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Morning Headlines: Akron Teachers Join Parma Strike, ACLU Sues Over Bedford Nuisance Ordinance

A scorecard of Akron's economic status shows some positive signs.
A scorecard of Akron's economic status shows some positive signs.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, Feb. 21: 

  • Akron teachers join Parma strike;
  • ACLU sues over Bedford nusiance ordinance;
  • DeWine to propose 18-cent gas tax increase;
  • Horrigan unveils new implementations for Akron in speech;
  • Report: Northeast Ohio's infrastructure in same shape as the country;

Akron teachers join Parma strike

Protestors in Akron joined striking teachers in Parma Wednesday calling for better working conditions at a charter school specializing in children with learning problems. The Beacon Journal reports that a handful of union teachers picketed outside Summit Academy’s Akron headquarters. Around 20 teachers and support staff went on strike this week at the charter chain’s Parma location. Teachers are calling for the school to reduce class sizes and hire more teacher’s aides. Summit Academy operates more than two dozen schools across Ohio specializing in students with autism and other learning disorders.

ACLU sues over Bedford nuisance ordinance

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio(ACLU) and the have filed a lawsuit alleging Bedford's nuisance ordinance is unconstitutional. ACLU claims the ordinance is discriminatory, and says that the city used it against a black woman after she called to complain about a loud neighbor. After she was issued a citation, her landlord evicted her. Bedford is one of 21 cities in Northeast Ohio with a nuisance ordinance. Bedford city officials declined to comment, but say that the ACLU never addressed the issue with them prior to the lawsuit.

DeWine to propose 18-cent gas tax increase

Gov. Mike DeWine is set to propose an 18 cent per gallon gas tax increase today, according to the Columbus Dispatch. That would be a 64 percent increase from the current 28 cent per gallon tax. If approved, people who drive 15,000 miles annually would pay an extra $90 a year. It would generate over $1 billion annually for road construction and maintenance. The Ohio Department of Transportation recently said there's an impending funding crisis. The proposal will be voted on in late March.

Horrigan unveils new implementations for Akron in speech

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigangave his State of the City speechWednesday, unveiling new proposals to help improve quality of life. He unveiled a plan for an eight-week "Midnight Basketball" mentoring program. It’ll aim to motivate and educate 80 young men. Horrigan also is adding the city to the AARP's Network of Age-Friendly States and Community. This will help create walkable streets, transportation and opportunities for seniors to participate in community activities.

Report: Northeast Ohio's infrastructure in same shape as the country

Anew report by the American Society of Civil Engineers shows that Northeast Ohio’s infrastructure is in about the same sorry shape as the rest of the country. The report gave both the region and the nation a D-plus rating. The report includes assessments of roads, bridges, dams, and other infrastructure. The engineering society’s Cleveland Section spent two years reviewing Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties – in addition to below average ratings for bridges, and drinking water systems, they gave D grades for energy infrastructure and schools, and a D+ for wastewater pipes and treatment plants.

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Amanda Rabinowitz
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition, which airs on WKSU each weekday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene.
Lydia Taylor is a news intern for WKSU. She is a junior multimedia journalism major at Kent State University with experience in print and visual journalism. She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism. During the school year, Taylor works for Kent State Student Media in The Kent Stater and KentWired. She is currently an assigning editor and a reporter in the Kent State University Student Media Newsroom for the spring semester.