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City officials address shooting in Green

1/16/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

GREEN — Shortly after nearly 30 bullets were fired around a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) complex in Green, city officials began securing measures that could help residents feel safe again.

Mayor Dick Norton said during the Jan. 14 Green City Council meeting local resources have come together in an attempt to capture the person or persons whom shot multiple rounds around the Briarwood Estates on Mayfair Road the late evening of Jan. 6.

“We will do everything we can to deter that kind of activity within the boundaries of Green,” he said.

Norton said officials are exploring additional safety options, in addition to police presence, which may include asking the management of Briarwood to provide its own security measures.

Detective Larry Brown, of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, was at the Jan. 14 Green City Council Public Safety Committee meeting to further discuss the incident with Council members.

He said seven vehicles and four apartments were struck with bullets fired from an AK-47 assault rifle and a .40-caliber handgun just before 11:45 p.m.

Brown explained that a 28-year-old man was transported to Akron City Hospital for gunshot wounds he sustained to his right shoulder and left leg during the incident. The male, who doesn’t live in Briarwood, was outside of the complex when the shots were fired, he said. Brown said the male was the target, and the crime is believed to be gang related.

He said Lexus Wilson, 21, of Akron, was arrested on the scene for obstructing justice by providing false information to investigators.

The shooter or shooters remain at large, he said.

Witnesses said they saw a 2010 to 2014 gray or silver Hyundai Elantra leaving the scene, striking the curb and sustaining front-end damage on the driver’s side, Brown said.

“No estate residents are suspected to be involved,” he added.

Anyone with information should contact the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 330-643-2131, Brown said.

Following the discussion on the Briarwood incident, an Intergovernmental and Utilities Committee meeting was held to review legislation that would require taxicabs and transportation services operating in the city to conspicuously post their rates of fare.

Law Director Steve Pruneski explained the city has been working with Rick McQueen, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Airport, on the ordinance that would halt the current practice of “price gouging” among the local taxi and transportation companies parked outside the airport.

Pruneski said the legislation would require companies to provide rate cards so would-be-customers could see in writing what they would be charged. He added the hope is this measure ultimately would cause a reduction in rates.

Pruneski explained the ordinance also would require the taxi and transportation services to install meters as another way to keep the rates fair.

Norton said he doesn’t want travelers to base their opinion on the city by how much they are charged by transportation companies.

“We need to protect those coming in to visit us,” he said. “We don’t want their experience in Green to be a bad one.”

Once approved by Council, the companies would have until April to comply with the legislation, Pruneski explained.

During the regular meeting of Council, which followed the committee meetings, a public hearing was held concerning an ordinance that would change the zoning classification of property containing approximately 61.24 acres of land located at 1745 Koons Road from PD-1 (Planned Development) to R-1 (Single-Family Residential). Planning Director Wayne Wiethe explained the legislation would rezone the property back to R-1, as there no longer are plans for a housing project on the site. City officials said the matter would be voted on next month.

Council also held a public hearing concerning an ordinance to amend the table of allowed uses contained in the land development code to expand the uses in a General Industrial district. Wiethe explained the legislation would add three other automotive uses to the General Industrial district to include car washes, fuel sales and automotive sales, in conjunction with automotive repair and rentals, which already are permitted in the district. This matter also would be voted on next month, officials said.

Additionally during the meeting, Council:

  • approved the mayor’s reappointment of Jim Mercer to a five-year term on the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA); his new appointment of Joshua Maximovich to fill a vacancy on the BZA that ends Dec. 31, 2016; and his re-appointment of Robert Chordar to a five-year term on the Planning and Zoning Commission;
  • appointed John Dodovich to the Design Review Board and reappointed Judy Christie to the Historic Preservation Commission;
  • approved an ordinance vacating the unnamed, unimproved right-of-way known as Tim Drive, which abuts Berna Road; and
  • announced Norton will present the annual State of the City Address Jan. 29 at 7 p.m., in lieu of the Jan. 28 regular Council meeting, at Raintree Country Club, 4350 Mayfair Road. The public is invited to attend. Reservations to the event can be made by calling 330-896-6602.

Council will meet Feb. 11 for its next regular meeting, starting with committee meetings at 5 p.m. and the Council meeting at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building (CAB), located at 1755 Town Park Blvd.

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