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WCPO is 'On Your Side' every day, but these 9 stories truly highlight our mission

Posted at 11:35 AM, Apr 02, 2018

In a time when trust in news is low, we believe it is important for news organizations to be clear with their audience about their beliefs and how they make decisions.

One of our goals here at WCPO is to be transparent. We want to be clear, in our storytelling and reporting, about where we get information and how we convey it. Part of that transparency means we feel it is important to explain to you who we are and what motivates us. Check WCPO's list of core beliefs here for more on that. 

RELATED: WCPO is part of a project on trust in the media

Unlike other Tri-State news organizations with corporate offices hundreds of miles away, WCPO's parent company is right here in Cincinnati at the corner of Third and Walnut streets. We strive to carry out the E.W. Scripps Company's mission of "informing, engaging and empowering those we serve" -- the people of Greater Cincinnati -- every day.

Here are nine recent stories that we think fulfill that mission particularly well:

1. How does your police department compare on discipline? -- From Florence to Fairfield, the WCPO I-Team collected records from 40 different police departments and reviewed thousands of disciplinary cases involving officers. Our motives were simple -- to make sure the people who protect us and enforce our laws are worthy of the high level of trust the public gives them.


2. Rats, roaches and resilience: Cincinnati's public housing at a crossroads -- Our I-Team spent much of 2017 investigating Cincinnati’s public housing, whose 10,000 tenants complain about deteriorating buildings, chronic pest problems and a lack of security that makes it easy for strangers with bad intentions to get into the towers they call home.


3. State investigates wage theft claim at luxury Downtown apartment project -- Hispanic ironworkers -- all of whom are entitled to protections under state and federal labor laws -- claim R & R Steel underpaid them by thousands of dollars and took advantage of Hispanic workers who worked on a luxury apartment complex Downtown.


4. Should the owner of this Evanston home go to jail for building code violations? -- When our reporters met him, Earl Starr was wearing an electronic monitoring device on his ankle and had wound up in criminal court for an unusual reason -- he hadn't made repairs to his own two-family home in Evanston.


5. Lost boy: One teen's two-year wait in the child welfare system -- Gage is one of the more than 3,000 children that Hamilton County Children’s Services had in custody through 2017. The kids were there because their parents or guardians were accused of abuse or neglect or because the children’s behavior made it unsafe for them to stay at home.


Gage's birthday cake.

6. How a stylist helped this boy conquer his fear -- Patrick Boyne's first haircut was a nightmare, but he wasn’t throwing a typical toddler tantrum. He’s autistic, and the haircut was more than he could handle. His hairstylist Sarah Eaton treated the little boy with love and kindness and understanding over and over for as long as it took to make him comfortable.

Patrick with his hairstylist Sarah Eaton.

7. Sidekicks to give homeless children something that's all theirs -- Some toys are worth much more than the sum of their stitches and stuffing. Three University of Cincinnati undergrads are the creative force behind Sidekicks -- an idea aimed at giving comfort and stability to kids experiencing homelessness in the form of custom-made toys and storybooks. 

An UpSpring camper named Gab picks the fabric for his Sidekick, named "Littel Spity."

8. Noticing more potholes this year? You're not alone -- The unusually harsh winter of 2018 froze and cracked streets across the southwestern portion of Ohio. That same inhospitable weather makes it difficult to repair the damage, so WCPO investigated how long it takes to fill potholes and showed viewers how simple it can be to request a repair.


9. How to make sure hospitals don't overcharge your medical expenses -- Hospital billing errors unfortunately aren't rare. Pat Palmer, founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America, said she sees overcharging of anywhere from 17 to 49 percent on hospital bills. WCPO explained how her firm has helped patients reduce thousands of dollars worth of inflated bills.