Four Ohio legislators are sending a letter to Lockheed Martin asking the defense contractor to not close its Akron operation with 600 jobs affected. Senator Sherrod Brown and congressmen Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge and Marcy Kaptur all signed the letter.
They says the company’s draft consolidation plan reportedly includes closing the Akron plant and relocating its workers to Lockheed Martin facilities in other states.
Staff members for area Republican lawmakers - Congressman Jim Renacci, Congressman Dave Joyce and Senator Rob Portman - tell AkronNewsNow.com that they've all contacted Lockheed Martin officials, and are working to try to keep the Akron operation going.
“Ohio has a rich manufacturing history with among the most skilled and hardest workers in the world,” Brown said. “That is why Lockheed Martin should do everything in its power to find an alternative to closing its Akron facility, eliminating jobs, and forcing workers to leave Ohio. This would significantly hurt the economy of Northeast Ohio and the community that has loyally served Lockheed for decades. My congressional colleagues and I therefore offer whatever assistance we can to ensure that that this doesn’t happen.”
13th district Congressman Tim Ryan is one of the area lawmakers who signed a letter to Lockheed Martin.
Representative Ryan says that the loss of about 600 jobs linked to the local facility would be devastating to the area.
"It's a hell of a hit to lose five or six hundred jobs," Ryan tells AkronNewsNow.com. "That's not something you can make up right away...those are good jobs, engineering jobs, high paying jobs."
Since reports of this consolidation plan came to light, the offices of Brown, Fudge, and Ryan have held individual discussions with Lockheed Martin’s management to express both their concern and disappointment that Lockheed would consider shuttering the competitive Akron plant.
Missiles may soon be coming to Camp Ravenna.
The military training center in Portage County more commonly known as the Ravenna Arsenal is one of five locations in the running to hold a new ballistic missile interceptor site.
WKYC reports the size of the nearly 20,000 acre facility helped make it a finalist.
Congressman Tim Ryan and Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman all gave their support to Camp Ravenna, which is competing with sites in Maine, New York, Vermont, and Michigan.
A final decision may not come for several years.
On the Web: www.wkyc.com
For years, people who wanted to visit Downtown Kent had difficulties finding places to park. Many who came into Kent on buses didn't have a direct route into the central business district.
That, along with so many other things in Downtown Kent, is changing.
The Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority cut the ribbon on the new $25 million Kent Central Gateway Monday.
Funded in large part by a $20 million federal TIGER grant, it adds 365 much-needed parking spaces to a revitalized Downtown Kent in addition to ten covered bus bays and retail and meeting space.
PARTA general manager John Drew said the project had its doubters from the start, including those who didn't believe the project would be funded.
"Once we got the money, we had a number of people who said 'you're not going to be able to build it, you're in the transit business,'" he said. "Once we built it, by George, 'you're not going to be able to run it.' Well, yes we are."
The parking spaces are a welcome addition to an area that has added a number of new businesses, shops, and restaurants as well as a hotel over the last few years. But Drew said he sees the bus depot as the main attraction.
"It's just a wonderful adjunct to our program," he said of the parking spaces.
The ten bays in the bus depot are more than PARTA will need for its current services and those that will be provided by Akron's Metro RTA. Drew says the extra spaces could come in handy in the future.
"Greyhound, I think, may be our next opportunity," he said. "But it won't be for a while before we're able to do that."
Drew said he has not reached out to Greyhound yet about the possibility of adding service.
Several federal officials attended the opening, including Congressman Tim Ryan and representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the offices of Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.
Ryan helped PARTA secure the TIGER grant that made construction of the facility possible. He said some people have forgotten the value of public-private partnerships.
"We've made big public investments before that have transformed our economy," he said. "And now, these more targeted, regional, smaller investments are having the same effect for older industrial downtowns."
In a statement, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called the Kent Central Gateway a "great example of how transportation can help the local economy, both by bringing new businesses and development to the downtown area, and by attracting the young graduates local businesses need by providing the transportation choices they want."
The parking spaces opened in June. Buses will begin serving the Gateway next week as the PARTA system's hub moves from a facility on the Kent State University campus. Drew said no timetable is in place for the retail space, but he expects to have it filled "in no time."
There's another hat that won't be thrown into the ring for the Ohio Governor's race next year.
In a letter to the Plain Dealer, former Democratic congresswoman Betty Sutton said she will not seek the office in 2014.
She lost her seat on Capitol Hill to Republican Jim Renacci in a re-drawn district last November.
Sutton, from Copley Township, is the latest among prominent state Democrats who have turned down the chance to take on GOP incumbent Governor John Kasich.
It includes congressman Tim Ryan and former Governor Ted Strickland.
One name still out there for the Dems--Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, who is forming an exploratory committee to look at his chances of winning.
The congressman who's district stretches from Youngstown to Akron is declining a bid for the Ohio Democratic nomination for Governor in 2014.
Tim Ryan's decision comes on the heels of Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald's decision to set up an exploratory committee that allows him to start fundraising and setting up a campaign organization before making any run official. Fitzgerald, Ryan and federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau czar Richard Cordray had been mentioned as the strongest candidates Ohio Democrats could field for the right to challenge Republican Governor John Kasich next year.
In a statement released by his office, Ryan said he would continue to lead in efforts to grow opportunity in Ohio. He specifically mentioned Akron's Austen BioInnovation Institute as well as efforts to build Tech Belt linking businesses and Universities crossing not only local congressional districts but also into Pennsylvania.
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(Congressman Tim Ryan) "This is the most exciting time in the history of Northeast Ohio and it has become increasingly clear to me that I will be able to do more for the region, state, and country by continuing to serve in the House of Representatives rather than running for governor. For decades, our young people have yearned for more opportunities, and now those opportunities are growing everyday. By continuing to lead that effort from my current position in Congress, together we can continue to build upon those accomplishments.
We have already accomplished much in our region, from the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, to the Kent Central Gateway project, to the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute and a new billion dollar steel pipe factory in Youngstown. We have made great progress because of regional cooperation including Tech Belt, a vibrant 21st century mega-region that stretches from Cleveland and Akron over to Youngstown and Pittsburgh. Our region's success has been recognized as a model by national and international publications, as well as the President of the United States in his State of the Union.
Although the region has seen a tremendous turnaround, we are still at the early stages of our revitalization with too many people who have yet to share in that recent success. I recognize that I am in a unique position to help create opportunities for these people. I also wish to continue the work I am doing with our active duty troops and veterans, especially those who carry so much of the trauma of war and suffer from post-traumatic stress.
It has been an honor to serve in Congress for the great people of Northeast Ohio. I am and forever will be grateful for the support I've received over the years. I want to thank all of my dear friends, family and staff members for their views and support while I was considering this decision. I am blessed to have so many smart and caring leaders in my life from so many of the great communities around Ohio. I look forward to continuing this important work as we help Ohio reach its full potential."
From two possible challengers to unopposed in the March primary.
That's the situation for 17th district congressman Tim Ryan, who is running in the newly reconfigured 13th district.
Two expected Democratic challengers won't appear on the ballot against Ryan, despite filing for the earlier December 7th deadline.
"The December 7th filings were null and void," Summit County elections board president Ron Koehler tells AkronNewsNow.com, "and we received word from one of (the potential candidates) that they were not going to refile, and the other one just did not refile."
The two non-filing candidates were John Stephen Luchansky of Boardman and Lisa Regula of Kent.
The deadline changed due to the passage of House Bill 389 in Columbus. That law, signed by Governor John Kasich set Ohio's only primary date for March 6th...and Koehler says candidates had to refile their petitions after that law took effect.
Republican Marisha Agana [[ mar-ISH-uh ah-GONE-uh]] of Warren did file, and as the only Republican candidate, she'll face Ryan in December.