CARES Act Funding to support small businesses during pandemic

On Oct. 23, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor John Husted announced a funding package meant to help organizations across Ohio that have been struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act funding will total $419.5 million and is divided amongst several different agencies across Ohio; this includes $50 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to 47 different Community Action Agencies meant to provide rent, mortgage, and water assistance to Ohioans dating back to Apr. 1, 2020. $37.5 million will be allocated to the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund, which will help restaurants and bars who have struggled to stay in business due to lockdowns related to

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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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Local Law Enforcement Actively Working To Expand Diversity

By Becca Sagaris, Shelby Reeves and Sara Al Harthi KENT, Ohio — The Merriam-Webster definition of diversity is “the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.”  Diversity in general in any workplace environment is important to ensure inclusion among all people involved, both staff and community. It is especially important in law enforcement to decrease the opportunity to abuse their power and increase their understanding of the people they serve, improving law enforcement’s relationship with the community. “Diversity within our department means having different groups well-represented within our agency,” Michael Lewis, the Administrative

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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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Kent City Council passes emergency motion banning mass gatherings

Kent City Council’s Oct 21. meeting continued further discussions on preventing the spread of coronavirus, including an emergency motion to approve a ban on mass gatherings. The council previously heard from the city’s Public Health and Safety Committee on Oct. 7 in which the council voted 6-2 to approve ordinance 2020-97, which limits mass gatherings to 10 or less people. With the council’s initial vote to approve the motion, the ordinance was expected to take effect on Nov. 7, as it was not approved on emergency due to Councilwoman Tracy Wallach’s absence during the Oct. 7 meeting. Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer Bish elected to reconsider the motion in order to approve

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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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City of Kent’s plan for Halloween during COVID-19 pandemic

KENT, Ohio — The City of Kent Trick-or-Treat event and annual Halloween party are coming up, and with the COVID-19 risk level increasing in Portage County, the Kent Police Department and Health Department plan to ensure everyone taking part in the festivities this year stays safe. Every year, the city of Kent gets a little spooky for the first popular holiday of the fall season. As Halloween creeps closer, friends and families visit orchards, haunted houses and corn mazes, decorate their houses and carve pumpkins that are later set out on their front porch steps.  Although many of these activities are fun and attached to yearly traditions, due to the

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Kent City Council Committee sets ordinance at meeting prohibiting mass gatherings of more than 10 starting Nov. 7

KENT, Ohio — The Kent city council committee voted to implement an ordinance to prohibit mass gatherings of more than 10 people during their monthly city council committee meeting Wednesday evening. The meeting started with a discussion on the Committee of the Whole’s topic about diversity hiring policies and practices, which dominated the discussion for the first half of the meeting. The topic was discussed specifically in relation to the police and education departments, strategizing ways for them to do better. The Health and Public Safety Committee’s topic was up next, regarding the prohibition of mass gatherings. This topic was also a highlight of the evening, dominating the conversation for

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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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A Look Into Police Body-Worn Cameras

KENT, Ohio — How would you feel if the officer that pulled you over approached you wearing a camera attached to his or her chest? Some of you would feel safer; the officer is being held accountable for his or her actions when in contact with you. Others may feel the opposite, feeling their right to privacy is being invaded.  These are only a few of the very valid points on both sides of the argument around police police body-worn (BWCs). It is important for patrons and officers alike to understand both sides of the argument regarding police BWCs when forming an opinion about them, especially since the Kent police

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