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West Side News & Notes

1/30/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Arvay elected new chair of SCCS board

Anna Arvay
SOUTH AKRON — The Summit County Children Services (SCCS) Board of Trustees has elected Anna Arvay, CPA, of Akron, as its new chair for a two-year term from January 2014 through December 2015, replacing the previous chair, Akron attorney Daniel Bell, who decided not to seek reappointment to the SCCS board.

M. Beth Curley and GinaKaye Maddox, both of Akron, were re-elected to two-year terms as board vice chair and secretary, respectively. In other news, attorney Candace Campbell Jackson, vice president and chief of staff to the president of The University of Akron, also decided to step down from the SCCS board at the end of her term Dec. 31. 

According to SCCS officials, Arvay, a member of the SCCS Board since 2009, specializes in not-for-profit and governmental accounting and auditing services, including governmental single audits and consulting specialty services. She has been involved in public accounting for 33 years, with 24 of those years involved with not-for-profits and governmental entities. She spent 16 years working for local firms and formed her own firm in February 1997. 

Arvay graduated from The University of Akron in 1982 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and has been a certified public accountant since 1986. For eight years, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, where she chaired the Finance Committee. In 2006, she was appointed to the Summit County Regional Arts and Cultural District Board of Trustees, where she served for six years. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA). She is a past president of the OSCPA-Akron/Canton Chapter and also has served as treasurer on the boards of trustees of various other not-for-profit organizations. 

Curley has served on the agency board since 2003. She recently retired from the United Way of Summit County, where she served as the AFL-CIO community service liaison. Curley attended Antioch University and majored in labor.

Maddox has served on the agency board since 2004. She has a master’s degree in communications from Kent State University and is pursuing a doctorate in organizational leadership. She currently holds the position of senior learning consultant at FirstMerit Bank.

 

Stow courthouse open despite water damage

STOW — The Stow Municipal Court was operating Jan. 27, despite weekend flooding that damaged thousands of court records and parts of the building, according to Clerk of Courts Kevin Coughlin.

Courthouse officials discovered a ruptured water line the evening of Jan. 25 that sent water flowing over the security station, into the clerk’s office and into the records room in the basement, according to a press release issued by the court.

Closed case files are stored in the secured records room, according to the clerk’s office. Under Ohio law, minor misdemeanors must be saved for five years after they are closed, and more serious offenses require storage for 50 years after the cases have closed, according to court officials.

“Our staff is identifying case files that can be dried out and salvaged,” said Clerk of Courts Kevin Coughlin. “After consulting with the Ohio Supreme Court, I have established a protocol for determining and documenting if a file cannot be saved. In these cases, the file will be destroyed. I estimate the number of records to be in the thousands.”

Court Administrator Rick Klinger and Stow Building Department personnel were first on the scene, spreading saturated records throughout the courthouse basement in an effort to dry them, according to court officials, and Coughlin and his office staff began clearing materials and sorting records the next day, Jan. 26. Building Department staff worked throughout the day and night to dry out the clerk’s office, according to court officials.

“As we manage the damaged case files, we will strive to preserve as many as possible while adhering to established rules on the destruction of damaged records,” Coughlin said.

In the West Side Leader coverage area, the Stow Municipal Court serves the communities of Cuyahoga Falls, Peninsula and Boston Township.

“This incident only strengthens my resolve to transform the court and implement a paperless records system,” said Coughlin, who was elected clerk this past fall. “Over the last few weeks, I have visited other courthouses to observe their use of technology and met with several software vendors with the goal of going paperless within the next 18 months.”

 

Ohio Special Response Team recruiting local volunteers

MEDINA — The Ohio Special Response Team Inc. (OSRT), a nonprofit organization headquartered in Mansfield, is recruiting in the Northeast Ohio area and accepting applications for membership.

The OSRT was organized to provide assistance to civil authorities. According to officials, the OSRT is a trained group of volunteers with selected skills and assets with the capability of assisting local and state agencies responding to emergencies including but not limited to searches for missing individuals and to natural and manmade disasters.

The training provided in search and rescue meets national standards, according to OSRT officials, who added instructors are experts in their subject matter and hail from academia, law enforcement and various government agencies.

For additional information and to fill out an online application, visit www.ohiospecialresponseteam.org.

There will be an open house Feb. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Medina Fire Station No. 1, 300 W. Reagan Parkway, for those who have an interest in joining the organization. This will be an opportunity to meet members of OSRT and to ask questions about the organization. For additional information or to make a reservation, email Unit7.OSRT@neo.rr.com.

 

Akron-Canton Foodbank, Ohio Benefit Bank partnering to provide free tax services

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Free tax filing services are available to area residents through a tax clinic hosted by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

Most households with an adjusted gross income of less than $65,000 per year filing single tax returns and $95,000 per year for married couples filing joint tax returns can use the free service offered by Ohio Benefit Bank to file their taxes, according to Foodbank officials.

Clients will be seen by appointment only Feb. 8 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St. Taxes will be prepared by Ohio Benefit Bank counselors and trained volunteers. To schedule an appointment, contact Mary Ann Mills, community organizer at Ohio Benefit Bank, at 330-777-1051 or mmills@acrfb.org.

Eligible participants must bring to the appointment: photo proof of identification; Social Security numbers for the client and all dependents; income forms such as W2s, 1099s and 1098s; information about other income (for example, interest income); deduction and credit information (child care expenses, tuition bills, union dues); and a copy of last year’s tax return.

If unable to attend on the scheduled date, residents can locate other Ohio Benefit Bank sites providing tax services by calling 800-648-1176 or using the site locator at www.ohiobenefits.org.

Eligible individuals also may use this website to prepare their taxes themselves for free. The website is designed not only to help individuals and families prepare and electronically file their taxes, but also to enable Ohioans to claim all credits for which they are eligible at no cost, as well as review potential eligibility for other community support, according to Foodbank officials.

Volunteers also are needed to assist the counselors in these tax clinics. To volunteer, you must have basic computer skills. For more information on volunteering, contact Mills.

 

UWSC seeks nominees for annual awards

SUMMIT COUNTY — United Way of Summit County (UWSC) is accepting nominations for the Distinguished Service Award and Young Philanthropist of the Year through Feb. 28. The awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting April 23.

Additional award criteria, nomination forms and a list of past recipients are available at www.uwsummit.org.

Since 1959, UWSC has presented the Distinguished Service Award annually to a recipient for his or her interest, personal dedication and service in a voluntary capacity to the improvement of education, income and health conditions throughout Summit County.

United Way’s Young Leaders Society also is seeking nominations for its Young Philanthropist of the Year award. This award was created to recognize a community leader, 40 or younger, who has demonstrated a passionate desire to help others through financial support of United Way and service to nonprofit organizations and institutions within Summit County. Any young philanthropist who is a current United Way donor living or working in Summit County and demonstrating active volunteer support of United Way or other nonprofit organizations is eligible to be nominated for this award.

 

Portable working sewing machines needed for DAWN

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Recent refugees from Nepal who have arrived in Northeast Ohio are enrolled in sewing and knitting classes that began this month at two locations and presented by DAWN (Developing Alternatives for Women in New communities).

According to DAWN officials, enrollment has far exceeded expectations, and the sewing machines and other supplies collected throughout 2013 for these classes are not enough. Working portable sewing machines are needed to equip each of the women. The group also welcomes sewing supplies, quilting fabrics of at least 1 yard, sewing shears, cutting mats, knitting yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks for ongoing teaching projects.

Training is held locally bi-weekly at Cuyahoga Falls Library, 2015 Third St.

Ongoing for the past four years, DAWN has donated hand-knitted hats and scarves, bags and hand-crochet dolls made by Shangri-La Crafters to ACCESS Inc., a homeless shelter for women in Akron. The women also participated in the Cleveland area’s Shaker Square Holiday Artists Market, where their hand-knitted hats and scarves sold out, according to DAWN officials.

Students at Kent State University Fashion Design School will work with the women, and DAWN is developing connections with small-business owners looking for limited quantities of sewn and hand-knitted items. All proceeds from sales go directly to the women who craft the items, according to DAWN officials.

For more information, contact Manju Rastogi at MRastogi@aol.com or call 330-289-3052.

 

Sponsorship opportunities for Women’s Endowment Fund’s annual dinner April 24

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation invites local residents and community leaders to save the date for its annual “For Women, Forever” dinner, which will take place April 24 at Quaker Station at Quaker Square Inn at The University of Akron, 135 S. Broadway St.

This year’s event will feature Emmy-nominated TV producer Dee Haslam, the CEO and founder of RIVR Media. Haslam, the president of the Cleveland Browns Foundation and the wife of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, will share her experience in women’s leadership and philanthropy during a question-and-answer session at the dinner.

Corporate and individual sponsorships range from $1,500 to $10,000 for the presenting sponsorship, which includes the opportunity to introduce Haslam in front of hundreds of community leaders, business professionals and nonprofit advocates, according to organizers.

“This is a unique opportunity for businesses to show their support for the women and girls in our community,” said event co-chair Cindy Johnson, a partner at Bober Markey Fedorovich. “Their commitment as a sponsor will help increase our funding to critical programs that serve women and girls in need.”

For more information about becoming a sponsor, visit www.regonline.com/forwomenforever or contact Johnson at 330-255-2437 or cjohnson@bobermarkey.com.

“For Women, Forever” celebrates women as philanthropists and benefits the Women’s Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation. The event will feature a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will go on sale in March. To request an invitation, register for the Women’s Endowment Fund’s e-newsletter at www.akroncf.org/wefnews.

 

‘Kiss my Akron’ window cling campaign returns for February

DOWNTOWN AKRON — For the month of February, Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) is bringing back the promotional “Kiss My Akron” campaign. Kiss My Akron is designed for Downtown Akron employees and visitors to show what they like best and highlight favorite destinations with a kiss window cling.

“Last year we were overwhelmed at the response that Kiss My Akron received,” said Suzie Graham, DAP president. “We don’t always take the time to appreciate all that Downtown Akron has to offer. There is a lot to love, and we want to see people show that love in a fun and playful way.”

Participating restaurants, shops, Downtown businesses and DAP Clean and Safe Ambassadors will distribute kiss-print clings beginning Feb. 1. Visitors are encouraged to capture the moment by sharing photos of their kisses on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the tag #kissmyakron.

DAP was inspired to create the Kiss My Akron campaign in 2013 after hearing author and Akronite Peter Kageyama speak at an International Downtown Association conference. His book “For the Love of Cities” relates the importance of community affection and its relation to development, according to DAP officials.

Contact the DAP office at 330-374-7676 for details and a list of businesses distributing window clings, which include 3 Point, Akron Civic Theatre, Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau, Akron Zoo, Bakery at Hattie’s Cafe, The Lockview, NOTO, Palladian Palette, Rubber City Clothing, Urban Eats and Zeber-Martell Clay Studio and Gallery.

The list will be updated at www.downtownakron.com.

One of A Kind Pets hosts Feral Cat Seminar

WEST AKRON — One of A Kind Pet Rescue will host a Feral Cat Seminar Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its Adoption Center, 1929 W. Market St. 

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) trappers Toby Franks, of One of A Kind and Frank’s Ferals, and Jill Kirsch, of Cripple Creek Ferals, will demonstrate how to help feral cats by implementing TNR. This seminar will cover all aspects of TNR including:

  • feeding stations and shelter;
  • humane trapping equipment and how to properly use it;
  • spay/neuter care at One of A Kind Pets Spay and Neuter Clinic;
  • transport to and from the Clinic;
  • recovery, return and ongoing care;
  • tips for hard-to-catch cats and other special situations; and
  • a question-and-answer session with TNR trappers and clinic staff.

The seminar is free and open to the public, but donations to the Feral Fund would be appreciated.

For additional information, call 330-865-6200 or visit the website www.oneofakindpets.com.

 

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

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