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West Side News & Notes

7/18/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

ODOT holding public meeting regarding Main/Broadway interchange improvements

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the city of Akron propose to improve the Interstate 76/77 interchange for South Main and South Broadway streets and the roadway network near the interchange.

An open house public involvement meeting will take place July 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Leggett Community Learning Center, 333 E. Thornton St. Attendees may arrive anytime between 5 and 8 p.m. The meeting format includes two brief project overview presentations at 5:30 and 7 p.m. Following each presentation, individuals will have the opportunity to speak during an open microphone public comment period. Throughout the open house, personnel from ODOT, the city of Akron and URS Corp., the project consultant, will be available to answer questions.

ODOT and the city of Akron have developed several alternatives to improve safety, reduce crashes, replace aging infrastructure and provide roadways that meet current design standards, according to ODOT officials. The recommended preferred alternative proposes the following:

  • Reconfiguration of the I-76/77 Main/Broadway interchange ramps.
  • Relocating or modifying sections of South Main, South Broadway, East South, West South, Yale, Coburn, East Voris and West Voris streets; and Bachtel, Russell and Sweitzer avenues.
  • Permanent closure of the I-76/77 Grant Street/Wolf Ledges Parkway interchange ramps.

The proposed project is scheduled for construction in spring 2016. The estimated construction cost is $80 million.

The meeting is an opportunity to provide comments. Comments may be submitted in the following ways: spoken or submitted in person during the open house public involvement meeting; by phone to Robert Lang, ODOT District 4 environmental specialist, at 330-786-4975; by email to Robert.Lang@dot.state.oh.us; or by mail to: Edward Deley Jr., District 4 environmental coordinator, Ohio Department of Transportation, 2088 S. Arlington Road, Akron, OH 44306-4243. Comments must be submitted by Aug. 25.

Project information, including the meeting handout and displays, will be available on the ODOT District 4 website and at ODOT District 4, 2088 S. Arlington Road in South Akron. Also, a summary of public comments received during the public comment period and responses to comments will be prepared and are expected to be posted on the ODOT District 4 website within 60 days of the public comment period closure date. Go to www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/d04 and select “Public Meetings in District 4” under the “Services” heading.


Summit County BOE denies Coughlin’s petitions for Stow Municipal Court clerk

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Summit County Board of Elections denied former District 27 state senator Kevin Coughlin’s petitions to run for Stow Municipal Court clerk July 15.

Coughlin, a Republican, had filed as a nonpartisan candidate.

“In voting to reject my petitions to run, the members of the Summit County Board of Elections abused their power and disregarded the law,” said Coughlin in a prepared statement. “They may be afraid to face me on Election Day, but they cannot deny my basic rights. This issue is far from over. I will immediately seek a court order forcing the Board of Elections to certify my petitions. In addition, those who abused their power and ignored the law will be held to account. My campaign for clerk of courts will continue on without interruption while this matter is resolved.”

Ray Weber, a Republican board member, said Coughlin’s strong ties to the Republican party is the reason he thinks the board rejected Coughlin’s petitions as a nonpartisan candidate.

Current candidates include Democratic incumbent Diana Colavecchio and Republican Frank Larson, mayor of Munroe Falls.

The board did approve incumbent Kim Hoover’s petitions for Stow Municipal Court judge. He also filed as a nonpartisan. He will face Republican Kandi O’Connor in November.

The court district includes the Cuyahoga Falls, Peninsula Village and Boston Township.


Summit County Council member again donating half his salary

SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Councilman Bill Roemer (R-at large) announced he will donate half of his Council salary to charity.

When first running for a seat on Summit County Council in 2010, Roemer said he pledged to donate half of his annual $23,700 salary to charity if Council did not propose and maintain a balanced General Fund budget. When Summit County experienced a General Fund deficit of $1.8 million in 2011, Roemer said he donated $11,850 to 22 Summit County charities.

In 2012, Summit County experienced a General Fund deficit of $2.4 million, said Roemer, and he again plans to donate $11,850 to charity.

He has comprised a committee to help him determine where the funds should go. The committee includes: philanthropist Mary Serpentini; Dan Bell, of Daniel L. Bell Co. LPA and chairman of Summit County Children Services; Kevin Crum, a CPA with Levin, Swedler and Crum and past chairman of the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board; and Randy Briggs, Akron deputy mayor for Labor Relations and chairman of the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board.

Roemer said Summit County-based 501(c)(3) charitable organizations are invited to submit a proposal for funding to roemerbill@hotmail.com by Aug. 5. Donations will be determined by the committee, he said.


Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donors

NORTHEAST OHIO — The American Red Cross has issued an emergency request for platelet and blood donors of all blood types because fewer donations than expected were received in June and the first week of July.

Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected, according to Red Cross officials. The shortfall is similar to what the Red Cross experienced in June 2012.

June can be among the most challenging months of the year for blood and platelet donations as regular donors delay giving while they adjust to summer schedules, according to officials.

High school and college blood drives account for as much as 20 percent of Red Cross donations during the school year, according to Red Cross officials.

In addition, a mid-week Independence Day holiday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July.

Each day, the American Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services Region needs approximately 1,000 donors to step forward and give blood, according to Red Cross officials. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients, according to Red Cross officials.

There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. According to Red Cross officials, platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients and must be transfused within five days of donation.

To donate blood, call 800-733-2767 or visit www.redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


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

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