AKRON

Schools pack buses

with food donations

Yellow school buses from Stark and adjacent counties formed a caravan Monday to haul precious cargo to Akron.

The 20 buses weren't carrying students, but 29,000 pounds of food donations for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. The caravan, which departed from Faith Family Church, represented the culmination of the third annual "Hunger: The Bus Stops Here" food and fundraising drive that included school districts from Stark, Carroll, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties that are members of the Stark County Educational Service Center.

Coupled with financial contributions, the schools' efforts will help the Foodbank provide more than 41,000 meals to the community as part of its Harvest for Hunger campaign.

 

ROOTSTOWN

NEOMED breaks ground

on campus expansion

Northeast Ohio Medical University broke ground Monday for its new, $36 million medical office building, which will allow Bio-Med Science Academy to expand.

The new building will house Bio-Med on its top two floors, an expanded area for clinical simulations on another floor and a yet-to-be-determined clinical partner offering community services on the ground floor.

The new building, along with the completion of the fourth floor of the Research and Graduate Education building and the south wing of the main building, will be funded through public-private partnerships, NEOMED spokesman Roderick L. Ingram Sr. said. The projects are slated to be completed in September 2020.

 

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP

Reported gator sighting

turns out to be crock

Springfield Township responded Monday to a 911 call reporting what looked like an alligator in a pond off Killian Road.

Turns out the alligator was a fake one, according to Police Sgt. Eric East, who added, “By golly, she’s a beauty.”

Police Chief Dave Hoover, who’s juggling a downsized force that struggles to keep up with the 1,100 to 1,500 calls a month it averages, had no hard feelings about the reported sighting.

He said it was more amusing than annoying.

“It was something to laugh about,” he said. “Something to break up the day.”

 

 

STATE NEWS

House speaker expects

changes to nuclear bailout

After dozens of witnesses lined up last week to oppose his proposal for nuclear subsidies, House Speaker Larry Householder says he expects some changes to the proposal before it passes the House in mid-May.

“The purpose of [the testimony] was to sort of smoke out the opposition, see what was out there, and some of the things that might be able to be addressed in this bill,” the Glenford Republican said.

A variety of environmental groups and business organizations opposed House Bill 6, which would offer credits of $9.25 per megawatt hour of carbon-free electricity, paid for via a new $2.50 monthly charge on residential electric bills, with higher amounts for larger business users.

In exchange, Ohioans would no longer pay current mandates for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

More than half of the estimated $300 million in annual revenue for the new clean energy program would go to bail out the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants in northern Ohio.

 

New statewide initiative

bundles online services

InnovateOhio wants to bring an array of state government websites and online services under the leadership of Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

Built upon $202 million in state informational-technology spending since 2012, the effort will finish the migration of the state's online offerings to a common, centralized platform.

Ohioans should be given a "digital wallet" that permits them to deal with a variety of state agencies, over taxes, licenses and other matters, with a minimum of frustration and fuss, Husted said.

His stated goal is that taxpayers should never again have to walk into a state government office, because all their needs can be met online.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed an executive order Monday requiring all state agencies to be online with the common InnovateOhio platform within one year.