Morning Headlines: The University of Akron Plans Major Job Cuts; RubberDucks Scrap Season

Jul 1, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, July 1:

  • The University of Akron plans major job cuts
  • North Canton police say man pointed loaded gun at protesters
  • Front license plates dropped July 1
  • Wayne County Fair bans sale, display of Confederate flag
  • COVID-19 cases confirmed among Put-in-Bay visitors
  • President Trump’s campaign makes $18M Ohio ad buy
  • Dover High School football team shut down after COVID-19 case
  • HOF Village merger nearly complete
  • Summit County uses federal funds to offer mortgage, rent assistance
  • Akron water and sewer customers offered relief
  • Ohio AG wants GM to repay $60M after it shut down car plant
  • 4 Toledo City Council members in custody amid bribery probe
  • Akron Children’s begins mobile check-in service
  • Cleveland Foundation awards $26M in latest grant funding
  • Akron RubberDucks scrap the season

The University of Akron plans major job cuts
The University of Akron is considering substantial layoffs and job cuts in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The university’s board of trustees has scheduled a special meeting for July 15th to consider the move. The Beacon Journal reports The Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors has previously said the administration intends to cut 25% of the academic budget, which would include layoffs of full-time faculty, regardless of tenure or rank.

North Canton police say man pointed loaded gun at protesters
North Canton police say one man was arrested for pointing a loaded gun at a group of protesters last night. A press release says Dustin Reagan is accused of driving his pickup around stopped traffic and was confronted by members of the Ohio Community Coalition who were blocking an intersection. Police say he then got out of the truck and pointed the gun at the group. He was taken into custody.

Front license plates dropped July 1
Front license plates are no longer required for Ohio drivers beginning today. The change was part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s transportation budget enacted in April. The move brings Ohio in line with 19 other states, including Indiana and Kentucky that require one license plate. Police officers, school bus drivers and ride-share companies Uber and Lyft opposed the move.

Wayne County Fair bans sale, display of Confederate flag
The Wayne County Fair has banned the sale and display of the Confederate flag during the event in September. The move comes after the Wooster City School Board voted to cut ties with the fair, including pulling students’ participation and advertising. A statement posted Monday night on the fair board’s website said the move was made to stand with the community.

COVID-19 cases confirmed among Put-in-Bay visitors
Health officials in the Toledo area say coronavirus cases are being reported at Put-in-Bay. WTVG Channel 13 reports at least seven people have tested positive. Six people are from Lucas County and one from Ottawa County. All of the people visited Put-in-Bay between June 17 and 21. Photos circulating on social media over the weekend showed overcrowded bars, restaurants and pools.

President Trump's campaign makes $18M Ohio ad buy
President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is making big moves in Ohio. Cleveland.com reports the campaign has purchased more than $18 million worth of network television advertising for the fall. The national GOP media purchasing firm Medium Buying says Ohio is among six states where the campaign will be advertising the most. Florida tops the list.

Dover High School football team shut down after COVID-19 case
A school district in Tuscarawas County has shut down its high school football program after a player has tested positive for COVID-19. The Times Reporter says the Dover player last attended football practice on June 26. Anyone at practice that day has been told to self-isolate until July 11. Parents and others have been notified.

HOF Village merger nearly complete
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Village is nearing a merger with Gordon Point Acquisition Corp. The deal won shareholder approval on Tuesday and will be completed no later than July 15. The combined companies will move forward with efforts to create a sports, entertainment and media enterprise in Canton. The merger will help finance the second phase of development for offices and meeting space. The project also calls for an indoor water park, field house and convention center, hotel and retail space.

Summit County uses federal funds to offer mortgage, rent assistance
Summit County is drawing on money it’s getting through the federal CARES Act and from other sources to set up a $6.5 million rent and mortgage assistance fund. Eligible residents can get up to four months of payments or up to $5,000. The application window is from July 6-17. The county will also use $1.5 million of CARES Act funding to develop a county-wide COVID-19 testing program that will double the current testing capacity.

Akron water and sewer customers offered relief
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has announced plans to assist Akron water and sewer customers struggling to pay utility bills to the city due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Akron residents can qualify for this funding if their household income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level, if they are enrolled in qualifying social assistance programs or if they have experienced loss of income due to the pandemic. For more information on how to apply for Akron Cares funding, visit wksu.org.

Ohio AG wants GM to repay $60M after it shut down car plant

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says General Motors should repay $60 million in tax incentives because it shut down its Lordstown assembly plant. At issue is an economic development agreement that gave GM millions in tax breaks in exchange for a promise to keep Lordstown operating at least through 2027. GM closed the plant last year and sold the facility, then decided to build a new electric battery cell factory in the same area, but with far fewer jobs. The automaker has said it hopes the state will take into account its significant manufacturing presence in Ohio.

4 Toledo City Council members in custody amid bribery probe
Four Toledo City Council members are accused of taking cash in exchange for votes during a years-long, sweeping bribery scandal. Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, and Gary Johnson were taken into custody by federal agents. The criminal cases appear to have started two years ago, when a federal law enforcement agent interviewed an unnamed source who owns several commercial properties in Toledo.

Akron Children’s begins mobile check-in service
Akron Children’s Hospital is now offering a mobile check-in service to handle traffic during the pandemic The hospital says patients can send a text message and then wait in their vehicles until it's time for their appointment. They'll get another text when there's enough spacing inside to enter the building. All Akron Children’s locations are included.

Cleveland Foundation awards $26M in latest grant funding

The Cleveland Foundation is awarding $26 million in its latest round of grants supporting residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. Highlights include nearly $3 million for Famicos Foundation for the Say Yes Cleveland partnership that offers college scholarships to Cleveland Metropolitan School District students and other programming and assistance for 8,000 kids in Cuyahoga County. Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation is getting $1 million for efforts to make Cleveland homes lead-free.

Akron RubberDucks scrap the season
There will be no minor league baseball in downtown Akron this summer. The RubberDucks have canceled the season that had yet to begin because of the pandemic. The team says it will continue to host events at Canal Park this summer, including fireworks on July 4 and an exhibition high school baseball game between Akron Hoban and St. Vincent St. Mary's on July 11.