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West Side News & Notes

4/10/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

NPS designates Cuyahoga Falls as Certified Local Government

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that, in concurrence with the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office, it has designated Cuyahoga Falls as a Certified Local Government. 

This designation makes the community an official partner in the federal historic preservation program, which engages local, state and federal partners to promote historic preservation at the grassroots level. As a Certified Local Government, Cuyahoga Falls can use expert technical historic preservation advice from the NPS and the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office. 

The designation also gives the city access to grants for historic preservation that are available solely from the Historic Preservation Fund for Certified Local Governments.

“As a Certified Local Government, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, has made a commitment to historic preservation and protecting what makes their community special,” said NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis. “Their efforts will not only preserve the social, cultural and ethnic heritage that enriches America, but can serve as an important economic engine by creating jobs and spurring heritage tourism in their community.”

To be certified, a local government must meet several requirements, chief of which is committing to enforcing local and state historic preservation laws and establishing a qualified historic preservation commission, according to NPS officials. More than 1,890 communities participate in the Certified Local Government program.

For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/history/hpg/local/clg.html.


Norton plans annual cleanup day

NORTON — The city of Norton is seeking interested citizens, community groups, church and youth groups, high school students needing community hours, and youth sports groups to gather for the Annual Road-Side Litter Cleanup Day scheduled for April 26 beginning at 8 a.m.

The morning will kick off with coffee, juice and doughnuts on the front porch of the Norton Administration Center, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive, while participants receive area assignments to clean. At 11 a.m., after the cleanup is over, volunteers are invited to return for a hotdog, chips and drink. The event will end by noon.

For planning purposes, individuals interested in participating in this Earth Week event are asked to contact the Norton Administration Building at 330-825-7815, ext. 314, or annc@cityofnorton.org.


United Way reports record-breaking campaign for 2013

SUMMIT COUNTY — United Way of Summit County (UWSC) officials have announced that the 2013 United Way/Red Cross Campaign raised $12.2 million, the largest amount in the organization’s 95-year history.

This is the fourth consecutive year the charity has set a fundraising record. Donations in 2013 topped the previous record set in 2012 by $400,000.

“United Way provides an uncommon value that no other nonprofit can offer,” said Jim Merklin, campaign chair and partner of Bober Markey Fedorovich. “We raise money that benefits not only our funded agencies, but really provide a conduit for philanthropy in our community. As such, we have a duty to Summit County to get as many people and companies involved as we possibly can. We have done a great job over the last few years increasing our reach in Summit County, and we are ending the 2013 campaign on a high note as a result of an incredible team effort.”

The process for investing the funds raised in UWSC’s impact areas of education, income, health and basic human services has already begun, according to UWSC officials. United Way review teams look for quality programming and results, integration of services and collaboration with other organizations, and leverage through matching funds, as well as alignment with United Way’s investment priorities.


Hearing on park district name change in May

WEST AKRON — Metro Parks, Serving Summit County’s plan to change its name to Summit Metro Parks is proceeding, according to park district officials.

Metro Parks spokesman Nate Eppink said a hearing in Summit County Probate Court on the proposed change would take place in May. In the meantime, the district has rolled out use of its new logo with the new name and started using it in publications, Eppink said.

“The board has said it’s OK to use,” he said. “It’s just that the probate court will not sign off officially until the hearing.”

Metro Parks Commissioner Jane Bond made the suggestion to revise the district’s name in February, and fellow Commissioners Mark Spisak and Roland Bauer agreed. 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.

[Editor’s note: Until the name change is made official in Probate Court, the West Side Leader will continue to use Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.]


Leadership Akron accepting applications for 2014-15

AKRON — Leadership Akron is now accepting applications for its 2014-15 Signature Program Class 31.

Leadership Akron’s Signature Program is a learning experience intended to equip participants for community involvement and leadership. The program enables participants to heighten their impact as community leaders, offering behind-the-scenes learning experiences and interaction with top decision-makers.

“Leadership Akron helps leaders see beyond their own spheres to the greater good of the community,” said Mark Scheffler, Leadership Akron’s president. “Through Leadership Akron, participants take their involvement and effectiveness in the community to the next level.”

The program begins with a two-day opening retreat. After the retreat, participants spend one full day every month focusing on a certain aspect of their community. Focus areas include: social services, business, education, the arts, health and others.

Individuals must work or live in Summit County to apply. Application and additional materials can be found at www.leadershipakron.org/how-to-apply. The deadline for application submission is April 30.


ODOT issues area traffic advisories

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has issued the following traffic advisories:

  • State Road between Cochran Road and Graham Road in Cuyahoga Falls has various daily lane restrictions for roadway widening. This work is part of an $8.4 million project to widen State Road from Graham Road to Quick Road. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by July 2015.
  • State Route 59 (the Akron Innerbelt) westbound between Interstate 76 and North Main Street in Akron is reduced to one lane for roadway resurfacing. This work is part of a $6.9 million project to resurface state Route 59 from I-76 to East Market Street and make repairs to 21 bridges. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by September.
  • I-76 eastbound and westbound in Norton will have various lane restrictions under Summit Road between 9 and 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. Also, I-76 eastbound and westbound under Summit Road will have various nightly lane restrictions between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. for bridge construction. All restrictions are weather dependent. In addition, Summit Road over I-76 is currently closed through early July. The detour is Barber Road to Norton Avenue to Wooster Road. This work is part of a $3.7 million project to replace the Summit Road and Clark Mill Road bridges over I-76. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by October.
  • Interstate 77 northbound and southbound between Waterloo Road and the Central Interchange in Akron has nightly shoulder closures between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. for bridge repairs. This work is part of a $4.4 million project to resurface I-77 from Waterloo Road to the Central Interchange. The project also includes repairs to 16 bridges. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by October.
  • The Brecksville Road bridge over Interstate 271 in Richfield Township is reduced to one lane of traffic maintained by a traffic signal through early June for bridge rehabilitation. Also, state Route 303 over I-271 in Richfield Village is restricted to one lane in each direction for bridgework through early December. In addition, I-271 between Broadview Road and the Ohio Turnpike in Richfield Township has various lane restrictions during nonpeak traffic hours for roadway construction. This work is part of a $46.4 million project to reconstruct the pavement along I-271 from Broadview Road to the Ohio Turnpike. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by late July 2017.


WEF celebrates Mother’s Day by honoring special women

AKRON — The Women’s Endowment Fund (WEF) of Akron Community Foundation is offering community members the chance to give a Mother’s Day gift that will benefit women across Greater Akron for years to come.

During April, donors can make tribute or memorial gifts in honor of the special women who have impacted their lives. In turn, those women will receive a Mother’s Day card designed specifically for the WEF by King Elementary School art teacher Brianna Hayes with help from students Phoebe Smucker and Brianna Johnson. The card will inform the honoree that a gift was made in her name, though the amount will not be disclosed.

Donations ultimately will support the WEF’s grant making, which to date exceeds $650,000. Recently, the fund awarded $72,050 to programs that improve women’s economic empowerment, safety and health and wellness.

“The Mother’s Day campaign is a great opportunity for individuals to honor a loved one with a beautifully decorated card while also supporting causes that uplift women and girls,” said Kathy Booth, WEF president.

Last year’s Mother’s Day campaign raised more than $7,000 for the WEF. To participate, call Akron Community Foundation at 330-376-8522 or give online at www.akroncf.org/give/WEFMothersDay. Gifts must be made by April 30 to ensure honorees receive their cards by Mother’s Day.


Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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