Posted Thursday, May 31
Congressional maverick James Traficant, Jr. was indicted in April on federal charges for alleged illegal activities in his homebase of Youngstown. Traficant faced similar accusations in 1983 and emerged victorious in a high profile trial. 90.3's David C. Barnett reports on how this master of the sound bite has used the media to maintain a folk hero status in his home district.
PUCO Schedules Public Hearings for Proposed Telephone Rules
Posted Thursday, May 31
The state of Ohio is in the process of changing the rules for local phone service. The proposed rules would freeze the price of basic service, but other phone services could be raised. The Ohio Consumer's Council and at least one senior citizen's group feels the new regulations would lead to higher prices. The future of local phone service in Ohio is the subject of a series or public hearings being held throughout the state right now. Click here for more on the meetings. Aired May 31, 2001.
Summer Brings Ozone Concerns
Posted Tuesday, May 29
With Memorial Day weekend behind us, summer can't be too far away. But along with backyard barbeques and trips to the beach, summer can also bring high ozone days, days when you're not supposed to gas up your car until after sunset. High ozone can cause breathing difficulties for seniors and people with respiratory problems. It can also trigger asthma attacks in children and adults. But did you know that even low levels of ozone can affect the quality of life for sensitive populations? 90.3's Karen Schaefer brings us this primer on ozone.
Mike White Vs. The Plain Dealer
Posted Friday, May 25
This week has been full of surprises at Cleveland City Hall. The biggest is that 3-term mayor, Michael White, will not run for re-election. While some speculate that the pressures of public life have taken their toll on the mayor, Cleveland's longest serving top official is showing no sign of fatigue in his long simmering fight with Cleveland's daily newspaper. The dispute between the mayor and the Plain Dealer remains strong, even with the end of White's tenure in sight. 90.3's April Baer reports.
The Healing Power of Plants: Horticultural Therapy
Posted Friday, May 25
Have you ever noticed that you feel more relaxed or less stressed after spending time working in your yard or garden? Chances are you're harvesting the benefits of horticultural therapy. Horticulture has been used as a therapeutic tool for centuries. Work in the garden was prescribed as treatment for mental illness even before psychiatry became a science. At the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, about a half-hour east of Cleveland, a horticultural therapy program has emerged that's the only kind like it in the country. 90.3's Renita Jablonski had a chance to sit in and watch the healing power of plants at work.
Making Room For Breast Cancer Funding
Posted Wednesday, May 23
Today the state budget will be debated on the floor of Ohio Senate. The budget has already been adjusted several times as policy makers juggle funding priorities around public schools. Although many programs have suffered cuts, one of the latest adds to funding plan is money for breast and cervical cancer care. Now, the women suffering from these types of cancer wait for word that the budget proposal has passed, making their struggle, at least financially, a little easier. 90.3's Tarice Sims reports.
Tremont Air Pollution
Posted Monday, May 21
Tremont residents have been complaining recently about poor air quality. In response, the City of Cleveland's Environment Division set up a 15-day monitoring system. Tremont is located in Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman's Ward 13. He's introducing legislation to beef up enforcement of air pollution laws, but it's not likely the mayor will sign it. 90.3's Janet Babin reports.
Ohio’s Nuclear Power Industry
Posted Thursday, May 17
Today a White House task force led by Vice President Dick Cheney unveils the Bush administration's new national energy policy. The plan is expected to call for more energy conservation, while increasing the nation's commitment to oil and gas production and stepping up the creation of new power plants. Earlier this week, Cheney announced that some of those plants should be nuclear. Currently 20% of the nation's energy comes from nuclear sources. But a recent poll shows that Americans -- even in California -- are still strongly opposed to nuclear energy. 90.3's Karen Schaefer gives us this look at Ohio's nuclear power industry.
The “Straight Release” Problem: Lack of Jail Space Sees Criminals Walk Free
Posted Wednesday, May 16
Around 7,000 alleged criminals were "straight released" last year, a policy which for the arrest, booking and then release of certain criminals back into society sometimes within a matter of hours. Although this policy isn't new to Cleveland, some city officials just found out a less than two months ago. Now, policy makers are trying to figure out a solution to the straight release problem that is being blamed for the death of at least one Cleveland woman. Although no local policy makers claim to support the program they won't end it, because there is no viable alternative to deal with the lack of jail space - at least not one everyone has agreed on. Meanwhile the political debate continues as city officials try to determine whether they can eventually change the police straight release policy or end it. 90.3's Tarice Sims reports.
Dike 14 Free From Dredge
Posted Wednesday, May 16
Cleveland's Dike 14 on Lake Erie will remain a migratory bird haven, at least for now. Environmental groups were concerned that the makeshift wildlife sanctuary would be covered in sludge. 90.3's Janet Babin reports.
Sane Enough to Die: Mental Health and the Death Penalty
Posted Tuesday, May 15
This evening at 9:00 P.M., Jay D. Scott is scheduled to end his life at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution. He was convicted in 1984 for the murder of an elderly shop-owner on the East Side. We can't know for sure what the mood is among Scott and his fellow inmates on death row. But in 1987 a BBC film crew captured the words of one death row inmate in Mississippi, just days before a man was about to be put to death. "Now people are starting to realize that it's probably going to happen, but there are still people that will all the way up to the last day-- even people that do get executed sometimes don't believe they're going to be executed until they get in there. But it's starting to build a little bit, you know, people are starting to be a little quieter, you know, the last little comments are being kicked around about it, and sad feelings are going around. Some people maybe there's a little bit of fear, but it's just a line and you just gotta wait in line until it happens. And you gotta watch all this happen to you. And it's just torture." Those words come from the BBC documentary, "Fourteen Days in May." Jay Scott's attorneys have been trying for weeks to convince the courts that conditions on death row have destroyed Scott's mind. They claim he is too mentally ill to be executed. 90.3's April Baer explains.
The Tower Press Building Debate
Posted Tuesday, May 15
Cleveland City Council will consider an ordinance later today that could make or break a $10 million downtown renovation project. The provision would lease a parking lot to the developers for $1 per year. Some council members don't have a problem with the parking deal, but they might vote against it anyway. They're upset that the city-funded project will employ non-union laborers and pay sub-standard wages. 90.3's Janet Babin explains.
Cleveland’s Hotel Boom
Posted Friday, May 11
The number of hotel rooms in northeast Ohio is increasing. But tourism industry leaders say a glut of rooms could lead to job losses and eventually hotel failures. Meanwhile, a new hotel has just opened in downtown Cleveland. The building is also bringing a surge of new retail shops to the heart of the city. 90.3 WCPN's Mike West explores whether the new businesses will satisfy demand, or if they'll be another mouth to feed, hungry for tourist dollars.
Free-Market Schools: New Programs Give Alternatives to Public Schools
Posted Thursday, May 10
Later today we'll be broadcasting live from the City Club of Cleveland for the third in a series of forums on education. Community and education leaders from the area will examine the alternatives to sending your kids to traditional public schools. While school vouchers, charter schools, and home schooling are offering new choices to parents, they're also stirring up plenty of controversy. 90.3's Renita Jablonski has more on school choice in northeastern Ohio.
Ward 14 Election Year Profile
Posted Tuesday, May 8
An interesting city council race is brewing on Cleveland's near west side, where prosperity has left several historic neighborhoods at a crossroads. Nelson Cintron, Cleveland's first and only Hispanic councilman, is defending his seat from challenger Joe Santiago. Cintron's first term in ward 14 has been a time of renewal and prosperity for neighborhoods like Ohio City, Clark-Fulton, and Tremont. But at the same time Cintron's made some enemies, as the citywide debate over urban renewal continues. 90.3's April Baer reports.
Studying the Human Ancestors: Interviews with Dr. Donald Johanson
Posted Monday, May 7
The discoverer of "Lucy" was in Cleveland recently to talk about his latest work on human origins. Dr. Donald Johanson is one of the world's most famous paleoanthropologists. His work in the Afar region of Ethiopia in the 1970's led to the discovery of a new species of human ancestor. The 3.2 million-year-old skeleton popularly known as Lucy was a kind of missing link that radically changed our understanding of human evolution. But discoveries of human ancestors in Africa are still continuing. Maeve Leakey's recent find of an even older hominid species has led to new speculations about the human family tree. 90.3's Karen Schaefer spoke with Dr. Johanson about this changing picture of human beginnings. He shares his views on the new finds and reveals what he still hopes to discover. Aired May 7, 2001.
Kent State-Cost of Freedom
Posted Friday, May 4
Thirteen seconds of gunfire on this date, thirty-one years ago, turned a quiet Middle-American university in Kent Ohio into a symbol of student rebellion against the establishment. In recent weeks, a new controversy at Kent State has pitted students against each other -- in the name of free speech. 90.3's David C. Barnett reports.
Lubrizol’s Low-Emissions Diesel Fuel
Posted Thursday, May 3
If you've ever been caught in traffic behind a truck or a city bus, you know firsthand about the noxious black exhaust of diesel-powered engines. Diesel exhaust contains both nitrous oxide and particulate matter, two pollutants the U.S. EPA wants to reduce over the next few years. New technologies such as cleaner-burning diesel engines and pollution filters can help reduce these emissions, but at a price. A new low-emissions diesel fuel developed by a Cleveland company could reduce pollution from the first fill-up, but the EPA hasn't yet approved the fuel for use. 90.3's Karen Schaefer tells us why.
New School Helps Autistic Children
Posted Wednesday, May 2
Last year the Ohio Board of Education diagnosed over 2,100 children with autism. Recently a new school specifically for Autistic Children opened in Cleveland, offering another approach to teaching these special needs kids. For the parents who started this school with the Cleveland Clinic the last few months have been able to watch and experience with their children the benefits and limitations of this school. 90.3's Tarice Sims reports.
School Levies Aim to Fund Better Education
Posted Tuesday, May 1
The Ohio Supreme Court ruling that ordered lawmakers to find a way to fund public education more equitably has created a rift in state government. Some Democrats interpret the court's decision as a demand for dramatic change in a tax structure deeply rooted in Ohio history. And they see Republican Governor Bob Taft and the GOP-controlled legislature resisting such change with all they can muster. The struggle could conceivably play out over several more years. And while local school officials know a solution could affect their own tax situations, they aren't waiting around for one. School levies are business-as-usual in some communities holding special elections one week from today. 90.3's Bill Rice reports.