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

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 public radio

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.”

photo of bird
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.

farm
VIVIAN GOODMAN / WKSU

David Giffels believes the journey to understanding America begins with Ohio. Traveling around the state, the Akron-based writer is working on a new book ahead of next year’s election.

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

Local leaders are trying to help Summit County flood victims.

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) met with  several mayors, directors of state agencies and Governor Mike DeWine this week in Barbertion. Mayor William Judge organized the meeting.

Galonski said there is hope for financial help for those affected by flooding.

A photo of Walborn Reservoir
GOOGLE EARTH

Stark Parks is seeking a property tax increase to expand trails and facilities. The park district’s current levy of 1-mill expires at the end of next year and they’re looking to generate more funding.

The director of Stark County Park District, Bob Fonte, said they conducted a survey along with updating the five-year plan for the parks. He said the increase would help fund the things park goers have asked for.

a photo of Summa's Akron campus
/ SUMMA HEALTH

Summa Health has signed a letter of intent to form a strategic partnership with Southfield, Michigan-based Beaumont Health. In a statement, Summa said this signals the beginning of a process to bring the two together under Beaumont Health.  

Akron Skyline
City of Akron

Akron city leaders are crediting residents for helping to keep the city clean.

Keep Akron Beautiful released the results of its annual Community Appearance Index. A group of volunteers spend a few hours each June surveying the city for litter, temporary illegal signage and graffiti.

This year, the city scored a "1," the lowest possible score, for litter.

photo of Case Western Reserve University
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

With 24 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, it may be mathematically impossible for polling to accurately determine a favorite.

That’s the analysis by a pair of mathematicians at Case Western Reserve University.

Alexander Strang is a PhD candidate who worked on the analysis. He points to something called the Condorcet Paradox.

The paradox considers a situation where there are three choices.

A photo of the Kent State brain sculpture
MICHAEL DERR / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

According to recent studies, depression continues to increase year-to-year in the college population. Kent State is working to expand counseling services for students.

The university wants to add a $20 fee next year to support increasing the number of mental health counselors on campus.

Senior Vice President Mark Palatajko said the goal is to create a ratio of about 1,300 students to each counselor. Currently, the university has one counselor for every 3,300 students.

A photo of the mural on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
DEBBY PHILLIPS / CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILROAD

A team of dedicated volunteers calling themselves the “scrappy scrapers” has returned life to a mural on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The mural depicts the everyday life of a group of Seminole Indians and had been covered by carpet since the early 80s.

The team used surgical scalpels to avoid damaging the original artwork.

Carol Schroeder led the effort.

a photo of the Kent campus
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

After more than a year of negotiations, a new contract is now in place for members of the Kent State faculty union.

The University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the contract at a meeting Wednesday. The faculty union had ratified it earlier in June.

University President-elect Todd Diacon, who takes over Monday, welcomed the decision.

“And we know that the source of our strength as an institution is the quality of our faculty. And for that reason, we’re especially thankful that we have our new contract.”

photo of Akron Beacon Journal
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Two Ohio newspapers have made the list of the most endangered buildings in the state this year.

Preservation Ohio’s list takes nominations from residents in considering the most endangered historic sites. This year’s list includes 13 sites. Among them are the soon to be vacated Akron Beacon Journal building and the Dayton Daily News building.

Thomas Palmer, the executive director of Preservation Ohio, said he expects future lists to include additional unused newspaper buildings.

A photo of two surgeons
Cleveland Clinic

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic performed Ohio’s first successful in-utero surgery.

Surgeons operated on a fetus diagnosed with spina bifida, a defect that affects the development of the spine which can lead to brain damage.

Dr. Darrell Cass led the surgical team. He has performed more than 100 fetal surgeries at other hospitals.

photo of compost pile
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Acme Fresh Market in the Portage Lakes is working with high school students to keep more of its garbage out of landfills.

The company began a composting program in January.

Carrie Soful, a biology teacher at Manchester High School, reached out to Acme after she saw old cucumbers being tossed in the garbage by workers at the store.

She said students are working with the company to compost about 100 pounds of waste each week, but she wants to go bigger.

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