OH Really

photo of 1099 form
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

As employees return to work in Ohio, questions remain about how 2020 tax returns could be affected by the stimulus money that many Americans got as part of the CARES Act. We ask an expert in this edition of “OH Really?”

a photo illustration of a telehealth visit
JANICE CHANG / FOR NPR

Businesses in Ohio are re-opening and schools are making plans for this fall. But you’ve still got questions about the future of telemedicine, and when and how libraries will reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

We answer those questions and more in this week’s edition of “OH Really?

photo of smokestacks
JAMES KELLY / SHUTTERSTOCK

For decades, factories in Cleveland's Industrial Valley have sent smoke and even fire out of their smokestacks – a process known as “flaring.”

Margaret Liske from Hudson has always wondered about the smokestacks along I-77 near Cleveland.

“They belch out huge, high billows of smoke and -- at night -- fire. Why is this potential heat not somehow recycled [or] reused?”

For the answer, we asked Krishna Rao, a chemical engineer who recently retired as president of Valley View-based plastics firm, Nanofilm.

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 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.

A photo of the entrance to the 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 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 farm
VIVIAN GOODMAN / WKSU

Gov. Mike DeWine has signaled that Ohio nonessential businesses could start reopening by the end of next week. And you’ve been asking what that means for coronavirus testing, the state’s farmers and even Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Now, Sarah Taylor and Kabir Bhatia from our newsroom answer questions you’ve sent in for “OH Really?”

photo of ODJFS website
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES

With nonessential businesses closed and much of Ohio shut down due to COVID-19, a lot of people are out of work right now. Last week in Ohio, 226,000 people filed applications to receive unemployment benefits. It’s not an easy task because the system has been overwhelmed.

photo of radio tuner
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

It’s been another week of closed businesses, self-quarantine and “Wine with DeWine” in Ohio. And another week of changes in the state’s battle against coronavirus. Here are answers to questions you've submitted to OH Really?


photo of CDC recommendations for parks
CLEVELAND 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.

Even before Gov. Mike DeWine ordered nonessential businesses to close, we started getting emails from people who felt they were being forced to work when they should have been staying home, or working from home.

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 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. 

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.

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.

a photo of a soybean harvester
UNITED SOYBEAN BOARD

A changing trade deal with China has put a strain on Ohio agriculture, but farmers are experimenting with new uses for soybeans to reduce the reliance on Chinese buyers. And a WKSU listener asked us where consumers can find products made with soy. This edition of OH Really? explores where those soybeans go.

For consumers, it’s not always apparent where soybeans go since they’re not the most common item at grocery stores, but they end up in more products than you might expect.

photo of Meredith Ersing
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

When it comes to recycling plastic, most people check for a number on the bottom of every container. But what does that number actually mean, and why are some plastics not recyclable? This installment of our series, Reduce, Reuse, Refocus traces the life cycle of a piece of plastic.

photo of Chris Esker
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

North Akron has been home to immigrants from Nepal, Italy, and – 200 years ago -- Ireland. So what happened to the area that was once known as Old Dublin?

photo of The Blue Hole
CASTALIA TROUT CLUB

This story was originally published on January 22, 2019.

Castalia, Ohio, is home to The Blue Hole, which was a tourist attraction for almost a century. WKSU’s “OH Really?” finds out why it’s been off-limits to the public for the last 29 years.


photo of Akron, 1874
ONLINE MAP ROOM, SUMMIT MEMORY

You voted, and now the next edition of "OH Really?" will take a trip to what was once known as "Old Dublin" in Akron.

Attorney Chris Esker -- who is proudly one-quarter Irish – asked, “What was Old Dublin? And why was it essentially forgotten and bulldozed by the late 19th century?”

photo of goats at Ferrum Moraine Farm
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Raw, unpasteurized goat milk can be bought in Ohio for use as pet food. But between the teat and the street, farmers have to do a lot of work to make the milk safe for human consumption.

In this installment of WKSU’s “OH Really?,” we try to help a listener who wants to “drink local” and buy fresh, raw goat milk right from the farm.

historical photo of Swensons
OHIO HISTORY CONNECTION AL02970

It's a joint that's spun into one of the region’s most popular fast-food chains. But at some point during its 85-year history, something about Swensons changed.  Many people probably never noticed, but one man did, and he reached out to us. In this installment of “OH Really?,” we try to solve the case of the missing apostrophe.

kayakers in the Cuyahoga River
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Heavy rain this spring pushed local waterways to higher-than normal levels, and listener Patrick Pierquet from Wooster asks “OH Really?” how that could affect wildlife.

trucks use left lane sign
SARAH TAYLOR / WKSU

It’s orange barrel season and one of our listeners asked our OH Really team an interesting question about sharing the road in construction zones.

We helped him find the answer.

On route 8 in northern Summit County, traffic has been reduced to two lanes in each direction and concrete barriers are set up as crews resurface a six mile section of the road. There are signs throughout the construction zone that illustrate listener Seth Marks’ concern.  

photo of Smokey the Bear
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Northeast Ohio has not one, not two, but three park systems that comprise about 70,000 acres of land – and almost 10 times that is protected throughout the state.

Listeners have asked our "OH Really?" project how these parks got started. WKSU’s Sarah Taylor and Kabir Bhatia answer some of their questions.

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