AKRON

Hiring challenged

AKRON: The Ohio Contractor’s Association is suing the city of Akron in federal court, challenging the city’s hiring requirements for its mammoth construction project.

The Columbus-based, not-for-profit group, which represents contractors across Ohio, claims the hiring requirements violate the U.S. and Ohio constitutions and the City of Akron Municipal Code. The group is seeking to have the hiring requirements ruled unconstitutional and to stop the city from awarding bids with the thresholds in place for the Rack 15 storage basin project.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced in March that the city will require contractors to hire 30 percent of their employees from within the city this year, with the number ramping up by 5 percent a year until 2018 when it will reach 50 percent. The threshold will be in an agreement that contractors must accept when they are seeking work under the estimated $1.4 billion sewer overhaul.

Akron looked at thresholds required by other cities in hopes of adopting requirements that could withstand a court challenge.

The contractors group filed the suit Tuesday. The parties had a conference call Tuesday and met before Judge Sara Lioi Wednesday afternoon.

BARBERTON

Towpath Trail closes

BARBERTON: Work on a pedestrian bridge that will connect downtown Barberton to the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail will force the closure of the trail Friday and Saturday.

If conditions prohibit the bridge placement, it will be pushed back to May 9 and 10.

CLEVELAND

Dazzling celebration

CLEVELAND: Dazzle the District, which will celebrate the lighting of PlayhouseSquare with the world’s largest outdoor chandelier, will feature a free party Friday headlined by a Hot Chelle Rae concert.

Hot Chelle Rae, made up of lead singer/guitarist Ryan Follese, lead guitarist Nash Overstreet, and drummer Jamie Follese, will perform on Euclid Avenue from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Four new overarching gateways now mark the entrance points to the PlayhouseSquare neighborhood.

The party will begin at 5 p.m. with happy hours at neighborhood restaurants and bars, as well as “Taste of PlayhouseSquare” food for sale on East 14th Street.

The ceremony will be at 9:30 p.m., including the lighting of the huge chandelier, a new retro sign based on the original 1922 Playhouse Square sign, and architectural lighting and digital signage on neighboring buildings.

HARTVILLE

Road work project

HARTVILLE: Northstar Asphalt, Inc., of North Canton, was the successful bidder on a project to improve Market Avenue in Hartville.

Stark County commissioners awarded the contract for nearly $1.5 million to the company on Wednesday.

The work will include adding a traffic signal at Sunnyside Street, repaving and widening Market from Camelia Street to West Maple Street, and repaving Market from Kent Avenue to a point south of Lake Center Street.

The Ohio Public Works Commission will contribute about $1.1 million.

The remainder of the cost will be covered by the village and the county.

MINERVA

Garage sales begin

MINERVA: The Minerva Village-wide garage sales will be from 9 to 5 p.m. today through Saturday. Maps are available at most sales or at Village Hall at 209 N. Market St.

STARK COUNTY

Deputy hired for HR

CANTON: An East Sparta resident has been hired as deputy director of human resources and support services for the Stark County Department of Job and Family Services.

County commissioners hired Kelly D. Lockhart on Wednesday for the position which had been vacated by Valarie Nash, who left to work for Summit County Children Services.

Lockhart is currently administrative services department manager for the Trumbull County Department of Job and Family Services.

She is scheduled to start work June 3 at a pay rate of $35.70 an hour. She will receive a 2 percent pay increase after a nine-month probationary period.