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Morning Headlines: Youngstown Trucking Company Abruptly Closes, KSU to Announce Next President

photo of KSU President Beverly Warren
Kent State President Beverly Warren

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 29:

  • Youngstown trucking company abruptly closes;
  • Kent State to make decision on next president;
  • Howe Avenue construction begins;
  • Former Cathedral Buffet to be sold at sheriff's auction;
  • $1M more allotted for law enforcement body armor grants;
  • State aims to improve frequency of nursing home inspections;
  • State buying 118 acres to expand state nature preserve;
  • Ohio law cracking down on payday loan industry takes effect;
  • US EPA awards funds to help protect public drinking water;

Youngstown trucking company abruptly closes
Youngstown trucking company Falcon Transportation abruptly ceased operations Saturday, leaving nearly 580 people without jobs. The Vindicator reportswithout warning, employees received an email saying Falcon is going out of business and to stop all current work, effective immediately. Some believe the closure is the latest fallout of the General Motors Lordstown plant shutting down in March. Congressman Tim Ryan of Niles called the news heartbreaking and called for national policies that would create new jobs. James Dignan, the president of the Youngstown regional chamber, said city leaders will help Falcon employees find new jobs at other trucking companies in the area.

Kent State to make decision on next president
The Kent State University Board of Trustees will meet Monday morning and is expected to make a decision on the university's next president. President Beverly Warren came to Kent State in 2014 and announced she will be stepping down this summer. The university recruited Russell Reynolds Associates in New York to head the search, which was closed to the public and names of the finalists were not released. The trustees plan to announce the new president before Warren leaves.

Howe Avenue construction begins
Road work begins Monday onHowe Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls. The first phase of the construction will close Howe between Main Street and Route 8 for the next month. Drivers can still get to businesses in the area by taking the Tallmadge Avenue exit and then using Home Avenue. There will be one-lane traffic in each direction on Main Street at Howe Avenue. Portions of that intersection will close throughout the summer, starting next month. The second phase will begin in June for pavement replacement and will last until October.

Former Cathedral Buffet to be sold at sheriff's auction
The former Cathedral Buffet, now known as the Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, will be sold at the Summit County's sheriff's auction in June. The Beacon Journal reports owners of the site Winston Broadcasting Network Inc. defaulted on a $3.6 million loan from Ravenna-based Beck Energy Corp in 2017. A judge ruled in favor of Beck last year and gave the company permission to foreclose on the property. Beck will receive the proceeds of the sale. The property has an appraised value of $4.3 million. Cathedral Buffet is adjacent to Ernest Angley Ministries and Grace Cathedral.

$1M more allotted for law enforcement body armor grants
The state is making more money available for grants to pay for body armor for Ohio law enforcement officers amid high demand. The Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) is pledging an additional $1 million in grants for the protective gear for law enforcement agencies that have pending applications or plan to apply. That puts the total funding at $3.5 million for the program created last year. Agencies can get up to $40,000 to buy protective vests with a local match of 25%. BWC said it has approved funding for 335 law enforcement agencies so far.

State aims to improve frequency of nursing home inspections
The Ohio Department of Health is seeking funding to hire more nursing home inspectors and improve the frequency of its inspections. The Dayton Daily News reports a state audit found Ohio's average time between nursing home inspections was 13.5 months for the 2018 fiscal year. The federal guideline is 12.9 months or less between inspections. The health department notes it has made progress since 2015, when Ohio's average was 14.4 months. It also prioritizes quickly conducting inspections that involve complaints of someone being harmed or at immediate risk of harm. The department's director told lawmakers last month it's seeking more funding for inspectors in the next state budget, which they're currently deliberating.

State buying 118 acres to expand state nature preserve
Ohio's Department of Natural Resources said 118 acres that it's purchasing to expand a nature preserve near Lake Erie will help protect more than 700,000 plants of the federally-threatened Lakeside daisy species. The department is spending $1 million on the land at Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve on the Marblehead Peninsula, south of Kelly’s Island.  The preserve is home to the only natural population of the plant left in Ohio.

Ohio law cracking down on payday loan industry takes effect
A new law cracking down on what were some of the nation's highest payday loan rates has taken effect in Ohio. Signed in July by then-Gov. John Kasich, the law took effect Saturday. It caps interest rates and limits fees charged by the short-term lending industry. It also bars loans with terms of less than 30 days. Payments on loans of 90 days or less can't exceed 7% of a borrower's monthly net income, or 6 percent of the gross income. Fees and interest can't be more than 60% of the loan's original principal amount under the new rules. The payday lending industry has warned the law will put them out of business and leave those without traditional banking options without access to credit in emergencies.

US EPA awards funds to help protect public drinking water
The U.S. EPA has awarded nearly $725,000 to Ohio to protect public drinking water systems. Federal officials said the funding will help protect more than 4,400 public water systems in Ohio serving nearly a total of 11 million people daily. The U.S. EPA said the funding is the second installment of a $1.2 million award to Ohio in 2019. The money will allow Ohio EPA to conduct regular sanitary surveys of public water systems and provide technical assistance to system managers and operators. It also will be used for enforcement and to ensure systems keep consumers informed of water quality

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