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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Portage County Commissioners declare Racism a public health crisis

On Sept 11, the Portage County Commissioners declared racism a public health crisis in the county. The Portage County commissioners followed in the footsteps of six counties in Ohio, along with the Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board, Kent City Health Department and the Portage County Democratic Party. “It declares racism a public health crisis. It says that our county is going to work in all the ways that we function as a county to promote equity, whether that be in hiring, purchasing, contracting or the policies that we promote,” Portage County Commissioner, Kathleen Clyde said. “We are also going to support, lift up and amplify organizations that are

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Proposed New Budget Increase for Homelessness Programs Barely Makes a Dent in Akron

By Nadine Battah & Jay Shah Summit County consists of a massive homeless population including almost 2000 undocumented homeless individuals. The demographic of these individuals varies from at-risk youth to single parents. Despite the availability of certain services thanks to community and state funded local organizations, Summit County is far away from successfully eradicating what is considered as an important public health issue.  Earlier this year, U.S. Secreary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson approved a funding increase of about $109 million to be awarded to needy counties across Ohio. Around $28 million of this funding will be granted to Cuyahoga County and $232,125 have already been awarded to

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F.D.A. cracks down on JUUL vaping devices

Back in October and September, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) combined to limit the number of nicotine salt-based vaping devices, specifically JUUL Labs, on the market. This was done in order to attempt to combat the rise in popularity in using these devices among youth. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a statement from the FDA, that there needs to be a better regulatory process on in this aspect of the market. “We need a regulatory process that requires product applications to show that the marketing of the product is appropriate for the protection of the health of the overall

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A face to the opioid epidemic

When I was first introduced to John Hallisy, 25, he seemed like any other college-aged, 20-something. What I didn’t know is that he was having battles outside of booze-related hangovers and the occasional final exam. Hallisy, now clean from herion for about three and a half years and completely sober for about one  year, was struggling with addiction. Not many knew of this issue in his life initially. But when they did find out, he received the same stigmatism that many former addicts face. I remember people who I was close with were worried about if he was going to steal their things and pawn them for drug money. However,

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Portage County diversion program educates teens, college students caught drinking underage

Words by: Caelin Mills Portage County’s diversion program aims to give first time offenders a second chance and educate them on the dangers of underage drinking. According to Linda Broska, programs coordinator for Kent’s Family and Community Services, the program was written in 2000 at the request of the prosecutor and municipal court judges at the time.   “Oct. 27, 2000 is when the underage consumption diversion program came into play and that is the program that we use now,” Broska said. First, the offender must have no previous alcohol-related convictions. They must then enter a guilty plea upon arraignment, where the judge can offer the program. Judge Barbara Oswick

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Issue 1 sparks debate on needs of addicts

Ohio residents will vote on Issue 1 in the Nov. 6 ballot. Along with the goal of reducing the number of people in state prisons and increasing funds for things such as treatment or rehabilitation programs, Issue 1 would make felony four and felony five drug possessions misdemeanors. “I’m passionate about this because Ohio has been shooting itself in its foot for at least 50 years … with it’s failed war on drugs and mass incarceration,” said Stephen JohnsonGrove, one of the authors of Issue 1 who also leads its campaigning. “We could do better. We could be safer, healthier, with less incarceration, with more of that money back into

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Portage County organizations provide food, diapers for low-income moms

Ashley Pamela was on track to go to the University of Toledo on a full-ride scholarship. She looked forward to joining a sorority and getting involved on campus. She finally felt her life and her future falling into place — and then she got pregnant. Pamela’s boyfriend at the time, unwilling to let his girlfriend move away to a different city, intentionally impregnated her. “He was like, yeah, so you’re just gonna have to stay here,” she said. Pamela considered aborting the fetus and continuing on with her life, but her family’s background of strict religious beliefs encouraged her to keep the baby. Although she lost her mom when she

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