News

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KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Groups representing low-income people are calling on state regulators to reject AT&T’s plan to drop out of a federal program that helps over 10,000 of its Ohio customers afford telephone service.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Ohio Poverty Law Center and the Alliance for Retired Americans are among those defending the Lifeline program, which offers a credit that covers a quarter of the $36 average monthly cost of a landline telephone.

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KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s jobless rate was up a little bit last month. But there’s good news in the new report too.

Ohio’s unemployment rate in July inched up slightly from 4.5 percent in June to 4.6 percent in July. And that puts the state’s jobless rate at one-half a point higher than the national unemployment rate. 

But that being said, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said the state actually gained 7,600 jobs in July in manufacturing, construction, educational and health services, and in leisure and hospitality.  

man with virtual reality headset
Creative Commons

An Akron business owner thinks his company could be a leading force in the virtual reality industry. Eric Vaughn is the owner of the production studio Red Point Digital, which is launching Skunkwerkz that will specialize in VR and stop motion animation. Vaughn wants to use VR technology to keep people in Northeast Ohio and bring in talent from other states.

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The city of Akron is testing a new bike lane on Exchange Street to make traveling safer for bikers and pedestrians.  

The temporary bike lane is in front of the University of Akron’s residence halls on Exchange.

Darryl Kleinhenz, a planner with the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, said the lane’s use will be monitored and then it will be decided if the land will become a permanent.

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ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A collection of farming and community groups, on the state and local level, gathered in Columbus to discuss how the agriculture industry can help in the fight against the opioid crisis. Farmers can play an important role, especially in rural Ohio.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Anne Hazlett said support from farmers can go a long way in helping rural communities overcome substance abuse, from raising awareness to supporting treatment efforts.

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