Ella Abbott

Ella Abbott is studying journalism and forensic anthropology at Kent State. Abbott has previously held the positions of senior reporter for the Kent Stater, the university’s student run newspaper, and editor-in-chief of Fusion magazine, Kent State’s LGBTQ magazine. Her interests are in public policy and crime.

Following a national search, Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute found its new director right on campus.

The university introduced Torsten Hegmann today at an event that included several department heads. Hegmann has been at Kent since 2011 and an assistant director of the institute for the past year.

Kent State President, Todd Diacon, said he expects Hegmann to be a collaborative leader.

David Giffels believes the journey to understanding America begins with Ohio. Traveling around the state, the Akron-based writer is working on a new book ahead of next year’s election.

Local leaders are trying to help Summit County flood victims.

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) met with  several mayors, directors of state agencies and Governor Mike DeWine this week in Barbertion. Mayor William Judge organized the meeting.

Galonski said there is hope for financial help for those affected by flooding.

Stark Parks is seeking a property tax increase to expand trails and facilities. The park district’s current levy of 1-mill expires at the end of next year and they’re looking to generate more funding.

The director of Stark County Park District, Bob Fonte, said they conducted a survey along with updating the five-year plan for the parks. He said the increase would help fund the things park goers have asked for.

Akron city leaders are crediting residents for helping to keep the city clean.

Keep Akron Beautiful released the results of its annual Community Appearance Index. A group of volunteers spend a few hours each June surveying the city for litter, temporary illegal signage and graffiti.

This year, the city scored a "1," the lowest possible score, for litter.

According to recent studies, depression continues to increase year-to-year in the college population. Kent State is working to expand counseling services for students.

The university wants to add a $20 fee next year to support increasing the number of mental health counselors on campus.

Senior Vice President Mark Palatajko said the goal is to create a ratio of about 1,300 students to each counselor. Currently, the university has one counselor for every 3,300 students.

After more than a year of negotiations, a new contract is now in place for members of the Kent State faculty union.

The University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the contract at a meeting Wednesday. The faculty union had ratified it earlier in June.

University President-elect Todd Diacon, who takes over Monday, welcomed the decision.

“And we know that the source of our strength as an institution is the quality of our faculty. And for that reason, we’re especially thankful that we have our new contract.”

Two Ohio newspapers have made the list of the most endangered buildings in the state this year.

Preservation Ohio’s list takes nominations from residents in considering the most endangered historic sites. This year’s list includes 13 sites. Among them are the soon to be vacated Akron Beacon Journal building and the Dayton Daily News building.

Thomas Palmer, the executive director of Preservation Ohio, said he expects future lists to include additional unused newspaper buildings.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic performed Ohio’s first successful in-utero surgery.

Surgeons operated on a fetus diagnosed with spina bifida, a defect that affects the development of the spine which can lead to brain damage.

Dr. Darrell Cass led the surgical team. He has performed more than 100 fetal surgeries at other hospitals.

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is creating a new space for young riders. The Edu-trainment is currently being renovated to create an educational and entertaining space for children.

The new car is part of a master plan with the goal of enhancing the railroad.

Bobby Dinkins is the Vice President of Marketing and Development for the railroad. He says the goal for the train is to let kids have fun while getting to learn about the national park.

A new study released today looks at the lasting effect of legal aid services in certain Northeast Ohio counties.

Steven McGarrity is the Executive Director of Community Legal Aid which covers eight counties including Summit and Portage. He said the study showed their ongoing impact, but also where they could improve.

The Midnight Basketball league returns to Akron tonight in an effort to combat violence in the community.

The program for adults 18 and over was stopped in 2004, but city leadership has decided to bring it back this summer to give people who might otherwise be on the street at night something to do.

Pat Littlejohn is overseeing the program and helped develop it.

“We’re having a lot of violence within our community, so we wanted to bring something back to allow these guys to exercise some of their energy instead of being out in the streets.”

An Akron woman who’s founded youth programs is taking another step to help her community.

Sheri Yearian has been named an Emerging Cities Champion fellow by the Knight Foundation and 8 80 Cities.

She’ll receive funding to promote cycling by adding more bike racks in the Kenmore area and a bike repair stand.

Billboards in Akron are encouraging residents to lock up firearms, medication and alcohol to prevent suicides. The seven billboards depict the items locked behind a padlock.

The campaign is called “Store It Safe” and is a partnership between Akron Children’s Hospital and the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP).

The GAR Foundation is helping teachers in Akron expose students to career opportunities through the new college and career academies.

GAR is providing a half-million dollar grant to support teacher development, student leadership and communications.

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