Summit County Council

photo of panhandling

A Civil Rights group is pleased with a new panhandling law passed this week by Summit County Council. The American Civil Liberties Union had been fighting the county’s previous law that banned panhandling in townships.

ACLU attorney Joseph Mead says the law violated First Amendment free speech rights.

a photo of a a patient in a nursing home

Summit county leaders have laid out a road map to try to ensure better care for people in nursing homes. County Council president Jeff Wilhite proposed creating the nursing homes and facilities task force after a Copley facility was flagged earlier this year by the federal government as one of the worst in the country. Fairlawn Rehab & Nursing Center on Ridgewood Rd. has since closed.

Photo of flooding in Kent

The Summit County Council Planning Committee is expected to vote on Monday whether to re-establish a task force to advise the county on sustainability.

According to Summit County Council member Elizabeth Walters, the last few months show a green policy task force is necessary.

Summit County Councilman David Hamilton

Summit County Council is slated to hear a plan Monday evening to create a stormwater management study committee. The seven-person group would include County Executive Ilene Shapiro and County Engineer Alan Brubaker.

At-Large Councilman Clair Dickinson says their goal would be to determine how to implement a county-wide stormwater management system.

Summit County is debating whether to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. The change already has been adopted in 17 municipalities around the state, including Akron, Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

photo of Pipeline

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, November 20:

Photo of the Stark County Courthouse

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, October 16:

Streetsboro bridge

Summit County Council will hold public hearings later today on a proposal to increase vehicle registration fees by $5.

The move could generate more than $2.5 million per year for road projects.

Heidi Swindell, a spokeswoman for the county’s engineering department, says with no growth in other funding, this is the only way the county can keep up with inflation.

“People like to have good bridges and safe roads, so I’m hopeful that this is something everybody can agree on.”

photo of Summit County Councilman David Hamilton

Summit County Council will consider a proposal today to form a task force examining how to improve conditions in the county jail, a month after an inmate died while in custody.

photo of Chris Burnham

Summit County is considering an investment strategy that could boost economic development programs in the area.

Summit County usually has about $300 million on hand as revenue comes in that isn’t due to be paid out. It invests that to earn interest. But it wants to leverage more value from the money by putting a couple of million dollars of in a “loan reserve” for the Summit Development Finance Authority.

photo of TAMELA LEE

Tamela Lee, the first African-American woman elected to Summit County Council and the one-time second-ranking Democrat in the county -- has been found guilty of six counts in her federal bribery case.

Lee was accused of accepting cash, campaign contributions and things like free home repairs in return for helping some area convenience store operators with liquor license and court-related issues. She served on council from 2011 until losing her seat last year.

Photo of Austen BioInnovation's facilities

Summit County Council is considering a proposal to help Akron’s Austen BioInnovation Institute remain viable.

At a recent council meeting, the county proposed to defer the Institute’s nearly $87,000 in loans for its downtown Akron headquarters for the next five years. The county also proposed to provide the medical-product incubator with a $102,000 grant.