M.L. Schultze

One of the state’s most active addiction-treatment programs is expanding its services for women’s and outreach. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with the head of the Stark County nonprofit CommQuest about the half-million-dollar effort.

CommQuest provided detox, residential treatment and outpatient services to close to 6,000 people last year. That includes housing, counseling and treatment at Deliverance House, a 90-day women’s residential program in Canton. It often has a waiting list of more than a month.

Tamir Rice

A new study introduced with the Cleveland police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice finds that people perceive young black men as larger and more threatening than similarly sized white men.

The study published by the American Psychological Association asked nearly 1,000 online participants to compare color photographs of young white and black men of equal height and weight. John Paul Wilson, a professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey says, consistently, participants believed the black men were stronger, more muscular and more menacing.

More than a quarter of the 51,000 people in Ohio’s prisons are drug offenders, and the state is trying to figure out how to move some of them to treatment at the local level. In this installment of “Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis” WKSU’s M.L. Schultze looks closer at the evolution of the legal system from “lock them up” to “get them help.”

Ohio has a big problem with opioids and with prison overcrowding. A system meant to handle fewer than 39,000 people is holding more than 51,000, and many are relatively low-level drug offenders. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports in this installment of our series, Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis, the justice system is looking to alternatives to tackle the problem.

Local immigration attorneys say undocumented immigrant families In Northeast Ohio are increasingly skittish as they prepare for routine appointments with federal immigration officials. They’re concerned that the policies that have allowed them to remain in the U.S. are abruptly changing. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that one Akron family found out there’s reason for such fears.

The argument over immigration and deportation is no longer abstract – at least to some of those who have been living, working and raising families in Northeast Ohio. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has the story of one family facing a changed reality this week.

Ohio’s congressional delegation split – largely along party lines – on whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions did enough by recusing himself from any investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. elections last fall. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the reaction to confirmation that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice, then told Congress he had not.

Akron’s North Hill neighborhood is celebrating the opening of a combination Airbnb and Bhutanese cultural center tonight  It’s believed to be the first-of-its-kind in the country. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on The Better Block’s “Exchange House.”

Like a lot of inner city structures, the 1913 frame house a block off of North Main Street stood vacant for years before the nonprofit Better Block bought it for $23,000.

The Canton Board of Health today approved a needle exchange program to try to control the fallout from the heroin crisis. 

Canton’s program is expected to cost about $150,000 a year, and the goal  is to fight the escalating rate of hepatitis-C and other blood-borne diseases that are spread through shared needles. Cleveland has the state’s oldest such program, begun in 1995, and Cincinnati began its program about four years ago.

The head of Akron’s Asia Services in Action is among the 10 members of a presidential advisory committee who abruptly quit this week to protest President Trump’s immigration and other executive orders. 

The mass resignations left only four members on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – a commission that’s existed since 1999.

Rob Portman speaking
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is reintroducing a bill he hopes will slow the flow of synthetic heroin such as fentanyl and carfentanil into the country.

Cleveland-native Andy Puzder -- one of the last and most controversial of President Trump’s cabinet choices -- is set for a Senate committee hearing Thursday. And Ohio’s Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he’s not yet made up his mind how he’ll vote on the Labor nominee.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman is reintroducing a bill he hopes will slow the flow of synthetic heroin such as fentanyl and carfentanil into the country.

Many of the packages of the illegal synthetic drugs are coming from labs in China and India via the U.S. Postal Service. Portman’s bill would require advance electronic notification of what’s in postal packages, as well as where it’s shipped from and who it’s shipped to.

The International Institute of Akron had expected to resettle hundreds of Syrian refugees in Summit County this year, though President Donald Trump’s indefinite ban on Syrians disrupted those plans at least temporarily. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze visited with one of the roughly 10 Syrian families who have migrated to Akron in the last six months.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman continues to warn the Trump administration against trying to lift sanctions against Russia. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

Portman has been a strong supporter of Ukraine and critic of Russia following its invasion of the country in 2014. And he says he’s concerned that President Trump is considering lifting the sanctions imposed at that time as well as those imposed after Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Update 11:06, Feb. 2, 2017: This story has been updated to reflect Rob Portman endorsement of Betsy DeVos this morning. Here's his statement: 

“I support Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education because during the confirmation process she committed to strongly support public education and because of her support for local control, instead of having the federal government dictate education policy at the state and local level.  I look forward to working with her to improve our K-12 public education system, make college more affordable, stand up for children with disabilities, and close the skills gap by promoting Career and Technical Education (CTE) to give young people more opportunities to succeed.

Editor's note: This post includes a disturbing image.

Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan says he’s had a lot of calls this week from constituents troubled by President Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning all refugees and banning most travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that Ryan says the order fails on both humanitarian and practical levels.

Cleveland immigration lawyer David Leopold was among the scores of attorneys trying over the weekend to overturn or at least outrun President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees. The order bans all refugees for 120 days – and those from Syria indefinitely. It also blocks citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for the next three months.

The International Institute of Akron has been resettling refugees for a hundred years and anticipated resettling a record 700 this year. But those plans are likely to change today, when President Donald Trump signs an executive order putting all refugees on hold for at least four months – and keeping out those from Syria indefinitely. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with the Institute’s Liz Walters about the impact of Trump’s act.

Early reports on the executive order President Donald Trump is expected to sign today do not include specific references to banning Muslim refugees. But it does drastically cut the number of refugees overall and puts special limits on those coming from Muslim countries. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with one recent Muslim refugee now settled in Akron about his experience and Trump’s proposal.

Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio’s Sherrod Brown has joined Democratic Senate leaders to come up with a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal they say should provide a framework for President Donald Trump.

Ohio’s Sherrod Brown has joined Democratic Senate leaders to come up with a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal they say should provide a framework for President Donald Trump. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports it includes a provision that American-made materials go into all federal-taxpayer funded public works projects.

UPDATED 12:36: A SWAT team arrested a man at about 11:45 this morning in relation to the hit-skip accident that killed Cleveland police officer David Fahey earlier today. The arrest was on West 31st Street in Lorain. Cleveland.com says police found the white Toyota Camry at that address. 

UPDATED 11:27 a.m.: The officer has been identified as David Fahey, 39, who was hired by the department in July 2014.

Here's a statement from the Fraternal Order of Police:

"Today has been a tragic day. First, a driver was killed in an accident along Interstate 90 near Cleveland. Then, Police Officer David Fahey responded to that accident and was in the process of diverting traffic away when he was hit and killed by another driver. The driver then fled the scene of the accident. 

"I mourn this loss with our police brothers and sisters in Cleveland and I urge anyone with information about the hit and skip driver to contact local authorities.

"While we don’t yet know the exact circumstances, I urge everyone to slow down when you see the lights of emergency personnel. I urge all drivers to avoid using devices like phones which distract you while driving. And I urge people to slow down; observe both road conditions and the speed limit. Getting to your destination a fewer seconds faster doesn’t mean much, but the decisions you make on the roadways can literally be the difference between life and death.

"This senseless death of a Cleveland Police Officer reminds us all how dangerous policing can be and we ask that you join us in praying for the family, friends and colleagues of our fallen Brother."

Akron has published an interactive map showing where its remaining lead pipes are. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that the city created the map with the help of records going back more than half a century.

The map shows blue dots – some clustered, most scattered – throughout the city. Together, they account for 5 percent of the lines that connect water mains to individual homes and businesses.

Editor's note: The original story predated the confirmation hearing for Trump's nominee for Treasury SecretarySteve Mnuchin.

GM's announcement this week that it's investing a billion dollars in its U.S. operations will have no direct effect on 1,200 people in Lordstown. They're the third shift at the GM plant and this week, they lose their jobs. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports on the layoffs and what’s next for Lordstown.

The president of the University of Akron says the school he took over six months ago is starting to see a recovery in finances, enrollment and graduation rates. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with Matt Wilson after he outlined to the Akron Press Club today what the university is doing to recover from a tumultuous two years.

Editor's note: We'll have more coming on the Lordstown layoffs Thursday morning on WKSU.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The day of Donald Trump's inauguration is also the last day for the midnight shift at the General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. About 1,200 people will lose their jobs. Trump blames GM production in Mexico. As M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU reports, the reality and reaction in Lordstown is more complicated.

A judge has denied a new trial for a Canton man who narrowly escaped execution but remains in prison for life. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on developments in one of dozens of cases linked to questions about the work of a state forensics investigator.

Kevin Keith was convicted in 1994 of killing three people and wounding three others in Bucyrus, and sentenced to death. He has always maintained his innocence and former Gov. Ted Strickland commuted his sentence to life in prison after questions arose about eye-witness accounts and other evidence.