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Morning Headlines: Akron Advances Primary Election Issue; Massillon Reaches Hospital Agreement

photo of Akron Beacon Journal

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 5:

  • Akron voters to decide moving primary election;
  • Tennessee-based company to operate closed Massillon health center;
  • Two icelandic air careers cancel flights from Cleveland;
  • Two-tiered housing exists in Cleveland after financial crisis;
  • Toldeo police get new body cameras;
  • Metro RTA announces new executive director;
  • Cooling stations open amid heat wave;

Akron voters to decide moving primary election

The Akron City Council said it will let voters decide whether or not to move the city's primary election from September to May. Council voted in special session Tuesday to put the issue on the Nov. 6 ballot. The primary date change has been backed by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and the majority of city council. If the issue passes, the new election date would start in 2019 when Akron elects a mayor and all city council members. The Beacon Journal reports all council members voted yes to put the issue on the ballot, with one member abstaining and two other members absent for the vote.

Tennessee-based company to operate closed Massillon health center

The city of Massillon has named Tennessee-based Paramount Matrix Healthcare to operate the closed Affinity Medical Health Center. The pick was announced during City Council's regular meeting. The Repository reports the shuttered city hospital will be renamed the Massillon Regional Medical Center. And a new limited liability company will run the hospital. Officials said upgraded emergency room, urgent care, radiology and laboratory services could be started within a months of formally reaching a deal with the city. The city council is expected to vote on a proposed agreement next week.

Two icelandic air careers cancel flights from Cleveland

Two Icelandic air carriers have cancelled their winter flights from Cleveland. Cleveland.com reports Icelandair is ending its service from Cleveland Hopkins Oct. 31 and resume service on Mar. 22. Wow Air is suspending its service in late October, but it is unclear when its flights will resume. Both companies launched flights from Cleveland Hopkins to Iceland in May. The service marked Cleveland's return to trans-Atlantic flights after nearly 10 years.

Two-tiered housing exists in Cleveland after financial crisis

A report from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy claims that a two-tiered housing market still exists in Cleveland 10 years after the financial crisis. The report shows even as regional house prices return to their pre-collapse highs from before 2008, long-time homeowners and residents in poor, largely minority communities are being left behind. The Plain Dealer reports that median sale prices in 11 city neighborhoods in 2017 were less than a third of what they were in 2005. A senior policy adviser at the Western Reserve Land Conservancy said that the foreclosure crisis can't be deemed over in Cuyahoga County when residential problems continue to burden significant portions of the county.

Toldeo police get new body cameras

Toledo police have selected a new company to provide body cameras after technical problems with previous cameras led to their return. Officials said Irvine, California-based Getac will provide 305 body cameras for all field officers. The Blade reports the cost will be covered by a $228,000 federal Justice Assistance Grant. The old cameras had compatibility problems when downloading footage and storing data. It is unclear when all officers will have the body cameras.

Metro RTA announces new executive director

Metro RTA announced this week that its hired it's next executive director. Dawn Distler, former director of the Knoxville Area Transit in Tennessee will start Sept. 24. The Beacon Journal reports Distler started her career as a bus driver with the then-Metro Regional Transit Authority in Akron. The two sides are reportedly still negotiating contract details. Metro RTA fired previous Executive Director Richard Enty in January.

Cooling stations open amid heat wave

The city of Akron is providing cooling stations for those seeking relief from the heat. The city has four community cooling centers open today. Plus the district is offering libraries for air conditioned relief. Forecasts show temperatures beginning to drop on Thursday. Several schools in districts across Northeast Ohio are closed or delayed due to heat again Wednesday.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.