Aetna announced this week that it would no longer offer health insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act exchange in Ohio and several other states, leaving around 20,000 Ohioans to find new health care plans during the open enrollment period this fall. Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, who is also the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, joined Jasen to talk about what the move means for people who currently have Aetna insurance and what she thinks needs to change about the Affordable Care Act.
With the heroin epidemic seemingly spinning out of control, many people are asking what the government is doing to address it. Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor joined Jasen to talk about what the state is doing and what more it can do to address the quickly growing problem.
Among those mourning the death of ESPN mainstay John Saunders is Terry Bowden.
The University of Akron's head football coach worked alongside Saunders in ABC-TV's college football studio every Saturday for five years...between Bowden's coaching jobs.
"Not only was he a good, good person, but maybe the best TV guy I've been around," Bowden tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "He'll be in front of a live television, you put him in front of there...no matter what happens, a satellite feed screws up, he could handle any situation."
Bowden says not only did Saunders teach him how to be a broadcaster, he was also "fun loving", a good family man with a great sense of humor.
Saunders died at the age of 61.
Ohio Democratic Party chairman David Pepper joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about whether the Democratic Party is unifying in Philadelphia and preview the speeches by Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.
With the Republican National Convention winding down, how does it stack up with past conventions?
Bob Schieffer would know. The veteran CBS newsman has been covering conventions since 1968. While he says he hasn't seen anything quite like the violence of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, he referred to this year's RNC as "the most unusual." He talked to Jasen Sokol Thursday afternoon about the RNC and next week's Democratic National Convention.
CBS Evening News anchorman Scott Pelley talks to WAKR's Jasen Sokol about the challenges of covering the Trump campaign, why he believes Ohio is critical in winning the presidential race, and how well he thinks Cleveland has done hosting the Republican National Convention.
John Dickerson, host of CBS News' Face The Nation, joined Jasen on Media Row at the Republican National Convention to talk about the importance of Ohio in the presidential race, how presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump affects Senate candidate Rob Portman, and how political experts can better study Trump voters.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman fielded questions from Ohio-only reporters and advised them to watch what Governor John Kasich would do in this convention; it's the most talked-about item among the delegation as Kasich stands as the 600-pound favorite son.
So far, Kasich has been a frequent attendee of the web of social events that mark such national conventions, including speaking with committees and delegations from other states including national groups. But he hasn't made it to Quicken Loans Arena yet, and says he won't citing the differences between him and Donald Trump.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman believes there's already more talking than yelling at each other developing in this campaign, even among the delegation from Ohio which is overwhelmingly pro-Kasich but also has a keen eye targeting Hillary Clinton as a candidate to beat in November.
Portman says he believes the Party will have to come together, much as the nation needs to come together and stop being so divisive.
Portman is enjoying the time in Cleveland, spending a period yesterday on the floor. He's organized a volunteer group to help Habitat for Humanity in Cleveland, will be enjoying the waterways as part of a kayak expedition but most importantly: tonight he and wife Jane will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in a local restaurant that has been a center of helping former inmates rejoin society.
It was a busy day on The Jasen Sokol Show on Day 1 of The Republican National Convention. Here's the rundown of everyone who stopped by Media Row today:
Rep. Jim Renacci on whether Ohio Republicans are coalescing around Donald Trump
Tim Dimoff of SACS Consulting, Security, and Investigations on security measures around Cleveland
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan on the RNC's impact on Akron
Analysis from Tom Sutton of Baldwin Wallace University
Analysis from David Cohen of the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at The University of Akron
Mark "Oz" Geist shares his stories of fighting in Benghazi
Former Akron City Council candidate Cynthia Blake on why she's a Republican
The Director of ESPN's 30 for 30 "Believeland" talked with Jasen Sokol today after The Cleveland Cavaliers Game 7 Championship Win. During the interview, Andy talked with Jasen about the pure elation he and many lifelong Cleveland fans are now feeling, but also talked about how the film will now be getting an update! "The Curse" has been broken!
Former Ohio Governor, U.S. Senator, and Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich is being mourned by political leaders around the Buckeye State, including those who worked with him closely. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine served as Voinovich's lieutenant governor from 1991-1994 and also served alongside Voinovich in the Senate. DeWine joined Jasen to share his memories of Voinovich.
There's a reason you might see 169 purple ribbons near Highland Square.
The ribbons represent drug overdose deaths since 2015...says Raynard Packard, who runs the Packard Institute, a counseling center on West Market Street.
He says the count is off by a few months, dating only until January of this year, since there is a backlog of victims.
"There are bodies lining our county corridor," Packard tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "and they are still in the process, there's a lag in processing the toxicology results, but there are many more coming."
Packard says the problem isn't just rooted in heroin abuse, and is nowhere near a peak.
He says new synthetic opiods, including fentanyl, have many times the potency of street level heroin.
A banner will continue to keep track of overdose deaths by number.
Any mayor who serves for 28 years is bound to have some stories to tell, and former Akron mayor Don Plusquellic is no exception.
Many of those stories, and some from his younger years, are featured in Steve Love's new book The Indomitable Don Plusquellic: How a Controversial Mayor Quarterbacked Akron's Comeback.
It's a product of many hours of interviews with Plusquellic, those who worked with him, and those who covered him. The topics included in the book range from Plusquellic's time as a high school quarterback to his use of joint economic development districts (JEDDs) to his often rocky relationship with the media.
Love joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about the book:
Tens of millions of dollars will come to Summit County from the state budget bill that's been sent to Gov. Kasich's desk.
And local business leaders are happy about it...including money for education, for the University of Akron and a planned Akron campus for Stark State College.
The Greater Akron Chamber helped sort through and prioritize the state money locally.
President/CEO Dan Colantone says a big part of it is about helping area companies build their workforce.
"It's significant from the standpoint of the needs of business community in workforce development," Colantone tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "There's quite a bit of continued need in the market, through the university system...not just technical schools but universities as a whole."
Colantone says the money allocation is about a balance between jobs and quality of life.
Stark State is getting $6.5 million towards a proposed Akron branch campus.
The University of Akron gets over $18 million for a number of projects.