Here are some of today's top headlines from around the area, including PRIDE! Kent requests an end to wrestler Sam Wheeler's suspension, an upcoming deadline for ThistleDown Racino to move to the Akron-Canton area and University of Akron has funding problems (again).
THISTLEDOWN: Rock Ohio Caesars has until June to decide whether to move the ThistleDown Racino from Cleveland to the Akron-Canton area but officials aren't revealing what their decision might be, according to the Beacon Journal. The racino, which renovated the thoroughbred track and started offering video lottery terminals in April 2013, is currently located between the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland and the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, but has a deal with the state allowing it to move to within a 12-mile radius of Akron-Canton Airport in Green. Rock Ohio also agreed to pay the state $25 million to move the racino, on top of costs to build a new facility. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
FISH FRY: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency posted a reminder Thursday to limit consumption of fish caught within state waters to one meal a week, even those bought from restaurants and grocery stores, according to The Plain Dealer. This year's Ohio Fish Consumption Advisory is especially restrictive on fish from sections of the Black River in Lorain County and the Rocky River in Cuyahoga County. Among other variations to this restriction, the EPA notes that two meals a week are allowed for yellow perch — good news for fish fry lovers. The advisory also has a "do not eat" list for channel catfish and common carp in the Portage Canal, Summit Lake and others. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.
AKRON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Akron Children's Hospital announced Thursday that it has raised $25.2 million in fundraising for its ongoing $180 million campus expansion project, which will include a new neonatal intensive care unit and emergency department, according to the Beacon Journal. The plan is to raise $60 million in donations for the project, and dedicate $10 million of that to help renovate Ronald McDonald House of Akron to expand its short term housing for patient families. The addition is set to complete as early as March 2015 and expects to between 175 to 200 new employees. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON: Provost Mike Sherman and Chief Financial Officer David Cummins told University of Akron faculty and staff this week to expect reductions in administrative costs and efforts to increase revenue to make up a $15 million expected gap between revenue and expenses, according to the Beacon Journal. About 95 percent of the university's general fund comes from enrollment, and UA expects an enrollment drop of 4 percent this fall. Cummins provided the deans and vice presidents with estimated budgets with a 6 percent cut and asked them to see if they could make it work. This is the third year in a row that UA has had to adjust budgets to make up for funding problems. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
AKRON BREAK-IN: A Barberton man was arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges of breaking and entering, criminal trespassing and gross sexual imposition after Akron police say he entered Akron's National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM School, stole two laptop computers and two cameras and allegedly fondled a 12-year-old girl, according to the Beacon Journal. Samson W. Peterson, 21, of Jefferson Avenue in Barberton, reportedly entered the middle school by walking through the locked front entrance doors as a vendor was leaving at around 1:30 p.m. Two resource officers were at the school giving a training session to students when Peterson allegedly entered the building, and placed the school on lockdown as they searched for and detained him. Peterson has previously been arrested for cocaine possession, breaking and entering and underage possession of alcohol. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
SAM WHEELER: PRIDE! Kent — Kent State's campus LGBTQ group — has requested that Kent State lift the suspension on sophomore wrestler Sam Wheeler, who was suspended indefinitely in February over antigay remarks he made on his Twitter account about potential NFL draftee Michael Sam, according to the Daily Kent Stater. In a letter drafted Feb. 24, PRIDE! Kent wrote that Wheeler's suspension should be lifted in favor of more diversity training, in the belief that "this suspension may feed into even greater separation of social circles which could and should be meeting together and collaborating together." The letter was sent to athletic director Joel Nielsen and others in the athletics department, as well as the offices of The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Center for Student Involvement and Greg Jarvie, the vice president of enrollment management and student affairs. Although PRIDE! Kent said it received a response from Nielsen saying he appreciated the offer. Wheeler remains suspended for this weekend's MAC wrestling championships. Click here to read more at kentwired.com.