The Stark County unemployment rate for March is down when compared with figures from February. But, that piece of good news is tempered somewhat. The jobless rate last month in Stark County was 6.3%, compared with 7% in February and 7.9% in March 2013. The size of the workforce in Stark County last month was nearly 184,000. In February, the workforce in the county was estimated at 185,600. The State of Ohio says the number of Stark County workers without a job last month was 11,600.
Canton City Council members are looking at hiring a consultant to develop a comprehensive plan for the city's future at a cost of $350,000. The plan would address the direction the city should take. One of the Council members in favor of the idea is Ward 8 councilman Edmond Mack. Appearing on Tuesday's Ron Ponder Show, Councilman Mack said it is important to have a comprehensive plan in place. It's believed the last comprehensive plan the city of Canton had was back in the 1960s.
Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel is among three finalists in the University of Akron's search for a new president. Tressel has been an administrator at the University of Akron for two years. He took the job after being forced out at Ohio State following a scandal that led to NCAA sanctions. University trustees says the finalists include provosts from two other schools - Scott Scarborough of the University of Toledo and Ronald Nykiel of the University of Maryland - Eastern Shore. Trustees say each finalist will spend one day next week interviewing with advisory groups. Whoever is chosen will replace President Luis Proenza, who is leaving his position in June.
An extension to the Hoover Trail was discussed by Stark County Park District officials during a public meeting last night. The extension would travel south from Glenwood Street NW before returning north to connect to the North Canton YMCA, which is about two miles. Portions of the trail would consist of crushed limestone and asphalt off roads, designated lanes of streets and widened sidewalks. Officials say it is important to designate areas of the streets with signs because the area is so busy. Last year the Stark County Regional Planning Commission set aside more than 700-thousand dollars in federal funds to begin constructing the trail in July 2016. The park district also set aside roughly 178-thousand dollars. Construction would take about take nine months.
Joseph Udeck, 70, of Plain Township, is accused of conspiring to launder money generated from an illegal sports bookmaking operation, according to court papers filed in the case. Udeck has been charged with conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and the transmission of wagering information, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office. The charges are part of an information filed in the case, not an indictment, which often signals that the defendant is cooperating with prosecutors. Udeck conducted a sports bookmaking business, accepted wagers on sporting events, including NFL football, NCAA football, NBA basketball and NCAA basketball between 2000 and 2011, according to court records. Udeck used offshore Internet gambling services to record and process bets placed by others, investigators allege. Prior to Internet gambling services, Udeck used telephones, both hard lines and cellular, to conduct gambling-related business, the records say. Udeck is also accused of using illegal gambling proceeds for living expenses, including credit card bills and mortgage payments and property taxes on his home. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District is seeking Udeck’s forfeiture of $120,000.
Sobering news concerning the number of hungry adults and children in Stark County. On Tuesday, the results of a survey completed by the group Feeding America showed that over 57,000 adults in Stark County area deal with food insecurity annually. That's 15% of the local population. Plus, the number of hungry children is even higher, at 24.3%. Shelly Hinton at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank says there are a number of causes of hunger in Stark County. Hinton says these new numbers will help policy makers, community leaders and individual involved in hunger relief to develop strategies to eliminate hunger in the Stark County area.
The Plain Township Fire Department thinks they may have found the cause of a Monday afternoon house fire that took place on Zircon Street Northeast. Fire investigators believe that a lit candle that fell into a clothes basket on the second floor of the home may have sparked the smoke and flames. The fire caused an estimated $125,000 in damage to the home and its contents. A woman who lived in the home was transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment of injuries received when she tried to put out the fire herself.