Edward "Ed" Esposito is vice-president, information media for the Rubber City Radio Group. He oversees news and public affairs programs for www.AkronNewsNow.com, 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation; a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation and a former president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He's also served as a member of the Akron Press Club , Kent State University Student Media Advisory Board, Ohio Open Government Coalition, Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He's lectured on broadcasting and journalism for the University of Missouri in China, as well as across the country for RTDNA and RTDNF. You can reach Ed through the newsroom at 330-864-6397 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio's unemployment rate dipping to seven percent for April, down from 7.1 percent in March. This time last year the jobless rate was 7.3 percent. In terms of people that means seven thousand fewer on the unemployment listings but the numbers don't include those who've given up looking for work.
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(Department of Jobs and Family Services) Ohio's unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in April 2013, down from 7.1 percent in March, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 7,600 over the month, from the revised 5,175,600 in March to 5,183,200 in April.
The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in April was 400,000, down from 407,000 in March. The number of unemployed has decreased by 21,000 in the past 12 months from 421,000. The April unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.3 percent in April 2012.
The U.S. unemployment rate for April was 7.5 percent, down from 7.6 percent in March and down from 8.1 percent in April 2012.
Total Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)
Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 7,600 over the month, from a revised 5,175,600 in March 2013 to 5,183,200 in April, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.
Goods-producing industries, at 853,500, gained 800 jobs over the month. Increases in manufacturing (+2,400) exceeded declines in construction (-1,400) and mining and logging (-200). Private service-providing industries, at 3,583,700, gained 7,400 jobs. Employment increased in leisure and hospitality (+5,300), trade, transportation, and utilities (+3,500), other services (+1,500), and educational and health services (+800). Losses were seen in professional and business services (-2,300), financial activities (-1,000), and information (-400). Government employment, at 746,000, decreased 600 as losses in federal government (-900) and local government (-300) outweighed gains in state government (+600).
From April 2012 to April 2013, nonagricultural wage and salary employment grew 4,400. Goods-producing industries decreased 300 over the year. Construction lost 9,200 jobs. Manufacturing gained 8,800 jobs in durable goods (+5,000) and nondurable goods (+3,800). Mining and logging added 100 jobs. Private service-providing industries increased 18,700. Gains were posted in educational and health services (+12,300), leisure and hospitality (+4,200), trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,600), financial activities (+1,800), and other services (+900). Losses were seen in professional and business services (-2,000) and information (-1,100). Government employment decreased 14,000 through losses in local government (-7,200), state government (-3,800), and federal government (-3,000).
A Massillon lawyer shouldn't go to a bar -- and the state's highest court deciding he won't be an active member of THE bar in the immediate future.
Ohio's Supreme Court posting an indefinite suspension on Dale Alan Zimmer's law license over incidents dating back to 2006, including numerous car crashes, traffic warrants and even blowing off a DUI court hearing.
The Court could restore Zimmer's license if he completes a substance-abuse program but the earliest he could be reinstated would be May 2015.
(Ohio Supreme Court) The Supreme Court of Ohio today imposed an indefinite suspension against the law license of Massillon attorney Dale Alan Zimmer for multiple violations of state attorney discipline rules.
The court voted 7-0 to adopt findings by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that Zimmer engaged in professional misconduct and showed a disregard for his obligations as a citizen and as a lawyer in connection with three separate incidents involving traffic law violations between 2006 and 2012.
In its report, the disciplinary board noted that in November 2011 Zimmer crashed his car into a parked vehicle and a building, causing damage to both, then fled the scene without reporting the accident or leaving contact information. He was subsequently arrested and found guilty of failure to stop at the scene of an accident. While Zimmer was in custody for the November 2011 arrest, law-enforcement authorities discovered that there was an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest based on a September 2008 incident in which he was convicted of driving without a license and ordered to return to court with proof of a valid driver’s license, but failed to appear.
The board also noted that a new bench warrant was issued for Zimmer in March 2012 for violating the conditions of a home confinement sentence imposed on him in January 2012. That sentence was based on a 2006 DUI arrest for which Zimmer failed to appear at a scheduled court hearing, and subsequently evaded prosecution for more than five years. The board noted that in July 2012 Zimmer sent a letter to the judge in that case stating that he was currently being treated at a Canton hospital and had been attending numerous 12-step program meetings in an attempt at sobriety.
Observing that Zimmer’s misconduct had not resulted in any reported harm to his clients, but that his record of alcohol-related traffic offenses and his flight from the scene of his most recent incident suggested an untreated substance abuse problem, the court adopted the board’s recommended sanction of an indefinite license suspension with future reinstatement conditioned on proof of Zimmer’s compliance with an established substance-abuse treatment program.
Based on today’s action, the earliest date on which Zimmer would be eligible to apply for reinstatement is May 16, 2015.
Hiram College will be looking for a new president when next school year ends.
Tom Chema announcing today he's stepping down at the end of the 2013-14 academic year after 11 years on the job. A national search will be undertaken to find a successor by July 2014.
During Chema's tenure there's been significant capital development of the campus with new sports, residence halls and other campus buildings. Enrollment in the College increased by more than 50% under Chema's watch.
Chema's mark on northeast Ohio is also evident in Cleveland's sports facilities, namely Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. Both were built as then-Jacobs Field and Gund Arena under his management heading the Gateway development authority in the early 1990s.
(Hiram College) Hiram College President Thomas V. Chema has announced he will step down at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year after 11 years in the position. Hiram’s 21st president, Chema made his announcement at the May meeting of the Hiram College Board of Trustees.
During Chema’s presidency, Hiram has experienced tremendous growth in enrollment, new programs, fundraising and campus facilities while enjoying increased visibility and an enhanced position in the higher education marketplace. Enrollment in Hiram’s undergraduate program has increased by more than 50%. Concurrent with growth in the student body is growth in Hiram’s academic program. Expansion of Hiram’s academic offerings during Chema’s tenure include distinctive majors in nursing and accounting, eight Centers of Distinction built on Hiram’s historic strength in the liberal arts and enhanced and expanded offerings for adult learners through a new program in Professional and Graduate Studies.
The Hiram campus has also been transformed during Chema’s time leading the institution. New facilities include the Lester and Kathy Coleman Sports, Recreation & Fitness Center; a residence hall which serves as the home of Hiram’s new Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurship Center; dining hall; apartment style townhouses; reconstruction of the Mecca Church, home of Hiram’s Garfield Institute for Public Leadership; expansion of the James H. Barrow Biology Field Station; and renovation of existing campus facilities to house a state-of-the-art nursing education facility, the Henry C. Gelbke Fine Arts Center and renovation of Frohring Fine Arts Building to include a black box theatre.
Hiram has seen impressive growth in fundraising support as well, experiencing increases in the number of donors, average gift size, and alumni participation in annual giving. The College has received more than 100 gifts of more than $100,000 during Chema’s presidency. Hiram’s recent Endowment Initiative, a two-year, $10 million effort, exceeded goal eight months early and has currently raised more than $12 million. The campaign is the first phase of a plan to increase the Hiram endowment to $100 million.
“There is a natural ebb and flow in any executive leadership position like a college presidency and I believe I have accomplished the bulk of what I had planned when I became president,” said Chema. “We have established a sustainable model of operations and Hiram is now in a position to not simply survive, but to thrive. The next president will inherit a talented and committed group of faculty & staff, a strong and committed Board of Trustees and an alumni body who are happily connected to their alma mater. I’m enormously proud of what we have accomplished together and know that Hiram is positioned well for the next 100 years.”
Hiram has initiated a national search for a new president. A search committee of faculty, staff and trustees has been formed and is chaired by Trustee Robert Turner, a 1972 graduate of Hiram and Senior Vice President of the Union Pacific Corporation. Plans call for Hiram’s 22nd president to begin on July 1, 2014.
Stark State trustees making expansion into downtown a reality with Cornerstone II for a new satellite center. The state earlier this week approved a $10 million dollar appropriation. Planners say with Stark State College playing a greater role in energy programs on the heels of oil and gas development in the state its a natural fit to create a training hub in the region.
(Stark State College) Stark State College selected Cornerstone II as the site for its new Downtown Canton Satellite Center and Energy Institute, pending approval Monday by the State Controlling Board.
According to Dr. Para M. Jones, president of Stark State College, the Board of Trustees approved the $4.9 million purchase at its meeting on Wednesday night, May 15. Funding for the building, located at 400 Third St. SE in downtown Canton, comes from a $10 million State of Ohio capital appropriation.
The remaining $5.1 million will be used to develop the building and purchase equipment to support current academic programming as well as oil and gas training. An additional $500,000 grant from The Timken Foundation will support equipment purchases.
“The Board of Trustees carefully evaluated numerous downtown locations, taking into consideration the needs of our students and academic programs, room for possible future growth, interstate access and the impact of our satellite center on downtown revitalization,” said Jones. “Cornerstone II meets all these criteria and the location provides excellent access from SR 30, SR 43 and I-77 for our current and future oil and gas partners.
Stark State is quickly becoming a regional training hub for oil and gas as new academic programs are developed under the direction of Kathleen Steere, coordinator of oil and gas programs, in conjunction with an advisory board comprised of community leaders and experts in the oil and gas field. The College currently offers courses that provide basic skills and certifications, as well as one-year certificates and associate degrees. Plans include Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training in the near future.
Stark State is part of a four-college consortium funded through a $14.9 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to develop and implement the first-ever national curriculum for shale oil and gas. The College’s partners in the ShaleNET curriculum are Westmoreland County Community College (PA) and Pennsylvania College of Technology in the Marcellus Shale region, and Navarro (TX) College in the Eagle Ford and Barnett Shale region. Corporate partners include Chevron, Shell, Anadarko Petroleum Corp, Chesapeake Energy, XTO, and Encana. Stark State will receive $2.76 million to provide the ShaleNET credit curriculum in the Utica Shale region.
“There is a strong and growing supply chain around the oil and gas industry in Stark and surrounding counties,” Jones said. “We will continue to work with our business partners in the region to evaluate needs and develop education and training programs to support that supply chain.”
In the energy field, Stark State College has for many years led in programming, training and research partnerships with international and world-renowned companies such as The Timken Company, Lockheed Martin and LG Fuel Cell Systems Inc. (formerly Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems), which has its global headquarters on Stark State’s campus.
In addition, more than 1100 Stark State students are currently enrolled in classes at several locations in downtown Canton, including sites at the Timken Campus. “The efficiency of having one location downtown will allow us to better serve students and develop additional programs to meet workforce demands,” Jones said.
Current occupants of Cornerstone II are Chesapeake Energy and the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC). Chesapeake Energy will locate its Utica shale headquarters in 2014 to the Beck Industrial Commerce Center in Louisville. The College will work with the BWC to relocate its operation.
Stark State plans to begin the design and construction bid process this fall and will begin offering classes in the new satellite center in late 2014 or early 2015.
You don't always get a chance to sit in the same seat as the big dogs.
But with the right bid, you can.
Goodyear's has thousands of items up for auction now that they've moved from their own headquarters into the new building on Innovation Way -- including lobby and executive offices tables, desks and chairs.
It's on display until four this afternoon at Goodyear Hall and the auction starts tomorrow, both in-person and online. Items even include some of the furniture and equipment that made offices a home.
Here's a link to view the items featuring the items Goodyear has up for auction. The executive suite items from what used to be called "Mahogany Row" because of the wood-lines office walls and furniture are in lot number 6-5, 6-6 and 607.
A deal worked out between Governor Kasich and the Bureau of Workers Compensation would return a windfall to local governments.
The rebates, if approved, would return $5.2 million to Summit County overall The highest total going to the City of Akron with $1.3 million then Summit County government with just over one million dollars. Both Akron City Schools and METRO RTA receiving over $700,000 back.
The proposal would rebate a total of nearly $113 million to governments and schools across the state as part of a $1 billion dollar rebate to companies.
A spreadsheet listing the local government rebates is attached to this story using the download link at the bottom.
(Governor Kasich news release) The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) would return $112.8 million to nearly 3,800 local governments and schools under the $1 billion rebate proposed by Governor John Kasich and BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer last week. The proposal also includes a tripling of safety grants and a 4 percent rate reduction for public employers. The rebates and reforms are made possible by larger-than-expected fund balances at BWC generated by strong investment management.
“Our goal is to support the health and safety of Ohio workers while maintaining stable workers’ compensation rates for employers, including local governments,” said Buehrer. “This rebate will return nearly $113 million to local governments and schools who are already seeing the lowest rates in 30 years thanks to recent annual rate reductions.”
Out of the $112.8 million being returned, schools will receive the largest portion of the rebate – approximately $42.5 million – followed by cities receiving $37 million, counties receiving $16.5 million and townships receiving $7.6 million. Some of Ohio’s local governments and schools are self-insured and do not pay into the BWC system and are therefore not impacted by the rebate plan.
The amount each public employer will receive equals approximately 56 percent of their annual workers’ compensation insurance premium. That premium is based on the size of their payroll and is modified by factors such as the type of work their employees do and claims experience. If approved by the BWC Board of Directors on May 30, checks could be mailed as early as June or July.
The proposal will be funded from BWC’s net assets, which have grown to $8.3 billion and are far in excess of the target funding ratio of assets to liabilities established by the BWC board in 2008.
Charges ranging from DUI to felonious assault are levied against a Massillon man after police say he punched one person and tried to run over a couple of others.
According to the Repository, 55-year old David Simon is accused of trying to strike someone with his vehicle on Gail Avenue NE and again on Keupter Boulevard.
Winesses say Simon hit somebody in the face when confronted. Even after being arrested, the newspaper reports that Simon kicked out windows of the police cruiser and threatened to return to a hospital emergency room and kill people who work there.
On the Web:www.cantonrep.com
Prices at the pump taking another tumble in the greater Akron area, falling more than ten cents over the last week according to GasBuddy.com.
The average of $3.50 a gallon of regular unleaded is 14 cents higher than a month ago but six cents cheaper than the same time a year ago.
(GasBuddy.com) Average retail gasoline prices in Akron have fallen 10.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.50/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 372 gas outlets in Akron. This compares with the national average that has increased 6.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.57/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Akron during the past week, prices yesterday were 6.0 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 14.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 5.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 15.4 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
"The national average has perked up again in the last seven days across the nation," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Many motorists remain skeptical of the so called reasons that we blame higher prices on: refinery production and maintenance, tightening supply, and the now completed switch over to EPA mandated cleaner summer gasoline. Tight gasoline supply exists especially along the West Coast, and other factors are coming into play in some of the bigger metro areas where more expensive reformulated gasoline has hit pumps," DeHaan said.
The 14-year old charged as an accomplice in the New Franklin killings of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert remains in juvenile custody pending a hearing on whether he should be tried as an adult.
A hearing today was continued until May 31st by Summit Juvenile Court Judge Linda Teodosio. Jamall Vaughn would not face the death penalty, regardless of whether he's charged as a juvenile or an adult.
18-year old Shawn Ford, Jr. could be sent to Death Row if convicted. His lawyers indicate they will mount an insanity defense but Ford needs to be examined by doctors.
The Schoberts were found beaten to death last month.
The University of Akron's Trustees updating their admissions policy and will use a formula supporters say will help better predict whether freshman will be successful in their first year of college.
The program targets students while still in high school and uses grade point averages weighted more heavily than standardized test scores such as the ACT. GPA scores below a minimum of 2.0 won't be accepted and community college will be recommended.
WAKR interview with Mike Sherman, provost, University of Akron
(University of Akron) The Board of Trustees at The University of Akron has approved a new rule governing admissions that uses a uniquely tailored formula to predict first-year college success for students currently in high school. UA admissions officers will use the formula to determine which applicants to admit and which applicants to steer to community colleges for their first college experience. High school students, parents and guidance counselors can also use the formula to better plan for the future.
What's unique about it? The formula is based on research on former UA student performance to determine the influence of high school grades and standardized test scores on success in the first year of study at UA. It turns out that the very best predictor of a UA freshman's success is high school grade point average (GPA). In fact, the high school GPA is 80% better than an ACT score in predicting first-year college success.
Thus, the hard and fast rules applied by some colleges, like requiring a certain ACT score for admission won't apply at UA. “As part of their admission policies, many universities traditionally have set minimum requirements for high school GPA and for ACT scores,” explains Richard Steiner, PhD, professor of statistics at UA, who helped devise the formula. “If an applicant’s high school GPA is below the minimum, or if the applicant’s ACT score is below the minimum, that applicant will not be accepted for admission. The new policy at the University of Akron breaks with that tradition.”
Steiner explains that the statistical model behind the formula was built to predict students’ first year college GPA from their high school GPA and their ACT scores. The model was constructed based on historical data from recent first-year UA students. Based on their predicted first-year college GPAs, applicants are guided into one of three pathways to academic success.
Students predicted to have first-year college GPAs of 2.50 or higher are considered “College Ready”. Those with predicted college GPAs from 2.00 up to 2.50 are considered “Emergent”. Such students will receive special student support services to help get them on the road to success at the university. Applicants with predicted first-year college GPAs that are less than 2.00 are deemed “Preparatory”. These students are not academically prepared for the rigors of university studies, and it is recommended that these students begin their college careers at a community college to enhance their chances of success and reduce their potential debt.
“The beauty of the model-based approach to determining admission status is that it is flexible,” says Steiner. “For example, students with very good high school GPAs, but who did not test well on the ACT, are likely to succeed in college. However, under the traditional policy, such students may be denied admission, because their ACT scores are below the minimum requirement. The new model-based policy considers both high school GPA and ACT together, and would, we believe, correctly place these students on a pathway to academic success.”
Associate Professor of Law William D. Rich, who serves as Chair of the Faculty Senate at UA, agrees that the new admissions policy is a more rational and flexible approach for students: “Some students who do well in high school and would succeed in college do not perform well on college entrance examinations such as the ACT and SAT. The new policy will allow a high GPA to offset a low ACT score and vice versa. The students we admit under this new policy are more likely to experience academic success at UA, to graduate on time, and accumulate less debt in the process.”
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