WKSU Trending Stories

Fragments of May 4: The Power of So Many Flowers

Apr 29, 2020
A photo of the plaque that was unearthed this year that honors Brinsley Tyrell and states the number of the daffodils.

In May 1990, a hillside on the Kent State campus burst with 58,175 daffodils for the first time. One flower was planted for each of the U.S. servicepeople killed in Vietnam.

Kent State University

The coronavirus pandemic is making colleges and universities implement budget cuts, and that includes spending reductions for sports. Both Kent State and Akron have announced 20% cuts to their athletic budgets for the next fiscal year. That’s on top of half the money they were expecting from the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, which was canceled.

a photo of Summit county ballot drop box

Ohio is wrapping up an unprecedented primary day. The state canceled scheduled voting over concerns about the coronavirus hours before polls were to open on March 17, the originally scheduled primary election day. The legislature opted not to schedule another day of full in-person voting. Instead it called on the Secretary of State to implement voting by mail. 

Wearing masks or facial coverings won't be mandatory for customers when retail businesses reopen in May, Gov. Mike DeWine announced, marking a quick reversal from the state's previous guidelines.

photo of Derf

Few of the dozens of books written about what happened at Kent State May 4, 1970 have the emotional impact of John Backderf’s graphic novel Kent State, Four Dead in Ohio.

The Cleveland-based comic artist, who goes by Derf, spent two years researching and another two years drawing the book.

Derf depicts the final days of the four students before they were shot down on a campus parking lot 50 years ago.


Gov. Mike DeWine outlined a plan for the state to slowly reopen after the stay-at-home order expires May 1. 

The first sector to open up is the hospital system. DeWine will sign an order allowing procedures to resume as long as it doesn't require an overnight stay in the hospital. There are exceptions, such as cases involving cancer or extreme pain. This order also applies to dentistry and veterinary offices. 

Fragments of May 4: A Photo of the Friend Who Always Had a Smile on Her Face

Apr 27, 2020
A photo of the picture Marty Levick took of Sandy Scheuer a few weeks before the May 4 shootings.

For Marty Levick, the photograph he donated to the May 4th exhibit was a treasure. It showed his dear friend Sandy Scheuer as the person she truly was—a happy, kind and caring girl who always had a smile on her face.

photo of dental office

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.

a photo of a COVID-19 checkpoint in the Philippines

For the past month now, the one thing we've heard time and again has been the importance of following the stay-at-home order. But imagine what it would be like if you found yourself stranded thousands of miles from home with no way of getting back and no indication that would change any time soon?

That's the case for one Kent State University employee who has been stuck in the Philippines for the past month. He sent us this story of what life's been like. 

Summit County is emphasizing a need for more tests and education to help protect its African American population from the coronavirus.

African Americans make up 15 percent of the county’s residents but account for 32 percent of its COVID-19 cases. The county is using social media to send out tips on staying safe, said Health Commissioner Donna Skoda, but reaching specific populations is hard under the stay-at-home order.

a photo of David James

Every student in Akron Public Schools has a Chromebook. And Superintendent David James says most of them have connected via remote learning, but fewer than half are actively doing school work. The district is trying to get students more involved, but it’s also facing a number of other challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.

James welcomed the decision this week from Governor Mike DeWine to keep schools closed for the remainder of the school year.   

a photo of old Ellet High School

When Akron students eventually return to classes at the new Ellet High School, things will look different around the building. The school district continues work to tear down the old Ellet High School building west of the new structure.

Akron Public Schools superintendent David James says there are plans for the site once the old school is razed.

photo of Kent State

All throughout society, the coronavirus pandemic has meant upheaval, and that is certainly true in higher education. Universities and colleges have had to make drastic changes in how they operate: suspending in-person classes, sending all students home and shifting to virtual learning. How long will this last, how big of an impact will this have on schools and will they be able to survive this crisis? We spoke with Kent State University President Todd Diacon about the path forward for the university.

a screen capture of Mike DeWine

On April 17, 1964, Columbus native Jerrie Mock became the first female aviator to circle the globe in her plane, the "Spirit of Columbus."  To kick off his Friday coronavirus update, Gov. Mike DeWine presented Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton with the 2020 Spirit of Columbus Award.

a screen capture of Tim Ryan

Pressure is mounting for Congress to act on another relief package. Legislators from northeast Ohio are speaking out about what they’d like to see in it.

Members of Congress are hearing from local government leaders, businesses, nonprofits and social service agencies. Government leaders are concerned about how to sustain operations as revenues tumble. 

photo of Summit County COVID-19 cases

Summit County has released data on how many coronavirus cases are in each of its zip codes.  There are 373 confirmed cases as of Thursday.  The most cases are in West Akron, Hudson, and Twinsburg, with between 21 and 30 cases each.

7 Residents From One Akron Senior Facility Have Died From COVID-19

Apr 15, 2020

Nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Summit County come from one retirement community.

Ohio Living Rockynol in Akron has seen seven residents die from the infection, said Melissa Dardinger, spokesperson for Ohio Living.

“I do believe those deaths occurred in the hospital, not onsite at Ohio Living Rockynol,” Dardinger said.

The state has filed a lawsuit against a Cleveland-area man for hoarding personal protective equipment that is sorely needed by health care workers fighting coronavirus. 

Akron General emergency department

The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented in our lifetime. As a society, our reactions are mostly based on our emotions – worry about family and friends, fear for our jobs and anxiety over the long-term impact on our community.

But for healthcare workers who are used to dealing in facts, coronavirus is a battle against the unknown.

city of toronto

Protestors outside the statehouse have called for Gov. Mike DeWine to fire Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and to reopen all businesses.

A legislative task force is working out its own timeframe to restart Ohio’s economy.

All of this puts Governor Mike DeWine under increasing pressure to ease social distancing restrictions.

But the world’s first coronavirus outbreak provides a cautionary tale about the risks of lifting this lockdown too soon.

COVID-19 trends in Ohio

Ohio health officials Monday confirmed an inmate died from COVID-19 at Pickaway Correctional Institution — the first reported inmate death in the state. 

More than a dozen of Pickaway's staff members are out sick. Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday he plans to send up to 30 members of the National Guard to the facility to help with COVID-19 patients. 

photo of Summit County COVID-19 cases

Summit County Public Health is still assessing whether to release data that shows how many COVID-19 cases there are in each of the county’s zip codes.

As of Sunday, the county had more than 250 confirmed cases throughout all but a handful of zip codes.

Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says they had been watching other counties to see what they might do and waiting until numbers got higher so that cases would not be as identifiable.

a photo of the MRF in Akron

Trash and recycling haulers in Northeast Ohio are seeing an increase in residential garbage as a result of the stay-at-home order from the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, the haulers are trying to keep employees safe, and that is leading to some cuts in service, depending on where you live.

photo of Summit County COVID-19 cases

Officials with Summit County Public Health say they’re crunching the data on the county’s 222 cases of COVID-19. As of Thursday, 56 percent of the cases are women. There have been 13 deaths, and 51 people are hospitalized.

Health Commissioner Donna Skoda said epidemiologists plan to release a breakdown of cases by race by the end of this week.

tents  in the the woods

Summit County agencies are working round the clock to create a quarantine facility for the area’s homeless who must be quarantined.

The homeless quarantine center is being set up in the gymnasium at the Chapel in Akron. Officials hope to open it next week.

Leading the effort is the Continuum of Care, a nonprofit of more than 30 agencies that provides services for the homeless.