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West Side News & Notes

9/13/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Save-a-Life Saturday provides free training

GREATER AKRON — Free emergency response training will be provided on Save-a-Life Saturday at four locations in the Akron area Sept. 22.

The event is a joint venture between the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties and Akron General Medical Center and will be conducted at three Akron General Health and Wellness Centers, as well as the American Red Cross headquarters in West Akron.

Officials said the training includes instruction in hands-only CPR, the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) and how to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest. The training lasts 45 minutes to an hour and will be led by a Red Cross instructor and staff from Akron General’s Heart and Vascular Center, they added.

Sessions will take place at:

• Akron General Health and Wellness Center, 1940 Town Park Blvd. in Green, at 9 and 10 a.m.;

• Akron General Health and Wellness Center — West, at 4125 Medina Road in Bath, at 11 a.m. and noon;

• American Red Cross, 501 W. Market St., at 1 and 2 p.m.; and

• Akron General Health and Wellness Center — North, at 4300 Allen Road in Stow, at 3 and 4 p.m.

Participants are asked to preregister by calling 330-344-2462. Additional information is available on the local Red Cross website at www.summit county.redcross.org.

Organizers said the Cleveland-based firm Prestan Products, which is loaning its CPR/AED training manikins to the Red Cross for the training, is providing assistance for the event. The realistic manikins provide instant feedback to both the instructor and the student regarding the proper rate of chest compression and the correct amount of force to use in the compressions, according to organizers.


Copley Police investigate threats at high school

Shown above is a photo from the Copley Police Department of the gun that students posted in a photo on Facebook. The police said their photo shows that the weapon was a small toy gun.
Photo courtesy of Copley Police Department
COPLEY — Two Copley High School sophomores were charged with delinquency after Copley Police said they talked about violent acts against students on Facebook.

Police Chief Michael Mier said Sept. 7 that the two male 15-year-old students communicated on the social network site the evening of Sept. 6 about killing students, detonating a bomb and planting an explosive device at a school event. One of the students posted a photo of a firearm as well, which police later determined was actually a photo of a small toy gun.

Mier said at some point the students indicated they were not serious and recognized that they ran the risk of someone interpreting their comments as real threats.

Once school district officials confronted the students the following day, both were cooperative, police said.

Mier said police believe that no one was in any danger, but the two youths used poor judgment.

Police charged the two with delinquency by reason of making a false alarm, which will be handled by the Summit County Juvenile Court.

Police reported that Copley-Fairlawn City School District officials took action to suspend the students. A call seeking comment from district officials was not returned at presstime.


APD utilizes new method for releasing suspect information

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Police Chief James Nice, FBI Senior Supervisory Agent Todd Wickerham and Akron Director of Neighborhood Assistance John Valle unveiled Sept. 7 a new training and technology in use by the Akron Police Department (APD).

Called DIVRT, short for Digital Imaging Video Response Team, the new kits allow officers to release possible suspect images to the public within hours. Thanks to the FBI and the Philadelphia Police Department, the APD has received specialized high-tech training in DIVRT and portable equipment to be used out in the field to retrieve video from a crime scene.

“What people do not realize is that the average person is captured on surveillance 72 times per day by private businesses and home video cameras,” Nice said in a city press release. “There are literally video cameras everywhere in the city, and the more images we get out to the public, and the faster we can get them out there, the better our chances of solving the crimes.”

The APD has also partnered with the city’s 3-1-1 Call Center and established a Customer Service Request for the city of Akron to make the DIVRT system even more effective, according to city officials.

“We are asking for anyone who utilizes a video surveillance camera on their property — business owners and/or individual residents — to register their equipment by calling the 3-1-1 center,” said Valle. “By registering your camera, you will be assisting in the crime-prevention efforts in your neighborhood.”

Valle added, “There is no cost to register your equipment, and you will not be contacted unless there is a crime committed in the vicinity of your security camera.”

During the initial DIVRT trial period, the APD created several videos. After two videos produced in May were released to local media by email, Twitter and Facebook, the suspects were identified within hours and arrested shortly thereafter.

“On July 5, 2012, NBC Nightly News showcased the Akron Police Department, the Philadelphia Police Department and the FBI specifically on the training, use and success of the DIVRT program,” Plusquellic said. “There is no doubt that Akron is a step ahead of other departments in the use of this technology. And, I have no doubt we can stay a step ahead of the criminals with the added help of our citizens.”


CASA seeks sponsors at annual breakfast event

GREATER AKRON — Summit County CASA/GAL is seeking sponsors to help achieve its goal of at least $50,000 at its annual “I Am for the Child” Fundraising Breakfast Nov. 1 at 7:30 a.m. at The University of Akron Martin’s University Center, 105 Fir Hill.

All proceeds from the event will be used for the recruitment, training and support of CASA volunteers to ensure abused and neglected children in the Akron community can receive proper help, according to CASA officials.

Sterling Jewelers Inc. has pledged to match any gift, up to a total maximum donation of $25,000, at the event, according to Beth Cardina, CASA program coordinator.

“We are more than appreciative for Sterling’s generous and long-term commitment to Summit County CASA/GAL,” Cardina said.

In addition, County Executive Russ Pry’s Department of Job and Family Services has committed to a Bronze Sponsorship of $1,000.

“We are so thankful for this sponsorship and look forward to additional support leading up to the event,” Cardina said.

For additional information, call Cardina at 330-643-2514 or go to www.summitcasagal.org.


GIRLtopia project seeks girls with solutions

GREATER AKRON — A new program of Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) will allow girls in grades six through 12 to earn grant funding to tackle their solutions to local problems while they learn leadership skills.

GIRLtopia: Akron will kick off Sept. 15 at The University of Akron with 75 Akron girls learning persuasive speaking, planning and networking — skills that will prepare them to complete “Take Action” projects and become the women leaders of tomorrow, according to GSNEO officials. The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Student Union.

The program is free and open to girls who reside in Akron. Participants do not need to currently be in the Girl Scouts program, but they will become part of the organization and have their dues paid through the program, officials said.

“Girl Scouts have been committed to serving their communities for 100 years,” said GSNEO Chief Executive Officer Daisy Alford-Smith. “When you enlist help from girls who have a vested interest in the future of the city where they live, they will become engaged and feel empowered to make a difference.”

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is providing GSNEO with $50,000 to support the program.

During a six-week period, participating girls will evaluate the community’s issues, such as those in social services, criminal justice or the environment, and develop networks and solutions. Girls will be encouraged to create an online submission (video, podcast, blog, etc.) that shares their project with others on the GSNEO website. They also will use social media outlets to garner support for their individual projects.

Officials said a panel of local community leaders, business owners and celebrities will be recruited to judge submissions. GSNEO will award a total of $1,500 in mini grants based on judges’ reviews and votes from the public to help participants implement their projects.

GSNEO officials said participants and volunteers are currently needed. For more information, call or text Alanna Nicholas at 330-283-0353.


Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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