Big crowd at UA

AKRON: The University of Akron will bustle today with a record number of potential students and their families.

The university sent out a record 150,000 invitations to high school seniors for its Summer Visit Day. That brought almost 400 students on campus in June and will attract another 700 today, plus about 1,100 family members.

Admissions Director Diane Raybuck said the university is being more aggressive in recruiting academically talented students — and it doesn’t hurt that former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, now vice president of strategic engagement at UA, will be on hand to shake hands and promote the university.

“Absolutely he’s a draw,” Raybuck said.

Tressel will migrate among four welcome ceremonies on campus, she said.

Typically, the university only has one Summer Visit Day, an opportunity for students and their families to tour campus, meet with financial aid officers and learn about potential majors.

New playgrounds

AKRON: Three public playgrounds will be built Aug 4. at Cascade Village, Celebration Church and Miller Avenue United Church of Christ.

The playgrounds, designed by area children, will be assembled from scratch in less than eight hours with the help of Akron-area volunteers who will join organizers from KaBOOM.

Volunteers will gather at each location for a kickoff ceremony at 8:30 a.m. and will complete the playground project in time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Lunch will be provided for volunteers.

To register to volunteer call 330-752-3105 or 330-983-5536.

Man guilty of rape

AKRON: An Akron man faces life in prison after a Summit County jury found him guilty Thursday of rape and gross sexual imposition.

Mark Randles, 59, of Morningview Avenue, raped a young female relative over the course of four years, prosecutors said. He turned himself in to Akron police after the victim told her mother about the abuse.

Summit Common Pleas Judge Thomas Teodosio will sentence Randles at 9 a.m. Aug. 29.


Citizen involvement

FAIRLAWN: Voters from the 16th Congressional District will come together this weekend to decide the three key economic issues they think candidates should focus on for the November election.

The jurors, a demographically representative group, will meet today through Sunday at the Radisson Akron/Fairlawn and will issue a report at the end announcing the issues they’ve chosen.

Anyone interested in following the process can watch it streamed live at www.ustream.tv/channel/reclaimnovember and look for updates on Jefferson Action’s website, www.promotinghealthydemocracy.org.

The group’s Twitter handles for the event will be @reclaimnovember, @rclmnovpolicy and @jeffersonaction.

Jurors will convene two more times before the Nov. 6 election to judge how well U.S. Reps. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, and Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township, who are vying for the 16th District seat, have responded to the issues the jurors identified.

Rooftop fundraiser

AKRON: A Rise to the Rooftop Fundraiser for judicial candidate Jennifer L. Hensal will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Malone Building Rooftop, 209 S. Main St.

The event is sponsored by the Committee to elect Jennifer L. Hensal for Judge to the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Ninth Judicial District

The event will feature Italian sausage sandwiches and music by DJ Chris Crossover.

The suggested donation for this event is $100 per person with 50 percent off the suggested donation if you’ve marched in a parade to support Hensal.

Tickets are limited to 50 people.

For information and to reserve tickets, call 330-421-0283 or 330-764-3200.


Expansion OK’d

GREEN: The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously agreed last week to aid General RV Center’s rapid growth.

The commission voted 5-0 to give the business conditional approval to temporarily expand parking for 50 recreational vehicles on 1.9 acres of Akron-Canton Airport-owned land on the west side of General RV’s site on Greensburg Road.

“We’re growing too big and don’t have enough room right now,” said Joe Weider, General RV’s operations manager.

He said his company and airport officials have signed a five-year lease, with an option for another five years if the acreage still is needed. The commission agreed to permit General to use gravel for the parking area’s surface for the first five years. The business will be required to provide a hard surface if the lease is renewed.

Meanwhile, Weider said his company has just cleared a nine-acre site it owns on the south side of Greensburg Road across from the General RV center. The acreage is not usable at this point, he said, but he hopes it can be ready in the short term as the business continues to grow.


Anti-violence talk

CANTON: Coming Together Stark County will host the third in its civil discourse discussions at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Stark County District Library, 715 Market Ave. N.

The topic will be Stemming the Violence in Stark County, with Canton police Chief Bruce Lawver serving as guest speaker and conversation starter.

The free program is open to the public.

For information, call 330-454-5880.


BW3 arrest

STREETSBORO: A Cleveland man faces four felony charges after Streetsboro police said they caught him inside Buffalo Wild Wings about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

Officers responding to an alarm at the eatery on state Route 14 found a phone line outside the building was cut, then they saw a man inside.

The man tried to run out the front door but stopped when confronted by officers. He was wearing a ski mask and gloves and carrying a pry bar, wedge and flashlight.

Officers found the back door to the business forced open and three cash registers were damaged. The store manager said nothing appeared to be missing, however.

Thomas A. Yafanaro, 48, was charged with breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools, disrupting public services and safe cracking.


Voter information

Summit County residents who will be voting in the Aug. 7 special election should keep an eye out for a bright orange postcard that will be arriving in their mailboxes any day. It will instruct them where they will cast their ballots.

The board this year cut precincts and polling locations to save money. About 40,000 cards have been mailed to inform voters of the changes.

In Summit County, voters will decide five issues Aug. 7: a fire/EMS levy and a road levy in Richfield Township and school issues in the Barberton, Coventry and Woodridge districts.

The board has received about 400 absentee applications and had about 300 early ballots returned. Special elections typically have low turnouts, with 15 to 20 percent participation.

Voters can visit the board’s website at www.summit?countyboe.com to check their polling locations for the August election. The board has not finalized polling locations for the Nov. 6 presidential election. After these sites are approved, the board will add this information to its site and mail more postcards.

Board appointment

AKRON: Attorney Elisabeth Akers has been appointed to the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority board.

Akers, of Barberton, will serve a five-year term ending in December 2016.

The appointment was made by Summit County Probate Judge Todd McKenney.

Bridge work

The Summit County Engineer’s Office said two bridges will be closed for waterproofing work beginning Monday. The Reimer Road bridge over Van Hyning Run will affect drivers in Norton. The posted detour will involve South Hametown, Wadsworth and Cleveland-Massillon roads, county Engineer Al Brubaker said.

The Graybill Road bridge over the Heckman Ditch just east of Mayfair Road will affect drivers in Green. The posted detour involves Mayfair, Raber and Kreighbaum roads, Brubaker said. Each closing is expected to last 17 days.