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Here are some of today's top headlines from around the area, including a threat from Akron's mayor to shut off Hudson water, a new four-legged officer at the Kent Police Department and criticisms of open enrollment in Akron.
OPEN ENROLLMENT: A study conducted by the Akron Beacon Journal of more than 8,000 urban students who are in the state's open enrollment program has revealed that the program has created racial, educational and economic gaps between students in Akron, as students who use the program perform better on tests, are twice as likely to be white and seven times more likely not to be poor, according to the Beacon Journal. The program, which allows students to attend schools across district lines, has been criticized for moving students and funding from urban schools to rural areas and creating a gap between children who can afford transportation to those other districts and those who can't. Participation has more than doubled in the past 10 years from 33,395 students participating in 2003 to 71,827 in 2013. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
CLEVELAND HOPKINS: Though United Airlines' decision earlier this year to cut about two-thirds of its flights and pull its hub out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was initially met with despair, Director Ricky Smith said in a panel discussion last week that the loss of the airline will open the door for "ultra-low-cost carriers" to move into the space, according to the Plain Dealer. Smith said this change has already begun for airlines like Frontier, which added new nonstop flights from Cleveland to Orlando, Seattle and Trenton, N.J., in February. United announced the cut to its employees Feb. 1, saying the Cleveland hub was unprofitable, and will still offer 72 peak-day flights and 20 destinations served by non-stop flights out of Cleveland. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.
YSU PRES: Youngstown State University President Randy J. Dunn could be out of office by the end of March but could result in a presidential shuffle, according to the Vindicator. Dunn, who announced his resignation Feb. 17 for the presidency of Southern Illinois University after only 7 months as president, is supposed to resign Aug. 17 according to his contract, but said he would leave earlier if a replacement was named and trustees wanted him to go. Sudershan Garg, chairman of YSU trustees, said he thinks Dunn may leave by the end of the month. If Dunn leaves early, Ikram Khawaja, provost and vice president for academic affairs, would be named interim president until his retirement June 30. AGB Search, who performed last year's presidential search that named Dunn, is performing a new search for free in light of Dunn's quick presidency. Trustees are meeting Wednesday to to discuss the departure date. Click here to read more at vindy.com.
KENT K-9: The Kent Police Department will start training its newest member, a 20-month-old German Shepherd named Iron, on March 17 to be part of the department's second K-9 unit with his handler Officer Dominic Poe, according to the Daily Kent Stater. The six-week program will train Iron in obedience training and specialize in patrol, handler protection, tracking and utility, which means he'll be able to detect marijuana, crack and cocaine, heroin and meth as well as perform searches. Iron, who was born in Czechoslovakia and picked by Poe from a group of 12 dogs in Ohio on Feb. 17, will spend the first few weeks adjusting to his new home with Poe and Poe's other German Shepherd, Mike. Click here to read more at kentwired.com.
CRASH RESPONSE TEAM: The Tallmadge Police Department is now a member of the Summit Metro Crash Response Team, a group of area police departments that provide assistance to each other for complex crash investigations, according to the Tallmadge Express. The Tallmadge Police Department will be able to call upon the response team in crashes of more than two vehicles, multiple crashes in an area or crashes that result in fatalities, and in return two crash investigators from Tallmadge will help other departments when they need assistance. Membership in the response team is free and effective for five years, with the option to extend the membership for an additional three years. Other area police departments on the team include Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Twinsburg, Macedonia, Stow and others. Click here to read more at tallmadgeexpress.com.
HUDSON WATER: Akron Mayor Donald Plusquellic threatened to shut off water for Hudson residents and businesses in a letter to Hudson Mayor William Currin on Feb. 7, unless the city agrees to pay 33 percent of income tax on new businesses served by Akron's water, according to the Hudson Hub-Times. Hudson City Council, disagreeing with the terms of the agreement, did not sign off on the 9t last year, and instead sent Plusquellic an alternate agreement. Plusquellic responded by refusing new water connections in the area and new hydrants on Middleton Road. Council-member Alex Kelemen said he wants to withdraw from the Summit County Job Creation and Retention and Tax Revenue Sharing agreement to prompt the county to help negotiations between Hudson and Akron regarding the water agreement. Click here to read more at hudsonhubtimes.com.