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Morning Headlines: Ohio Colleges Sign Collaborative Compact; Akron Discolored Water Deemed Safe

A photo of the Kent campus.
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, June 28:

  • Nine Northeast Ohio public colleges sign collaborative compact;
  • Massillon Museum to use grant to combat stigmas in Appalachia;
  • Firm hired to investigate lawmaker also donated to him;
  • Ohio legislature relaxes standards at virtual academy;
  • Akron officials say discolored water is safe to drink;
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History names permanent CEO;

Nine Northeast Ohio public colleges sign collaborative compact

Nine Northeast Ohio public colleges are collaborating to help students succeed after high school. The Northeast Ohio Regional Higher Education Compact has the goal of making school more affordable, minimizing the time it takes to earn a degree and addressing workforce needs. Leaders plan to share courses and curriculums, as well as enhance internship and workshop opportunities.

Massillon Museum to use grant to combat Appalachia stigma

A Stark County museum is preparing to use a new national grant to help combat stigmas of poverty and addiction in Appalachia. The Massillon Museum will use its $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to encourage exploration of Massillon and its Appalachian heritage. The museum is planning programming around "Burning Bright," a book by Ron Rash, a collection of short stories about life in Appalachia that span the Civil War to the present day.

Firm that investigated lawmaker also donated to him

A law firm that cleared a Cincinnati state lawmaker of a sexual harassment allegation in April contributed to the politician's campaign while the probe was going on. Taft, Stettinius & Hollister's PAC donated $1,000 to Republican Rep. Bill Seitz's campaign fund in March. The finding adds to questions surrounding the investigation, which was prompted by a female House employee's complaint alleging Seitz's remarks at a party. Seitz also worked at the firm for 36 years until 2014. Attorney General Mike DeWine's office selected the law firm to conduct the review and said the firm conducted an internal check for any legal conflicts and found none.

Ohio legislature relaxes standards virtual academy

The state legislature is preparing to temporarily relax academic performance standards on a virtual school that took in thousands of students from a now-shuttered competitor. The House Education Committee folded "safe harbor" protections for the Toledo-based Ohio Virtual Academy into a separate bill. The Virtual Academy had lobbied for the protections on grounds it should not be punished for taking in about 4,200 students from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. ECOT was closed by its sponsor in January after a protracted attendance tracking dispute.

Akron officials say discolored water is safe to drink

Akron officials say discolored water coming out of the tap is safe to drink. Residents could see brown or yellow-tinted water over the next day or two while crews rebuild a pump station in Goodyear Heights. Water officials advise people to run the tap for around five minutes to clear the sediment that’s causing the discoloration. Akron residents can call 3-1-1 if the discoloration continues.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History names permanent CEO

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has named Sonia Winner as its permanent CEO and president. The former head of fundraising for the museum has promised an update on the status of its stalled $150 million expansion project in the fall. Winner served as acting CEO since the abrupt resignation of Evalyn Gates in December. Winner was previously vice president for university development at Columbia University before coming to Cleveland in 2017.