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Here are some of today's top headlines from around the area, including a name change for Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, elections officials question little-known Democratic primary candidate Larry Ealy's signatures and an Affordable Care Act loophole affecting some Ohio families.
METRO PARKS: The Metro Parks, Serving Summit County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to change the lengthy park district name to simply Summit Metro Parks, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The name was pitched by Commissioner Jane Bond, who called the name "a little unfortunate," "a little lengthy" and "dramatically challenged." The name will change pending a petition to be filed with Summit County Probate Judge Elinor Marsh Stormer and after checking with the Ohio Secretary of State's Office that the new name is available. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.
SUMMIT COUNTY RAISES: Three top Summit County administrators received 10 percent pay raises last month, while many other county employees received 1.5 percent or less increases, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Summit County Executive Russ Pry awarded the 10 percent pay increases to Chief of Staff Jason Dodson, Department of Environmental Services Director Michael Weant and Law Director Deb Matz, whose annual salaries increased from $100,796 to $11,280. Job and Family Services Director Patricia Divoky received a raise of 3 percent. Pry said the increases were raised to the same salary as the other county directors. Raises do not have to be cleared through City Council. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.
LARRY EALY: Though much less well-known than his opponent Edward FitzGerald, Larry Ealy, a former tow-truck operator from Dayton, gained the 1,000 signatures needed to run in the May Democratic primary against party-backed FitzGerald for the governor seat by going door-to-door with his candidacy petitions, though some are questioning the credibility of those signatures, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Elections officials in Montgomery County are seeking an investigation for possible fraudulent signatures. Ealy said that it is time for a an African-American governor, alleging that a combination of Jewish leaders and the Ohio Democratic prevented a black governor from being elected in 2006, and claims he has been an unfair target of law enforcement due to the disappearance of his young son, who he says he will find when he goes to Cleveland during his campaign. Click here to read more at Cleveland.com.
SNOW DAYS: While Ohio elementary and high schools struggle to figure out how to make up for calamity days, some Kent State students are struggling to make up for missed classes due to snow days, according to the Daily Kent Stater. Kent State has already closed for a total of 2.5 days this year, and there is not a university equivalent of calamity days. University spokesman Eric Mansfield said that it is a good thing that the snow days happened early in the semester, giving professors and students the opportunity to rework their syllabus. Some students said the days off were a good time to relax while other students said that they are missing valuable class time and feedback from their instructors that they would have had otherwise. Click here to read more at KentWired.com.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT LOOPHOLE: A loophole in the Affordable Care Act is blocking gay families in states like Ohio, where same-sex marriage is banned, from getting family insurance coverage with tax subsidies which make insurance more affordable, according to The Plain Dealer. Although it is illegal for insurance companies who offer coverage through the Affordable care Act to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, determining what constitutes a family falls to individual states. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says they are working to fix the problem by 2015. Click here to read more at Cleveland.com.