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South Side News & Notes

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

Springfield trustees approve 12-hour shifts for police

SPRINGFIELD — During a June 5 special meeting, the Springfield Board of Trustees approved a shift change for the Police Department, the purchase of equipment and property and an appointment to the Zoning Commission.

At the meeting, trustees approved a Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council Memorandum of Understanding that adopts 12-hour shifts for patrol officers, detectives and sergeants on a trial basis. According to Police Department officials, law enforcement officers will work three consecutive days, either Sunday, Monday and Tuesday or Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well as part of the day on Wednesday.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved the purchase of a Simplicity Zero Turn Mower at a cost of $6,299 from Beltz Lawn and Garden Equipment; a lease agreement for an earlier purchase of a skid-steer loader from Bobcat of Akron, with a down payment of $8,214 and $32,856 to be financed over a four-year period from 2015 to 2018 through four annual payments of $9,214; and the payment of $1,043 for repairs to a Fire Department ambulance.

In addition, trustees voted to accept three parcels of property totaling 0.11 acre at 1057 Oneida Trail, deeded to the township by Charlotte Faye Fowler May 30. According to Zoning Administrator Pat Ryan, the structure on the property will be demolished, but the property’s future use is not known.

In other business, trustees appointed David Lile, an alternate on the Zoning Commission, to fill the full-term position of Tim Killian, who resigned effective June 4.

The trustees met for a regular meeting yesterday, June 12, and that meeting report will be included in next week’s issue. The next trustees’ meeting will take place July 10 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 2459 Canfield Road.


No assistance 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 information, call The State of Ohio 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 boards. According to Akron General officials, it was important to both organizations that there continue to be Akron-based governance and management leadership.


Akron Council hears from firefighters’ union rep

AKRON — During Akron City Council’s June 9 meeting, the Public Safety Committee heard from Russ Brode, the new president of the city’s firefighters’ union. Brode said he wanted to introduce himself to Council and hopes to have a positive working relationship with Council and the city administration.

Brode shared his concerns about what he called the department’s “rapidly deteriorating rank structure.” He said it has been 10 years since there have been promotions in the department and the number of officers is below authorized levels.

“We can’t continue to operate like this,” he said, adding there are also manpower concerns. “Maybe together we can start working on these problems.”

In legislative action, Council approved the following ordinances:

  • the donation of an easement interest in city property to Akron Children’s Hospital to allow for the construction of a skywalk between the hospital’s new critical care tower and the main hospital building as part of the hospital’s $200 million building project now underway;
  • an application for a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant that would be split with Summit County, with Akron receiving an 82 percent share in the amount of $152,114. This grant funding would be used to fund overtime for officers working hot-spot details; and
  • an application for $3.9 million in funding from the Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program. The city has received funding through the highly competitive grant process twice to provide lead hazard reduction rehabilitation services for low-income residents.

Several Council members also met with local attorneys Sean Buchanan and Kandee Robinson, who urged Council to consider reducing the charge of possession of marijuana paraphernalia from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a minor misdemeanor in line with a recent change in state law. Akron police officers and city prosecutors oppose such a change.

The next Council meeting will be June 16 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.


CSEA announces new employer hotline

SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh has announced that 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.haid et@jfs.ohio.gov. They also can visit jfs.ohio.gov/OCS/employ ers/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.


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 kknee land@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.


KAB, SCHS win National Painting Week grant 

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.


Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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