Community Media Roundtables by Neighborhood Media Foundation

Neighborhood Media Foundation exists to strengthen existing neighborhood and community media, to foster new media outlets in underserved communities, to provide funding and expertise to overcome obstacles for small media outlets, and to build networks of assistance and collaboration between small media outlets anywhere in the world where there are communities. Our startup project, the convening and support of NCMA-CLE (Neighborhood & Community Media Association of Greater Cleveland), has helped spark or sustain a list of 15 (and growing!) new and longstanding ethnic and community media produced by and for community members in our focus area of Cleveland, Ohio. Our community-media-only roundtables with newsmakers are an example of our cooperative, collaborative work.

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Mayor Bibb Cleveland Southeast Side Town Hall 2023

Mayor Justin Bibb hosted a town hall meeting on Wednesday, November 8th, at 6:00 p.m. to discuss Southeast Side initiatives. The event featured a panel made up of key members of the mayor’s cabinet, including representatives from public safety, building and housing, and public works. The discussion was moderated by Richard T. Andrews, editor and publisher of The Real Deal Press, and president of NCMA-CLE, Cleveland’s ethnic and community media network. This was an opportunity for community members to learn about the upcoming plans for the Southeast Side and ask questions. Residents of the Southeast Side attended in person at Bethany Christian Church or watched the livestream on the City’s Facebook channel (video courtesy of TV20 Cleveland, distributed by Neighborhood Media Foundation).

Cleveland Community Media Producers Hold Roundtable with Mayor Justin Bibb

[Republished with permission from the Plain Press]

At the Neighborhood and Community Media Association of Greater Cleveland first press conference with Mayor Justin Bibb, time allowed each news outlet just one question for the mayor. Below are the questions from the members of the Neighborhood and Community Media Association [and other community media producers] and Mayor Justin Bibb’s responses.

Chuck Hoven, Plain Press

A number of years ago at Walton School I sat in a session with grade school kids and they were asked a what if question.  What if they could have whatever they wanted for afterschool programs at their school. And the kids came up with maybe seventy or eighty things within about a half an hour – everything from a sewing club to their own soccer field.

What I wanted to ask you about is the Comprehensive Extracurricular Activities Program. In the late 1990s the Cleveland Browns Stadium was given a tax exemption. The Cleveland Schools were promised that they would be made whole – they wouldn’t lose the tax dollars that would have come from the stadium. It was supposed to be two million dollars a year. And for the first decade it was $2 million dollars a year.

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Mayor Bibb Statement on Protests in Cleveland

On the morning of June 24th, Mayor Justin Bibb issued the following statement on demonstrations in Cleveland resulting from the overturning of Roe v. Wade:

“The City of Cleveland continues to support our citizens’ First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful, lawful demonstration. Over the last two days, there have been multiple demonstrations in and around downtown Cleveland, with more scheduled for today.
“I understand and feel the anger caused by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This is a ruthless attack on women and their reproductive rights and an insult to our predecessors who fought so hard to protect these rights.

“I ask that you continue to protest peacefully. We cannot let actions of frustration minimize the fight for our freedoms. 
“As mayor, I want to reassure you that I am determined to mobilize every resource and legal mechanism within my power to protect women’s safety, health, and right to choose. 

“The Cleveland Division of Police has detailed personnel and resources to each of the demonstrations in order to ensure that participants and members of the general public remain safe. At this time, there have been no arrests associated with the activity. 

“Please stay safe.”

Former PUCO chair texted he knew FirstEnergy charge was likely unlawful, but company would keep money anyway

Former PUCO Chair Asim Haque

Texts about the $456 million charge may further undermine public confidence in the PUCO.

by Eye On Ohio Staff, Eye on Ohio
May 20, 2022

This article is provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit Energy News Network. Please join the free mailing lists for Eye on Ohio or the Energy News Network, as this helps provide more public service reporting.

Newly disclosed texts from a former head of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio suggest he knew a grid modernization charge that cost ratepayers nearly half a billion dollars was “likely to be found illegal and could not be refunded.”

Former PUCO Chair Asim Haque and former FirstEnergy Vice President Michael Dowling exchanged text messages on the same day the Supreme Court of Ohio held the charge unlawful. Challengers in the case had argued that the commission’s order imposing the charge basically had no strings attached to make FirstEnergy take any specific actions to modernize the grid.

At the same time, the court ruled against refunding the charge. By that time in 2019, Ohio ratepayers had spent roughly $456 million.

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How do public officials make Land Bank decisions? Artificial Intelligence may seek patterns

Al Jenkins in front of his Cleveland home (photos by Eye on Ohio)

By Emily Crebs and Lucia Walinchus 

This project was funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center and provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join the free mailing lists for Eye on Ohio as this helps provide more public service reporting.

Al Jenkins has what neighbors called “the nicest house on the block.” The renovated historic structure has fresh gray paint and manicured landscaping. A side lawn looks like it also is his. Jenkins fenced it and cuts the grass. But the City of Cleveland Land Bank won’t sell him the property. He said they told him they are saving it for future development. 

Down the street from Jenkins, across from the Cleveland Clinic, bulldozers buzz around new construction on land the city gave to a developer from land bank and purchased property. The new Addis View Apartments will cost about $2,000 for a 2-bedroom in a zip code with a median income of $29,225 according to Census data. 

Jenkins is happy about the new development. He’s not just a neighbor but a small-business owner heavily invested in the neighborhood. 

“Anything coming to this neighborhood is going to be a plus for us,” Jenkins said. 

His block resembles Swiss cheese: historic homes interspersed with vacant land bank lots. Jenkins came from a suburb in 1982. He was tired of spending all his factory income on housing. He eventually bought and fixed up many more rental houses. 

So why give properties in the same area to one company and not to Jenkins?

The City of Cleveland did not respond to multiple requests for comment (Note the city land bank should not be confused with the county land bank, which said it has no such policy).

Using machine learning methods, Eye on Ohio looked at property remediation in several counties to look deeper at a process that has transformed the rust belt over several years. 

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Ohio cities settle civil claims related to power plant bailout

FirstEnergy entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in July. As of Dec. 12, Energy Harbor had not yet been indicted for any criminal charges in connection with HB 6. Both remain potentially liable to claims by the state of Ohio and others (photo of Perry Nuclear Power Plant courtesy of FirstEnergy YouTube video, “FirstEnergy Takes Pride in Being a Good Neighbor”).

In a consolidated case, the Ohio attorney general’s office wants to move ahead on its civil racketeering case against FirstEnergy, Energy Harbor and others.

By Kathiann M. Kowalski

This article is provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit Energy News Network. Please join the free mailing lists for Eye on Ohio or the Energy News Network, as this helps provide more public service reporting for readers of Neighborhood Media Foundation outlets.

The cities of Cincinnati and Columbus have dismissed their state court claims against FirstEnergy and Energy Harbor for the companies’ actions relating to House Bill 6, the nuclear and coal bailout law at the heart of a $60 million corruption case in Ohio.

“The dismissal was the result of negotiations with the defendants, the court’s ruling in our favor, and the partial repeal of HB 6,” said Andrew Garth, city solicitor for Cincinnati.  

The Dec. 2 dismissal does not include any admission of wrongdoing by FirstEnergy or Energy Harbor. The joint filing was made “with prejudice,” meaning the cities cannot bring the same claims against the companies at a later time.

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The Marshall Project to Launch Criminal Justice News Operation in Cleveland

The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. We have an impact on the system through journalism, rendering it more fair, effective, transparent and humane.

New support from the Gund Foundation to drive expansion of local investigative reporting

The Marshall Project, the Pulitzer prize-winning nonprofit newsroom covering criminal justice, will launch a news operation in Cleveland in 2022 with the support of the George Gund Foundation, among others, which announced a significant grant for the project this week.

The Cleveland news team will report on and expose abuses in Cuyahoga County’s criminal justice system, producing investigative, data and engagement journalism with the support of The Marshall Project’s national newsroom. The Cleveland news operation will serve local audiences — including those directly affected by the criminal justice system — who are often neglected or mischaracterized in media coverage.

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Medworks hosts FREE dental clinics Nov. 20 & 21

CLEVELAND – Medworks, a Cleveland-based, independent nonprofit organization offering 100 percent FREE medical, dental, vision, and mental health services to anyone in need, no qualifications, no question asked is hosting two dental clinics this weekend. 

The clinic takes place:

Saturday November 20 

9a.m – 2 p.m. 

Care Alliance Central Campus

2916 Central Avenue, Cleveland 44115

Extractions only

Saturday & Sunday November 20 & 21 

9a.m – 2 p.m. 

NEON Southeast Health Center

13301 Miles Avenue, Cleveland 44105

Extractions & Cleanings only

Appointments are required and limited. You can make an appointment online at or by calling (216) 201-9325. 

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Local Coalition Raises Over $5.8M to Launch Nonprofit News Organization in Ohio

NEO Collaboration Conference on October 25, 2019 (photo by Stefanie Murray, The Center for Cooperative Media)

Independent newsroom in Cleveland to launch in 2022, producing daily, high-quality, community-oriented journalism as part of a new statewide network of newsrooms across Ohio

CLEVELAND – Nov. 9, 2021 –  A coalition of Cleveland-based organizations and the American Journalism Project are partnering to launch an independent, community-led, nonprofit newsroom serving Cleveland. The newsroom will be the first in a larger network of independent, local newsrooms across Ohio, as part of a new nonprofit effort called the Ohio Local News Initiative, which will aim to launch additional newsrooms across the state over time.

Cleveland’s newsroom, slated for launch in 2022, will produce high-quality journalism on a daily basis that centers community voices and lets residents help set the agenda for newsgathering. The newsroom will dramatically increase the volume of original, in-depth, non-partisan reporting in the region and support the efforts of Cleveland news outlets and community initiatives to make critical information available to all who need it—information will be available in numerous formats across multiple platforms, and will be free to access.

Residents will help set the newsroom’s priorities, through a community reporting model that will train and pay Clevelanders to report for, and gather requests, questions, and ideas from their communities. The program will begin in Central, and grow to serve more communities throughout Cleveland.

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