M.L. Schultze

Even before the Congressional Budget Office reported that the House repeal of the Affordable Care Act would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown was predicting it would raise costs and cut benefits. 

Brown, a Democrat, mounted an attack on two fronts he said would hurt veterans and millions of others: The House Republican healthcare plan and President Trump’s budget.

Ohio’s Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is backing Josh Mandel’s second attempt to unseat Portman’s Democratic counterpart, Sherrod Brown.

Portman announced his support for the conservative state treasurer in a video released a week after Congressman Pat Tiberi announced he won’t challenge Mandel in a GOP primary.

Brown says he’s not bothered by Portman’s endorsement of Mandel and the he and Portman will continue to work on steel and other issues.


Rob Portman
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Senator Rob Portman expects President Donald Trump’s budget will go through big changes in Congress, though perhaps not quite as big as in the past.

Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman expects President Donald Trump’s budget will go through big changes in Congress, though perhaps not quite as big as in the past.

The 58-year-old neighbor of a family killed in a fire in Akron last week has been charged with aggravated murder and arson.

Stanley O. Ford is accused of setting the fire on Fultz Avenue that killed seven people: Angela Boggs and her longtime boyfriend Dennis Huggins, as well as children Jered Boggs, 14; Daisia Huggins, 6; Kylle Huggins, 5; Alvia Huggins, 3; and Cameron Huggins, 1.

Akron Deputy Police Chief Kenneth Ball says investigators also have refocused their investigation into an unsolved fatal arson fire a year ago on the same street.


Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman expects President Donald Trump’s budget will go through big changes in Congress, though perhaps not quite as big as in the past.

President Trump’s 2018 budget includes major cuts in social welfare, research and environmental programs, builds a wall along the southern border, and presumes a rate of growth based on tax cuts that will balance the budget in 10 years.

Akron is wrapping up another police recruiting drive amidst the pressure of retirements and a national distrust separating police and some communities. 

On a Wednesday afternoon, about 20 people who are considering applying to become Akron police officers show up for an information session.

The instructor positions himself on the floor: “Situps are a little more difficult..."

Demonstrating the physical fitness part of the police test has been part these kinds of sessions for decades. But at this one, as much time is devoted to questions like this this:

Renegotiating NAFTA was a big selling point for Donald Trump with Ohio voters, and likely represents his best chance of getting Ohio Democratic support in Congress. 

The Trump administration has officially notified Congress that it plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement but is being vague about what changes will be negotiated. The notice came from Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade represenative and Ashtabula native.

The Justice Department’s selection of Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating ties between Russia and the Trump campaign is drawing bipartisan praise. As WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, the former U.S. Attorney for Northern Ohio says that’s for a good reason.  

A panel gathered with about 40 people at an inner-city Cleveland church last night (Wednesday) to explain one of the least understood parts of the criminal justice system: the grand jury process.  And as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports , it didn’t take long for the discussion to address one of the most controversial grand jury decisions in recent history.

The annual meeting of FirstEnergy raised just one question from a shareholder. But the CEO of the Akron-based utility acknowledges a lot of unspoken questions are swirling around the future of the company. 

FirstEnergy is pushing a bill in the Ohio Statehouse that opponents call a bailout and it calls ZEN – an acronym for Zero-Emissions Nuclear Resource. The utility says that would compensate FirstEnergy for the “unique benefits” of its nuclear plants.

The NBA is the first pro sports league in the U.S. to OK corporate logos on uniforms. And the Cavs have followed through with what Cleveland.com reports is a $10-million-a-year deal with Goodyear.

Cleveland Indians Vice President Bob DiBiasio says he expects more teams will follow, and that the Cavs were fortunate to find a logo that fits the team’s character.

“The Goodyear logo is pretty cool, with the winged foot, just sitting up there on the left. So it’s not like SOHIO. … It just really looks cool and I think they lucked out on that look.”

Cavs coach to Tyronn Lue recently said he has one of the hardest jobs in the NBA. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto isn't buying that, but he says there are special challenges when it comes to coaching one of the best players in the history of the NBA.

"The hardest job is if you’re a coach in Orlando or Brooklyn, ... where the entire NBA is looking at it as if you have no chance to win.

With the wrap-up of a sweep of the Toronto Raptors last night, Cleveland tied an NBA record with its 12th consecutive win in series-clinching games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The record was first set by the Lakers from 2000-2004. Cleveland won its third-straight trip to the Eastern Conference finals with a 109-102 win in Toronto. The key to the series was shooting from a  distance Cleveland outscored Raptors by by 102 points from 3-point range.

Here's our sports commentator Terry Pluto on what's going so well for the Cavs: 


Stories in this week’s New Yorker from ProPublica, the non-profit investigative journalism group, raise questions about whether a northeast Ohio  poultry company  has racked up one of the worst safety records in the industry, in part by recruiting undocumented immigrants.  I spoke with the writer, Michael Grabell, about Case Farms.

Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says he remains hopeful he and President Trump can work together to renegotiate trade agreements. He says he and Trump have talked by phone about “Buy American” priorities, and he’s had repeated meetings with Trump’s economic and trade representatives to discuss revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Rob Portman
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman acknowledges he was unsettled by President Donald Trump’s Tweet today calling for a “good” government shutdown. Portman says he’s trying to focus on the policies, not what he calls “the noise.”

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman acknowledges he was unsettled by President Donald Trump’s Tweet today calling for a “good” government shutdown. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, Portman says he’s trying to focus on the policies, not what he calls “the noise.”

Portman says he generally agrees with Arizona Sen. John McCain, who suggested people should be watching what the Trump administration does rather than what it says – or what President Trump tweets.

For some, the fight against the opioid epidemic is a national priority. For others, it’s a personal struggle.  WKSU’s M.L. Schultze takes us to a basement room in Massillon, where, for about an hour last week, the story of broad policy and personal battles intertwined.

Ohio is getting $26 million from the federal government to help fight the opioid epidemic. 

The CURES Act passed in the waning days of the Obama administration and promised a billion dollars over two years to improve monitoring, prevention and treatment. This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the first round of $485 million in grants to states.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Congressman Bob Gibbs toured a residential center in Massillon today that treats people addicted to opioids. They also heard arguments that the Medicaid expansion that many fellow Republicans oppose is crucial to such efforts. 

The tour was of two 100-year-old buildings on what used to be the grounds of Massillon State psychiatric hospital. They’ve been renovated and turned over to CommQuest services to provide detox, medication maintenance and residential treatment.

Kevin Niedermier / WKSU

The three-day search for Steve Stephens ended Tuesday morning with Stephens killing himself after a brief pursuit by Pennsylvania State Police near Erie, Pa.. Stephens was accused of randomly shooting and killing an elderly Cleveland man on Easter Sunday and posting the gruesome video on Facebook.

The three-day search for Steve Stephens ended this  morning with Stephens allegedly killing himself after a brief pursuit by Pennsylvania State Police near Erie, Pa.. Stephens was accused of randomly shooting and killing an elderly Cleveland man on Easter Sunday and posting the gruesome video on Facebook. His post included a rambling statement about his gambling debts and other ways his life was falling apart. 

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his thoughts are with the family of 74-year-old Robert Godwin, the man killed Sunday afternoon on Cleveland’s east side. 

Stark County has staked part of its hope of combatting everything from infant mortality to drug abuse on noncustodial fathers. For WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the expanding initiative that insists “fathers are more than a paycheck” and presumes many of them want to prove it.

Lovelle Cannon acknowledges he agreed to spend a month of his afternoons at job and parenting classes for the most practical of reasons:

“I needed to keep my license.” 

Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman has confirmed he will vote with other Republicans to force a vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports he insists it’s a very different situation than last year, when Republicans refused to vote on another nominee.

Portman said he’ll vote for the so-called the nuclear option, which will lower the threshold to break a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee from 60 to 51. He says he regrets a further division in the Senate, but insists Gorsuch is well-qualified and deserves a vote.

M.L. Schultze / WKSU

Nearly two dozen representatives of Ohio’s Tea Party have written a letter to President Donald Trump, chiding Trump for tweeting out a threat directed at the House Freedom Caucus after the GOP healthcare bill collapsed last week.

Nearly two dozen representatives of Ohio’s tea party have written a letter to President Donald Trump. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports it chides Trump for tweeting out a threat directed at the House Freedom Caucus after the GOP healthcare bill collapsed last week.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include Rep. Jim Renacci's decision to support the GOP bill.

Northeast Ohio Congressman Dave Joyce has come out opposed to the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Other Ohio Republicans who have refused to back the bill so far have been from the most conservative wing of the party. But Joyce is considered a moderate – a faction that's largely been mum.

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