The Master Plan For Cleveland Schools
Posted Friday, June 29
The Cleveland Municipal School District is winding down its initial assessment of its 22 school buildings. That's the first stage in developing a strategy for how to spend more than $800 million from the recently passed bond issue and state match to refurbish schools. One state official says the assessment process will likely stretch into July, beyond the June 30th target originally set by by Cleveland Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett. In the grand scheme, though, that's a minor delay. Talks on developing a master plan for rebuilding schools won't begin in earnest until the fall. And there are some unresolved issues. 90.3 WCPN's Bill Rice reports.
Fish Advisories - Is It Safe to Eat the Fish?
Posted Thursday, June 28
It's fishing season on Lake Erie and other Ohio waterways. Time to get your lures and lines in order - or make reservations for that Friday night fish fry. Many doctors say fish is brain food, high in protein and low in fat. But did you know that eating too much fish could be bad for you? Every year Ohio publishes fish consumption advisories, designed to help you decide just how many meals of fish a week are safe for you and your family. Some environmentalists say the advisories don't go far enough. 90.3 WCPN's Karen Schaefer reports.
Giving Homeless Shelters New Life
Posted Tuesday, June 26
This week, two lease agreements for the site of two shelters for the homeless will expire. One program was for women, the other for the mentally ill and homeless people. For months Cuyahoga County and Catholic Charities claim to have been negotiating the terms of the contract with the buildings owner Care Alliance. But there was little movement - until now. Last night the pleas for an extension of the lease agreements proved to be somewhat successful. Care Alliance offered to allow the women's program to continue in their building for another month while they consider a request for a year-long extension. At this hour Catholic Charities has yet to agree. The other building, which was used as a safe haven for mentally ill and homeless people, will be signed over to Cuyahoga County. 90.3's Tarice Sims reports on this 11th hour decision that still has some of the homeless in limbo.
Enforcing Environmental Laws
Posted Tuesday, June 26
A government lawyer from the Cleveland area is turning the tables on his employer - he's suing the U.S. Department of Justice. Assistant US Attorney Gregory Sasse claims the Justice Department discriminated against him as he tried to uphold Federal Environmental laws. His hearing is scheduled to begin later this morning. 90.3's Janet Babin has the story.
Transportation In Cleveland: How Public vs. Private Transportation Affects Daily Life
Posted Friday, June 22
The future of Northeast Ohio rests with how well we can move goods and people in the 21st century. A transportation summit was recently held called "Moving Toward 2025." Among the topics covered at the conference was public transportation. The experts say the area is in relatively good shape. But the ability to move around is actually a problem in itself. How we travel is also having a big impact on the way we behave outside of our cars. Mike West has this report.
The Making of “Welcome to Collinwood”
Posted Wednesday, June 20
Filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo are hard at work cutting together "Welcome to Collinwood", the film they shot this spring in Cleveland. This love-letter to the down-and-out took 42 days to shoot. Those weeks may go down in history as the coldest and wettest spring in living memory, but they were also a very exciting time for the film crew, and the folks who got to see them on location. So, what's it like on the set of a feature film? 90.3's April Baer spent some time on the set, observing the small army of technicians, actors, and support people who came to town. Aired June 20, 2001.
Tracking the West Nile Virus
Posted Wednesday, June 20
Public Health departments in Northeast Ohio have had their hands full recently, contending with tainted water wells and outbreaks of meningitis. This week's return of summer brings with it the possibility of another health concern. Officials are preparing for the possibility of a mosquito-borne disease that's heading our way from the East Coast. 90.3's David C. Barnett reports.
Ohio Archaeology, Part I: Summer Field School
Posted Tuesday, June 19
Ever have a hankering to follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones? Well, now you can. This week at sites around the state, archaeologists are inviting the public to participate in some hands-on activities that let you be the scientist. As part of Ohio Archaeology Week, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will hold an Archaeology Day this Saturday, where you can watch a demonstration of flint-knapping or learn to cast an ancient spear thrower called an atlatl. But for those who crave the real, dirt-grubbing experience, there's a special opportunity available through the museum every summer. That's a field school, where anyone can join a team of excavators on an archaeological dig. 90.3's Karen Schaefer brings us this report from a prehistoric village site in Independence.
Ohio Archaeology, Part II: Sheriden Cave
Posted Tuesday, June 19
Indian Mounds, a reconstructed Native village, a Civil War prison, and museums around the state will be open for special programs through this weekend as part of the second annual Ohio Archaeology Week. Organizers hope to give the public a deeper understanding of Ohio's prehistory, especially that of its earliest residents, who came to North America across the Bering land bridge more than 10,000 years ago. At a site in western Ohio, researchers are still sifting through the evidence of one of the state's richest - and oldest - finds. As 90.3's Karen Schaefer reports, Sheriden Cave is a time capsule of life at the end of the Ice Age.
LTV Steel Shutdown
Posted Monday, June 18
For the first time in 90 years, LTV Steel's West Side Mill lies dormant. Early Saturday morning, workers produced what may be the very last slab of steel to ever come out of the plant. The company closed the operation as part of its restructuring plan, leaving 900 steelworkers without jobs. But still, the future of the workers is not certain. While LTV, its creditors and the union continue negotiations today involving pensions and health benefits for its workers and retirees, there's a new twist to the talks. A deal was struck the night before the plant's shutdown that will keep the furnaces on, allowing for a possible revitalization of the mill. During a rally that was meant for saying good-bye, the news of the deal was cause for celebration. 90.3's Janet Babin and Renita Jablonski captured the stories and sounds as workers gathered in the mill's old parking lot on a day full of mixed emotions.
Urban vs. Suburban Schools
Posted Thursday, June 14
Tomorrow is the deadline for the general assembly to present evidence in support of its school funding proposal to the Ohio Supreme Court. But, not all school systems are happy with the final product, saying the plan favors suburban schools more than urban school districts. Not only that, but because of the unfavorable feedback from area schools, some legislators are afraid that they may have to start building a new funding plan from scratch. 90.3's Tarice Sims reports.
The Future of School Funding, Part 1
Posted Tuesday, June 12
This Friday is the deadline the Ohio Supreme Court set for state lawmakers to come up with a better way to pay for public schools. As it happens, the Republican-controlled General Assembly brought its proposed fix in a little over two weeks early, in time to prepare documents and arguments to take before the high court once again. This will be the third time Ohio's method of funding education comes under judicial scrutiny, in a legal battle that has spanned a decade. 90.3 WCPN's Bill Rice looks back on the DeRolph lawsuit that took the school funding issue all the way to the state's highest court.
The Future of School Funding, Part 2
Posted Tuesday, June 12
The state General Assembly has until Friday to file briefs defending its new school funding remedy with the Ohio Supreme Court. In DeRolph vs. the State of Ohio, the seven justices had found the current system to be unconstitutional. Next week the court will hear testimony from both sides in the case as to whether this latest funding fix - which includes a $1.4 billion boost for public education - meets or does not meet constitutional requirements. Yesterday we traced the DeRolph case from its original filing in 1991, through two Supreme Court Rulings, to its present status. 90.3 WCPN's Bill Rice picks it up there, in part two of our story.
New 401(k) Study
Posted Friday, June 8
It started in 1978 as paragraph "401" of the Internal Revenue Code. Now 401(k) tax deferred retirement plans total in the billions, and could be growing. Part of President Bush's $1.3 trillion tax cut raises 401(k) retirement plans and similar pension program increases the amount of tax-deferred savings to $15,000 by 2006. But a new study suggests some people would be better off reducing their 401 retirement savings. 90.3's Janet Babin reports.
Holding School Accountable
Posted Wednesday, June 6
If school funding is the top education issue on Ohio's agenda, then school accountability surely runs a close second. It's is one tier of a national school reform movement that's grown and matured over the last decade, and it will be the focus later today of a roundtable forum to be broadcast on 90.3 WCPN. There's much disagreement over accountability standards, and just how accountable schools can and should be held for teaching kids to read, write, do math, and think critically. 90.3's Bill Rice reports.
Blocking Foreign Steel
Posted Tuesday, June 5
During the past 4 years, steel executives and labor leaders have begged the government to block the amount of steel flowing into the U.S. They point to imports as the reason behind thousands of layoffs in the Greater Cleveland area and elsewhere in the region. Now the Bush administration has decided to get more involved -- but it could too little, too late for some companies. Mike West reports.
Becoming a Beekeeper
Posted Tuesday, June 5
Honey bees are nature's pollinators. In addition to providing us with honey, they help pollinate most of our food crops. But wild honey bee populations are largely extinct, so people have been giving Mother Nature a hand. Nowadays anytime we smell a flower, eat an apple, or even grill a steak, it's not bees we have to thank, but beekeepers. A program in Lorain County has been teaching hundreds of people how to become beekeepers. 90.3's Karen Schaefer has this report.
The Need For Minority Mentors
Posted Monday, June 4
Big Brothers/Big Sisters program has quite a challenge this month. Their goal is to recruit 50 minority mentors by June 30th. And after nearly a month of trying, they're only half way there. The shortage of minority male mentors has hundreds of boys looking for role models. Recruiters have launched campaign to get the word out that mentors are needed. Because being a big brother can offer benefits for both people involved. And in Cleveland there is crying need for more of these types of relationships. 90.3's Tarice Sims tells the story of how Big Brothers/Big Sisters is trying to fill the void.
Bush Energy Plan and Ohio’s Nuclear Power
Posted Friday, June 1
Increased production of electricity is a centerpoint of President Bush's national energy policy. In addition to encouraging the building of new natural gas and coal-fired plants, the policy also calls for a reconsideration of the nuclear industry and its potential for increasing the nation's electricity supply. But critics here in Ohio say Bush's plan doesn't address the problems the state already has with its existing nuclear power. 90.3's Karen Schaefer reports.