris Horne stands on stage.
ILENIA PEZZANITI / THE DEVIL STRIP

Starting Nov. 1, Akronites can become part owners of The Akron Devil Strip. The arts and culture magazine is breaking ground as the first news co-op in the United States.

The idea is to keep the publication free to the community while also making it economically sustainable.

Since the publication began five years ago, founder Chris Horne has been the only owner. Now he’s looking to share the responsibility with the community.

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."

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.

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