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 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.

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 video illustration of the new train car
CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILROAD / YOUTUBE

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is creating a new space for young riders. The Edu-trainment is currently being renovated to create an educational and entertaining space for children.

The new car is part of a master plan with the goal of enhancing the railroad.

Bobby Dinkins is the Vice President of Marketing and Development for the railroad. He says the goal for the train is to let kids have fun while getting to learn about the national park.

Entrance, Summit County Courthouse
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

A new study released today looks at the lasting effect of legal aid services in certain Northeast Ohio counties.

Steven McGarrity is the Executive Director of Community Legal Aid which covers eight counties including Summit and Portage. He said the study showed their ongoing impact, but also where they could improve.

a photo of a referee at a basketball game
DAVEYNIN / FLICKR/CC

The Midnight Basketball league returns to Akron tonight in an effort to combat violence in the community.

The program for adults 18 and over was stopped in 2004, but city leadership has decided to bring it back this summer to give people who might otherwise be on the street at night something to do.

Pat Littlejohn is overseeing the program and helped develop it.

“We’re having a lot of violence within our community, so we wanted to bring something back to allow these guys to exercise some of their energy instead of being out in the streets.”

photo of bicycle
BILL RINEHART / WVXU

An Akron woman who’s founded youth programs is taking another step to help her community.

Sheri Yearian has been named an Emerging Cities Champion fellow by the Knight Foundation and 8 80 Cities.

She’ll receive funding to promote cycling by adding more bike racks in the Kenmore area and a bike repair stand.

A photo of a store it safe billboard
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Billboards in Akron are encouraging residents to lock up firearms, medication and alcohol to prevent suicides. The seven billboards depict the items locked behind a padlock.

The campaign is called “Store It Safe” and is a partnership between Akron Children’s Hospital and the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP).

photo of East CLC
EAST CLC

The GAR Foundation is helping teachers in Akron expose students to career opportunities through the new college and career academies.

GAR is providing a half-million dollar grant to support teacher development, student leadership and communications.

View of Lake Erie
Jeff St. Clair / WKSU

Lake Erie has been breaking water level records over the past month. In May, the lake hit its highest average monthly water level since 1918.

Scott Hardy is an extension educator for the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. He says the lake is about 30 inches above normal and while water level change is a natural cycle, recent research shows that climate change has contributed.

photo of Heroin
Creative Commons/Flickr

Heroin users in Ohio can have a harder time getting treatment when on Medicaid. Researchers from Harvard University posed as heroin users and called over 100 clinics throughout Ohio.

A photo of the snow leopard cub.
THE AKRON ZOO

The Akron Zoo has welcomed a new member to its snow leopard family.

The cub was born April 29 to mom Shanti, the zoo's resident female snow leopard, and her mate, Tai Lung.

Snow leopard populations in zoos have been growing in recent years. The Akron Zoo partners with the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan which will relocate the cub when she’s old enough.

The zoo’s Elena Bell says it’s typical for snow leopards in the wild to leave their mother in search of a mate.

A photo of the anthropologists in Ethiopia
DALE OMORI

A new exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History transport visitors to the deserts of Ethopia.

"Fossil Hunters" provides insight into the process of an archaeological dig site with hands-on experience, photography and rare artifacts.

Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology at the museum, says he thinks the exhibit will give people an appreciation of the work that goes into new discoveries.

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