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 CDC recommendations for parks
CLEVELABD METROPARKS

The effects of the coronavirus are being felt everywhere from our region's parks to small businesses. This week we're answering listener questions on a range of topics being impacted by the virus.

photo of Tower City
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Several of Cleveland’s most well-known arts institutions are adapting operations to connect with people during the coronavirus pandemic.

photo of Coronavirus blood vial
SHUTTERSTOCK

Life as we knew it in Northeast Ohio has been grinding to a halt because of the coronavirus. You’ve been asking WKSU’s OH Really? about everything from risk factors to home remedies. We've been gathering answers to your questions about the virus.


photo of Donna Skoda
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Summit County Public Health is adjusting to life with coronavirus, and it’s impacting the agency’s staffing.

The health department has issued 26 layoff notices, many for clerical positions or for people who worked face-to-face with the public.

Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says about half the agency’s 200 staffmembers have been reassigned to work on the response to coronavirus.

photo of Todd Diacon
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University President Todd Diacon says the school will refund students’ room and board this semester. In a Thursday Facebook Live session, Diacon outlined Kent’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. He says the refunds could cost the university about $12 million.

photo of Robert Wyllie, Robyn Strosaker
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The news of how the coronavirus is affecting Northeast Ohio is changing daily. One week ago, only a few dozen tests had been conducted in the state. And schools, bars, restaurants and sporting events were all operating as usual. As of this past weekend, all of that has changed. 

a photo of doctors
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday Cleveland Clinic patients will be able to have a drive-through COVID-19 test with a doctor's order. 

The Clinic and University Hospitals (UH) announced Saturday morning that they are partnering to offer the service to the community.

Drive through testing with a doctor's order will be available Monday for UH patients. 

The testing site will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. It is located in the garage of the jointly-owned W. O. Walker Building in University Circle, 10524 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland.

photo of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
CHRIS WALLIS / WKSU

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is postponing its 2020 inductions amid concerns over Coronavirus.

The ceremony had been slated to take place May 2 in Cleveland. Ticket holders will still be able to attend once a new date is set. An email is being sent to outline the procedures for refunds.

Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris says, in the meantime, fans can connect with the past 35 years' worth of inductees through a new website.

photo of Tower City
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The 44th Cleveland International Film Festival has been canceled according to a statement issued today:

"While we are saddened that our film loving audience will not have the opportunity to experience CIFF44’s amazing films and talented filmmakers, we understand the City’s obligation to protect the health and safety of all residents. We regret not having the opportunity to celebrate our three decades at Tower City Center. But we look forward to presenting CIFF45, April 7-18, 2021, at our new and permanent home in Playhouse Square.

View of Lake Erie
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

To paraphrase a quote from the 1990s sitcom "NewsRadio": Winter in Northeast Ohio is the best seven months of the year.  But that may not be true in the future. The four warmest winters on record occurred in the past decade.  This edition of WKSU’s OH Really? answers a listener question about how climate change might affect Northeast Ohio in the future.

photo of Bella Lang
BELLA LANG

Kent State University student who returned to the U.S. amid Coronavirus concerns is disappointed that her study abroad program was cut short.  But she hopes to someday return to Italy.

photo of Dane Johnson, Karen Lakus, Beth Robb, Cleveland MetroParks
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

There’s just one weekend left to get a taste of maple sugaring in the Cleveland MetroParks. The climate in Northeast Ohio makes it ideal for collecting sap from maple trees.

photo of Cleveland City Hall
GOOGLEMAPS

Cleveland City Council is considering an ordinance that would declare racism to be a public health crisis. Councilman Blaine Griffin says it’s the first step toward addressing how racism affects society.

photo of Lori Lightfoot
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Lori Lightfoot is the mayor of the third largest city in the country, but she grew up in Massillon and often speaks about its influence on her. Lightfoot returned to Stark County over the weekend to speak at the Urban League’s Black and White Ball. She touched on an array of subjects from her hometown to Super Tuesday and even who she's rooting for to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

photo of Kent State Florence
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Two Northeast Ohio universities are bringing home students studying abroad amid the ongoing threat of coronavirus.

The Centers For Disease Control has issued a Level 3 warning for travelers to Italy, meaning all non-essential travel is to be avoided.

So Walsh University in Canton has made arrangements to bring back students studying outside of Rome after just one week of what had been an eight-week trip. They're expected to return to Canton Monday night.

photo of Carolyn and Geoff Chunyo
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Nine Akron couples took a major leap over the weekend. They got married on Leap Day at a historic spot not usually open for weddings.

body cam picture
SKYWARD KICK PRODUCTIONS / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Canton City Council will decide Monday night whether to accept about $59,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice for new police body cameras.

The cameras will replace existing units that are almost five years old. The package also includes software that is more technologically advanced. Department spokesman Lt. Dennis Garren says it will make it easier to edit videos.

photo of Akron CitiCenter
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Officials with the Downtown Akron Partnership are excited about a project that will add even more apartments to the city and preserve an historic building.

The CitiCenter Building opened in 1931 as the Akron YWCA. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Suzie Graham with the Downtown Akron Partnership says preserving historic buildings – while also adding living space – is crucial for the city.

photo of Dan Horrigan
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Akron officials are taking a “deep dive” into how they spend, and are finding that minority-owned businesses are not getting a fair shake when it comes to city contracts. That’s according to Mayor Dan Horrigan, who told the crowd at his annual State of the City address that the city also wants to hire a more diverse workforce.

a photo of route 8 with sign
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

About 60,000 drivers pass through northern Summit County on Route 8 each day. For the past year, a $58 million reconstruction project has closed a third of the expressway. The roadwork was delayed last week, but is expected to begin Monday night.

photo of Tom Sorma
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

A landmark Cleveland restaurant that opened in the late 1920s and has charged the same prices for decades is getting ready to call it quits. When the owners of Old Fashion Hot Dogs retire next month, they may take a 92-year old recipe with them.

photo of Cuyahoga Falls parks
CUYAHOGA FALLS PARKS AND RECREATION

The Cuyahoga Falls Parks & Recreation Department is putting together a Continuous Improvement Plan for the first time in 20 years. And officials are asking for input from residents – and from people in neighboring communities.

photo of trucks on highway
SHUTTERSTOCK

A bill that would give Ohio employers up to $25,000 in tax credits for training truck drivers has passed the state House and is on its way to the Senate.

State Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp) from Stark County authored the bill, and says he’s seen first-hand in his manufacturing business how a lack of drivers can delay shipments. 

photo of Akron Vulcans
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Futsal combines soccer-like play on a basketball-like court with baseball-like scores. A semi-professional league known as the National Futsal Premier League came into existence in 2008. This year, Akron has joined the league with The Vulcans. At this point, they’re 5-and-1 on the season.

photo of Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank
AKRON-CANTON REGIONAL FOOD BANK

The Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank has announced an $11.5 million plan to expand operations in Akron and build a new facility in Canton.

The majority of the “Growing For Good” campaign will go towards a new building near downtown Canton, slated for construction this spring on the former site of a Fishers supermarket. In Akron, they’ll add refrigeration space and storage. CEO Dan Flowers says currently, they sometimes have to turn away donations of fresh fruits and vegetables.

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