Gershon Harrell

Gershon Harrell, is a junior journalism major at Kent State University. He was a diversity reporter and features writer for the Kent Stater, the student-run newspaper, for two semesters. Gershon has a passion for storytelling and aspires to be a features writer, telling the stories of people and the ever changing culture. 

Owners of a private lake in Brimfield are trying to figure out a way to save it.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources re-classified the dam on Brimfield Lake as having a higher risk of casualties in the case of flooding. Now, owners have to pay for the development of an emergency action plan, an EAP, which they estimate will cost $15,000.

If they don’t, the lake could be drained and the dam demolished, which Brimfield Lake Association President Matt Pruszynski said would harm property values.

A new collaboration between four science organizations in Cleveland will give students greater research opportunities.

The Holden Aboretum, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have signed affiliation agreements with Case Western Reserve University’s biology department.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said working class citizens will keep more of the money they earn under a new tax bill he introduced.

The Working Families Tax Relief Act would expand the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC.

Brown said the bill will increase the incomes of 114 million Americans, 4 million Ohioans, and bring children out of poverty.

The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office is participating in a national campaign to change the way people treat sexual assault victims.

The program is called “Start By Believing.”

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said the local campaign aims to discourage victim blaming, as well as educate the community on how to properly respond to and support victims.

Two Summit County school districts are asking their communities to approve tax levies this spring that will provide the districts with additional funding.

In the Nordonia Hills City School District, voters will consider for the second time a 6.9 mill additional levy.

Superintendent Joe Clark says they have already made $1.7 million in cuts. That includes reducing transportation to the state minimum, which means only students who live more than two miles away from a school will be bussed. He says parents have expressed concerns.    

Akron students who live in subsidized housing will be able to access the internet when they're at home under a new initiative.  

The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority has partnered with Sprint to offer WiFi to residents. 

Sprint will provide 235 hotspots for AMHA, according to community relations manager Joan Davidson. She said they will specifically target public school children of all ages who have access to Chromebooks.

The Akron Zoo has received the largest gift in its history –$1.5 million from an unnamed donor.

The donation was made to the zoo’s ROAR campaign, which is a fundraiser for two new exhibits. One of them is the new Pride of Africa, a habitat for a larger group of lions. The other is Wild Asia, featuring white-cheeked gibbons. Spokeswoman Elena Bell said the primates have been highly requested.

A Hilliard schools student completes classroom work with an iPad.
Columbus Neighborhoods / WOSU

A new study has found Ohio charter school students aren’t measuring up to their traditional school peers.

A new study has found Ohio charter school students aren’t measuring up to their traditional school peers.

The report from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University shows Ohio charter school students had weaker academic progress in math than traditional students. They showed similar results in reading.

The study finds the growth is even weaker for online charter students.          

A new study shows that the drilling boom in south east Ohio is not contributing as much as it could to the local economy.

One of the authors, Amanda Weinstein of the University of Akron, says part of this loss is because many of the workers in those drilling areas are spending their earnings elsewhere.

Grade school children in Akron have a new opportunity to acquire science, technology, engineering and math—or STEM--skills.

The Soap Box Derby will use grant funds to create an experiential learning program for third through fifth graders.

Derby CEO Mark Gerberich said they’re working with four non-profit organizations to provide after school programs where the students will build miniature derby cars.

University Hospitals and Kent State University are teaming up to alleviate the region’s nursing shortage.

Barbara Broome, Dean of Kent State’s College of Nursing, says the program allows senior nursing majors to do their clinical trials at University Hospital and return after graduation.

Broome says there’s a shortage of around three thousand nurses in Ohio, and these students can help fill the gap.

Stark County’s dog wardens are losing their jobs, but the chief warden thinks the change will bring progress to the community.

The Sheriff’s department is taking over the dog warden duties on March first. Current head warden Jon Barber and four of his assistants will lose their jobs. They can reapply to work for the Sheriff’s department,  but they have to be certified as deputies.

Barber says one benefit of the change is deputies can enforce the law. 

The Cuyahoga Valley National park is reopening its facilities to the public.

The five week government shutdown had reduced operations at the park. The park was still open to the public. However, the bathrooms and the visitor’s center were closed, and snow removal wasn’t taking place.

Spokeswoman Pamela Barnes says regular operations will resume Wednesday, but upcoming harsh weather conditions aren't a concern.

Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown is taking more steps towards a presidential bid.

Brown announced on NPR’s Morning Edition that he’ll be visiting several states that hold early primaries in a “Dignity of Work” tour. He says he will ultimately decide if he wants to run for president when the tour is over.

Brown said a presidential campaign is an earthquake for families and he and his wife, columnist Connie Schultz, are taking their time with the decision.