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South Side News & Notes

11/28/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

City of Green names new fire chief

Jeffrey Funai
Photo courtesy of city of Green
GREEN — Mayor Dick Norton selected Jeffrey Funai to serve as fire chief for the city of Green.

Funai is no stranger to the city, graduating from Green High School in 1987 and beginning his tenure with the Green Fire Division in 1995, according to city officials.

The appointment was made effective Nov. 22, though an official swearing in ceremony will take place Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building, located at 1755 Town Park Blvd. “I look forward to the opportunity of working with Jeff as the new leader of our fire division and continuing the great service and work began by our former chief, Bob Calderone,” said Norton.

Funai, serving Green Fire as a captain since 2011, succeeds longtime Chief Robert Calderone, who retired from the city in March, city officials said.

According to city officials, Funai earned a bachelor of science degree in management and a master’s of business administration from Malone Unniversity and served as a part-time firefighter/EMT and dispatcher for Coventry Township prior to beginning his career in Green.

Currently, the Green resident is continuing his education in the Executive Fire Officer Program with the National Fire Academy of Emmitsburg, Md.

City Communications Coordinator Valerie Wolford said Funai is a representative of a number of local, Summit County and Ohio committees. For the county, he serves on the South Summit Incident Management Assistance Team Executive Committee; the Summit County Communications Committee; and the EMS Committee and Training and Education Subcommittee of Summit County Domestic Preparedness Task Force, she said. At the state level, he serves on the Specialty Care Subcommittee of the Ohio State EMS Board; is a member of the State of Ohio Incident Management Team; and provides training around the state in incident command, Wolford said.

Besides Funai, Wolford said the Civil Service Commission and Norton interviewed two other qualified candidates — Randy Raines and Greg Morgan — all current captains in Green.

Norton offered Raines the position first, but he declined it, she said.

Assistant Chief Kevin Groen became acting chief in March but did not wish to seek the position permanently, city officials reported.


Hospice of VNS to present 28th Annual Light up a Life Campaign

GREATER AKRON — Akron General Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) will host its 28th Annual “Light up a Life” fundraising campaign Dec. 3-19.

“Light up a Life” offers a way to pay tribute in the memory of loved ones. According to VNS officials, hanging a gold star on a Hospice Memory Tree can illuminate the memory of someone special, as well as provide “light” and hope for terminally ill patients and their families during the coming year.

Hospice Memory Trees will be located Dec. 3-19 at: Akron General Health and Wellness Centers—West (Bath), North (Stow) and Green; Belgrade Gardens in Barberton; Hartville Kitchen; and Summit Mall in Fairlawn. Donations may be made at the Light up a Life booth at Summit Mall (across from Starbucks) Dec. 3-19, Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., online anytime at www.vnsa.com or by calling the Akron General Foundation at 330-344-6888.

All proceeds will be used to help provide comfort care for those at the end of life and bereavement support for their loved ones, according to Hospice of VNS officials.


Fundraiser Dec. 4 for Green dispatcher

NORTH CANTON — Community members of the city of Green and beyond are coming together to support a woman during her battle with cervical cancer.

Family, friends and co-workers of Sharon Boone are holding a fundraiser Dec. 4 to financially help with her medical expenses, which have mounted since her diagnosis in the summer of 2012.

Boone has been a dispatcher for Green since Nov. 26, 1991, said Green Council Clerk Molly Kapeluck.

The benefit will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott, 4375 Metro Circle N.W. in North Canton. Admission is $10 and includes food and live music. Children will be admitted to the benefit free of charge.

Kapeluck said the event also will include a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, raffle for gift baskets and a cash bar.

Tickets can be picked up in advance at the city’s Fire Station No. 1, 4200 Massillon Road, or at the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.

Those who cannot attend the event can make a monetary contribution. For information on how to make a donation, visit the Facebook page “Carin’ for Sharon.”

Those coordinating the event said Boone currently is taking a break from chemotherapy so she can regain strength but will restart treatment this month.

Kapeluck said Boone is a “fighter” and always displays a positive attitude, so it is an honor to be able to help her along this “bump in the road.”


ODOT seeking public comment on transportation plan

AKRON — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has announced that a draft long-range transportation plan called Access Ohio 2040, an update to Ohio’s long-range transportation plan, is available for review and comment. 

Access Ohio 2040 is a vision for Ohio’s future transportation system that includes 11 recommendations that will guide, inform and support ODOT’s policies and investment strategies in the coming years.  

Those who are interested may provide comments at www.accessohio2040.com or by visiting the ODOT District 4 office at 2088 S. Arlington Road in Green or in the CitiCenter building, 146 S. High St. in Downtown Akron.

Comments concerning Access Ohio 2040 may be submitted through the above website, by email to access.ohio.2040@dot.state.oh.us or by mail to: Jennifer Townley, Division of Planning, Attn: Charles Dyer, Ohio Department of Transportation, Mail Stop No. 3280, 1980 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43223. Written comments must be received by the close of business Jan. 15, 2014.


Scalise announces Negotiated Tax Certificate Lien Sale, sub sale collect $8.8 million

SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise has announced that her office collected approximately $8.8 million in delinquent tax dollars, resulting from a Negotiated Tax Certificate Lien Sale and sub sale.

The Negotiated Tax Certificate Lien Sale was conducted Nov. 8. Woods Cove III LLC was one of two successful bidders, with a bid of approximately $5.6 million for 1,264 parcels. The other successful bidder was Summit Tax Partners LLC, with a bid of approximately $1 million for 232 parcels. Parcels that sold consisted of residential, commercial and industrial properties. The Fiscal Office was able to collect $6.6 million in delinquent tax dollars as a result of the sales.

The Fiscal Office had previously collected $2.2 million in October from a tax lien sale. Fiscal Officer Scalise will now distribute more than $8.8 million in certified delinquent tax dollars currently owed to the taxing districts.

“The major benefactor of a tax lien sale is our local school districts,” Scalise said. “More than half of the monies collected will be redistributed to the schools, approximately $5.6 million. The rest will be dispersed to our public libraries, political subdivisions and valuable county services, including County of Summit Developmental Disabilities Board and County of Summit [Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services] Board.”

Tax lien sales ensure that taxing districts entitled to revenues from property tax collections will receive those tax dollars needed for their operations, Scalise said. During a sale, delinquent real estate tax debt is sold to private investors. The property itself does not go to sale. Property becomes subject to a tax lien sale when it has been certified delinquent for at least one year under current law. Owners are notified and given the opportunity to establish a payment plan to avoid going to sale.

“I am committed to providing assistance to property owners who have fallen delinquent,” Scalise said. “If you are behind on paying your real estate taxes, I encourage you to call my office immediately. We have options that can help.”

The Fiscal Office offers many programs to assist property owners with the payment of real estate taxes, including the Delinquent Tax Payment Program. For additional information regarding tax assistance programs, contact the office at 330-643-2600 or summittreas@summitoh.net.


Tie One on for Safety campaign launched

COLUMBUS — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), key sponsor Nationwide Insurance, law enforcement from around the state and other safety advocates have partnered to launch the annual “Tie One on for Safety” campaign with a message to drive safe, sober and buckled up.

According to ODPS officials, this is the 27th year for the holiday ribbon campaign, which encourages motorists to tie the MADD ribbon to their vehicles as a pledge to be safe on the roadways. The campaign also reminds drivers to buckle up, because a seatbelt is the best defense against a drunk driver, according to ODPS officials.

“The safest choice is to always designate a nondrinking driver before you leave home,” said Doug Scoles, MADD Ohio executive director. “The red ribbons we are distributing during this campaign are a pledge to drive safe and sober, and a reminder to others who see the ribbons to do the same.”

According to ODPS officials, OSHP crash statistics report in Ohio last year 470 people were killed in 431 alcohol-related crashes, with 22 of those crashes and 26 of the deaths occurring between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

“The holidays are a joyous time of year, filled with celebrations, time with loved ones and good cheer, but one bad decision can change everything and everyone,” said ODPS Director John Born. “I urge all motorists to display a red ribbon and make good, sound decisions when it comes to safe and sober driving this holiday season.”

ODPS divisions are working to remind people to drive safe and sober, and the OSHP and local law enforcement agencies plan to step up enforcement and educational efforts to prevent injuries and deaths during the campaign, according to ODPS officials.

In addition, local deputy registrars for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles are passing out red ribbons throughout the campaign, and the Ohio Investigative Unit will continue its focus on over-serving and underage consumption, according to ODPS officials.

“We are urging motorists to make smart decisions — plan ahead and designate a sober driver or call a taxi to ensure that everyone makes it home safe,” said Colonel Paul Pride, OSHP superintendent. “If everyone does their part, we can save many families from the heartache of losing a loved one.”


Emily Chesnic, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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