South Side News & Notes
In-School Emergency Communications System can protect county schools
SUMMIT COUNTY — In 2013, Ohio House Bill 59 funded a School Security Grant Program, which is administered by the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC). A portion of this program provides for eligible school districts to receive for each school building a two-way radio compatible with their local first responders to provide instant notification and up-to-the-second situational awareness in the event of an emergency.
Members of the Summit County-Akron 800MHz Regional Radio System, a countywide public safety communications network, are permitting those schools to use the countywide public safety communications network at no cost. The “user fee” will not be applied to any school using this program, saving $20 a month per building, according to county officials.
“School safety is an important component of schools, law enforcement and first responders, and we are proud to create this partnership,” said County Executive Russ Pry in a press release. “Interoperability is key in a crisis situation, and the new radios will provide that, along with instant communication.”
According to county officials, the In-School Emergency Communications System provides instant, reliable, priority communications to a school’s first responders. The system was specially designed through collaboration among school officials, law enforcement, first responders and Motorola Solutions to provide ease of operation to schools. By pressing a large orange button on the radio unit, the school-defined first responders are instantly alerted.
To date, nine of the 17 school districts in Summit County have applied for and/or received the 800MHz radios.
For more details, visit www.co.summit.oh.us/800mhz.
Former judge appointed to Metro Parks board
AKRON — Former judge Jane Bond has been appointed to the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County Board of Commissioners.
Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer appointed Bond to the board, effective this month. The term is for three years, according to park district spokesman Nate Eppink.
Bond replaced commissioner Frances Buchholzer, who served for approximately 19 years. She was a former director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Buchholzer’s term expired Dec. 31, Eppink said.
Eppink said Bond would report for her first meeting when commissioners meet Jan. 30 at 11:30 a.m. in the district’s administrative offices, located at 975 Treaty Line Road in Sand Run Metro Park. There will be a ceremonial swearing in before the meeting, Eppink added.
Bond was a member of The University of Akron (UA) Board of Trustees, to which she was appointed in 2008 and served until 2012. According to her biography from UA, Bond received a bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from Ohio University in 1968 and a law degree from The UA School of Law in 1976. She entered private practice and then served as an assistant prosecutor. Bond became the first general counsel to the county executive when Summit County established the first charter government in Ohio in 1981.
In 1986, she became general counsel to the Voinovich Cos. and worked also as a criminal justice planner in jails and prisons. Bond was appointed as judge of Akron Municipal Court in 1989 and served two years before her appointment to the Summit County Common Pleas Court in 1991. She retired from the bench in 2007.
An Akron native, Bond has served on numerous boards, including the Leadership Akron Alumni Board, Women’s Network Board, Friends of Hower House Board, Coach House Theatre Board and English Oaks Condominium Board of Directors. She is a graduate of Leadership Akron’s Class II and N.E.X.T. of Leadership Akron.
Bond joins fellow Metro Parks commissioners Roland Bauer and Mark Spisak. The three-person park board is appointed by the Summit County Probate Court judge. Commissioners serve overlapping three-year terms without compensation and are assisted by Director-Secretary Keith Shy, who oversees the work of full-time and part-time employees, seasonal workers and volunteers.
Cook receiving Akron Bar Association Award
AKRON — The Akron Bar Association is honoring Judge Deborah Cook, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, as the 2014 recipient of the Judicial Pioneer Award.
The award was established to acknowledge the person who has been the first of his or her race, gender or cultural heritage to hold a judicial position. Cook was the first and only female from Summit County to be a justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio and a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. She served on the Ohio Supreme Court from 1995 to 2003 and on the 6th Circuit from 2003 to the present.
In recognizing Cook’s achievements, the Akron Bar Association noted that in addition to the intellectual rigor of her judicial decisions, she also has been a strong force for collegiality on all of the benches on which she has served. According to association officials, her time, energy and financial commitment on behalf of underprivileged youth have been done without fanfare.
The award was presented to Cook yesterday, Jan. 23, during a reception at the Akron Bar Association office.
Akron Children’s seeking Change Bandits
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron Children’s Hospital is seeking Change Bandits to support the 15th annual Have a Heart, Do Your Part Radiothon presented by 98.1 WKDD, which will air Feb. 13-15.
The Change Bandits campaign is a grassroots fundraising effort designed to turn spare change into miracles for children treated at Akron Children’s Hospital, according to hospital officials. Serving as a Change Bandit also allows participants the opportunity to raise money for the hospital and turn in their donations on air, according to hospital officials.
“The Change Bandit campaign is unique because it gives people a way to participate for their own reasons,” said Nicci Avalon, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program manager at Akron Children’s Hospital. “We receive great support. Whether it’s former patients and their families saying thank you for the care they received, or schools and organizations supporting our patients, these Change Bandits help us provide our patients with the best care.”
Prizes will be awarded to the top Change Bandits in five categories: individuals, schools/organizations, small companies (less than 100 employees), large companies (more than 100 employees) and hospital departments, according to hospital officials.
Individual Change Bandits are given a fundraising goal of $100, which can purchase 575 diapers or 100 pacifiers. Change Bandit groups are given a fundraising goal of $250, which can purchase 8,300 bandages or 2,735 children’s toothbrushes, according to hospital officials.
In 15 years, nearly 6,000 Change Bandits have donated more than $2.2 million during the radiothon, according to hospital officials. To date, the radiothon has raised more than $8.3 millions for the patients at Akron Children’s Hospital, officials added.
Anyone interested in becoming a Change Bandit can register by visiting www.akronchildrens.org, clicking on “Events” at the bottom and then Have a Heart, Do Your Part Radiothon listed under the Feb. 13 date, or fax a name, address and phone number to the Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation at 330-543-4335. Change Bandit fundraising kits will be mailed to participants.
Kettle Campaign concludes, families served at holidays
AKRON — The Salvation Army has wrapped up another Red Kettle Campaign, raising $329,701 from the Summit County community. The campaign included 2,500 hours of volunteers’ bell ringing, a 30 percent increase from the 2012 campaign.
In addition to the Red Kettle Campaign, the Salvation Army served families in need throughout the holiday season. The Salvation Army met with 1,381 families who applied for assistance this year. More than 1,500 children were served through Angel Tags, with 61 area businesses and groups hosting trees.
Salvation Army officials stated their gratitude in a press release to the Summit County community for the generous support of the Red Kettle Campaign and for the hope it will provide to families throughout the upcoming year.
For more information about serving or receiving help, call 330-762-8481.
Girl Scouts, Jo-Ann Fabric team up to make hats, scarves
NORTHEAST OHIO — Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores will join forces Jan. 25 to support Crafting for a Cause.
According to GSNEO officials, during the one-day event, 72 classes will be held at Jo-Ann’s 18 stores for 1,200 Girl Scouts who are volunteering to make 2,400 sets of fleece hats and scarves. The fleece, donated by Jo-Ann, is being cut and packaged in advance by Goodwill Industries employees. According to GSNEO officials, the project inspires creativity in the Girl Scouts making the hats and scarves, and the effort also will benefit the children receiving the gifts.
The fleece hats and scarves will be delivered to agencies and organizations including area children services agencies, Salvation Army sites, shelters and Boys and Girls Clubs throughout Summit, Medina, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Sandusky, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas counties, according to GSNEO officials.
“Every day Girl Scouts do things in our communities to make the world a better place,” said GSNEO CEO Jane Christyson. “This service project is different in that it involves thousands of girls, volunteers, organizations and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores team members all working together toward a common goal.”
Girl Scouts registered in advance to participate in Crafting for a Cause, and most locations were filled within the first week, according to GSNEO officials.
Tokaji to speak Feb. 7 at UA
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Professor Daniel Tokaji will speak about voting rights at The University of Akron’s (UA) Student Union Theater Feb. 7 at 3:30 p.m. as part of UA’s Race Week. There will be the opportunity for questions following the speech.
This event is free and is co-sponsored by the Akron Press Club, UA’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, UA’s Center for Conflict Management, the UA School of Law, Bierce Library and Canton Area League of Women Voters.
Tokaji is the Robert M. Duncan/Jones Day Designated Professor of Law and a senior fellow in election law at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University (OSU). According to event organizers, he is an authority on election law and voting rights. He specializes in election reform, including such topics as voting technology, voter identification, provisional ballots and other subjects addressed by the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Tokaji also studies issues of fair representation, including redistricting and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale Law School, Tokaji clerked for Stephen Reinhardt, of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Before arriving at OSU, he was a staff attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and chair of California Common Cause.
He was lead counsel in a case that struck down an Ohio law requiring naturalized citizens to produce a certificate of naturalization when challenged at the polls. He was an attorney for plaintiffs in cases that kept open the window for simultaneous registration and early voting in Ohio’s 2008 General Election and that challenged punch-card voting systems in Ohio and California after the 2000 election.
Tokaji sits on the boards of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio.
Reservations are not required for the event.
Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
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