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West Side News & Notes

8/22/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Akron Leaders gathering for Peace Walk in support of safer neighborhoods, schools

AKRON — Dozens of Akron dignitaries, along with a host of community action groups, faith-based ministries, youth mentorship groups and concerned citizens, are expected to participate in The Peace Walk Aug. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

The Peace Walk will begin at a variety of locations: Haven of Rest, 175 E. Market St.; Austen BioInnovation Institute, 47 N. Main St.; Second Baptist Church, 690 S. Main St.; Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, 100 W. Cedar St.; and The Polsky Parking Deck, all downtown, as well as The Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., in West Akron.

Participants will leave at 9:30 a.m. and converge onto Canal Park together.

Once inside the stadium, presentations will take place from leaders of the Akron Police Department, Akron Fire Department, Akron Public Schools, Akron City Council, Akron Urban League, Akron Peacekeepers, the city of Akron, Akron Aeros, Victim Assistance Program, Stop the Violence Now and more speaking in support of making neighborhoods and schools safer throughout Akron.

“Violent crime is a huge issue and requires all of us act together,” said organizer Eula Roberts, of the Committee to Reduce Violence. “Neighborhoods must take greater responsibility for safer environments for their residents. Youth and families in the Akron communities must begin to approach law enforcement as a resource and assist in reporting what they see and know. Business and corporate leaders, community organizations and faith-based ministries are able to play a major role. The time is now.”

Free parking and free refreshments, as well as discounted tickets for upcoming Akron Aeros games, will be made available for those participating in the walk.

For more information, contact Roberts at 330-962-2966 or danniliz25@att.net.


Richfield trustees discuss building concepts

RICHFIELD — Trustees met for a special meeting Aug. 14 to discuss ideas for the township’s proposed new administrative building.

Administrative Assistant Debbie Bluso Rogers said trustees met with architects from GPD Group, of Akron, for the concept design meeting. GPD officials said they would have conceptual drawings ready after Sept. 6. Trustees may set a special meeting following receipt of the plans to vote on whether to move forward, Bluso Rogers said.

Trustees selected GPD Group for the project July Aug. 8. Plans call for the township to continue to use its current space, owned by Richfield Village, until the new building, to be located at 3038 Boston Mills Road, is completed.

The township’s 10-year free use of a 1,300-square-foot building owned by the village was to come to an end this month, meaning the township will be responsible for a rent payment to the village of $1,200 per month, according to township officials. Laurie Pinney, the township’s director of planning, said Aug. 20 that the township has yet to receive an invoice from the village.

Trustees will next meet today, Aug. 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.


Ohio EPA provides loan to Akron for sewer system inspection

AKRON — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing a $5.16 million low-interest loan to the city of Akron to evaluate approximately 48 miles of sanitary and combined sewer lines.

The five-year loan from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) will allow the city to complete phase three of its large diameter sewer inspection program. Akron has committed to inspecting the entire sewer system by the end of 2014.

Using closed circuit TV cameras and sonar equipment, the city will assess the condition of pipes and the quantity of debris present. The assessment will reveal which sections of the sewer system might need repaired or cleaning.

Since 1989, the WPCLF has awarded more than $6 billion in below-market financing for sewage treatment plant upgrades and other water-quality improvement projects. The program has saved borrowers more than $1.1 billion in interest, according to EPA officials.

Low-interest loans also have been provided to municipalities and individuals for agricultural best management practices, home sewage system improvements, contaminated site cleanup and landfill closures. Additionally, the WPCLF can provide technical assistance to public wastewater systems in a variety of areas, from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems.

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.


Grand opening for Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park planned

GRANGER — The Medina County Park District will open the Carolyn Ludwig Mugrage Park, located at 4985 Windfall Road, Aug. 24.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. near the picnic shelter at the park. According to park officials, naturalist-led hikes will be offered after the ceremony, and golf cart tours will be available for people with difficulty walking.

According to park officials, the 104-acre park was made possible by a donation of the land by Richard and Beverly Mugrage. Under construction for the past two-and-a-half years, the park includes a paved multi-purpose trail, sledding hill, numerous nature trails, a catch-and-release fishing pond, entry drive and parking lots. A picnic shelter at the park was donated by John and Virginia Jeandrevin.

Further development at the park will include a dog park area and a playground, according to park officials. The park is open from 8 a.m. to dark each day. The park entrance is located about one-quarter mile north of state Route 18.

For more information, call 330-722-9364.


Big Brothers Big Sisters has new location

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Summit, Medina and Stark is on the move. The new corporate office is located at 50 S. Main St., Suite LL 110.

According to organization officials, the new location is easily accessible to families and offers additional space for training, activities for children in the program and future growth and program expansion.

The BBBS agency also has offices in Canton at 408 Ninth St. S.W. and at 2573 Medina Road in Medina. All three offices offer the Community-based and Site-based programs. The Summit County office also offers the Connect the Dots program, a pilot program through Ohio Job and Family Services for foster children emancipating out the of foster system. According to BBBS officials, all programs focus on providing local children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships.

Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, BBBS pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these matches throughout their course.

For more information or to become involved with BBBS, call 330-376-6503.


IRS seeks tax volunteers

GREATER AKRON — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for volunteers now who will provide free tax help next year.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) are community-based programs. They provide free tax return preparation for people who need tax help but can’t afford it. People with low to moderate incomes, seniors, people with disabilities and those with limited English skills usually qualify for this free service.

No previous experience is required. Volunteers receive specialized training and have the option of serving in a variety of roles. Those who are fluent in a language other than English can help those who do not speak English. Veteran and nonveteran volunteers may be able to help military personnel and their families.

The IRS provides free tax law training and materials that allow volunteers to prepare basic individual income tax returns. Volunteers learn many aspects of tax return preparation. This includes tax deductions and credits that benefit eligible taxpayers, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly.

Volunteers generally serve an average of three to five hours per week. Volunteer programs are open from mid-January through the tax-filing deadline of April 15.

Volunteer sites are located in areas such as neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations. VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing for both federal and state tax returns.

Additional information about becoming a VITA or TCE volunteer is available at www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Tax-Volunteers. Those interested need to submit Form 14310, VITA/TCE Volunteer Sign Up, by email through the IRS website.


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

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