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South Side News & Notes

1/16/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Green Engineering gathering input for Massillon Road improvements

GREEN — City of Green Engineering Department officials will host two public meetings to discuss and solicit public input on the proposed engineering solutions for Massillon Road between Interstate 77 and state Route 619.

The meetings detailing the proposed plans will take place Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. and Jan. 24 at 7 a.m. at the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.

According to city officials, the meetings will begin with a brief presentation of the roadway improvement alternatives suggested by Green Engineer Paul Pickett, along with team members from the consulting firms of Burgess & Niple and OHM. Following the presentation, comments and suggestions from those in attendance will be received, and the information gathered will be considered in the design plan for this construction project, according to city officials.

Similar public meetings on the project were held in the fall to gather concerns and suggestions from those who travel along Massillon Road or who own a business or work in the area. The input gathered at those first meetings, as well as results from a public survey, assisted the design team in determining the proposed solutions to improve traffic flow, according to city officials.

Those interested in attending one of the public meetings, which will be the same, are requested to make a reservation by today, Jan. 17, by calling Deb Talkington at 330-896-5510 or emailing dtalkington@cityofgreen.org.


Valor Court seeks volunteer mentors, advisers

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Valor Court, a specialty court for veterans, is seeking local residents interested in serving on its Citizens Advisory Committee or as members of its Mentor Program.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones and Akron Municipal Court Jerry Larson established the Valor Court last year. The judges said the project not only protects the citizens of Summit County, but also provides a unique service to local veterans.

“It is our intention that 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 Veterans Administration,” the judges stated in a press release.

They added that the court is a collaborative effort involving Jones, Larson, the Veterans Administration, Summit County Veterans Service Commission and other community leaders.

Citizens interested in either the mentoring program or advisory committee are asked to call Jon Groza at 330-375-2009 or Tamara Keefer at 330-643-8534.


Summit Food Policy Coalition plans meetings, event

GREATER AKRON — The Summit Food Policy Coalition (SFPC), a network of concerned groups and county residents that examines issues affected by the local food system, will hold its first public meeting of the year Jan. 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St.

The quarterly meeting, according to Christopher Norman, chair of the steering committee, will be an information-sharing and networking opportunity. The goal is to connect interested residents and organizations around the activities that are spurring a resurgence in support for local farmers in the Akron area. 

The meeting also will focus on the group’s activities in 2013 and include goals the SFPC has established for 2014. Ms. Julie’s Kitchen will provide refreshments. Other 2014 public meeting dates are April 8, July 8 and Oct. 14. 

Norman said the group had a lot of success with its 2013 projects, which included:

  • The NeighborFood program, which helped start 10 new community gardens in Summit County and sponsored a community garden tour;
  • The Growing Hope Food Summit, which engaged hundreds of residents from across socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds; and
  • The Summit County Food Charter, which was adopted by eight governing bodies. 

The SFPC also hosted several Growing Hope film and potluck events in area community centers. The next in that series will take place Feb. 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Miller Avenue United Church of Christ, 1095 Edison Ave. in Akron. There will be a screening of the film “Secrets of Sugar,” and attendees are asked to bring a healthy dessert and the recipe to share. Make-and-take Valentine’s Day cards also will be available. 

For details on the meeting, call Julie Costell at 330-819-3834. For more information on the potluck and film, contact Katie Fry at 330-608-1454. 

The mission of the SFPC is to improve healthy food access for all Greater Akron area residents and to spur economic development through education, advocacy and policy. For more information, go to www.summitfpc.wordpress.com.


Bus routes change Jan. 21

SUMMIT COUNTY — METRO RTA’s winter bus schedules take effect Jan. 21. Major bus route changes are listed below. Some other routes may have minor time changes.

  • Routes No. 3 and No. 6 — times have been adjusted;
  • Route No. 12 — 1 p.m. peak‐hour trip added to ease overcrowding;
  • Route No. 18 — weekday and Saturday times adjusted; route ends at Manchester Road Acme Fresh Market;
  • Route No. 26 — times adjusted; only two weekday trips to Center Towers;
  • Route No. 31 — now the Stow Circulator: route ends at the Independence Turnaround and connects with the No. 7, No. 10, No. 12, No. 19, No. 23, No. 34 and No. 59 routes. No service to the Transit Center.
  • Route No. 34 — weekday and Saturday times adjusted;
  • Route No. 101 — route now ends at Katherine Boulevard and meets up with Greater Cleveland RTA Route No. 77F;
  • Route No. 102 — service to Rocksino in Northfield added; Twinsburg service is now on the new route No. 104;
  • Route No. 103 — route now serves Clarion Inn; the bus no longer pulls into Laurel Lake; and
  • Route No. 104 — new route: No. 104 Twinsburg/Creekside serves Pinewood Gardens and Twinsburg Industrial Park; ends at Creekside Park and Ride.

METRO’s customer service can answer routing questions at 330‐762‐0341. A trip planner is also available at www.akronmetro.org.


H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Awardee named

Pam Williams
AKRON — Pam Williams, a community leader and longtime American Red Cross volunteer, will receive the 2014 H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award.

Each year, the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties presents the award to one or more individuals who best exemplify Burg’s leadership in the community, compassion for its people and dedication to the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross, according to Red Cross officials. The award is named for Burg, president, chairman and CEO of FirstEnergy Corp. from 1999 to 2004, according to Red Cross officials.

Williams was selected by a committee of past award recipients. She will be presented with the award at the 18th Annual Acts of Courage event March 6 at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St.

“Pam Williams is one of those people who you come across from time to time that truly embodies the spirit of the American Red Cross,” said Joe Kuzma, executive director for the Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties. “Her kindness and compassion are matched only by her energy and can-do attitude. It is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Pete Burg for Pam to be selected as this year’s award recipient.”

Williams is always willing to respond wherever there is a need, according to Red Cross officials. She has been deployed to disasters in Colorado, Mississippi, Montana, New York and many other locations across the country, and she now represents the Northeast Ohio Region as chair of volunteer services, according to Red Cross officials.

Williams also provides support to the United Way of Summit County as chair of its Development Fund/Priorities Fund Committee, according to Red Cross officials. Also, she was the first female president of the Summit County Bluecoats Inc. and volunteers with Northern Ohio Golf Charities.

Williams is a graduate of Revere High School and The University of Akron. She is a former first-grade teacher with Akron Public Schools, according to Red Cross officials.

For reservations to the Acts of Courage event, contact the Red Cross at 330-535-6131.


Summit County Historical Society accepting nominations for Woman of the Year Awards

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Summit County Historical Society is now accepting nominations for the Woman of the Year Awards as part of the Women’s History Project. 

An online nomination form can be found at www.summithistory.org. Nominations may be submitted via email to schs@summithistory.org or by mail to Women of the Year Awards committee, c/o The Summit County Historical Society of Akron, Ohio, 550 Copley Road, Akron OH 44320.

All nominations are due by Jan. 24.

Nominations can be made in the following categories: Courage, Creativity, Faith, Heroine, Imagination, Innovation, Inspiration, Integrity, Pioneer, Perseverance, Woman to Watch and Posthumous.

A program will be held in March to recognize those selected.


Summit County real estate tax bills mailed

SUMMIT COUNTY — Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise, CPA, CFE, has announced first-half 2013 real-estate tax bills will be mailed beginning today, Jan. 17.

The closing date for payment will be Feb. 21, with the exception of military personnel. Property taxes are deferred for military reservists on active duty. Applications for that can be obtained by calling 330-643-2641 or visiting www.fiscaloffice.summitoh.net.

There are several ways for taxpayers to make payment:

  • at the Fiscal Office Treasurer Division, on the third floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St., Mondays through Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.;
  • U.S. mail, postmarked by Feb. 21 to avoid the statutory 10 percent penalty for late payment; a private meter is not valid for establishing the date of payment;
  • through the Regional Tax Collection System; a list of participating banks is included on the tax bill (checks must be made payable to the banking institution);
  • online or by phone through a secure payment service provided by Official Payments Corp.; taxpayers will need their parcel number on-hand, and a service fee will be charged; to pay taxes online or by phone, go to www.fiscaloffice.summitoh.net/index.php/on-line-tax-payments; or
  • at a MoneyGram site; a service fee applies. To locate a MoneyGram center, visit www.OfficialPayments.com/locate or call 800-MoneyGram.

The Tax Installment Program will be available again this year to allow those who cannot pay the full amount to avoid late-payment penalties. The deadline to sign up is Feb. 21. Call 330-643-2869 for more information.

For more information on plans to assist delinquent taxpayers, call 330-643-2600.

Those who have not received a tax bill by the end of January should call 330-643-2588.

Tax bills also can be downloaded from www.FiscalOffice.summitoh.net. Click on the “Property” box in the top menu, search for your property and then click on the link in the left side menu titled “Tax Bill (PDF).”


New statewide drug prevention initiative announced in Ohio

COLUMBUS — State Sen. Senator Frank LaRose (R-District 27), whose district includes New Franklin, has announced the formation of a statewide youth drug prevention effort in cooperation with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and First Lady Karen Kasich.

The program, Start Talking, works to eradicate youth drug use through prevention, according to LaRose, who added that research shows that youths are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs when parents and adults talk with them about substance use and abuse.

“As parents, it’s our job to talk with our children about the dangers of drug use,” LaRose stated in a press release.

Numerous schools have committed to participating in program, LaRose said. The initiative takes the following four-prong approach that interacts with educators, school officials, parents and students:

  • Know! is a drug prevention and awareness partnership developed by the Drug-Free Action Alliance that targets parents and caregivers of middle school students and empowers them to raise their children substance-free. Its goal is to increase communication between parents and their children about substance abuse. This is achieved through free, twice-monthly emails that offer parent tips to families to help them talk about this subject.
  • Parents360 Rx is a component of a national community education program developed by the partnership at Drug free.org that has demonstrated significantly increased knowledge of substance abuse among adults, according to LaRose. Ohio is disseminating Parents360 Rx Action Toolkits to assist parents and school leaders in hosting discussions locally to support prevention efforts in their communities.
  • 5 Minutes for Life is led by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ohio National Guard, in partnership with high schools and the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). Patrol and National Guard members talk to student athletes and encourage them to become ambassadors who lead peer-to-peer conversations that promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Building Youth Resiliency and encouraging good behavioral health among young people are both essential to enhancing their ability to resist substance abuse and addiction, according to LaRose. The Office of Ohio First Lady Karen Kasich, in partnership with other state agencies, is seeking applications to assist local communities in utilizing evidence-based programs to help youth resist substance use.

LaRose encourages Ohioans to visit www.StartTalking.Ohio.Gov to learn more.


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

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