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West Side News & Notes

4/25/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Norton school board gearing up for bond issue

NORTON — Voters living in the Norton City Schools District may once again see a bond issue on the ballot this November.

The Board of Education, which held a special meeting April 22 to discuss the matter, would need to take action before mid-June to have the item placed before voters in the Nov. 5 General Election, according to board members.

Board members said they would like to spend a little more than $22 million to build a new high school and stadium.

Plans also would involve demolishing Cornerstone and Grill elementary schools, according to the board.

The current high school would house junior high students, and the current middle school would become an elementary school, according to Board President Cindy Webel.

Building of the high school and demolition of the elementary schools would be 51 percent funded by the state of Ohio, said Treasurer Stephanie Hagenbush. The total cost currently estimated for the high school and demolition project, for which the district would be responsible for a little less than half, is around $32 million, according to figures presented at the meeting.

Board members said as discussions continue they want to keep the cost for owners of a home valued at $100,000 under $10 a month and under 4 mills.

The district’s maximum borrowing capacity is about $24.7 million, said Hagenbush.

In August 2010, voters defeated a third attempt at a bond issue that would have seen the construction of a new high school and improvements to other district facilities.


Summer Youth Employment Program registration available

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County youths in homes at 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level again will be eligible to participate in a summer jobs program this year.

Registration to participate began April 23 for the Summit County Department of Job and Family Services’ Summer Youth Program for young people ages 16 to 24. Large and small employers from the public, private and nonprofit sector will provide jobs ranging from clerical and office work to janitorial and maintenance work, as well as child care and other services. The program will start June 1 and run through Aug. 31.

The program will be operated with $1.6 million in state funding through three entities: the Akron Urban League (AUL), Jobs for Ohio Graduates (JOG) and Youth Employment for Success (YES).

Interested youths or their parents, guardians or designees must call one of these providers, based on the ZIP code where they reside, to register for the program:

  • Youths residing in ZIP codes 44210, 44302, 44303, 44304, 44307, 44308, 44311, 44313, 44314, 44320, 44321, 44325 and 44333 should call 234-542-4176 to register with the AUL;
  • Youths residing in ZIP codes 44224, 44250, 44260, 44262, 44264, 44278, 44301, 44305, 44306, 44310 and 44312 should call 330-374-9477 to register with JOG; and
  • Youths residing in ZIP codes 44056, 44067, 44087, 44203, 44216, 44221, 44223, 44232, 44236, 44286, 44319, 44685 and 44720 should call 330-643-7401 to register with YES.

When calling to register, youths or their parents, guardians or designees must have all of the following information: youth’s full legal name; youth’s full Social Security number; youth’s date of birth; and two working telephone numbers where the youth may be reached.

Eligible youths who register will be placed in the program on a first-come, first-served basis.

Due to limited funding, there is no guarantee that all youths who register will be placed in the program. A waiting list will be maintained in the event additional job slots open up, according to county officials.


Letter carriers help Stamp out Hunger

GREATER AKRON — The National Association of Letter Carriers and Branch No. 148 carriers will collect nonperishable food items May 11 for distribution to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank as part of Stamp out Hunger.

Donors are asked to place a food donation beside their mailboxes that day for pick-up by letter carriers.

For more information or to donate large quantities, call the Branch 148 Union Hall at 330-535-4500.


AMHA announces nonprofit subsidiary to support residents

AKRON — The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) announced April 5 the formation of a nonprofit subsidiary, Building for Tomorrow … A Framework for Success.

Building for Tomorrow (BFT) provides residents and clients of AMHA with opportunities and tools to reach their potential and move beyond assisted housing, according to AMHA officials. Key areas of focus include educational success, economic self-sufficiency and independent living. BFT strives to create a supportive sense of community where residents, no matter their stage in life, are given the power to realize and obtain a brighter future, according to AMHA officials.

Anthony O’Leary, executive director of AMHA, also serves as CEO for BFT.

“Many of our programs and services for residents receive no funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] or other government sources,” O’Leary said. “In order to provide needed services, we must depend on the support of foundations, corporations and individual donors.”

In a press release, AMHA cited two examples of initiatives supported by BFT:

  • AMHA’s Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) — “With 3,000 children under the age of 5 living in AMHA housing (nearly 10 percent of that age group living in Summit County), AMHA has an opportunity and, we believe, a responsibility to prepare our youngest residents for kindergarten and beyond by helping parents be their child’s first and most important teacher,” explained Christine Yuhasz, AMHA director of strategic engagement.
    This is accomplished through home visits using an evidence-based curriculum and early childhood family outreach events designed to foster a sense of community around the importance of early childhood education, according to AMHA officials.
  • Summit Lake Family Opportunity Center (SLFOC) — AMHA has received a $4 million grant from HUD to build an early childhood, adult learning and job-training center in the Summit Lake neighborhood. One of only nine grants awarded in the country, AMHA received the fourth largest award, according to agency officials.
    The grant is for capital and equipment only. A portion of the money raised will be used to support program and operations for the center, according to AMHA officials.
    “Housing authorities across the country are recognizing the importance of education in efforts to transcend poverty,” said O’Leary. “The negative impacts of poverty on educational achievement are well documented, and housing authorities — including AMHA — are responding through thoughtful planning and creative programming and partnerships to improve the educational attainment and the resulting positive economic impact on their communities. Funds raised through Building for Tomorrow will allow us to help our residents reach their potential and be contributing members of society.”

To donate to BFT or for details, contact Christine Yuhasz at 330-376-9466 or cyuhasz@akronhousing.org.


Kathleen Folkerth, Ariel Hakim and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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