Akron company turns scrap into fuel, KSU studies crime hotspots and good news for Ohio jobs: News Around Your Area

Rebecca Reis | Web Editor Published:

Here are some of today's top headlines from around the area, including an Akron company that will turn plastic scrap into fuel, Kent State conducts study on northeast Ohio crime hotspots and Ohio has good news on job growth.

OHIO JOBS: The Labor Department reported today that Ohio had the second-highest number of jobs gained in the nation in January, according to the Plain Dealer. Ohio's second place ranking came from an increase of 16,700 jobs in January, beaten only by Texas which gained 33,900 jobs but almost doubling the third-place Arizona, which had 8,900. The Ohio Department of Job and Family services reported that Ohio's jobless rate was down to 6.9 percent from 7.1 percent in December. Although this is good news for the state, January was the 15th consecutive month in which job growth was below national average. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.

TALLMADGE CITY SCHOOLS: Starting in the 2014-15 school year, the Tallmadge City School District will institute a new gradating scale to make students more competitive when seeking financial aid and applying to post-secondary schooling, according to the Tallmadge Express. The previous scale awarded an 'A +' for scores in the 99 to 100 percent range, and 'A' for 95 to 98.99 and an 'A-' for 93-94.99, while the new scale will award an 'A+' for scores in the 98-100 percent range, an 'A' for 93-97 and an 'A-' for 90-92. The district gathered information from other school districts, teachers, guidance counselors, students and parents to make the decision. The new grade school also weighs harder course tracks like advanced placement and honors to reward students taking on more difficult coursework. Click here to read more at tallmadgeexpress.com.

CRIME RESEARCH: Kent State University researchers are conducting a study on urban crime hotspots in northeast Ohio, funded by a $474,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, according to the Plain Dealer. The researchers will conduct interviews with law enforcement, neighborhood residents, community leaders and ex-offenders to determine an area's crime potential at the micro level, going as far as identifying which blocks, corners and alleyways are likely to see crime. The study will be conducted for two-and-a-half years and will use mapping technology to model the hotspots. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.

DAVID LEE MORGAN JR.: Former sports writer and author David Lee Morgan Jr. is partnering with Summit County Job and Family Services and the Children's Services Board to motivate children preparing to phase out of the foster care system, according to the Beacon Journal. The program called MVP, Most Valuable Person Youth Character and Literacy, will offer 17- and 18-year-old foster children literacy and writing workshops as well as skills development and mentoring, Morgan developed the program based on Coach Jim Tressel's Winners Manual at Youngstown State University, although Tressel said Morgan took the values in the Winners Manual, built on them and created something better. Morgan will be paid $64,500 to run the program starting Wednesday to June 30, 2015. Click here to read more at ohio.com.

VADXX ENERGY: A startup company called Vadxx Energy is setting up a plant in Akron that will convert scrap plastic into liquid fuel after about eight years of research and development, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The plant will transform 60 tons of plastic a day — about three semi-trailer's worth — that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill into 300 barrels of petrochemical products that can be used for diesel fuel and lubricants. The plant will melt the plastic and collect the vapor from that process, condensing it back into liquid hydrocarbons. The Vadxx plant will be on the corner of East Waterloo and Kelly Avenue. Groundbreaking is planned for April. Click here to read more at ohio.com.

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