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Akron council urges administration to seek new technology to fight potholes

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: March 10, 2015

Akron City Council passed a resolution this week urging the administration to search for new technology and develop partnerships to fight the city's serious pothole problem.

Councilman Jeff Fusco said this is a "no brainer" for this time of year and given the constant freezing and thawing of the past two winters that have left the streets riddled with potholes. He said Jim Hall, the public works manager, recently heard about a de-icing agent that can be added to pavement to decrease the need for salt.

"It seems timely to ask the administration to actively seek ways to protect our streets," he said.

Council President Garry Moneypenny said new technology imported from Germany was used in the resurfacing of Eastwood Avenue that is expected to last 20 years. He said the street is "holding up well." He said the administration can collaborate with other cities and universities to try to find more technology like this that might be worth trying in Akron. 

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Ohio Auditor Dave Yost won't attend press conference in Akron this morning

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: March 5, 2015

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost is ill and won't be able to attend a press conference this morning in Akron to discuss the city's finances, his spokeswoman said.

Yost, however, provided the city with a press release that will be distributed at the press conference.

Mayor Don Plusquellic will respond to Yost's release during the press conference.

This will be Plusquellic's third press conference this week.

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Ohio Auditor Dave Yost to travel to Akron Thursday to discuss city's 'financial picture'

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: March 4, 2015

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost will travel to Akron Thursday for a press conference to "discuss Akron's financial picture," the city said in a press release this afternoon.

Yost will be joined by Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.

Yost told the Beacon Journal last October when he was speaking at the Akron Press Club that Akron has "come a long way" to improving its financial practices since he put the city in fiscal caution in its 2010 audit. He said the city should emerge from fiscal caution in the next six months.

In Akron's 2010 audit, Yost faulted the city for bad accounting practices that led to a $104 million fund deficit as of that March. He said Akron had been undertaking capital projects without the revenue to pay for them and faulted the city for having too many funds.

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Akron PeaceMakers receives national award for instructions on interacting with police

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: March 3, 2015

The Akron PeaceMakers, a youth anti-violence group, has won a national award for developing simple instructions for how citizens should behave when approached by a police officer.

The group has been selected for the American Association for Public Administration's National Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Exemplary Practices Award.

The PeaceMakers announced last month new "You and the Law" cards that are being distributed to public and private high and middle school students and adults. The group also is planning a more detailed booklet spelling out the do's and don't's of police contact. The information was put together by the PeaceMakers and the Akron Police Department.

"I am very excited for our Akron PeaceMakers," said Billy Soule, Akron's assistant to the mayor for community relations. "They saw an issue that was at the forefront of every community in the country, and instead of just talking about what they could do to help, they acted."

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Portage County TEA Party to offer fundraising training for nonprofits

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: February 27, 2015

The Portage County TEA Party will offer a fundraising training seminar for nonprofit organizations on Saturday, March 21.

Chris Doss from the Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. will lead the seminar. The seminar is aimed at organizations that want to improve their fundraising operations.

The seminar will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Comfort Inn at 4423 state Route 43 in Brimfield Township. Lunch and class materials will be provided.

Cost is $25 per person. Checks, made out to the Portage County TEA Party, can be mailed to P.O. Box 253, Mogadore, Ohio 44260.

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Hiring goals to be discussed at town hall meeting in Akron

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: February 26, 2015

A town hall meeting on the hiring-goals issue will be held Tuesday in Akron.

Councilwoman Margo Sommerville said she decided to move forward with the meeting, despite the state legislature removing a provision from the transportation budget Thursday that would have forbid municipalities from having local hiring requirements, to "let the public know about the fight."

The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Vernon Odom library branch, 600 N. Odom Blvd.

Speakers at the event will include Glenn Stephens, a consultant on Akron's sewer project, Councilman Jeff Fusco, Deputy Service Director Phil Montgomery and Summit County Councilwoman Tamela Lee.

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Akron to hold first Big Dig event

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: February 23, 2015

The city’s first Big Dig event will be held Friday afternoon.

Volunteers will work together to make the route safer easier for students and residents who live near Findley Community Learning Center by clearing the ice and snow from sidewalks. The Big Dig will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with volunteers meeting at the school, 65 W. Tallmadge Ave.

The Big Dig will be held weather permitting, meaning that, if school is canceled Friday, the event will be as well.

The event is being spearheaded by Save Kids Summit County and Akron Safe Routes to Schools to raise awareness about sidewalk and pedestrian safety during the winter. Free shovels will be provided to Big Dig participants who sign a Hold Harmless Agreement and pledge to keep their sidewalks clean.

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Gov. John Kasich's State of the State speech to be broadcast live online

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: February 23, 2015

Can't make it to Wilmington Tuesday night for Gov. John Kasich's annual State of the State address?

Don't fret: You can watch it online. His 7 p.m. speech will be shown live at www.KasichForOhio.com/SOTS or www.OhioChannel.org.

This will be the first speech of Kasich's second term and the fourth time he's given his annual address in an Ohio city other than Columbus. Kasich delivered his speech last year at Medina High School, partly as a tribute to Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, who is from Medina and retired at the end of last year.

Kasich will give his 2015 speech in the county seat for Clinton County in southwest Ohio, nestled between Columbus and Cincinnati. It comes at a time when he is exploring a potential presidential bid and is pushing for major reforms in the two-year state budget.

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Akron Law Director Cheri Cunningham retiring April 1

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: February 19, 2015

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic is losing another member of his cabinet.

Law Director Cheri Cunningham is retiring April 1, the city announced in a press release this afternoon. She has worked for the city on and off since 1981.

Cunningham became Akron's first female law director in 2009, replacing Max Rothal. She joined the law department as a law clerk in 1981 and remained an attorney with the city after graduating from the University of Akron's law school in 1982.

In 1986, she served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division in its Cleveland office. A year later, she returned to the law department for six years and then moved out of state with her family. She returned to the law department in 1994.

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Akron Councilwoman Margo Sommerville to speak at Black History Month event

By Stephanie Warsmith Published: February 18, 2015

Akron Councilwoman Margo Sommerville will speak at a Black History Month Brunch Celebration Sunday morning.

Sommerville is the Ward 3 councilwoman and is the daughter of Akron Planning Director Marco Sommerville, who is the former, long-time Akron City Council president.

The event will be at 8 a.m. at New Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, 1380 Hartford Ave. It is sponsored by Charles Walker.

Cost is $10 for seniors and children and $20 for adults.

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