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West Side News & Notes

1/23/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Former judge appointed to Metro Parks board

WEST AKRON — Former judge Jane Bond has been appointed to the Metro Parks, Serving Summit County Board of Commissioners.

Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer appointed Bond to the board, effective this month. The term is for three years, according to park district spokesman Nate Eppink.

Bond replaced commissioner Frances Buchholzer, who served for approximately 19 years. She was a former director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Buchholzer’s term expired Dec. 31, Eppink said.

Eppink said Bond would report for her first meeting when commissioners meet Jan. 30 at 11:30 a.m. in the district’s administrative offices, located at 975 Treaty Line Road in Sand Run Metro Park. There will be a ceremonial swearing in before the meeting, Eppink added.

Bond was a member of The University of Akron (UA) Board of Trustees, to which she was appointed in 2008 and served until 2012. According to her biography from UA, Bond received a bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from Ohio University in 1968 and a law degree from The UA School of Law in 1976. She entered private practice and then served as an assistant prosecutor. Bond became the first general counsel to the county executive when Summit County established the first charter government in Ohio in 1981.

In 1986, she became general counsel to the Voinovich Cos. and worked also as a criminal justice planner in jails and prisons. Bond was appointed as judge of Akron Municipal Court in 1989 and served two years before her appointment to the Summit County Common Pleas Court in 1991. She retired from the bench in 2007.

An Akron native, Bond has served on numerous boards, including the Leadership Akron Alumni Board, Women’s Network Board, Friends of Hower House Board, Coach House Theatre Board and English Oaks Condominium Board of Directors. She is a graduate of Leadership Akron’s Class II and N.E.X.T. of Leadership Akron.

Bond joins fellow Metro Parks commissioners Roland Bauer and Mark Spisak. The three-person park board is appointed by the Summit County Probate Court judge. Commissioners serve overlapping three-year terms without compensation and are assisted by Director-Secretary Keith Shy, who oversees the work of full-time and part-time employees, seasonal workers and volunteers


In-School Emergency Communications System can protect county schools

SUMMIT COUNTY — In 2013, Ohio House Bill 59 funded a School Security Grant Program, which is administered by the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC). A portion of this program provides for eligible school districts to receive for each school building a two-way radio compatible with their local first responders to provide instant notification and up-to-the-second situational awareness in the event of an emergency.

Members of the Summit County-Akron 800MHz Regional Radio System, a countywide public safety communications network, are permitting those schools to use the countywide public safety communications network at no cost. The “user fee” will not be applied to any school using this program, saving $20 a month per building, according to county officials.

“School safety is an important component of schools, law enforcement and first responders, and we are proud to create this partnership,” said County Executive Russ Pry in a press release. “Interoperability is key in a crisis situation, and the new radios will provide that, along with instant communication.”

According to county officials, the In-School Emergency Communications System provides instant, reliable, priority communications to a school’s first responders. The system was specially designed through collaboration among school officials, law enforcement, first responders and Motorola Solutions to provide ease of operation to schools. By pressing a large orange button on the radio unit, the school-defined first responders are instantly alerted.

To date, nine of the 17 school districts in Summit County have applied for and/or received the 800MHz radios.

For more information, visit www.co.summit.oh.us/800mhz.


Cook to receive Akron Bar Association Award

AKRON — The Akron Bar Association will honor Judge Deborah Cook, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, as the 2014 recipient of the Judicial Pioneer Award.

The award was established to acknowledge the person who has been the first of his or her race, gender or cultural heritage to hold a judicial position. Cook was the first and only female from Summit County to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio and a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She served on the Ohio Supreme Court from 1995 to 2003 and on the Sixth Circuit from 2003 to the present.

In recognizing Cook’s achievements, the Akron Bar Association noted that in addition to the intellectual rigor of her judicial decisions, she also has been a strong force for collegiality on all of the benches on which she has served. According to association officials, her time, energy and financial commitment on behalf of underprivileged youth have been done without fanfare.

The award will be presented to Cook tonight, Jan. 23, during a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Akron Bar Association office.


Tokaji to speak Feb. 7 at UA

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Professor Daniel Tokaji will speak about voting rights at The University of Akron’s (UA) Student Union Theater Feb. 7 at 3:30 p.m. as part of UA’s Race Week. There will be the opportunity for questions following the speech.

This event is free and is co-sponsored by the Akron Press Club, UA’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, UA’s Center for Conflict Management, the UA School of Law, Bierce Library and Canton Area League of Women Voters.

Tokaji is the Robert M. Duncan/Jones Day Designated Professor of Law and a senior fellow in election law at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University (OSU). According to event organizers, he is an authority on election law and voting rights. He specializes in election reform, including such topics as voting technology, voter identification, provisional ballots and other subjects addressed by the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Tokaji also studies issues of fair representation, including redistricting and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale Law School, Tokaji clerked for Stephen Reinhardt, of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Before arriving at OSU, he was a staff attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and chair of California Common Cause.

He was lead counsel in a case that struck down an Ohio law requiring naturalized citizens to produce a certificate of naturalization when challenged at the polls. He was an attorney for plaintiffs in cases that kept open the window for simultaneous registration and early voting in Ohio’s 2008 General Election and that challenged punch-card voting systems in Ohio and California after the 2000 election.

Tokaji sits on the boards of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio.

Reservations are not required for the event.


Coming Together Reunion set for Feb. 8

DOWNTOWN AKRON — A 2014 Coming Together Reunion will take place Feb. 8 in The University of Akron Student Union during the Rethinking Race: Black, White and Beyond event.

The program agenda includes a meet-and-greet reception, history of the Coming Together Project, presentations, question-and-answer session and validations.

The event is intended to bring together individuals who served on any Coming Together youth committee, participated in any program sessions or served as a mentor to youth participants. Contributors will share their respective journeys related to concepts learned as a part of project affiliation or life lessons in general. The presentation will focus on the influence of inclusion, diversity, equality and reconciliation related to former program partners.

For more information on participating in or attending the reunion, contact Fannie Brown at 330-329-7643 or dbrown8424@aol.com.


Kettle Campaign concludes, families served at holidays

AKRON — The Salvation Army has wrapped up another Red Kettle Campaign, raising $329,701 from the Summit County community. The campaign included 2,500 hours of volunteers’ bell ringing, a 30 percent increase from the 2012 campaign.

In addition to the Red Kettle Campaign, the Salvation Army served families in need throughout the holiday season. The Salvation Army met with 1,381 families who applied for assistance this year. More than 1,500 children were served through Angel Tags, with 61 area businesses and groups hosting trees.

Salvation Army officials stated their gratitude in a press release to the Summit County community for the generous support of the Red Kettle Campaign and for the hope it will provide to families throughout the upcoming year. 

For more information, call 330-762-8481. 


APS STEM Expo set for Jan. 25

NORTH AKRON — This year, 663 students produced 450 projects to display at the annual Akron Public Schools (APS) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Expo Jan. 25 at North High School on Gorge Boulevard.

This is the 58th year for the showcase of science and technology. Each year it provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of science, math and technology. Judges plan to peruse the projects from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m., then interview students from 9 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to view the exhibition from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., and the awards ceremony is scheduled for 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Participating schools include: Seiberling, Windermere, Hyre, Innes and Jennings community learning centers (CLC); Buchtel and East CLCs 7-8; Roswell Kent and Litchfield middle schools; Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts; National Inventors Hall of Fame® School … Center for STEM Learning; Buchtel and East CLCs 9-12; Ellet, Firestone, Garfield, Kenmore, North and STEM high schools; and Akron Early College.

In addition, physics students from all APS high schools will display work on bridge-building projects in the school’s gym. The bridge competition attracted 237 additional students and 130 bridges this year. Also at the Expo this year will be more than a dozen interactive booths from APS Career Education programs, scientific societies, engineering societies and more. In the North High Little Theater, the Cleveland Film Festival will be viewing the Oscar-winning short films from 2012.

For more information about the expo, including how to volunteer to judge, visit www.akronschools.com/departments/ci/teaching-and-learning/science/science-fair or contact Katrina Halasa at khalasa@akron.k12.oh.us, 330-761-3117 or 330-701-2985.


King retires from Walsh Jesuit

The Rev. James (Jim) King
CUYAHOGA FALLS — One of the first Jesuits at Walsh Jesuit High School, the Rev. James (Jim) King, S.J., retired Jan. 11, marking more than four decades of service to Walsh Jesuit.

A Mass held in Walsh Jesuit’s Chapel of North American Martyrs celebrated the impact King has had on the Walsh Jesuit community.

King entered the Society of Jesus following his junior year at John Carroll University, and in 1964, accepted his assignment to work at the soon-to-be built Walsh Jesuit High School. For four decades, he has led students through faith-based service and his strong commitment to “faith doing justice,” according to Walsh officials.

King has served as teacher, extracurricular moderator, counselor and most recently as alumni chaplain at Walsh Jesuit. He also is the co-founder of Walsh Jesuit’s Justice League. The Justice League is designed to help students put their faith into action through their participation in one of the school’s service programs.

“I think it is important for students to understand the Jesuits’ passion for serving others,” King said in a press release. “One of the Grad at Grad statements of Walsh Jesuit is commitment to doing justice. We started this program because we wanted to make sure that our students were participating in this commitment.”

King also has been a member of the Walsh Jesuit Labre program, where Walsh Jesuit students and adults offer food and friendship to homeless people in Akron every Monday evening. Aside from his commitment to Walsh Jesuit, King also has volunteered at the Catholic Worker and the Good Samaritan Hunger Center for the last several years.

King will retire to a Jesuit community in Milwaukee, choosing to be near his family.


Girl Scouts, Jo-Ann Fabric team up to make hats, scarves

NORTHEAST OHIO — Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO) and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores will join forces Jan. 25 to support Crafting for a Cause.

According to GSNEO officials, during the one-day event, 72 classes will be held at 18 Jo-Ann stores for 1,200 Girl Scouts who are volunteering to make 2,400 sets of fleece hats and scarves. The fleece, donated by Jo-Ann, is being cut and packaged in advance by Goodwill Industries employees. According to GSNEO officials, the project inspires creativity in the Girl Scouts making the hats and scarves, and the effort also will benefit the children receiving the gifts.

The fleece hats and scarves will be delivered to agencies and organizations including area children services agencies, Salvation Army sites, shelters and Boys and Girls Clubs throughout Summit, Medina, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Sandusky, Stark, Trumbull and Tuscarawas counties, according to GSNEO officials.

“Every day Girl Scouts do things in our communities to make the world a better place,” said GSNEO CEO Jane Christyson. “This service project is different in that it involves thousands of girls, volunteers, organizations and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores team members all working together toward a common goal.”

Girl Scouts registered in advance to participate in Crafting for a Cause, and most locations were filled within the first week, according to GSNEO officials.


Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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