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West Side News & Notes

6/12/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

No assistance granted from state, federal governments to Summit County for May 12 storms

SUMMIT COUNTY — On May 16, Summit County Executive Russ Pry declared a state of emergency in response to the May 12 storm that caused widespread flooding and damage in a number of Summit County communities. The declaration allowed the Summit County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) to assemble damage assessment reports to see if assistance could be received from state or federal agencies. 

Last week, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Summit County would not receive any individual assistance.

“However, despite not receiving disaster assistance from the state or federal level, other programs may be available to some residents,” stated Pry in a press release.

Those who experienced severe storm damage and uninsured losses might be able to find assistance from the following programs:

  • The Summit County Department of Community and Economic Development has a limited amount of funding available to assist low- to moderate-income individuals impacted by the May 12 flooding. Funds may not be used to reimburse any expenses that have been paid by the homeowner to date. Funds may be used to assist in the replacement of furnaces, hot water tanks, electrical panels and minor foundation issues. For an application, call 330-643-8013 or 330-643-2568.
  • Summit County Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise is offering real estate tax relief to storm victims. Visit www.FiscalOffice.summitoh.net and click on “Damaged Property” in the “Real Estate Appraisal” column or call 330-643-2704 for details.
  • For customers of the Summit County Department of Environmental Services whose sewer bill is based on a flat rate, the department will waive the bill for those customers whose homes have been rendered uninhabitable due to storm damage. To see if you are eligible for the waiver, provide documentation/verification for review to The Department of Environmental Services, 2525 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44224, or call 330-926-2405.
  • Renew Ohio and Rebuild Ohio are state programs for Ohioans whose businesses, farms and homes were damaged by severe weather. Renew Ohio assists small-business owners and the agricultural community. Business owners and farmers also can apply for priority rate reduction assistance through the Ohio Treasury’s GrowNOW Program. Rebuild Ohio assists homeowners applying for construction or other loans to rebuild or repair their homes. For more details, call theOhio Treasurer’s office, Economic Development Department at 800-228-1102, option No. 3, or visit www.OhioTreasurer.gov.
  • The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance. Contact NFIP at 888-379-9531 to request an agent referral. For more information, visit, www.floodsmart.gov.
  • The 2-1-1 InfoLine connects people in need with local social services, faith-based organizations, government offices and educational institutions. This service is free, confidential, available 24 hours a day, and can be reached by dialing 2-1-1. 2-1-1 InfoLine can provide referrals to those services for which callers appear eligible.


Cleveland Clinic could become minority owner of Akron General

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Cleveland Clinic and Akron General Health System have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enter into an arrangement in which Cleveland Clinic would invest in and become a minority owner of Akron General Health System, making Akron General its exclusive health system partner in Summit County, Akron General officials announced June 9.

“We know how important the health of Akron General is to the people of Summit County and the surrounding area,” said Dr. Toby Cosgrove, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, in a press release. “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to keeping Akron General strong in today’s ever-changing health care environment and to positioning Akron General as a leader in value-based care. This agreement has been a long time in the making, and through the process, we have come to truly understand and respect each other’s strengths. We know that it is the right fit for both of our organizations and the communities we serve.”

“I have said publicly that Akron General would take the requisite time to find the very best arrangement,” added Dr. Thomas Stover, president and CEO of Akron General Health System, in the release. “I am thrilled to say that this agreement meets that lofty standard. There is no better health care organization with which to partner than Cleveland Clinic. Their reputation for providing world class care combined with Akron General’s extraordinary clinical programs will provide the people of Summit County an unprecedented level of care close to home.”

A key part of the relationship will bring the opportunity for physicians in Akron to participate in Cleveland Clinic’s Quality Alliance, according to Akron General officials. The Quality Alliance enables collaboration between independent and employed physicians to improve quality of care, reduce costs and increase efficiency, and provide access to expertise, data and experience, according to Akron General officials.

The two health systems also would work together on other opportunities to improve care and services to the community. As a provision of the agreement, Cleveland Clinic would make a substantial capital investment in Akron General Health System. In addition, the organizations would have representation on the other’s board. According to Akron General officials, it was important to both organizations that there continue to be Akron-based governance and management leadership.


ODOT hosting public meeting on I-76 project

BARBERTON — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will conduct an open house public involvement meeting for proposed roadway improvements along Interstate 76 in Norton and Barberton.

The meeting will take place June 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Barberton Middle School cafeteria, 477 4th St. N.W. No formal presentation will take place. The purpose of the meeting is to present and discuss the proposed project and to solicit public comments regarding its social, economic and environmental impacts.

This project is intended to improve highway capacity and reduce traffic congestion. The project limits extend from Medina Line Road in Norton to West State Street in Barberton, a distance of approximately 5.6 miles. The project proposes to construct one additional eastbound and one westbound travel lane from west of state Route 21 to east of West State Street within the existing highway median. The project includes extension of entrance/exit ramps at interchanges, bridge and culvert reconstruction and replacement, drainage improvements and pavement replacement along mainline I-76 and ramps.

According to ODOT officials, an analysis of potential highway traffic noise impacts concluded noise abatement is warranted, feasible and reasonable along five noise-sensitive areas.

Mapping, environmental reports including the highway traffic noise analysis and air-quality analysis, and project plan sheets illustrating the project will be displayed at the meeting. Throughout the open house, representatives of ODOT and its project team will be available to discuss the proposed improvements and environmental impacts, and to address questions and concerns.

Written and/or oral comments may be submitted during the meeting, and written comments may also be mailed to Edward Deley Jr., District 4 environmental coordinator, ODOT, 2088 S. Arlington Road, Akron, OH 44306. The final date to submit comments is July 7.

Meeting materials will be available for review at the ODOT District 4 office.

Additional project information, including the public involvement meeting handout and displays, will be available on the ODOT District 4 website at www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/d04 (select the “Public Meetings/Public Involvement” heading on the left-side menu). Also, a summary of public comments received during the public comment period and responses to those comments will be available on the ODOT District 4 website within 60 days after the close of the public comment period.


Annual Garage Sale June 14 in Bath

BATH — The third annual Bath Community Garage Sale will take place June 14 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sponsored by the Bath Business Association (BBA), in cooperation with Bath Township, the garage sale will feature more than 40 participating locations throughout Bath, with sites shown on a township map and marked by signage.

“From start to finish, Bath Township’s Community Garage sale is win-win for everyone,” said Tina Camiola, chair of this year’s sale, in a press release. “More than 40 Bath Township residents have dug deep in their homes for items to sell and registered to participate in the annual garage sale.”

Maps with a detailed listing of garage sale locations and a short description of the highlighted items at each location are available for purchase for $1 the day of the sale at The Bake Shop in Ghent, 800 Wye Road, from 8 a.m. to noon.

There will be items from antiques and an auto lift to beeswax and designer clothes, electronics and appliances to fishing gear, horse tack and a weight bench, according to event organizers.

“The registration fees paid by the participants will fund the scholarship that is awarded annually to a Bath Township graduating senior who will be pursuing a business degree,” said Camiola. “So stop out and see all the treasures that could be yours and support the residents and students of Bath Township.”

For details, call 330-666-3347 or 330-666-4007.


2014 Summit for Kids awards nominations now being accepted

SUMMIT COUNTY — Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Summit for Kids Awards.

The awards will be presented at a luncheon Aug. 1 preceding the Fifth Annual Summit for Kids Community Expo at the John S. Knight Center, which will take place Aug. 2.

The awards judging panel will review nominations of community groups, youth groups, nonprofit agencies, organizations, businesses and individual youths who have participated in a project, event or activity that helped improve the lives of children, families and the community at large.

There are four awards being presented this year:

  • Summit for Kids Organization Award — recognizing an organization that has made a significant contribution to children/youths in the areas of social services, education or humanitarian services.
  • Summit for Kids Event Award — recognizing an event that has made a significant contribution to children/youths and has contributed to children’s opportunities to learn and to grow. The event must have been held in Summit County within the past 12 months.
  • Summit for Kids Youth Award — recognizes an individual younger than 21 who has created, managed or otherwise supported a sustainable program that has significantly contributed to children’s opportunities to learn and to grow.
  • Summit for Kids Business Award — recognizes a business or government that has made a significant contribution to children/youths in the areas of social services, education or humanitarian services. The business or government will have created, managed or otherwise supported a sustainable program that has significantly contributed to children’s opportunities to learn and to grow.

Each winner will be awarded the opportunity to address the luncheon attendees to highlight their award-winning program and will receive two complimentary tickets to the luncheon.

The deadline for the awards nominations is June 27. Nominations should be sent to: Katherine Kneeland, Juvenile Court, 650 Dan St., Akron, OH 44310 or via email to kkneeland@cpcourt.summitoh.net or fax to 330-643-2894.

For more information on the Summit for Kids Award guidelines, selection process and application form, visit www.summitforkids.net.


CSEA announces new employer hotline

SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh has announced the Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) has established an employer hotline for payroll administrators.

The hotline allows payroll administrators to find answers to questions regarding income withholding, national medical support notices and other employer-related child support issues.

“By creating a dedicated hotline for questions specific to employer-related child support issues, we are helping employers process their employees’ child support documents more efficiently,” said Walsh.

Employers can receive the hotline number by contacting Kim Haidet at kimberly.haidet@jfs.ohio.gov. They also can visit jfs.ohio.gov/OCS/employers/CSPC_Overview.stm or co.summitoh.net/prosecutor/index.php/services-provided for more information.

CSEA clients can log on to the customer service web portal at jfs.ohio.gov/ocs or call CSEA at 330-643-2765 to manage their cases.


KAB, SCHS win National Painting Week grant 

WEST AKRON — Keep Akron Beautiful (KAB) was one of the Keep Ohio Beautiful grant winners of the National Painting Week Ohio Program sponsored by Sherwin Williams.

Designed to provide community groups with paint and painting supplies, the program enables these groups to renew a community structure in need into an asset through the application of fresh paint and volunteer effort, according to KAB officials.

During the United Way Day of Action June 20 (rain date June 27), volunteers with the Summit County Historical Society (SCHS) and KAB will complete the painting of the SCHS’ Wash House at the Perkins Mansion with corporate volunteers from FirstEnergy Corp. 

Keep Ohio Beautiful received applications from across the state, and four grant winners were chosen based on their applications. The grant recipients will receive 40 gallons of exterior paint and painting supplies, along with Sherwin-Williams employee painting expertise. Two of the Ohio awardees will receive an additional $500 gift card at the end of the project for community improvement projects, based on painting project reporting and the winner of two criteria: best visual impact and best community revitalization story.


Market at Lock 3 returns for sixth year

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Market at Lock 3 returns to Downtown Akron on Fridays, June 20 through Sept. 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The market is a producers-only market managed by the Downtown Akron Partnership and the City of Akron. It will feature fresh produce, freshly baked goods, home-crafted gifts and lunch hour entertainment each week.

The market will be closed July 4 and 11.

Current vendors include: Boughton Farms (beginning July 18), Global Village Festival, Richardson Farms, Bowman’s, Highland Baking Co., Homemade Delites, Patt’s Pastries, Ellie B’s Baked Goods, Out of the Box Cakes, Nancy Noms, Aurora Springs (honey), The Tea Duder (tea), Harvest Home-Haven of Rest, Hearts Desire Crafts, Brick House Naturals, Mamagravy Clothing and the Akron-Summit County Public Library.


Embracing Futures Inc. assists children in need

AKRON — Founded in 1946, the Beacon Journal Charity had supported many community-wide projects and programs to address the needs of poor and working poor families with financial, medical and dental issues. This year, it was decided that Embracing Futures Inc. would serve as the new identity for the nonprofit organization that operates with an interest in oral health for children.

“The name was chosen in an effort to better describe our charity’s unique programming and assistance to children in need. And, while the name has changed, our mission has not,” said Dr. John Gerstenmaier, Embracing Futures Inc. Board of Trustees president. “It was important to honor what serves as the foundation on what we stand for, while understanding what we need to do to continue supporting oral health education and assistance moving forward.”

Gerstenmaier and his Gerstenmaier Pediatric Dentistry practice, located in Fairlawn, have provided dental care to children since 1975.

Gerstenmaier said that, according to data from the most recent oral health screening conducted by the Ohio Department of Health during the 2009-10 school year, “almost 340,000 children in Ohio have never been to the dentist. Fifty-one percent of children have experienced tooth decay by third grade, and the single most common unmet health care need for nearly 157,400 children in Ohio, regardless of family income, is dental care.”

“Embracing Futures Inc. helps to address these statistics by bringing together resources and support, focused through the Orthodontic Care and Oral Health Education Programs,” Gerstenmaier said. “It’s the combined efforts of many that make being the Board of Trustees president a great honor, both personally and professionally. Seeing the continued success and impact that’s been made thanks to these programs  is very encouraging.”

According to the 2013 Embracing Futures Inc. financial report, 5,786 children, primarily third-grade students enrolled in public, private and parochial schools from Summit and Portage counties, were instructed on the importance of oral hygiene and overall oral care through the Dr. Milton Rubin Oral Health Education Program. And, in the past 10 years, through the Orthodontic Care Program, Embracing Futures Inc. successfully helped more than 500 children with dental care — most specifically, orthodontics.

For more information on how to apply to receive assistance, request an oral health education class, or how to help support Embracing Futures Inc., visit www.embracingfuturesinc.org or call Mark Fairhurst at 330-253-7700.


Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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