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00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69ef90000WKSU undertakes a year-long examination of entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio with a 360-degree look at business creation in the region and examine the resources available to start-ups, the opportunities, and pitfalls in the local business climate. The project includes long-form features as part of WKSU's ongoing Exploradio series as well as entrepreneurship-themed news reports.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69efb0000The Entrepreneurship Beat is produced with generous support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Burton D. Morgan Foundation champions the entrepreneurial spirit, contributes to a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, and leads in the burgeoning field of entrepreneurship education. Read more about the project HERE.

Morning Headlines: Hall of Fame Village Confirms Merger; Timken Purchases German Company

Concept Illustration of Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, September 17:

  • Akron Public Schools needs 20 teachers;
  • Hall of Fame Village confirms merger;
  • Judge allows destruction of expired Ohio lethal drug supply;
  • Timken Company to purchase German-based BEKA;
  • Cleveland City Council approves two home improvement programs;
  • Construction on Route 8, bridge repairs;
  • Cleveland to launch crowfunding small business loan program;
  • Cleveland emergency medical employees allege discrimination;
  • Man pleads not guilty in 2 slayings in Ohio in the 1970s;
  • Gas prices increase after attack on Saudi Arabia oil refineries;

Hall of Fame Village confirms merger
Canton's Johnson Controls Pro Football Hall of Fame Village is finalizing a merger valued at nearly $400 million. The deal with Gordon Pointe Acquisition Corp. was proposed last month to help the Village repay debt and finish the final phase of the project that includes building ballfields, an indoor waterpark and a hotel. The combined company will adopt the name Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company and will be publically-traded on the NASDAQ.  The Village is slated to be completed by 2022.

Judge allows destruction of expired Ohio lethal drug supply
A federal judge is allowing an Ohio prison pharmacist to destroy the state's supply of expiredlethal injection drugs. The decision by a U.S. Magistrate judge in Dayton follows the state's request to eliminate the three-drug supply. The state's request was unopposed by lawyers representing death row inmates. Executions have been on hold in Ohio while the prisons system looks for new supplies of lethal drugs. Gov. Mike DeWine, who opposed using expired drugs for executions, has ordered a new lethal injection protocol.

Timken Company to purchase German-based BEKA
Timken Company has inked a deal to purchase a German company that makes automatic lubrication machinery. The Canton-based bearings maker is acquiring BEKA Lubrication. The $165-million deal must still be approved by German regulators. BEKA makes machines that serve the wind turbine, food and beverage, and rail industries. Timken said the deal allows it to expand into related markets. The acquisition will make Timken the second largest producer of automatic lubrication systems.

Akron Public Schools needs 20 teachers
Akron Public Schools is still looking to fill 20 teacher positions three weeks into the school year. The Beacon Journal reportsmany of the vacancies are due to late retirements and resignations. More positions have also been added because of increased enrollment at some schools. The positions are temporarily being filled by substitutes and retired instructors.

Cleveland City Council approves two home improvement programs
Cleveland City Council has approved two new programs aimed at helping residents fix up their homes. Council set aside more than $1.5 million to hire 14 community engagement specialists to evaluate properties, cover the costs of paint and supplies for home exteriors, and pay workers hired by community development corporations. Homeowners would be able to get up to $1,500 for paint and supplies — $750 for tenants. The programs are expected to launch by the end of the year.

Construction on Route 8, bridge repairs
Roadwork in Summit County is ramping up even as summer winds down. Lanes in both directions will close this week on Route 8 near Howe Avenue and the exit ramp in the northbound lane at Portage Trail will be closed for bridge repairs. Lanes in both directions along I-76 from Gilchrist road to Tallmadge road will be closed for concrete repair. Most of the closures will be overnight as crews rush to wrap up the road-work season.

Cleveland to launch crowfunding small business loan program
Cleveland is partnering with two groups to help small businesses find start-up funding through crowdsourcing. Kiva Cleveland ais  partnership with Columbus-based Economic Community Development Institute and the San Francisco-based nonprofit Kiva. People will be able to sign up to become lenders through an online portal starting Friday. The average loan is expected to be $5,000 offered at 0% interest with no fees. The model for the program is being used in 14 other U.S. cities.

Cleveland emergency medical employees sue city alleging discrimination
Five black captains in Cleveland's emergency medical services division have sued the city alleging racial discrimination. The lawsuit accuses the city and its EMS Commissioner of treating the black captains differently than white coworkers. The officers said they've been punished for conduct such as being late to work while white workers weren't punished, that white counterparts are given better shifts. The officers also allege retaliation over their complaints. A city spokesman told Cleveland.com the city had not yet received the lawsuit.

Man pleads not guilty in 2 slayings in Ohio in the 1970s
A man charged with murder in the slayings of two women in Tallmadge in the 1970s has pleaded not guilty. Gustave Sapharas, 75, is charged in the stabbing deaths of Louise Bentz, 18, in 1970 and Loretta Jean Davis, 21, in 1975. A judge set Sapharas' bond at $5 million.

Gas prices increase after attack on Saudi Arabia oil refineries
Drivers will notice an uptick in gas prices this week. After an attack on oil facilities in Saudia Arabia over the weekend, AAA said gas went up 10 cents in Ohio to an average of nearly $2.67 a gallon today. It's as high as $2.89 in Akron. Prices are expected to continue to rise as refineries begin to rebuild. Gas prices are still lower than this time last year, which was $2.76 a gallon in Ohio.

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