AKRON

Public meeting

AKRON: Akron is facing the loss of federal funds used for housing and community programs and wants the public’s help in deciding how to spend the money the city is still getting.

A public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. today in Rooms 2 A and B of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St.

The city is in the process of putting together its annual plan for using federal funds for neighborhood housing, emergency and special needs housing, and community and economic development. City employees will give overviews of the current programs. They also will seek comments and suggestions from the audience about the existing programs and potential new initiatives in the face of potential budget cuts.

For more information, call the Planning Department at 330-375-2090.

Firefighter money

AKRON: The city again has been awarded a federal grant that was used to bring back laid-off firefighters in 2010.

This time, the city received $6.4 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grants program.

Akron got about $6 million in July 2010 that was used to pay the salaries and benefits of firefighters for two years.

SAFER grants can be used for the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Family fun day

CUYAHOGA FALLS: A Family Fun Day fundraiser for Judge Amy Corrigall Jones of Summit County Common Pleas Court will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at 3406 Crestwood Circle.

The fundraiser will offer inflatables, caricature artists and other entertainment.

Suggested donation is $75 per family.

Presidential visit

The president and vice president are headed back to Ohio.

Vice President Joe Biden will visit Lordstown on Friday. President Barack Obama will make stops in the Cleveland and Toledo areas Monday, according to an Obama campaign official in Ohio.

Biden will visit United Auto Workers Local 1714 at 11 a.m.

The campaign has not released details about Obama’s visits on Labor Day.

COLUMBUS

Portage prevails

COLUMBUS: The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday a property owner cannot sue a county because the county fails to upgrade the capacity of a storm sewer to alleviate repeated flooding.

A Portage County couple sought relief after experiencing flood damage at their Rootstown property several times between 1982 and 2009.

Robert and Barbara Coleman said the flooding was a result of stormwater runoff from drainage ditches adjacent to their land that overflowed because the county-owned drainage pipe was too small.

In a 6-1 decision authored by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, the court held that an exception to the state’s sovereign immunity statute did not apply because the problem was not a result of the county failing to maintain their existing sewer. Immunity cannot attach to an argument that the county should upgrade or improve their existing lines, the court ruled.

GREEN

Charter issues

GREEN: City Council, which already has sent six charter amendment issues to the Summit County Board of Elections for inclusion on the November ballot, might add two more next week.

During Tuesday’s regular session, Council President Joel Reed set a special meeting for 6 p.m. Sept. 4 solely to discuss and take action on the two issues:

•?Make the part-time law director’s seat an elected position rather than appointed.

•?Ban all gambling, including potential racinos and machine-operated games of chance, in Green except for nonprofit organizations.

The filing deadline is Sept. 6.

The gambling petition from attorney David Mucklow contains 1,191 signatures, according to the petitioner’s count, while the law director issue filed by resident Joel Helms has 1,028 signatures. Each issue needs 901 valid signatures to be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Stipend on hold

GREEN: City Council put a request to pay Civil Service Commission members a $1,500 annual stipend on hold as members try to determine what might be fair for other volunteer boards and commissions.

Only the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals members are paid $1,500 stipends because of the time spent on making decisions.

Human Resources Manager Jeanne Greco said the request for Civil Service payment was brought to her because the group also is a decision-making body. Not paid are members of the Design and Review Board, Parks and Recreation Board and the Historic Preservation Commission.

Mayor Dick Norton suggested that a slate of positions be placed before the council to determine how to handle the issue. This is expected to be done before the Sept. 11 meeting so the council can take action.

Ward 2 Councilman Dave France said he wants to consider an entire package of such requests rather than taking the issues individually.

KENT

Police win car

KENT: The Kent Police Department will receive a new patrol cruiser from the state due to its efforts in the 2011 “Click it or Ticket” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns.

The city is one of five chosen to receive a new 2012 Ford Interceptor from the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Office of Criminal Justice Services.

Police representatives were expected to accept the car keys at Tuesday’s Indians game at Progressive Field.

PLAIN TOWNSHIP

New fire station

PLAIN TWP.: Trustees on Tuesday voted 2-1 to award bids for a new fire station next year on Schneider Street Northeast.

Bogner Construction will be the general contractor at a cost of $2,281,000. Other contracts went to: R.T. Hampton, plumbing, $177,496; The K Co., HVAC, $179,000; Abbott Electric, electrical, $318,000; and Fire Focus Corp., fire suppression, $92,200.

Trustee Scott Haws voted against awarding the bids, stating he wanted to wait until it was decided what to do with Fire Station No. 4 on Easton Street before building the new station. Trustees Al Leno and Lou Giavasis said plans for the new station have been discussed over the past 10 years, and any objections should have been brought up before the township advertised for bids.

STARK COUNTY

Grant sought

CANTON: The Stark Area Regional Transit Authority is applying for a $100,000 state grant to determine whether it would be feasible for the agency to share some services with schools and social service agencies.

County commissioners agreed Wednesday to become partners in the effort, which includes 17 school districts, the Stark Development Board, the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The commissioners’ role would be to provide information, county Administrator Michael Hanke said.

SARTA would provide a $20,000 match if the grant were obtained from the Local Government Innovation Fund.

Possibilities mentioned in project documents include sharing mechanics and a maintenance garage, sharing buses for special education students and using high school technical students as apprentice mechanics.

STATE NEWS

West Nile fatality

COLUMBUS: A 76-year-old Hamilton County man was the first Ohio resident to die this year from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, the Ohio Department of Health said Wednesday.

The state has confirmed 49 human cases of West Nile virus, including a Stark County resident.

This year’s hot and dry summer is contributing to the increased West Nile risk for Ohio residents.

The Culex mosquito that transmits the virus likes stagnant water that hasn’t been disturbed by fresh rainwater.

“We continue to see growing numbers of human cases of West Nile virus infection and positive mosquito samples throughout the state,” Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Ted Wymyslo said in a news release. “Ohioans should remain vigilant and take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites.”