A Seamstress Who Handed Off To The N.F.L. for 48 Years [The New York Times]

N.F.L. balls are just a small part of the production at the factory. In all, about 700,000 leather balls a year, between 3,000 and 4,000 a day, are made in Ada, [Ohio] with about half of them shipped in the spring to high schools and colleges.

Cleveland Police: Forcing Change [The Plain Dealer]

Northeast Ohio Media Group and The Plain Dealer reviewed the details of nearly 70 lawsuits against Cleveland officers that resulted in taxpayer payouts over the past decade. The lawsuits alleged that officers used excessive force, made wrongful arrests or needlessly escalated violence during encounters with citizens. Though the city admitted no wrongdoing in settling many of the lawsuits, taken as a whole, the patterns that emerge from the cases match closely with the patterns of police behavior that were described in a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

Cleveland Area Won’t Regain Jobs Lost During Recession Until 2019 [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

“A loss of manufacturing jobs, especially related to the automobile supply chain, is a major reason for that broad trend. Even though we’re seeing strengthening in that sector, it doesn’t make up for the losses that occurred during — and prior to — the 2008 recession.”

Flint’s Dirty Drinking Water Conundrum [The Baffler]

According to a memo from Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (PDF), Flint has been in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act as of the fourth quarter of 2014, due to excessive levels of trihalomethane (a byproduct of chlorination) in the city’s drinking water.

Will The Spill Spark A Movement? [Jacobin]

This rising tide of activism is notable in a state like West Virginia, where the energy industries possess both monetary, political, and ideological power, acting through citizen volunteer groups like Friends of Coal that produce bumper stickers and license plates insisting that coal is critical to the state’s identity and economic future. To organize in such an atmosphere takes bravery and dogged commitment

illustration by David Wilson of Northcoast Biodiversity and Downpour