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West Side News & Notes

8/7/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Copley trustees fund Heritage Day children’s activities

COPLEY — The Copley Township Board of Trustees, in a special July 30 meeting, approved payment to the Copley Heritage Day Committee for inflatables used in the children’s area of the Aug. 2 event.

Trustees approved payment of $2,360 to reimburse the committee for the expense, said Fiscal Office Janice Marshall.

The board also discussed Fire Chief Michael Benson’s request to reconsider its decision to place a replacement fire levy on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot, Marshall said. Trustees, at their July 2 meeting, agreed to place a renewal fire/EMS levy on the ballot. Marshall said recent information regarding the possibility of changing property values in Summit County prompted Benson’s request.

Renewal of the 3.3-mill levy is estimated to yield $1,622,813, while a replacement 3.3-mill levy would yield $1,630,057, according to earlier reports.

Trustees ultimately decided not to change their earlier decision, Marshall said.

Trustees also concurred with a METRO RTA proposal to move its bus layover in Montrose from Flight Memorial Drive to Rothrock Road, Marshall said.

Trustees were scheduled to meet in regular session Aug. 6. Their next meeting is set for Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. at Copley Town Hall, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.


UWSC sets $12.8 million goal

AKRON — United Way of Summit County (UWSC) kicked off its annual fundraising campaign this week with its highest ever goal of $12.8 million.

The United Way/Red Cross campaign last year raised $12.2 million, according to agency officials. The goal was announced Tuesday at the United Way’s annual Knight Breakfast. University of Akron President Emeritus Luis Proenza delivered the keynote address.

Ted Walter, 2014 campaign chairman and Fifth Third Bank president for the Akron, Canton and Youngstown markets, thanked past and present United Way Volunteers. “Campaign volunteers are the key to our success each year,” Walter said. “A successful campaign in 2014 will be both a testament to the extraordinary generosity of our community and a testament to the perseverance of a core of committed men and women who truly have the best interests of their community at heart and are willing to give part of their time to make it happen.”

The Knight Breakfast was established more than 60 years ago by John S. Knight as a way for local community leaders to gather and preview the upcoming United Way campaign, officials said.


Summit County CSEA hosting events for Child Support Awareness Month

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) will sponsor two programs this month in recognition of Child Support Awareness Month.

The agency will have community booths at the Akron-Summit County Main Library and the METRO Regional Transit Authority Transit Center, where agency representatives can answer questions about child support cases and establishment of paternity, according to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

CSEA representatives will be at the Transit Center, 631 E. Broadway St., Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the Main Library, 60 S. High St. today, Aug. 7, and Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Case managers also will be available during two Child Support Solutions events — Aug. 22 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ohio Means Jobs Center, 1040 E. Tallmadge Ave. — to assist parents with child support problems. Parents can have one-on-one time with a case manager to find solutions to their child support issues.

“I strongly encourage anyone with a child support case in Summit County to attend Child Support Solutions,” Walsh said. “We will be providing many valuable services, and all of them are free. Even if you can’t pay the full amount you owe, paying something is better than paying nothing. We will work with you to arrange a plan that works for you.”

Case managers will meet with parents to discuss child support payment arrangements and support modification. Attendees can take a quick, painless genetic paternity test to establish legal paternity, and parents who have had their driver’s licenses suspended for failure to pay child support can have their licenses reinstated during the event, according to the Walsh’s office.

Parents with outstanding warrants related to child support can address the warrants without going to jail, and representatives from federal, state and local agencies will be available to discuss how to complete education, get a new job and become a better parent, according to the Walsh’s office.

Attendees should bring photo identification, current court orders and their most recent pay stub or proof of unemployment.

For more information, including information about outstanding warrants, contact the CSEA at 330-643-2765 or visit SummitCSEA.org


GAINS to present discussion on local economy

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The impact and sustainable value of a healthy local economy will be the subject of the Aug. 13 Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability (GAINS) meeting at Musica, 51 E. Market St.

According to event officials, the discussion will cover the multiple benefits and the economic power that resides in a vibrant local food economy. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for networking, followed by the free program at 6:15 p.m. and time for questions and answers at the close of the talks.

Phillip Nabors, co-owner with Margaret Nabors of Mustard Seed Market and Café and Blueberry Hill Family Farms, will speak and moderate. The evening’s discussion, “Growing food, Growing jobs. Growing the future,” will focus on entrepreneurial development and feature entrepreneurs starting and building businesses within the local food supply chain. Speakers for the evening will include: Brent Wesley, owner of the Akron Honey Co.; Yvette McMillan, women’s division director at Haven of Rest Ministries; and Sarah Vradenburg, with Feed My Sheep Garden, a program of First Congregational Church in Akron. Both women will describe their partnership in the social invention of The Future Story Job Training Program, which helps women with barriers to employment develop micro-enterprise businesses, including growing and selling food and making food totes.

Also, Sara Moledor will discuss her award-winning vermiculture start-up business development opportunity.

The salon-style meetings, held the second Wednesday of the month, are free, interactive and open to the public.


Annual Akron Urban League plans Diversity Career Fair

WEST AKRON — The Akron Urban League, located at 440 Vernon Odom Blvd., will host its Annual Diversity Career Fair Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Last year, over 300 job seekers attended the event, which featured job openings from various sectors of the economy.

METRO RTA is offering free bus rides to any job seeker who presents a résumé to the driver and is attending the Akron Urban League’s Annual Diversity Career Fair between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sept. 10.

“We are expecting a large crowd, so I would suggest job seekers arrive early, dress professionally and bring multiple copies of their résumés,” said Akron Urban League Workforce Development Program Manager Kristin Hafford.

For more information, call the Akron Urban League at 330-434-3101.

For employers interested in attending the event, registration packets are available online at www.akronurbanleague.org/adult-employment.

This year’s Diversity Career Fair is sponsored by The Babcock & Wilcox Co., Thomas Limousine and Time Warner Cable.


Chamber announces 30 for the Future award recipients

GREATER AKRON — Thirty young professionals from the region have been named recipients of the eighth annual “30 for the Future” award.

Part of the Greater Akron Chamber’s strategy to attract and retain talent in the region, the “30 for the Future” award honors young professionals (ages 25-39) whose stellar contributions impact their industries and the Greater Akron region, according to chamber officials.

The award winners are: Rachel Barnette, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.; Joel Bingham, EnviroScience Inc.; Anne Bitong, Akron Marathon; Adrienne Bradley, Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank; Ken Burns, Tiny-Circuits; Samantha Coldwell, Barberton High School; Nathan Eppink, Summit Metro Parks; Amber Genet, Westfield Insurance; Douglas Harley, Akron General Medical Center — Center for Family Medicine; Tiffany Herbert, BCG and Co.; Megan Hershberger, FedEx Truckload Brokerage; Craig Horbus, Witschey Witschey and Firestine Co. LPA; Danielle Hupp, Kent State University; Matthew Jentner, Jentner Wealth Management; Keri-Ann Kalavity, Gillmore Security Systems; Kurt Kleidon, Kleidon and Associates; Jerel Klue, Signet Enterprises LLC; Scott Kolligian, Leiby Hanna Rasnick Towne Evanchan Palmisano and Hobson LLC; Bryan Morgan, Sterling Jewelers Inc.; Nicole Mullet, The University of Akron; Kurt Reed, Fairlawn School of Music and Hudson School of Music; G. Dante Roulette, Summa Health System; Laura Shank, Apple Growth Partners; Jeff Sitz, City Cleaners; Hillary Stewart, FirstEnergy; Timothy Ulbrich, Northeast Ohio Medical University; Erin Victor, Ken Stewart’s Restaurants; Laura Wallerstein, Brennan, Manna and Diamond LLC; Richelle Wardell, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority; and Alexandra Wright, Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop.

The award recipients will be recognized at a ceremony at The Galaxy Banquet Center in Wadsworth Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.

Independent committees selected the recipients based on the finalists’ professional and community accomplishments, team building and leadership. Recipients were nominated by members of the Greater Akron Chamber and regional profit and nonprofit organizations.

The Sept. 11 celebration is open to the public. Tickets are $50 for chamber members and $60 for nonmembers.

Visit the events calendar at www.greaterakronchamber.org for more information or to make a reservation.

Sponsorships are available; call Kim Huff at 330-237-1253 for sponsorship information.


Community Health Center celebrating 40 years of service

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Community Health Center’s annual Break the Cycle of Addiction: Celebrating Recovery Luncheon taking place Sept. 25 at Quaker Station will commemorate Community Health Center’s 40th anniversary.

The event will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m., followed by the program and lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m., and will include an open recovery meeting at 1:45 p.m.

The keynote speaker will be author, comedienne and recovery advocate Marti MacGibbon. She will share her journey from addiction to recovery in her talk on “Recovery, Hope and the Power of Gratitude.”

Since 1974, Community Health Center has served more than 140,000 individuals and family members through programming to help people recover and rebuild their lives, according to agency officials.

Reservations are due Sept. 10. To reserve tickets, visit www.commhealthcenter.org/news, call 330-315-3770 or email jackie.hemsworth@commhealthcenter.org.

Continuing education units will be available for licensed professionals.


Akron Fire Department awarded federal grant for radio system

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The City of Akron received notification that the Akron Fire Department was awarded its requested Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) in the federal share of $1.328 million.

The AFG will allow the city and county to make improvements to the jointly owned 800MHz radio system, which will increase interoperability for emergency responders, allowing the responders to operate more efficiently, effectively and safely, according to city officials.

This grant, while applied for by Akron Fire as the “host” agency, is actually a collaborative project involving the city, Summit County and most other fire departments located in Summit County, city officials noted.

In the last few years, several other Summit County fire departments have been awarded funding through the same AFG program to upgrade public safety radio towers in response areas where coverage of the countywide system was sometimes lacking, according to city officials. But a consequence to making those changes was that the three outlying upgraded systems became “islands” not “talking” to each other or the rest of the countywide system, according to city officials. So, users have to physically “switch” their radios’ channels if they move into the coverage area of a different tower.

This newest grant builds upon the successes of those other fire department grants by installing a new “master site” controller that will control both the existing legacy system and the new towers, making it “one system” again, according to city officials. Hardware will be installed that will allow the existing dispatching consoles countywide to interface with the upgraded system, and some radios will be upgraded and programmed to allow them to recognize and communicate across the upgraded system.

“These upgrades will allow us to establish limited interoperability across the entire system again,” said Akron Fire Chief Rob Ross. “However, it is critical to note that the majority of the radio system will still be older technology whose useful life and manufacturer support will end in just a few years. So it is essential we obtain a source of revenue that will provide for the timely upgrade of the entire system, bringing it up to the current established standards for mission-critical public safety radio communications systems. This grant only takes a very small step in that direction, but it does address some immediate shortcomings affecting first-responders.”

The project is expected to cost $1.476 million, with the grant funding 90 percent of that. Akron and Summit County have agreed to share the required local match of $147,574, which is $73,787 each.


United Way grants support self-sufficiency

AKRON — United Way of Summit County (UWSC) in 2014-15 has made investments of more than $700,000 in programs and initiatives that will enable more people in Summit County to move toward self-sufficiency, according to UWSC officials. United Way’s investments focus on financial stability and independent living.

“United Way and our funded agencies are providing education, training and support to prepare workers for jobs that offer the potential for family-sustaining employment,” said Bob Kulinski, president and CEO of UWSC. “Communities with a stable, skilled workforce are more economically competitive and have a greater potential to attract business and revitalize neighborhoods.”

The UWSC investment review process looks for quality programming and results, integration of services, collaboration with other organizations and leverage through matching funds, and alignment with UWSC’s investment priorities. As a result, programs that address three critical community issues received funding:

  • Workforce Development — Akron Urban League, vocational services, $145,000; Mature Services Inc., senior community service employment, $50,000; and International Institute, employment services for immigrants and refugees, $20,000;
  • Self-Sufficiency for Vulnerable Populations — United Disability Services, vocational services, $167,143; International Institute, immigration counseling and English as a second language, $95,000; Community Legal Aid, legal services for low-income residents and seniors, $75,000; Mature Services Inc., senior independent living, $95,000; and Greenleaf Family Center, community services for the deaf, $32,000; and
  • Community Stabilization — Summit County Reentry Network, successful community re-entry following incarceration, $70,000; East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp., neighborhood support and development, $40,000; and Akron Urban League, neighborhood support and development, $18,000.


Stephanie Kist, Pam Lifke and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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