An outgoing president and a major development completion tops a list of significant stories in Kent this year. Here a few notable events from the city as selected by Ohio.com staff.†
KSU president to retire
Kent State President Lester Lefton announced in April that he would retire at the end of his contract, June 30, 2014.
Lefton came to Kent in 2006 from Tulane University in New Orleans.
He worked with the city manager and Portage County officials on downtown projects that link businesses to the campus, and spent $200 million on campus improvements.
Kent celebrates new transit center, downtown boost
Dozens of residents and politicians gathered in August for the opening of the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority parking garage and multimodal transit facility.
Attendees included U.S. Rep Tim Ryan, D-Niles, who helped secure $20 million in funding through the U.S. Department of Transportationís TIGER grant.
Income tax increase approved
Voters approved a .25 percent income tax increase Nov. 5.† The tax will raise about $1.2 million a year over 25 years.
With nearly 60 percent of the vote, revenue from the increase will be used to replace the outdated Safety Administration Building. The same proposal was rejected in 2012.
Cabbie calls police on would-be bomber
When an emotionally charged man in the back seat of her cab started talking about bombing the KSU campus in June, cabbie Misty Smead kept him calm and called police.
After convincing the rider to stop at Cracker Barrel on state Route 44 to grab a cigarette and coffee, police arrested Louis Koleszar of Glenwood Springs Colo. He was charged with a felony counts of making a false alarm.
Portage County landfill capped
Portage County received a $1 million grant to cap a landfill, 25 years after it was forced to close.
Capping was completed in October.
The Rootstown Township dump made headlines in 1986 and 1987 as the county's health department battled to stop the landfill's owners from taking in hundreds of thousands of tons of out-of-state trash.††