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Morning Headlines: Negotiations Drag On Over 17 Missionaries Kidnapped in Haiti; Akron Council Approves COVID Aid Plan

Akron City Council building.
AKRON CITY COUNCIL
Akron City Council has approved plans to spend $145 million in pandemic relief aid. The city is holding virtual public meetings next Thursday to hear input from citizens. A project management firm will track spending posted to an online dashboard.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, October 20:

  • Negotiations drag on over 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti
  • Akron council approves COVID aid plan
  • Remaining ‘Devil Strip’ board members launch fundraising effort
  • Remains of Ohio WWII soldier killed in combat identified
  • Ohio man, 83, faces new murder trial after serving 45 years

Negotiations drag on over 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti
(AP) — Negotiations are stretching into a fourth day seeking the return of 17 members of a Holmes County-based missionary group kidnapped over the weekend in Haiti by a gang that is demanding $1 million ransom per person. The group from Christian Aid Ministries includes five children whose ages range from 8 months to 15 years. Sixteen of the abductees are Americans and one Canadian.

Akron council approves COVID aid plan
(WKSU) — Akron City Council has approved plans to spend $145 million in pandemic relief aid. Mayor Dan Horrigan said the funds will go toward six areas: Violence prevention, parks, public utilities, healthcare and social services, housing, and small business growth. The violence prevention effort includes after school programs, workforce readiness and mentoring programs, along with installing 50 surveillance cameras and providing up to 5,000 doorbell cameras to residents in high crime neighborhoods. The city is holding virtual public meetings next Thursday to hear input from citizens. A project management firm will track spending posted to an online dashboard.

Remaining ‘Devil Strip’ board members launch fundraising effort
(WKSU) — Akron’s Devil Strip newspaper is down, but not entirely out. One day after the arts and culture monthly laid off its 10-member staff, three of its remaining board members have launched a GoFundMe campaign to keep it going. Six of the nine board members resigned after deciding to shutter the seven-year-old publication. The remaining members are trying to raise $75,000 to bring it back in some form. The Devil Strip in 2019 pioneered the model of a community news co-op, by selling memberships instead of subscriptions. Its founder, Chris Horne, who stepped away on sabbatical recently, took to Twitter last night to say the closure took him by surprise. He said he’s dealing with mental illness and said: “Had I thought the mag would shut down, I wouldn’t have asked for a sabbatical. He then said, “Still, I’m staying away.”

Remains of Ohio WWII soldier killed in combat identified
(AP) — The remains of a U.S. Army private from Dover killed during combat in Germany during World War II have been identified. 24-year-old Pvt. Emmet Schwartz was killed in 1944, by an artillery blast in Germany. An unidentified body recovered from a foxhole in 1946 was buried in France. Remains believed to be Schwartz were disinterred in 2019 and identified using dental records and DNA. He will be buried Nov. 18 in New Philadelphia.

Ohio man, 83, faces new murder trial after serving 45 years
(AP) — A judge in Cleveland has ordered a new trial for an 83-year-old man who had previously spent 45 years in prison in the murder of his wife. A visiting Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge on Tuesday rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case against Isiah Andrews. Andrews was released last year after another judge reversed his conviction in the 1974 killing of his wife, Regina, saying prosecutors at his 1975 trial failed to disclose information about another suspect.