Changing floodplain, changing attitudes

The City of Kent updated floodplain boundaries for the first time since the 1970s. The new floodplain is a drastic change and affects numerous Kent residents. By Julie Selby & Melinda Stephan Kent’s topography is changing, and with it residents’ attitudes. City Engineer Jim Bowling’s office has been working on updating Kent’s floodplain for about five years now. Update desperately needed “Since 1977, there has been no update to any of the hydraulic calculations to the city of Kent,” Bowling said. This means Kent hasn’t had an accurate picture of how intense rain or flooding could affect its residents in nearly 40 years. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR)

Read more

Epidemics past and present: Will decriminalization help?

As heroin-related deaths reach record levels, would drug decriminalization help or hinder the fight against the heroin epidemic? In what some have attributed to a radically over-prescribed prescription drug culture, the heroin epidemic has found a solid foothold in Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), unintentional drug overdose deaths increased by 413 percent in Ohio from 1999-2013, and “opioids (prescription or heroin) remain the driving factor behind the unintentional drug overdose epidemic.” In fact ODH lists “changes in clinical pain management guidelines in the late 1990s” and “aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies of new, extended-release prescription opioids” as the two key factors leading to the epidemic. A

Read more

Female farmers: The field is changing

By Julie Selby & Melinda Stephan Women have faced discrimination throughout history, but two local female farmers have quite a foothold in the male-dominated world of agriculture. There are quite a few professions that have classically been dominated by men, including agriculture, but are women finally a force to be reckoned with in the field of farming? The current research says they are, but it also points out that wage discrepancies based on gender still strongly extend into the agricultural industry. According to CBS MoneyWatch, “women who are farmers and ranchers face the biggest pay gap out of all the professions measured by the Census, at 60.7 cents for every

Read more

Lucky Penny grants fund more than a farm

By Julie Selby & Melinda Stephan One-woman-band Abbe Turner not only runs a local creamery, but started an initiative that helps families eat together.   The creamery Abbe Turner is a small business owner unlike many others. She’s a farmer, a cheese maker and a confectioner. As the co-founder and owner of Lucky Penny Creamery, she also has a number of other responsibilities. “I am the cheese maker, but as the owner of a small business, I do a lot of other duties too. Some days find us working back on the farm. This morning I was cleaning pens. We do a lot of our own direct store deliveries, and

Read more

Asbestos on Campus

By Julie Selby & Melinda Stephan Renovations at Kent State warrant attention to the cancer-causing mineral that may be hidden in some of these buildings: asbestos. Changes are everywhere on Kent’s campus this semester: out with the old and in with the new.  There are many older buildings being given a face lift or, in the case of Van Deusen and the Art Annex, a complete remodel.  According to KSU’s Description of Current Projects, some are being demolished, renovated or retrofitted with newer heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) systems to meet energy goals.    What students casually walking by some of these old buildings may not realize is that many

Read more