Environment & Energy

Tree-Killing Disease Found In Ohio Plants

10 hours ago

A plant pathogen that causes the tree-killing disease known as sudden oak death has been found in Ohio.

photo of perry nuclear power plant
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Environmental advocates say the Senate’s new energy plan is taking Ohio in the wrong direction when it comes to emerging energy sources and innovations. That plan would likely bail out two nuclear power plants through new charges on electric bills.

The latest proposal would create a new 85-cent fee on monthly electric bills, with most of the money going to nuclear. It also subsidizes coal plants through a $1.50 fee.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park wants public input on what services would enhance the "visitor experience" for the more than 2 million people who visit the park every year.

The federal government operates the park system with a small staff and limited resources, so it’s challenging to offer amenities like places to eat and lodging, says spokesperson Jennie Vasarhelyi. That’s why the park is creating a commercial services strategy to serve visitors better with more products or activities through a third party.

a photo of an Ohio senator
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Senate is rolling out more changes to the comprehensive energy bill that would bail out Ohio’s nuclear power plants.

The latest version of the bill makes big changes to energy efficiency policies.

                       

Arrye Rosser opens a 1969 issue of Time Magazine that shined a spotlight on the Cuyahoga River.
Mark Arehart / WKSU

When the Cuyahoga River caught fire 50 years ago it helped spark an environmental movement in America. However, there was little coverage at the time and no known photographic evidence of the actual blaze.

A photo that appeared in a 1969 Time Magazine article is often attributed to the fire.

For our latest story in our series Watershed, a look at the power of photography and how it’s shaped our understanding of the burning river.

a photo of Ben Stefanski with Carl Stokes at Edgewater Beach
JOHN W. MOTT / CLEVELAND PRESS COLLECTION, CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

The man who helped initiate efforts to clean up the Cuyahoga River was remembered in Cleveland Friday. 

Ben Stefanski, Jr. served as utilities director under former Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes in the 1960s. Stefanski helped create the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and pass a $100 million bond issue to clean up the river, something his brother Marc said even Mayor Stokes did not think would win approval. 

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.

photo of Mike Johnson
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Officials with Summit MetroParks are moving into the final phase of a $7 million project which will restore nearly five miles of waterways.

An estimated 30,000 Ohioans live within 650 feet of an underground natural gas storage well, according to a study published this week in the journal Environmental Health.

The study examined storage facilities in six states, finding that 65 percent of wells are in urban and suburban areas. The wells hold natural gas before delivery to businesses and households.

photo of a very large sturgeon
Candlescent, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 / FLICKR

A fish whose existence dates back to the time of the dinosaurs could be returning to the Cuyahoga River.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is working with Cleveland Metroparks, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and others to study the idea of re-introducing sturgeons to a cleaner Cuyahoga.

Eric Weimer supervises the Fisheries Assessment Unit in Sandusky for ODNR. He said restocking the river is going to take some time.

photo of Lake Erie tugboat
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Over the past 50 years, freight traffic on the lower Cuyahoga River has increasingly competed with smaller watercraft as the river has rebounded to become a recreation channel. Watershed is a series looking at our waterways and what the future holds for them. This installment looks at one river, competing interests.

A photo of Leesville Lake
GOOGLE EARTH

Lakes in the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District are reaching record levels. That means there are some restrictions for boaters who plan to enjoy the water on the Fourth of July.

a photo of Joy Mulinex
SARAH TAYLOR / WKSU

The Cuyahoga River and many other Northern Ohio streams and rivers are part of the Lake Erie Watershed, which encompasses 33 of Ohio's 88 counties, or more than one-third of the state. The lake provides drinking water to millions of people.

This week our series "Watershed" is taking a closer look at Lake Erie.

By Sai Karnati

At Mentor’s Headlands Beach State Park, the water hugs trees and parks in its lots.

Flooding from Lake Erie's high water has prompted the city of Mentor to cancel the popular Headlands BeachFest, scheduled for July 20.

a photo of a sailbot on Lake Erie
CLAIRE TAYLOR / WKSU

In the early 1970s there was a cooperative effort between the United States and Canada to lower the amount of pollutants entering the Great Lakes. 

Around that same time a young northeast Ohio native was beginning a four-decade career at Ohio State University focused on cleaning up Lake Erie. 

Ashtabula harbor
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Rivers in northern Ohio have long been conduits of industry, linking onshore factories to Great Lakes shipping and beyond.

This industrial legacy spurred economic growth, but it also left the region’s waterways poisoned by unregulated pollution.

And one of the hardest hit rivers was the Ashtabula, in Ohio’s far northeast corner.

In this installment of our series Watershed, WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair reports the cleanup of the Ashtabula took decades of dedication by citizens and became a model for environmental cooperation.

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

Summit County is taking a new approach to flood mitigation in the Barberton area. The county is proposing a ballot initiative this year that would ask voters to approve creating a department to oversee flooding county-wide.

Barberton Mayor William Judge said the previous idea had been to focus just on the Wolf Creek watershed, but he now believes a more regional approach would be better.

a photo of a sailboat
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

Ohio’s urban waterways were once seen as common sewers for industry and growing populations.

But a fire in 1969 on the Cuyahoga River sparked new ideas of how a river can serve its region.

In kicking off our series, Watershed, WKSU is examining three Northeast Ohio rivers, and the relationships they have with the communities that rely on them.

photo of Cuyahoga River
DAVID WILLIAMS / WKSU

Weeks of heavy rain have left the Cuyahoga River swollen, and that’s posing a danger to anyone using the river.

Fifteen people have been rescued since water levels rose according to John Kobak, with the Keel Hauler Canoe Club. He said fallen trees are adding to the hazard.

photo of Tom Yablonsky and Tim Donovan
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

State, local and federal officials broke ground on Saturday on the final piece of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail in Cleveland. 

The final section will run from Tremont to Canal Basin Park and should be done by 2021.

photo of Cuyahoga River
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Fifty years ago, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. It wasn’t the first time this had happened. And it really didn’t become a big deal nationally until more than a month later when Time magazine ran an article on the fire.

Fifty years later, the river has rebounded. Watershed is a series from WKSU News looking at our waterways and what the future holds for them. In our opening story, we take a look at the current state of “the burning river.”

photo of Blazing Paddles
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

About 250 people participated in the second annual “Blazing Paddles” event Saturday, as part of the commemoration of the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire.

photo of Meg Plona, Gary Whidden
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the final Cuyahoga River fire came to the Brecksville Dam Friday as part of the X-tinguish Torch Fest.

“We have gathered to celebrate the river, and the river is rising to celebrate the occasion, right?” Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Craig Kenkel asked.

In Perrysburg on Wednesday, Kris Swartz hosted Gov. Mike DeWine and a couple dozen local famers to explain how badly this spring’s rain has derailed planting. Swartz says this year he’s had only one day—June 12—where he was able to plant.

If mosquitoes have emotions and foresight, they're probably happy with the current weather pattern. The abnormally high rainfall means good breeding conditions for the little bloodsuckers.

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