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South Side News & Notes

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

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.


April 11-12 Black Male Summit featuring 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 today, April 4. For the full Black Male Summit schedule of events, other information and to register, visit www.uakron.edu/ie/bms/.


Akron Council renews Oriana House contract

DOWNTOWN AKRON — With high praise for the agency, Akron City Council members voted unanimously March 31 to renew the city’s contract with Oriana House to provide confinement, rehabilitation and alternative sentencing.

The $3.5 million contract will allow for Oriana House to house and rehabilitate offenders convicted in Akron Municipal Court, rather than their being incarcerated.

“Jail is not the answer for everything,” said Council member Michael Williams (D-at large) during the afternoon’s Public Safety Committee meeting. “As a matter of fact, jail can be very detrimental for some people depending on their particular situation.”

Council member Marilyn Keith (D-Ward 8) said she has had the chance to tour some of Oriana House’s facilities and suggested that her Council colleagues do the same.

“What they do is remarkable,” she said, saying then to Oriana House Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford, who was present for the committee meeting, “I want to thank you for the work that you do from the bottom of my heart.”

Council member Jeff Fusco (D-at large) recommended the ordinance authorizing the contract renewal be passed immediately as testimony to how valuable Oriana House is to the community.

Public Safety Committee Chairman Donnie Kammer (D-Ward 7) noted the city saves $8.4 million per year by utilizing Oriana House’s services rather than the jail.

The remainder of the evening’s legislation was largely routine, and several items were placed on next week’s consent agenda, including:

  • an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for bridge inspection services, in which the state will bear 100 percent of the cost;
  • a $350,931 contract with LOGOS Communications to purchase a new integrated voice response system, a voice over Internet protocol system and a core network switch for the Utilities Business Office and Income Tax Division; and
  • two pieces of legislation authorizing an Ohio Water Development Authority loan and authorizing the construction to rehabilitate the lining on the Little Cuyahoga Interceptor sewer. The project cost is almost $7 million.

The next Council meeting is set for April 7 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. Committee meetings are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon.


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 successful 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 the company’s 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.


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, which targets youths 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, Summit County 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 Connecting the Dots program in five pilot areas. Summit County’s share is about $537,000. The MVP program will run through June 30, 2015, and cost $64,500.


Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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