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Weekend America Voices

Mhari Saito

  • Mhari Saito brings stories from the North Coast to "Weekend America." Based at public radio station WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio, Mhari's work for "Weekend America" has covered everything from Ohio's foreclosure crisis to the kids' band, "The Wiggles." Mhari started her radio career as a stringer for NPR in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in late 1997. She's won several awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow for a series on urban blight she produced while at WHYY in Philadelphia. Her work is heard on public radio shows like "Marketplace" and NPR newsmagazines.

    Mhari spends most of her weekends rooting for doomed sports teams with her husband and two kids and is still crushed from the Cleveland Indians' loss to the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 ALCS.

Recent Stories


  • Hunger In the New Year

    Milk It For What it's Worth

    A lot of people are thinking about plans for the upcoming year this weekend. Ann Shotwell knows a lot about planning, though for her, it's more week-to-week. She runs a hot meal program three Wednesday nights a month out of Morningstar Baptist Church on Cleveland's east side. It's a low income neighborhood hit hard by foreclosures. One-hundred and fifty people or more show up for the meal, and Mrs. Shotwell gets most of the food for it by shopping at Cleveland's food bank.

  • Ohio Undecideds

    An Ohio voter during early voting in Toledo, Ohio.

    Two weeks from Tuesday voters go to the polls. Election Day. We never thought we'd get there when this campaign started way back in, like, 1840. Obama and McCain are hitting the battleground states hard. Over the last few elections, Ohio seems to be perpetually held up as one of the most important and swingiest of swing states. Mhari Saito from WCPN in Cleveland has been talking with voters around the state for months now.

  • Politics on the Spot: Emergency Room

    Outside MetroHealth's emergency room

    For election season, we're taking you around the country to hear how some of the big issues at stake are playing out on the ground. This week we're tackling one of the most complex issues on the candidates' agendas: health care. To get at it, we sent WCPN's Mhari Saito to the MetroHealth System hospital in Cleveland. It's considered the hospital of last resort for the uninsured in the county.

  • Mortgage crisis fallout: Homeless kids

    With many communities hit hard by foreclosures, schools are reporting spikes in the number of homeless students this fall. Mhari Saito reports on how those districts -- and their students -- are coping.

  • Fun at the Cemetery

    Marge Wilson reads the inscription on a statue

    Maybe it's the kind of summer day in your part of the country that inspires you to pack a picnic and go listen to an outdoor concert. Or take in a nature walk. Where would you go? How about the cemetery? Historic cemeteries like Brooklyn's Green-Wood host live dance and music performances. Hollywood Forever in Los Angeles has been a popular site for movie showings.

  • Living in Superman's House

    Super House

    It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman's house. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the superhero's comic debut, and fans are flocking to the Cleveland house where Jerry Siegel created the Man of Steel.

  • Empty homes, ruined neighborhoods

    Lenders are selling off thousands of houses they've foreclosed on for pennies on the dollar. And now the neighborhoods where those homes are located are crumbling. Mhari Saito reports from Cleveland.

  • Taking the Foreclosure Bus Tour

    Sign of the foreclosure times

    The U.S. housing market continues its downward slide and more and more homes are going into foreclosure. But realtors are fighting back by arranging weekend bus tours of foreclosed homes to try to reach out to potential buyers. Mhari Saito goes along for the ride in a Cleveland suburb.

  • The Front Lines of the Hunger Fight

    A free gallon of milk

    Many Americans are turning to government and private aid as tough economic times get even tougher. In hard-hit Ohio, food pantries and hunger centers are reporting record turnout. Weekend America correspondent Mhari Saito learns it takes diligence to keep people fed.

  • Ohio stiffens its flex-time rules

    The state of Ohio recently changed the rules of the game for its 60,000 employees. As of next month, flex time's not going to be so flexible anymore. Mhari Saito reports.

  • In Plain Township, Job Losses Continue

    An Empty Factory

    In Ohio, where thousands are out of work, blue collar voters are key to what could be a decisive Democratic primary next week. Reporter Mhari Saito finds out how the promises of Senators Clinton and Obama are resonating with families in the midst of hard times.

  • Democrats appeal to NAFTA resentment

    Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama have been focusing on their opposition to NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. But will voters in Ohio, where thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost, be persuaded? Mhari Saito reports.

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