AP NEWS

Embezzlement, Tim Ryan and his serious considerations, Republican tax increases and an inspiring installment of A Greater Cleveland: Best of the week

February 23, 2019

Embezzlement, Tim Ryan and his serious considerations, Republican tax increases and an inspiring installment of A Greater Cleveland: Best of the week

Our audience criticizes us from time to time for not providing enough uplifting news, so top of the charts for the quality work you might have missed over the past week is a piece of great news in our continuing series called A Greater Cleveland.

In the story, reporter Leila Atassi, who has chronicled no end of challenges faced by the Korper family, celebrates the acceptance of 14-year-old Princeton Korper into Benedictine High School, where 99 percent of the graduates go on to college. Suddenly, a teenager seemingly doomed by the oppressive multi-generational cycle of poverty has a bright future. It’s a story that inspires.

We had some fun this week with the news that U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Youngstown-area Democrat, is seriously considering a run for president. We wondered how many times over the years Ryan seriously considered running for a higher office. It turns out, quite a few. You can see politics writer Seth Richardson’s review of each one of them here.

When new Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine proposed increasing the state gas tax by a whopping 64 percent, we decided to examine just how often Republicans in this state – who often present themselves as anti-taxes – had raised taxes significantly. And, as with Ryan’s serious consideration of higher office, the answer is quite a few. Our data expert, Erich Exner, lays it all out here. Statehouse reporter Andrew Tobias examined how a similar gas tax effort in Minnesota, proposed by a Democratic governor, is being labeled socialism by Republicans in that state.

Washington Bureau reporter Sabrina Eaton had a hot scoop, on the allegation that U.S. Rep Dave Joyce’s former campaign treasurer, Highland Heights Mayor Scott Coleman, embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the Joyce Campaign. Coleman resigned a few days later.

Sports columnist Doug Lesmerises wrapped up his rollicking “Built in Bama” series, the origin story for Browns coach Freddie Kitchens. It’s a series that left me wanting more – a lot more. Fortunately, with the grit that comes through in the profile, Kitchens just might be around for a while, so Doug should have plenty more to write about him.

Lastly, the Oscars are on tonight, and pop culture writer Troy Smith offers his personal take on what will win. His pick for Best Picture: Black Panther. You can see his interesting logic on why, along with his thoughts on the rest of the major categories, here.