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South Side News & Notes

9/12/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Veterans Court set to open

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Valor Court, a specialty court to handle veterans’ cases, is soon to become a reality.

An opening ceremony for the court will take place Sept. 17 at 4 p.m. in the ceremonial courtroom at the Summit County Courthouse, 209 S. High St. Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor will preside at the ceremony.

Akron Municipal Court Judge Jerry Larson and Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall Jones have prepared for the implementation of the court both at the felony level (Common Pleas Court) and at the misdemeanor level (Municipal Court). The judges are working together to provide consistent supervision to veterans that will be served in Summit County.

Court officials said it is the judges’ intention that Summit County Valor Court will provide increased management to veterans and active duty military personnel in the criminal justice system who may be eligible for benefits and services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information, contact Maria Williams, bailiff for Judge Jones, at 330-643-2228 or Jon Groza, bailiff for Judge Larson, at 330-375-2009.


Water levels to drop in some Portage Lakes

PORTAGE LAKES — Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) officials announced the water levels of East, West and North reservoirs and Turkeyfoot Lake, along with the adjoining channels and creeks, will be lowered 15 inches beginning Oct. 15.

This lowering will allow homeowners to make seawall or dock improvements, according to officials.

The effort will take approximately seven days to complete, and that level will be maintained until Nov. 15. ODNR officials state it will take another seven days to refill the lakes.

For more details, call the Portage Lakes ODNR office at 330-644-2220.


September is Senior Safety Awareness Month

SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh and her staff place special emphasis on safety awareness for seniors during September. Walsh and her staff will give safety presentations to area senior groups, as well as attend public events for senior citizens. There also will be a free Senior Self-Defense Class Sept. 19 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Firestone Park Community Center, 1480 Girard St. in South Akron.

On Oct. 4, the Prosecutor’s Office will have a booth at the Summit Senior Expo at Summit Mall from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Senior Safety Awareness calendars with safety tips and resources will be available.

Walsh and Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry also maintain the Take Me Home Program, which helps senior citizens who have trouble communicating by providing law enforcement with a tool to locate caregivers if a registrant becomes lost. For more information, visit www.co.summitoh.net/prosecutor/ and choose “Take Me Home” from the “Services” drop-down menu.

For more information, call 330-643-2800.


Juvenile Court’s Teen Court seeking volunteers

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Juvenile Court has volunteer opportunities available for county high school students interested in participating in its Teen Court program.

The volunteers will be trained on how to follow courtroom procedures and the principles of restorative justice. Upon completion of the training, the volunteers will be part of an actual court hearing by serving in the roles of defense attorney, prosecuting attorney and jurors. Members of the Akron Bar Association and the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office mentor the teen attorneys.

All cases referred to Teen Court will involve youths facing lower-level misdemeanor charges. The youths have already entered an admission to the charge and have agreed to have the Teen Court decide the appropriate disposition. Both sides will present their cases, and the jury will deliberate to determine what sanction the youths will receive. Teen Court is a diversion program, so if the youths successfully complete the terms of the disposition rendered by the jury, the charges against them will be dismissed.

Teen Court hearings are conducted twice a month during the school year, usually on Thursdays, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Many schools allow students to count the time spent volunteering on Teen Court toward their community service hours, according to court officials. Applications can be accessed on the Juvenile Court website at www.co.summit.oh.us/juvenilecourt. Click on the “General Information” tab and click the “Forms” option on the drop-down list.

“I think this will be a valuable learning experience for everyone involved in Teen Court,” said Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio. “It holds a youth accountable for making a poor choice, and I also believe that Teen Court can instill a greater understanding of how the juvenile justice system works.”


AMATS seeks opinions on Montrose area

BATH/COPLEY — The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) is asking local residents to take a survey on how they feel the Montrose area functions from a transportation and community development standpoint.

The regional transportation planning agency has partnered with Bath and Copley townships for the survey, which is accessible at www.surveymonkey.com/s/BetterMontrose.

“We want to find out what people think about the transportation system and the built environment in the Montrose area,” said AMATS Director Jason Segedy. “It has long been identified as a trouble spot in terms of traffic congestion, but we are interested in diving a bit deeper into the experience that people have once they get out of their vehicle.” 

The survey aims to help AMATS and the townships make the area friendlier to pedestrians, cyclists and bus riders. Segedy added the information can also help Bath, Copley and local business owners give the area a stronger sense of place and more of a “community feel.”

The survey is funded through an AMATS Connecting Communities Planning Grant, which focuses on integrating land use and transportation planning decisions. Bath and Copley townships received the $50,000 grant in May to develop a plan to focus on pedestrian improvements and visual aesthetics. AMATS officials said the survey is meant to provide baseline data that will allow AMATS and its partners to begin to develop the plan.

AMATS and the townships expect the plan to be complete by next fall and hope to use a combination of federal and local funds to implement the transportation recommendations in the plan. The survey is one component of a public involvement process that will include social media, one-on-one meetings with business owners and public forums that will be designed to engage residents, shoppers and workers, AMATS officials said.


Legacy III announces award recipients

SOUTH AKRON — In celebration of 17 years of service to Summit County and surrounding areas, Legacy III will host its Community Awards Dinner 2013 Sept. 20 at Guy’s Party Centre, 500 E. Waterloo Road.

Legacy III’s mission is to provide supportive housing services to homeless women in Summit County who are recovering from chronic substance abuse, mental health disorders and physical disabilities. Program participants are assisted in re-establishing stability in their lives, advocating for themselves and becoming economically self-sufficient members of society.

During the dinner, Legacy III will publicly recognize individuals who demonstrate excellence in empowering others to achieve self-sufficiency and two organizations that help to improve the quality of life in the community. 

The following have been selected to receive awards at the dinner: Christina Beynon, Linda Harding, Reneé Greene, Sheldon Wrice, Paul Zindle, Tremain Fields, Cathy Johnson, Edith Golson, Denny Wilson, Lillie Jackson-Tisdale, Vernon and Barbara Sykes, Jacqueline Silas-Butler, Bruce Butcher, Toree Stokes, Mustard Seed Development Corp. and Nazareth Housing Development Corp.

The community awards dinner is our signature fundraiser,” said Board President Jacqueline Thomason. “The response for nominations from the community was overwhelming. We received so many good nominations that it was challenging for the Fundraising Committee to make its selections. Each honoree was selected for his or her contribution to increasing the quality of life for the disadvantaged. We have chosen a very diverse group of people to honor, each being highly deserving of public recognition. We consider this year’s honorees our unsung heroes.”

“The Community Awards Dinner 2013 is also in honor and celebration of Legacy III’s success in providing quality services to homeless women in our community,” added founder and CEO Darnella McNeil. “The gap filled by Legacy III is critical to our local continuum of care, and without these services many women would continue to fall through the gap and stay bound in their addictions and homelessness.”

The dinner will begin at 6 p.m., and tickets are $45. Reservations, advertisement and corporate sponsorships are available. For more information, call Legacy III at 330-375-0071 or visit www.legacythree.org.


War of 1812 memorial ceremony honoring all veterans buried in Summit County

AKRON — In honor of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Summit County Historical Society and the William Wetmore Chapter Daughters of 1812 are teaming up to present a memorial ceremony for the 365 veterans of the War of 1812 buried in Summit County cemeteries Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. on the porch of Perkins Stone Mansion, 550 Copley Road. The event will take place rain or shine.

Perkins Mansion will be open for free tours from 1 to 4 that day. A living history demonstration will be done by the John Campbell Ohio Militia Group. The group also will present musket demonstrations. Authentic fife music will be presented by Jim Miller & Friends. The Akron Sea Cadets and Western Reserve Sons of the American Revolution will post colors. The Copley American Legion Post No. 473 and Copley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7971 honor guard, under Commander Charlie Umbaugh, will do a musket salute.

Immediately following the ceremony, Larry Nelson, a history professor at Bowling Green State University, will present a program on the War of 1812 in the parlor of the Mansion. Nelson is also past director of Fort Meigs in Perrysburg.

The Wetmore Chapter would like to encourage any descendants of these veterans to attend the ceremony. For a complete list of the veterans, visit the Ohio Society Daughters of 1812 Grave Index website at www.ohiodaughters1812.org/ohio1812/graveindex/ and click on the “List Veterans by County” link to be connected to Summit County’s list of veterans.

Contact Sharon Myers, president of the Wetmore Chapter, at 330-794-5099 if you are a descendant of one these veterans. Veterans are buried in numerous cemeteries throughout Summit County.


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

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