EVEP Buys Belden & Blake Corp. – With eyes on drilling hundreds more horizontal wells in the Clinton Sandstone, EV Energy Partners will buy complete ownership of Belden & Blake Corporation. EV Energy Partners is a Texas-based partnership controlled by EnerVest, the largest well operator in the country. EnerVest has run Belden for 10 years and has offices in Lake Township and Dover. Thursday’s deal makes Belden a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of EVEP and won’t result in local job losses. The purchase is part of $259 million in acquisitions by EVEP from EnerVest partners. Belden owns oil and natural gas rights in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The company has net proved reserves equal to 120 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Those reserves are 81 percent natural gas, 16 percent crude oil and 3 percent natural gas liquids.The deal doesn’t include Utica Shale rights, but EVEP is looking at the East Canton Oil Field. The East Canton field is part of the Clinton Sandstone formation. It covers eastern Stark County, as well as parts of Portage, Tuscarawas, Carroll and Harrison counties. “Because of what EVEP already owns in the East Canton Oil Field, by buying Belden we now virtually control that field, and there are literally hundreds of locations for us to drill horizontally,” said EVEP Executive Chairman John B. Walker. The Belden deal and purchases in Texas and New Mexico were expected to close Oct. 1. EVEP officials said the $259 million in acquisitions will improve the partnership’s geographical balance, increase production by a third and increase proved reserves by 30 percent. To read more about EVEP buying Belden & Blake Corp, click on this Canton Repository article.

Reaching Out – Agile Networks Extends Across State of Ohio - Agile Networks has stretched its broadband connections across the state and hopes to extend farther. The company, based on the third floor of the Northmark Building at 213 Market Ave. N, Canton, offers “last mile” service that connects customers to the Internet. In 2012, the company had a handful of installations around Northeast Ohio. That has grown to more than 280 locations around the state. They provide Ohio’s only statewide 1-gigabite wireless backhaul network, Agile contends. That type of network relies on wireless systems—microwave, fiber and sometimes satellite communications—to move data from an end user to a major carrier or proprietary network. Agile has been working since its founding in 2010 to develop a network to deliver broadband connectivity throughout the state. The system brings high-speed Internet connections to rural as well as metropolitan areas, said Kyle Quillen, chief technical officer and one of Agile’s founders. “We’re bringing value to assets that people have invested in,” said Bob Brick, chief executive officer and also a founder. After helping to form Agile, Brick and Quillen moved the company headquarters to downtown Canton from Tuscarawas County. They liked Canton’s proximity to other cities and that it was close to several universities and colleges. As operations have grown, the company has added employees, including 21 people hired in the last six months. About 40 people are working from the main office and two more at a warehouse on Schroyer Avenue SW. New employees have been hired for engineering, marketing, sales and accounting jobs, Quillen said. Agile has found a lot of local talent, but the company also is attracting people from outside of Ohio. The average age for Agile employees is 28 to 30 years old. “They’re moving into Stark County. It’s great to be downtown,” Quillen said. The company’s downtown offices are having a positive effect on the city’s rejuvenation, Quillen said. New employees are living in apartments that have opened downtown, while the company relies on downtown businesses for services, including entertaining clients at restaurants and bars. The downtown office houses Agile’s network operations center, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Agile system has opened large sections of rural Ohio to Internet access. M3 Midstream, which built natural gas processing centers and pipelines to access the Utica Shale, worked with Agile on a system that helps the company access controls, security and surveillance at area facilities. To learn more about Agile Networks, click on this Canton Repository article.

Grand Opening of Kent State Stark’s Science & Nursing Building – An opening celebration to formally introduce Kent State University at Stark’s Science and Nursing Building, the campus’s seventh major structure, was held on Aug. 27. The 41,140-square-foot building is Kent State Stark’s anchor for its science and health-related disciplines. Faculty members and classes from nursing, biological sciences, physics and geology departments are housed in the new facility. The festive event also celebrated the renovation of 5,250 square feet of chemistry laboratory space in the existing Main Hall building that connects to the Science and Nursing Building through a second-floor lounge and walkway. The state-of-the-art building includes numerous environmental features, which earned it a LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification. The sustainability-focused design elements include a solar-generated hot water system, a green roof, light-harvesting system in classrooms, energy-saving heat recovery chiller and a storm water management system, among others. Adjacent to the Science and Nursing Building is a vertical wind turbine that produces on-site renewable energy for the building. The attendees were encouraged to explore the building at their leisure, learning about laboratory space and the technologically advanced equipment firsthand from the faculty members and lab assistants who will be teaching and supporting these academic areas. To read more about the Science and Nursing building click on this KSU Stark press release. Click here to watch the Science & Nursing Building Progression Video.

Stark State Among Top Associate Degree Producers in Nation – Stark State College was again recognized by Community College Week (Aug. 31, 2015) as among the top 50 community colleges in the nation for the number of associate degree graduates produced in two key areas: engineering technologies and engineering related fields (No. 27) and computer and information sciences and support services (No. 38). The publication has cited Stark State as a leader in both fields for the past several years. Community College Week uses U.S. Department of Education data for its annual Top 100 report. To learn more about Stark State College, click here.

Ameridial to Hire 300; Partners with Stark State College on Customer Service Training – Ameridial announced plans to hire more than 30 customer service representatives in the Canton and New Philadelphia area. The positions will be in the company’s healthcare and commercial divisions. The new jobs stem from growth by the company’s customers. Ameridial’s local operations employ about 900 of the company’s 1,400 workers. This fall, company trainers are holding free customer service sessions for Stark State College’s medical assisting students. The training focuses on building good customer service skills and role playing. To learn more about Ameridial hiring 300 new associates, click on this Canton Repository article. To learn more about partnering with Stark State College, click on this Stark State press release.

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