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Cleveland Indians add wine to the team

By Katie Byard Published: May 28, 2015

The Cleveland Indians have joined the ranks of major league baseball teams offering their own wine.
Wine Spectator  revealed on its website Thursday that the Indians have released a California red blend.
The website says the wine has “notes of chocolate, roasted coffee bean and vanilla spice.”
The red and blue label is simple, featuring the script Indians logo. No Chief Wahoo.
A three-pack (three bottles) of the wine runs $47.99 via
Thursday evening there was a bug in the online listing of the wine. Clicking on “Find Local Retailer” yielded a listing of Colorado stores apparently selling Colorado Rockies wine.
Wine Spectator said that 19 teams now offer MLB “Club Series” wines.  
The Cleveland Indians could not be reached Thursday evening for comment about the wine.

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Sterling profits and sales up; forecast for second quarter below expectations

By Katie Byard Published: May 28, 2015

The company, which last year purchased rival Zale Corp., of Irving, Texas, said first-quarter earnings were $118.8 million, or $1.48 per share, compared with $96.6 million, or $1.20 per share for the year ago period.

Adjusted for costs related to the purchase of Zale and other items, the company's earnings for the first quarter were $1.62 per share.

Signet [NYSE:SIG] said it projects adjusted earnings for the second quarter in the range of $1.11 to $1.16 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters have estimated $1.19 a share.

Same-store sales - sales at the company's stores open at least a year - for the first quarter increased 3.6 percent. Same store sales at the company's newest division - Zale - were up 5.6 percent.

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Myers Industries to pay 13.5 cent dividend

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 28, 2015

Akron-based plastics product maker and tool distributor Myers Industries Inc. soon will pay a 13.5 cent quarterly dividend.
The dividend is payable July 1 to shareholders of record as of  June 12.

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RPM International selling $250 million in notes to repay credit line

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 27, 2015

Medina-based coatings company RPM International Inc. is selling $250 million in notes to repay in part a revolving credit line that in turn had made an initial payment to a trust set up to settle asbestos claims for its Specialty Products Holding Corp.
The sale closes on Friday. Net proceeds are expected to be $245.5 million after expenses.
The notes are due June 1, 2045 and pay 5.25 percent interest. The company will pay interest on the notes semi-annually on June 1 and December 1of each year, beginning on Dec. 1, 2015.
RPM International sealant and coating consumer brands include Rust-Oleum, DAP, Zinsser, Varathane and Testors. Industrial and commercial brands include Stonhard, Tremco, illbruck, Carboline, Flowcrete, Day-Glo, Dryvit and Euclid Chemical.

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Summit County jobless rate falls below 5 percent as jobs slowly recover

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 27, 2015

By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer
Summit County’s jobless rate fell below 5 percent in April, the first time it has been under 5 percent since late last year.
Unemployment rates fell in all 88 Ohio counties, according to figures released Wednesday by the state.
Summit County’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent last month, down from 5.5 percent in March and 5.3 percent a year ago. The last time the county unemployment rate dipped below 5 percent was in December, when the rate was 4.9 percent.
There were 256,700 people counted as working in Summit County last month, up from 255,100 in March and up from 254,600 a year ago.
While the county unemployment rate has dropped, jobs in the county remain well below the peak for April since 2000. The number of people working in Summit County in April peaked at 281,700 in 2008.
The low since 2000 for April was in 2013, when 250,700 people were counted as working.
Akron’s jobless rate was 5.5 percent in April, down from 6.3 percent in March and 6 percent a year ago.
Cuyahoga Falls had a jobless rate of 4.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in March and 4.9 percent a year ago.
Rates ranged from a low of 2.9 percent in Mercer County to a high of 8.5 percent in Monroe County.
Rates were not adjusted to take into account seasonal factors.
Ohio had a comparable unemployment rate of 4.6 percent. The state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 5.2 percent.
The U.S. unadjusted jobless rate was 5.1 percent, with the seasonally adjusted rate at 5.4 percent.
The figures do not count people who are unemployed but who have stopped looking for work or people who are working part-time but want a full-time job.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or His stories can be found at

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Smithers adds capabilities to its China laboratory

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 20, 2015

Akron-based Smithers Group said its Smithers Rapra Suzhou testing laboratory in China has new expanded tire testing capabilities.
The new capabilities are:
• Long-term oven aging and endurance tire testing
• Radial and cornering fatigue testing of passenger car radial wheels
• Rolling resistance, radial and cornering fatigue testing of truck and bus radial tires
The Suzhou facility provides analysis, training and testing for a wide spectrum of products and industries including tire and wheel, automotive, transport, consumer, pharmaceutical and medical, and industrial.

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Summa buys naming rights to Nordonia's athletic complex, performing arts center

By Cheryl Powell Published: May 19, 2015

Summa Health System is paying the Nordonia Hills City School District $495,000 for naming rights to the high school athletic complex and performing arts center.
Under the deal, the Akron-based health system will pay the district $55,000 per year through 2024. In exchange, Summa receives naming rights for all the high school’s baseball fields, basketball arena, performing arts center and entrances into the football stadium.
The district and Summa are exploring other ways to work together to “increase the quality of health care to the district,” the organizations said in a news release this week.

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Nanotronics grows with acquisition of California manufacturer

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 19, 2015

Nanotronics Imaging is getting bigger.
The Cuyahoga Falls company, which builds hardware and proprietary software to look at extremely small – nanoscale – objects, has purchased the company that makes its high tech microscopic equipment.
Nanotronics purchased Franklin Mechanical & Control Inc. in Hollister, Calif., and will rename the company Nanotronics Automation and incorporate it as a division.
Terms were not disclosed. Franklin makes advanced mechanical and optical equipment.
The acquisition means Nanotronics can now provide both software and hardware to customers and offer better prices and faster turnaround times, company said.
Nanotronics also has corporate offices in Brooklyn. It is backed by San Francisco-based Founders Fund.

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GenCorp name replaced with Aeroject Rocketdyne

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 19, 2015

GenCorp Inc., the former corporate parent of General Tire that was founded by William O’Neil in 1915 in Akron, is no more.
The California-based aerospace company has changed its name to Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.. The stock trades under the symbol AJRD.
GenCorp’s board decided to change the corporate name following GenCorp’s 2013 purchase of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, which was then renamed Aeroject Rocketdyne. The name change took effect in late April.
General Tire in 1984 changed its name to GenCorp. to better reflect what had grown into a broad portfolio of companies that included tires, broadcasting, chemicals, polymers and defense components.
 GenCorp sold its General Tire division in 1987 to Continental AG, the large German tire maker. Omnova Solutions, now in Beachwood and formerly based in Fairlawn, was spun off by GenCorp in 1999.

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Build-A-Bear Workshop closes Summit Mall store

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 18, 2015

The Build-A-Bear Workshop at Summit Mall has closed.
The build-your-own-stuffed-animal business decided not renew its lease that was expiring at the end of May, mall manager Dean Phillips said. “Sad to see it go,” he said.
Build-A-Bear’s last day was Sunday at the Fairlaw mall.
Missouri-based Build-A-Bear Workshop has other Northeast Ohio stores at Westfield Belden Village, Westfield South Park in Strongsville and at Great Lakes Mall in Mentor.
Summit Mall is in very early discussions with prospective tenants for the closed Build-A-Bear space, Phillips said.

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HTML workshop hosted by Women in Tech

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: May 18, 2015

Akron Women in Tech, a community of women and friends who are interested in learning to code websites and mobile applications, is hosting a workshop series on HTML.

Here's the details. Signup at



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Volunteers spruce up veterans homes in annual event

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 14, 2015

Hundreds of volunteers spent a beautiful sunny Thursday raking, weeding, mulching, tidying, trimming and more outside the homes of numerous veterans in Stow and Cuyahoga Falls.
The volunteers, some 450 strong from Keller Williams Chervenic Realty, donated their time as part of the firm’s annual “RED Day” day of service.  
“It means that somebody does care,” said Donald Bettio, 72, a state officer in the Marine Corps League. Bettio was at the Acker-Moore Memorial Post on Fishcreek Road in Stow, which served as an initial staging area, where he and others took part in the cleanup there. Local veterans groups provided names and addresses of people who could use the volunteer help.
Bettio, a Stow resident who volunteers at the VA hospital facility in Ravenna, said he was happy to see so many others go out into the community to help veterans. “It means a lot to me,” he said.
Half  of the volunteers spent their day in Stow, half in Cuyahoga Falls. All wore commemorative red t-shirts.
The day was intended in large part to help elderly and disabled veterans who find it difficult to maintain their homes, said Leslie Ann, assistant team leader with Stow-based Keller Williams Chervenic, who helped coordinate the event. The firm’s inaugural RED Day event was in 2009.
Volunteers this year also donated more than 500 pounds of food to help feed hundreds of homeless veterans in the Akron-Canton area, Ann said.

Helping out were:

All Keller Williams Chervenic Realty agents

Pillar to PostRedeemer Lutheran Church

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Southwest eliminating 4 routes from Akron-Canton in Nov; adding Vegas; changes also coming to Cle

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: May 14, 2015

Southwest Airlines is eliminating four nonstop routes from Aron-Canton Airport -- N.Y., Washington, D.C., Boston and Denver -- as of its Nov. 2 schedule at the same time its adding a Vegas nonstop.

The moves appear to be part of a larger national Southwest announcement later today.

A Cleveland Hopkins International Airport spokeswoman said there were also changes at the airport, but declined to say what they were, or whether they were additions or eliminations.


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Acme, RubberDucks honor Green students

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: May 13, 2015

Acme Fresh Market and the Akron RubberDucks teamed up to reward the Green Primary School first, second and third graders that exceeded their reading goal this school year.  Seventy seven students and their teachers were guests at the new Acme Fresh Market in Green, Ohio on May 12, 2015, where they were treated with a story time led by RubberDucks’ mascot, Webster.

Green Primary School students achieved the school goal of reading 3 million minutes during the 2014-2015 school year.  Principal Scott Shank congratulated the seventy seven students that attended for surpassing their individual reading goals of reading more than 400 minutes per month.

Acme Fresh Market Director of Marketing Katie Swartz welcomed students and announced that Acme Fresh Market and the RubberDucks had a special reward for the student from each grade that read the most minutes.  The first grade top reader was Angadvir Uppal who read 9,620 minutes.  The second grade top reader was Caroline Witmer who read 18,662 minutes.  The third grade top reader was Joey Buchanan who read 20,920 minutes. The student were also told that each of the each of the three winners would receive free tickets to a game and throw out a first pitch.

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Summit Mall to host job fair on May 20

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 13, 2015

Summit Mall is partnering with to hold a career and internship fair from 3 to 7 p.m. on May 20 at the mall.
More than 60 employers, including Bryant & Stratton College, FedEx Ground, Clear Channel Radio and Sterling Jewelers, will be at the event.
The job fair is open to the public. Attendees can apply for full-time and part-time jobs and internships with businesses and organizations in and around Summit County.
Attendees will be able to interact and interview with prospective employers.

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Proposed $35 million Fair Finance settlement may result in payout to defrauded investors

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 12, 2015

There may finally be enough money to partially repay more than 5,000 Ohio investors defrauded out of $205 million in a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by the owner of bankrupt Fair Finance Co. in Akron.
An interim payment could be made by the end of the year, according to court records.
The bankruptcy trustee has reached a $35 million settlement with New York City-based Fortress Credit Corp, which provided financing to the long-running financial services company.
“The settlement, if approved, will allow the trustee to reconcile creditors’ claims and, thereafter, make every effort to carry out a first interim distribution to unsecured creditors of the Fair Finance estate by the end of the 2015 calendar year,” court documents say.
The proposed $35 million settlement amounts to approximately 17 cents on the dollar for creditors.
Trustee Brian Bash, attorney with Cleveland law firm Baker Hostetler, alleged in a lawsuit filed in February 2012 that Fortress turned a blind eye to Fair Finance’s questionable business practices and finances in agreeing to extend credit to the company.
The proposed $35 million settlement, filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, still needs final court approval. The court is scheduled to act on May 28.

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Northeast Ohio new car sales rise

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 12, 2015

New car and light truck sales rose 2.4 percent in April compared to a year ago in a 21-county area of Northeast Ohio. Sales in Summit County dropped from a year ago.
The overall increase was driven by significantly higher SUV and light truck sales that in turn have been helped by lower fuel prices, the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association reported.
Total sales for April were 23,729, up 2.4 percent from 23,181 in April 2014. Sales are up nearly 1 percent since Jan. 1 to 77,740 compared to 76,990 for the same period in 2014.
Ford continued to be the best-selling brand in Northeast Ohio, followed by Chevrolet, Honda and then Toyota.
In Summit County, April new vehicle sales fell to 2,454, down 42, or 1.7 percent, from 2,496 in April 2014. Used vehicle sales in the county totaled 3,407, up 92, or 2.8 percent, from 3,315 a year ago.

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Clinical trial led by Cleveland Clinic halted

By Cheryl Powell Published: May 12, 2015

 A clinical trial led by the Cleveland Clinic to test the cardiovascular safety of the obesity drug Contrave has been halted after interim study results were prematurely released by one of the drug developers, the health system announced Tuesday.

The weight loss drug, developed by Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by obese patients and overweight patients with at least one weight-related health problem.

The Light Study was designed to meet the FDA’s post-marketing requirements to determine whether the drug poses heart risks. The drug, which combines the antidepressant buproprion and anti-addictive drug naltrexone, was approved by the FDA in September.

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Cleveland Hopkins Airport to get a facelift

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: May 11, 2015

Timken shareholders vote in directors, approve new compensation

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 8, 2015

Timken Co. shareholders approved an increase in an executive compensation plan, voted in 11 directors and took other action at the Jackson Township company’s annual meeting.
Shareholders on Thursday approved:
• An increase the maximum limit on incentive awards for top executives from $4 million to $6 million in the senior executive management performance plan.
• Ernst & Young as independent auditor.
• One-year terms for directors Maria A. Crowe, Richard G. Kyle, John A. Luke Jr., Christopher L. Mapes, Ajita G. Rajendra, Joseph W. Ralston, John P. Reilly, Frank C. Sullivan, John M. Timken Jr., Ward J. Timken Jr., and Jacqueline F. Woods.
• Executive compensation disclosure
• An increase in available Timken stock for the company’s long-term incentive plan for equity-based compensation.
• A shareholder proposal that asks the board to give shareholders that hold in aggregate 25 percent of Timken stock the power  to call a special meeting of shareholders.

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Dominion SCO price for May reaches historic 34-year low

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: May 8, 2015

Dominion's Standard Choice Offer (SCO) price for natural gas customers who have not chosen their own supplier or specifically chosen the SCO will reach a 34-year-historic low this month.

Here's more details:

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Akron-area economic indicators show stability

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 8, 2015

Two key economic indicators - home and auto sales - show a stable economy for the greater Akron area. All figures are the latest available as of March.

Summit County home sales in March totaled 572. That’s up from 458 in March 2014 and up from 475 in March 2013.
The average home sale price for the last three Marches:
The median Summit County home sales price for the last three Marches:
• $106,000
• $103,437
• $115,000

New car and light truck sales in March totaled 21,048 for a 21-county region of Northeast Ohio. Sales were 21,148 in March 2014 and 20,586 in March 2013.
Used vehicle sales in March for Summit County were 3,733. Sales were 3,630 in March 2014 and 3,357 in March 2013.

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Timken increases quarterly dividend to 26 cents

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 7, 2015

Jackson Township-based bearings maker Timken Co. increased its quarterly dividend by 4 percent to 26 cents per share. The dividend is payable on June 2 to shareholders of record as of May 18.
This will be Timken’s 372nd consecutive quarterly dividend paid, dating back 92 years ago when Timken joined the New York Stock Exchange.

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B&W revenue, income rise as it prepares to spin off Power Generation

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 6, 2015

Energy engineering and technology company Babcock & Wilcox Inc. reported earning $45 million, or 42 cents per share, on revenue of $730.6 million for the first quarter ending March 31.
A year ago, B&W reported net income of $41.2 million, or 41 cents per share, on revenue of $662 million.
B&W is based in Charlotte and its coal-focused Power Generation segment has a significant presence in Barberton. B&W’s other segments are Nuclear Operations, Technical Services and Nuclear Energy.
Power Generation revenue totaled $397.2 million for the quarter, up 27.3 percent from a year ago. Segment operating income totaled $23 million, up $12.5 million from the first quarter in 2014.
B&W said it continues to prepare to spin off its Power Generation segment as a standalone company in mid summer.

Shares of Babcock & Wilcox rose 14 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $31.87 on Wednesday.

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3 directors elected to board at TimkenSteel's first annual meeting

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 6, 2015

Shareholders at Canton specialty steel maker TimkenSteel elected three board members to three-year terms at the company’s first annual meeting since its spinoff from Timken Co. last year.
Shareholders voted in Joseph A. Carrabba, retired chairman, president and CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc.; Phillip R. Cox, president and CEO of Cox Financial Corp.; and John P. Reilly, retired chairman, president and CEO of Figgie International.
The company’s board approved a 14 cent per share dividend payable June 4 to shareholders of record as of May 21.
Shareholders also:
 • Ratified Ernst & Young LLP as independent auditor.
 • Approved, on an advisory basis, the compensation of the company’s top executive officers.
•  Recommended, on an advisory basis, that shareholder advisory votes on top executive officer compensation occur annually.
 • Approved the company’s senior executive management performance plan.
• Approved terms for performance-based compensation.

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Stow's EnviroScience expanding, opening office in Virginia

By Katie Byard Published: May 6, 2015

EnviroScience, an ecological consulting company with 95 full-time employees at its home office in Stow, has opened a second regional office, this one in Richmond., Va., to focus on customers and grow business in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Three key employees at the Stow office are relocating to the new office, which is to open June 1. They include  Cortney Marquette, who is now manager of Mid-Atlantic operations for EnviroScience, a bio-science research company that offers environmental services to companies and governmental agencies.
Other key employees relocating to the new office are Max Koran and Nick Schell. The company opened its first regional office, in Nashville, in 2012.
Last fall, EnviroScience secured a contract valued at more than $2.5 million dollars to help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the National Coastal Assessment Project, a survey of ecological conditions of the country’s coastal waters, including the Great Lakes. EnviroScience has hired 20 employees this year.

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Carter Lumber, headquartered in Brimfield, expands into Tennessee

By Katie Byard Published: May 5, 2015

Carter Lumber, the chain of building materials stores headquartered in Brimfield Township, is continuing to grow its business in the Southeast, opening its first store in Tennessee.

The Knoxville, Tenn., store is the sixth new store location the company has opened since the start of last year.

Carter Lumber now has 145  stores in a dozen states. In 2013. The privately held company had sales of $956.5 million, up 18 percent from the prior year, according to ProSales Magazine. The company has nearly 3,000 employees, including 220 who work in the corporate office.

Carter Lumber was founded in Akron in 1932 and is now headquartered on Tallmadge Road in Kent.


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Goodyear tires to roll with revamped fuel-saving silica in tread

By Jim Mackinnon Published: May 5, 2015

Silica: The Next Generation is now starring at Goodyear.
The Akron tire maker is launching new SUV tires this month in Latin America made with what it calls the next generation of silica designed to improve fuel economy without other performance tradeoffs.
Within the next year, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said it will build tires for its other regions using the new silica, called AGILON.
The silica was developed in conjunction with PPG Industries. The goal was to improve rolling resistance without hurting wet traction. Goodyear did not say how much the new silica improves tire rolling resistance.
The silica is used as a reinforcing agent in tire tread compounds. Silica reduces rolling resistance compared to carbon black, a traditional tire reinforcing agent. Lower rolling resistance, in turn, improves vehicle fuel economy.

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One bubble at Towpath Tennis Center permanently deflated

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: May 4, 2015

A 27-year-old tennis court bubble that has survived five floods at Towpath Tennis Center has been deflated.

On Monday, Towpath Tennis, on Merriman Road in Akron, said one of the bubbles in the three-court bubble was deflated last Thursday after sustaining a large rip from a windstorm that couldn't be repaired.

The original bubble was put up in 1968, and was replaced in 1977 when the fabric failed to hold up. The present bubble lasted over 27 years since 1988. This is three years longer than any known air structure for a tennis facility in the U.S., the club said in a press release.

Towpath will be recycling, selling, donating or repurposing everything from the bubble. The two back bubbles will remain standing, and will be available in a limited capacity.  All permanent courts, clinics, leagues and USTA matches will be in the tennis center.

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Paragon joins Summa Physicians Inc.

By Cheryl Powell Published: May 1, 2015

A large obstetrics and gynecology practice in the region recently joined Summa Health System’s physician practice.
Paragon Medical Professionals is now part of Summa Physicians Inc — Women’s Health.
Paragon includes 30 doctors and certified nurse midwives and certified nurse practitioners in seven locations thorughout the region.
Paragon is maintaining its offices in Akron, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Green, Kent, Springfield and Stow/Hudson, according to a news release from Summa.

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