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South Side News & Notes

8/23/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

CSEA hosting two-day amnesty event

AKRON — The Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) will host Child Support Solutions, a two-day amnesty event, Aug. 24-25 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at The Job Center at 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave., according to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Participants will be able to: reinstate their driver’s licenses; resolve outstanding child support warrants; apply for waiver or settlement of past-due child support owed to the state; make payment arrangements for back child support; and have genetic testing done to determine paternity, according to Walsh’s office.

“I understand that there are social and economic reasons beyond parents’ control that sometimes make them afraid to contact the Child Support Enforcement Agency to discuss their specific situation that leads to nonpayment of child support,” said Walsh. “This event provides the perfect opportunity for them to do so in a nonthreatening, peaceful environment where we can provide them with the tools and resources they need all in one location,” said Walsh. “It is extremely encouraging to see all of these agencies and organizations come together for the benefit of our children.”

Representatives from CSEA, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Summit County Executive’s Office, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Fame Fathers, Summit County Domestic Relations Court, Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tom Teodosio, Man 2 Man, Summit County Fiscal Office, The Job Center, Fathers & Sons, Summit County Clerk of Courts, Court Approved Special Advocates, Fatherhood Initiative and U.S. Department of Veterans Services will be on hand to help attendees address the issues that are preventing them from making their child support payments, according to Walsh.

The CSEA collects nearly $86 million annually and handles more than 55,000 child support cases. Each year it establishes support orders for approximately 4,000 children. For more on CSEA, visit www.co.summit.oh.us/prosecutor/childsupp.htm.


Foreclosure clinics planned in Akron

SOUTH AKRON — The Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs and the Veterans Service Commission (VSC) plan to hold free clinics for homeowners facing foreclosure in the coming weeks.

The first Foreclosure Assistance Clinic will take place Aug. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the VSC, 1060 E. Waterloo Road.

Those who attend the clinics will have the chance to meet with representatives from the mortgage companies of Bank of America, Chase, GMAC, Huntington, New York Community Bank and Wells Fargo. Homeowners who do not have mortgages with those companies will be able to meet with local housing counseling agencies, who will help determine if the homeowners are eligible for Ohio’s Restoring Stability program.

Also, attendees can meet with a local credit counselor to discuss budgeting or debt management and find information regarding programs such as veterans’ services, property taxes, weatherization, emergency notification, medical or legal help, computer scams and more.

Officials said future clinics are planned for Sept. 20 and Oct. 4. To find out which lenders will be at those clinics, or for more information, call 330-643-2879.


Stand Down to assist homeless veterans

SOUTH AKRON — The Summit County Stand Down 2012 will take place Sept. 11 and provide local homeless or displaced veterans with essential services.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Firestone VFW Post No. 3383, 690 W. Waterloo Road.

Throughout the day, veterans in need can take part in mental health and substance abuse counseling; dental, foot and eye exams; and employment and social services. Community Legal Aid representatives also will be on hand to provide legal assistance.

Lunch will be provided and haircuts available, all at no charge. Clothing also will be distributed.

Only veterans will be permitted into the event, organizers said, and they must provide military identification, such as dog tags, military discharge paperwork or Department of Veterans Affairs identification.

Organizers said Metro RTA bus No. 18 will provide service to the event.

This year’s event is the seventh annual Stand Down in Akron. The name comes from the term used in times of war, when exhausted combat units had time to rest and recover. Today it refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program to help veterans combat life on the streets, according to organizers.

The event is organized by the Summit County Veterans Council, which is made up of several local veterans groups.

For details, call Laura Dunlop at 330-762-7328.


Fire Department Rehab Unit formed

SOUTH SUMMIT — The Fire Department Rehab Unit (FDRU) of Stark County, a volunteer group of retired and current firefighters dedicated to providing fire ground support services to Stark and southern Summit counties and portions of Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning and Portage counties, has now formed.

According to FDRU Chief Steve Clark, these units are now a common practice across the country as the demand on firefighters increases. The National Fire Protection Association 1584 and International Fire Chiefs Association have adopted standard rehab procedures and recommended practices for FDRUs, according to Clark.

Clark stated local fire chiefs are receptive to the idea and have confirmed these services are needed across the area. He also said the FDRU has applied for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with a corporate charter, and it is a fully insured volunteer fire company through the Volunteer Fire Service Insurance Co. of Ohio.

According to Clark, the FDRU will provide firefighters with an emergency mobile relief station where they can take a break, rest, recuperate, warm up, cool off, rehydrate, clean up and be checked over and cleared by medical personnel before returning to duty at working fires, major auto accidents, hazmat incidents, disasters, trainings and more.

The rehab trucks will carry water, nutritional foods, electrolyte drinks, ice, cooling fans, core cooling vests, hot drinks, scene lighting, towels, blankets, tents, a portable restroom, chairs, generators, propane heaters, video and digital camera equipment, a thermal imager, a weather station and more.

Clark said the unit will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for use by all participating departments, law enforcement agencies and special response teams. The first unit, “Rehab 1,” also will be available for training exercises for participating departments where physical exertion warrants the use of its services for firefighters’ safety and well-being.

The FDRU will be based in the Alliance area and will be dispatched by Cencom.

“We will offer quicker response times and automatic responses on all second alarm or more working fires, as well as other major incidents,” said Clark. “Quick response is a crucial part of fire rehab when dealing with extremely hot or cold temperatures, rapid dehydration from fire suppression, as well as the other weather and fire scene elements. These types of things can really take a toll on your fire personnel and put their health at risk in a short period of time.”

Anyone with interest in the service can set up a presentation meeting or request service at a training event for firsthand experience.

The FDRU also is in need of various equipment and more volunteers for staffing.

Funds to purchase a full-sized fire apparatus — a 1995 International Medtec rescue truck — to be put into service as the new rehab/canteen unit are needed, as well as equipment and supplies. The truck will be purchased from the Kirwan Heights Fire Department near Pittsburgh, and individuals or organizations donating $1,000 or more will have their names displayed on the truck, according to Clark.

Volunteers must have a clean driving history and criminal record and be a current or retired firefighter, medic or emergency medical technician.

For more information on volunteering, contact Clark at 330-701-7852 or Don Jordan at 330-904-7577 or email StarkFDRU@aol.com.


Summit for Kids Awards winners announced

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Summit for Kids Awards Committee announced the winners of this year’s awards.

According to county officials, PNC Bank, a three-year title sponsor of the event, won in the business category for its dedication to early childhood education. In the youth category, Barberton Youth Adventure Camp won for offering an experience designed to provide various outdoor and indoor activities for novice youth adventurers. Wining in the organization category was Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection (GASP), which focuses on education to prevent and protect children from dangerous situations, abuse and abduction.

According to county officials, to select the winners, the Awards Committee reviewed nominations of community and youth groups, nonprofit agencies and organizations, businesses and individual youths who have participated in a collaborative project event or activity that helped to improve the lives of children and families and contributed to the betterment of the community.

According to county officials, the Summit for Kids Awards celebrate partnerships and collaboration in conjunction with the third annual Summit for Kids Community Expo, an event that connects parents and children with community resources. That event took place Aug. 18 at the John S. Knight Center and offered immunizations, dental services for children ages 3-6, back-to-school physicals, backpacks filled with school supplies, education sessions for parents, entertainment and opportunities to meet costumed characters.


Akron Press Club announces fall speakers

AKRON — The Akron Press Club luncheon series speaker lineup for September and October includes a political panel, the president and CEO of National Public Radio and the lead anchor for WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland. For each date, lunch will begin at 11:45 a.m. with the program to follow.

The club begins its 2012 fall programming Sept. 13 with a panel discussion on politics. Members of the panel will be: Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute; Gerald Austin, a longtime Democratic political consultant; and Mark Weaver, a longtime Republican political consultant. This program is co-sponsored with the Ray A. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron (UA) and will be held at UA’s Martin University Center, 105 Fir Hill.

Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of National Public Radio, will speak Sept. 27. Knell joined NPR in 2011 and is responsible for all its operations, including partnerships with the member stations. This program, which is co-sponsored with WSKU/89.7 FM, will be held at the Kent State University Student Center Ballroom balcony.

Russ Mitchell, lead anchor for WKYC Channel 3, will speak Oct. 11 at UA’s Martin University Center. Mitchell joined WKYC in January 2012 as managing editor for evening news and lead anchor. Previously he anchored CBS Evening News weekend editions and was a national correspondent for the network.

The cost for each luncheon is $15 for Press Club members and $20 for nonmembers. To make reservations, call 330-564-4211 or email RSVP@cmoresearch.com.

For additional information about the Akron Press Club, visit www.akronpressclub.org.


Akron Bar establishes campaign conduct committee

DOWNTOWN AKRON — In an effort to increase the trust and respect of the public in the judiciary and to establish a mechanism to address improper campaign conduct, the Akron Bar Association (ABA) has crafted a campaign conduct pledge and established the Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee.

The ABA Board of Trustees approved the plan at its board retreat July 20 and appointed 11 members to the committee. The members are lawyers and others who are not highly involved in politics and, particularly, not judicial politics in Summit County, according to ABA officials.

The committee will present the campaign pledge to all judicial candidates, and it is the expectation of the ABA’s trustees and officers that all judicial candidates in Summit County will sign the campaign pledge to conduct appropriate, dignified and ethical campaigns, ABA officials indicated.

ABA officials added that through these efforts, the ABA seeks to ensure that judicial campaigns are conducted in a manner consistent with the importance of, and the integrity of, the offices that the candidates seek.

According to ABA officials, the ABA Board of Trustees initiated a review of campaign conduct in 2010, and the board appointed a task force earlier this year to make a recommendation regarding the appropriate role for the bar in monitoring campaign conduct.

After a review of the issues and the judicial campaign committees established in about 25 other state and local jurisdictions, the task force found that the use of a campaign pledge has raised the level of civility in judicial campaigns.

That led the task force to propose the use of a pledge for all judicial races in Summit County and the creation of the committee to consider and resolve complaints regarding campaign conduct, according to the ABA. The plan is modeled on the Ohio State Bar Association’s procedures for monitoring Ohio Supreme Court races.

ABA officials stated the plan was distributed to the sitting judges in Summit County for comment.


Kathleen Folkerth, Ariel Hakim and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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