South Side News & Notes
Body found in Turkeyfoot Lake
NEW FRANKLIN — The body of a white man found floating in Turkeyfoot Lake around 6:50 p.m. Aug. 16 has been identified.
New Franklin Police Department Det. Mike Hutchings said Robert Johnson, 55, of West Caston Road, was found under the boat docks of a home in the 900 block of Coleman Avenue by a fisherman. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hutchings said police canvassed the area but found no witnesses to how Johnson came to be in the water. He also said police found no marks on the body and foul play is not suspected.
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy.
Details on funeral services were not available at presstime.
APD warns about speed camera ticket scam
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Police Department (APD) is urging residents to be aware of a phone scam involving callers claiming to represent Ohio State Recovery Co.
The phone scam attempts to obtain credit card information over unpaid speed camera tickets through the Akron Municipal Court, according to Lt. Rick Edwards, APD public information officer.
The caller is requesting an immediate credit card payment over the phone, Edwards said. Also, the caller may offer threats that an Akron Municipal Court judge will issue an arrest warrant if the ticket is not paid immediately, according to an alert issued by the APD.
Speed camera tickets in the city of Akron are handled civilly and not through the Akron Municipal Court or by a judge, according to Edwards.
If you have a question about a speed camera ticket, call 866-684-8383. Any outstanding tickets or fines can be verified through this number.
If you are already a victim of this speed camera scam, contact your credit card company and stop payment, then call your local police to report it, Edwards advised.
Volunteers needed for Citizens Review Board
GREATER AKRON — The Summit County Juvenile Court is seeking volunteers for its Citizens Review Board.
According to Juvenile Court officials, Citizens Review Board members are asked to review the status of children in the permanent custody of the Summit County Children Services (SCCS). The board ensures the needs of the children are being met and SCCS is using reasonable efforts to facilitate the child’s permanency plan, which is typically adoption, according to Juvenile Court officials.
Board members review each case at least once every six months and more frequently, if necessary. The normal time commitment is a half-day twice a month and, initially, the length of an appointment varies from one to three years, according to Juvenile Court officials. For this particular opening, the candidates should be available during business hours twice a month on Wednesday afternoons.
The board, in collaboration with the magistrate, has the authority to issue orders during and after the review hearings to maintain the child’s welfare or permanency plan, according to Juvenile Court officials.
Board candidates will have to undergo background checks, and if approved, will be trained by the court.
According to Juvenile Court officials, the board operates pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code and is supervised by Magistrate Rita Rochford under the direct authority of Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio.
“This is a great chance to have a real impact on the lives of children,” said Teodosio. “The Citizens Review Board gives the child another voice in the process of finding them a suitable, loving home. It’s a process we take very seriously, and I hope there are more people in our community willing to help us help these children.”
According to Juvenile Court officials, as noted in the Ohio Revised Code, volunteers should have some background in the areas of education, social services, medicine, psychology or related fields.
Interested parties should contact Rochford at 330-643-2963 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 of the 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 that change their lives for the better.
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 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.
More 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.
Ariel Hakim, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
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