In the Region

Published:

Some businesses in old

hotel to open in late April

Developer Ron Burbick's transformation of the old Kent Hotel is nearly complete.

Burbick said last week he expects first- floor tenant Buffalo Wild Wings to be training employees in the building within two weeks, with the restaurant's opening day set for April 1.

A grand opening ceremony for the long-vacant building, which will also house the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Marathon Financial and two floors of apartments, has been tentatively scheduled for April 24.

The Acorn Alley developer bought the property at the corner of Main and DePeyster streets from the city of Kent in November 2011, just weeks after the city bought the property from previous owner Gregg Vilk. Burbick promised a brisk turnaround on the redevelopment of the hotel, which he renamed Acorn Corner, originally hoping to open by the end of 2012.

Burbick said the basement, which was previously set to house a bookstore and a bicycle shop at different points in the project's history, will instead house a jazz and wine bar known as the Secret Cellar.

-- Diane Smith, Record-Courier

Army opens a

rifle range at Camp Ravenna facility

Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center is expanding its troop training capacity, opening a new rifle range March 9.

The facility, on what was formerly the Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant in eastern Portage County, was opened with a ceremonial "first shot" by Brig. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., assistant adjutant general of the Ohio Army National Guard. The range is for training on M16 and M4 rifles.

Harris said the range "is an important next step to live fire simulation training." The range is the first of several other live-fire facilities planned, said Lt. Col. Ed Meade, facility commander. He added plans are, in the next three years, to build a multi-purpose machine gun range, a combat patrol range and a modified record fire range with popup targets and computerized scoring.

The expanded training capability keeps Ohio soldiers in state for training rather than having to go to more distant training centers, Harris said.

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier

March 15 is deadline for book grant

applications

First Book-Portage County is accepting book grant applications from community groups and nonprofits. This spring, First Book-Portage County plans to grant about 1,500 new books to programs in Portage County.

Teachers and directors of local preschools, day care, after-school, tutoring and mentoring programs are encouraged to apply on behalf of their programs.

To be eligible to receive a First Book grant, organizations are required to incorporate reading as part of their program activities, serve children and families from low-income households, provide distribution to each child in the program, and support the child's ongoing education outside of the school classroom setting.

Each child participating in a program that receives a grant will get at least four books each, which enables them to start their own home libraries.

Applications are due by March 15. To fill out an application, go to www.firstbook.org/receive-books or send an email to firstbook portagecounty@gmail.com for more information.

Softball fundraising nears

Twinsburg Youth Softball 12 and younger team will benefit from a fundraising March 15-17 and 22-24 between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays) at Five Below at the Marketplace a Four Corners in Bainbridge. Everything at the store is priced at $5 or less, and 10 percent of the money spent at those times will be donated for the softball team. For details, call 330-995-0017.

Cavs seeking every day hero

The Cleveland Cavaliers want to honor an every day hero who takes pride in the community and embodies the team's motto, "All for One. One for All." 

Fans are invited to nominate someone they know who is deserving of recognition during EveryFAN Night March 20 at 7 p.m. as the Cavs face the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.

The EveryFAN winner will get a courtside seat on the Cavs bench during warmup, and, during halftime will be recognized at center court for helping out the community.

Following the fourth quarter, the winner will have exclusive access to the Cavs post-game press conference as Coach Byron Scott addresses the media.

The EveryFAN contest winner also will receive two premium seats to the March 20 game, round-trip limousine service provided by Shima Limousine, dinner for two at the Hard Rock Café, a personalized Cavs jersey and a foosball table and fire pit, both courtesy of Budweiser.

Fans can submit their essay nominations for the everyday hero in their community by visiting cavs.com/EveryFAN. Essay submissions must be 500 words or fewer and tell the story of an unsung hero and what distinguishes the nominee as one of Cleveland's best.

Nominations must be submitted by March 14.

A panel of VIP judges will be looking for a unique candidate who has made a real difference in the lives of others and is deserving of their own tribute. For official rules and to submit EveryFAN nominations, visit cavs.com/EveryFAN. 

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