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Local news features from the WKSU newsroom

Local news features from the WKSU newsroom
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Kent, OH


Local news features from the WKSU newsroom








A Look Inside Akron's College & Career Academies

In Akron's College & Career Academies model, the school district is focused on offering hands-on experiences, rather than test-taking, while partnerships with the business community play a vital role. Just as vital are the choices given to students. They decide which career area they want to investigate.


Akron Public Schools Goes All In on New High School Educational Model

The Akron Public School district is making history this year: it’s transforming the way students are educated.


Ohio Takes Steps to Ensure Cyber Security at the Polls

We’re less than a year away from the 2020 presidential election, and concern about Russian interference in the 2016 election persists. Have states, including Ohio, done everything they need to ensure that the vote next time will be safe and secure? We spoke with Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio . She says the state is in pretty good shape, but there’s still work to be done. Ahead of the curve on cybersecurity Miller says in terms of security, Ohio...


New NEOMED President Plans to Train the Next Generation of Health Care Leaders

Northeast Ohio Medical University’s new president is no stranger to innovation. Dr. John Langell is not only a surgeon, he’s an inventor with more than a dozen patents. Langell’s last job, before taking the reins last month at NEOMED, was head of the University of Utah’s Center for Medical Innovation. We joined Langell in a tour of NEOMED’s newest expansion. Part of Dr. John Langell’s job, since he started in October, has been learning to navigate NEOMED’s maze of buildings. “We have over...


To Understand Ohio: How Craft Beer Can Help Rust Belt Cities

Craft breweries have been on a steady rise throughout the country becoming hot spots for people and providing benefits to local economies. Ohio now has over 300 craft brewers and is one of the top five craft brewers in the country. We've been checking in with Ohio author David Giffels as he travels around the state for his new book, "Barnstorming Ohio". Each month he discusses what he’s finding in a series of conversations we’re calling “To Understand Ohio.” This month Giffels visited a...


To Understand Ohio: How Will Women Influence the 2020 Election?

Women make up 51% of the population in Ohio. Author David Giffels is considering the role they could play in next year’s election for a new book he’s working on. We've been checking in with Giffels each month about what he’s finding in a series of conversations we’re calling “To Understand Ohio.” This month Giffels spent some time talking with one young woman who lives near Columbus.


Scammers Target Ohio Immigrants with Fear of Deportation

Like a lot of people, immigrants are targeted by scammers -- from phony IRS agents to bogus legal services. What often makes them more susceptible, and the scammers more successful, is the drumbeat of a single threat: deportation.


To Understand Ohio: David Giffels Looks at What a Music Festival Can Tell Us About Ohio Politics

There’s a relatively new music festival near Dayton that bears the nickname many political watchers have given Ohio: Bellwether. For author David Giffels, who’s working on a new book about what's on the minds of voters ahead of next year’s presidential election, that was enough for him to include it in his travels around the state. In this month's check-in with Giffels, we talk with him about his recent trip to the Bellwether Music Festival.


Abandoned Malls Help David Giffels Understand Ohio

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.


Deportation Journeys Wind Through Ohio Detention Facilities

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. On one wall of the commissary in the Geauga County jail -- across from the...


Remembering an Opera Singer Who Still Hit the High Notes After Two Double-Lung Transplants

Editor's Note: Soprano Charity Tillemann-Dick, a singer whose voice reached new heights after two double-lung transplants at the Cleveland Clinic, passed away this week at the age of 35. Tillemann-Dick is survived by her loved ones and her talent is celebrated by the countless ears that were lucky enough to hear her sing. She spoke with WKSU’s Mark Arehart in Oct. 2017 about her journey, her involvement at the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit and her book, "The Encore: A Memoir...


What is the Future of Chapel Hill Mall?

Akron used to be home to three shopping malls. Of the three, one is gone. Rolling Acres Mall shut its doors a little over 10 years ago and the property is being redeveloped . One appears to be doing well. Summit Mall maintains an attractive assortment of stores. The third is failing. Chapel Hill Mall has lost two anchor tenants and a number of stores. The Devil Strip's Noor Hindi recently visited the Akron mall. In her article, "'It may not be a mall forever:' Checking in on Chapel Hill...


Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown Talks Taxes, Healthcare

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, the subject of much speculation for the 2020 presidential election, took time to chat with WKSU about some of his priorities this week. The issues included relief for the middle class and healthcare access. The 2017 Republican Tax Cuts Legislation Brown is proposing would end the Trump administration’s tax cuts for higher-income Americans – because, Brown says, the tax policy just isn’t trickling down. “Our legislation’s pretty simple. It’s all about increasing...


Summit County Sees Signs of a Teen Vaping Epidemic

E-cigarettes are branded as alternatives to cigarettes that can help people stop smoking. But teenagers are using these devices to start smoking. Schools across Summit County have seen an increase in vaping, and local health officials are working to combat the issue that’s now considered a national epidemic.


Trying to Bring Back Downtown Is a Common Theme Among Cities in the Region

2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for northeast Ohio cities and towns trying to revitalize themselves. At least two dozen have turnaround plans in place, including Akron and Canton where between them more than $100 million is in play for reinventing their downtowns.


Akron Polish Veterans Club Looks For New Generation of Members

When you think of the face of Akron’s North Hill these days, your first thought may be of the Bhutanese immigrant community that now calls it home. But one of the vestiges from a previous wave of immigration can still be seen in the form of the Polish Legion of American Veterans. While the Polish community there is not what it once was, two brothers are doing their best to keep Pulaski Post 32 going. Their story is featured in the new edition of the Devil Strip. What drew The Devil Strip's...


"OH Really?" It's Time to Eat With the Summit Food Coalition

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. Tom Lukes wanted to know, “what is the food coalition and what is it trying to do in Northeast Ohio?” Lukes lives in Cuyahoga Falls. In warmer months, he calls his yard a “food forest” of peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. He asked about the Food Coalition because he wanted...


Akron Cultivator Harvests First Medical Cannabis Crop

The first medical marijuana harvest took place Monday in Akron. Elected officials and the media toured the 43,000 square foot facility to take in the ceremonial cutting of the first bud.


Cleveland's New 'Say Yes to Education' Program Can Find Encouragement from Buffalo's Experience

Beginning February 4th, students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be able to apply for college scholarships through " Say Yes Cleveland ," a new effort to ensure all city students have the opportunity for post-secondary education. Cleveland is the fourth community wide chapter of the New York City-based " Say Yes to Education ." One of the other chapters is in Buffalo . Education reporter Eileen Buckley at NPR member station WBFO in Buffalo, shared some of what the city...


OH really? Listener Wonders About the Number of Dams Still in the Cuyahoga River

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.