Top 5 Stories of the Week | Feb. 15-19

DKS Editors

1. PARTA receives $20 million grant

The Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority received a big boost this week toward its plans to build a multi-modal facility in downtown Kent.

PARTA received $20 million through the Federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. The money will go toward the estimated $20 million multi-modal facility, which is part of the Downtown Revitalization Project.

“It’s not just a transit facility we’re building,” said Dan Smith, Kent economic development director. “This is the first domino of this project. There are about 10 to 15 more dominos right behind it.”

The planned multi-modal facility would include a lower-level shopping center, an upper-level parking garage and a backside PARTA transit center.

2. After long wait, NCAA awards Jarvis sixth year of eligibility

After a five-month wait, the NCAA awarded Eugene Jarvis a sixth year of football eligibility, enabling the running back to return for the 2010 season.

Jarvis, the fourth-leading rusher in Kent State history, sat out most of the 2009 season after suffering a kidney injury in the second game.

“It’s tough to put into words how I feel right now,” Jarvis said in a statement. “God is good and I’m so blessed and thankful to have received the news Friday. I’m so grateful to everyone who made this happen and I can’t wait to get back out on the field with my teammates.”

3. Winter Olympics being in Vancouver

The 2010 Winter Olympics began over the weekend in Vancouver, Canada.

The Olympics got off to a somber start when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili lost control of his sled during a training run Friday and crashed into a steel beam. Kumaritashvili, 21, died as a result of the crash.

In competition, American speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno won his sixth career medal by taking the silver in the 1500-meter competition. With the medal, Ohno tied Bonnie Blair as the most successful American Winter Olympian.

As of yesterday afternoon, the United States led participating countries with five gold medals and 14 total medals.

4. Flashes’ winning streak ends in Buffalo

On Jan. 20, the Kent State men’s basketball team began an eight-game winning streak with a 35-point victory over Buffalo.

Saturday, Buffalo got its revenge, snapping the Flashes’ streak with a 70-55 win at Alumni Arena.

“We couldn’t beat anyone today,” Kent State coach Geno Ford said. “We were atrocious.”

The Flashes did bounce back from the loss, defeating Ohio 74-67 Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center. Senior Chris Singletary scored 17 points in the win.

5. Health Department to cut Fridays

Beginning with last Friday, the Portage County Health Department will close the second and fourth Fridays of each month because of financial problems.

The health department provides certain services to students, such as vaccines for the H1N1 flu and for the Human Papillomavirus. It also offers students a travel clinic if they plan to study abroad and collaborates with the university’s nutrition outreach program and other activities.

The health department will likely reopen on Fridays after the end of June, said DuWayne Porter, Portage County health commissioner.