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West Side News & Notes

3/20/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Plusquellic to present state of the city April 2

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The 2014 State of the City Address by Mayor Don Plusquellic will take place April 2 at the John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill St. The address is co-sponsored by the Greater Akron Chamber, Kiwanis Club of Akron, the Rotary Club of Akron, Akron Press Club and the Akron Roundtable.

In the address, Plusquellic will touch upon the municipal achievements of 2013 and talk about current and future city issues and projects.

In 2011, Plusquellic was re-elected to a seventh term and this year began his 28th year as mayor of Akron. He is the city’s longest-serving mayor and is a life-long resident of Akron. He became the 59th mayor of Akron in January 1987, after serving 13 years on Akron City Council, including three years as president. Citizens of Ward 9 first elected him to Council as their representative in 1973, when he was 24.

A graduate of Kenmore High School, Plusquellic attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering and graduated from Bowling Green State University School of Business. He earned his law degree from The University of Akron School of Law.

Registration and networking will begin at 10:30 a.m., with the program and lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. To make a reservation, call the Greater Akron Chamber at 330-237-1237 or register at www.greaterakronchamber.org, through the events calendar. Reservations are due by noon March 28. The cost is $22 for individuals and $220 for a table of 10 people.


Akron Community Foundation temporarily relocates for post-fire restoration

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Beginning March 24, Akron Community Foundation’s (ACF) offices will temporarily relocate to the U.S. Bank Building at 195 S. Main St., Suite 300.

The nonprofit is closed March 17-21 for the relocation.

According to ACF President and CEO John Petures Jr., the move will allow for comprehensive restoration at the ACF’s permanent office building at 345 W. Cedar St. Half of the interior of that building was destroyed in a Jan. 10 fire of unknown origin.

“Our temporary relocation will enable contractors to more quickly demolish and rebuild the sections of our building that were damaged by the fire,” Petures said.

Construction and renovations are expected to last six to nine months. The ACF will continue to operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and staff can continue to be reached at 330-376-8522 after resuming operations March 24. More details, including information about the temporary location and post-fire progress, are available at www.akroncf.org/buildingupdate.


Bath hosting State of the Parks annual meeting

BATH — The township’s annual State of the Parks meeting will take place tonight, March 20, at 7 p.m. at the Field Station in Bath Nature Preserve, 4160 Ira Road.

Bath Township officials said Trustee Elaina Goodrich will present a history of the parks and University of Akron professor Greg Smith will speak on research and field studies taking place at the Field Station.

In addition, outgoing Parks Director Mike Rorar and Interim Director Alan Garner will provide information on projects completed in 2013 and projects planned for this year.

Following the meeting, which is open to the public, those who attend are welcome to enjoy a bonfire and refreshments at the Regal Beagle, located on the Nature Preserve property.


Barberton Muni Court seeks to return unclaimed funds

BARBERTON — More than $7,500 is waiting to be claimed from the Barberton Municipal Court, according to Clerk of Court Diana Stevenson. 

“Every year, checks issued as refunds, restitution payments or judgment payments fail to get cashed by the payee,” said Stevenson. “People and organizations lose track of money that is rightfully theirs.”

In an effort to return the unclaimed funds to the rightful owners, Stevenson has sent letters informing payees of the unclaimed funds. On April 1, all unclaimed funds must be turned over to the city. 

“I encourage people to check the unclaimed funds list for their name so we can make sure they get their money,” said Stevenson.

The unclaimed funds listing can be viewed on Clerk Stevenson’s website at www.cityofbarberton.com/clerkofcourts in the “General” drop-down menu or at the court located at 576 W. Park Ave.

The Court serves the communities of Barberton, Clinton, Copley, Coventry, Green, New Franklin and Norton.


League of Women Voters presents combined sewer overflow plan

FAIRLAWN — The League of Women Voters of the Akron Area will host a panel discussion called “Akron Sewers: Going Green to Save ‘Green.’”

The event is co-sponsored by the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church and will take place March 27 at 7 p.m. at the church, 3300 Morewood Road.

Panelists will include: Shannon Conway, of MWH Global Inc., a consultant to the city of Akron; James Hewitt, Engineering Bureau manager with the city of Akron; Michelle DiFiore, interim Environmental Division manager with the city of Akron; and Sabrena Schweyer, APLD, and Samuel Salsbury, APLD, both of Salsbury-Schweyer, Inc., who will present on Sustainable Landscape Design.

The panelists will discuss the city of Akron’s combined sewer overflow plan, incorporating green infrastructure and the issues around the sewer rates and affordability. According to event organizers, the city has contracted with MWH Global Inc. to plan for integrated solutions to the combined sewer overflows. Salsbury-Schweyer Inc. has consulted with the city for its plan and will provide insights on green infrastructure and the measures that municipalities and citizens may consider to integrate green infrastructure into the landscape, according to event organizers.

A question-and-answer session with the panel will be included. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the League of Women Voters of the Akron Area at lwvaa@lwvaa.org or visit www.lwvaa.org.


Dee Haslam featured speaker at Women’s Endowment Fund dinner

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Emmy-nominated TV producer Dee Haslam, CEO and founder of RIVR Media, will discuss women’s leadership and philanthropy at the Women’s Endowment Fund’s (WEF) “For Women, Forever” annual dinner April 24. Tickets for the event, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. at The University of Akron’s Quaker Square Inn, 135 S. Broadway St., are on sale now at www.regonline.com/forwomenforever.

According to event organizers, Haslam’s love for TV was inspired by her father, producer Ross Bagwell Sr., who became her mentor in the industry. After college, she spent 13 years working for her father’s production company, Cinetel, before co-founding RIVR Media in 1999. In the years since, Haslam has grown RIVR Media into a multi-million dollar enterprise known for producing “Trading Spaces” and other reality shows on cable networks like HGTV and Animal Planet, according to WEF officials. Her company also writes, directs and produces high-profile film and online projects.

In 2010, Haslam co-created Moving Picture Books, a line of animated children’s books. Her work with both companies has earned her numerous awards, including an Emmy nomination for “Whale Wars,” the Parents Choice Award and the New York Festivals World Medal. Haslam’s professional associations include the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and the International Women’s Forum, where she cultivates and mentors emerging female leaders worldwide.

In 2012, Haslam’s husband, Jimmy Haslam, and the Haslam family purchased the Cleveland Browns. Since then, according to WEF officials, Haslam has immersed herself in the local philanthropic community, where she currently serves as president of the Cleveland Browns Foundation.

This “For Women, Forever” dinner celebrates women’s philanthropy and raises money for the WEF. It also will feature pre-event presentations from the fund’s most recent grantees. This year’s event is co-chaired by Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Eve Belfance and Cindy Johnson, partner at Bober Markey Fedorovich. It features a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 6:30.

Tickets for the annual dinner start at $75 per person. For more information, call 330-376-8522. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To learn more, contact Johnson at 330-255-2437 or cjohnson@bobermarkey.com.


Woman of the Year Awards to be given at annual luncheon

WEST AKRON — The Women’s History Project of the Akron Area (WHP), a program of The Summit County Historical Society (SCHS), will host its annual Woman of the Year Awards March 26 at the Akron Woman’s City Club, 732 W. Exchange St.

The event is a celebration of recipients in nine categories, as well as the history and progress of women in the United States. According to event officials, Woman of the Year Awards will be presented to: Ophelia Averitt — Pioneer; Rachel Breece — Creativity; Laraine Duncan — Imagination; Terry Kyser — Inspiration; Diane Miller-Dawson — Integrity; Nicole Mullet — Woman to Watch; Nellie Gillespie Shawl — Posthumous; Sister Patricia Marie Sigler — Faith; and Chris Yubasz — Courage.

Amani Abraham, the 2011 WHP Woman to Watch, will emcee the event.

The event is invitation-only with reserved seating, and the cost to attend is $30 per person, according to SCHS officials. Doors will open for guests at 11:30 a.m., and a meal will be served following the presentation of awards.

For more information, contact SCHS at 330-535-1120.


Stewart’s Caring Place to bestow Spirit Award to Judge Stormer

FAIRLAWN — Stewart’s Caring Place: Cancer Wellness Center has announced that Summit County Probate Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer is the recipient of the first Spirit Award, given in recognition of her commitment and service to the community. Stormer will receive the Spirit Award at the 11th annual Butterfly Gala to benefit Stewart’s Caring Place (SCP) July 19.

“The Stewart’s Caring Place Spirit Award has been created to honor those individuals who provide the community leadership and vision that fosters a shared social responsibility,” stated SCP Board President Michael Cohen in a press release. “Honorees chosen to receive the Spirit Award will be united through the spirit of giving back to our community in a meaningful way.”

Stormer’s commitment to service through addressing issues to help repeat offenders become law-abiding citizens is recognized through the Spirit Award. She founded the first Municipal Drug Court and the first Mental Health Specialty Court in Ohio, as well as the first Reentry Court for felons in Summit County. As a stage II breast cancer survivor, Stormer acts as a public advocate for the early detection of cancer, according to SCP officials.

The Butterfly Gala will take place at the Golf Improvement and Event Center in Sharon. For event and ticket details, contact Jeannine Marks, SCP event coordinator, at 330-836-1772 or visit www.StewartsCaringPlace.org.


Summit County tests new poverty curriculum

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron area was the first to complete field testing of new curriculum for the Bridges Out of Poverty program, according to United Way of Summit County (UWSC) officials.

Summit County was the first community asked by creator Ruby Payne to field test the new curriculum, “How Much of Yourself Do You Own?,” making it one of only two communities in the country involved in the test, and the only community to test across multiple sites.

The pilot builds on the established Bridges “Getting Ahead” curriculum that provides opportunities for motivated people living in poverty to develop plans for their futures. The new material helps participants learn how to build emotional resources as part of their pathway out of poverty, according to UWSC officials.

“Summit County is a community where creativity, collaboration and innovation are plentiful and made us a perfect community to field test the new curriculum,” said Nichole Booker, UWSC’s senior director of collective impact. “This new emotional piece is a critical addition to the existing foundation of Getting Ahead. Addressing the complex issues of moving out of poverty is required to provide a more holistic avenue for participants to create positive future stories for themselves and their children.”

More than 550 individuals in Summit County have graduated from “Getting Ahead” to date. Of these graduates, 22 have completed the “How Much of Yourself Do You Own?” curriculum through five classes at four field testing sites: Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Harvest Home, the Ohio Means Jobs Center in Summit County and OPEN M.

The new material received positive feedback from participants and facilitators, according to UWSC officials. The Summit County field-testing team highly recommended “How Much of Yourself Do You Own?” to Payne, with some minor adjustments, as an appropriate and critical next step following the “Getting Ahead” work sessions.

To read the report and executive summary, go to uwsummit.org.


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

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