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Man pulling off invasive species

Fewer Invasive Species Reach the Great Lakes, but Those Here Continue to Spread

Scientists, Regulators and Industry Representatives Debate if Ballast Water Treatment is an Option

More than $375 billion in cargo — iron ore, coal, cement, stone, grain and more — has flowed between Great Lakes ports and foreign nations since 1959. That’s when Queen Elizabeth and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower christened the St. Lawrence Seaway, heralding it as an engineering marvel.  

But that series of locks, dams and channels connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean also carved a pathway for foreign plants and animals to wreak billions of dollars in ecological damage to the lakes. At least 80 invasive species have arrived in the ballast water transatlantic ships take in and discharge for balance. 

The round goby, which came from the Black and Caspian seas in the 1990s, gobbles up food some native fish depend upon. So do European zebra and quagga mussels, which also damage docks and boats and clog pipes and machinery, costing the Great Lakes region an estimated $500 million each year.

Eye On the Elderly: Ohio Increasingly Relies on Volunteers to Handle Aging Adult Affairs

Malcolm Tanksley visited Ruby at the nursing home nearly every weekend. The pair didn’t meet until Ruby was in her seventies, but for the last decade of her life, he was the only family she had. “After thirteen years as her guardian, she thought I was really family,” Tanksley said. “She had dementia to the point where she didn’t talk to anyone else, but she always remembered me.”

He recalls taking her to see a fireworks show, playing hundreds of games of bingo and observing her glee when he brought her birthday and Christmas presents. Ruby loved to be pampered--cozy robes and scented lotions were her favorites.

How has Ohio Stepped Up Measures to Combat Sexual Violence?

For one Ohio trafficking victim, the opening of the accredited rape crisis center at the YWCA Dayton last year proved crucial to quelling her inner demons, which lingered long after the physical pain subsided. For years, her abuser raped and beat her daily. She must never tell anyone, he threatened, because it would “open Pandora’s box.” Discussing her ordeal in counseling made her feel like it would open that box of monsters and shadows. Her counselor, however, reminded her that the bottom or Pandora’s box held the light of hope. In her private sessions, he taught her to visualize walking down a hallway and opening doors to seek that light and the letters to spell the word “hope” in each room she imagined.

Ohio’s Guardianship Laws Leave Seniors Vulnerable to Abuse

Ohio has struggled to care for vulnerable seniors, and it’s getting worse. The state’s probate courts are responsible for creating and monitoring guardianships of the frail elderly, balancing freedom and protection. They are already strained. And yet, between 2010 and 2030, the number of Ohioans over 65 is projected to rise by half, from 1.6 million to 2.4 million. Over the next seven years the number of Alzheimer’s patients in the state is projected to rise by 13.6 percent.

How do the issues affect Ohio voter choices?

Ahead of the election this week, Eye on Ohio took a quick look at how major issues could sway voters still on the fence. "Even though the election is Tuesday, there are still a lot of undecided voters. We are fairly certain that Democrat Sherrod Brown will win the U.S. Senate race in Ohio, but most of the races (e.g., the governor's race and the down-ballot races) are toss-ups," said Dr. Lauren Copeland, Associate Director of the Community Research Institute at Baldwin Wallace University, who has used survey data in her research since 2009.  "The outcome of the gubernatorial race will hinge on turnout and how late deciders break. If history is any guide, Cordray might be able to ride Brown’s coattails to the finish line because the same party tends to win the subernatorial and the senate races." But Copeland cautioned against accepting polls as the whole picture.