Jim Traficant Gets Eight Years In Prison
Posted Tuesday, July 30
Former congressman James Traficant was led away from a Cleveland courtroom in handcuffs after a federal judge sentenced him to eight years in prison. The maverick Democrat had argued he couldn't be sentenced in court because he's already been punished by his colleagues. But the judge rejected that argument. U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells told Traficant he has no respect for government and that he used lies to distract attention from the charges. He was convicted in April of bribery, tax evasion and racketeering. Traficant argued with Wells as she explained the sentence, shouting that the judge had prevented him from defending himself. Wells told the former Democrat from Youngstown that he did a lot of good in his 18 years in Congress, but that does not excuse him for the crimes he was convicted of. 90.3 WCPN's Janet Babin has this report.
Grab the Popcorn, Bike-In Movies Are Here
Posted Friday, July 26
Oberlin was once known as the city of 10,000 bicycles. With 8,600 residents and just over 2,000 college students, that's at least one bike for every person old - or young - enough to ride. But in recent years, even this bastion of bicycles has seen a marked decline in the use of two-wheeled transport. So members of a student-run bike shop have launched a new venture to encourage more people to ride bikes. Remember drive-in movies? Well, grab your popcorn and your bicycle and get ready for bike-in movies. 90.3 WCPN's Karen Schaefer reports.
Citizen Traficant: Officially Expelled From Office
Posted Thursday, July 25
Youngstown area congressman James Traficant has been expelled from the House of Representatives for the same crimes he was convicted of committing in April. Congress voted 420 to 1 to banish Traficant from office immediately. Back in his home district, residents seemed apathetic to the proceedings, and split on the House action. 90.3 WCPN's Janet Babin has our story.
Filling the Void
Posted Thursday, July 25
Vacant Seats in Congress From Ohio - Governor Taft now has a tough call: whether or not to hold an expensive special election to fill a seat - or possibly two - that won't be vacant long. 90.3 WCPN's Bill Rice reports any political fireworks erupting from the situation could be mostly for show.
135th MP Unit Returns
Posted Thursday, July 25
Members of the Army Reserve 135th Military Police unit based in Brook Park returned home from active duty this week. They and the 323rd MP's from Toledo were deployed October 11 for policing operations at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as part of Operation Noble Eagle in the President's war on terrorism. This morning family and friends gathered to welcome the troops home. 90.3's Karen Schaefer was there and gathered this sound portrait.
Life on a Freighter
Posted Wednesday, July 24
The Lake Erie shipping season is steaming ahead, despite the sometimes troubled economic waters of late. We can see the freighters along the lake horizon, but we don't often see, or hear from, the people who work these big boats from spring to fall. Imagine spending all those months away from home and family and friends. That's something that 92-year-old Harry Anderson did for 47 years, working his way up to the rank of Captain of vessels like the William G. Mather, which is now a floating museum, docked along the East 9th street pier. Captain Anderson says he took his first boat ride as a 10-year-old, coming with his family to the United States from their native Sweden.
New Cancer Stats For Ohio
Posted Friday, July 19
The American Cancer Society just released the 2002 cancer statistics for Ohio. This year, nearly 60,000 Ohioans will be diagnosed with cancer. Most new cases are female breast cancer, followed by prostate and lung cancer. But there are one local organization is offering choice in treatment to go along with the challenges of dealing with the disease. Within the past three years, new methods to deal with life during cancer treatment and after have surfaced in Northeast Ohio for patients and their families. But doctors maintain there are things that can be done by the government to help combat the disease. 90.3 WCPN's Tarice Sims reports.
Debate Continues Over Mayoral Control Of Schools
Posted Thursday, July 18
Summer tends to be pretty quiet on the education front, but behind the scenes in Cleveland several factions are gearing up for what's likely to be a heated debate in the fall. The question of whether or not the city's mayor should continue to appoint the district's board members goes to the voters in November. Some are pleased with a perceived turnaround in school district management since the arrangement was put in place four years ago, but others are not so content. Positions range from total support of the current system to outright opposition, with many coming down somewhere in between. 90.3 WCPN's Bill Rice has the story.
Improving Corporate Citizenship
Posted Wednesday, July 17
The trusted image of Corporate America has suffered a black eye - companies that include Enron, Worldcom and Adelphia are accused of lying to inflate their profits. The problem has driven the stock market down and created nervousness about the economic future. Some experts say the current climate makes it essential for businesses to improve their image. One way to do that is to get involved with their communities. 90.3 WCPN's Mike West has more.
Questioning Homeland Security Funding
Posted Monday, July 15
This week a special congressional panel will begin sifting through conflicting suggestions on how to organize the new Homeland Security Agency. The Select Committee on Homeland Security has to decide, for instance, whether or not the Coast Guard should be included in the new department. But in cities across the United States, mayors have a different concern - how the new department will be funded. Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell is among those helping lead the charge to make sure the feds hear the voice of local law enforcement. 90.3 WCPN's Renita Jablonski reports.
Game Of Survival At Black Film Festival
Posted Friday, July 12
It's the summer movie season and box office numbers are up from last year. More and more people are heading to the air-conditioned theatres to enjoy the latest Hollywood creation, but for some independent filmmakers success is fleeting. Recently, more than 1,000 African Americans from such places as Memphis, LA and Cleveland gathered in Miami, Florida for the first U.S.-based American Black Film Festival. Thousands of producers, screenwriters, and actors schmoozed with the likes of Actor/Director Bill Duke and Actor/Comedian Chris Tucker hoping to jump-start their film careers. But even those who have "made it" in the industry say, it's a hard road to travel. Filmmaking especially for African Americans takes sacrifice and often compromise and once you've made it, it becomes a game of survival. 90.3 WCPN's Tarice Sims reports.
Posted Friday, July 5
The Independence Day holiday most of us are celebrating this weekend is NOT treated as a holiday by many of the nation's first inhabitants. Beginning with the sale of Manhatten Island, Native Americans have lost most of the land they once called home. In the 1960s, when thousands of native peoples were relocated from the reservations to cities like Cleveland, many also lost contact with the cultural traditions that made them who they are. Eight years ago, the American Indian Education Center started the Cleveland Powwow, a ceremonial gathering of nations held each year at Edgewater Park. The two days of Native American dancing, food and culture have a special meaning for Cleveland's native people. 90.3 WCPN's Karen Schaefer attended this year's gathering and brings us their story.
Serving The Public Through Radio
Posted Wednesday, July 3
The airways that belong to the public and radio stations are required to use them to serve citizens. But some folks are now questioning whether station owners are taking the responsibility seriously. At one time the Federal Government forced radio stations to air a certain amount of news and public service announcements. But the rules were relaxed through deregulation. The government has also allowed corporations to buy up hundreds of radio stations. Critics say the loss of local ownership is also the reason for a decline in local, non-entertainment programming. 90.3 WCPN's Mike West looks into the history of radio and public service.
I’m on the Stereo: Community Radio
Posted Wednesday, July 3
Once you could spin your radio dial as you traveled across the country and catch the heartbeat of the nation on stations that barely reached the outskirts of town. From farm reports to garage bands to Native American news, these broadcasts told you where you were in America and gave you the flavor of local tastes and interests. Over the decades, low-power community radio stations have nearly disappeared. But in a few places, the old tradition is still going strong. For more than 50 years, WOBC in Oberlin has been incorporating community broadcasters into its free-form college format. 90.3 WCPN's Karen Schaefer has this report.