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Stanley Gault, former head of Goodyear and Rubbermaid, dies

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 30, 2016


Stanley Gault knew how to turn things around.
The Wooster native, whose father, Clyde, in 1920 helped create Rubbermaid in Wayne County, spent 31 years as a successful, fast-rising executive at General Electric. He lost a bid to become GE’s chief executive officer to Jack Welch.
Mr. Gault shortly after joined Rubbermaid in 1980 as chairman and CEO. By the time Mr. Gault retired from there at age 65 in 1991, Rubbermaid had grown from nearly $309 million in annual sales to $1.5 billion.
He didn’t stay retired for long.
Some 35 days after retiring from Rubbermaid, Mr. Gault became chairman and CEO of Goodyear after initially declining the positions. The Akron tire maker then was still struggling in the aftermath of successfully fighting off the 1986 James Goldsmith takeover attempt. And it was where Mr. Gault had been a board member since Valentine’s Day 1989. He is credited with helping Goodyear recover financially, in part with the highly successful – and high-profile launch – of the company’s deep center groove Aquatred tire.
Mr. Gault died Wednesday in Wooster. He was 90.
“The Goodyear of 1996 is now a textbook example of corporate rejuvenation,” Sam Gibara, who succeeded Gault as Goodyear CEO, said at a shareholders meeting that year. “And the bulk of the credit for its amazing turnaround must go, first and foremost, to the leadership of Stan Gault. We are a completely different company because of his leadership. We are market driven.”
Richard Kramer, Goodyear’s current chairman and CEO, said in a statement that today’s Goodyear began taking shape under Mr. Gault.
“He had unmatched business credentials when he was named CEO in 1991, but more importantly, Stan brought a personal commitment to Goodyear. He believed the company had a special place in American industry and led the way in Goodyear’s rebirth,” Kramer said. “Our shift from a manufacturing-driven company to one with a market-back consumer focus started with Stan. The commitment to helping our customers grow their businesses started with Stan. Emphasizing the importance of sales and marketing in our company started with Stan.”
Kramer noted that Mr. Gault introduced four Goodyear tires, including what became the best-selling Aquatred, on the deck of the aircraft carrier Intrepid in New York City. The Goodyear blimp’s colors were also changed to match the company’s blue and gold under Mr. Gault’s watch, he said.
“As a marketing expert, Stan was an effective caretaker and ‘grower’ of the Goodyear brand in very visible ways,” Kramer said.
Mr. Gault was also the first to refer to everyone at Goodyear as “associates,” he said.
“Even though we are saddened by his passing, we still are energized by his vision of what we can achieve,” Kramer said. “On behalf of all Goodyear associates, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to Stan’s two sons, his daughter and his entire family.”
Mr. Gault in a 1997 interview with the Akron Beacon Journal gave credit to his predecessors for Goodyear’s turnaround.
“I didn’t come in and create anything new,” he said. “I did what people should do: Build on the foundation you find.”
Mr. Gault also started selling Goodyear tires through mass merchandisers Sears, Wal-Mart and Discount Tire in addition to its dealers network. On weekends, he would dress down and go to competitor’s tire stores and talk with customers about why they bought non-Goodyear tires.
A Beacon Journal story from 1995 noted that Mr. Gault kept a cardboard sign, “Have you talked to a customer today?” on his desk in Goodyear’s executive suite on Mahogany Row in the company’s former headquarters.
As part of widespread cost-cutting measures, Mr. Gault eliminated some 12,000 jobs globally under his tenure, taking Goodyear from about 100,000 employees to 88,000.
He agreed to keep Goodyear’s iconic blimps and changed the colors from black and white to the company’s blue and gold so they stood out better on cloudy days. He also moved the Spirit of Akron blimp from Texas to the Suffield Township blimp base. The move saved $750,000 a year and cut the number of Goodyear blimp bases from four to three.
Mr. Gault was born in Wooster on Jan. 6, 1926. He graduated from The College of Wooster in 1948 following service in the Army Air Corps. He joined GE in the fall of that year – he also had been offered a job at Goodyear by a management recruiter but chose to start a career in marketing appliances at GE.
Mr. Gault served on other corporate boards, including Timken Co. He also was former chairman of the board of the College of Wooster.
In 1989, Industry Week magazine named Mr. Gault one of America’s best CEOs. In 1992, he was named outstanding CEO of the Year by Financial World magazine.
And in 1995, Mr. Gault became the first person to be twice honored as Rubber Industry Executive Of the Year, by Rubber and Plastics News. He first received the honor in 1990 while he was at Rubbermaid.
Mr. Gault’s wife, Flo, died in April 2013 in Wooster at the age of 86. They had been married 63 years and had two sons, a daughter, and grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements as of Thursday were incomplete but being handled by McIntire, Bradham, Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster.
Calling hours will be 3 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home on July 8.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. July 9 at Wooster United Methodist Church.

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Cuyahoga Falls microbrewery, plus Stark and Wayne county projects, get tax credits

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 29, 2016

The revitalization of the Falls Theater building in Cuyahoga Falls into a microbrewery, along with renovation projects in Stark and Wayne counties were awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.
The three greater Akron projects were among 26 in the state to get tax credits in the latest round of awards announced by the Ohio Development Services Agency.
The local projects and awards are:
• Falls Theater, 2218-2220 Front St. Project cost was $1,279,475, with a tax credit of $249,999.
The state said, “The historic Falls Theater space, two storefronts and four apartments on the second floor have been empty for more than a decade. Tax credits will help transform the theater space into a microbrewery and restaurant. The commercial and apartment spaces will be renewed for their original intent. The project is part of a newly revitalized Front Street.”
• City Savings Bank and Trust Building, 449 E. Main St., Alliance. Total project cost is $8,125,790, with a tax credit of $812,579.
The state said, 'This eight story building in downtown Alliance was built in 1925-26 as the City Savings Bank and Trust. It contained the bank on the first floor and office tenants above. The Neoclassical building has two story Ionic columns along its Main Street facade. In 1991, it was converted into affordable senior housing. This rehabilitation project will preserve and improve 42 affordable senior apartments.'
• Faber Building, 148 W. Liberty St., Wooster. The total project cost was $860,000, with a tax credit of $168,500.
The state said, “This project is the first to be awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits in Wooster and Wayne County. The 1890 Faber Building is a mixed-use commercial building in downtown Wooster. Prior to the last 12 years of vacancy, it housed a variety of first floor retail tenants and apartments on the second and third floors. The rehabilitation project will allow Vertical Runner, a specialty running/athletic store, to locate in the commercial space and the upper stories will be for residential use.”
The state also awarded historic tax credits to projects in Cuyahoga County.
The state said many of the buildings were vacant and generate little economic activity. The rehabilitation in part is intended to drive investment and interest in adjacent properties.
Developers are not issued the tax credit until project construction is complete and all program requirements are verified, the state said.

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National Interstate wants more money from suitor

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 29, 2016

Great American Insurance Co. needs to pay more if it wants to buy out Richfield specialty insurer National Interstate Corp.
National Interstate’s special committee of its board of directors unanimously rejected a $30.75 per share verbal proposal from Great American, the insurer announced Wednesday.
Great American is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cincinnati-based American Financial Group Inc., which in turn is National Interstate’s majority shareholder. American Financial wants to own all of National Interstate through its Great American subsidiary.
“After careful consideration, the special committee determined that the revised offer is inadequate and is not in the best interest of the minority shareholders of the company,” National Interstate said in a press release.
The special committee will look at its options, including maintaining National Interstate as a public company and negotiating with Great American Insurance to seek a better offer, the company said.
“There can be no assurance that such discussions will result in an offer that can be supported by the special committee,” the company said in its release.
This is American Financial Group’s second attempt to buy out all of National Interstate.

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A. Schulman's third quarter returns to profitability

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 28, 2016

Fairlawn polymer company A. Schulman Inc. returned to profitability for its third quarter following a loss a year ago and reaffirmed its earnings outlook for the year.
The company reported net income of $15.5 million, or 53 cents per share, on revenue of $650.4 million for the quarter ending May 31. That compares to a loss of $9.9 million, or 34 cents per share, on revenue of $560.9 million a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 79 cents per share compared with 72 cents a year ago.
The company reported after the stock market closed Tuesday.
“We are encouraged by the continued improvement in our adjusted margins which validates our strategy to provide superior value to a vast array of market leading customers,” Bernard Rzepka, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We continue to anticipate full-year fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.45 per diluted share.”
Rzepka said the company is positioning itself for accelerating earnings growth in fiscal 2017 and beyond.
Company executives will discuss third quarter results in a conference call with analysts at 10 this Wednesday morning. The public can listen in by going to www.aschulman.com.

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B&W cuts 113 jobs in Barberton; 13 positions eliminated in Copley

By Katie Byard Published: June 28, 2016

By Jim Mackinnon and Katie Byard
Beacon Journal business writers
A steep and continued decrease in the use of coal to make electricity is largely responsible for costing 126 people their jobs at Babock & Wilcox Enterprises’ facilities in Summit County.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based power generation company on Tuesday said it is laying off more than 200 people – 126 in Barberton and Copley Township – as it restructures its traditional power business in the face of declining coal usage by electric utilities in the United States.
Most of the local people losing jobs are salaried and in engineering and support functions, a company spokesman said.
Shares of B&W Enterprises plunged after the company, the former power generation segment spun off in 2015 from Babcock & Wilcox, drastically reduced its adjusted earnings guidance for this year. Adjusted earnings now are expected to range from 63 cents to 83 cents per share; the company just last month reaffirmed guidance of $1.25 to $1.45 per share. (The other part of the former B&W is BWX Technologies, in Lynchburg, Va.)
Shares were down $3.91, or 20.6 percent, to $15.03 as of 2:49 p.m.
The drop in B&W Enterprise earnings is in large part because of the outlook for coal-generated electricity, coupled with one-time problems at a renewable waste-to-energy plant being built in Europe and a temporary halt to work at a Canadian oil sands site due to a large wildfire. The company said Tuesday that 2017 earnings should be better than its original 2016 earnings outlook.
Most of the eliminated positions, 113, were in Barberton. With the layoffs, the company’s power segment payroll totals 737 employees in Barberton and 120 employees in Copley. Employees were told Tuesday of the cuts.
B&W Enterprises is the largest private employer in Barberton. The city on Tuesday said it is dedicated to working an local businesses during economic challenges.
“As with any workforce reduction, the impact to the local economy will be detrimental to the city budget and, most importantly, the employee and their household,” the city said in a statement.
Barberton Mayor William Judge said he and his administration met with B&W Enterprise’s leadership team and reached out last week to the company but had no discussions related to job cuts.
“I understand the difficulty created by any workforce reduction and my administration will read out to B&W in order to offer assistance to affected employees,” Judge said in a statement. “B&W continues to play an important role in our community and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them. Over the years, the city has faced similar challenges and I’m confident our continued efforts toward economic development will create positive impacts.”
B&W Enterprises’ power segment designs and engineers coal-generated power plants and components for coal-generated plants. It also services existing plants and provides after-market parts.
The restructuring of the company’s power segment is being done to be “more competitive in a declining coal generation market,” said Ryan Cornell, a company spokesman based in Barberton. “The size of the coal generation market has shrunk and will continue to shrink.”
B&W Enterprises based its original earnings outlook in part on coal usage forecasts that later were revised downward, E. James Ferland, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a conference call with industry analysts.
“These are likely lasting changes to the market,” he said.
Overall coal consumption in the U.S. is expected to drop 15 to 20 percent in 2017 and 2018 from projections made only a few months ago, he said.
For example, a drop in coal’s share of electricity production from 34 percent in 2016 to 27 percent in 2017 and 2018 “is a 15 to 20 percent reduction in the market. So it is a big reduction for us,” Ferland said.
As a result, the company needs to reduce the size of its coal operations by 20 percent, he said.
“We will pursue additional facility consolidations,” Ferland said. “We are pro-actively reorganizing the power business.”
The reorganization includes separating its renewable energy business into its own segment, Ferland said. The new structure will be more flexible, he said.
B&W Enterprises’ coal business will continue to be a strong cash contributor, he said. It now accounts for about $800 million a year for the $1.8 billion company, Ferland said.
The expected 15 to 20 percent drop in coal usage represents about a $100 million cut in revenue, he said.
The latest government and private projections expect coal usage to drop in the next several years, then flatten out, Ferland said. It is possible coal power generation could even increase a little bit, he said.
Cornell said some employees’ positions were eliminated Tuesday; other employees will leave their jobs in coming weeks as they finish up projects. Other jobs are being eliminated in Charlotte and Canada.
Laid off employees will receive severance payments and job-placement assistance. B&W said in a news release that cash and non-cash severance expenses and other costs over the next 12 months will be approximately $55 million to $60 million.
Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises will employ about 5,700 people worldwide after the layoffs. B&W traces its history to the 1860s as a boilermaker company. It opened its first facility in Barberton in 1906.
B&W Enterprises main goal is to diversify and will continue to look to buy other companies that fit its business model, Ferland said. “We do have cash to deploy. We just need to find smart ways to do it,” he said.
Natural gas prices would have to approach $4 per thousand cubic feet before electric utilities would consider switching from natural gas back to coal, Ferland said.
According to the latest federal government forecast, coal consumption to make electricity is expected to decline 10 percent this year in large part because of low-priced natural gas from fracking and also from a warmer-than-normal winter that also reduced electricity generation.
For the first quarter of 2016, natural gas supplied 32.1 percent of U.S. electricity, with coal supplying 28.7 percent, according to federal statistics. Natural gas is displacing coal to make electricity; coal’s generation share is expected to fall from 33.2 percent in 2015 to 29.9 percent this year, the Energy Information Administration said in its latest short-term forecast.
An expected increase in natural gas prices in 2017 would cause natural gas’s share of electricity production to fall to 33.3 percent, with coal’s share rising to 30.9, the EIA said.
The EIA also said utilities continue to retire coal-fired power plants not just because of competition with natural gas generation but also to comply with EPA mercury and air toxic standards. Natural gas produces far fewer pollutants than coal.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com.
 

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Akron gets an A+ for business friendliness

By Katie Byard Published: June 22, 2016

Akron gets an A+ for small business friendliness in a 2016 nationwide survey of what people think of local business climates.

Akron’s grade moved up from a B in 2015 and a C+ plus in 2014 on the Small Business Friendliness report, according to Thumbtack, an online service that connects service providers with customers.

The city ranked 7th in the country for business friendliness, outperforming Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, when Thumbtack ranked cities’ performance on the survey, using various metrics.

Thumbtack, based in San Francisco, says it compiled the ranking by surveying 12,169 professionals nationwide who used the Thumbtack site. Respondents were asked about such things as licensing requirements, training experience, labor regulations and environmental regulations in their localities.

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A. Schulman Inc. promotes from within for senior HR position

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 22, 2016

Fairlawn polymer company A. Schulman, Inc. is promoting Andreas Günther to executive vice president and chief human resources officer effective July 1.
He currently is vice president, global human resources operations for the company, which makes resins and compounds.
In his new job, Günther will oversee all human resources activities for A. Schulman’s 5,000 employees. He succeeds Kim Whiteman, who is retiring.
“Andreas has developed into a trusted partner for our leadership team and exceptional leader for our global human resources organization. Having worked at A. Schulman in both Europe and in the United States, he is highly qualified to further develop our global HR processes, tools and most importantly, our talented associates,” Bernard Rzepka, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. He also praised Whiteman for his years at the company.
Günther has 22 years of experience in human resources.
He has a master’s degree in educational sciences from the University of German Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg.
 

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Goodyear seeks nominations for annual trucker Highway Hero award

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 22, 2016

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is accepting nominations for its 34th Highway Hero Award.
People can put in nominations at www.goodyeartrucktires.com through Nov. 29.
The Goodyear Highway Hero Award was established in 1983 to honor professional truck drivers who put themselves in harm’s way to help others.
A panel of trucking industry judges will select the winner from a list of approved finalists. Goodyear will announce the winner in March 2017 during the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.
Candidates must meet the following criteria:
· Be a full-time truck driver.
· Reside in the U.S. or Canada.
· The heroic incident must have happened in the U.S. or Canada.
· Nominee’s truck must have had 12 wheels or more at the time of the incident.
· Nominee must have been on the job, or on the way to or from work, in his or her truck, at the time of the incident.
· Incident must have taken place between Nov. 16, 2015, and Nov. 16, 2016.
 

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A. Schulman Inc. to pay dividends on regular, convertible stock shares

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 22, 2016

A. Schulman Inc. in Fairlawn, which makes plastic compounds, powders and resins, will pay a quarterly dividend of 20.5 cents per share on August 1 to shareholders of record on July 15.
The polymer company also will pay a quarterly cash dividend of $15 per share on the 125,000 shares of its convertible special stock on August 1 to shareholders of record on July 15.

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State says 100 businesses are members of network to help train, retain workers with disabilities

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 15, 2016

The state office of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities said 100 businesses are now members of the Ohio Business Leadership Network, an organization that provides employers with information and resources about how to best recruit, select, train and retain employees with disabilities.

Here is the full press release and the names of the 100 businesses:

One hundred businesses are now members of the Ohio Business Leadership Network a peer-to-peer business organization that provides employers with information and resources about how best to recruit, select, train and retain a workforce that includes individuals with disabilities. 

 

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GOJO honored today by Ohio EPA

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 15, 2016

Akron-based GOJO Industries was honored today by the Ohio EPA.

 Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler visited GOJO Industries in Cuyahoga Falls today to recognize the company for reaching the highest standard of environmental excellence and stewardship.

          Ohio EPA's Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) program recognizes Ohio businesses and other organizations for completing environmentally beneficial activities and is an incentive for companies to commit to ongoing environmental stewardship. E3 recognition has three levels, with gold being the highest.

  The maker of Purell previously earned a silver level.

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FTC and Florida sue company they say is responsible for many "Rachel" calls

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 15, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission is taking a crack at that annoying Rachel from Card Services.

The FTC and the state of Florida sued a company they say is responsible for hundreds of thousands of those calls.

Read more here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/ftc-gets-rachel-robocaller-again?utm_source=govdelivery

Tired of robocalls? Read Consumer Columnist Betty Lin-Fisher's column about Nomorobo, a free service, that can be used with certain phone services: http://www.ohio.com/business/taking-action/betty-lin-fisher-time-warner-cable-takes-step-to-make-blocking-robocalls-easier-1.656788

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Oho Attorney General grants money to provide free legal help for seniors

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 15, 2016

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a grant today to provide free legal assistance to older Ohioans.

DeWine said the $738,000 grant to support a statewide project of Pro Seniors and Ohio's legal aids was in recognition of Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The funding will support a telephone-based legal hotline and direct civil legal guidance and assistance to Ohioans age 60 and older.

 

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Former Max & Erma's in Fairlawn set to become a Burntwood Tavern

By Katie Byard Published: June 13, 2016

The regional Burntwood Tavern chain said Monday it plans to open a location in the fall on West Market Street in Fairlawn  —  in the building that formerly housed a Max & Erma’s.

It will be the second Summit county location for the Chagrin Falls-based Burntwood Tavern, which has a restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls.

Max & Erma’s closed its restaurant at the Fairlawn site, at 3750 W. Market St., in  February.

The building is in the busy Montrose shopping area that boasts a growing number of regional chains.

Nearby, a Bomba Tacos & Rum, part of the Beachwood-based Paladar Restaurant Group, opened last month in the old Hudson’s in Copley Township. The other area Bomba is in Rocky River.

And just a little farther west, in Bath Township, where West Market is known as Medina Road, the former Friendly’s restaurant is being transformed into the first Summit County location of the popular Melt Bar & Grilled chain based in Cleveland.

The new Melt is set to open July 6.
 

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Shareholders of FirstMerit and Huntington OK proposed merger

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 13, 2016

Shareholders of FirstMerit Bank and Huntington Bancshares have approved the proposed merger between the two banks. See the story here: http://www.ohio.com/business/shareholders-of-firstmerit-huntington-ok-proposed-merger-regulators-still-must-approve-1.690125

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Akron manufacturing growth lags the nation, blogger says in taking issue with magazine

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 10, 2016

Alan Tonelson, an economics blogger and speaker and former research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council and associate editor of Foreign Policy, says he likes Akron a lot.
“Akron, Ohio, has become one of my favorite places in the world – honest to gosh. I’ve made some wonderful friends there over the years, had some great times, and learned lots from area manufacturers I’ve been lucky enough to get to know,” he writes in his blog, RealityChek.
But he takes issue in his latest post with some things in a recent Industry Week article that touts “Akron as a leading example of ‘how the Rust Belt is turning into the Brain Belt.’”
Tonelson says the data he looks at shows Akron is a laggard both in overall growth and manufacturing growth compared to the nation as a whole.
Improvement in some areas in Akron did not offset subpar performance elsewhere, he writes.
Read the whole thing here.
 

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Cavs Fans: Beware of ticket scams, Ohio Attorney General warns

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 10, 2016

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning Cavs fans to be careful of ticket scams amid high demand for NBA Finals tickets.

“Scammers will do whatever they can to get you to pay, and then they’re gone,” DeWine said. “Once you find out something is wrong, it’s too late. The sad truth for most people is that once they have lost money in a scam, they will never see that money again. That’s why prevention is so important.”

In the last several years, Ohioans have reported losing hundreds of dollars to ticket scams involving popular sporting events and concerts. In most cases, the consumers found tickets for sale on Craigslist and paid the seller, but received nothing in return. Also, some scammers create counterfeit paper tickets to sell to unsuspecting buyers. 

Amid high demand for NBA Finals tickets and reports of counterfeit ticket sales, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning Cleveland Cavaliers fans to beware of ticket scams for the remainder of the series between the Cavs and the Golden State Warriors.

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One million fewer Ohio taxpayers had to take state ID quiz for tax refunds

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 9, 2016

About one million fewer Ohio taxpayers this year were asked to take an ID confirmation quiz before getting their state tax refund, the state Department of Taxation said.

Last year, the ID quiz was controversial as consumers complained of unfair or unrelated questions that they could not answer correctly. This year, state officials said they had made changes to the parameters and predicted fewer people would need to take the quiz.

Last year, nearly 1.7 million taxpayers were asked to take the ID Quiz; this season that number was reduced by nearly two-thirds, to about 665,000 taxpayers.

 

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Local BBB warns consumers to use caution about free real-estate seminars touting celebrities

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 9, 2016

The local Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to do some research and know what to expect before attending free real-estate seminars being held in Akron this week and touting reality TV stars.

The BBB said a Utah-based business that is the focus of more than 150 complaints for what consumers describe as misleading and maniuplative marketing practices is holding two Akron seminars -- today and Saturday -- and one in Mansfield on Friday.

Here is the release in its entirety:

 

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J.M. Smucker reports increased profit

By Katie Byard Published: June 9, 2016

J.M. Smucker Co., the Orrville-based food company, on Thursday reported net income of $1.61 a share for the fourth quarter.

That's up from a loss for the quarter a year ago related to the company's purchase of Big Heart Pet Brands.

Net sales for the maker of Smucker jellies, jams, Folgers coffee and Pillsbury products and now pet foods such as 9Lives and Milk-Bone, increased 25 percent to $1.8 billion.

Profit was $191 million, up from a loss of $90.3 million in the fourth quarter a year ago.

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Max McQ's in Akron's Merriman Valley closes its doors

By Katie Byard Published: June 7, 2016

Bar and restaurant Max McQ’s in Akron’s Merriman Valley abruptly shut down Sunday after more than 20 years. A posting on the online message board Reddit said the establishment at 1562 Akron-Peninsula Road closed with no warning to employees.

A document filed with the Ohio Secretary of State identifies Max McQ’s owner as Anjum Azhar. He could not be reached for comment. The bar/restaurant opened in the early 1990s under different ownership.

The place, in the Valley Centre Plaza, attracted trivia fans on Wednesday nights for free live trivia.

To see more business briefs, go to http://www.ohio.com/business/business-news-briefs-june-7-1.688618

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Myers Industries to pay dividend in early July

By Jim Mackinnon Published: June 7, 2016

Akron manufacturer, polymer company and tool distributor Myers Industries Inc. will pay a quarterly dividend of 13.5 cents per share July 5 to shareholders of record as of June 17.

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Dominion's SCO monthly variable price going down

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 3, 2016

 The monthly natural gas price for residential customers who are on the Standard Choice Offer (SCO) will drop slightly later this month.

    Effective June 14, Dominion East Ohio's SCO rate will be $1.91 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). It's  4 cents or 2 percent lower than May's price of $1.95/mcf. It is 93 cents or 32 percent lower than the price of $2.83/mcf a year ago.

The combination of Ohio’s abundant shale energy resources and warmer-than-normal winter weather have led again to lower prices in June than a year ago, said Dominion spokesman Neil Durbin

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Sephora to open in Chapel Hill's JCPenney

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 3, 2016

A new Sephora store will open within the JCPenney at Chapel Hill Mall in Akron.

The beauty retailer will open inside the department store on June 17th. 

Sephora already has several stores inside area JCPenney stores, including in the Montrose area of Akron.

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Stephanie York joining crisis communications firm, opening Akron office

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 3, 2016

Stephanie York, former spokeswoman for retired Mayor Don Plusquellic, has a new job.

York, who most recently was director of communications and public relations for Cleveland Clinic Akron General, will be joining a crisis communications firm and opening an Akron office.

She will become a vice president of Cleveland-based Hennes Communications.

Here is the latest story:

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Gordon Food Service store in Copley to close

By Katie Byard Published: June 2, 2016

The Gordon Food Service store at 120 Rothrock Road in Copley Township will close June 18 after a little more than three years in business. .
The decision to close the store was made “after careful consideration of this location’s long-term financial performance,” said Mark Dempsey, marketing manager for Gordon Food Service, in a prepared statement.
Dempsey said “eligible employees will be provided transfer opportunities to other Gordon Food Service Store locations.”
Gordon Food Service stores specialize in wholesale food and supplies for restaurants, caterers and home cooks.
Gordon Food Service based in Wyoming, Mich., outside Grand Rapids, has 175 stores. The Copley store is among five that Gordon Food Service operates in the area. The others are in Macedonia, Medina, Plain Township and Tallmadge.

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Akron-based Country Pure Foods growing again

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 2, 2016
countrypure copy

Akron-based Country Pure Foods is growing again.

The maker of fruit and vegetable juices to hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and schools nationwide has purchased a Maryland-based maker of frozen fruit product.

The purchase of Ridgefield, with its fruit-based frozen sorbet called Sidekicks, gives Country Pure a new category to sell to schools. The product also meets the National School Lunch Program federal requirements outlining food categories kids should be offered, said Ray Lee, co-CEO of Country Pure Foods.

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New Franklin home that boasts large solar array will be part of Green Energy Ohio Tour

By Katie Byard Published: June 1, 2016

A residence in New Franklin that boasts a solar array that is thought to be among the largest in Northeast Ohio will be the site of an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in conjunction with the 14th annual Green Energy Ohio Tour.
The home is at 5497 Grove Road,.
Attendees can learn about solar financing, installation and utility interconnection. For more information about the open house and the Greater Akron Guided Tour, visit the Green Energy Ohio website at http://www.greenenergyoh.org or call Ryan Veith at YellowLite Solar at 216- 452-9295,
YellowLite Solar, in downtown Cleveland, installed the solar rooftop array at the New Franklin home, owned by Mark Sedlack, earlier this year.
YellowLite is among solar energy companies showcasing their installations for the Green Energy Ohio Tour. Green Energy is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Ohio. Members include companies in the solar industry.

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New retail NOTO North to open in Akron's Northside

By Betty Lin-Fisher Published: June 1, 2016

NOTO, a downtown Akron women's boutique, will open a second store later this summer.

NOTO North will open on Aug. 6 in the Northside District at 106 North Main St. NOTO North will be a multi­-brand lifestyle store, featuring a carefully­ curated collection of women's and men's new and vintage fashion apparel, bold accessories, playful home decor, and bath and body products.

It is a sister store to to NOTO Boutique, located in the Shoppes of Akron Centre at 76 S. Main Street.

"No need to limit NOTO North to clothes alone," said Lauren Ward, NOTO Boutique & NOTO North owner. "When I travel to different cities, the first things I seek out are fashion, food and art. It is important that our downtown has things that make it memorable for visitors. By bringing NOTO North to the convenience of the Northside District, I'm hoping to create a destination with a mix of local and national brands that feature an eclectic collection you can't find anywhere else."

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