Jennifer Conn | WOSU Radio

Jennifer Conn

Jennifer Conn joined WKSU in February 2019 as Akron reporter. 

A Northeast Ohio native, Jennifer has covered Akron news for cleveland.com and Crain’s Akron Business. She was also a member of the inaugural staff of The Devil Strip, and wrote long-form features on Akron’s burgeoning music scene, the city’s punk roots and its historic downtown.

Earlier in her career, Jennifer was a business reporter for Crain Communications’ national trade magazines, covering scrap metal, recycling and municipal incineration for Waste News and the retail tire industry for Tire Business. She also served as regional reporter for Record Publishing’s weekly newspapers.

As a freelance writer, Jennifer has covered numerous industries, including the automotive after-market, cyber security, herbal healing and the environment. Her features have also appeared in literary magazines, including Belt Akron

As a communications professional, Jennifer was vice president of communications at Akron Community Foundation, and  senior communications development officer at the Summa Hospitals Foundation. She also served as senior writer at AKHIA Public Relations and Marketing Communications.

Jennifer also worked as an adjunct professor at Kent State and the University of Akron, teaching newswriting, English composition and English as a Second language.   

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in journalism from Kent State University. She is currently working on a post master’s certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language.

She is a Cuyahoga Valley National Park enthusiast, owns two kayaks (one banana yellow, one psychedelic purple)  and served on the board that launched Akron's dog park.

Summit county leaders have revealed more details about plans for Smither’s, Akron’s long-time research firm, to move its world headquarters from West Market Street to downtown.  

In a transaction involving the county, the city, the Development Finance Authority and several others, the company will renovate and occupy the former Austen BioInnovation Institute at 47 N. Main St. The plan includes tearing down the old trolley barn and constructing a new research & development facility.

Minneapolis-based Vireo Health has received the go-ahead from the state of Ohio to open Akron’s first medical marijuana processing facility.

The publicly traded company will operate its subsidiary, Ohio Medical Solutions, from a former factory building on Tallmadge Avenue in North Akron. The renovated facility now houses a state of the art manufacturing operation with high-tech security.  

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced 36 finalists were chosen in the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Akron.

The arts challenge seeks out ideas that connect people to each other and to place to ultimately strengthen communities. The winners get a share of $1 million to help them bring their ideas to life.

In three preceding challenges, Knight awarded nearly $3 million for 63 ideas in Akron.

It's a sight you wouldn’t expect to see in Akron.

Students and teachers at North High School watched as two sturdy white horses pulled an old fashioned plough, preparing the ground for an urban farm that will enable students to learn about growing, preparing and marketing food.

Akron Public Schools will work with nonprofit Shanti Farms to teach students in all grades aspects of farming, from sampling soil to preparing food. 

The Akron Water Department is looking to install “smart” water meters across the city, enabling residents and businesses to monitor their water usage in real-time, potentially saving money.

The city said the 85,000 meters the water department installed about 15 years ago are starting to fail, costing about $200,000 a year in maintenance.

When Amazon opens its new fulfillment facility in Akron, it will be the third in Northeast Ohio. One in Euclid is preparing to launch, and one in North Randall opened in October 2018. All three are sited where shopping malls used to be.

In North Randall, Mayor David Smith said Amazon has exceeded the city’s expectations.

It’s finally official — Amazon is coming to Akron and bringing about 1,500 full-time jobs with it. 

Amazon announced early Monday that construction will soon begin on a 700,000 square-foot distribution facility on the site of the former Rolling Acres Mall.

A residential development on the former Sycamore Valley Golf Course in Cuyahoga Falls is moving forward, but residents want a Cuyahoga River tributary to be protected.

Akron-based Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio has released the somewhat surprising results of research focused on gender equity and women’s leadership in Summit County.

New options for downtown living will soon be available in Akron.

New Jersey developer Tom Rybak plans to begin transformation of the historic Law Building on Main Street into a multi-use complex.

The Law Building faces the Bowery Project, a multi-use development now under construction and planned to open this November.

Municipal recycling programs are as different as the communities they serve. But keeping a large recycling stream pure is a universal challenge.

The city of Akron has launched an initiative to combat the increasing volume of contamination in its recycling streams.

Over the next three months, the “Recycle Right” campaign will rely on bin inspections and ongoing communication with residents, according to Akron Chief of Staff James Hardy.

The removal of dams along the Cuyahoga River has had benefits apart from improving water quality. Now, water recreation is providing new business opportunities from Kent to Cuyahoga Falls.

Over Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of brightly colored inflatable tubes joined kayakers and canoers on the river. The tubers were customers of Float the River, the area’s newest form of water recreation, launched by local entrepreneurs T.J. Mack and Savannah Snyder.

Akronites who are interested in gardening but don’t have the space or the skill can join a new urban farm cooperative.

Akron Cooperative Farms this month tilled the earth at an unused baseball park in North Hill.

Akron has kicked off a process that will create a blueprint for the city’s cultural resources, from visual art to environmental assets.

Residents will be central to the creation of the Akron Cultural Plan, which will be led by ArtsNow, a nonprofit created to connect art, culture and community. The goal is to rely on community input to develop a strategy for strengthening the city’s cultural resources, across an array of places, experiences and organizations.

Voters went to the polls in Akron’s primary election on Tuesday where they ousted  four city council incumbents.


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