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West Side News & Notes

1/10/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Summit County Republicans to choose judge

WEST AKRON — The Summit County Republican Party is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy on Summit County Common Pleas Court.

Former Common Pleas Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer was elected to be judge of Summit County Probate Court in the Nov. 6 General Election. She began her term there Jan. 1, which created the Common Pleas Court vacancy.

Stormer is a Democrat, but the local Republican Party is charged with submitting at least three names of applicants for the judgeship to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican.

Those who are interested in the seat are asked to submit a formal application in writing with a résumé to Alex Arshinkoff, chairman of the Summit County Republican Party, 1755 Merriman Road, Suite 250, Akron, OH 44313. Applications must be received no later than Jan. 16 at 4 p.m.

Jonathan Pavloff, chairman of the party’s Executive Committee, and Arshinkoff have appointed an ad hoc screening committee to interview interested candidates Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. at party headquarters. They will make a recommendation of finalists to the Executive Committee, which will meet Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Portage Country Club to select its recommended candidates to forward to Kasich.

For more details, call Debbie Walsh at 330-434-9151.

Fire destroys structure at Elms Athletic Complex

Investigators determined the fire that destroyed the structure at the Our Lady of the Elms Athletic Complex in Bath Jan. 6 was accidental.
Photo courtesy of Our Lady of the Elms
BATH — Our Lady of the Elms officials said a fire that destroyed a structure that housed a concession stand, restrooms and storage area at the school’s Athletic Complex on Ira Road Jan. 6 was accidental.

Bath Fire Department Assistant Chief Tim Gemind said the department received multiple calls after midnight that night as motorists on Interstate 77 could see the fire. Elms officials said one of the calls came from an Elms parent who saw the flames.

Gemind said investigators were at the scene Jan. 7 to determine what caused the fire.

“The facility was totally destroyed, almost to the point of collapsing,” he said.

Elms officials said the structure, which was closed for the season, was in the center of the complex, where the West Akron Catholic girls school has its two soccer fields, a rubber track, two softball fields and six tennis courts. There was no damage to those areas from the fire, they added.

“We are grateful to the Bath Fire Department and police department for reacting so swiftly,” said Carli Kistler-Miller, Elms’ executive director of operations, in a prepared statement. “At this point, we don’t know what caused it but we are blessed that no one was hurt.”

In a follow-up email, Kistler-Miller said the fire might have been caused by heaters in the restrooms. The school plans to rebuild in time for the 2013 softball season, which begins in April, she added.

Charles Brown named Akron assistant police chief

Akron Police Lt. Charles Brown has been named an assistant to Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and assistant chief of police effective Jan. 13.
Photo courtesy of the city of Akron
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced veteran Akron Police Lt. Charles Brown will become an assistant to the mayor and assistant chief of police effective Jan. 13.

According to city officials, Brown will report directly to Police Chief James Nice and will provide additional police leadership to the chief in the supervision and direction of all police functions, administrative investigations, personnel issues, the allocation of departmental resources and communication with the media, the public and employees. He also will represent the police chief, the mayor and the city of Akron at various public events and meetings.

“Charles has been with the department for 27 years, he is a proven leader in the department and well respected by our citizens,” said Nice.

For the past 12 years, Brown served as the commander for Police Community Relations, Community Oriented Policing (COPS) and the Gang Unit in the Akron Police Department, according to city officials. Prior to that, Brown was a sergeant in Internal Affairs, the Street Drug Enforcement Detail, a detective in the Community Relations Bureau and the Narcotics Unit, and a Patrol Officer and SWAT team member. Brown began his career as an Akron police officer in 1986 after graduating from The University of Akron with a degree in criminal justice technology, according to city officials.

“As we look to expand and advance our community policing methods, I cannot think of anybody better to help lead our police force,” said Plusquellic.

Brown graduated from numerous law enforcement programs, most recently including the completion of a six-month assignment in the FBI Police Executive Fellowship program, where he was assigned to FBI Headquarters in the Safe Streets/Gang Unit, according to city officials. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership College, the FBI National Academy and the Leadership Akron program.

“I am honored to be selected for this position and I am excited to serve the citizens of Akron in this new capacity,” said Brown. “This is a great opportunity for me to work closely with our dedicated officers and to use the training and skills that I have developed over the past 27 years to help to make our department more efficient and effective.”

According to city officials, Brown will not report to the mayor, and he will not be a member of the mayor’s cabinet. Brown’s annual salary will be $104,353, which is consistent with the salaries of other assistants to the mayor, according to city officials.

Nicolard, Bergstrom to lead Norton Council

NORTON — Norton City Council once again will be under the leadership of Council members Don Nicolard (Ward 2) and Todd Bergstrom (Ward 1) in 2013.

In a special meeting Jan. 2, Council voted 7-0 to keep Nicolard as president. Bergstrom was re-elected vice president by a vote of 5-2, with members Charlotte Whipkey (at large) and William Mowery (Ward 3) casting the no votes.

Council will next meet Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Safety-Administration Building, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive.

New Summit County DOES director named

Michael Weant
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Executive Russ Pry has named Michael Weant the director of the Department of Environmental Services (DOES).

Weant, whose appointment was announced Jan. 3, has been the deputy director of DOES for nine years. He replaces David Marquard, who retired Dec. 31, according to county officials.

Previously, Weant worked in the Summit County Engineer’s Office and for CSX Railways. He has a bachelor’s degree in science from Marshall University and a master’s in business administration from Miami University.

“I am excited and honored to become a member of executive Pry’s senior management team,” Weant said in a press release. “The Department of Environmental Services has made significant improvements in our work processes over the last nine years. Many of these improvements can be attributed to the commitment of our employees. Their ability to adopt and apply change has enhanced our operations and services.”

DOES oversees the county’s sewer system.

Central Collection Agency pursuing delinquent taxpayers in Akron

DOWNTOWN AKRON — At the beginning of 2012, the city Akron rolled out a comprehensive tax collection effort and announced its collaboration with the Central Collection Agency (CCA) in Cleveland to identify and seek out all delinquent taxpayers.

According to city officials, at that time, Mayor Don Plusquellic also announced a tax amnesty program for those businesses and individuals who were delinquent in filing, have failed to file or who have failed to report all their income on their city of Akron tax returns.

“Immediately following the individual amnesty period, the city will initiate its process through CCA of cross-referencing city tax returns with state and federal data to identify those who may not have filed with the city at all or who may have under-reported their income,” said Plusquellic.

According to Akron officials, that process has taken place and CCA has mailed out its first batch of 500 letters to Akron taxpayers that have showed up on the federal tax rolls, but not on Akron’s taxpayers’ files. Two more mailings are scheduled to go out this month to the remainder of the 5,000 people who failed to file with the city of Akron.

Barre studio makes debut

FAIRLAWN — Barre Pose, a boutique fitness studio, opened its doors Jan. 3 at 77 N. Miller Road, Suite C.

Co-owners Stacey DeGenaro Downing and Sue Costigan have more than 45 years of experience in the fitness training industry. The studio offers mind-body training focusing on barre and yoga classes. 

Barre is a blend of strength training, yoga and Pilates that utilizes a ballet barre to sculpt, strengthen and elongate the entire body, according to Downing and Costigan, who add barre workouts are becoming more popular.

“At Barre Pose, we believe that fitness is more than a number on a scale and that fit bodies come in different shapes and sizes,” Downing said. “You will become strong like an athlete, long and lean like a dancer.”

Costigan added, “Our core mission is to create a serene environment for focused conditioning in a safe, unique manner to achieve a strong, centered body both mentally and physically.”

Classes are open to men and women six days a week. To sign up for classes and learn more, visit www.barreposestu dio.com or call 330-607-1272.

Technicote rebuilds, remains in Cuyahoga Falls

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Mayor Don Robart has announced the renovation and expansion of manufacturer Technicote on Marc Drive.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 16, 2011, a fire erupted during a routine process change on one of Technicote’s machines. There were no injuries, but the fire destroyed most of the building, according to city officials.

The Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department and Development Department were on the scene.

“A small portion of the building was not affected,” Robart said. “And knowing that Technicote wanted to keep their operations going, we immediately began working to restore power to the undisturbed portion and made sure the area was a safe work environment.”

During the next few months, Technicote began to analyze its alternatives to accommodate its manufacturing needs, according to city officials.

“After evaluating numerous options in various states and sites, we concluded rebuilding at our current location in Cuyahoga Falls was the best option,” said Doug O’Connell, president of Technicote. “We were anxious to retain our experienced work force, since they are one of the keys to producing the unique products we offer. Another factor was that the city of Cuyahoga Falls has been great to work with throughout this process.”

Less than 12 months after the fire, Technicote’s operations were up and running.

The 45,800-square-foot addition brings an investment of more than $10 million, retains 40 jobs and will create 12 new full-time jobs at that location, according to city officials.

“We are thrilled that Technicote decided to remain in our city,” said city Development Director Susan Truby. “This project was a huge collaborative effort with various city and county departments, as well as the Greater Akron Chamber, proof that public-private partnerships work. It’s not just about a project; it’s about the people and our community.”

A grand reopening took place Jan. 8 with city, county and Technicote officials.

Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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