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photo of candy
THE IDORA PARK EXPERIENCE / FACEBOOK

After a fire destroyed a beloved Youngstown amusement park in 1984, a Canfield man collected pieces of Idora Park. Jim Amey and his wife Toni started sharing what they collected in 2013 through the Idora Park Experience. The museum opens Friday for its once-a-year, three-day run. Toni Amey said people can reconnect with their childhood memories.

A new American citizen recites the pledge
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

In Akron this week, 51 people from 12 countries became Americans. A naturalization ceremony marking the event was hosted by the International Institute of Akron at the Akron-Summit County Public Library Main Branch.

The institute’s executive director, Madhu Sharma, welcomed the citizens, the Keyed Up Barbershop Quartet performed, and the Akron Police Department Honor Guard presented the colors.

Photo of Sims and Rice
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU public radio

One year ago, Akron's Summit Lake was declared clean enough for recreation, and officials say the lake has made progress over the past 12 months.

Cavs.com

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says he gives the Cavs’ 2019 draft performance a B+. The June draft was significant for the team that's in a rebuilding stage and has a new head coach in John Beilein. 

Darius Garland
With the No. 5 overall pick, they selected Darius Garland of Vanderbilt University.

Akron's main Street construction
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

The city of Akron is at the midpoint of a major reconstruction project downtown. Bright orange barrels and rubber cones stretch for blocks on Main Street and trucks rumble by kicking up dust. Akron is completely rebuilding the corridor through the heart of downtown.

Picture of Kent State President Beverly J. Warren.
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University president Beverly Warren’s last day on the job is this Sunday. Warren is stepping down after five years leading the university.  We sat down with her to talk about her tenure as the university’s 12th president. 

A bunch of Twins
TWINS DAYS FESTIVAL COMMITTEE

Twinsburg’s annual Twins Days festival is more than just an opportunity to celebrate twins from all over the world, it’s also a big driver for the city’s economy.

An economic impact survey done by Kent State’s College of Business Administration found that last year’s festival brought in nearly $5.5 million dollars. Associate economics professor Shawn Rohlin  conducted the study.

The Ohio State Board of Education is expanding its social-emotional learning standards to include all students.

Department of Education implemented standards for children in kindergarten through third grade starting in 2012, to build skills in five areas, including self-awareness and decision making. The new standards now include all students, through 12th grade.

photo of Akron Beacon Journal
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Two Ohio newspapers have made the list of the most endangered buildings in the state this year.

Preservation Ohio’s list takes nominations from residents in considering the most endangered historic sites. This year’s list includes 13 sites. Among them are the soon to be vacated Akron Beacon Journal building and the Dayton Daily News building.

Thomas Palmer, the executive director of Preservation Ohio, said he expects future lists to include additional unused newspaper buildings.

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 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.”

an overhead view of the location of the park
GOOGLE MAPS

The Akron Parks Challenge announced the winners of this year’s grants. One of them will help fund a new playground at Park East, which is located between downtown Akron and Summit Lake.

The proposal came from developer Alpha Phi Alpha Homes. Executive Director Thomas Fuller said the there’s been very little attention paid to the park in the last 30 years.

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.

Cal sports

Update: The Cavs selected Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland with the 5th pick in Thursday night's NBA draft. Garland’s freshman season ended with a knee injury last November. The team then selected Belmont swingman Dylan Windler at No. 26. They then made some moves to get USC guard Kevin Porter Jr. The Cavs' young team now includes two new 19-year-olds and a 22-year-old.

The team has assembled a new coaching staff in the offseason that has no pro experience but an eye for young talent. They followed the hiring of Michigan’s John Beilein as head coach by bringing in University of California women’s coach Lindsay Gottlieb as an assistant. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says it was a very unconventional move. 

a video illustration of the new train car
CUYAHOGA VALLEY SCENIC RAILROAD / YOUTUBE

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is creating a new space for young riders. The Edu-trainment is currently being renovated to create an educational and entertaining space for children.

The new car is part of a master plan with the goal of enhancing the railroad.

Bobby Dinkins is the Vice President of Marketing and Development for the railroad. He says the goal for the train is to let kids have fun while getting to learn about the national park.

Historic Oberlin College Building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The attorney who represented an Oberlin merchant in a successful lawsuit against Oberlin College expects the school to fight a $44 million dollar jury award. 

Lee Plakas sued the college on behalf of the Gibson family, which owns Gibson’s Bakery

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.

a photo of Indians prospect Daniel Espino
MLB.COM/TWITTER

Major League Baseball is relatively low-key when it comes to selecting its next superstars. The draft that happens each June gets little attention compared to the fanfare of the NFL and NBA. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the Indians had a top-25 pick last week, but hardly anyone noticed. 

1873 guide map of Ohio
UNITED STATES DIGITAL MAP LIBRARY

David Giffels is on a journey to understand America, and for the Akron-based writer, that starts in Ohio.  He’s traveling around the state, working on a new book in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election. 

Sesame Street, the award-winning children's program turns 50 this year. As the iconic TV program has aged, it has managed to stay musically apace with its forever-young audience. It's not an easy task, but it's one that the show's creators prioritize for the sake of children's education. While Big Bird, Elmo & co.

Jeannine, who is 37 and lives in Burbank, Calif., has endured widespread pain since she was 8. She has been examined by dozens of doctors, but none of their X-rays, MRIs or other tests have turned up any evidence of physical injury or damage.

Photo of Bret Davis
NICK EVANS / WOSU

Farmers in Ohio and many other parts of the country are rushing to get their crops planted after a long, wet spring. The late start means many acres intended for corn won’t get planted, and farmers are running far behind on soy beans as well. WOSU's Nick Evans visited a few farms throughout Central Ohio to see how farmers are trying to get back on track.

The last time I visited Bret Davis’ farm in Delaware County, I was asking him about a program helping farmers bit by the trade war.  It was raining then, and it was wet when I spoke to him this week, too.

a photo of newlyweds
HOPE MOORE / CREATIVE COMMONS

Couples in the Akron-area can have a June wedding or vow renewal for free in a local park. Summit County Probate Court will be hosting a group outdoor wedding on June 28th at Goodyear Heights Metro Park. Summit County Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer will be overseeing the event called Promises in the Park.

A photo of Wooster baseball coach Tim Pettorini
/ THE COLLEGE OF WOOSTER

The baseball coach at The College of Wooster is retiring after nearly 40 years. Tim Pettorini leaves as the fifth-winningest coach in Division III history, guiding his teams to the NCAA tournament more than two dozen times. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says Pettorini’s legacy is remarkable.

A photo of Andrew Bridges
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Over the last seven years, Ohio’s been slowly changing a set of laws that many believe keeps people from getting jobs, paying child support, even volunteering in their community. In the first of two stories on Ohio’s official second chances, we examine how some of these changes are playing out.

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