Morning Headlines: Akron Considering Fee for Online Bill Payments; 2018 Midterms Could Set Record

Nov 6, 2018

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, November 6:

  • Akron considering adding fee for online bill payments;
  • The 2018 midterms could set a record for early voting;
  • Icelandair purchases Wow airlines;
  • Kent State hires new vice president for enrollment;
  • CWRU students, faculty discuss safety measures following shooting;
  • PTC Alliance cancels plans for layoffs;

Akron considering adding fee for online bill payments
Akron residents may soon be charged a fee for paying utility or income tax bills online. City council is considering adding a $2 fee for debit or credit card transactions, and 70 cents for e-check transactions. The city says the $500,000 annual savings would go toward fixing broken water pipes. Council plans to vote on the plan next week.

The 2018 midterms could set a record for early voting
The 2018 midterms could set a record for early voting. Requests for absentee ballots are up 17 percent statewide compared to the previous midterm. But the Beacon Journal reports early voting is much higher locally, with a 60 percent uptick in Summit and Portage Counties. Participation in Summit County has been roughly even between parties — up 120 percent for Republicans and 118 percent for Democrats. Polls open at 6:30 and close at 7:30 pm. WKSU will air live results starting at 8 p.m.

Icelandair purchases Wow airlines
One month after announcing it’s cancelling its Cleveland service to Iceland, Wow airlines is being purchased by rival Icelandair. The two earlier this year launched low-cost airfare to Iceland with links to Europe, but have since pulled back on those offerings and now are merging. The company said both airlines will for now keep their independent brands.

Kent State hires new vice president for enrollment
Kent State has hired its first vice president of enrollment in hopes of retaining students. Mary Parker held a similar position at the University of Utah. Her focus will be coming up with a plan to recruit students and offer different opportunities, like online classes and night classes. Kent State’s freshman-to-sophomore retention rate dipped 2 percent from 2015 to 2016, and has been steadily climbing since. She will start in January with a salary of $250,000.

Case Western students, faculty discuss safety measures following shooting
Students and faculty at Case Western Reserve University talked are talking about ways to make the neighborhood safer following the off-campus shooting of a student this past weekend. Police said a male student was shot and injured when two men tried to rob him in the Little Italy neighborhood near campus. He’s in stable condition. Police later shot and injured a suspect in an exchange of gunfire, who remains in critical condition. The second suspect was arrested. At a meeting Monday, university officials addressed questions regarding sufficient policing of the campus, safe ride options, and safer access to parking.

PTC Alliance cancels plans for layoffs
A company that makes steel plates and tubing in Stark County has rescinded its decision to temporarily eliminate nearly 100 jobs. The Repository reports PTC Alliance issued a letter in September warning that layoffs were expected to begin later this month. A new filing shows improved customer orders in the last two quarters. PTC Alliance employs about 280 workers in Alliance.