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South Side News & Notes

4/4/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Suspects arrested in deaths of Fairlawn attorney, his wife

NEW FRANKLIN — New Franklin and Akron police officials announced at a press conference April 4 that an Akron man has been charged in connection with the April 2 double homicide of a Rex Lake Drive couple.

Jeffrey Schobert, 56, and his wife, Margaret Schobert, 59, were found in the master bedroom of their home at 2:22 p.m. and were pronounced dead shortly afterward, according to New Franklin Police. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed both died of blunt force trauma to the head.

New Franklin Police Det. Mike Hitchings said Shawn Ford, 18, of East South Street in Akron, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and grand theft. Ford is reportedly the boyfriend of the Schoberts’ 18-year-old daughter, Chelsea Schobert. She is a senior at Archbishop Hoban High School, where her older sister, Jessica, 23, also attended.

On April 5, Hitchings said a 14-year-old Akron male also was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary in connection with the Schoberts’ deaths.

Summit County Juvenile Court Administrator Don Ursetti said Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio entered a “denial” plea on his behalf regarding the charges since an attorney had not yet been appointed for him during his arraignment hearing April 8. He added the prosecution entered a motion to relinquish the jurisdiction of the juvenile court to have the case tried in adult court.

Ursetti said a pretrial date for the juvenile has been scheduled for May 2 at 3:30 p.m., and he is being held at the Dan Street Detention Center.

New Franklin and Akron law enforcement officials were working to determine if the Schoberts’ deaths were related to a March 23 incident involving Chelsea Schobert. According to an Akron police report, on that date in the 1400 block of Andrus Street in Akron, Chelsea Schobert was stabbed with a knife repeatedly and suffered a skull fracture. Ford was initially identified as a witness in the incident, and Jamayne Ruiz, of Gaylord Drive, was arrested March 26 and charged with felonious assault. However, Akron Municipal Court documents reveal the charges against Ruiz were dropped April 4 and Ford was charged with felonious assault in the attack on Chelsea Schobert.

Ford remains in jail on a $2 million bond, according to Barberton Municipal Court officials.

Jeffrey Schobert worked for Hanna Campbell & Powell LLP in Fairlawn, leading the firm’s health care trial group, according to the firm’s website. He also has been a mock trial coach for students at Hoban, according to Hoban officials. A prayer service and Mass were held for the Schobert family at the school April 3.

According to the Schoberts’ obituary, a memorial service will take place tomorrow, April 12, at 1 p.m. at The Chapel in Green, 1800 Raber Road. Condolences may be sent through hummel-cares.com. Memorial contributions can be made to Archbishop Hoban High School’s Jeff and Peg Schobert Memorial Fund and Scholarship. Contributions will fund the mock trial team and give one member an opportunity to earn a college scholarship. Donations can be sent to 1 Holy Cross Blvd., Akron OH 44306.



AMATS seeks input on transportation improvements

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) is asking the public for input on the development of the Transportation Outlook 2035 and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for fiscal years 2014 through 2017.

Officials with the agency said the Transportation Outlook 2035 is the area’s draft long-range transportation plan of identified needs and recommendations. The plan includes highway, transit, bike and pedestrian project recommendations slated for completion by 2035.

Transportation Outlook 2035 recommends more than $4.3 billion in highway infrastructure investments through 2035, including more than $2.5 billion for preservation of the existing system. The draft plan includes investment of more than $1.7 billion in the region’s public transportation system and recommends $30 million in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

AMATS Planning Coordinator Krista Beniston said the draft plan represents the agency’s focus on better using the Greater Akron area’s funding resources.

“These recommendations reflect a ‘fix-it-first’ approach to pursue needed investments in the area’s existing transportation system rather than costly expansions,” Beniston said.

The TIP is the area’s four-year program of highway, public transit and bike and pedestrian projects scheduled to receive federal funding. The program includes more than $662 million in highway and public transportation projects for fiscal years 2014 through 2017, including nearly $9 million for bike and pedestrian projects.

TIP Coordinator Victor Botosan said the program also emphasizes maintenance of the area’s existing system.

“The draft TIP recognizes that the pot of government funding for transportation is not likely to grow in the coming years, but we believe that we have crafted an effective program of investments and significant improvements with the resources that we have available,” Botosan said.

The agency is hosting two public engagement meetings so residents may comment on the plans. Meetings are scheduled for April 9 at 6 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St., and April 18 at 6 p.m. at the Kent Free Library, 312 W. Main St. in Kent.

In addition, drafts of both documents are available for review and comment at amatsplanning.org; the AMATS office at 146 S. High St., 806 Citi Center; the PARTA office at 2000 Summit Road in Kent; the Ohio Department of Transportation District 4 office, 2088 S. Arlington Road in Akron; on Twitter at @amatsplanning; and on Facebook at facebook.com/amatsplanning.



United Way/Red Cross campaign sets record

AKRON — United Way of Summit County officials announced the 2012 United Way/Red Cross Campaign raised $11,803,340, the highest total in United Way’s 94-year history of fundraising in Summit County.

This total exceeds the $11,610,000 goal set by the organization’s campaign volunteers and Board of Directors and is 4 percent more than the $11.3 million raised in 2011, according to United Way officials.

“In a community as generous as Summit County, it would be a daunting task to list every person and organization responsible for such a successful campaign,” said Katie Rennard, senior vice president of resource development for the United Way of Summit County. “Donors giving at all levels helped achieve this record-breaking year. United Way was built on the belief that together, we can accomplish more than any individual or organization can alone. This is still true today.”

Membership in Summit County’s Tocqueville Society, donors of $10,000 or more annually, has grown steadily from 67 members in 2003 to 213 members (including 39 new members) this year, according to United Way officials. Summit County has the highest number of Tocqueville donors among similarly sized communities in Ohio, United Way officials added.

“Setting a new record for United Way of Summit County fundraising is exciting, but the real impact of this achievement is the help it will provide through a variety of programs and collaborations throughout our community,” said Rennard.

According to United Way officials, businesses that made this year’s results possible include: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; GOJO Industries Inc.; Time Warner Cable; FirstEnergy Corp.; ComDoc Inc.; and Myers Industries Inc. Increases at these six workplace campaigns totaled nearly $250,000. United Way officials added that 244 companies of all sizes posted increased corporate or employee giving.

2012 campaign chair Nick Browning, president of FirstMerit Bank, Akron region, credited his hardworking volunteer “campaign cabinet” members with this year’s record success.

“The results we’re announcing today were made possible early in the year, when this committed group of community leaders laid the groundwork for the 2012 campaign,” he said. “Throughout the year, hundreds of volunteers and the United Way staff went about making ‘the ask’ to thousands of generous people throughout our community. As always, the greater Summit County community responded in a big way.”

For more information on how to make a donation, on programs and services, or to volunteer, call 330-762-7601 or visit the website at www.uwsummit.org or the offices at 90 N. Prospect St.



Financial Literacy Month events planned

GREATER AKRON — The Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs (SCOCA) is teaming up once again with its partners and sponsors to recognize April as Financial Literacy Month.

During the month, consumers can attend one or more of the 32 free events being offered by local agencies. A range of financial topics will be covered, including understanding consumer debt, family budgeting, home buying, ways to improve credit report/score, dealing with debt and collection, children learning how to handle money, protecting your identity, avoiding financial frauds and schemes, shredding personal documents, assisting seniors and veterans with employment opportunities and more. Presentations are scheduled for all ages, from teenagers to senior citizens.

To register or learn more about a class, workshop or event, call the telephone number provided by that agency or the SCOCA at 330-643-2879 for a flier to be mailed to you or visit www.co.summit.oh.us/consumeraffairs.

The following classes will be offered:

  • Financial Management, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 9 to 11 a.m., at Mustard Seed Development Center, 1357 Home Ave. in East Akron. Registration required; call 330-631-0350.
  • Akron Consumer Debt Class, April 6 and 19, 9 a.m., with Community Legal Aid Services (CLAS), at Akron Municipal Court, 217 S. High St. in Downtown Akron, in the Jury Room; 330-983-2621.
  • How Money Works, April 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Primerica, 169 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Road in Green; 330-644-9910.
  • East Akron Counsel and Advice Clinic, April 9, 5 p.m., with CLAS, East Akron YMCA, 110 Goodyear Blvd.; 877-401-0088.
  • Job Boot Camp, for veterans only, April 10-12, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Veterans Service Commission (VSC), 1060 E. Waterloo Road in South Akron. Registration required; call 330-564-1492.
  • Mature Workers’ Job & Career Fair, April 11, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with Mature Services Inc., at Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St. in Fairlawn; 330-762-8666, ext. 174 or 178. Four workshops will include “Financial Tips for the Unemployed.”
  • Money Management and Financial Planning, April 11, 4 to 6 p.m., with SCOCA officials, at VSC. Registration required; call 330-643-2879.
  • Financial Fitness, April 11, 18 and 25, 6 to 8 p.m., at East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp., 1046 S. Arlington St. in South Akron. Registration required; call 330-724-0244.
  • Barberton Consumer Debt Class, April 15, 5:30 p.m., with CLAS, at Barberton Library, 602 W. Park Ave.; 330-983-2621.
  • Marriage and Money, April 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m., at Primerica; 330-644-9910.


Free income tax filing services offered

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is partnering with the Ohio Benefit Bank to offer free income tax filing services to households with an adjusted gross income of less than $60,000 per year.

The free tax service will be offered by appointment only tomorrow, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St.

Eligible participants must bring: photo identification; Social Security numbers for the client and all dependents; income forms, such as W2s, 1099s and 1098s; information about other income; deduction and credit information; and a copy of last year’s tax return.

Income tax filings will be prepared by Ohio Benefit Bank counselors. To schedule an appointment, contact Laura Vanzo at 330-572-3101.

Other dates for tax filing services are available by contacting Ohio Benefit Bank at 800-648-1176 or using the site locator at www.ohiobenefits.org.

Eligible individuals also may use the website to prepare their taxes for free. The website is designed not only to help individuals and families prepare and electronically file their taxes, but also to enable Ohioans to claim all credits for which they are eligible at no cost, as well as review potential eligibility for other community support.



April is ‘Child & Family Awareness Month’

GREATER AKRON — “A Family Is Timeless” is the theme of this year’s “Child & Family Awareness Month©,” a month-long celebration of children and families coordinated by Summit County Children Services (SCCS), along with more than 150 local agencies, organizations, places of worship, businesses and individuals who work together to plan a series of family-fun activities and educational events.

According to SCCS officials, Child & Family Awareness Month is dedicated to building a solid foundation of community support for children and families and helps raise the awareness of child abuse prevention.

This year’s array of events will include:

  • April 10: Wear Blue to Work Day — Businesses and organizations are invited to participate in this statewide program to help raise awareness of child abuse prevention.
  • April 11: Child Abuse and Neglect Training for Churches, 6 to 9 p.m., Celebration Church, 688 Dan St. — Lisa Hamilton-Green, a licensed social worker and community educator with SCCS, will give a three-hour training specially designed to help church leaders and lay members have a better understanding of child abuse and neglect reporting laws. Participants also will receive a Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Kit. Register online at www.summitkids.org.
  • April 16: Parent Training Event, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Children’s Library at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St. — Presented by the library system and Child Care Connection, the training, “Sing Your Way to Reading Success,” will be presented by library staff members Laura McFalls and Trish Saylor. This training will look at research and the connection between music and brain development. Space is limited to 20 parents and 20 children, and children attending must be 3 and older. To make a reservation, call SCCS.

In addition, throughout April, hundreds of colorful “Pinwheels for Prevention” will spin on the grounds of SCCS, the Summit County Juvenile Court and Akron Children’s Hospital to celebrate the lives of children and to encourage prompt reporting of child abuse and neglect, according to SCCS officials.

Also during April, to pay tribute to the 26-year history of Child & Family Awareness Month, a display of large signs bearing the logos and prize-winning slogans from each yearly celebration is on display on the agency’s front lawn at 264 S. Arlington St.

For more information about any program listed or to register with the SCCS, call SCCS at 330-379-1994 or visit www.summitkids.org.



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

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