Kabir Bhatia

Reporter

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010.  He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Kent State University.  While a Kent student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.

Among his awards, he was named Best of Show – Best Reporter in Ohio for 2013 by the Ohio chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Ways to Connect

photo of Coronavirus testing
MARK AREHART / WKSU

Ohio’s coronavirus testing rate is one of the worst in the country. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows the per capita rate is about even with Texas and Kansas, and about one-quarter of Rhode Island’s, which tops the list.

photo of Clean Committed Undefeated poster
DESTINATION CLEVELAND

Starting next week, Destination Cleveland will unveil a marketing campaign designed to re-open the city's restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions.

photo of Happy Days Lodge
MARK URYCKI / WKSU

Couples who want to get married in Cuyahoga Valley National Park have a new option next month – pop-up weddings designed around social distancing.

The park is partnering with wedding planners Haus of Cool to provide wedding packages for groups up to 10 people. They’ll offer six weddings per day on six dates this summer.

photo of people voting
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is co-sponsoring a bill to provide federal funding for this November’s election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The VoteSafe Act would provide $5 billion in federal funds. Half would be used by states to make it easier for them to offer absentee and early in-person voting.

The other half would be used to expand accessibility to disabled, rural, and Native American voters, and offering things like curbside voting.

photo of University Parish Newman Center
UNIVERSITY PARISH NEWMAN CENTER

Catholic Churches in Northeast Ohio are open again for in-person masses. But the services look quite different.

The Cleveland Diocese has set guidelines for social distancing, such as wearing masks and blocking off pews.

Karol Kirk attends St. Eugene Catholic Church in Cuyahoga Falls and says she’s excited for a sense of community again, but the changes will take getting used to.

photo of Akron Marathon
AMANDA RABINOWITZ / WKSU

With the cancellation of the first two events in this year's Akron Marathon race series, the city's running community has formed a collaborative to help people continue exercising.

photo of Water Works Park
CITY OF CUYAHOGA FALLS

Water Works Family Aquatic Center in Cuyahoga Falls is set to reopen next month, but with major changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Leedco wind farm
WKSU

The proposed Icebreaker wind farm project in Lake Erie has received approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board -- but with a potentially fatal caveat about when the turbines can operate.

photo of Will Bixby
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Memorial Day parades around the country are canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings. But there’s an effort underway to salute fallen service members, musically.

photo of Brecksville Dam
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

It was the beginning of the end of the Brecksville Dam today. Crews started the process of deconstructing the dam. That began with notching a hole for sediment to flow through the concrete structure.

chapel hill mall
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

JCPenney had intended to permanently close its store at Chapel Hill Mall in early April. The coronavirus pandemic changed that plan. With the governor's stay at home order, the store was shut down in March. Now a spokewoman says the store will reopen for five more weeks before it closes permanently. 

photo of an old milk box
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

With home delivery of groceries gaining popularity during the pandemic, milk delivery could also be making a comeback.

Chris Vodraska has co-owned Rittman Orchards and Farm Market in Doylestown since 2004. He and another staff member have been making about ten deliveries a day lately of not just milk but also produce. He says the farm is close to one-hundred-years old, and he’s just re-starting a service which previous owners provided decades ago.

photo of Higgins the dog
DENISE PARKER

Ohio businesses continue to re-open this week, and you’ve still got questions about how coronavirus will affect everything from your pets to homeless people.

photo of Phil Leiter
HOWARD HANNA REALTY

Spring is typically the busy season for realtors. The number of homes that are for sale is down between 8% and 20% in parts of Northeast Ohio. At the same time, the number of homes being sold is up as the coronavirus pandemic has changed the process of buying a house.

map of Ohio campgrounds
OHIO CAMPGROUND OWNERS ASSOCIATION

Ohio campgrounds are once again open for seasonal, long-term campers. But a group representing campground owners wants the state to reopen for everyone and soon.

a photo of the website main page
METROHEALTH SYSTEM

It may seem like an unusual initiative for a hospital: a website that features carryout food available from locally-owned restaurants. But as MetroHealth says it fits their mission.

photo of CDC mask recommendations
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL

As some of Ohio’s nonessential businesses reopen, you’ve still got questions about how coronavirus will affect everything from mortgages to license plates.

photo of recycling bin
WKSU

Cleveland officials announced last week that the city’s recycling program is on-hold – and the councilman who represents the downtown area wants to know why.

Entrance, Summit County Courthouse
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

As some of Ohio’s non-essential businesses reopen, you’ve still got questions about how coronavirus will affect everything from college tuition refunds to child custody hearings.

photo of garden
ED DUVALL / WKSU

The coronavirus pandemic is driving an interest in products that allow people to go “off the grid” -- and also in products to help pass the time during social distancing.

At Lehman’s in Kidron, the warehouse is running about a week behind as orders pour in for oil lamps, wood stoves, and other items that allow people to live self-sufficiently. VP of Marketing Glenda Lehman Ervin says they’re also seeing more demand for gardening supplies from people who may not have a lot of land but want to grow more of their own food.

photo of Akron City Council
AKRON CITY COUNCIL

For the third meeting in a row, Akron City Council members will meet tonight using online technology.

Ward One Councilman Rich Swirsky says the move online has allowed council to take care of city business, including discussing policies and ideas for the future. Public comment comes in by email. But he says council may re-examine this in a few weeks as Ohio re-opens.

“At least [for] part of the month of May, our meetings will be Zoom videoconferencing meetings.”

Swirsky says it’s best to take a cautious approach.

photo of dental office
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

As some of Ohio’s nonessential businesses prepare to reopen, you’ve still got questions about how coronavirus will affect everything from dental appointments to funerals.

Listener James Little asked how the current pandemic is affecting mortuary services. To find out, we spoke with Gary Burr, president of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association.

photo of MetroHealth patient
METROHEALTH

Cleveland-based MetroHealth facilities will resume some in-person appointments starting Monday, but will still be taking precautions to protect patients and staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

photo of Summit County mass texting program
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says the health department expects guidance this week from state officials on how and when they can implement expanded coronavirus testing.

During her weekly update Thursday, she also unveiled a mass texting system to provide instant public health notices for residents. Sign up information is here. Skoda says re-opening Ohio will be a gradual process.

a photo of the new Boston Mill Visitor Center
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

Officials at Cuyahoga Valley National Park are celebrating National Park Week with online content for visitors who are trying to practice social distancing.

Nationwide, the park system has launched “Find Your Virtual Park” on platforms including Facebook and YouTube. Parks’ spokeswoman Pamela Barnes says anyone can take a trivia quiz about the parks, listen to a podcast, or view a webcam.

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