Kent businesses brace themselves for challenges ahead amid pandemic

By: Sarah Limas and Chris Ramos The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the City of Kent to confront grim realities surrounding its economic conditions. Revenue for bars, restaurants, and live entertainment has been gutted as businesses face a long road ahead to return to normalcy. There are currently five total vacancies in the downtown Kent area. Gracylane, One Love Yoga, Pizza Fire, Peace Love and Little Donuts, and Twisted Candy Co. have permanently closed their doors.  According to Tom Wilke, Kent city economic development director, a fruit juice bar will be moving into the location where Peace, Love and Little Donuts used to be.  Local popcorn shop, Popped! has relocated to

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Streetsboro City Council Voted in Favor of Improving the Cities Fire Department

Many improvements are coming to the city of Streetsboro after City Council approves multiple new purchases to better the city.  On November 9th, 2020, Streetsboro City Council started the meeting by amending an ordinance that approved a new fire prevention vehicle purchase and new turnout gear for the Streetsboro Fire Department.  “They turned in a 2009 Ford Fusion which is a little car, and they are getting a Ford Explorer which is more of an SUV,” Council Vice President Jon Hannan said. “This is so that when people are coming back from a fire or going out in their gear, they can fit into the front or the back of the car.”  According

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Health department can issue fines under new ordinance passed by Kent City Council

By Sarah Limas and Chris Ramos Kent City Council passed an ordinance during their Oct. 7 meeting, which gives the health commissioner the ability to shut down gatherings that exceed 10 non-household members and issue civil fines. In recent weeks, Kent State has had to quarantine dorms in response to the increase of cases occurring on campus. Meanwhile, Portage County has remained at level three for the risk of COVID-19 spread. There has been concern surrounding off-campus housing and large gatherings, which was previously referred to as being the most significant factor in the increase of new cases involving people under the age of 29 by Gov. Mike DeWine.  In

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How CARES Funds Helped Kent Community

According to The United States Treasury, “the CARES Act provides assistance for State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund.”  The City of Kent is an entitlement community, which means that the City receives a direct allocation of federal money to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) due to annually low-income numbers.  CARES Act funds were being provided to any entitlement community that was already receiving annual CDBG money; however, these funds are called Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus

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2020 Third-Party Candidates on the Issues

As we approach the 2020 Presidential Election, people are still torn on who to vote for in November.  The election has been primarily focused on the Democratic and Republican nominees, Joe Biden and Donald Trump; however, there will be additional third-party candidates on the ballot in November.  There will be a total of eight third-party candidates on different state ballots across the US: “I totally get why people are voting for third-party candidates this year, especially with both sides being so controversial,” Katie Doubell, local Vendor Account Manager, said. “I personally don’t have much knowledge on the third-parties this year so I will be voting for Biden.”  According to Ballotpedia, only

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DORA’S Cannot Keep Local Business Alive This Winter

The Dora, which is a designated outdoor refreshment area, was in a 90 day trial period before the city of Kent decided to keep,  modify, or potentially stop the Dora. According to Economic Development Director Tom Wilke, the city has agreed to continue the Dora indefinitely.  “We’ve been talking about this for the last couple of years or so,” Wilke said. “Some people were hesitant about it. That it might create more opportunities for miners to drink, or there might be increased rowdyism.”  The COVID-19 pandemic gave the City of Kent the push they needed to follow through because they felt this would benefit local businesses and give local people the

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Stow City Schools Superintendent Bratton weighs in on how k-12 schools are handling COVID-19

Students may have had a chance to relax but Superintendent of the Stow Munroe City School District, Tom Bratton, Assistant Superintendent Kristen Prough, along with most of the districts teaching staff did not get much of a break this summer.  They were too busy restructuring entire schools and curriculums to prepare for this upcoming school year taking place in the midst of a global pandemic. Throughout this Q&A Bratton and Prough discuss the ways they have been navigating their way through these uncertain times.  How has the transition towards a partially and fully remote school year gone so far?  Bratton: We certainly started a lot differently this year and backed our

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