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West Side News & Notes

4/3/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

April 11-12 Black Male Summit features Steve Harvey

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The seventh annual Black Male Summit will begin April 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the John S. Knight Center with an opening address from entertainer and comedian Steve Harvey, one of several personalities scheduled to speak throughout the weekend, including diversity scholar Terrell Strayhorn, filmmaker Janks Morton and Touré, co-host of “The Cycle” on MSNBC.

The subject matter will include the topics “I Am My Brother’s Keeper: Identity Construction in Recruiting/Retaining Black Males in Higher Education,” “Beating the Odds Without Using Your Fist,” “The Gifted Black Male in STEM: They Do Exist,” “A First Generation College Student’s Survival Kit,” “The New ‘N’ Word — Networking,” and “Are Black Fraternities Still Relevant?”

Introduced by Michael Bender, president of Walmart West, and moderated by Russ Mitchell, WKYC-TV lead anchor, panelists will include: David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans; Jim Tressel, executive vice president for student success at The University of Akron (UA); Fred Wright, president of the Akron Urban League; David James, superintendent of the Akron Public Schools; and Trabian Shorters, former vice president of the Knight Foundation and founder of BMe.

The two-day event — free to UA students, faculty and staff — is open to the public for $50, and to students of other schools for $25.

Prior to the Summit, community leaders will gather in the Akron-Summit County Main Library Auditorium from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for a Pre-Black Male Summit Community Dialogue Forum to address the question, “How can community institutions rally to support black male success?” The Pre-Black Male Summit is free and open to the public. The library is located at 60 S. High St.

The deadline for registration is tomorrow, April 4. For the full Black Male Summit schedule of events, other information and to register, visit www.uakron.edu/ie/bms/.


Health insurance registration under Affordable Care Act extended for some

GREATER AKRON — The deadline for some people enrolling in a health insurance plan under the federal Affordable Care Act was extended.

According to Summit County Public Health officials, the deadline for people who had already begun the process by the March 31 deadline to enroll in a Healthcare Marketplace Plan was extended to April 11. The deadline was extended for those who had difficulty completing the application due to special circumstances, officials added.

Enrollment in a health insurance plan was required for most people by March 31, according to the Affordable Care Act. Those who did not have health insurance by that date may face a penalty.

The Marketplace offers consumers who do not have access to health insurance a variety of health insurance plans to choose from, with some restrictions.

For more information, visit www.healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596.


CG&FS names Betty Dalton recipient of first Friend of Children Legacy Award

Betty Dalton
FAIRLAWN — Child Guidance & Family Solutions (CG&FS) has announced that Betty Dalton is the recipient of the first Friend of Children Legacy Award, honoring her on the occasion of its 75th Diamond Anniversary this year.

The public is invited to the Mending Hearts and Minds 75th Diamond Anniversary Legacy Luncheon taking place May 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St.

Held annually, the event is CG&FS’s report to the community on its impact on the health of its children, adolescents and families who struggle with mental, emotional and behavioral health issues. Established through the efforts of community leaders and members of the Junior League of Akron 75 years ago, CG&FS has been dedicated to making its children healthier, its families stronger, and the community richer by providing accessible mental health services to children and adolescents, according to agency officials.

In past years, CG&FS has honored a leader in the community with the Friend of Children award. Previous honorees include Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) and its executive director, Anthony O’Leary; Akron Children’s Hospital and its president and CEO, William Considine; the Akron Area YMCA and its president and CEO, Douglas Kohl; and Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio.

Dalton is a former Akron Public Schools Board president and served on that board for 21 years in several capacities. She also has been national director of the Association of Junior Leagues and a past president of the Junior League of Akron, director of First National Bank of Ohio, president of Mobile Meals and president of Family Services of Summit County.

“Our first Friend of Children Legacy Award recognizes an individual who has had a lifelong commitment to ensuring the welfare and well-being of children in our community,” said Elaine Harlin, president of CG&FS. “There is no one better qualified than Betty Dalton to receive our diamond anniversary award. She has spent a lifetime investing in the needs of our children — from grade school with The Helping Hand Club, to high school scrubbing beds and furniture in hospital rooms for polio patients, all the way through to her involvement with the school board and Family Services. This award is a tribute to her hands-on dedicated involvement to improving the lives of children.”

About her efforts to help children in our community, Dalton said, “Our children, their welfare … the resources we invest in them are surely the greatest legacy we leave to our community.”

To reserve a seat at the Mending Hearts and Minds luncheon or for more information, call CG&FS at 330-762-0591 or visit www.cgfs.org.


SWSCOG conducts regular business

BARBERTON — The Southwest Summit Council of Governments (SWSCOG) held a regular meeting March 31 with its three board members present: Copley Trustee Scott Dressler, Norton Mayor Mike Zita and Barberton Mayor William Judge.

SWSCOG is the entity created to manage the cooperative efforts of Copley and the cities of Norton and Barberton, chiefly their shared dispatch center located in Norton, the Southwest Summit Communications Center (SWSCOM).

During the meeting, the board approved an agreement among SWSCOM, Summit County and the city of Akron for the dispatch center to become a user in the 800-megahertz regional radio system.

SWSCOM Board Chair Michael Benson, Copley fire chief, also provided an overview of the dispatch center’s first quarter operations.

According to a draft of meeting minutes, Benson discussed dispatch console and call-taking configuration, advanced training on the new equipment for the dispatch manager and information technology personnel and the combined Board-Up Company program for all three communities’ fire departments.

Benson also noted recent community phone system failures resulted in improving the center’s ability to handle communications crises and hardened the Barberton and Norton phone systems, according to the draft minutes.

In other updates, tornado siren upgrades in Copley allow SWSCOM to control sirens in all three communities at the same time, and a wireless 9-1-1 funding delay was due to Copley and Norton not officially being in SWSCOM until Jan. 6, Benson said, according to the draft minutes.

Benson also discussed Copley radio connection issues, according to the draft minutes.

The next regular meeting is set for June 30 at 5:30 p.m. in the Barberton Mayor’s Conference Room at Barberton City Hall, 576 W. Park Ave.


Older foster care teens given chance to be ‘MVPs’

SUMMIT COUNTY — Older teens under foster care in Summit County will be taking part in a character and literacy building program created by local author and former sports writer David Lee Morgan Jr.

The “MVP, Most Valuable Person Youth Character and Literacy” program will be used as part of Summit County’s Connecting the Dots program. The program targets youth entering their junior year in high school through their senior year.

Morgan, inspired by Jim Tressel, engages participants in discussions and creative writing on myriad topics, including work ethics, responsibility, attitude, gratitude, toughness and persistence.

“Adding the MVP component to the Connecting the Dots program will give participants another set of tools and perspectives as they transition from foster care to adulthood,” said Summit County Executive Russ Pry. “The topics covered in the MVP program are critical to helping these young adults become productive participants in our community.”

Connecting the Dots is a pilot program underway in Summit and seven other counties across the state. It is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Job and Family Services, Children Services and other agencies helping those who have “aged out” of the foster care system. Sixty-four people are currently enrolled in the Connecting the Dots Program offered at the Job Center on Tallmadge Avenue.

Using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, the state has committed about $6 million to the three-year program in five areas. Summit County’s share is about $537,000. The MVP program will run through June 30, 2015, and cost $64,500.


Measuring sustainable value to be discussed at GAINS meeting

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Measuring the value of sustainability as it relates to social, environmental and economic performance of an organization will be the subject of the GAINS (Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability) meeting April 9 at Musica, 51 E. Market St.

The evening’s discussion will cover the best practices of managing and reporting sustainability goals through metrics at GOJO Industries Inc. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for networking, and the free program will begin at 6:15 p.m., with time for questions and answers at the close of the talks.

According to event officials, Nicole Koharik, global sustainability marketing director at GOJO, will discuss how sustainability is not only inherent in business strategy, but is also integrated into key processes through their own SWOW (Sustainable Ways of Working) approach. The report includes a scorecard of 2015 goals to reduce water use, solid waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions, according to event officials.

GOJO is a 2013 Summit of Sustainability Awards winner, recognizing its commitment to creating an environment of sustainability in business.

GAINS is a local gathering of sustainability practitioners (and those interested in learning, applying and sharing community culture from a long-term perspective), according to event officials. The salon-style meetings, held the second Wednesday of each month, are free and open to the public.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/GAIN4Sustainability.


DAP plans seventh Green and Clean Day for May 2

A crew is shown cleaning up a Downtown Akron site during a preview Green and Clean Day. This year’s effort will be May 2.
Photo courtesy of Downtown Akron Partnership
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) has announced the seventh annual Green and Clean Day will be May 2.

Volunteers are welcome to sweep, wash and spruce up Downtown Akron.

In 2013, more than 350 Green and Clean volunteers picked up more than 38 bags of trash and thousands of cigarette butts, swept more than 26 blocks of sidewalk and washed 32 newspaper boxes, 38 parking meters, 52 benches, four sections of the Skywalk, 12 bus shelters and more. Additional teams spruced up their own downtown properties by removing weeds, sweeping, picking up trash, planting flowers, mulching and cleaning storefronts.

“It feels good to do something nice for my work community,” said Connie Kordon, of ARCADIS. She has been a volunteer since the inception of Green and Clean Day in 2008.

Kordon and her coworkers at ARCADIS have a mission to improve the quality of life by creating innovative and enduring solutions that enhance the built and natural environment, according to DAP officials. Throughout their years of participation, the ARCADIS team has engaged in a variety of projects, including painting benches and railings along the towpath, cleaning up debris on major roadways in Downtown Akron and pulling weeds and mulching median strips along South Main Street, at Lock 3 Park and along High Street.

A volunteer T-shirt, goodie bag and lunch will be provided for all participants.

For more information on participating, contact Kimberly Beckett at 330 374-7676 or kbeckett@downtownakron.com or visit www.downtownakron.com/greenandclean to register. Morning and afternoon shifts are available (9 a.m. to noon. or 1 to 4 p.m.).

The sixth annual Green Fair also will take place May 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lock 3 Park. Attendees can learn about environmentally friendly products and find ways to make their businesses and workplaces more sustainable and safe, according to DAP officials.  

Green and Clean Day is organized by DAP, in partnership with the city of Akron, Summit County and Keep Akron Beautiful.


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

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