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Update: Early voting not starting in Ohio Tuesday

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 29, 2014

Update: 4:28 p.m.: Early voting for the Nov. 4 election won't start in Ohio Tuesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court today delayed the start of early voting, according to the Associated Press.

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Gov. Chris Christie's visit to Akron this evening is closed to media; protest planned for outside

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 29, 2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will speak tonight at a Summit County Republican Party finance dinner.

The Beacon Journal won't be able to tell you what Christie had to say because the event is closed to the media. Ditto on a private reception for Christie hosted by Tony Manna, chairman and CEO of Signet Enterprises LLC of Akron .

Christie's appearance with Gov. John Kasich at an Independence company before his Akron visit is open to press.

The local event will be at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St. in Akron .

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League to hold candidates night for Summit County judicial candidates

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 26, 2014

Every Summit County judicial race will be contested this November.

If you want to hear from the candidates in one spot, here's your shot. The League of Women Voters chapters of Akron, Hudson and Tallmadge will have a candidates night Tuesday evening. All of the judicial candidates in the Nov. 4 election have been invited.

The event will be from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Hudson High School, 2500 Hudson Aurora Road.

The league received a grant from its Ohio chapter to pay for the event.

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Better Block project in Akron's North Hill delayed until spring

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 25, 2014

A Better Block is coming to Akron's North Hill neighborhood but not until next spring.

The innovative concept, which involves making temporary improvements to a city block to show the potential for revitalization, was discussed at Akron Councilman Jim Hurley's ward meeting last week. The meeting drew about 100 people who were intrigued by the idea and had lots of questions.

Jason Sagedy of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), one of the groups involved in the effort, said a decision was made after the meeting to delay doing the Better Block, which had been planned for October. He said this will give organizers and residents longer to plan the event.

"Not rushing to complete this in October will give us quite a bit more time to work with all of you to brainstorm, connect, plan, engage, and act," Sagedy said in an email this week. "We also think it will help us to learn a lot about what it takes to pull one of these projects off locally, and, consequently, will help us to create other successful Better Blocks throughout the city next year."

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Akron council passes resolution supporting sales tax hike

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 24, 2014

Akron City Council passed a resolution this week supporting the proposed sales tax increase on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Council unanimously approved the resolution after hearing a pitch from Summit County Executive Russ Pry and Sheriff Steve Barry.

Pry told council the tax issue was changed to remove a proposal to use part of the money to fund a downtown arena and to cap the 0.25 percent tax hike at 10 years rather than making it permanent. He said the bulk of the proceeds would go to saftey expenses, including upgrades to the 911 radio system and increased staffing at the Summit County Jail.

If the proposal is defeated, Pry said changes will have to be made at the jail, including closing down part of the facility.

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Update: AG candidate David Pepper plans 3 Akron stops

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 19, 2014

David Pepper, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, will be spending a lot of time in Akron next week, with three campaign stops planned in the city.

Pepper will begin his visits Sunday morning when he will attend a service at United Baptist Church of Akron, along with Ed FitzGerald, the Democratric gubernatorial candidate, and Sharen Neuhardt, his running mate.

Pepper then will speak at an Akron Chamber of Commerce luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the PNC Center, 1 Cascade Plaza.

Lastly, Pepper will speak at the Summit County Young Democrats' annual fall fundraiser from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Paolo's, 1 W. Exchange St.

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Ed FitzGerald, other statewide candidates, launching tour of Ohio, including Akron stop

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 18, 2014

The statewide Democratic candidates will have a "Tour to Restore Ohio" starting Friday that will include a stop in Akron.

The tour, which runs through Tuesday, will hit a dozen Ohio cities.

The Akron stop will include Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for governor, Sharen Neuhardt, his running mate, and David Pepper, who is running for attorney general. It will be at United Baptist Church of Akron Sunday morning.

The stop is the only one on the tour not open to the media because it is at a church, said Meredith Tucker, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Democratic Party.

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New political website provides plethora of data on elected officials, candidates

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 17, 2014

Calling all you political junkies.

You're going to want to check out a new website:

The nonpartisan site contains information on thousands of politicians across the country assembled by a cadre of volunteers who researched the records of candidates and elected officials. They have amassed data on their voting records, campaign contributions, public statements, biographies, and evaluations by different public interest, groups in one spot.

The site's features include Vote Easy that allows you to see how candidates compare to your views on a variety of issues. With Political Galaxy, you can look a candidate up by name or zip code.

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Akron council, mayor honor the late Ethel Chambers

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 16, 2014

When Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic referred to the late Ethel Chambers as a "pain in the neck" during Monday's Akron City Council meeting, he meant it in a good way.

Plusquellic was alluding, during a tribute to the community activist, to her tendency to hound him and other city leaders for improvements in her neighborhood or her latest project.

"I wish in this community we had a thousand Ethel Chambers," Plusquellic said of Mrs. Chambers, 89, who died last month. "It's a good pain to have. She helped make this community better."

Council members, who passed a resolution honoring Mrs. Chambers, joined Plusquellic in praising her for her years of service to the community. They also thanked her large family, several whom attended the meeting, for sharing her with the city. Mrs. Chambers faithfully attended Akron council meetings.

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Gov. John Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor to attend opening of Summit County GOP headquarters

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 15, 2014

Gov. John Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor will attend the opening of the Summit County Republican Party's campaign headquarters next week.

Party leaders thought they would have only Kasich, but just learned that Taylor will accompany him.

"We're pretty excited," said Debbie Walsh, the party's executive director.

The opening, which will be six weeks before the Nov. 4 election, will begin at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 122 Broad Blvd. in Cuyahoga Falls. Doors will open at 2:45 p.m.

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Akron's water gets award for good fluoride

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 12, 2014

Akron's drinking water gets a gold star for its fluoride.

The city has been awarded the Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The award recognized the city for its consistent and professional adjustment of the water fluoride content for 12 consecutive months to Akron's 280,000 drinking customers.

Akron provides about 36 million gallons of drinking water to customers in the city and neighboring communities.

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Kasich has firm lead on FitzGerald, but other statewide races are more competitive, Bliss poll shows

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 11, 2014

Ohio Gov. John Kasich enjoys a solid lead over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, his Democratic challenger, but the down-ticket races are more competive, according to a statewide poll by the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron released this week.

Beacon Journal columnist Steve Hoffman analyzed the poll and found the races for attorney general, secretary of state and auditor may still be up for grabs in the Nov. 5 election, owing largely to a large number of undecided voters.

Some are predicting a second-straight GOP sweep of the statewide offices.

The Bliss Poll showed that turnout will have a big impact on the outcome of the statewide races, with Kasich and the other Republicans helped by a lower turnout. A higher turnout could help the Democrats.

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Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor stumping in Northeast Ohio today

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 8, 2014

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is campaigning in Northeast Ohio today, including stops in Kent and Wooster.

Taylor visited Kent State University at noon, where she met with the college Republicans. She will stop by the campaign headquarters for her and Gov. John Kasich in Independence, 6479 Brecksville Road at 3 p.m. Lastly, she will lead a jobs and small business discussion at 4:30 p.m. at the Wayne County GOP headquarters, 149 E. Liberty St. in Wooster.

Taylor is from Green in Summit County.

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Three statewide candidates to speak at Akron Press Club; Connie Pillich is first

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 2, 2014

With the November election drawing nearer, three statewide candidates will be speaking at the Akron Press Club in the next few weeks.

First up is Connie Pillich, the Democratic candidate for Ohio treasurer, who will speak Monday, Sept. 15. David Pepper, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, will be next on Tuesday, Sept. 30, followed by Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

State Sen. Nina Turner, the Democratic candidate for secretary of state, Secretary of State Jon Husted, and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, already spoke at the Akron Press Club. The candidates who haven't yet are: Treasurer Josh Mandel, Auditor Dave Yost, Gov. John Kasich and John Patrick Carney, the Democratic candidate for auditor.

Pillich, who is from the Cincinnati area, is serving her third term as a state representative.

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Canton mayoral race next year expected to be contested; unclear so far who will run for Akron mayor

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: September 2, 2014

While it's still unclear who's running for Akron mayor next year, it looks like the Canton mayor's race will be contested.

Canton Treasurer Kim Perez plans to challenge Mayor William Healy II, the Canton Repository reported.

Both are Democrats. Healy has said he will seek another term.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic hasn't said yet if he will run again. He faced a Democratic challenge in his last election from Councilman Mike Williams, very similar to the potential Healy/Perez matchup. Plusquellic, already Akron's longest serving mayor, won handily.

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