South Side News & Notes
Plans for Central Park to be unveiled
GREEN — City of Green officials will host two public meetings to unveil plans for Central Park March 12 at 6:30 p.m. and March 13 at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building (CAB), located at 1755 Town Park Blvd.
According to city officials, the city is seeking input from residents about their thoughts and opinions on the proposed design for Central Park before plans are finalized. The new park will be built between the CAB and Green Intermediate School. City officials state the land was purchased in 2012 with the intention of developing it into a public gathering space and providing connectivity to other amenities in the central business district.
Tony Slanc, of OHM, the company that created the design, will facilitate the public meetings and unveil a 3D computer model of the proposed design. The unveiling will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
The initial design for the park was developed following involvement from a steering committee comprised of community leaders, school and city administrators and residents, according to city officials.
Those attending the meetings will be asked to provide feedback on the proposed design for Central Park through a short survey. Residents unable to attend will have access to an online survey and video of the meeting on the city’s website at www.cityofgreen.org.
Green Branch Library celebrating 35th anniversary
GREEN — The Green Branch Library, 4046 Massillon Road, will celebrate its 35th anniversary of serving the community March 12 from noon to 6 p.m.
The event will include a history of the library through pictures. According to library officials, the library served the area first through a bookmobile before moving into the former Green Township fire station located at the corner of Massillon and Greensburg roads. Photos of the new branch library, built in 1999, also will be included.
In addition, there will be free cupcakes and Paws, the library lion cub mascot, will greet children.
The public is invited to drop by anytime during the anniversary celebration.
For more information, call the library at 330-896-9074.
State of County address March 14
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Press Club will present the Annual State of the County Address March 14 at the John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill St.
The buffet luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m., and the speech given by County Executive Russ Pry will follow.
The cost is $20 for Press Club members or $25 for nonmembers. Tables of 10 will be available.
Reservations are required by today, March 7, and can be made by calling 330-564-4213 or via email to RSVP@cmoresearch.com.
Green’s Tax Division hosting Taxpayer Appreciation Day
GREEN — Green’s Income Tax Division will be open March 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on its first annual Taxpayer Appreciation Day.
“We want to encourage taxpayers to file their Green income taxes early,” said Green Income Tax Administrator David Hartsook. “We also recognize that some people are not able to visit our office during our normal hours of operation.”
Income Tax Division staff will be available to answer questions and to assist taxpayers with preparing their 2013 Green income tax returns that day, according to city officials. Coffee and cookies will be available while supplies last.
Green also offers e-filing on the city’s website at www.cityofgreen.org/income-tax. All city tax forms and instructions are available for download on the website. City income taxes are due April 15.
Tax returns also can be filed by mail or in person during regular business hours weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Income Tax Division, which is located inside the Central Administration Building (CAB), 1755 Town Park Blvd. Also, a 24-hour income tax drop box is located at the CAB to the left of the main entrance.
Sheriff notes pastors’ arrests not real
SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry announced March 4 that various websites are depicting skits of pastors being arrested by his deputies as real, even though they are just simulated.
Barry stated his office has been working with various churches in the Greater Akron area in a community project called Defending the Faith. He said the Rev. Melford Elliott, of the Greater Bethel Baptist Church, along with other area church leaders, requested deputies’ assistance in simulating the arrest of preachers during their sermons for this project. Some of these “arrests” took place March 2 at local churches, and the “arrests” were filmed as part of the project.
Barry said he was aware the project would be filmed but did not know the videos would be used for anything other than the community project. He added he was recently informed the videos were being portrayed as real arrests on various websites and people were “disgusted with us interrupting a church service.”
“None of these preachers are in trouble, nor have they been held in custody, and although I am very glad to help out our community religious leaders, I certainly didn’t know these videos of fictitious portrayals were going to be transmitted on the web,” said Barry. “Had I known these videos were going to be viewed on websites, I certainly would have asked for a caption or disclaimer so those viewing would know they were not real arrests.”
Barry added more simulated arrests are set to take place in the next few weeks.
AMATS reports on Greater Akron’s infrastructure
AKRON — The current condition of the region’s transportation infrastructure is a mix of good news and bad news, according a new report released by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS).
The report finds that Greater Akron’s major roads are in better condition than those in Northeast Ohio’s other metropolitan areas, but they are in slightly worse condition than others across the state.
Using information from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), AMATS finds that nearly half of the area’s roads are in “good” condition, but a significant portion are in “poor” condition.
Among the key findings of the report, according to AMATS, are:
- 71 of the region’s 984 bridges are classified as “structurally deficient,” meaning they will require significant investment to be brought back to a state of good repair.
- 12 percent of the area’s major roads are in “poor” condition.
- Overall, roads and bridges are in a reasonably good state of repair, but keeping them that way will be an ongoing and costly proposition, which will consume a large proportion of the region’s limited transportation funds.
- In order to significantly improve bridge and pavement conditions, AMATS, ODOT and local governments will need to make a concerted and coordinated effort to have road and bridge maintenance, rather than congestion relief, be the top transportation priority in the region.
Copies of the “AMATS: The State of Our Region’s Transportation Infrastructure” report and a summary sheet of report findings and policy conclusions available online at www.amatsplanning.org.
For additional information, contact Jason Segedy at 330-375-2436 or JSegedy@AkronOhio.gov.
ACF announces record assets, awards almost $2 million
DOWNTOWN AKRON — On Feb. 21, the Akron Community Foundation’s (ACF) Board of Directors reported a record $181.6 million in assets as of Dec. 31 — an increase of $12.6 million over the same quarter last year. According to ACF officials, the growth was fueled by more than $5.7 million in gifts received between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 and investment returns of 5.8 percent for the same quarter.
Additionally during that quarter, a record 15 new charitable funds were started by individuals, companies and nonprofits. With just more than a month to go until March 31, the organization was two funds away from setting an all-time record for funds established in a fiscal year, said President and CEO John Petures Jr. He attributes the success to donor-centric changes the ACF has implemented during the past three years.
“Our increased transparency, financial flexibility and ability to connect people and companies with emerging needs in our community is really resonating,” Petures said.
In addition, the board approved $1.93 million in grants, including 323 grants totaling more than $1.43 million from 91 designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds and 22 grants totaling $502,000 from discretionary, or board-directed, funds. Nearly half of the discretionary funding went to early care and education programs, bringing total support for such programs to more than $1.36 million since the board announced its early learning funding priority in 2008.
A $35,000 grant to Summit Education Initiative will create consistent measurement tools for out-of-school providers in the county, according to ACF officials. This initiative will help providers better align the outcomes of their participants with the countywide Cradle to Career metrics that area schools already use to measure student success. The grant also will help pay for an out-of-school program facilitator to work with these providers and help develop the metrics.
For a complete list of the discretionary grants, see “ACF announces record assets, awards $1.93 million in grants” at www.akron.com.
Akron Area YMCA launches 2014 Annual Campaign to support community needs
GREATER AKRON — The Akron Area YMCA launched its Annual Campaign March 3 to ensure that everyone has access to community programs and resources that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, according to YMCA officials.
This year, the Akron Area YMCA hopes to raise $450,000. According to YMCA officials, funds raised will support a variety of programs and services that help: children grow more confident and independent through Summer Day Camp, teens develop leadership skills and families benefit from opportunities to strengthen their spirit, mind and body.
During March, the Akron Area YMCA invites everyone to visit the Y in their community, take a tour and visit the Branch Impact Walls. Y Members, volunteers and “storytellers” nationwide will share stories and photos about their Y on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest pages. Everyone is encouraged to follow along and interact on facebook.com/akronymca, twitter@AkronYMCA, twitter@ymca, twitter@LivingOurCause, youtube.com/akronareaymca, Youtube.com/LivingOurCause, instagram.com/akronymca and pinterest.com/akronareaymca using #BeCauseY #ymca #akronymca.
A 20-foot-long “The Y” banner will be displayed at different branches throughout the month for pictures and storytelling. Banner display dates and locations are: Riverfront YMCA, week of March 2; Wadsworth YMCA, week of March 9; Lake Anna YMCA, week of March 17; University Park YMCA, week of March 23; and Green Family YMCA for the month of March.
Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
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