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West Side News & Notes

9/4/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Abuse allegations again made against Firestone football coach

Tim Flossie
Photo courtesy of Akron Public Schools
WEST AKRON — Akron Public Schools (APS) officials are investigating a complaint by a parent against longtime Firestone High School football coach Tim Flossie alleging he verbally abused one player and slapped another during the first game of the season Aug. 28.

Firestone faced Archbishop Hoban High School at Hoban’s Dowed Field that evening and lost 24-0.

According to APS spokesperson Mark Williamson, Flossie, who has coached for more than 30 years, has been suspended pending an investigation of the complaint. Coach Billy Adair will serve as interim coach until the investigation is complete, Williamson said.

In 2011, Flossie faced similar allegations when he was accused of physically abusing a starting quarterback. According to district officials, Flossie denied those allegations but was formally reprimanded by the district for verbally assaulting a player the previous season. Flossie was expected to participate in a mandatory coaching program in professionalism, according to district officials.

However, when Flossie’s name did not appear on the district’s list of coaches whose contracts would be renewed for the 2011 fall sports season, his supporters rallied.

APS’ Board of Education voted unanimously to retain Flossie for another season amidst the outpouring of support. [For more on that, see “APS board votes to keep Firestone football coach,” which appeared in the June 30, 2011, edition, at www.akron.com.]

According to district officials, the district’s 2011 investigation of the physical abuse allegations were unsubstantiated.

As APS officials investigate the current complaints, Kenya Harrington, Firestone’s new principal, has been in communication with players and coaches, encouraging players to remain positive to ensure a good season on and off the field, according to Williamson.

Harrington also will communicate details to parents and the school’s booster club, said Williamson.


Body of missing woman recovered in Cuyahoga River

Hillary Sharma
Photo courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park
CVNP — On Aug. 28 at approximately 6 p.m., the National Park Service (NPS) and several other agencies recovered a body from the Cuyahoga River north of Highland Road Bridge in Brecksville.

According to NPS officials, the body was discovered by two NPS law enforcement rangers hiking off-trail near the Cuyahoga River. The park rangers were searching for Hillary Sharma, a 30-year-old Eastlake resident who had been reported missing. Sharma’s vehicle was found at the Boston Store Visitor Center in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) around midnight Aug. 21.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the body is of Sharma. The cause of death is pending.

The investigation has not revealed anything which leads park officials to believe park visitors are at any increased risk, according to Mary Pat Doorley, public affairs officer for CVNP.

Recovery of the body was coordinated by the NPS, Cleveland Metroparks, Brecksville Fire Department, Southwest Emergency Response Team, Brecksville Police Department and Sagamore Hills Police Department, according to NPS officials.

Local agencies helping in the search for Sharma included the Akron Fire Department, American Red Cross, Bath Township Fire Department, Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Copley Fire Department, Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department, Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, MRC (Medical Reserve Corps)/Summit County Community Response Team, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Search Dog Association Inc., Ohio State Highway Patrol, Peninsula Police Department, Richfield Fire Department, Richfield Police Department, Summit County Special Operations Response Team, Summit Metro Parks, Summit Search and Rescue Canine Team and Valley Fire District.


Bath Community Fund created to preserve historical, environmental legacy

BATH — Seven Bath couples have donated $10,000 to create the Bath Community Fund of Akron Community Foundation (ACF).

“There had been discussions about creating a community fund in Bath for years, and earlier this year, a group of us starting researching what it would take to start a fund,” said Nadine Clar, president of the Bath Homeowners Association and a member of Bath Community Fund’s advisory board.

The fund, established June 17, is a permanent endowment dedicated to strengthening the Bath community for current and future generations by providing leadership, fostering collaboration and creating a legacy of charitable giving, according to ACF officials. The fund is committed to responding to community needs, helping the less fortunate, supporting local nonprofits and reinforcing and preserving Bath’s historical and environmental legacy.

Other residents have since stepped forward to contribute to the fund, increasing its total to $35,000. Advisory board members are now searching for other charitably minded residents to become Founding Donors to the fund, with the goal of raising $250,000 by November.

Bath Fund officials state the structure for its fund came from the Women’s Endowment Fund of ACF, which also got its start in Bath. Co-founded in 1993 by Bath resident Marie Covington, the Women’s Endowment Fund began when 106 forward-thinking women each donated $1,000 to start a fund that would inspire, empower, educate and strengthen Summit County’s women and girls. Since then, the fund has grown to more than $3 million and granted nearly $670,000 back into the community, according to ACF officials.

“We wanted to do something similar for the benefit of our own community that we live in and love,” said Jody Miller Konstand, chair of Bath Community Fund’s advisory board.

Bath Fund officials said becoming an affiliate of ACF — a permanent endowment of more than $185 million — was the best way to protect and grow the fund’s assets.

“Our research showed that endowment funds at Akron Community Foundation generate a predictable stream of income,” said Dr. Robert Hemphill, a fund advisory board member. “The community foundation offers us the flexibility to meet immediate needs in Bath while ensuring the fund’s assets are always preserved for our long-term mission.”

Bath Community Fund is one of eight affiliate funds at ACF, each of which supports a geographic or issue-specific cause. Their grant-making dollars will grow through a unique blend of endowment income and annual fundraising.

“As a community foundation, we are an impartial and prudent steward of our funds’ assets,” said Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John Petures Jr. “We offer them the peace of mind that their funds are managed responsibly and the assurance that their donors’ gifts are used for the purpose they intended, not just now but forever. We’re proud that the Bath community has entrusted this legacy with us.”

Through annual grants to qualified nonprofits, Bath Community Fund grants could potentially support projects ranging from community-wide arts programs and festivals to historic and environmental preservation, according to Fund officials.

To learn more about Bath Community Fund and becoming a Founding Donor, contact Miller Konstand at 330-618-4477 or jmkmedia@msn.com.


Panel discussion to focus on same sex relationships

WEST AKRON — On Sept. 11, “Modern Families: Panel Discussion on Same Sex Relationships,” will take place at the Shaw JCC of Akron, 750 White Pond Drive. The free event will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and reservations are not required.

Funded by the Bernard I. Rosen Fund of the Jewish Community Board of Akron (JCBA) and sponsored by the Community Relations Committee of the JCBA and Jewish Family Service, the panel discussion will be led by Stephanie Coontz.

Coontz, director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, is a nationally recognized speaker and award-winning author, according to Shaw JCC officials. She will lead a panel discussion on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues and trends in which panelists will share personal stories and experiences and engage the audience in discussion.

The same day, Coontz will be the keynote speaker at a seminar presented by The University of Akron (UA) School of Law, The UA Center for Family Studies and Akron Bar Association on “The Social and Legal Implications of Same Sex Relationships” from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The seminar will take place at UA’s Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway St. The cost to attend the seminar for members of the community not seeking continuing education credits is $75 and $37 for students.

To register for the seminar and for more information, visit www.uakron.edu/law/continuinged/ and click on the event under “Upcoming Programs” or call 330-972-6363.

For information on the panel discussion that evening, contact Gizelle Jones at gizellejones@jewishakron.org or 330-835-0080.


Summit County Public Health offering pet vaccines

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Public Health (SCPH) will sponsor a rabies clinic for dogs and cats Sept. 6. Vaccinations will be administered from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Lock 3 Park, 200 S. Main St.

SCPH officials request that all dogs and cats be kept on a leash or caged. Appointments are not necessary.

Veterinarians from PetGuards will provide rabies  and other vaccines and services. For pets to receive the 1- or 3-year rabies vaccine, they must be at least 3 months old. The cost is $8 per animal. Payments will be accepted by cash or check only.

SCPH also will offer the following vaccines and other services for nominal fees: cat shot (annual booster), adult cat shot (for cats older than 5, good for three years), kitten shot (includes wormer), feline leukemia shot (outdoor cats only), dog shot (annual booster), adult dog shot (for dogs older than 5, good for three years), bordatella, puppy shot (includes wormer), HomeAgain microchip identification insertion and heartworm test.

For more information, call SCPH at 330-926-5600.


Women’s Network announces award winners

AKRON — Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio will recognize three people as recipients of its Founders’ Awards and Member of the Year Award.

The Founders’ Awards spotlight two Women’s Network members who have encouraged and supported the progress of women toward full participation in economic, community and family life, according to Women’s Network officials. Recipients are chosen in recognition of their outstanding contributions to women in two categories: The Economic Progress Founders’ Award recipient is Ilene Shapiro, Summit County Council representative (D-at large), and receiving the Community Progress Founders’ Award is Barbara Dzur, of Gerspacher Real Estate Group.

The Member of the Year Award honors one Women’s Network member whose attitude and actions embrace the mission of Women’s Network: to connect, empower and inspire. The recipient is a member who has had an impact in moving the organization forward, always seeking to make the organization better to fulfill its vision of supporting professional women in their development, according to organization officials. This year’s award recipient is Kirsten Lino, of FirstMerit Bank.

The awards will be presented during the Women’s Network annual meeting Sept. 18 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Fairlawn Country Club, 200 N. Wheaton Road. Tickets can be purchased for $40 at www.womensnetworkneohio.com.

Event proceeds will benefit Women’s Network programs, including the Authentic Leadership workshop series, the THRIVE! Mentoring Program and the Judith Resnik Scholarship Fund.

For details, call 330-256-1122 or email wninfo@womensnetworkneohio.com.


Battered Women’s Shelter joining Purple Purse Challenge

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit & Medina Counties (BWS) announced it is one of 146 organizations across the country selected to take part in Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge for a chance to win the grand prize of $100,000.

The Purple Purse Challenge is a fundraising campaign for charities benefiting domestic violence survivors, according to BWS officials. The charity that raises the most during the challenge, which goes from Sept. 2 to Oct. 3, will receive a $100,000 donation from Allstate. Charities that raise the second through 10th highest amounts will receive lesser gifts from Allstate, with the foundation’s donations totaling $500,000, according to BWS officials.

“We will be featuring a unique community challenge each week as we compete for ‘bonus’ cash donations,” said Terri Heckman, CEO of BWS. “All funds raised through this challenge will support our mission to break the cycle of abuse and promote peace in every family.”

BWS is asking for the community’s help to win the $100,000 grand prize by making donations at https://www.crowdrise.com/purplepurse-bws. Also, supporters of BWS are encouraged to post the link to social media sites and through email to family and friends.

BWS also is encouraging supporters to become its partnering fundraisers in the Purple Purse Challenge. To become a fundraiser, click on “Fundraise for This Community Partner” and follow the instructions.

Since the agency’s inception in 1976, services to residents of Summit and Medina counties have grown and BWS is able to provide support to victims of domestic violence through a 24-hour toll-free hotline; emergency food, clothing and shelter; early intervention classes; case management; court and youth advocacy; crisis intervention for children who have witnessed violence; preventive education; transitional housing; community support groups; and outreach education.

For more information, contact Brittany Paliswat at 330-374-0740 or BrittanyP@scmcbws.org.


Constitution Day Celebration set for Sept. 17

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Bar Association’s Sept. 17 Constitution Day Celebration will commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

The annual event will take place at 4 p.m. at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St.

U.S. District Court Judge John Adams will administer the Oath of Allegiance for new citizens, according to event organizers. The ceremony includes participation from local dignitaries and young people, organizers said. The theme for this year’s event is the 200th anniversary of the national anthem.

The public is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served, organizers said.


Ariel Hakim, Pam Lifke and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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