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Spirit Airlines to start flights to Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach from Akron-Canton Airport

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 28, 2017

Spirit Airlines is reminding people it will start non-stop flights from Akron-Canton Airport to Las Vegas and to Myrtle Beach, S.C., starting on April 27.
Spirit began flying out of Akron-Canton Airport last November with daily nonstop flights to Florida.
“We are thrilled to continue to offer these low fare options to our customers” Rick McQueen, airport president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
To promote the new flights, Akron-Canton Airport and Spirit are sponsoring a contest that runs through April 10. Two winners will be picked; each will receive two round-trip tickets from Akron-Canton Airport to either Las Vegas or to Myrtle Beach.
More information is online at akroncantonairport.com/contests/destination-vacay.
 

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Area man who appeared on `Shark Tank' will talk about snack food venture at Hiram College

By Katie Byard Published: March 23, 2017

Evan Delahanty, the founder of local snack startup Peaceful Fruits who appeared on ABC television’s Shark Tank, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday for an open-to-the-public Fireside Chat at Hiram College.

Delahanty will talk about his experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in South America, as well as his work with Peaceful Fruits at  Hiram College’s East Hall.

The talk is presented by the college's Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship.

Delahanty, who lives in Boston Township, failed to get a deal when he appeared on Shark Tank.  Nevertheless, it was a mighty fruitful experience, with the show creating quite a buzz. Shortly after his appearance on the show, Delahanty sold roughly $75,000 worth of the acai-infused fruit strips. That’s about three times his sales for all of last year.

The extra sales have led to greater production and more work opportunities for the people with disabilities who make and package the fruit snacks. Workers at the new Hattie’s Food Hub in West Akron, operated by the nonprofit Hattie Larlham, make the all-natural, gluten-free strips, which are labeled and packaged by workers at Blick Center in Fairlawn.

The strips are sold online and at various retail sites.

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Huntington pledges $25 million of $150 million for state to Akron for affordable housing aid

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 22, 2017

Huntington Bank on Wednesday said aid for affordable housing in Akron would receive $25 million out of a $150 million pledge for the state.

The funding for the 2017 and 2018 years was announced Wednesday by bank officials and affordable housing partners and advocates in Cleveland. 

The bank said the allocation brings its cumulative investment with Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing to $513 million over the past seven years.

Huntington Chairman Steve Steinour said: “When we learned that affordable housing development was stalling because of potential changes to the Federal tax code, we immediately responded. We believe it is vital to continuously support adequate housing for those who require it most.” said Steinour. “Ohio has been our home for the past 151 years and we remain committed to investing in neighborhoods and affordable housing to help people lead better lives. We hope our new commitment will help accelerate the rate of investment by others in partnership with OCCH to keep Ohio affordable housing starts and refurbishment projects on track.”

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FTC warns about "Can You Hear Me Now" scam

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 21, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to be careful about "Can you hear me now?" calls.

Beacon Journal consumer columnist Betty Lin-Fisher recently also wrote about this scam. You can read the column here.

Here's the FTC's press release about the scam.

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Former FirstMerit debit card users may be eligible for class-action settlement

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 21, 2017

Former FirstMerit debit card users may be eligible for part of a class-action settlement. See more details here

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Akron tech startup 7signal leaving for Cuyahoga County; is lured by $480,000 loan

By Katie Byard Published: March 21, 2017
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An Akron tech startup, nurtured in the business incubator in the city’s downtown, is planning to relocate to Independence.

Cuyahoga County is luring the company, 7signal, with a $480,000 Business Attraction Forgivable Loan.

The county’s loan will be forgivable “only upon the company’s creation of 48 jobs having average annual salaries of at least $100,000 and maintenance of those jobs within the County over 7 years,” according to a news release issued by Cuyahoga County.

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Ohio Attorney General reminds consumers to be wary of tax-related scams

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 20, 2017

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning Ohio consumers to be wary of tax-related scams. In a press release, DeWine said these scams are increasing as the April 18 tax filing deadline approaches.

“As we get further into tax season, we’re seeing more of these scams,” Attorney General DeWine said. “What we want people to remember is that if callers are threatening you, saying you have to pay immediately, or saying they’re going to put you in jail, it’s not the IRS.” 

The most common tax scam reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is the “IRS” imposter phone scam. The ploy generally begins with a call claiming the recipient is in trouble with the IRS and must call a certain phone number to avoid arrest or legal action. Eventually, the person is asked to pay to resolve the supposed problem.

 

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Meeting climate accord standards could cost Ohio 100,000-plus jobs, report says

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 17, 2017

Ohio could lose more than 100,000 jobs and its gross domestic product would fall by $9 billion if the United States agreed to adopt stricter emission measures in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce says in a new report.
Nationally, meeting the Paris accord emissions standards could cost the U.S. economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040, according to the study by NERA Economic Consulting done on behalf of the chamber. The report is called “Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Regulations on the Industrial Sector.”
The report said Ohio’s state GDP would decline by 1.2 percent, or $9 billion, in 2025; household income fall by $390; and employment by 110,000 jobs, including 24,000 manufacturing and industrial jobs. Ohio’s cement output would drop by 16 percent, while iron and steel output would decline by 13 percent.
 

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Citizens Bank online transactions delayed this morning; issue now resolved

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: March 17, 2017

12:09 p.m. Update:

Citizens Bank Vice President of Media Relations Lauren DiGeronimo confirms that all issues were resolved as of 10:47 a.m. DiGeronimo said no fees will be incurred by customers, due to the issue. The mobile app is also now working.

 

Here is the earlier story:

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Northeast Ohio economy will grow this year, PNC expects

By Jim Mackinnon Published: March 16, 2017

The Northeast Ohio economy should grow modestly this year, much as it did in 2016.
So says the latest market outlook released Thursday by PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh.
“The regional economy is steadily inching forward as it overcomes major drags in its key manufacturing industry,” PNC said.
Report highlights include:
• Health-care, finance and professional services industries will add to economic growth.
• Higher energy prices are helping stabilize some factories as investment returns to the Utica shale region.
• Higher steel tariffs and stabilizing steel demand are helping local steelmakers.
• Auto sales, including high demand for light trucks, SUVs and crossovers, are expected to have their best year on record and therefore benefit the region’s auto supply chain companies.
• Cheaper gasoline coupled with slowing demand for fuel-efficient cars will hurt the Youngstown area; there already have been employment and production cuts at General Motors’ Lordstown plant where the compact Chevrolet Cruze is made.
• Upside risks include Washington-based tax cuts and boosts to infrastructure spending.
• Downside risks include a strong dollar and trade protectionism that could hurt exports.
• Continued population loss will hurt Northeast Ohio job growth. Population loss also hurts, among other things, demand for housing. On the plus side, out-migration appears to be moderating.
• Natural gas extraction from the Utica shale will generate jobs, income and tax revenue.
• Fledgling manufacturing hubs for the machinery of new energy technologies and transportation equipment hold promise.
• The region’s lower costs and availability of underutilized resources will help attract new industries and opportunities.
• Median household income will grow from an estimated $49,800 in 2016 to $50,700 this year. The region’s median income currently is about 9 percent lower than the nation’s. 

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