AKRON

Blowtorch sparks fire

at Ellet high-rise condos

A plumber using a blowtorch at Seven Stories East condominiums accidentally sparked a fire that spread through a vent in the Ellet high-rise Wednesday morning, a resident said.

Residents were evacuated about 10:45 a.m., and no one from the 156-unit building was injured.

Akron police blocked off part of East Market Street in Ellet after firefighters arrived. By 11:55 a.m., firefighters had the fire under control, Lt. Sierjie Lash said. The road has since reopened.

Firefighters were still assessing damage and determining how many residents would be displaced.

Chuck Rife, treasurer of the condominium's association, said the plumber apparently was the first to call for help.

Firearms restriction

violated, panel finds

An Akron man with a history of domestic violence convictions has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of illegally having five firearms and ammunition.

Thomas Piispanen, 31, was indicted on one count of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms.

Authorities accused him of possessing a Bersa 9 mm pistol, H&K .40-caliber pistol, Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol, IO .762-caliber rifle, a Ruger .380-caliber pistol and ammunition Feb. 20 after a standoff on East Turkeyfoot Lake Road in New Franklin. He was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of a 2007 conviction in Massillon Municipal Court for domestic violence and a 2011 conviction in Massillon Municipal Court for domestic violence.

“People who hurt their spouses or partners are not allowed to have a firearm, and we are committed to prosecuting those abusers who ignore the law,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a prepared statement.

The indictment followed an investigation by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, New Franklin Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

UA museum will show

moon landing program

Fifty years after the Apollo 11 moon landing, the National Museum of Psychology at the University of Akron is hosting screenings Thursday of Smithsonian Channel’s "The Day We Walked on the Moon!”

The film will be shown every hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the museum, which opened last year on the UA campus, and showcases the largest collection of psychological material of its kind in the world.

The museum is at 73 S. College St. at the corner of Mill Street. Regular rates to tour the National Museum of Psychology apply; all UA students, faculty and staff always receive free admission with a valid Zip Card. For more information, go to https://www.uakron.edu/chp/museum.

The film — which includes the reflections of Michael Collins, who was command module pilot, members of mission control, the children of Apollo astronauts Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon) and Buzz Aldrin (who followed Armstrong about 20 minutes later), pop culture notables and others — is being screened in 50 Smithsonian Institution-affiliated museums across the country, including the UA museum, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

HUDSON

Council set to decide

on skate park addition

The city council will soon vote on whether it will earmark more money to expand the city’s skate park by about 2,500 square feet as part of a planned renovation of the entire site.

The park board on July 15 voted 3-1 to recommend that the council approve the expanded skate park at Veterans Way Park with an overall price tag of $375,000.

The council previously authorized spending $250,000 for the renovation. Another $125,000 — $75,000 from the parks department budget and a $50,000 donation from Vans Shoe Co. — is needed to expand the park from 7,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet.

The proposed expansion came about after skateboarders visited the council and the park board several months ago to suggest the city either expand the park or remove some equipment to create more space. The council asked city staff and board members to meet with the skateboarders and discuss ideas with them.

ROOTSTOWN

Ballot levy sought

for school proposal

The Rootstown Board of Education plans to place a 5.5-mill levy on the November ballot, including 4.43 mills for a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade building, 0.5 mills for permanent improvements and 0.57 mills for projects including a turf football field, an all-weather track, Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to the high school and an auditorium enhancement.

The total cost of the new building is estimated at just below $31.8 million, and the state will fund 41% of the project.

The board expects to send the levy resolution to the Portage County auditor Monday for review and vote Aug. 5 to authorize the levy.