AKRON

Hiring debate revived

AKRON: An attempt by state lawmakers to prohibit Akron and other cities from local hiring goals for construction projects has been revived, this time as stand-alone legislation.

A local-hiring-goal ban was removed last month from the state transportation budget after a large contingent of Akron officials traveled to Columbus to testify against it.

State Sen. Joseph Uecker, R-Miami Township, and Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, introduced companion bills Tuesday that solely target local hiring goals. Maag told Gongwer News Service that the legislation would prevent cost increases from fewer contractors bidding on projects because of the inability to meet local hiring goals.

Reps. Greta Johnson and Emilia Sykes, both Democrats from Akron, are opposed to the legislation and urged others to fight it.

“Banning our communities from making decisions that put local Ohioans to work on public projects will jeopardize Ohio jobs by bringing in more out-of-state contractors,” they said in a news release Wednesday. “Our state should encourage local decision-making measures that grow our regional economies and strengthen our skilled workforce.”

Johnson and Sykes asked those opposed to the legislation to contact Maag at 614-644-6023 or rep62@ohiohouse.gov and Uecker at 614-466-8082 or uecker@ohiosenate.gov.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Fundraiser for judge

AKRON: The Keep Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger Committee will host a fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Baxter’s Bar, 205 South Main St., Akron.

The suggested donation is $75 per person; no corporate donations are allowed.

CLEVELAND

Anchor leaving WKYC

CLEVELAND: Kris Pickel, the weeknight co-anchor on WKYC (Channel 3) for the past three years, will leave the station in late May for a new job in Phoenix.

Pickel will become evening co-anchor for KPHO, the CBS affiliate there, WKYC general manager Micki Byrnes confirmed Wednesday.

Byrnes said Pickel’s decision was driven mainly by a wish to be closer to family.

Pickel joined WKYC in March 2012 and teamed with Russ Mitchell, who had come to the station from CBS News about two months earlier.

No decision has been made about replacing Pickel, Byrnes said, or even whether the station will continue with two anchors.

CUYAHOGA FALLS

Arrest in drug bust

CUYAHOGA FALLS: Narcotics officers arrested a 32-year-old man after uncovering a marijuana growing operation at a home in the 400 block of Loomis Street on Friday morning.

Michael R. Kay faces felony charges of trafficking in drugs, illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of drugs and criminal tools after police executed a search warrant in the 8 a.m. bust, the Cuyahoga Falls police reported on the department’s Facebook page Wednesday.

Authorities recovered 43 marijuana plants, two firearms and various items of indoor grow equipment during the search.

Kay, who was in the home at the time of the search, was booked into the Summit County Jail. He made his first appearance in Stow Municipal Court on Monday, the report said.

Authorities initiated the investigation after receiving a tip on the Cuyahoga Falls Crime Fighters Tip Line.

The caller will be eligible for reward funds, police said.

HIGHLAND SCHOOLS

Foundation awards

GRANGER TWP.: Linda Collins of the Highland Foundation said this month that three recipients will share $12,533 in spring awards.

•?$6,000 will fund the College Now program, which provides counseling and financial aid information for college-bound students at Highland High School.

•?$3,433 will fund student-developed rain and butterfly gardens to be placed on high school property.

•?$3,100 will fund “Thirteen Messages from Milo,” a three-day program by concert pianist Christopher Milo that focuses on acceptance and supportive behaviors at the middle school.

KENT STATE

Professor wins award

JACKSON TWP.: Kent State University at Stark associate professor Leslie Heaphy has won the Ohio Academy of History’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award.

“I feel quite humbled to be included with the list of other winners over the years, including my adviser and mentor from my Ph.D. program, Dr. Ronald Lora of University of Toledo, who was a previous winner,” Heaphy said in a prepared statement.

The award committee was impressed with the amount of time Heaphy spends — inside and outside the classroom — working with students.

She has been a Kent State Stark faculty member since 1995 and is a known expert on baseball history.

For more information about the Ohio Academy of History, visit www.ohioacademyof?history.org.

LAKE TOWNSHIP

Police cars purchased

LAKE TWP.: Township trustees on Monday approved the purchase of two vehicles for the Uniontown Police Department.

Ford Police Interceptor SUVs will be purchased from Lebanon Ford at a cost of $26,809 each. Lights and additional equipment will cost $6,316 per vehicle.

The board accepted the bid of Staley Technologies to relocate the Uniontown Police Department’s radio equipment to the new headquarters, 1635 Edison St., at a cost of $1,307.

The board accepted the resignation of Shawn Adams from the police department. He has accepted a full-time position with the Fairlawn Police Department.

Road Department employee Dale Eaver will retire June 1 after 30 years with the township.

MASSILLON

New safety director

MASSILLON: Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry announced the appointment of a Massillon native to the position of safety and service director.

Joel Smith, a graduate of Washington High School, is a career law enforcement officer, having worked for Perry Township and the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Marietta, Akron and Massillon.

MEDINA

City is contest finalist

MEDINA: The city, a finalist in the first round of America’s Best Communities competition, will receive $50,000 to help accelerate the revitalization of the local economy and improve the quality of life in the community.

The $10 million initiative, sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, was developed to spark innovation and growth in small towns and cities.

“As a quarter finalist, the Medina City Development Corporation will work diligently to take advantage of this great opportunity to invest in the future of our community and further cement our collective goal of making Medina America’s Best Community,” said Mayor Dennis Hanwell.

The city will have six months to complete its revitalization plans and compete for the top prize of $3 million to bring the ideas to life, according to a news release from the sponsors of the initiative.

As it advances, the community will be partnered with a major corporation that will provide guidance and support through the next stage of the competition.

The competition had 138 applicant teams representing 347 communities across the country, including 23 from Ohio.

MEDINA COUNTY

Night at the Races

MEDINA: The Children’s Cup — A Night at the Races will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Medina Country Club, 5588 Wedgewood Road, Medina.

The event will benefit the Children’s Center of Medina County. Tickets are $40 each and casual attire is suggested.

For more information or to buy tickets, go to www.?medinacountychildrenscenter.org or call 330-764-8891, ext. 214.

PORTAGE COUNTY

Meeting starts earlier

RAVENNA: Portage County commissioners have moved the start time of their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday from the usual 9:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Discussion of an employee evaluation is on the agenda.

SAGAMORE HILLS

Trail work

SAGAMORE HILLS TWP.: Restoration work along the Bike & Hike Trail in northern Summit County should wrap up by May 15 as long as the weather cooperates.

The work between Nesbitt and Holzhauer roads is being done for Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. as part of an effort to upgrade its transmission lines.

The work may close the trail for short times to move equipment, officials said.

STARK COUNTY

New bridge in Plain

CANTON: Construction of a new Werner Church Road bridge in Plain Township is expected to begin in June.

Beaver Excavating Co. will perform the work under terms of a bid Stark County commissioners selected Wednesday.

The nearly $4.9 million project will include road realignment to make Werner Church meet Applegrove Street at Middlebranch Avenue.

Traffic on the existing bridge and road is expected to continue through the project. Completion is expected in August 2016.

STOW

Coughlin running

STOW: Stow Municipal Clerk of Court Kevin Coughlin confirmed Wednesday that he will seek re-election in November.

The court serves Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Tallmadge, Twinsburg, Macedonia, Munroe Falls, Silver Lake, Sagamore Hills, Northfield Village, Northfield Center Township, Twinsburg Township, Reminderville, Peninsula, Boston Heights and Boston Township.

Coughlin was elected to the post in 2013. He previously served as state senator from 2001 to 2011 and state representative from 1997-2001.

SUMMIT COUNTY

Genealogy program

AKRON: Nancy Ottman will present a program on German genealogy research from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St.

To register, contact the Special Collections Division at 330-643-9030 or speccollections@akronlibrary.org.

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

Jack Hanna visit

AKRON: Television star and animal expert Jack Hanna will appear at 7 p.m. Thursday at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall as part of the University of Akron Forum Series. He will show off animals, share stories and provide exclusive footage from his worldwide adventures.

General admission tickets are $10, or $8 for UA faculty and staff with Zip Cards and $6 for UA students. The event is sponsored by Thomas Hall and the Honors College.

Investigator award

AKRON: Matthew Becker, a professor of polymer science at the University of Akron, won the 2015 Young Investigator Award presented by the American Chemical Society journals Biomacromolecules, Macromolecules and ACS Macro Letters.

The award honors scientists, chemists or engineers age 40 or younger worldwide who have made a major impact in polymer science.

Becker, 39, shared the award with Brent Sumerlin, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Florida.

Becker’s Laboratory for Functional Biomaterials develops biodegradable polymers for medical applications. He has designed a polymer tube that replaces sections of arm and leg bones destroyed by battle wounds or removed during surgery.