Heinz Plans $28 million Expansion in Massillon – The Massillon Independent reported on November 18, that the H.J. Heinz Co. is looking to add 249 jobs in Massillon by expanding its frozen food operation on Oberlin Road SW. Heinz’s decision was made with the expectation of incentives from the City of Massillon, Stark County and the State of Ohio. A $28 million capital investment is planned at the facility. Massillon was in competition with other Heinz facilities in Florida, California, Iowa and South Carolina. The team that worked on the project included the City of Massillon, JobsOhio, Stark County Administration, and the Stark Development Board. Adding the 249 jobs in Massillon means the retention of 450 jobs for the city as well. The city offered Heinz a nine-year job creation tax credit with descending percentages of credit throughout the term. Massillon City Council approved the deal this week. Heinz had announced the closing of two U. S. plants and a Canadian plant in an effort to operate more efficiently. Massillon was the beneficiary of this company consolidation. To read more about the Heinz expansion, click on this Massillon Independent article.

EV Energy Will Explore Oil in Stark and Tuscarawas – Texas-based EV Energy Partners reported it is proceeding to investigate drilling for oil in Stark and Tuscarawas counties with a still-unnamed partner. The firm also reported that it had no new land sales to announce in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio. Additional Utica land sales will be announced as deals are completed, said executive chairman John B. Walker. His company is convinced that Utica values are increasing because of initial drilling results and from infrastructure that is being developed, he said. Last September, in its first Utica sale, the EverVest Ltd. companies announced they were selling 22,535 acres to an undisclosed buyer for $284.3 million. EV Energy Partners, the publicly-traded arm of EnerVest, has decided to sell off the leased land rather than invest the money to drill natural gas-oil wells itself. Each horizontal well can cost $6 million to $10 million. EverVest is one of Ohio’s largest oil and gas companies with 8,700 vertical wells in Ohio. Through drilling 20 exploratory wells in Stark and Tuscarawas counties, the company is seeking to locate and develop what’s called the volatile Utica oil window that drillers so far have largely been unable to tap. To learn more about EV Energy Partners, click on this Akron Beacon Journal article.

U.S. EPA Reports Stark County Attaining Air Quality Standards – The U.S. EPA moved Stark from non-attainment to attainment for two previous national Air Quality Standard reports. The Canton-Massillon area is now achieving air quality standards it was previously unable to meet, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agency redesignated the area as being in line with the National Air Quality Standard. It was unable to meet two previous tests, but conditions are improving. Officials credited a reduction in emissions from the Marathon Petroleum Refinery, other industries and motor vehicles and the use of cleaner fuels for the improvements. The area has had healthy levels of fine particulate matter since 2008. Fine particulate matter is a mixture of microscopic solids, like soil and dust particles and metals, and liquid droplets. Air Pollution Control Division Administrator Terry Dzienis of the Canton Health Department said the designation clears the way for new industries to build here. The Canton Health Department is responsible for monitoring air quality for Stark County. To learn more about Stark attaining air quality standards, click on this Repository article.

Stark, Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties Continue to Lead the State of Ohio in Dual Enrollment – Figures released by the Ohio Board of Regents last month show Stark, Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties continuing to lead the state in the number of high school students enrolled to take courses from Ohio’s public colleges and universities. The report, Enrollment by County of Residence at Time of Admission Fall 2012, further shows that for the third year in a row, Stark (1,703) remains second only to Cuyahoga County (1,947) in total number of students enrolled. Lorain County comes in third with 1,642 students. Over 20% of the state’s 23,611 high school dual enrollment students resided in these three counties. Dual enrollment courses can be taken either on college campuses under the state’s Post Secondary Enrollment Option or at high schools under dual credit programs. To learn more about the Stark County education system, click on the Stark Education Partnership website.

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