WKSU Trending Stories

Photo of Akron Pride Fest
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

Thousands made their way to Akron’s Hardesty park Saturday  in the pursuit of celebrating love, life and pride. For attendees of the third annual Akron Pride Festival, all three were in abundance.

Starting early in the morning with a parade and going well into the evening with live performances, the park remained vibrant throughout the day. 

The Jam Company

Saxophonist and Kent State University music teacher Chris Coles has spent the past two years creating a performance piece that he hopes will raise awareness about racial injustice. Nine Lives Project tells the story of the 2015 shooting in Charleston, S.C., where a white supremacist killed nine black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church. Coles says it was a turning point in his life.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are ramping up to celebrate their 50th season in the NBA. On Tuesday, the team announced a new Wall of Honor to serve as a tribute to those who have made “significant contributions” to the organization and its history. It will stand in the new North Atrium area of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

a photo of Cleveland Browns third string quarterback Garrett Gilbert
ERIK DROST / FLICKR

There’s a growing argument in the pro sports world to eliminate the NFL preseason. Teams play four games during the month of August, mostly using backups and soon-to-be-cut journeymen. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the NFL preseason is big dollars for very little entertainment.  

a map of Hepatitis A cases
SUMMIT COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH

In a typical year there are fewer than a dozen Hepatitis A cases in Summit County. So far this year there have been 143. The outbreak has been linked to high-risk populations, including the homeless and street drug users. The liver virus is transmitted by fecal matter or close person-to-person contact. But incidents have also been reported among the general population.

Tracy Rodriguez is the communicable diseases supervisor for Summit County Public Health.

photo of Vireo Health's renovated building
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Minneapolis-based Vireo Health has received the go-ahead from the state of Ohio to open Akron’s first medical marijuana processing facility.

The publicly traded company will operate its subsidiary, Ohio Medical Solutions, from a former factory building on Tallmadge Avenue in North Akron. The renovated facility now houses a state of the art manufacturing operation with high-tech security.  

Kings Island will debut the world's seventh giga coaster in Spring 2020. "Orion" will feature a 300-foot drop and reach speeds of 91 mph with eight hills.

photo of AIDS Memorial Quilt
VPICKERING / CREATIVE COMMONS

The Akron Pride Festival is bringing sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Summit County Courthouse this week. The quilt, which was started 30 years ago, includes the names of 96,000 people who have died from AIDS.

The disease has killed more than 700,000 people the U.S. and nearly 32 million people globally.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

"The Shawshank Redemption" was mostly shot on location in Mansfield and it's turned the city into a tourist destination. Actors, the movie’s director, film historians and legions of fans are coming back to Mansfield to celebrate the film's 25th anniversary this year. On this Week’s State of the Arts, we talk with actor Bob Gunton, who you may or may not know by name, but you'll definitely recognize him if you’re a fan of the film.

The eighth annual PorchRokr festival is Saturday in Akron's Highland Square neighborhood. This year 170 artists and bands will perform on porches and stages. The free festival rotates each year among four sections of Highland Square. The music begins at 11 a.m. and concludes with headliners Nathan-Paul & The Admirables at 8 p.m. followed by a silent disco at the Mustard Seed Market and Cafe.

A photo of Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona
ARTURO PARDAVILA III / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Cleveland Indians have gone from the bottom to the top over the course of two months. In early June, they trailed the Minnesota Twins by as many as 11.5 games in the American League Central Division. As of Wednesday (Aug. 14), they're a half-game back of the Twins. 

synapse art and science image
MICHELLE SEGRE / UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced 36 finalists were chosen in the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Akron.

The arts challenge seeks out ideas that connect people to each other and to place to ultimately strengthen communities. The winners get a share of $1 million to help them bring their ideas to life.

In three preceding challenges, Knight awarded nearly $3 million for 63 ideas in Akron.

a photo of Duke Johnson, Jr.
ERIK DROST / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The new-look Cleveland Browns are still dealing with the same old off-field drama. But WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says one thing has changed: How the team is handling it. 

A photo of Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

In an effort to understand Ohio, an Akron-based author is traveling around the state. David Giffels believes the key to understanding the country ahead of the 2020 presidential election begins in his own backyard.

Akron green storm water system design
AKRON WATERWAYS RENEWED!

Akron officials are awaiting approval from a federal court on proposed money-saving modifications to the city’s massive sewer project. The US and Ohio EPAs approved the changes last year.

Akron, like many cities across the nation, is under a federal mandate to update its infrastructure to stop old sewers from releasing combined storm water and sewage into the Cuyahoga River by 2028. 

a photo of a leaf with beech leaf disease
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

A mysterious disease is killing one of the most majestic trees in American forests, the beech. 

Known for its smooth gray bark, the beech is an important anchor species. 

No one knows exactly what causes Beech Leaf Disease, but a team of tree scientists is narrowing down the list of culprits in this botanical whodunit.

A photo of Jeannie Rice
AKRON MARATHON

The second race in the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series included a record-setting performance. 

 

The Goodyear Half Marathon and 10K began at the normally closed-to-the-public Goodyear test track Saturday morning. When the course ended at Goodyear's Global Headquarters, 71-year old Jeannie Rice of Mentor unofficiallly broke the world record for her age group with a half-marathon time of 1:37:07. 

 

 

a photo of a horse drawn plough at Akron North High School
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

It's a sight you wouldn’t expect to see in Akron.

Students and teachers at North High School watched as two sturdy white horses pulled an old fashioned plough, preparing the ground for an urban farm that will enable students to learn about growing, preparing and marketing food.

Akron Public Schools will work with nonprofit Shanti Farms to teach students in all grades aspects of farming, from sampling soil to preparing food. 

A photo of Amer Adi
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Ohio is far from the U.S. southern border, but the policies and practices there are playing out here daily. The Cleveland Immigration Court has a caseload numbering in the thousands. Ohio jails and private prisons are collecting millions of dollars to house immigrants. And immigrant families who have lived in Ohio for years are planning their departures. Ohio is playing a big role in the national immigration debate.

photo of Akron Art Museum garden
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Northeast Ohio residents have until midnight tonight to weigh in on how they would improve the arts in Akron.

ArtsNow launched the Akron Cultural Plan survey in June as the first step in gathering information from people who live, work and play in Akron.

Nicole Mullet is the executive director of the non-profit. She says often people will tell her they aren’t involved in the arts, but then find out they’re affected by it in ways they hadn’t realized – such as school art programs or church choirs.

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.”

photo of bird
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.

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