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U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge loses fencing duel to Stephen Colbert in episode that aired this week

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 29, 2014

U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge needs to brush up on her fencing skills.

Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights, who was a fencing champion in high school, lost a duel to Stephen Colbert in an episode of the Colbert Report that aired Tuesday. Fudge, who heads the Congressional Black Caucus, had promised to make Colbert an honorary member if he won.

"I am now a proud member of the Congressional Black Caucus!" Colbert said triumphantly, after beating Fudge 2-1.

The duel followed a segment of Colbert's "Better Know A District" featuring Fudge's 11th district that stretches from Cleveland to Akron. Colbert focused on Cleveland and never touched on Akron during the segment. He did, however, mention the blimp in a song he sang to Fudge attempting to get her to induct him into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Ed FitzGerald to visit Canton this afternoon

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 28, 2014

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic candidate for governor, will bring his Hometown Tour to the Akron area for the first time this afternoon.

FitzGerald will visit the AFL-CIO booth at the Stark County Fair, 305 Wertz Ave. N.W. in Canton, at 3 p.m.

FitzGerald and his running mate, Sharen Neuhardt, have visited over 30 cities across Ohio since July. They are focusing on the cuts that have been made to funding for local governments under Gov. John Kasich's administration.

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Summit County elections board deadlocks on use of non-partisans as poll workers

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 27, 2014

The Summit County elections board deadlocked this week on whether to use non-partisan voters as poll workers in the next year.

The Democratic board members, who have used non-partisans in the past in areas where they couldn't find partisans to work in elections, wanted to use non-partisans. The Republicans, who think only voters who are affiliated with one of the parties should be used, have avoided employing non-partians.

State law says elections board may not draw more than half of their pollworkers from the same political party.

Secretary of State Jon Husted will break the board's tie vote.

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Chris Christie to speak at Summit County GOP fundraiser

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 21, 2014

Add another name to the long list of prominent politicians who have agreed to speak at Summit County Republican Party fundraising events: Chris Christie.

The county GOP mailed out "save the date" cards today announcing that the outspoken New Jersey governor will be the guest speaker at the party's finance dinner on Sept. 29.

Tony Manna, chairman and CEO of Signet Enterprises LLC of Akron, will have a private reception for Christie, who is considering a second presidential bid in 2016, while he's in town.

Christie will speak at the party's finance dinner at the Hilton Akron Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St. in Akron. A cocktail reception will be at 6 p.m., with dinner following at 7 p.m. Tickets are $300.

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Move To Amend to hold forum in Tallmadge

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 20, 2014

Move To Amend, a national campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution to specify that corporations aren't people, will hold a community forum in Tallmadge next weekend.

David Cobb, the campaign's spokesman, will speak at the forum titled "Creating Democracy and Challenging Corporate Rule." Organizers describe the event as "part history lesson and part heart-felt call to action."

The effort seeks to nullify the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that granted corporations the same rights as individuals to make political contributions.

More than 360,000 people have signed an online petition supporting the proposed constitutional amendment.

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Akron mayor recovering from back surgery

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 15, 2014

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic had back fusion surgery this week.

Planning Director Marco Sommerville mentioned the surgery Thursday night at an Indigo Girls concert in downtown Akron, explaining it as the reason he was speaking rather than Plusquellic.

Sommerville said Friday that Plusquellic's surgery went well. He said he isn't sure how long the mayor will be off work while he recovers.

Sommerville said Plusquellic, who is in regular contact with his office, will remain in charge during his recovery.

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Ethel Chambers commanded respect; Akron woman will be missed

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 14, 2014

When Ethel Chambers stood up to speak at Akron City Council meetings, a hush fell over the chambers.

Though Mrs. Chambers was small in stature, she commanded respect from the council members who were aware of her many years of community activism. Often, she didn't say much, unlike other speakers, because she chose her words cafefully. But, what she said mattered.

Mrs. Chambers, 89, died Saturday of kidney failure. The Beacon Journal's Marilyn Miller wrote a feature obituary on Chambers that is in the local section today. Miller describes Mrs. Chambers as feisty and "small but bold" -- an apt description.

My only regret is that I didn't have the chance to do a profile on Mrs. Chambers before she passed. Her name is still on the list of story ideas I have taped to my computer. I'll keep it on the list in her honor.

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Brown and other senators urge delay of planned postal center closures, including one in Akron

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 14, 2014

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and 49 other senators are urging the delay of the planned closure of several U.S. Postal Service processing centers, including one in Akron.

The senators sent a letter today to the chairmen and ranking members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Subcommittee on Financial Services and Government, asking them to prevent the planned closures of 82 processing centers in 2015. They say Congress needs more time to pass comprehensive reform to fund postal operations.

"Closing Akron's mail processing facility will deprive the community of hundreds of good-paying jobs, making it difficult for families to make ends meet," Brown said in a news release. "Immediate action needs to be taken so workers can keep their jobs and continue providing reliable service for the city."

The closure of the centers would eliminate as many as 15,000 jobs, including 400 in Akron. The Akron center on Wolf Ledges Parkway was spared from the first wave of postal center shut downs in 2012.

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U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge to again speak in Akron

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 12, 2014

For the second time this year, U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge will speak in Akron later this month.

Fudge, who represents the 11th Congressional District that includes parts of Summit County and Akron, will speak at the Akron Roundtable luncheon Thursday, Aug. 21. The event is sponsored by State & Federal Communications.

The luncheon will be from noon to 1:15 p.m. at Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway St. in Akron. Tickets are $20 each and include lunch.

Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights, spoke in January at an Akron Press Club luncheon. Also this year, she opened an office in Akron and had a town hall meeting in the city.

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Congressional candidate calls on U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce to up minimum wage

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: August 11, 2014

Michael Wager, the Democratic candidate for the 14th Congressional District, is calling on U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, who currently holds this seat, to up the minimum wage.

Wager, an attorney and adjunct faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, will air his views at noon Tuesday outside of Joyce's office at 10075 Ravenna Road in Twinsburg. He will be joined by local union volunteers and citizens.

Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for the minimum wage to be raised from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour. The minimum wage was last increased in 2009.

A few federal officials, including U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, recently lived on minimum wage for a week to highlight the difficulty of living on it. Opponents argue raising the minimum wage would hurt businesses.

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