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West Side News & Notes

3/29/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Copley officers recognized for actions

COPLEY — Three members of the Copley Township Police Department will be honored for their performance when a gunman terrorized a neighborhood and killed seven people Aug. 7.

Officer Ben Campbell was selected as one of 10 national winners of the TOP COPS Award, presented by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). Also, dispatchers Michael Emerson and Sara Justice, of the Copley-Norton Joint Dispatch Center, are winners of the Ohio 2011 Double Gold Award, presented by the Ohio Chapters of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APC) and National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

Copley Police Chief Michael Mier nominated the three for their respective honors.

“The events of Aug. 7 were tragic and very unusual,” Mier said. “Our officers, dispatchers and firefighters rose to the occasion and very professionally performed their duties.”

Campbell was the first officer on the scene when residents started notifying police that a gunman was running around the neighborhood in the vicinity of Goodenough Avenue and Schocalog Road. Gunman Michael Hance, who shot and killed four adults and three children and wounded his girlfriend, was fatally shot by the officer.

“Officer Ben Campbell’s actions were clearly heroic, in that he was the first officer to arrive on the scene and immediately searched for the shooter without waiting for backup,” Mier said. “Officer Campbell located Michael Hance and had to use deadly force when Hance failed to obey his commands. Campbell’s actions brought this unfortunate incident to an end and might have prevented more shooting and victims.”

Mier said dispatchers Emerson and Justice had to answer numerous 9-1-1 calls that came into the dispatch center, all while providing direction and support to the responding police officers and firefighters.

“They worked together as a team while dealing with not only our police and fire departments, but several other agencies that responded to assist as well,” he said.

According to NAPO, the TOP COPS Awards pay tribute to people in law enforcement for their outstanding service to America’s communities. There were hundreds of nominations for the 10 final selections, NAPO officials said. Campbell also was nominated for the award by Terry Gallagher, past president of the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

Campbell will be honored May 12 in Washington, D.C., at the TOP COPS banquet. Emerson and Justice will be honored at a luncheon in Columbus April 11.

New downtown commercial recycling pilot program starts in April

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The city of Akron is partnering with Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) and many downtown businesses to increase recycling efforts.

The city has invested in 154 30-gallon bottle-shaped recycling containers, 50 50-gallon dome-shaped recycling containers and 20 300-gallon recycling containers. All of the containers were paid for with an Ohio Department of Natural Resources grant.

The 30- and 50-gallon containers will be utilized in the downtown area, including Lock 3, Lock 4, along parade routes and at special event sites. The 300-gallon containers will be used for commercial customers.

Initially, six areas currently using DAP’s square cardboard recycling containers will be upgraded to the 300-gallon plastic recycling containers.

Akron will provide the 300-gallon containers at DAP locations for free. City crews will provide the collection service, and Greenstar Recycling will sort and recycle the materials at its recycling facility. Making this change will eliminate the need for DAP to pay for the existing cardboard containers and their service, according to city officials.

The six locations receiving the first 300-gallon containers will be Maiden Lane Alley, Paul Williams Street, Canal Square Apartments, Crave/Musica, Canal Park Stadium and North Side Lofts.

The city also will locate the 300-gallon containers in the Cascade Parking Garage, the Akron Center Parking Garage, the High/Market Garage, the State Street Garage, the Austen BioInnovation Institute and the Opportunity Parking Garage. All businesses that use these parking facilities are encouraged to participate in this new recycling program.

“We will provide as many containers as the business owners require to keep up with their recycling needs,” said Rob Harris, superintendent of Akron’s Trash and Recycling Divisions. “We are very excited that we can save these businesses money by providing these recycling services.”

Additionally, none of the materials placed in the containers have to be presorted, meaning the public can dispose of anything recyclable into the provided receptacles. Greenstar will take care of all of the sorting at its facility.

— By Stephanie Kist

Akron Peacemakers compete in recycling challenge

To pay tribute to the 25-year anniversary of Child and Family Awareness Month, a display of signs bearing the logos and prize-winning slogans from each yearly celebration is on display on the Summit County Children Services front lawn and will remain there throughout April.
Photo courtesy of Summit County Children Services
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The city of Akron is participating in a recycling challenge sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors this year.

Akron will compete against other cities nationwide for cash rewards by collecting aluminum cans throughout April. The Cans for Cash™ City Recycling Challenge is a national contest that rewards U.S. cities for recycling aluminum beverage cans.

The Akron Peacemakers, an anti-crime/youth civic organization in the city, will facilitate the challenge, which will run April 1-28 in Akron. The Peacemakers will be eligible for one of six national prizes — $25,000, $15,000 or $5,000 in cash in each of two categories: cans collected per capita and most innovative project.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our kids to take part in a program that teaches them to work together, to compete on a national level and to help their environment,” said Mayor Don Plusquellic. “At the same time, their group has a good chance of benefiting financially through this competition.”

Residents will be encouraged to place used aluminum cans in blue city of Akron recycle containers, which will be collected every Friday. In addition, businesses that already have a recycling program in place can report their tally of cans to be included in the city’s count.

Businesses that wish to participate can call Billy Soule, the city’s deputy mayor for community relations, at 330-375-2345.

“We hope to gain cooperation from many of the small businesses so that we can get one of these cash rewards,” Soule said. “We hope to use the money for our summer peace camp and uniforms.”

Numerous organizations — including the Akron Public Schools, Akron General Medical Center, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and most of the city scrapyards — have signed on to participate.

“We believe we’ve got a good shot at it with 85 Peacemakers and them going out and actively promoting it,” Soule said.

He added that even if the city doesn’t win an award, it’s a good lesson for the community to learn about recycling and its importance.

For details, including drop-off locations, go to www.akronpeacemakers.org.

— By Stephanie Kist

April is 25th Child and Family Awareness Month

AKRON — “A Family is the Shoes that Walk Me Through Life” is the theme of this year’s 25th Annual Child and Family Awareness Month, coordinated by Summit County Children Services (SCCS). The month is dedicated to building a solid foundation of community support for children and families and helping to raise the awareness of child abuse prevention, according to SCCS officials.

Events will include:

• Parent Training Event, April 5, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Children’s Library, Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. Presented by the Akron-Summit County Public Library (ASCPL) and Child Care Connection, “Read Together, Sing Together, Play Together, Learn Together!” will feature trainers Laura McFalls and Trish Saylor, of the ASCPL, presenting a workshop including hands-on play experiences, open-ended learning materials and a children’s story time. Each family will receive a goodie bag. This program is designed for children 2 and older. Space is limited to 30 participants. Advance registration is required and can be made by calling 330-379-1994 or at www.summitkids.org.

• Close-Up© on YOU! Reflections on the Past to Improve the Future, April 10, 8 a.m. to noon, auditorium, Main Library. This year’s Close-Up includes Parent and Youth Panels whose members will speak about the interventions that have been most helpful and offer advice as to what service providers can do better. Participants also will hear from several community leaders who will share their self-care secrets and the goals for their respective agencies. Close-Up also will include a Wellness Fair with vendors offering self-care and well-being information and services. Advance registration is required and can be made at www.summitkids.org.

• Child Abuse and Neglect Training for Churches, April 21, 9 a.m. to noon, SCCS, 264 S. Arlington St. Julia Mothersbaugh, LSW, of SCCS, will present “Protect Your Church, Protect Your Children: Complying With Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Laws.” This three-hour training is specially designed to help church leaders and lay members have a better understanding of child abuse and neglect reporting laws. It follows the curriculum set forth by law and includes the indicators of child abuse and neglect, mandated reporting, mental health and substance abuse and prevention of child abuse. Participants also will receive a Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Kit. For more information, call 330-379-2090. Register online at www.summitkids.org.

• National Crime Victims’ Rights Week — “Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim,” April 22, 6 p.m., Candlelight Vigil, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1361 W. Market St. in West Akron; and April 24, 11:45 a.m., Victims’ Rights Luncheon, Greek Community Center, 129 S. Union St. in Downtown Akron. Reservations are required. For event information, call the Victim Assistance Program at 330-376-0040.

In addition, during April, thousands of “Pinwheels for Prevention” will spin on the grounds of SCCS, Summit County Juvenile Court and Akron Children’s Hospital to celebrate the lives of children and to encourage prompt reporting of child abuse and neglect.

For more information, call SCCS at 330-379-1994 or visit www.summitkids.org.

— By Stephanie Kist

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