Sports writer for the Canton Repository Joe Scalzo discusses the issue with competitive balance in high school athletics in Ohio and if public and non-public schools should have separate state championships.
Browns beat writer Steve Doerschuk spoke with the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the return of Josh Gordon and the team as they prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday.
Steve Doerschuk, Browns beat reporter for the Canton Repository, joined the Sam and Brad Show out in Berea to talk about his thoughts on training camp.
Sports Editor for the Canton Repository Joe Scalzo joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the Pro Hall of Fame upcoming weekend and Terrell Owens not being present for the festivities.
Browns beat reporter Steve Doerschuk discussed the Browns and what stands out for them as far as pivotal players in 2018.
Steve caught up with Brad and Justin on the Sam and Brad Show Wednesday.
Browns beat reporter Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository discussed the team's recent veteran minicamp and Tyrod Taylor establishing himself as a leader.
Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository discussed the opening of Browns training camp in Berea starting today.
Cleveland Browns beat writer Steve Doerschuk discussed the hiring of Ryan Grigson as Senior Personnel Executive for the team.
For the full interview, click here.
The Louisville School District has decided to not join the Federal League for interscholastic athletics and will be independent for the forseeable future.
Sports writer Joe Scalzo from the Canton Repository joined the Sam and Brad Show Thursday to talk about Louisville's decision and what it means for them moving forward.
The full interview is below. For a link to Joe's article, click here.
Browns beat writer Steve Doerschuk spoke with Sam and Brad Thursday to discuss Gregg Williams' introductory press conference and what he brings to the Cleveland organization.
For the full interview, click here.
For the full interview, click here.
Steve Doerschuk from the Canton Repository spoke with Sam Bourquin Monday to offer his take on the Cleveland Browns loss to the Buffalo Bills and what's next for Hue Jackson as he prepares to face San Diego and try to get in the win column.
Steve King also spoke with Sam Bourquin to talk about his thoughts on the organization.
Browns beat writer Steve Doerschuk spoke with Sam Bourquin Thursday to talk about the upcoming "Battle of Ohio" between the Browns and the Bengals, and quarterback Robert Griffin III, who will be under center starting after an injury sidelined him for the majority of the year.
For the full interview, click here.
The Cleveland Browns will have a short work week as they prepare to face Baltimore Thursday and try to shake their 0-9 doldrums.
Longtime Browns beat writer Steve Doerschuk spoke with Sam Bourquin Tuesday to discuss the team, their troubles, and how much of the blame should be placed on coach Hue Jackson.
For the full interview, click here.
Brad Russell spoke with Steve Doerschuk from the Canton Repository to talk about the Browns being winless, but showing promise in some spots.
The Browns will take on the New England Patriots Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Cleveland Browns will have their home opener this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium and Josh McCown will get the start with Robert Griffin III nursing a shoulder injury.
Steve Doerschuk from the Canton Repository joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about where the Browns go from here.
The Browns and Ravens will play at 1.pm. on 97.5 WONE.
The Cavaliers and Warriors are back in action tonight at the Q, and in another elimination game, the Cavaliers are going to have their best effort against the defending NBA Champions.
Josh Weir from the Canton Repository joined Sam Bourquin Thursday afternoon to talk about how the Cavs will try to get Warriors forward Draymond Green out of his game after being suspended for Game 5.
He says a player can't change his mental approach, but he knows Draymond will have to keep his emotions in check.
Weir also said Cavs forward Kevin Love is due for a big performance after a lackluster Game 5.
After last night's 31-point beatdown of the Toronto Raptors, the Cleveland Cavaliers just keep on rolling, and it doesn't appear to end very soon.
Josh Weir from the Canton Repository took in Game 1, and he joined Sammy B to talk about the game and if the Raptors have enough firepower to make it a series.
Weir says that LeBron James at 31 years of age is looking quite good and with these short series and blowout wins, it helps him rest and aids his basketball future.
"This is how they have to play to really maximize his career," he says. "With the balance they're playing with right now it's beautiful for the Cavs and really, really good long-term for LeBron."
The Cavaliers and Raptors will play Thursday night at the Q at 8:30pm. You can catch the action on 1590 WAKR.
The Wine and Gold only made 7 threes in Game 1, but there's something to be said of how those big dunks can swing momentum for the Cavs.
"You just can't do what they did last night, the Cavs will just eat them alive, you can't guard LeBron one-on-one."
The day is finally here and the NFL Draft will be ushering in some new blood into the rankings of the league, where many childhood dreams will be realized.
Steve Doerschuk from the Canton Repository joined Sammy B to talk a little draft, and he anticipates the Browns will take a chance on former Ohio State star Ezekiel Elliott with the 8th overall selection.
Doerschuk says he's talked to many people about Zeke, and a lot of folks in and around the league say that he's a complete back who can not only run the football, but catch it out of the backfield, and pass protect, which is something that not every running back has mastered by the time they get to the NFL level.
You can catch the Browns radio network draft coverage on 1590 WAKR beginning at 7 p.m.
After much speculation and chatter, Robert Griffin III is now a Cleveland Brown.
The former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback out of Baylor is now in the 216 after four years in Washington, and is looking for a career revival in Cleveland.
Steve Doerschuk from the Canton Repository spoke with Sam Bourquin on Thursday just shortly after the news broke out.
Steve says he's confident that new Browns coach Hue Jackson can get Griffin to be a solid quarterback.
"If RGIII is to be restored, Hue Jackson is the guy who can do it," Doerschuk said.
Griffin made the Pro Bowl in his rookie year of 2012 and led Washington to a playoff appearance that year before various injuries took their toll.
It remains to be seen if the Browns will spend their #2 overall pick on a quarterback, but with many holes to fill, it's unclear what direction the Browns will go.
- - -
(Canton Repository Robert Wang) Michelle Snook suffered a devastating layoff from her job in 2011, believes she has not been hired due to age discrimination and has worked a series of short, temporary jobs that paid low wages as the cost of living has risen.
With only about $91 a week from a part-time cleaning job, Snook, 60, is now living with a friend in Osnaburg Township and can't afford to rent her own apartment.
Amid her anger and frustration, Snook, a former supporter of President Barack Obama, said she has narrowed her choice for president in the March 15th primary to two candidates.
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
Sanders, who's seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, "seems to be a people person, and he's all about trying to get businesses to stay in America," said Snook, who supports his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy because "if they've got the money, they can help pay just as much as we have to pay."
Snook said she hopes Trump, who's seeking the Republican nomination, can fulfill his promise to bring jobs back to America and make Apple manufacture iPhones in the U.S.
"People have become so sensitive (about) people speaking their minds and him, he's not. He tells it like it is," said Snook. "He's just very outspoken, and he's not a politician but he's a businessman, and I think that's what we need now."
Snook is one of many voters in Ohio fed up by stagnant wages and the disappearance of local blue-collar jobs during the past decade who are drawn to anti-establishment presidential candidates.
According to the U.S. Census' survey between 2010 and 2014, Stark County households' median income, adjusted for inflation, declined more than 18 percent since 1999. The median household income dropped $10,313 in that 15-year period. That 18 percent decline is worse than the state's 16 percent drop, and is nearly double the national percentage.
Neighboring Carroll and Tuscarawas counties had a decline in median household income of roughly 10 to 12 percent. The declines were not as sharp as in Stark County, perhaps because they had fewer jobs to lose than more highly populated Stark County and because of the development of the fledgling oil and gas hydraulic fracturing business.
Jack DeSario, a political consultant and political science professor at the University of Mount Union, said the perception of a declining standard of living is sparking significant anti-establishment sentiment in favor of Sanders and Trump.
"This is the ultimate way to say 'screw you,' to the political process," he said.
Snook is a divorced mother of four. She said she never received her diploma from McKinley High School because she got pregnant with her first child. She said she was laid off from her job making signs for LSI Graphics Solutions in Lake Township in 2011. She said she worked there six years, starting at $7.50 an hour and eventually getting $9.50 an hour.
"I went into deep depression after that," she said.
Snook's job was among the thousands of jobs in the area that evaporated between 2000 and 2015.
In 2000, Stark County had 178,426 jobs covered by unemployment insurance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2010, that number declined 16 percent to 149,684 jobs. The county lost 18,575 jobs since 2000, sixth-most in the state. Nearly all of the losses came from a 34 percent plummet in the number of goods-producing jobs from nearly 53,000 jobs to about 35,000 in 15 years.
After being laid off, Snook spent years getting low-paying jobs through temporary agencies. She worked in factories and farms. She laid roofs on buildings. None of the jobs lasted more than three months.
"I don't get to go shopping or do (anything). I live literally paycheck to paycheck. I've sold a lot of things in order to survive," Snook said. "The heating prices have gone up. Electric's gone up. Food has gone up. You keep raising stuff and people just don't have it to spend."
Snook, who ran unsuccessfully to be the Canton Ward 3 councilwoman as a Democrat in 1993, said she voted in 2008 for Obama "because he sounded good." She said that while she still likes him personally, she's disappointed in Obamacare. She said even with federal subsidies, the lowest premium she could find was $76 a month, which she can't afford.
Snook has ruled out supporting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton because she believes she is somewhat responsible for the deadly terrorist attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.
"I don't trust she's going to do what needs to be done. I think she's all talk," Snook said.
She said politicians "need to stop pampering the billionaires and millionaires. Start making them pay the taxes like we have to pay taxes. They need to listen to everybody. ... They need to stop letting our businesses go to our foreign countries. They're so concerned about the foreign countries, they're forgetting about the people in America. What about us?"
She's also receptive to Trump's promise to reduce the number of illegal immigrants here. While she said she has mixed feelings and wants everyone to succeed, she's concerned some immigrants could be terrorists or competing with her for work.
Snook said she's furious at both Republicans and Democrats.
"They fight. They can't agree on nothing. Ever since Obama took office, there's been nothing but bickering back and forth," she said.
Not in Trump's Orbit
However, other local voters facing economic stress are resistant to Trump's appeal.
Shawn Daum, 36, of Plain Township is a bus driver for the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority, and president of the union that represents most of the employees.
He said he started at SARTA 10 years ago, earning about $15 an hour. After a decade of annual raises of 1 to 2 percent from SARTA, he now earns $17.56 an hour. (Daum stressed that he's not criticizing SARTA, with which the union is in negotiations with on a new contract).
His wife was laid off around 2008 from a job selling home warranties. She was out of work for more than two years before she worked as a coffee shop barista, and then she became an office manager at a massage therapy clinic in Hartville, he said. They have a daughter and son.
Grocery store visits cost $60 to $70 a decade ago, he said. Now it's $70 to $90. Rent is $100 more a month than five years ago. Utilities have skyrocketed.
Daum said the family hasn't had a vacation in three years. They've cut back on going out to dinner and movies. And they have to carry a balance on their credit cards.
He said he will support the Democratic presidential nominee because he's concerned the nomination of a conservative Supreme Court justice by a Republican president could result in the court eliminating unions' ability to impose fair-share fees on non-union employees.
Sanders' message about income inequality speaks to Daum.
"I'm leaning toward Bernie Sanders at this particular point, just to wait and see what happens with Hillary and her email fiasco," he said.
Kathy Lopez, 47, of Plain Township said she was laid off in August from her job as an office manager with Nationwide Insurance's Canton office, which will be closed. She's close to completing her master's degree after getting a business degree from Walsh University in 2013. Still, she's had a difficult time finding work because she feels employers prefer younger workers and they've told her she's overqualified.
Before her layoff, she said whatever raises she got were offset by increases in her health insurance premiums, in addition to grocery costs and her student loans.
Despite her situation, she said, the economy will play no role in how she votes for president.
"Companies do what they want. Even as a president, you can't control decisions companies make," she said, adding that technology has replaced many workers. "(Politicians) don't control the wages an employer will pay their people. They don't control who they hire, how many they will hire or whatever."
She's concerned about Medicare and Social Security, the country's campaign against Islamic State, school funding and health care.
"I want to be able to know that when it's my time to retire ... I'm going to get a Social Security check, and I will be able to get Medicare, or will I have to work until I'm 85?"
Lopez said she will vote for Clinton over Sanders in the Democratic primary because "I just don't believe he can make it happen" when it comes to addressing income equality and "she is very down to earth. She doesn't see herself as better than you and I, and she does not come out saying derogatory negative things about others the way Trump has."
Lopez, whose father was from Mexico, said she is offended at Trump's comments about Mexicans, Muslims and immigrants and that "he's going to say what people want to hear. ... I don't believe anything he says."
However, in a general election, Lopez would consider Gov. John Kasich if he were somehow to become the Republican presidential nominee because "he's very direct, and he does try very hard to help the people in Ohio."
But Trump's message of "Making America Great Again," resonates with Snook.
"Things were simpler. You could afford to take your kids out to do things, and people weren't so angry," Snook said about the 1980s and 1990s. "I would like to see America be great again. I miss it."
This project examining the direction of Ohio’s economy was produced by Ohio news organizations that have joined together to deliver stories that citizens identify as most important to their lives in 2016. More than 30 newspapers, radio and television stations agreed in December to cover the presidential election in a way that best represents the concerns of Ohioans, and holds candidates accountable to those concerns.
For politicians who want to win, polls can hold valuable information. But some of the latest polling on politics shows a trend any politician would do well to fear: we are simply fed up with how far down the process seems to have fallen.
The Rubber City Radio Group is part of a statewide consortium of media outlets including the Akron Beacon Journal, Canton Repository, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio Public Radio and Television, the Ohio Newspapers Association, Ohio Association of Broadcasters and other organizations forging a rare alliance in a bid to focus attention on issues facing Ohio voters leading up to the 2016 Presidential primary and general elections. 1590 WAKR and WAKR.net is owned by Rubber City Radio Group.
As part of the coaltion, we've agreed to directly share, with attribution, stories and features on substantive issues regarding the political process and specifically those issues important to Ohio voters focused on the Presidential contests. Such partnerships are not unusual; WAKR and the Beacon Journal, for example, collaborated on a series of video interviews of local County Council candidates in the past and have also worked together on forums and town hall-style meetings.
This is the first of a series of reports planned throughout the year, and features poll results from a survey from the University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. The Beacon Journal has been at the forefront of an effort to encourage more civility in public discourse in conjunction with The Jefferson Foundation
(Akron Beacon Journal) As she realized what she had in her hands, Andrea Barnes' eyes lit up like she was holding toxicity.
"It's not that Glenn Beck," she said of the author's name on the book.
But, as she turned to the inside jacket cover and saw a portrait of the polarizing, conservative radio and talk show host, she knew otherwise.
"Oh," she said.
Barnes, 44, likens Beck to Rush Limbaugh, another divisive commentator.
"Anger. Everybody is so angry. I guess that leads into fear," she said, referring to the rise of unconventional presidential candidates who rally worried voters by identifying and denigrating a perceived enemy. Preferring that opposing views be respected and not indiscriminately rejected, Barnes took a few minutes to reflect on the state of politics then slipped the book back on a shelf at the Cuyahoga Falls Public Library. "If we're going to solve any problems, we have to have civil discourse and be tolerant of others," Barnes said, feeling better to have released some of her own frustration.
Call it fear. Call it anger. Call it discontent.
As Americans grow unusually interested in a presidential election that is a year away, they come to the party with an unusually high level of disgust, according to a recent poll by the Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron. Asked in November to rank their satisfaction with American politics on a scale of one (utter disgust) to 10 (complete satisfaction), 24 percent of Ohioans picked the number one.
Only 1 percent picked the highest satisfaction rating of 10.
It was that lopsided.
The poll on political approval found a majority of Ohioans are disgusted, to some degree. What's acutely noticeable is that the response rate for those with absolute disgust (that bottom rating of one) has tripled since 2008.
Is Trump a sign?
The results leave Bliss director John Green contemplating whether Donald Trump is the man of the hour or a sign of the times. His provocations seem to boost his ratings, but for which reason? "It could very well be that when we look back, we'll say, 'well, Trump was a very unique person'," Green said. "But, when I look at it I see that whatever uniqueness he may have in his background, he does sort of capture a lot of the trends in media and the decline of civility and the rise of an adversarial culture that many of us have been talking about for a couple decades."
"And that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Bliss surveyed 600 registered Ohio voters after the November election to find that 57 percent give American politics a negative score, up sharply from 22 percent in 2008. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error. When the poll was done in 2008, the economy had not yet fallen off the cliff and a nation weary of war was watching exciting presidential campaigns begin to solidify. War hero and elder statesman Sen. John McCain had locked up the Republican nomination and Democrats were weighing two historic candidates: An African American and a woman.
Green noted a groundswell of "hope and change" from both parties at that time.
Could it get worse?
There's much debate about the effects of negative advertising on the emotions of voters, but campaigns increasingly attack opponents because they believe it works. Research shows that campaign advertising hit an all-time high in the 2012 race, and negative ads accounted for more than 60 percent of the air time, also an all-time high. Already in Ohio, a powerful swing state in presidential elections, negative ads have been aired on prime-time television against Hillary Clinton a half year before the Ohio Primary Election and a year before the general.
The question is, does that kind of activity give rise to more angst among voters?
In Ohio, according to an analysis of the Bliss poll, voters most dissatisfied with American politics are more likely to be among these groups: young; white; men; without advanced college degrees; residents of southeast Ohio; regularly attend church; or are more concerned with terrorism, immigration and abortion than the economy or climate change. National polling by the Pew Research Center suggests Republican candidates (reinforced by debates that have broken records for cable viewers) are hitting a sweet spot with angry voters by pounding issues such as national security.
But playing to disgruntled voters has the added effect of souring others.
"The problem is you have so many big issues facing the country in terms of the economy and social issues, but everybody is hung up on the idea of Muslim terrorism and whether we should allow Syrian refugees into the country," said Brian Baker, a 29-year-old chef in Cuyahoga Falls.
Baker rates his satisfaction in American politics a miserable two out of 10 partly because candidates dwell on issues that don't appeal to his more liberal leanings. More importantly, though, he said the issues are blown out of proportion. "They're nice things to talk about but they don't really affect us greatly," said Baker, whose never voted in a presidential election when American troops weren't fighting terrorism.
Baker wouldn't be upset if Gov. John Kasich's message of compassionate conservatism prevailed. But Kasich, too, has called for a pause on some immigration amid fears of terrorism, a move Baker can't condone.
The young man prefers candidates who address starvation, homelessness or even Planned Parenthood. All, he said, are more manageable than the thoughts of a fanatic who might want to sneak in and hurt America.
In whom can we trust
General disapproval of politics is hurting legacy candidates. Disgusted voters prefer private-sector, anti-establishment newcomers who are believed to be better at understanding ordinary people (even more so than being honest), the UA poll found.
"It is disturbing because it suggests the levels of distrust are so high that voters are unwilling to trust anybody very much," Green said. "They just want someone who is outside the system."
With unemployment rates approaching pre-recession levels, disgusted voters have shifted their attention away from the economy and toward more controversial issues, among them abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration and national security.
The Ohio data mirror a national shift, with the spotlight apparently guided by an angry hand and a souring public opinion of the federal government.
An ongoing survey by the Pew Research Center shows Americans now hold the lowest opinion of the federal government's ability to thwart terrorism since 9/11. Yet, Americans most often say Uncle Sam's top job is keeping them safe. And on immigration, they say the feds do worst. The research also indicates Americans consider the GOP better suited to deal with terrorism and immigration, the only two issues Republican respondents told Pew they would like the federal government more involved in.
Hope and despair
Millennials, ages 18 to 34, are simultaneously the most satisfied, disgusted, opinionated and indifferent voters represented in the Bliss poll.
The youngest (ages 18 to 24) were the most likely to take a neutral position on politics in the poll. The older portion — idealistic, fresh out of college or launching a career — flowed to opposite ends of the spectrum with the highest rates of satisfaction (20.3 percent) and dissatisfaction (62.3 percent), and the lowest neutrality.
With age, the level of dissatisfaction waned. Ohio voters in every older generation consistently moved toward a neutral position on satisfaction. Baby boomers, the second largest generation behind millennials, voiced less disapproval than all but the youngest first- or second-time voters.
Research shows millennials vote less often than prior generations. They're also distrustful of government and the least likely to affiliate with conventional political parties. Couple these suspicions with gridlock in Congress and fighting on the campaign trail and what you get, Green says, is "a recipe for a great deal of dissatisfaction."