Tim Rudell

A second rabid raccoon has turned up in northeast Ohio in as many months, and that has drawn the attention of public health and wildlife agencies in the region.  

M.L. Schultze / WKSU

A week ago,  an estimated 1.5 million gallons of a fluid used in drilling the underground pathway for the Rover gas pipeline spilled in southwestern Stark County. The accident was in an area where Canton has shallow wells for its water supply.

A week ago,  an estimated 1.5 million gallons of a fluid used in drilling the underground pathway for the Rover gas pipeline spilled in southwestern Stark County. The accident was in an area where Canton has shallow wells for its water supply.  

The state law passed last year allowing a medical marijuana industry in Ohio gives communities a limited ability to regulate it in their areas. To get a state permit, a company must show it can comply with zoning and other ordinances where it will operate. But, as a deadline nears for applying for the first state permits, rules for doing business in Akron aren’t set.  

Mayor Dan Horrigan introduced Akron’s licensing plan to City Council this week. His press secretary, Ellen Lander-Nischt, says passage is probably a few weeks off. 

Tim Rudell / WKSU

There’s more than one-way to power an electric vehicle. The one most people are probably familiar with is through batteries. However, there’s another way to generate electricity for cars that, after 40 years in development, is finally becoming more science fact than fiction. And it’s happening in Ohio.

Akron is considering adopting the first set of rules in the state to allow medical marijuana sales under the new Ohio law permitting such sales as of September of 2018. But it won’t allow such sales in residential areas, or within 500 feet of schools, churches or libraries. That is the upshot of an ordinance proposed by Mayor Dan Horrigan. 

Akron City Council will discuss this afternoon proposed rules that would govern medical marijuana businesses in the city.

For years, opponents of the proposed NEXUS pipeline across Ohio have been mounting legal challenges to block the multi-billion dollar project. Now, a northeast Ohio opposition group is getting some help with the legal costs from an area city. 

Green is giving CORN -- the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS -- $10,000 to help it pursue a lawsuit against the federal agency that would approve NEXUS.

The Summit METRO RTA Board will meet this week to decide what comes next for the man who has run the agency for the past five years. Richard Enty was suspended with pay April 9th and escorted from his office. An email he sent to the management staff and board triggered the suspension.

Akron Public Schools is adoping a “career and college academies” reorganization of  its high schools.

The school-within-the school approach has reported significant successes in other large urban school districts, including Nashville, Tenn. That's where leaders from Akron went to learn about the program.

Summit County is considering an investment strategy that could boost economic development programs in the area.

Summit County usually has about $300 million on hand as revenue comes in that isn’t due to be paid out. It invests that to earn interest. But it wants to leverage more value from the money by putting a couple of million dollars of in a “loan reserve” for the Summit Development Finance Authority.

Since the 1970s, fuel cells have been regarded in the energy world as the next big thing. But the technology wasn’t ready. Now, with 40 years of research and development, some say it’s time has come. 

The Ohio Department of Transportation kicked off its 2017 construction season Thursday with nearly two billion dollars’ worth of new and continuing projects in northeastern Ohio.

In Cuyahoga and adjacent counties, $1.3 billion will go to projects like the Inner Belt and Opportunity corridors and Valley View Bridge.

Akron is helping pay to remove a dam in southern Ohio, but it isn’t costing the city anything.  In fact, by acting as a “sponsor” for the Cincinnati-area project that otherwise wouldn't get funding,  Akron is saving money. 

The Ohio EPA’s support of local water-resource improvements is rooted in revolving loan programs. That means outright grants for projects that can’t pay back loans, are not doable.

Some neighbors of the Republic Steel plant on Canton’s east side want to know if it is the source of dust that settles on their properties. They also want to know if the dust is hazardous. 

A delegation from a housing development just south of the steel mill asked Canton City Council earlier this month for a study of the dust and where it is coming from.  They went to council because the city health department handles air pollution control in Canton.

Democrats in the Ohio House are in the process of picking a new state representative for Barberton and south Akron.  Greta Johnson, who held the 35th  House District seat since January of 2015, has resigned to become assistant Summit County law director.  

Who will finish Greta Johnson’s term—it runs through the end of 2018 —is up to the House Democratic Caucus, says Professor Stephen Brooks of the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

State Rep. Greta Johnson, whose 35th district includes Akron and Barberton, officially leaves the Ohio Legislature Sunday.  She announced several weeks ago she was resigning before the end of her term.  On the way out of Columbus she had a message for Gov. John Kasich. 

President Donald Trump’s first budget outline calls for cutting all funding for legal aid services. What could that mean for individuals and communities in northeast Ohio? 

The president's proposed cuts would affect only legal aid to handle civil cases, not public defenders. Court-appointed lawyers for defendants who can’t afford them in criminal cases is constitutionally guaranteed.

Akron could soon have an anti-discrimination law and civil rights commission.   

Mayor Dan Horrican and City Councilman Rick Swirsky introduced an ordinance, which would ban discrimination and establish the commission.

Assistant Law Director Ellen Lander-Nischt says the legislation augments federal and state anti-discrimination protections. It specifies coverage for gender -identity, national origin and other non-traditional discrimination cases.  And it makes it easier to seek a hearing of grievances.

The impact of President Donald Trump’s new executive order regarding immigrants and refugees will be felt in northeast Ohio.  And it appears that will be especially so for local resettlement groups. 

One of the best known and most active refugee resettlement organizations in the region is the International Institute in Akron.

Three closed firehouses in Canton are reopening. That’s partly because of a federal grant helping the city rehire some laid off firefighters. But it is also due to a new plan for emergency response.

The playing of taps; the folding of the flag--and presentation of it to next of kin: these are traditions commonly seen at the funerals of veterans.  But, that could be changing.

True to his word in Tuesday’s State of the City Address, Mayor Dan Horrigan today  launched a “Quick Response Team” program for overdose cases in Akron. 

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan sees his city headed for a brighter future, and, in his first official state of the city address, he talked about some new ideas and plans for getting there.  

Mayor Horrigan discussed implementing “Quick Response Teams” to help get people into addiction treatment: “A medic, a police officer, and a counselor will address [overdose] victims and their families to try to get them into services right away.”

Plans are proceeding for bringing a major industrial operation to the  century-old Packard Electric site in Warren.  It’s the idea of a former Warren-native now living in California who says it could create 800 to 1,000 local jobs.

Although he is a successful West Coast developer, Christopher Alan is still fond of his home town. That’s one reason he chose it as the site for all design and manufacturing for the automated parking systems company he owns.

Akron-based First Energy lost $6-point-2-billion last year as it began taking steps to get out of the competitive energy business and back into being a regulated utility.  

Trucks carrying highly radioactive nuclear waste from Canada may soon be rolling through northeast Ohio. They’ll be bound for a disposal site at an old cold-war atomic bomb plant in South Carolina.

Canadian anti-nuclear activist Gordon Edwards say that’s now to go to the Carolina site.  “They have a particular facility where they actually used to separate plutonium.  And that’s where the high level radioactive liquid from Chalk River is going.”

Stark County’s Board of Developmental Disabilities approved a new strategic plan Monday.  It fundamentally changes the role the agency plays in helping the disabled. 

Instead of running workshops and busses for the developmentally disabled, Stark DD will arrange, monitor and fund services by private providers. That’s to comply with Medicare rules phasing in over the next three years.

A private hunting reserve that opened last fall in Trumbull County’s Vienna Township is still raising questions from nearby residents. 

The old Candywood Golf Course is now Candywood Whitetale Ranch, a fenced range for stalking captive animals for a fee.

Some people who live nearby met this week with local officials and an owner of the ranch to voice concerns. County Commissioner Frank Fuda says only one concern was a non-starter.

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