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South Side News & Notes

2/27/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Park district plans name change

AKRON — Newly appointed Metro Parks, Serving Summit County Commissioner Jane Bond moved forward on simplifying the park district’s name during the park commissioners’ Feb. 18 meeting.

According to spokesman Nate Eppink, Bond suggested the name be changed to Summit Metro Parks, and fellow Commissioners Mark Spisak and Roland Bauer agreed.

“We’re hopeful the new name, Summit Metro Parks, will be official in mid- to late-March,” Eppink said. “Legal counsel said it needs final sign-off by Probate Judge [Elinore Marsh Stormer], who appoints our commissioners, and the secretary of state. We’re modifying the logo and will roll that out soon.”

Eppink said the park district was established as the Akron Metropolitan Park District in December 1921. The name was legally changed in 1995 to Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, though that name had been used for several years prior, he added.

One item that won’t need to be altered is the district’s website domain name; It’s already www.summitmetroparks.org.


Silent auction of painted rain barrels planned

Painted rain barrel designs include a peacock and a garden scene, shown above, as well as an Ohio State buckeye, underwater themes, American flags, a Camelot scene and minions.
Photo courtesy of the city of Green
GREEN — Beginning March 3, 16 painted rain barrels, submitted in December as part of the city of Green’s first annual rain barrel art contest, will be on display in Council Chambers in the Central Administration Building (CAB), 1755 Town Park Blvd., during regular business hours.

The rain barrels are being sold through a silent auction, with bids being accepted beginning March 3 through March 15 at 10 a.m.

The city decided to launch the art contest this year after receiving a donation of several white barrels from the Great Lakes Brewing Co. last spring, according to city officials. The rain barrels are intended to create awareness about their use and to make the large white barrels more attractive for purchase.

Five of the barrels were designed and painted by students from Green Middle School art classes.

Bids for a barrel begin at $50, and all of the money raised will be used to provide educational materials and information to residents about green infrastructure and conservation, according to city officials.

As part of the art contest, the winners of the Judges’ Choice and the highest bid will be announced at a free Rain Barrel Workshop, which will take place March 15 at 10 a.m. at the CAB, and the winning artists will receive $100. The free Rain Barrel Workshop will be presented by the city and Water X Scapes owner Bill Hoffman. It will include information on the benefits of rain harvesting and a demonstration on how to install a rain barrel, according to city officials.

Registration is not required, but encouraged, by calling 330-896-5500.

For details or to view the rain barrels online, visit www.cityofgreen.org/rain-barrel.


Red Cross honoring local acts of courage

FAIRLAWN — The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties has announced the area heroes who will be honored for their bravery and heroism at the annual American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties Acts of Courage event.

The event, to be held March 6 at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, honors local residents who have displayed extraordinary courage in the face of disaster, according to Red Cross officials.

The local 2014 honorees, with information provided by the Red Cross, include:

  • Kelsey Parkman, of Akron, will be recognized for rescuing his Vacation Bible School instructor from drowning.
    The last day of Vacation Bible School at New Covenant Sanctuary of Praise started as a rainy summer morning. When the sun came out, 14-year-old Kelsey joined in the end-of-the-week celebration at Turkeyfoot Lake with his friends in the water. They began playing a game of keep-away with his instructor. Suddenly, the instructor began struggling and calling for help. A strong swimmer, Kelsey swam over and realized they were at a place where the bottom of the lake dropped off. He pulled the instructor to safety.
  • John Duckworth, of Coventry, will be recognized for pulling a man from a burning car.
    Duckworth was heading home from work at 2:30 a.m. when he observed a Hummer crashed down an embankment on state Route 224 with its engine still running. He called 9-1-1 and then checked on the driver. Another car stopped and a man got out. Assured the driver was OK, Duckworth headed back to his own car. He then heard shouting and saw flames coming from the hood of the vehicle. Duckworth and the second man ran back to the Hummer, reached into the burning car, but the driver was trapped. Duckworth ran to his trunk to retrieve a baseball bat and shattered the Hummer’s windshield. Duckworth and the second man were able to free the driver and pull him away as the vehicle became engulfed in flames.

Other honorees will include:

√ Dr. Melani Sherman, of Akron, and Dr. Humberto Choi, of Cleveland, a Cleveland Clinic physician, who will be recognized for performing CPR on a fellow competitor during the Cleveland Triathlon;

√ Hayden Lukasik-Barber, of Macedonia; Officer Vince Danko, of Northfield; Officer Nick Szabel, of Concord; and Officer Brandon Heisler, of Akron, who will be recognized for saving Emily Cable from her burning home;

√ Jace Fletcher, of Akron, who will be recognized for reporting a student with a gun; and

√ Brian Nichols, of Akron, who will be recognized for performing first aid on a car accident victim.


Alarm policy change delayed

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Police Department (APD) has delayed the planned implementation of its verified response alarm policy from the originally scheduled March 1 to April 1.

“The citizens were saying, ‘We’d like some more time to be a more educated consumer,’” said APD Capt. Paul Calvaruso, the point person on the policy change.

According to APD officials, 98 percent of the alarms police officers respond to are false alarms, costing the expenditure of funds and also the diverting of officers’ response from actual crimes being committed. Under the new policy, officers will change how they respond to intrusion alarms, which must be verified before officers will respond. Officers will continue to respond to panic, duress and hold-up alarms.

An alarm can be verified by a licensed security agency representative, an eyewitness, live video, live reliable audio or a perimeter alarm breech in conjunction with an internal motion detector breech.


Foodbank’s Harvest for Hunger campaign begins

Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, spoke at the kickoff for the 23rd Harvest for Hunger campaign Feb. 26.
Photo courtesy of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Community members gathered Feb. 26 to kick off the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s Harvest for Hunger campaign.

The Harvest for Hunger campaign is a collaborative effort of four food banks: the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Cleveland Foodbank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.

Foodbank officials state the need for emergency food is greater than ever, and it is encouraging community participation to reach its local goal of $1,035,000 and 100,000 pounds of food.

There are two major components to the campaign:

  • Food and funds drives: Businesses, schools, community organizations and families are holding food and funds drives through April. To host a drive, register at www.akroncantonfoodbank.org.
    The biggest impact in the fight against hunger is made through financial donations: Every $1 provides four meals for those in need, according to Foodbank officials.
  • Check Out Hunger: Local stores are participating in Check Out Hunger, which allows shoppers to scan coupons and make donations of $1, $5 or $10 at the checkout register. Check Out Hunger will be available at Buehler’s Fresh Foods, Dave’s Supermarkets, Fishers Foods, Giant Eagle, Heinen’s Fine Foods, Dunkin Donuts and Walgreens beginning March 2.
    While making a donation at the checkout line, you can take a photo of yourself and tag the Foodbank on social media sites with #icheckedouthunger!


PeaceMakers offering youth financial literacy workshops

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron PeaceMakers, a youth civic/anticrime group, is sponsoring free financial literacy workshops for high school students March 1 at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St.

According to city officials, the 40-minute workshops will be presented at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. The topics will include budgeting, student loans and credit cards. All materials will be provided at the sessions.

Participants may attend all three, and each will be eligible to win a $2,500 scholarship, according to city officials.

To make a reservation to attend, contact Willa Keith at 330-375-2712 or via email at wkeith@akronohio.gov.

The group also will host a PeaceMakers orientation March 12. Applications for membership and more details are available at www.akronpeacemakers.org.


Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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