OH really?

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.

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.

a photo of a timber wolf
COCONUT KEVY / FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

Deer hunting season is winding down in Ohio. As it does, we’re considering a question about Ohio wildlife from a WKSU listener. Nicholas Kavalec asked our OH Really? team about apex predators—those at the top of the food chain. We connected him with a wildlife manager at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in Akron.

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.

photo of FreshMark plant
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

One year ago, immigration agents raided a Salem meat processing facility and arrested more than 140 undocumented immigrants. In this installment of “OH Really,” a listener asks for an update.

Debbie Toder from West Akron said she felt terrible when she heard about the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raids at the FreshMark facility.

a photo of a FirstEnergy substation
SARAH TAYLOR / WKSU

State lawmakers have been debating a change to Ohio’s energy policy that could save two nuclear plants. Both are owned by First Energy Solutions, once a subsidiary of First Energy. But First Energy has shed the entity and become a fully-regulated utility, which sparked a listener’s curiosity. She sent in a question to our OH Really? team.

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 Paul Pickett
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Roundabouts have been gaining popularity in Northeast Ohio over the past decade, even if the public doesn’t always consider them to be a well-rounded solution. 

A listener asked “OH Really?” to find out about the evidence that they're safer than traditional intersections. We looked into the circular logic to see if it is a better way to make traffic go-round.

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.

photo of Goodyear Building Room
THE BUILDING ROOM / GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER CO. RECORDS, ARCHIVAL SERVICES, UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES, UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

Firestone Country Club, Goodyear Heights and the B.F. Goodrich smokestacks are among the many reminders that the rubber industry once dominated the eyes, ears and nose of almost every Akronite. 

But why did the industry take root here, thousands of miles from the nearest rubber tree and hundreds of miles from the auto industry?

photo of First Ladies National Historic Site
FIRST LADIES NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

The National Park Service is expanding its presence at the First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton. The site had been closed during the government shutdown but will reopen on Friday.

BRYN PINZGAUER / FLICKR/CC

Have you heard your house making strange, loud noises during the recent bitter cold weather? One of our listeners has and submitted a question about it to our new reporting project “OH Really?” Russell Stanton says he’s lived in Ohio for 61 years and has rarely heard noises like this. 

Peter Paino from Paino Architects in Kent says he's heard them in his house too. He says it’s likely the top quarter of your roof truss or the roof rafters. When it’s so cold like this, they shrink rapidly and move.  

photo of vegan donuts
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Have you heard of the Summit Food Coalition? It’s been growing rapidly for the past year under its first full-time executive director. This week, “OH Really?” explains the coalition’s mission to help feed Northeast Ohio.

photo of LeFever Dam
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

For the past 50 years, the Cuyahoga River’s fortunes have risen and fallen just like the water that flows down the crooked channel and into Lake Erie.  This week, we’re answering our first question submitted by a listener as part of a new project we’re calling, “OH Really?”  WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia takes us on a river tour.

We want to hear your questions for OH Really?

You send us questions. We’ll seek out the answers.