Kevin Niedermier | WOSU Radio

Kevin Niedermier

For the first time in several years, U.S. tire industry output grew. A Rubber Manufacturers Association report says production in 2015 of passenger, light truck and medium truck and bus tires rose nearly 8 percent. Reasons for the growth include low fuel prices and rising auto and truck sales. Rick Rebadow of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce says the U.S. tire industry’s growth bodes well for the city.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District in eastern Ohio surprised many last week when it halted sales of water to oil and gas drilling companies. The district says it wants time to evaluate the environmental impact and gather public comment. That means at least one local family is treading water as it decides what to do long-term. Leatra Harper has been boating on Seneca Lake for almost a decade. Boats alternately splash, weave and tear along the sparkling water of the man-made lake, off of I-70 between Columbus and Wheeling.

Ohio is once again shaping up to have an important primary election, and the race for GOP candidates to gather the state’s 66 delegates is heating up. Mitt Romney was in Ohio last night, and his visit follows a swing tour by Newt Gingrich. With the frontrunner coming to town this weekend, Kevin Niedermier of Ohio public radio station WKSU reports the timing is adding to Ohio’s importance. Click the play button above to hear Kevin's full report.

The leading Democratic candidates in Ohio's May 4 U.S. Senate primary debated in Cleveland over jobs, trust and who can win the seat held for 12 years by retiring Republican George Voinovich.

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, the state's top elections official, saved their best shots for the final minutes.

Fisher challenged why Brunner hasn't offered to support Fisher if he wins the nomination. She says her role as Ohio's elections chief requires her neutrality.

Ohio officials are pushing plans to get Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes, at the forefront of offshore wind power development.

Gov. Ted Strickland and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown joined industry and education leaders Monday in Cleveland and outlined tax-cut and regulatory measures to jump-start wind projects.

Strickland says a tax cut now before state lawmakers would make Ohio competitive in developing wind power. Brown is backing legislation to expand federal tax incentives for offshore wind development.

The parties, speeches, strategy sessions and spectacle are over, and Ohio's delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver will begin trickling back into the state today. Last night they heard Barack Obama accept his nomination as their candidate for president. Now the delegates must make Obama's case to skeptical Ohio voters.Ohio Public Radio station WKSU's Kevin Niedermier is at the Denver convention...and files this report.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland joined other Democratic governors who lined up yesterday to criticize Republican John McCain and offered a chorus of praise for their party's nominee, Barack Obama. Strickland brought down the house with a remark about how President Bush had blown the budget surplus left behind by President Clinton.

Superdelegate Ohio Governor Ted Strickland will address the convention floor tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

"It'll be a relatively short speech, but I will try to speak to the economic concerns of Ohioans, and of Americans. I will talk about the need for change. I will talk about the fact that with John McCain we get just more of what we already have. I will talk about Barack Obama's economic proposals that I think will turn this economy around and get us back on the right track," Strickland said.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama return to the campaign trail today, after holding their second debate in a week last night. The showdown in Cleveland is also their final debate ahead of next Tuesday's crucial Democratic primaries in Ohio and Texas, along with votes in Rhode Island and Vermont. Obama has won 11 straight primaries and caucuses, prompting Clinton's camp to acknowledge the importance of strong showings next week.