West Side News & Notes
Police investigating fatal truck accident
MERRIMAN VALLEY — Akron Police Department (APD) officials said they were continuing to investigate an accident that claimed the life of a truck driver whose truck sped down Portage Trail and crashed into the Cuyahoga River July 5.
Lt. Rick Edwards, APD public information officer, said driver Christopher Burgess, 41, of Ravenna, was killed as a result of the accident. The APD received calls starting at 11:09 a.m. that day and responded along with units from the Akron and Cuyahoga Falls fire departments, Edwards said.
Authorities believe the brakes failed on the 2004 Sterling dump truck Burgess was driving. Edwards said witnesses reported Burgess waved his arms to warn other drivers and pedestrians in the area as he sped down the Portage Trail hill.
When the truck approached the intersection of Portage Trail and Akron-Peninsula Road, Burgess went through it and into the business parking lot there. The truck then traveled behind the Clear Choice Eye Center office and hit a tree, causing the vehicle to flip over into the Cuyahoga River, Edwards said.
Gary Guenther, of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office, said Burgess died as the result of a dislocated neck.
Edwards said a preliminary investigation shows the truck was probably traveling about 50 mph when it crossed over the parking lot.
Akron Fire Department officials said dive teams from Akron and Cuyahoga Falls responded to the scene. A crane was requested to help retrieve the truck, they added.
Edwards said the APD is planning to inspect the truck this week to determine the exact cause of the accident. He added that there were no other injuries in the heavily traveled area as a result of the accident.
Court brings back license amnesty program
BARBERTON — Barberton Municipal Court Clerk Diana Stevenson has announced the court once again will offer the License Forfeiture Amnesty Program.
The program allows citizens whose driver’s licenses have been forfeited for not paying court fines and costs to pay half of the amount owed and receive their license back.
Those who participate also will be required to participate in a monthly payment plan for the remainder of the amount they owe, court officials said. Defendants are subject to future license forfeitures if they do not make timely monthly payments, the officials added.
The program is available through Aug. 31. Payments can be made online at www.cityofbarberton.com/clerkof courts. Payments also may be made in person Mondays through Fridays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturdays between 8 and 11:30 a.m. The clerk’s office accepts checks, money orders, cash, Visa and MasterCard. Payments may be mailed to 576 W. Park Ave., Barberton, OH 44203.
The court serves the communities of Copley, Norton, Barberton, Coventry, Clinton, Green and New Franklin. For details, call 330-861-7191.
Grants available to address security
WEST AKRON — Nine Akron homeowners will receive grants of $1,000 to make improvements in home security.
The Westside Neighborhood Development Corp. (WENDCO), in conjunction with the city of Akron’s Department of Development, is accepting applications for the grants up until today, July 12, between 2 and 6 p.m. at 1265 Copley Road.
According to WENDCO officials, the grants may be used to address home security through improvements such as entry doors, locks, glass block windows and security lighting.
To be eligible, homeowners must be at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, which puts the maximum income for a family of four at $53,200. Also, homes must be owner-occupied and cannot be in foreclosure or in preforeclosure status.
WENDCO’s mission is to provide an array of services to improve neighborhoods and strengthen communities.
For additional information, call WENDCO at 330-869-8303.
E-Check adds new sites, options for drivers
|Ohio’s E-Check program now includes two new options — free-standing self-service kiosks, shown above, and RapidScreen remote sensing vans, shown below.|
|Photos courtesy of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency|
The Ohio Legislature approved changes to the E-Check program in the last budget bill, Ohio EPA officials said. The result is that motorists in Northeast Ohio will have more locations and choices for having their vehicles tested.
Designed to provide greater convenience to motorists in the seven Northeast Ohio counties with E-Check requirements, the Ohio E-Check ChoicePlus™ program adds 53 new testing stations to the current 23 Ohio testing stations, bringing the total locations for emissions testing to 76. The new stations include 37 Lube Stop stations — including 1980 W. Market St. and 3908 Medina Road — as well as 16 independent neighborhood stations. A full list of station locations can be found online at ohioecheck.org.
In addition, for gasoline vehicles that are 1996 or newer and diesel vehicles 1997 or newer, the new program includes self-service diagnostic testing kiosks at 16 locations, including the Akron West E-Check station at 1818 Copley Road.
The free-standing self-service kiosks will be added during the next few weeks. At these locations, drivers may perform their own OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostic system) emissions test any time of the day or night, seven days a week, using the kiosks’ touchscreen displays. E-Check officials said the task takes less than 10 minutes. Upon completion of the self-test, the kiosk prints a vehicle inspection certificate that can be used for vehicle registration or plate transfer.
Also new this year are the RapidScreen remote sensing vans, which will enable some motorists to drive their vehicle past a sensing van. Using infrared and ultraviolet beams of light, RapidScreen’s roadside testing equipment can analyze a vehicle’s plume of exhaust. If a vehicle has passed RapidScreen’s emissions standards, the motorist will receive notification in the mail. For the few vehicles that pass this test, Ohio EPA officials said those motorists would not be required to go to an emissions testing facility. Two vans will be positioned at highway on-ramps at different times and locations throughout Northeast Ohio beginning this summer, they added. The website includes a schedule for the location of the RapidScreen vans.
“Ohio EPA is focused on making emissions testing more convenient for motorists,” said Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally. “E-Check has been shown to improve the air quality in our communities, and now it is easier for drivers to get to an emissions testing station location and help clean the air we all breathe.”
EPA officials added that the website also allows motorists to check a vehicle’s E-Check history using the Vehicle Identification Number.
For additional information, call 800-CAR-TEST.
— Kathleen Folkerth contributed to these reports.
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Calendar of Events
- Spaghetti Dinner - 5/18/2013
- Amadeus Sinfonietta - 5/18/2013
- Book fair - 5/18/2013
- Sounds of Spring - 5/18/2013
- Highland Middle School Art Show - 5/18/2013