Allegiant Ready to Serve Akron-Canton Airport – Brian Davis, a Perry High School graduate, was home on Feb. 24 to announce that Allegiant Air will offer flights from Akron-Canton Airport to three vacation destinations in the southeast. Brian is Allegiant’s vice president of marketing. Allegiant will begin flying to airports near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Hilton Head, South Carolina and St. Petersburg, Florida. Flights will be twice each week. Dates, times and fares are found at the company’s website, “If you’re a golfer or a family, you’re going to have great vacation options from Akron-Canton Airport and Allegiant Air,” Rick McQueen, the airport’s president and chief executive officer said during a news conference announcing the service. The Akron-Canton service was part of an Allegiant announcement about 22 new routes. The company now serves 105 airports around the country. Allegiant offers lower airline fares, along with vacation travel packages. The company starts with a base fare, then allows customers to add amenities. For example, for an additional fee, passengers can receive assigned seats or priority seating. There are baggage fees depending on number of bags carried. To read more about the announcement, click on this Repository article.

SARTA Lands Federal Grant for Pollution-Free Buses – The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority has beaten out dozens of other transit systems for millions of dollars in federal funding to help pay for fuel-cell buses that run on hydrogen and do not emit pollution. The Federal Transit Administration announced on February 5 that SARTA is one of 10 transit systems across the country to receive a total of $54.5 million in grants from the agency’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program. SARTA will get $8.9 million to cover most of the costs of buying five fuel-cell buses that each will cost about $1.9, said SARTA’s executive director, Kirt Conrad. The buses will be 40 feet long and seat up to 35 passengers, Conrad said. The fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to spark a chemical reaction that results in electricity and water but no exhaust. He said fuel-cell buses provide roughly twice the mileage of diesel fuel. The nearly $9.0 million grant is the second-highest amount of the 10 grant recipients. Last year SARTA received grant dollars to pay for what will be its first of two fuel-cell buses (total will be seven). SARTA said it is working on obtaining funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation to build a hydrogen pumping station. The total cost of the seven buses and the pumping station will be about $19.0 million. To read more about SARTA’s fuel-cell buses, click on SARTA’s press release.

Diebold Acquires Phoenix Interactive Design – On March 16, Diebold, Incorporated announced it had acquired Phoenix Interactive Design, Inc., a world leader in developing innovative software solutions for automated teller machines (ATMs) and a host of other financial self-service applications. Headquartered in London, Ontario, Phoenix brings more than 25 years of banking industry experience by creating highly configurable, enterprise-wide software that automates and migrates financial services across channels, changing the way financial products are delivered to consumers through technology. Customers include TD Canada Trust, National Australia Bank Group and Fifth Third Bank. “Diebold’s acquisition of Phoenix is an important milestone in our drive to transform to a services-led, software enabled company,” said Andy W. Mattes, Diebold president and chief executive officer. The expertise and proven capabilities Phoenix provides will allow Diebold to offer a stronger, more compelling software solution that complements the company’s existing services and security expertise. Phoenix has approximately 200 employees who will be retained as part of Diebold. To read more about the acquisition, click on Diebold’s press release.

John Myers Hired as Mount Union Entrepreneur in Residence – Area businessman John Myers was recently hired to serve as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Mount Union. In his role, Myers will work to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice for students. Myers will address classes at Mount Union and will provide counseling, mentorship and networking opportunities to students, faculty and staff at the University. Myers is co-founder of the Akron Regional Change Angels Investment Network and co-owner and co-founder of ROOBREW, LLC, a start-up beer brewing company. “We are very fortunate to have an individual of John’s caliber on staff at Mount Union,” said Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of Mount Union. “His entrepreneurial spirit and talent will be a great asset not only to the Mount Union community but to the Alliance community as well.” In addition to this part-time role at the University, Myers will serve as executive director of the Technology Accelerator Alliance (TA2) business incubator. To learn more about John Myers, click on Mount Union’s press release.

Stark County Still Ranked in Top Third of US for Completion of Bachelor’s Degrees – Stark County is listed by STATSIndiana’s USA Counties in Profile1 as 1,025 out of 3,141 counties/county-equivalents in the nation for the percentage of adults (age 25 or over) who have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The U.S. American Community Survey also ranks Stark County in the top third Ohio counties (24th out of 88) with 20.7% of our Adults attaining a Bachelor’s degree or higher. In addition, thirty percent of bachelor and associate degrees in 2014 were earned in STEM related fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, up from 24% in 2013. To learn more about education in Stark County, click on the Stark Education Partnership website.

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