Federal funding

AKRON: East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp. received a $176,000 federal grant from NeighborWorks America.

The local agency was among eight in Ohio that together received more than $1.9 million in funding.

East Akron will use the money to promote and preserve affordable housing in Summit County and to create or sustain jobs through NeighborWorks-supported projects, according to a news release Wednesday from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Robber sought

AKRON: Akron police believe the same man robbed a discount store Wednesday after fleeing an attempt at a fast-food restaurant.

Police said the man waited in line at the Family Dollar, 1750 S. Main St., at about 8 p.m., pulled a large gun on a 61-year-old female cashier and demanded cash. The worker opened the cash drawer and stepped back. The robber snatched some bills before fleeing, police said.

Detectives believe the same man went inside the Church’s Chicken, 1211 S. Main St., about 30 minutes earlier and tried to rob a cashier. Police said when the clerk did not immediately open the cash register, the robber fled.

The robber is described as black, 18 to 23 years old, and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with a brown design and dark-colored blue jeans.

No one was injured in either incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Akron police at 330-375-2490.

Information may also be provided anonymously by calling Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS(2677) or by texting TIPSCO plus the tip to 274637. Tipsters may qualify for a cash reward.


Mowing vacant lots

CANTON: The city administration is taking a new tack in dealing with the mowing of approximately 3,500 deserted and vacant lots, a job traditionally handled by the Street Department.

“The amount of time devoted to this task has consistently increased in recent years, resulting in it taking away from the ability of the Department to accomplish its other goals and responsibilities,” Service Director William Bartos wrote in a letter to City Council.

Council on Monday agreed to Bartos’ request to seek bids and enter into contracts for mowing.

An officer for Summit United Neighbors, in the northwest section of Canton, said the city should consider paying neighborhood associations for the work.

Many such groups have maintained abandoned lots without compensation, said Tim Porter, vice president of Summit United Neighbors. He said the associations could maintain the lots more frequently and at a lower cost than commercial firms.

In related action, council certified a list of delinquent charges for the removal of weeds and debris on abandoned lots for collection on property tax bills.

The total amount owed is $180,989.


Volunteer session

BOSTON HEIGHTS: The Cuyahoga Valley National Park will hold an orientation for new park volunteers from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Happy Days Lodge off state Route 303 west of state Route 8.

Preregistration is recommended. Call 330-657-2299 or volunteer@forcvnp.org.


Mutual-aid deal

GRANGER TWP.: Trustees voted this week to enter into a mutual-aid agreement to share equipment with 11 other fire departments in parts of Medina and Summit counties.

They also appointed Ron Alber to a one-year term on the Zoning Commission and Jon Kastelein to a one-year term on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Trustees are looking for a resident interested in serving as an alternate on the zoning appeals board.


McBride to speak

HUDSON: James McBride, the 2013 recipient of the National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird, will speak at the Hudson Library and Historical Society at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Good Lord Bird is historical fiction featuring abolitionist John Brown. The story is seen through the eyes of a slave child.

Following his book talk, McBride’s jazz ensemble will join him for a concert in the library rotunda. McBride travels with his small combo of jazz musicians when on book tours.

Register for this free event at www.hudsonlibrary.org or by calling 330-653-6658, ext. 1010.


New police vehicles

LAKE TWP.: Township trustees have approved the purchase of two police vehicles for the Uniontown Police Department.

The 2014 Ford Explorers will be purchased from Lebanon Ford, through the State Cooperative Purchasing Program, at a cost of $25,919 each.


Trail work

BRUNSWICK: Construction is scheduled to begin this spring on the growing Brunswick Lake Trail at Brunswick Lake Park.

The Medina County Park District is partnering with the city of Brunswick to build the trail, a $394,000 project. The city is providing $91,000 of that cost.

The work will be done by Fechko Excavating of Medina.

The project has been under design for the last two years.

The new portions of the trail will connect with existing asphalt sections built a few years ago.

The trail will circle Brunswick Lake near Brunswick Town Center and provide neighbors to the south of the lake with improved access to shopping areas, the library and the recreation center via the trail.


Sawyer elected

State Sen. Tom Sawyer, D-Akron, has been elected to the board of Population Connection, America’s largest organization working to address the challenges posed by population growth.

Sawyer, a former congressman, has long championed measures like university access to family planning and reproductive health care in the U.S. and around the world, Population Connection noted in a press release.

“We are honored to have such an accomplished leader join us and we are excited about the chance to work with Sen. Sawyer to strengthen our organization,” said Dr. J. Joseph Speidel, who chairs the group’s board.

Sawyer is eager to join the board, which meets three times a year in Washington, D.C. He said his involvement won’t interfere with his legislative schedule.

“This is a way for me to be involved with national policy in a constructive way without having to get into the kind of thing we see on CSPAN,” he said.


Bluebird workshop

SUFFIELD TWP.: Wingfoot Lake State Park will host a bluebird house-building workshop at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Canteen at the park, 993 Goodyear Park Blvd.

The program is free and open to all ages.

The Wingfoot Lake Volunteer Association will provide all materials and tools.


New board

AKRON: Four new members have been elected to the Cascade Locks Park Association’s board of trustees.

They are: Akron Municipal Court Judge Katrina Cook, Mark LaVoie, Therese Johnson and Doug Powely.

The nonprofit group is involved in preserving and promoting the historic Ohio & Erie Canal locks north of downtown Akron.


Medal awarded

TWINSBURG: Marine veteran Joshua A. Brenner, 23, of Twinsburg, was awarded the Purple Heart for service in Afghanistan in a ceremony at Twinsburg City Hall on Feb. 24.

Brenner, a 2009 graduate of Streetsboro High School, was wounded in December 2011. He served with the 9th Engineer Support Battalion during his four-year Marine enlistment.

He and his wife, Allysa, also a Marine veteran, are expecting their first child.