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 residents and students cast their votes at Kent State

Janine Tiffe Kent resident Janine Tiffe is volunteering today as a non-partisan worker, someone who’s not affiliated with any political party, with Election Protection. This national coalition provides voters with information and assistance at all stages of voting. Although this is Tiffe’s first time working at the polls instead of just voting, she felt it was important to not only get involved with election day somehow, but to help young students at Kent State.  “I think a lot of young people are eager to vote, but nervous so that’s where I come in and help,” Tiffe said. “I actually helped a man earlier who didn’t know where his polling place

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Redlining: a look at systemic racism’s history in Kent

“I would go down to Doc’s bar in the South End with Bob and I was the only white person there,” said Karen Beck, long-time Kent resident. “I was cool with it and I really appreciated being able to do that because it made me think of how often Bob and Gloria were the only black people.” Beck moved to Kent in the 1960s with her family to attend Kent State as a student. She lived in a neighborhood called Valleyview, across the street from what is now known today as the Historic South End. While at school, she was exposed to a variety of different racial backgrounds and would

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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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Petition asks Portage county schools to incorporate more Black history in classrooms

Kent State University alumna Angie Bryant is no stranger to making headlines. The former Portage County case manager was featured in two Record-Courier articles within the last five years. One for a workshop she created with Kent State assistant director of donor recognition programs Latasha Dukes, on strengthening the family and the community and another on June 11, 2020, for a Black lives matter protest she led outside the Kent police station. This time, Bryant is garnering attention for a June 2020 petition she constructed on Change.org. The petition titled, “Implement African American history into lesson plans in Portage county schools” came about while Bryant emailed to the Kent and Ravenna superintendents

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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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Kent preschools raise tuition, Portage Head Start program provides alternative schooling

The adjustment to a stricter schedule can be difficult, especially for small children. Preschool gives children experience with the structure and schedule of higher levels of school, according to the Our Kids website. Attending preschool makes it easier for children to be accepted by the grade schools that their families want them to attend, according to the Our Kids website. Not only can attending preschool determine how well children do in grade school, it can also determine where they attend grade school. Still, although higher tuition has made preschool harder to afford for some, it has not yet caused a major backlash. Tweet Becky: Kent preschools raise tuition prices Tweet

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Law enforcement, public schools working to prevent drug related crime in Kent and Portage County

By Kathryn Monsewicz Drug possession charges are common on Kent State University grounds as well as Kent proper, but public schools are addressing students about drug abuse violations and related crimes at an early age. Kent City It’s hard to say how many cases Kent Police Department has per year related to drug possession because of a detailed reporting system that could label the charges under an array of different offenses, Lt. Mike Lewis said. According to the Portage County Drug Task Force, Kent is “one of the busier parts of the county.” But, Lewis said, that depends on what drug is hitting the county hardest at that particular time.

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