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West Side News & Notes

4/26/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

Former Rep. Marilyn Slaby appointed to 41st House District

COLUMBUS — Speaker of the Ohio House William Batchelder (R-District 69) has announced that former state Rep. Marilyn Slaby will fill the seat recently vacated by her husband, Lynn Slaby, following his recent appointment to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

“I am delighted that Mrs. Slaby will be once again joining the House Republican Caucus,” Batchelder said. “She has a wealth of experience in state government and in the private sector, which will serve her constituents well in the Ohio House.”

Marilyn Slaby, a Republican, is a retired educator and served for 10 years as an employee with the Summit County Board of Elections. Previously, she served as state representative of the 41st House District in 2004, where she was vice-chair of the House Education Committee and a member of the Health and Local Government committees.

Additionally, she has owned and operated two small businesses over the years. She also serves as vice chair of the Summit County Central Committee and is an elected member of the Republican State Central Committee.

Slaby was recommended by the Summit County Republican Party for the seat, therefore eliminating the need for a screening panel to convene and select a candidate. She was sworn in during House Session April 24.

The Slabys, of Copley, have three children and four grandchildren.

Copley Police honored for professionalism

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Victim Assistance Program (VAP) honored the Copley Police Department this week with a special award for its members’ professionalism during last August’s mass shooting.

The department received a new award, the Law Enforcement Merit Award, at the April 24 National Crime Victims’ Rights Luncheon at the Greek Community Center, according to Shelly Koch, VAP’s director of development.

Copley Chief Michael Mier attended to accept the award with Officer Ben Campbell and Sgt. Jack Simone.

Koch said usually VAP presents an award to one standout officer. After the events of Aug. 7, in which gunman Michael Hance killed seven people — four adults and three children — in the Goodenough Avenue neighborhood before Campbell killed him, VAP officials decided to honor the entire department.

“Because of the extraordinary circumstances, we wanted to do a different kind of award,” Koch said. “We felt it was so important to acknowledge their professionalism in response to an uncharacteristic and traumatic event. What they did was out of the realm of anybody’s imagination, and they were able to handle it in such a professional manner.”

Campbell was the first officer on the scene when residents started notifying police that a gunman was running around their neighborhood. Because of his actions, he has been chosen to receive one of the national TOP COPS awards for his performance. In addition, Copley-Norton Joint Dispatch Center dispatchers Michael Emerson and Sara Justice were honored with the Ohio 2011 Double Gold Award for their performance that day.

Also during the annual VAP luncheon, recently retired Douglas Powley received an award of appreciation for his years of service as chief prosecutor for the city of Akron.

Steve Derene, executive director of the National Association of Victims of Crime Act Assistance Administrators, appeared at the event as keynote speaker.

— By Kathleen Folkerth

Ohio hospitals host sites for Drug Take Back Day 

OHIO — Ohio hospitals are participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) April 28 by hosting a drop-off site for the public to safely dispose of accumulated, unwanted and unused prescription drugs.

Local participating Ohio hospitals that have signed up so far include:

• Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital, 1000 E. Washington St., Medina, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and

• Mercy Medical Center, 1320 Mercy Drive, Canton, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition, the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) is a sponsor of a statewide initiative launched by Attorney General Mike DeWine to build community awareness to report suspected prescription drug abuse. During a press conference April 16, the campaign’s poster was unveiled. It will be distributed to OHA member hospitals and systems to display in their facilities.

The Autism Family Foundation to present Family Fun Day

COPLEY — The Autism Family Foundation, in collaboration with the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board and Kids First School, a program operated by the Summit County Educational Service Center, is recognizing Autism Awareness Month by presenting a Family Fun Day April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event, which is open to the public, will take place at the Robert J. Keegan Family Center for Autism, 3557 Commercial Drive. Activities will include games, face painting, pony rides, prizes, live animals, inflatables and food.

In addition, attorney Phil Kauffman will be on hand to provide families with information about special education wills and trusts.

Organizers state that thanks to a donation from Stark & Knoll, there will be no cost for this event. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP at 330-926-3939 for an accurate count for food.

The Autism Family Foundation’s mission is to assist families dealing with autism and to enhance the lives of these children and their families as they develop from birth to adulthood. More information can be found at the foundation’s website at www.autismfamilyfoundation.org.

— By Maria Lindsay

Akron Area YMCA to present memberships to Habitat for Humanity families

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Each year, the Akron Area YMCA collaborates with Habitat for Humanity to help families achieve a healthy, confident, connected and secure lifestyle. On April 28 at 9:30 a.m. in the Hub of the University Park YMCA, 477 E. Market St., Akron Area YMCA officials will present one-year YMCA family memberships to five new Habitat for Humanity families.

According to YMCA officials, the families include: Sharon Smothers and her daughters, Shannon and Shaina; Jennifer Jones and her daughter, Trinity; Lindy Mlady and her son, Hunter, and daughters, Taylor and Victoria; Kara and PJ Marquis and their daughters, Julie and Sierra; and Pam Godby and her daughter, Annie.

“By partnering with Habitat for Humanity and offering these families memberships, we’re living out our promise to make the communities we serve a better place for all,” said Doug Kohl, Akron Area YMCA president and CEO. “This event also coincides with Healthy Kids Day, which brings communities together and inspires kids to get active and engage in learning so they maintain healthy habits and academic skills. This further illustrates our commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, teens and families while improving their health and well-being.”

According to Akron Area YMCA officials, the YMCA has had a long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity and has provided many of their families with YMCA family memberships over the years.

The event also will include an overview of YMCA programs and tours of the facility.

In addition to supporting community causes, the YMCA offers the Partners With Youth Annual Giving Campaign to raise funds and provide scholarships to those who need assistance, according to YMCA officials.

“Partners With Youth helps the [YMCA] assure that those most in need have opportunities to learn, grow and thrive,” Kohl said. “Partners With Youth donors, volunteers and members help the [YMCA] positively impact the community through its three focus areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.”

For more information about the YMCA, visit www.akronymca.org or call 330-376-1335.

— By Maria Lindsay

Local emergency agencies participating in disaster drill

MEDINA/SUMMIT COUNTIES — On April 19, 30 hospitals from 13 Northeastern Ohio counties participated in a disaster exercise conducted by the Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium (NECO).

In Medina County, participating agencies included: Medina County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Medina Hospital (of Cleveland Clinic), Lodi Community Hospital and Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital.

In Summit County, participating agencies included: Summit County EMA, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General Medical Center and Summa’s Akron City Hospital, Barberton Hospital, St. Thomas Hospital and Western Reserve Hospital.

Disaster exercises, or mock drills, are held annually to test the plans and response times of participating hospitals and EMAs, according to NECO officials. This year’s exercise involved a tornado sweeping through 13 surrounding counties with 53 agencies participating, according to NECO officials.

The Northeast Central Ohio regional hospitals annually assess the most likely cause for disaster in the region, and the 2010 study named tornadoes as the No. 1 concern, according to NECO officials.

“Tornadoes often rise to the top of the list because of their probability in this region, their ability for destruction and their unpredictability,” said Sarah Metzger, NECO Region 5 hospitals coordinator and administrative director of the Akron Regional Hospital Association. “In looking at the most recent storms in the Midwest and South, we are taking proactive steps to ensure our hospitals are prepared for an event such as what happened in Joplin, Mo.”

Leadership and key staff from St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin who experienced the destruction and devastation caused by a tornado have shared some of the things they learned after responding to such a catastrophic incident, according to NECO officials. They noted huge challenges in communicating with partner agencies and emergency medical services because radio towers were destroyed. It also was apparent there were not enough supplies and resources, given the surge of patients who needed care, according to NECO officials. They went through four days’ worth of supplies in four hours.

During the exercise, each agency was expected to establish the Incident Command System as they normally would in a large-scale disaster, according to NECO officials.

Additional goals and objectives that were tested in this exercise include:

• sharing initial and ongoing incident information such as communication from the hospitals to appropriate agencies and resource allocation;

• updating county EMAs on availability of beds and the status of the hospitals in their county; and

• testing some hospital’s medical evacuation plans, including sheltering and securing appropriate transportation for patients.

— By Maria Lindsay

National Day of Prayer events observed in Summit County

GREATER AKRON — On May 3 at noon, the Summit County National Day of Prayer observance will take place on the steps of the Summit County Courthouse, 209 S. High St. in Downtown Akron.

Branches of government will be represented, as well as military and area Christian leaders, according to organizers.

Everyone is invited to attend the National Day of Prayer observance as it concentrates on the need to pray for the well-being of America and for those in leadership positions on all levels of national, church and educational areas of influence. There will be an interpreter for deaf guests who plan to attend.

Other events scheduled throughout the week for National Day of Prayer observance and ways to be involved include:

• April 29 through May 3, a prayer and Bible reading marathon will take place continually in tents erected in front of Cascade Plaza in Downtown Akron. Contact Hank Richard at 330-620-2304 for more information.

• May 1 from 7:30 to 9 a.m., the Community and Organizations Prayer Breakfast will take place at The University of Akron’s Martin University Center, 105 Fir Hill in Downtown Akron, for business, professional and community leaders. Reservations are due by April 29 to 330-996-0602 or cpapro99@aol.com. An offering will be accepted for the breakfast.

• May 2 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Youth Concert of Prayer and Praise will take place at Akron Bible Church, 783 Brown St. in South Akron. All teens from Summit County are invited to attend. Make a reservation with the Rev. Brett White for details at 330-715-6813 or brett@akronbiblechurch.org.

• May 3, primary, junior and senior high schools are invited to “Pray With You at the Flag Pole” at various times and locations. Contact White at 330-715-6813 or brett@akronbiblechurch.org for details.

U.S. and Turkmen counterparts share experience through Open World Program

AKRON — Five leaders from Turkmenistan participating in the Open World Program spent April 13-21 in Akron examining local, county and federal government.

Akron International Friendship hosted the delegation for Open World. Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy at the local level. 

While in Akron, the delegates met with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Akron City Council, representatives of the Akron Global Business Accelerator and The University of Akron (UA) Research Foundation, officials at both UA and Kent State University Centers for Public Administration and Urban Studies, and representatives of the city of Kent, Summit County government, Leadership Akron and the Summit County Mayors Association. 

The visiting delegates were Beggeldi Annagurbanov, Etrek etrap (district’s) hyakimlik (mayor’s office), Balkan region; Babageldi Taganov, Lebap region hyakimlik (mayor’s office), head specialist; Gundogdy Jummiyev, Mary regional hyakimlik (mayor’s office), head of department of coordination of economic development; and Rahymmamet Kurenov, National Institute of Manuscripts of Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, head of department text studies. The facilitator was Gozel Japbarkulievna Durdygylyjova, budget analyst/accountant, U.S. Embassy, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Homestays with local hosts in Akron, Norton, Hudson and Tallmadge allowed the delegates to experience American family life. They also took part in several cultural and community activities, including attending the UA Steel Drum and Jazz annual Spring Concert and an Akron Aeros baseball game.

“The Open World program has allowed Akron to build personal and professional connections to Russia, Ukraine, Serbia and now Turkmenistan,” said Akron International Friendship Executive Director Michelle Wilson. “Officials from the Ukrainian Open World delegation focused on Telemedicine that came to Akron in the fall of 2011 have now created several new initiatives in Ukraine based on models they learned about in Akron, Ohio. These initiatives are providing improved services to mothers with difficult pregnancies and premature infants throughout Ukraine.”

$1.35 million remains unclaimed

SUMMIT COUNTY —Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise has announced a new program designed to assist residents and business owners to reclaim money paid in excess to local county offices and agencies.

The Fiscal Office serves as trustee of the county’s unclaimed funds and processes valid claims. At the end of last year, Scalise began mailing notifications to residents who might have unclaimed funds in Summit County.

Since the program’s inception, Scalise has returned $213,388 in county unclaimed funds to 239 claimants. Amounts of unclaimed funds range from a few dollars to thousands.

Currently, $1.35 million remains unclaimed in Summit County. Scalise has compiled a list of owner’s names and amounts of existing funds available from the past five years. To find out if you are owed any unclaimed funds in Summit County, visit fiscal office.summitoh.net (under “Additional Services).

To recapture unclaimed funds, you must complete an online claim form. The Summit County Fiscal Office does not charge a fee to file a claim and does not require the assistance of an attorney or paid professional finder.

For those without Internet access who wish to inquire about the unclaimed funds list, call 330-643-8056 or 330-643-2616.

New HHWRC Opening Day is July 3

STOW — The Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority’s (SASWMA) Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Center’s (HHWRC) new opening day is July 3. The HHWRC season will run through Sept. 26.

Summit County residents can recycle household hazardous waste Tuesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the HHWRC, which is located at 2101 Graham Road.

“This new schedule will allow residents to recycle unwanted oil-based paint, solvents and other household chemicals while saving in operational expenses,” said Yolanda Walker, SASWMA’s executive director.

“The HHWRC will no longer accept latex paint, because it is mostly water based and once dried or solidified is acceptable for curbside trash,” Walker continued. “Mixing an absorbent material such as Cobzorb, an all-natural absorbent, or other materials like cat litter or shredded newspaper into the paint will solidify the latex paint and prepare it for a proper disposal.”

SASWMA has delivered 50 1-pound pouch samples of Cobzorb Paint Solidifier to each Summit County community for residents to try. Cobzorb also can be purchased at Hoffman’s Ace Hardware, which has locations at 3200 Greenwich Road in Norton, 3235 Manchester Road in New Franklin and 2420 Wedgewood Road in Ellet.

Visit www.saswma.org for a printable Cobzorb coupon and additional information on proper latex paint disposal.

For more information, call SASWMA at 330-374-0383.

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