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West Side News & Notes

2/6/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Probate Court accepting credit cards for court transactions

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Probate Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer has announced that as of Feb. 3, the court is able to accept credit cards for court transactions.

Visa, MasterCard and American Express will be accepted at the Summit County Probate Court for filings, marriage licenses and other transactions.

For more information, call 330-643-2348.


Kasich bringing State of State to Medina

MEDINA — Gov. John Kasich requested the convening of a joint session of the General Assembly on the evening of Feb. 24 at the Medina Performing Arts Center to deliver his 2014 State of the State address.

“Medina is one of Ohio’s great communities, and this is a great way to celebrate it,” said Kasich’s Press Secretary Rob Nichols in a news release last month. “Medina is also the hometown of [House] Speaker [William] Batchelder [R-District 69], and as he starts the last year of his term, this is a way to recognize his distinguished 46-year career in public service.”

“I’m pleased that my hometown of Medina has been selected to be the third Ohio city to be showcased during Gov. Kasich’s State of the State Address by my colleagues,” Batchelder said in a statement. “Medina is truly a great American city with hardworking people and tightknit communities, and I think it is very fitting that it has been chosen by the governor for such a momentous occasion. The governor’s commitment to making state government more accessible to the people and bringing this yearly address to cities across Ohio further demonstrates the openness of his administration. Medina and other cities across Ohio have contributed greatly to our state’s success, and I look forward to [this] month’s event.”

Since coming into office, Kasich has broken with the practice of previous governors who delivered their State of the State addresses at the Statehouse in Columbus. After his first address there in 2011, Kasich has delivered the address at Wells Academy, a public elementary school in Steubenville, and the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima.

State Sen. Larry Obhof (R-District 22) also released a statement of support, saying, “I am proud that the governor plans to deliver his State of the State address in Medina. This is a great opportunity to showcase our community, and I look forward to hosting the governor and my legislative colleagues as they visit Northeast Ohio.”

Tickets will be determined by a lottery. To submit information to be considered for tickets, visit governor.ohio.gov/tickets and complete the form before 6 p.m. Feb. 18. A block of tickets will be awarded at random by lottery, and those who are selected will be notified via email by noon Feb. 19, according to the Governor’s Office.


Planning Commission member sought in Norton’s Ward 2

NORTON — The city of Norton is seeking interested citizens willing to serve on its Planning Commission representing Ward 2.

The opening is for the unexpired term of Dan Grether ending Feb. 28, 2015, as Grether is now serving as Ward 2 City Council representative, according to Administrative Officer Ann Campbell. Planning Commission meetings take place in Council Chambers at the Safety-Administration Building, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. Board members are paid a small stipend for each meeting.

Interested applicants must reside in the ward, which is bordered by South Cleveland-Massillon Road to the west, Wadsworth Road to the north, the city’s border with Barberton to the south and the city’s border with Akron to the east.

The Planning Commission considers the plan, design, location, removal, relocation and alteration of any public building or structure or those located on public streets or property; the location, relocation, widening, extension and vacation of streets, parkways, playgrounds and other public places; and the zoning and rezoning of the municipality for any lawful purpose, according to Norton’s charter.

Individuals interested in the position can contact Campbell at 330-825-7815, ext. 314, or email annc@cityofnorton.org.


AMATS kicks off 2014 by approving $29 million in new projects

DOWNTOWN AKRON — In its first meeting of 2014, the AMATS Policy Committee approved 39 projects totaling nearly $29 million in new project funding. Committee approval caps off a selection process that began last October when the agency began sifting through more than 133 applications from project sponsors throughout the Greater Akron area.

The projects selected for funding reflect AMATS’ emphasis on preserving the area’s existing transportation system while pursuing new efficiency strategies as a means to stretch the area’s federal transportation funding, according to Victor Botosan, the agency’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) coordinator.

“The pot of government funds for transportation projects is not growing,” he said in a press release. “This latest round of funding continues the approach that we adopted several years ago of making the most of what we have now.”

The committee approved nearly $18 million in federal Surface Transportation Program funds (STP) for a mix of 12 improvement projects to widen, reconstruct and reroute some of the area’s most vital roadways. Some of the STP-funded projects incorporate such strategies as “road diets,” which are lane reductions and various bike and pedestrian improvements to achieve systemic improvements.

Area bike and pedestrian projects also will get a significant boost from the agency through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Nearly $4 million in TAP funds will go to 11 bike and pedestrian improvements throughout Summit and Portage counties.

The agency also approved nearly $7 million in Resurfacing Program funds for 16 projects. Among the notable projects to land funding were Phases 1 and 2 of Boston Heights’ planned resurfacing of Olde Eight Road, which received a commitment of nearly $1.5 million from the agency.

Other noteworthy projects include:

  • $5 million for the rerouting of state Route 59 in Akron;
  • More than $3 million for improving the Canton Road/state Route 91 intersection in Springfield and Lakemore; and
  • $500,000 for Phase 3 of Metro Parks, Serving Summit County’s Freedom Trail in Akron.

A complete listing of projects is available at www.amatsplanning.org.


Agency, community leaders seek state Route 8 redesignation

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) — acting in concert with several mayors whose communities are located along the state Route 8 corridor and the Summit County executive and engineer — sent a formal request to Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Jerry Wray Feb. 3 urging that the route be redesignated as Interstate 380.

AMATS Director Jason Segedy said the transportation planning agency initially proposed the idea in late October. Segedy noted that redesignating state Route 8 makes sense, as ODOT recently upgraded the route to a limited-access, multi-lane freeway. 

“State Route 8 is 18 miles long and carries 120,000 vehicles per day,” Segedy said. “It’s a lifeline between Akron and Cleveland and a link to four major interstates. By way of comparison, Interstate 277 in Akron is only one-quarter of its length, carries half of the traffic and connects with two interstates, and I-277 doesn’t extend beyond the city of Akron. State Route 8 does.”

One of the oldest state routes in Ohio, state Route 8 links Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Hudson, Boston Heights and Macedonia. It also connects those communities to Interstates 76, 77, 80 (Ohio Turnpike) and 271 and provides Summit County with easy access to Cleveland’s eastern suburbs, according to AMATS officials. The prominent role state Route 8 plays in the daily lives of nearby residents and businesses is one of the reasons mayors within the Route 8 corridor and county officials joined AMATS in seeking interstate status, said Segedy.

Among the signatories to the agency’s letter to ODOT were Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Summit County Executive Russ Pry and Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters.

For more information, contact Segedy at 330-375-2436 or JSegedy@AkronOhio.gov.


CVNP seeking park ambassadors

CVNP — Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) is seeking park enthusiasts for public education and interpretive positions for 2014-15.

Park ambassador volunteers have direct and regular interaction with park visitors through formal and informal talks and presentations. Park Ambassador volunteer opportunities include Visitor Center assistant, front desk assistant, Lock 38 presenter, park promoter, Paw Patrol, roving historian and artisan, Speakers’ Bureau, Trail Mix ambassador, wildlife watcher and Winter Sports Center assistant.

Volunteers must have the ability to start conversations and advocate for the park and park partners, and have strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills and comfort with public speaking. Individuals must be able to stand for extended periods of time and have some availability on weekends and holidays and preferably commit two to eight hours per month. Interpretation, first aid/CPR and position-specific training will provided. Applications are being accepted through Feb. 10 and are available at www.nps.gov/cuva/supportyourpark/volunteer-activities.htm. For more information, contact the volunteer office at volunteer@forcvnp.org or 330-657-2299.


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

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