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a new medical lab at Stark State College Akron
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Stark State College Akron has finished construction on the final phase of its building in time to welcome students for the fall semester.

photo of military training exercise
/ OHIO NATIONAL GUARD

Starting this weekend, Ohioans may notice a heavy presence of first responders, military personnel, military aircraft, and emergency vehicles in multiple areas throughout Ohio. However, people have no reason to worry.

It’s all part of what Adjutant General John Harris said is the largest disaster response exercise in the state’s history.

“It’s our opportunity to exercise muscles as I like to say – command and controlling forces during events like these but also working with our interagency partners so we aren’t exchanging business cards when an actual event occurs.”

An unknown species of Ohio bird rests on the hand of a person in the Summit Metro Parks.
DAN TOTH / SUMMIT METRO PARKS

A new hybrid bird species has been spotted around parks in northeast Ohio.

The bird is a type of warbler resulting from mating between Cerulean Warblers and Northern Parulas.

Park Ranger Ryan Trimbath was the first to spot the bird in 2014 while he was working for the Summit Metro Parks in Deep Lock Quarry.

He says the experience has opened his mind to when people claim to see new species.

Photo of Freddie Kitchens
WKSU

The Cleveland Browns are gearing up for the start of the preseason in one week.

WKSU’s Mark Arehart talks with sports commentator Terry Pluto about his first look at the team and its newly-minted head coach: Freddie Kitchens.

Everybody knows that on paper, the Browns are destined to be a great team; however, one thing still stands. How will first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens be able to manage all this talent and live up to these expectations?

Akron Water Department workers give a presentation
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

The Akron Water Department is looking to install “smart” water meters across the city, enabling residents and businesses to monitor their water usage in real-time, potentially saving money.

The city said the 85,000 meters the water department installed about 15 years ago are starting to fail, costing about $200,000 a year in maintenance.

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 Pro Football HOF
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The 34th Annual Canton Balloon Classic will kick off a week of Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement events

More than 50 balloons will fill the skies above Canton, according to organizer Andrea Hartman.

photo of Sherrod Brown
U.S. Senate Photo Studio

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure to save the pensions of 60,000 Ohio workers. Now the bill is up for consideration in the Senate.

The Butch Lewis Act is named after a late Cincinnati Teamster who fought pension cuts. It would create a loan program to help failing pension plans meet their commitments.

The Democratic-controlled House overwhelmingly passed the measure. 

photo of Linda Simon-Meitus
Amanda Rabinowitz / WKSU

A 40-member ensemble is bringing live music to communities throughout Northeast Ohio. In its third year, Akron Symphonic Winds is hitting its stride and expanding its outreach efforts. 

Former General Motors Lordstown plant
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The president of the United Auto Workers union at the General Motors Co. plant in Lordstown is among those transferring to a GM plant elsewhere.

A Youngstown TV station reported Dave Green will relocate to a plant in Bedford, Ind.

Green has been working with Mahoning Valley leaders to try to secure another product for the facility that GM shut down in March. 

But he told WKSU last week he would have to take a transfer if it was offered.

photo of a Dog Spot unit
CHELSEA BROWNRIDGE / DOGSPOT

Cuyahoga Falls is the first city in Ohio to offer DogSpot locations. DogSpot is a temperature controlled doghouse. The city will offer two of them downtown. DogSpot typically charges 30 cents per minute to use the unit, but the city of Cuyahoga Falls is sponsoring the houses at $500 per month through the end of the year. That means pet owners can use them for free.  

Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters hopes DogSpots will bring more people to the city, and more customers downtown.

Photo of a football
ELVERT BARNES

A new study by the Cleveland Clinic has found that retired pro football players are five times more likely to experience an irregular heartbeat known as Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib.

Researchers studied 460 retired NFL players and compared them to a control group of more than 900 men.

Dermot Phelan, director of sports cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, said 80% of the players studied showed no symptoms.

Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons

The Cleveland Browns open training camp Thursday with high hopes and hype surrounding the upcoming season. The team that went 0-16 in 2017 is now considered to be a playoff contender.

Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons

The Cleveland Indians are a major-league best 30-12 since June 4. It's been quite the turnaround for a team that many fans had all but written off in May. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the hot streak likely has the team rethinking its strategy of trading a star player to start the rebuilding process. 

Streaking after the All-Star break
The Indians have come a long way since June 2.

photo of Rolling Acres Mall
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Amazon has made it official. It will build a distribution warehouse on the site where Rolling Acres Mall used to be in Akron. The facility is expected to create 1,500 jobs.

photo of John Nieberding
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

When Apollo 11 launched 50 years ago, it was propelled by a liquid hydrogen-fueled launch vehicle called Centaur – which wouldn’t have existed without decades of work by scientists at what’s today called NASA Glenn Research Center. One of those scientists was Joe Nieberding, who recently spoke with Kabir Bhatia about Cleveland’s role in the space race.

photo of Colorvine
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

An Akron band who were seasoned professionals -- while still in their teens -- has reunited to make a new album, and to tour, for the first time in over a decade.

Mud Brook
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

A residential development on the former Sycamore Valley Golf Course in Cuyahoga Falls is moving forward, but residents want a Cuyahoga River tributary to be protected.

photo of a school hallway
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s high school graduation requirements are changing, with a new set of recommendations for incoming freshmen made by a group of businesses, a charter schools organization and some public schools. And the law that allows the state to take over academically distressed school districts was put on hold. Both of those provisions are in the new two-year state budget approved by lawmakers.

Keith Allison / Flickr

The Indians started the second half of the season with an uphill battle to try to win the American League Central Division. They gained ground on the first-place Twins, and knocked six games off Minnesota's lead in the weeks leading into the break. As of Wednesday, the Indians trailed by five games. The two teams will meet 10 more times this season.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto lists three key players that the Indians need to play well to be able to catch the Twins.

photo of a U.S. border crossing
APARATOC / CREATIVE COMMONS

Immigrants facing final deportation orders in Northeast Ohio were keeping wary watch this weekend. While ICE arrests in major cities never materialized, small immigrant communities remain afraid.

Among the hundreds of thousands of people facing final orders of removal from immigration judges is a 19 year old woman in Northeast Ohio, whom we’re not identifying by name. Her mother brought her from Honduras when she was 13, after she was sexually abused for three years, stabbed and threatened by gangs.

a photo of housing development in Akron
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

A state labor market study finds unemployment increasing in northeast Ohio, but in Akron there’s one bright spot in the data. The value of new home construction has risen nearly 47 percent in the last year.

The report from Ohio Bureau of Labor Market Information looked at eight metropolitan areas. It found unemployment claims in Akron rose 3.3 percent, and in Cleveland nearly six percent. Both cities also saw a decline in manufacturing hours worked, down nearly five percent in Cleveland.

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.

Akron's Main Street
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

New options for downtown living will soon be available in Akron.

New Jersey developer Tom Rybak plans to begin transformation of the historic Law Building on Main Street into a multi-use complex.

The Law Building faces the Bowery Project, a multi-use development now under construction and planned to open this November.

Photo of Ed McCants gathering signatures for Marion's "Sensible Marijuana Ordinance."
NICK EVANS / WOSU

In cities across Ohio, organizers are going to the ballot box to push local governments away from low-level marijuana enforcement. The state’s penalties for possession are already relatively loose. But initiative backers say the drug convictions aren’t making communities safer, and they’re unnecessarily harmful to those who get caught. If passed, the proposals will likely prompt a court fight where similar measures have recently been struck down.

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