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Public invited to University of Akron president interviews this week
Other morning headlines: Ohio students protest tuition increases; More than 20 lawmakers have history with delinquent taxes; More Ohioans carrying concealed guns

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
University of Akron to interview finalists for presidency on campus this week.
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  • Public invited to University of Akron president interviews this week
  • Ohio students protest tuition increases
  • More than 20 lawmakers have history with delinquent taxes
  • More Ohioans carrying concealed guns
  • Former director of Akron's University Park Alliance resigns latest job
  • Public health officials face renewed concern about Lyme disease 
  • Public invited to University of Akron president interviews this week
    The University of Akron today begins interviewing its three finalists for president. The three will each spend an entire day interviewing with various groups on campus, including students, faculty and deans—as well as holding public forums at the student union. Ronald Nykiel, provost at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is on campus today. Scott Scarborough, provost at the University of Toledo will interview Wednesday and current university vice president Jim Tressel will interview Thursday. The former Ohio State University football coach is also a finalist for president at Youngstown State University, where he coached previously.

    Ohio students protest tuition increases
    Students across Ohio are protesting recent tuition increases enacted or proposed at eight of the state's 14 public universities. The Columbus Dispatch reports some of those who are upset by rising costs have joined the Ohio Student Association to organize "teach-ins" and rallies on campuses. The University of Akron became the latest institution to approve an increase when it raised tuition by 2 percent last week. The University of Cincinnati, Youngstown State and Shawnee State also have approved hikes. The newspaper reports four other schools have proposed increases: Miami, Wright State and Ohio universities and the University of Toledo. One student protester says some of her friends work full-time and can barely make ends meet. Universities say drops in enrollment and cuts in state aid make the increases necessary.

    More than 20 lawmakers have history with delinquent taxes
    More than 20 state lawmakers are either behind on their personal or business taxes, or have been in the past, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The newspaper investigation found the lawmakers are either paying off government liens, had past liens or delinquency notices or have made payoff arrangements with the IRS. The list includes resolved debt from Republican Senators Bill Coley of Liberty Township and Tom Patton of Strongsville, Democratic senators Tom Sawyer of Akron, and Shirley Smith of Cleveland and Chagrin Falls Republican Representative Matt Lynch. Several lawmakers who still owed money tell the Dispatch they were unaware the debts even existed. Earlier this year, State Senator Eric Kearney stepped down as gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald’s running mate because it was revealed that he owes $825,000 in back taxes.  

    More Ohioans carrying concealed guns
    More Ohioans are carrying concealed guns and with fewer restrictions 10 years after the state began allowing people to carry hidden handguns. The Mansfield News Journal reports a reduction in Ohio restrictions involving concealed handguns since sheriff's offices in Ohio began issuing licenses for them in April 2004. They can now be carried in cars, purses and bags and are allowed in bars and public parking lots among other changes. Gun advocates say the changes were needed to get rid of rules that were too restrictive. Anti-gun advocates say reduced restrictions encroach on the freedoms of Ohioans who don't carry hidden guns. The newspaper says the number of new Ohio concealed carry permits has doubled since 2010 with nearly 97,000 new concealed handgun licenses issued last year.

    Former director of Akron's University Park Alliance resigns latest job
    The former director of a development group in downtown Akron has now resigned his most recent job, after article about problems in his former position began appearing in the Beacon Journal. Eric Johnson left his job as the director of the Akron University Park Alliance last April, and took a position with the North Carolina and Horizon Development. The UPA was focused on developing the 50 block area around the University of Akron, and is now the target of several lawsuits and an investigation by the city of Akron, after overextending its budget under Johnson’s leadership. Johnson told the Beacon Journal he resigned from his post in North Carolina after articles about the UPA’s problems began appearing in the Beacon Journal. The Charlotte Housing Authority could not be reached for comment on his departure.

    Public health officials face renewed concern about Lyme disease
    Despite the long, bitterly cold winter, Ohio’s tick population did not take a hit. Public health officials say the tick population is likely growing, which brings renewed concern about Lyme disease. It’s spread by the blacklegged tick, and is at a 20-year high in Ohio. The disease is even a focus of the biennium review budget, which includes funding to replace the monitoring program. The annual rate of Lyme disease has more than doubled in five years, to 93 cases in 2013. 

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