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It's time to say goodbye to one of Goodyear's oldest blimps. The Spirit of Goodyear will fly south for the winter to Florida, making room for the tiremaker's new state-of-the-art, New Technology (NT) airship. Farewell flights for the blimp over the Akron area will happen on Wednesday and Thursday, weather permitting, will leave the city on October 11.
Company officials say construction of the new airship is on schedule and it should be ready for test flights in the spring of 2014.
(Video courtesy of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.)
(Goodyear Press Release) Like many Ohioans, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Akron-based blimp, the Spirit of Goodyear, has become a “Snow Bird” and is leaving northeast Ohio’s snow and cold for a retirement in the sunshine and warmth of Florida.
The blimp, which has been based at the company’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar since its christening 13 years ago, will join The Spirit of Innovation and operate from the company’s Pompano Beach, Fla. airship base this winter before being decommissioned in the spring of 2014.
Beginning next year, the company will begin replacing the current fleet of blimps with new state-of-the-art Goodyear NT (New Technology) airships, the first of which is under construction at the Wingfoot Lake Hangar.
“The Spirit of Goodyear gave up its hangar space for the construction of the new Goodyear NT airship and has been moored outside the past months,” said Nancy Ray, director of Goodyear’s global airship program. “With winter on the way and the blimp’s retirement coming up, it’s time for the Spirit of Goodyear to move south.”
The airship will make farewell flights over the Akron area on Wednesday and Thursday (October 9 and 10), weather permitting, giving area residents a chance to say “goodbye” before it heads into retirement.
“Akron loves the blimp and we love Akron,” Ray said. “Our pilots and passengers routinely see countless people step outside of their homes and offices or pull over in their cars to watch the blimp. We wanted to make a last flight to say goodbye and give its fans a chance to wave goodbye to the Spirit of Goodyear.”
Additionally, the company is encouraging blimp fans to share their favorite stories, photos or videos of the Spirit of Goodyear on social media, including the blimp’s Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/GoodyearBlimp, or its Twitter feed, @GoodyearBlimp.
The Spirit of Goodyear will depart Akron on October 11, traveling to State College, Pa., to cover the Penn State-Michigan football game for ESPN. Afterwards, the airship will work its way south to the company’s Florida blimp base.
Christened on March 15, 2000 by America’s first woman in space, NASA astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, the Spirit of Goodyear was named to honor the company’s worldwide associates. It is the oldest of the tiremaker’s three U.S.-based blimps and the first to be replaced by the new Goodyear NT.
During its years of service, the Spirit of Goodyear has flown over countless marquee sporting events including Kentucky Derby horse races, top college football matchups and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs. In 2004, the airship delivered the first-ever, high-definition images from a camera mounted in a blimp during a Monday Night Football contest.
Ray said the company is on schedule with the construction of the new NT airship and it should be ready for test flights in the spring of 2014.
Everything about the new Goodyear NT airship design is larger and more advanced than the current fleet. The current blimp design is 192 ft (58.5 m) long with an envelope volume of 202,700 cu ft (5,735 cu m), while the NT is 246.5 ft (75 m) long with an envelope volume of 297,527 cu ft (8,425 cu m).
During its long operational history, Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles since 1917, including two large rigid airships – the U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron. The Goodyear NT is the first semi-rigid airship to be built in the 95-year history of the Wingfoot Lake Hangar.
Goodyear, one of the world’s largest tire companies, owns and operates three airships in the United States. They are based in Akron, Pompano Beach, and Carson, Calif.
The company employs about 69,000 people and manufactures its products in 52 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear’s blimps and products, go towww.goodyear.com/corporate.
Summit County Juvenile Court plans to introduce a family drug court thanks to a more than $538,000 grant they will receive from the federal government.
Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio says the collaboration between the court and Summit County Children Services is intended to re-unite families more quickly and on a more permanent basis.
"We're hoping we can provide them with what they need to become sober and lead a clean lifestyle on a permanent basis so that their involvement with Children Services can end," said Teodosio.
Teodosio hopes the new program will help strengthen relationships by providing intensive treatment and intervention for families who have had their children removed as a result of a substance abuse problem.
"[The program] may increase the amount of visitation they have with their child. It may allow them to participate in some special activities with their families. So we're really hoping to do some things to help strengthen the family as well," said Teodosio.
At this point, the three-year, $538,363 grant is on hold until the government shutdown is over. Teodosio hopes to accept the first family into the program by the start of 2014.
(Summit County Juvenile Court) Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio announced that the Court will receive a three-year, $538,363 grant from the federal government to introduce a specialized docket, the Family Drug Court, to the growing menu of Court services, in conjunction with Summit County Children Services (SCCS).
The collaboration is intended to re-unite and stabilize family units through the provision of suitable intensive treatment and intervention for families who have had their children removed as a result of substance abuse or when it has been determined to be a major contributing factor to the children’s removal. Support and services for both the parents and the children for other issues such as poverty, mental health and trauma will also be offered to those families who choose to engage in the program.
The Court learned on September 16th that the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention approved the grant application. The funding period begins October 1, 2013. The Family Drug Court will partner with a regional initiative comprised of major county and statewide child-and-family service providers that is funded by the Administration on Children & Families, a division of the United States Department of Health & Human Services. The program is called the Summit County Collaborative on Trauma, Alcohol & Other Drug & Resiliency-Building Services, or the STARS Program.
The STARS Program aims to improve child and family outcomes and uses a coordinated system of care which includes trauma-informed assessment and family strengthening services. The long-term goal is to permanently re-unite the family, but important steps will be taken in the process to assure that the challenges facing the parents and children are appropriately addressed before permanent re-unification occurs. The Family Drug Court will work closely with the STARS Program to identify potential candidates for the Family Drug Court docket.
The allocation from the Department of Justice will be used, in part, to fund the salaries of a Family Drug Court Coordinator and an additional Summit County Children Services (SCCS) Social Work Assistant. The Family Drug Court Coordinator will make reports to the Court, assure that the Court is in compliance with the conditions of the grant and coordinate the Drug Court docket. SCCS will create a Substance Intervention Unit through reassignment of qualified individuals currently providing services at SCCS and provide them with additional training. The unit will consist of a supervisor, five caseworkers and a newly hired Social Work Assistant position to support the caseworkers’ efforts. Remaining funds will be used for rigorous drug/alcohol testing costs to ensure treatment compliance and for various supports to be issued as incentives/rewards for program engagement and success. The goal of the Family Drug Court is to serve up to 25 Court-involved families per year.
“We are pleased that the Department of Justice has provided funding that will help us continue our efforts to re-unite families,” said Judge Teodosio. “These grants are difficult to obtain, so we are also honored that our Court was chosen as a recipient. As always, we are grateful to all of our community partners and look forward to working together to serve the best interests of children in Summit County.”
There's still a lot of questions surrounding what's open and closed during the government shutdown. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park remains closed during the shutdown, but several activities through the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park will move forward.
"Some activities are still happening if they're happening through the conservancy because we have special lease and cooperative agreements with the national park service," said Deb Yandala, CEO of the Conservancy for the CVNP.
The Conservancy for CVNP is a non-profit organization that works to engage public support for the park and provide services to enhance the park.
There is a limited amount of rangers on duty because of the shutdown. Yandala says citations will be given to people who sneak into the park or on the trails.
"The issue is health and safety if there would be an accident or injury," said Yandala.
Also due to the government shutdown, the Countryside Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow, which sits on the park's property, will move to its winter location at Old Trail School. Click here for more information.
Hundreds of phone calls have flooded Metro Parks, Serving Summit County over confusion about the closure of the towpath trail due to the federal government shutdown.
Spokesperson Nate Eppink says Metro Parks is not affected by the shutdown of the federal government.
Visitors still have access to the 14 parks and 125 miles of trails managed by Metro Parks, which is funded by a 1.46-mill Summit County real-estate tax.
"For us it is pretty much business as usual, expect for the large volume of calls," said Eppink.
The towpath between Boztum Trailhead in Akron to the Stark County line remains open.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park remains closed during the shutdown.