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Morning Headlines: UA and Faculty Union Reach Tentative Contract; Akron Teachers Begin to be Vaccinated

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Angelo Esslinger
/
PIXABAY
Akron Public Schools received more doses of COVID-19 vaccine than it originally thought it would and on Saturday was able to administer vaccines to 900 teachers and staff. Originally the district expected to receive 780 doses for the first distribution.

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, February 8:

  • University of Akron and faculty union reach tentative contract agreement
  • Akron teachers begin to be vaccinated
  • Cleveland Schools to begin vaccinating employees
  • State passes vaccine milestone
  • Warming centers offer break from weekend cold
  • Intersection closes as Main St construction continues in Akron
  • Developer plans fifth building on Stow site
  • Browns’ Stefanski named coach of the year

University of Akron and faculty union reach tentative contract agreement
The University of Akron and its faculty union have come to terms on a tentative contract that both sides are recommending be ratified. The University’s board of trustees is expected to consider the deal at its meeting Wednesday. A timetable for union voting has not been announced. The two sides had been at odds last year as the university faced financial difficulties exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. It invoked a provision that allowed it to lay off about 100 faculty members. In a statement on the faculty union web page union president Pam Schultze says the new deal provides “the kind of security and stability the University needs in order to meet the challenges of the near future.” She also says the union looks forward “to a more collaborative relationship with the administration going forward.”

Akron teachers begin to be vaccinated
Akron Public Schools received more doses of COVID-19 vaccine than it originally thought it would and on Saturday was able to administer vaccines to 900 teachers and staff. These first doses went to those who work with kindergarten, first and second grade students according to the Beacon Journal. Originally the district expected to receive 780 doses for the first distribution. Superintendent David James says they need 3,000 to cover all district employees who need it. Remaining employees are expected to receive first shots February 12 and 13. The district expects to complete vaccinations March 6. After that the district plans to begin a staggered process of bringing more students back into schools for in-person learning. Gov. Mike DeWine has committed to providing schools with vaccines if they commit to offering some level of in-person learning by March 1.

Cleveland Schools to begin vaccinating employees
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is ready to vaccinate thousands of educators starting the middle of this week. That includes teachers and staff at CMSD’s public schools and charter schools and substitutes and contractors as well. District C.E.O Eric Gordon acknowledges the state is dealing with shortages and says he hasn’t received assurances from state officials the district will get the doses it needs. He’s hoping to vaccinate about 10,000 people in a week. Trained nurses will administer the shots at two sites, East Tech and Max Hayes High schools.

State passes vaccine milestone
Ohio has administered the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to more than 1million people. It passed the milestone on Saturday. That amounts to almost 9% of the population. About 300,000 people have received both doses of the vaccine. Cases of COVID-19 continue on a downward trend with the state reporting 2,138 new cases Sunday, less than the three week average with is now at 4,451. The state reported 7 new deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, well below the three week average of 69.

Warming centers offer break from weekend cold
Frigid weekend temperatures led to warming centers being opened around the area. The Haven of Portage County opened its center Sunday at Immaculate Conception Parish Hall in Ravenna and expects to keep it open through Sunday. The city of Akron opened four warming centers at the Lawton Street, Mason Park, Patterson Park and Summit Lake Community Centers. Attendance is limited to allow for COVID-19 safety provisions.

Intersection closes as Main St construction continues in Akron
The contractor working on Phase 2 of Main Street construction in downtown Akron will close the south half of the E. Market St and Main St. intersection today. The city of Akron says Karvo Companies will keep two lanes open so travel can continue in each direction but drivers are urged to use caution through that area.

Developer plans fifth building on Stow site
A developer will get a 15-year, 100% tax abatement for a new industrial building it plans in Stow. Fogg expects the 247,000 square foot Seasons Business Center 5 off route 8 will generate about $40,000 in new income tax on $2 million in payroll by the end of the third year. As part of the property tax abatement deal, the Beacon Journal reports Fogg will compensate the Stow Munroe Falls City School District with an annual payment of $890,500, about half what the district would have received without the abatement. This is the fifth building Fogg will have at the site, it hopes to begin construction when the weather breaks.

Browns’ Stefanski named coach of the year
The Browns may not have made it to the Super Bowl this year, but the team’s turnaround earned its coach a special honor. Kevin Stefanski was named the Associate Press NFL Coach of the Year. He’s the second coach in Browns history to receive the award. Forrest Gregg got it back in 1976. Stefanski led the Browns to their first playoff appearance since 2002 and their first playoff victory in 26 years in a year challenged by COVID-19. He thanked his staff and players during the NFL awards show, demonstrating what team owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam call a “team first” approach in everything he does. G-M Andrew Berry praised Stefanski’s ability to create relationships over laptops.