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West Side News & Notes

7/25/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Jane Davis appointed to Common Pleas bench

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Gov. John Kasich has appointed Jane Davis a judge of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.

Davis, a Republican and resident of Hudson, was appointed to the seat formerly held by Elinore Marsh Stormer, who won election as Summit County Probate Court judge last November.

According to Davis’ bailiff, Kim Guldeman, Davis was nominated to replace Stormer by the Summit County Republican Executive Committee, along with two others. Kasich made his selection earlier this month.

According to a biography sent by her office, Davis graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in industrial relations. She received a law degree, magna cum laude, from The University of Akron.

The biography also states Davis worked for three years as a law clerk and then a judicial attorney with the Summit County Domestic Relations Court before entering private practice with an Akron law firm and then a Cleveland firm.

She ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Sandra Kurt, a Democrat, for an unexpired at-large seat on Summit County Council this past November.

She is married with two children.

An investiture ceremony for Davis will take pace Aug. 2 at 4:30 p.m. in the first-floor atrium of the Summit County Courthouse, 209 S. High St.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, formerly of West Akron, will administer the oath.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony.

Summit County executive declares emergency

SUMMIT COUNTY — As a result of the July 10 storm that caused extensive flooding in a number of area communities, Summit County Executive Russ Pry has declared a state of emergency.

Summit County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Administrator Valerie De Rose said, “This declaration allows the EMA to continue to gather information that will be used in the event we are eligible for assistance.”

This declaration does not guarantee any emergency funds will come from the state or federal governments but is a first step in the eligibility process, according to county officials.

Norton Council president files complaint against citizens’ group

NORTON — Norton City Council President Don Nicolard (Ward 2) filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission July 10 against Citizens4Norton (C4N) regarding the group’s promotion of Issue No. 1.

Issue No. 1, to appear on the Aug. 6 Special Election ballot, was placed on the ballot through citizen initiative petition.

Issue No. 1 is a proposed amendment to the city’s charter that seeks to eliminate fees for construction of sewer or water lines for city residents and people who own property in Norton, as well as to have assessments for sewer or water lines paid for by the city. The amendment proposes tie-in fees for sewer or water lines be eliminated as well.

In addition, the proposed charter amendment seeks to cap residential water and sewer bills at $35 a month, unless increased by a majority vote of City Council by not more than 2 percent per year.

Nicolard’s complaint alleges C4N violated several sections of the Ohio Revised Code related to electioneering and the collection of funds to influence the outcome of an election.

The group also has failed to file forms with the Summit County Board of Elections as required by law for properly documenting a political action committee, according to the complaint, among other items in the document.

Steve Fannin, who Nicolard in the complaint claims drafted the petition for the proposed amendment for C4N, said that sources who have named him as the writer of the proposed charter amendment are wrong.

He added he did not want to issue a formal response to specific allegations.

“I don’t believe the allegations have any basis in fact, and I’m going to handle that before the Elections Commission,” he said.

The complaint will go before an Ohio Elections Commission probable cause panel today, July 25, at 9:30 a.m. to determine if the complaint is valid. If it is deemed valid, a hearing will be scheduled before the Commission, according to Commission officials.

An attempt at contacting Dennis Pierson, who is listed as chairman of C4N in the complaint, was unsuccessful by presstime.

For more information on the complaint, contact the Ohio Elections Commission at 614-466-3205 or Nicolard at the Norton city administration at 330-825-7815.

Ohio EPA provides low-interest loan to city of Akron for sewer improvements

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing a more than $2.59 million loan to the city of Akron to fund rehabilitation of the city’s main outfall sewer.

The city will repair approximately 5 miles of the 85-year-old sewer and supporting structures. The project will include concrete patching and reconstruction, joint sealing, headwall and pier structural improvements and manhole repairs. Work is expected to begin this summer and be completed by the end of the year.

The loan comes from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF). Akron qualified for a 2.67 percent interest rate, which will save the city an estimated $569,000 during the 20-year life of the loan when compared to the market rate of 4.42 percent.

This state revolving loan fund is partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The loan program is managed by Ohio EPA, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority.

Vibrant NEO hosts open houses

WEST AKRON — Vibrant NEO open houses are taking place July 29 through Aug. 7 throughout Northeast Ohio to look at “Alternative Scenerios” of different potential futures for Northeast Ohio, according to organizers.

Locally, an open house will take place Aug. 1 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Akron Urban League, in President’s Hall, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

Attendees will explore topics such as the economy, land use, transportation and development.

To register or for more information, visit www.vibrantneo.org/openhouses.

In addition, ImagineMyNEO, an interactive engagement activity designed to put the user in the role of regional planner, will be open and taking input until Aug. 14. Preliminary findings will be presented at the open houses. Visit www.vibrantneo.org/imagine to participate.

VSC hosting boot camp, job fair for veterans

SOUTH AKRON — This summer, the Veterans Service Commission of Summit County (VSC) will hold its third Job Boot Camp for unemployed veterans seeking training and job search skills.

The event will begin July 31 and conclude Aug. 2. Each day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., participants will receive instruction on job search techniques and skills to assist them in their pursuit of employment. Highlights will include résumé building, skill assessment, soft skill training, mock interviews and more. An optional volunteer opportunity also will be available for Job Boot Camp participants Aug. 3.

The week after Boot Camp, the VSC will host its fourth annual Veteran Job and Career Fair Aug. 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is open to all veterans and their dependents. Representatives from local employers will be on hand to speak with veterans about job openings. Representatives from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will assist as veterans will be coached on résumé tips and job search and interview skills, and will be introduced to both education options and various free online career development courses.

Only serious applicants should apply, according to VSC officials.

Registration is required for the Job Boot Camp. To register, visit www.VSCsummitOH.us or call 330-564-1492. Walk-ins will be accepted at the Job Fair Aug. 31, but registrations are encouraged either online or via phone. Both events will be at the VSC’s headquarters, 1060 E. Waterloo Road.

Krispy Kreme, Salvation Army kick off school supply drive

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Krispy Kreme® Doughnuts and The Salvation Army are partnering to help prepare students for the upcoming school year by collecting school supplies during their 2013 “Stuff the Bus” campaign.

Participants are asked to drop off new school supplies at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop at 354 S. Maple St. through Aug. 4.

Supporters will receive one free Original Glazed® doughnut for a single school supply item donation and one free Original Glazed® dozen for each donation of a backpack that has school supplies inside.

The supplies will be given to The Salvation Army and distributed to youths through its national social service programs.

ACF celebrates record growth at annual meeting

FAIRLAWN — Akron Community Foundation (ACF) officials announced earlier this month that as of March 31, its charitable assets had reached an all-time high of $150 million, an increase of nearly $10 million, or 6.8 percent, over the previous year.

ACF Treasurer and Merrill Lynch Senior Vice President Dale Koblenzer delivered the news to more than 200 community leaders and supporters at the ACF’s 58th annual meeting, which took place at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

Contributing to the success was $7.3 million in gifts and pledges made by a record 4,000 donors, many of whom contributed to the Women’s Endowment Fund’s $2.1 million “For Women, Forever” campaign, which was the largest endowment-building effort in the ACF’s 58-year history.

Outgoing board chair and Brouse McDowell Partner Michael Sweeney promised even greater growth in the coming year, including a record $12 million gift made June 7 to establish the IBH Foundation Fund.

Koblenzer reported grants and distributions totaled nearly $7.6 million, an increase of $1.3 million for the fiscal year ending March 31. This brought the ACF’s cumulative distribution total to $106 million.

“All of this was accomplished with an expense ratio that is one of the lowest in the country for community foundations of our size,” he said.

Incoming board chair and MSA Associates CEO Mark Allio honored Sweeney for his leadership, presenting him with a crystal bowl.

The following officers were approved prior to the meeting: Allio, of Bath, chair; Steve Cox, of West Akron and a partner at Roetzel & Andress, vice chair and community investment chair; Roth Bros. President Paul Belair, of Hudson, treasurer and finance chair; Steve Strayer, of Bath and senior vice president at PNC Institutional Investments, community relations chair; the Rev. Sandra Selby, of Fairlawn, secretary; and Sweeney, of Fairlawn, immediate past chair.

Cox, also a member of the Nominating Committee, announced incoming board members Robert Cooper, of Bath, and Vivian Neal, of Fairlawn, who each accepted three-year appointments. They will replace Susan Kinnamon and Bill Feth, who are retiring from the board. Cooper is the director of CBRE and the owner of CREM Real Estate Properties. Neal is an educator who worked for Akron Public Schools, The University of Akron and as a program officer for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation before retiring.

Meeting attendees, composed primarily of donors and nonprofit and community leaders, also applauded Eileen Burg, who — with her late husband, H. Peter Burg — will be honored with the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award. Eileen Berg will accept the award on the couple’s behalf at a dinner event Oct. 15.

Attendees also heard from Dan O’Connell, president of the Akron Rotary Foundation, about the fund they established at the ACF last year to support the Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs and other rotary charities.

In addition, Lisa Craine, founder of the Craine’s Cholangiocarcinoma Crew Fund, shared how the ACF is helping her family support research for the rare bile duct cancer she was diagnosed with three years ago. Last year, through a partnership with the Akron Marathon, the Craines raised $15,000 for their fund at the ACF.

United Way Knight Breakfast to kick off 2013 campaign

FAIRLAWN — United Way of Summit County (UWSC) will kick off the 2013 campaign at the annual Knight Breakfast Aug. 6 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Akron/Fairlawn Hilton, 3180 W. Market St.

The University of Akron men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot will deliver the keynote address.

The Knight Breakfast was established more than 60 years ago by John S. Knight as a way for local corporate leaders to gather and preview the upcoming United Way campaign. Jim Merklin, partner with Bober Markey Fedorovich and the 2013 United Way Campaign chairperson, will highlight the organization’s recent successes and announce this year’s campaign goal.

Tickets for the Knight Breakfast are $35 each or $325 for a table of nine, and tickets are available online at knight breakfast2013.eventbrite.com or by calling Andi at 330-643-5502. Reservations are due by July 31.

Ariel Hakim, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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