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South Side News & Notes

4/17/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Coventry trustees to improve community baseball fields

COVENTRY — The Coventry Board of Trustees has stepped up to the plate to improve the township’s baseball program one field at a time.

At a special meeting April 15, the board adopted a five-year plan to recondition the five baseball fields in the township on a schedule of one field per budget year, provided that funds are available, said Trustee David Calderone.

The approved resolution stipulates that continued funding would be predicated on the level of continued responsible maintenance of the fields by the Coventry P.L.A.Y. Baseball organization.

Calderone reported the board additionally allocated $9,000 for the reconditioning of Logan Baseball Field No. 1 and further directed Road Superintendent Lael Stouffer to take “reasonable” efforts to deal with ongoing drainage issues at field No. 2 to make it functionally safe and playable this baseball season.

Rich King, president of Coventry P.L.A.Y. Baseball, passionately expressed a desire to improve the local fields, starting with Logan Field, at the April 10 regular board meeting.

“Baseball has been forgotten in our community,” he said.

King told the board he needed the township’s help to build a quality program the local children deserve to have. He said improper maintenance efforts by volunteers through the years resulted in poor playing conditions on the township’s baseball fields.

“Our fields are suffering,” King said. “When it rains, it is terrible.”

Currently, the organization has 16 teams for children preschool-aged through 14 years old, he said.

The organization would help pay for a portion of the repairs needed at the fields through ongoing fundraising efforts, as well as fund a professional maintenance program once the fields properly are revamped, he said.

“We will do what we can,” Calderone told King at the April 10 meeting. “I believe in the fields and the value of them to our children. I do think a comprehensive plan is the way to go.”

Also at the special meeting April 15, the board designated Zoning Inspector George Beckham as the township’s storm water program manager to coordinate the township’s activities in keeping with the Summit County Storm Water Management Plan, Calderone said.


Akron official gives presentation on Safe Routes to School

DOWNTOWN AKRON — At a special session in the afternoon April 14, a handful of Akron City Council members heard an update on the city’s and Akron Public Schools’ (APS) Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. The presentation was given by Andy Davis, of the city’s Traffic Engineering Bureau and the SRTS coordinator.

Davis said the city received $250,000 in funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), along with a small local match, to develop a needs assessment and a plan for encouraging and enabling more children to walk to school. SRTS kicked off last fall at Helen Arnold Community Learning Center, he said.

Davis said only 15 percent of APS students walk to school, and the rest ride to school in buses or personal vehicles.

While the No. 1 concern that prevents children from walking or riding bikes to school is the threat of crime and violence, some other deterrents include stray dogs or deer that frighten the children and the lack of snow removal on sidewalks, Davis said.

He said input is needed from ward Council members on neighborhood concerns to allow SRTS officials to hone in on local needs. Once the needs assessment is complete, he said, it will allow the city to apply for additional grant funding from ODOT.

Some of the ideas to encourage walking to school put forth by SRTS include a walking school bus, remote drop-offs for students who don’t live near their school, and signage and rapid flash beacons.

The next Council meeting will be April 21 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 166 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.


Financial literacy classes offered

GREATER AKRON — The Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs is teaming up once again with partners and sponsors to recognize April as Financial Literacy Month. During this month, area residents are invited to attend one of more than 28 free events presenting information on a wide range of financial topics, such as consumer debt, home buying, improving credit scores, debt and collections, protecting identity, avoiding financial fraud and schemes, employment opportunities for seniors and veterans, and more.

The following is a list of local events:

  • April 21:
    √ Barberton Consumer Debt Clinic, with Community Legal Aid Services, 5:30 p.m. at Barberton Library, 602 W. Park Ave. To register, call 800-998-9454.
    √ Marriage and Money, with Primerica, 7 to 8 p.m. at Primerica offices, 169 E Turkeyfoot Lake Road in Green. To register or for questions, call 330-644-9910.
  • April 24:
    √ OPEN M Counsel and Advice Clinic, with Community Legal Aid Services, 5:30 p.m. at Open M, located at 941 Princeton St. in Downtown Akron. To register, call 800-998-9454.
    √ Financial Fitness, with East Akron Neighborhood Development, 1046 S. Arlington St. in East Akron, 6 to 8 p.m. 6. To register, call 330-724-0244.
  • April 25: Financial Literacy Workshop, 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the OhioMeansJobs Center, 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave. in North Akron. To register call 330-633-1050, option No. 2.
  • April 26: Better Business Bureau (BBB) Secure Your ID Day, with Neoshred, 895 E. Tallmadge Ave. in North Akron, 9 a.m. to noon. Limit 10 boxes per person. For details, call Neoshred at 330-253-8260.
  • April 29: Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages, with Fair Housing Contact Service, for homeowners age 62 and older, 2 to 4 p.m., at Akron-Summit Library, 60 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. To register, call 330-376-6191.


YMCAs presenting Healthy Kids Day

GREATER AKRON — On April 26, over 1,500 YMCA locations across the country will take part in Healthy Kids Day®, holding free community events that are open to all children and families and filled with active play and educational opportunities.

The Akron Area YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day will take place April 26 at various times and branch locations. The Akron Area YMCA also is offering a one-day membership savings of 50 percent off the start-up fee if you become a member on Healthy Kids Day. For a schedule of activities, visit www.akronymca.org/hkd or contact an Akron Area YMCA branch for details.

Akron Area YMCA Healthy Kids Day Branch locations and times include:

  • Green YMCA, 3800 Massillon Road, 330-899-9622, 9 a.m. to noon;
  • University Park YMCA, 477 W. Market St., Downtown Akron, 330-434-9622, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
  • Lake Anna YMCA, 500 W. Hopocan Ave., Barberton, 330-745-9622, 10 a.m. to noon;
  • Firestone Park YMCA, 350 E. Wilbeth Road, South Akron, 330-724-1255, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and
  • East Akron YMCA (new location), 888 Jonathan Ave., 330-784-0408, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Emily Chesnic, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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