Morning Headlines: Akron Water Main Break Causes Damage; DeWine Backs Repeal of State Takeover Law

Oct 29, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Oct. 29:

  • Akron water main break causes damage;
  • DeWine backs repeal of state takeover law;
  • VICI Properties buys JACK Entertainment;
  • British subsidiary to establish HQ for Americas in Cleveland;
  • Glassdoor opens new Green location;
  • Akron to host Arts Impact conference;
  • Cleveland leaders cancel protest against visioning summit;
  • Cuyahoga County top IT official fired;
  • DeWine orders review of parole board policies;

Akron water main break causes damage
A water main feeding a fire hydrant in downtown Akron erupted early Monday morning, flooding the ground floor of the John S. Knight Center and interrupting bus service. The break left a hole large enough to swallow a small car. The Akron Metro RTA said its High Street stop won’t run until repairs are made. The Beacon Journal reports the water line along with a few others on High Street are the last to be replaced as part of the Main Street reconstruction project.

DeWine backs repeal of state takeover law
Gov. Mike DeWine is backing efforts by lawmakers to repeal a 2015 law that forces failing school districts to turn over control to a state appointed CEO. DeWine told the Vindicator that he does not support the current law, otherwise known as the Youngstown Plan. Youngstown, Lorain and East Cleveland schools have been subject to the takeover. The state has issued a moratorium on further takeovers. Earlier this year, the Ohio House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would repeal the takeover law, but that measure has languished in the Senate. The Ohio Supreme Court is also expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Youngstown Plan. DeWine said he supports the repeal as long as it provides increased funding for failing districts tied to what he calls a "remedial plan" under local control.

JACK Entertainment to enter deal with VICI Properties
A New York-based real estate investment trust has reached a buy-and-lease deal with JACK Entertainment's Cleveland casino and Thistledown racino in North Randall. VICI Properties said the businesses will continue to operate under the same names in the nearly $850 million deal. The lease agreement includes nearly $66 million a year for the 15 years. It's the third deal within a year involving Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's JACK Entertainment. It’s expected to close early next year.

British subsidiary to establish HQ for Americas in Cleveland
A subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange plans to build its North America headquarters in Cleveland. The London Stock Exchange ELITE business services initiative made the announcement Monday in collaboration with JobsOhio. Around 40 new jobs will be created at the ELITE Americas headquarters in Cleveland. The project is receiving an eight-year Job Creation Tax Credit. It’s expected to open early next year.

Glassdoor moves Ohio location to Green
The online job recruiting site Glassdoor has opened its new office in Green in Summit County. The California-based company outgrew its location in nearby Uniontown. The new space will house its 50 Northeast Ohio employees, which is expected to grow to 100. Green offered the company a five-year municipal development grant to relocate to the city.

Akron to host Arts Impact conference
The Ohio Arts Council has selected Akron to host it biennial Arts Impact conference next year at the John S. Knight Center. It’s the first time the statewide conference will be held outside of Columbus. The Ohio Arts Council funds artists and arts organizations. Akron is currently gathering community input for its Cultural Plan which hopes to use the arts as an economic driver for the city.

Cleveland leaders cancel protest against visioning summit
A protest planned by black leaders Tuesday in Cleveland against the city’s visioning summit has been cancelled. Leaders of the of the American Center for Economic Equality and the Black Contractors Association have agreed instead to take part in the Cleveland Rising Summit. The groups had complained that they had been ignored by organizers of the initiative. In a meeting Monday the groups agreed to work together in the three day summit. More than 900 people have signed up for the visioning session — 25% are African-American and 5% are Latino.

Cuyahoga County top IT official fired
Nearly two years after he was placed on leave, Cuyahoga County’s top IT official has been fired. Cleveland.com reports Scot Rourke had remained on the payroll since he was put on leave in February 2018 amid an investigation into questionable IT contracts. County Council Monday demanded County Executive Armond Budish explained Rourke’s employment status, prompting the firing. Cuyahoga County has been embroiled in allegations of corruption surrounding the IT department and a long-delayed IT upgrade. A decade ago, Rourke led a $6 million failed plan to bring Wi-Fi to downtown Akron.

DeWine orders review of parole board policies
Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered a review of the state parole system following the alleged involvement of a recently released offender in a crash that killed two 6-year-old-cousins. Raymond Walters has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for allegedly stealing a police cruiser in August and crashing it in downtown Dayton, hitting a minivan filled with children. Walters recently been paroled on a robbery conviction. An earlier review ordered by DeWine found Walters' supervision followed policy. Now DeWine wants to know if current policies are correct.