David Williams | WOSU Radio

David Williams

David Williams is an intern at WKSU for summer 2019. A junior at Kent State, Williams is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism. Williams has reported for The Kent Stater, the university’s student-run newspaper, since spring 2018. His interests include history and politics.

Ohioans who have their driver’s licenses suspended often face prohibitive fees to get their licenses back.

The state has offered temporary amnesty programs. Now a bill proposed by two Cleveland-area lawmakers would make permanent a reinstatement program to get people driving legally again.

Voters in Akron elected three new members to the Akron Public Schools Board of Education Tuesday. One of them made history.  

N.J. Akbar is the first openly LGBTQ Muslim elected in Ohio. Akbar is the assistant dean of University College at Kent State University. He said he was encouraged to run by a colleague at the university.

With his new position, Akbar wants to examine equity policies, increase flexibility in the academic calendar and be transparent about how the board operates.

With CBD products rising in popularity and more farmers beginning to grow hemp, the USDA this week released its first set of proposed regulations for the hemp-derived oil.

One local retailer is welcoming that move.

CBD products were so popular at Mustard Seed Market, they couldn’t keep them in stock. The retailer  created an e-commerce platform to sell its own brand, Hemp Luxe.

An increasing number of Ohio children have no health insurance coverage. A report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families indicates the number of uninsured children in the state increased by 28% from 2016 to 2018. That amounts to nearly 30,000 children.

The Center’s Director Joan Alker authored the report. She cited policy changes as a reason for the loss in coverage.

A report from the Commerce Department finds manufacturing’s share of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) has shrunk to its lowest level in 72 years. Manufacturing made up 11% of GDP in the second quarter. It hasn’t been that small since 1947 and rose to a quarter of the overall economy in the 1960s.   

But an industry advocacy organization says manufacturing remains a central driver of Ohio’s economy. Matthew Fieldman is the vice president of external affairs for the Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) and says the sector is thriving here.   

Cuyahoga Valley National Park has opened what it’s calling its first “Front Door."

The Boston Mill Visitor Center is on Riverview Road in Peninsula. Park Superintendent Craig Kenkel hopes the new center will bring some new faces as well.

"We see this as being a place for those first time visitors who know nothing about Cuyahoga Valley and Northeast Ohio, but it’s also a place where returning visitors and local visitors can come and learn more about our interpretive scenes and the stories that comprise the National Park as well as its connection to Cleveland and Akron."

A new dispatch system launched this month in Summit County will improve emergency response.

Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) replaced aging, DOS-based technology that had been used by the county, the cities of Akron and Green and the University of Akron.

Brian Nelsen is chief of staff to Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. He said the new system will enhance how first responders react to emergencies.

A recent outbreak of Lung Disease linked to vaping has prompted pulmonologists at the Cleveland Clinic to explore the link between the two.

Doctors began conducting lung biopsies on patients with a history of vaping. Director of Pulmonary Pathology Sanjay Mukhopadhyay led the study.

"Some people who vape definitely get lung damage, and that was not known before on a microscopic level and we have proved that in this study beyond a reasonable doubt," Mukhopadhyay said.

Akron Children’s Hospital is leading the way in developing national guidelines for prescribing pain medication to children after surgery.

The process has led to a 44% reduction in narcotic prescriptions.

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Kerwyn Jones says his team developed the new guidelines after looking at prescription practices at five medical centers.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are looking into how kids can get back to school faster after a traumatic brain injury like a concussion.

Psychology professor Angela Ciccia said they will work with schools to identify students and observe their academic performance and behavior after injury.

They’re modeling their approach after a Pennsylvania program called BrainSTEPS.

Judges in Akron want to clear up questions about how the judicial system works for people in the community.

Akron Municipal Court has launched a new program called Have Gavel, Will Travel, to connect judges with schools, churches, scout troops and other community organizations.

Summit Lake is enjoying a revival, but it’s about more than just the body of water itself. The community's  turnaround is the focus of a new story in The Devil Strip “Revival of the People and the Souls on the Shores of Summit Lake.”

Healthcare providers across Ohio have taken steps to raise wages for their lowest-paid workers. Akron Children’s Hospital announced this week that its minimum wage will increase to 15 dollars an hour by next year.

University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and MetroHealth have planned similar increases.

J.B. Silvers teaches healthcare finance at Case Western Reserve University. He said this is part of a nationwide push to raise the minimum wage.

Music is big business in Northeast Ohio. The Cleveland Orchestra commissioned a study to determine just how big.

It found the orchestra’s activities at Severance Hall and concerts at Blossom Music Center – which it owns – generated more than $135 million in spending in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The orchestra’s President and CEO Andre Gremillet says he wants to increase that impact in the coming years.

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.

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