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Morning Headlines: Akron Teachers Join Parma Strike, ACLU Sues Over Bedford Nuisance Ordinance

photo of Downtown Akron
Downtown Akron

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Feb. 21: 

  • Akron teachers join Parma strike;
  • ACLU sues over Bedford nusiance ordinance;
  • DeWine to propose 18-cent gas tax increase;
  • Horrigan unveils new implementations for Akron in speech;
  • Report: Northeast Ohio's infrastructure in same shape as the country;

Akron teachers join Parma strike
Protestors in Akron joined striking teachers in Parma Wednesday calling for better working conditions at a charter school specializing in children with learning problems. The Beacon Journal reports that a handful of union teachers picketed outside Summit Academy’s Akron headquarters. Around 20 teachers and support staff went on strike this week at the charter chain’s Parma location. Teachers are calling for the school to reduce class sizes and hire more teacher’s aides. Summit Academy operates more than two dozen schools across Ohio specializing in students with autism and other learning disorders.

ACLU sues over Bedford nuisance ordinance
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio (ACLU) and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland have filed a lawsuit alleging Bedford's nuisance ordinance is unconstitutional. ACLU claims the ordinance is discriminatory, and says that the city used it against a black woman after she called to complain about a loud neighbor. After she was issued a citation, her landlord evicted her. Bedford is one of 21 cities in Northeast Ohio with a nuisance ordinance. Bedford city officials declined to comment, but say that the ACLU never addressed the issue with them prior to the lawsuit.

DeWine to propose 18-cent gas tax increase
Gov. Mike DeWine is set to propose an 18 cent per gallon gas tax increase today, according to the Columbus Dispatch. That would be a 64 percent increase from the current 28 cent per gallon tax. If approved, people who drive 15,000 miles annually would pay an extra $90 a year. It would generate over $1 billion annually for road construction and maintenance. The Ohio Department of Transportation recently said there's an impending funding crisis. The proposal will be voted on in late March.

Horrigan unveils new implementations for Akron in speech
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan gave his State of the City speech Wednesday, unveiling new proposals to help improve quality of life. He unveiled a plan for an eight-week "Midnight Basketball" mentoring program. It’ll aim to motivate and educate 80 young men. Horrigan also is adding the city to the AARP's Network of Age-Friendly States and Community. This will help create walkable streets, transportation and opportunities for seniors to participate in community activities.

Report: Northeast Ohio's infrastructure in same shape as the country
A new report by the American Society of Civil Engineers shows that Northeast Ohio’s infrastructure is in about the same sorry shape as the rest of the country. The report gave both the region and the nation a D-plus rating. The report includes assessments of roads, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure. The engineering society’s Cleveland Section spent two years reviewing Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties – in addition to below average ratings for bridges, and drinking water systems, they gave D grades for energy infrastructure and schools, and a D+ for wastewater pipes and treatment plants.