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West Side News & Notes

10/3/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

New positions coming to Akron; city to train citizens

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Mayor Don Plusquellic announced Sept. 26 that the city will create new positions in its Public Service Department for combined sewer overflow (CSO) equipment operators and train interested residents.

This is the first new position created as a result of constructing the new CSO tunnels needed to overhaul the city’s CSO system.

“If there is a bright spot in this whole unfunded, yet mandated, Combined Sewer Overflow project, it is that our residents can be trained and employed to do some of the work necessary to complete the project,” Plusquellic said.

The city plans to have two classes of 24 resident/students each (48 total) to train to become commercial driver’s license (CDL)-holding CSO equipment operators. The training will come at no cost to those completing the classes as long as each participant works for the city of Akron for at least 90 days during the year following training. If a resident completes the training but decides not to work for the city, he or she will have to pay back the training costs. Some of the qualifying individuals selected to participate in the training classes also might be tapped to provide temporary/seasonal work prior to the CSO projects commencing next year. An outside contractor will provide the CDL training needed for the position using city equipment.

Potential candidates must meet minimum requirements prior to training. The CDL training applications are available at 12 Akron community centers, the Akron Urban League and online at www.akronohio.gov. The community centers in the West Side Leader’s coverage area with applications available are: Balch Street, 220 S. Balch St.; Ed Davis Community Center, 730 Perkins Park Drive; Lawton Street Community Center, 1225 Lawton St.; and Northwest Family Recreation Center, 1730 Shatto Ave.

Applications will be collected for two weeks and can be turned in at the Akron Urban League and city of Akron Personnel Department. For official job descriptions, visit www.akronohio.gov and click on “New CSO Equipment Operator Positions Coming to Akron.”

The CSO equipment operator positions are not yet available, but will be posted prior to the commencement of the CSO projects, according to city officials. The new positions will be permanent within the Public Service Department once the special CSO projects commence and will continue as long as CSO funding is available.

“Even if the CSO funding eventually runs out, those already trained will have earned their CDL and will be eligible to take other city jobs. They may use their new skills to be employed with private companies, but it still will benefit our residents,” said Plusquellic.


TEDxAkron announces event, seeks speaker nominations

DOWNTOWN AKRON — TEDxAkron is seeking speaker nominations to address the 2013 event’s theme: Forever Young.

The independently organized event, licensed by TED, will take place Nov. 1 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Student Union Theater at The University of Akron, with the after-party taking place at Musica Akron.

TEDx events combine TED Talks and live speakers to spark deep conversation, according to organizers.

TEDxAkron welcomes applications from individuals with ties to the Akron area to give a talk on one of the following areas: culture and arts, social services, technology, business, community organization and development, economic development, education and personal triumph.

Visit TEDxAkron.com to submit speaker nominations (click on “Nominate Speaker”) by tomorrow, Oct. 4. Self-nominations are welcomed.

More information, including ticket availability, also can be accessed at the website.


Vibrant NEO 2040 hosting October Vision Sessions

NORTHEAST OHIO — VibrantNEO has been gathering feedback this year from the residents of its 12-county region on what Northeast Ohio’s future could look like.

The organization will present a proposed Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision, based on what has been heard.

Interactive sessions to review and give additional feedback on the proposed Vibrant NEO 2040 Vision will take place next month. This vision tries to answer the questions “Where do we want to go?” and “How can we get there?”

A session will take place Oct. 8 at the Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., in West Akron, beginning with registration at 6 p.m. and the program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. To register (as well as to see a complete schedule of events), visit www.vibrantneo.org.

Each Vision Session will include a presentation with polling, followed by an informal open house with opportunities to ask questions and discuss the proposal.


County partners with FirstEnergy to assist low-income electric consumers

NORTH AKRON — Summit County Executive Russ Pry has announced that his Department of Community and Economic Development will host a Fuel Fund Assistance Day for all income-qualified FirstEnergy/Ohio Edison customers Oct. 9 at 8 a.m. at the Job Center, 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave.

Applicants will be given a number upon arrival. Only 200 numbers will be distributed on the date of intake. Those who arrive after 2 p.m. or after 200 numbers have been distributed or would like additional information may call the Fuel Fund information line at 330-643-2068.

Eligibility is based on a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Persons applying for Fuel Fund assistance must provide the following on the day of service: photo identification (driver’s license or other form of photo identification); Social Security card; most recent delinquent electric bill or termination notice; proof of gross monthly income for all persons residing in the home for the past 30 days from the date of application; and proof of a good-faith payment within the past 90 days of the date in which the customer applies for assistance.

The person applying for assistance must be the person whose name appears on the utility bill. If not, he or she must have a letter from the ratepayer dated within seven days from the date of application giving him or her permission to apply for assistance on his or her behalf.

A person is only eligible once every 12 months to receive the Fuel Fund assistance, and payments cannot be applied to a deferred or finales account balance. Home Energy Assistance Programs payments are not considered a good-faith payment. Also, help cannot be given with city of Cuyahoga Falls utilities.


Phony pitch for ACA cards reported by BBB

GREATER AKRON — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has reported that consumers across the United States are reporting phone calls that claim to be from the government about new health insurance cards required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

According to BBB officials, this is the latest twist on the “Medicare scam” that BBB has seen for years. Fraudsters are trying to take advantage of those who are uncertain or confused by the ACA.

According to the BBB, scam victims receive a call from someone claiming to be from the federal government. The caller informs victims they have been selected as part of the initial group of Americans to receive insurance cards through the ACA. However, before the caller can mail a card, he or she needs to verify personal information, such as bank account and Social Security numbers.

According to BBB, there is no card, and consumers should ignore these pitches and follow these tips:

  • Be cautious with your identity. Never give personal information to someone who has contacted you unsolicited, whether by phone, email, social media or in person.
  • Hang up, don’t press any buttons and don’t call back. Returning the phone call might give the con artist information he can use.
  • The government uses regular mail. Government agencies normally communicate through the mail, so be cautious of calls, text messages or emails.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers have technology that lets them display any number or organization name on your screen.
  • Keep your personal information to yourself. Never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, date of birth or Social Security numbers to unfamiliar callers.

For more information on the ACA and the Health Insurance Marketplace, go to www.healthcare.gov.


Bath celebrates Fifth Annual Fall Into Nature

BATH — The Fifth Annual Fall Into Nature celebration at Bath Nature Preserve will take place Oct. 12.

Sponsored in part by The University of Akron (UA), the Bath Park Board, Bath Volunteers for Service, Cascade Auto Group, Lubrizol and Time to Spare LLC, the celebration serves as a thank you to the citizens of Bath for their support of the township’s park system, provides a peek inside the UA field station to learn what takes place there, and serves as a welcome to autumn.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 4160 Ira Road. Food for purchase will be available from Acme Catering, and mums and cornstalks also will be available for purchase.

There is no fee to attend, and activities are free.

The Akron Ceili Band will perform traditional Irish and Celtic music throughout the day. Children can each take home a pumpkin (while they last), have their faces painted or enjoy a story walk courtesy of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. In addition, local organizations will present information booths.

Dog lovers can meet PAWSibilities®, Humane Society of Greater Akron rescues looking for a permanent home from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. At 11:30, dogs can participate in a Blessing of the Dogs hosted by CleverPup101. Kodak the Fire Dog also will visit.

At noon, educators from the Akron Zoo will be on hand with some of their favorite noncanine critters. A fun run for all ages will take place at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly installed Bath Pond deck will take place.

Cascade Auto Group is providing shuttles to transport attendees from the parking lot to the field station and back again; handicapped parking also will be available.

Additional details are available at www.BathTownship.org or by email to BathParkBoard@gmail.com.


Toy & Resource Center Offers developmental toys, resource materials

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Toy & Resource Center, located at 701 S. Main St., loans developmental toys and resource materials to anyone working with a child from birth to 6 years of age with special needs or developing typically.

Members can choose from hundreds of toys, including climbing and riding toys, cars and trucks, kitchen sets, musical instruments and more. There are also many resources for teachers and families who are homeschooling to keep students interested and engaged throughout the year, according to United Disabilities Services officials.

A low-cost membership is open to individuals and organizations, including parents, grandparents, teachers, therapists, students, hospitals, child care centers and preschool program staff.

The center staff is experienced in child development and available to help members select age-appropriate toys and offer suggestions. Children visiting the center are encouraged to try out toys before making their selections. A Special Needs Division, including specialized adaptive switches, toys and computer training devices, and games for older individuals with special needs, also are available.

The Toy & Resource Center is open Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. For details, call 330-762-9755 or visit www.udsakron.org.


Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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