After numerous complaints for a West Akron bar, city leaders are taking a proactive approach to strip them of their liquor license.
Ward 9 Councilman and Public Safety Chair Mike Freeman tells AkronNewsNow.com the bar has been nothing but trouble.
"We've had 83 calls for service at this particular club in the past 18 months, and from what I understand it's only open three days a week, so that makes the average pretty high," Freeman said.
Ward 9 Councilman Mike Freeman by Aaron Coleman
Akron City Council unanimously passed a legislation Monday objecting to the Embassy Lounge Bar and Grille's renewal of their liquor license.
Within the past four weeks at the Romig Road nightspot, there's been a couple more incidents at the club, including the murder of 38-year old Rahsann Price last week. Price was DJ'ing at the club when he was struck and killed last week. Police are still searching for the suspect in the murder, Dontay Antonio Taylor of Akron.
Freeman said other tenants in the complex wanted the business removed well before Price's death.
"I actually met with one of the tenants in the plaza and the Akron Police Department has been putting together a case for a nuisance business here," Freeman explained.
"This is not in direct response to the homicide, this was in place before it even occured."
Three of the incidents reported incidents at the club were shootings including the Price murder. There were also numerous stabbings, fights, and drug related offenses.
City officials not spoken to the owner of the nightclub, but Freeman says the tenants he spoke with addressed their concerns with the landlord and have strongly opposed the club's license renewal.
Freeman says the most disturbing aspecy of the calls is that most of them came after hours.
Here is a partial listing of some of the calls taken in regards to the Embassy Lounge. This list was compiled by Lieutenant Terry Plasko and Captain Martha Sullivan of the Akron Police Department.
On 7/23/12, shooting incident where 1 person was killed and 2 were shot/injured
On 7/22/12, there was an assault that happened at this location
On 7/12/12, responded to this location reference a hit skip. An arrest was made on someone playing loud music for sound amplifying device and open container.
On 7/8/12, report of a felonious assault/stabbing that occurred at this location with 2 victims
On 7/7/12, report of an assault that happened at this location
6/10/12, arrest for disorderly conduct/intox
On 5/12/12, arrest for public indecency and disorderly conduct
On 3/18/12, report of a baggie of marijuana being taken by a security officer at the bar from someone who was attempting to enter the bar. The male tore her shirt while attempting to take back the drugs. The security officer did not want to file charges.
On 3/6/12, responded to a fight that stemmed from an accident. The driver of one of the vehicles misrep'd his id in order to avoid arrest on a warrant and for suspended license.
On 2/28/12, report of theft of personal papers that took place inside the bar.
On 2/11/12, report of an assault that occured at this location
On 2/4/12, traffic stop in the parking lot of this location. One person was arrested for driving under a suspended license, the other for having a baggie of marijuana. Both were charged with obstructing.
On 7/22/12, there was a hit skip accident
On 7/21/12, check for reckless operator
On 7/11/12 fight with no injury. It was gone on our arrival.
On 7/10/12, there was a traffic accident
On 7/5/12, there was a fight, but gone when we arrived
On 5/6/12 responded to a fight, half gone, which was someone wanting her phone that was in the bar
On 4/29/12 there was a call of wanting to make a report reference items stolen from a car but the caller was gone
On 4/16/12 there was an accident report
The City of Akron will look to use federal funds to hire 12 new police officers with military backgrounds to help patrol the streets.
Public Safety Chair and Ward 9 Councilman Mike Freeman says $1.5 million from the U.S Department of Justice would be used to bring in the officers.
"The approximately 12 new officers hired under the grant must be veterans that served in active duty on or after September of 2001," Freeman said.
Akron City Council unanimously voted on the agreement between the city and the Federal Government to implement veterans into the police force through a grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
Akron Councilman Mike Freeman by Akron NewsNow
The city says once the civil service exams are given, those personnel, some of whom have served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan will have an opportunity to obtain a full-time job with benefits once they return to the States.
Freeman says the program is an excellent way of showing the veterans appreciation for their service to our country.
"We just think it's a good way to honor the veterans and show them we appreciate this," Freeman explained.
"The city voted on something like this a few years ago and it went very well, and we just look forward to seeing these new hires come on."
The councilman says that having these veterans, who are already trained in conflict resolution and other disciplines will be ready to handle the rigors of being an Akron police officer once they are hired.
In June, U.S Senator Sherrod Brown helped the city secure the grant to bring the veterans to the workforce and have them serve the community as members of the APD.
Akron City Council is looking to combat the proposed state budget bill to reduce or eliminate funding to Ohio Planned Parenthood.
It didn't come with a little bit of controversy as there was a tie on the vote to take time on the issue.
Akron City Council rules read that once a motion is tied, the motion fails.
At-large Councilwoman Linda Omobien says taking away health care amenites from women is a major disservice.
Akron City Council's Linda Omobien by Aaron Coleman
"It's about a form of health care, people who cannot afford certain heath care services, those who don't have insurance, use the services of Planned Parenthood."
Council passed an ordinance 8-4 urging Governor John Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly not to reduce or eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood of Ohio.
Out of the 32 Planned Parenthood centers, only 4 of them provide abortion services. according to Akron City Councilman Mike Freeman.
Freeman was one of those who voted no on the issue.
"As good of an organization as Planned Parenthood is, they are still in the abortion business, and I couldn't attach my name to that," Freeman said.
Councilman Mike Freeman by Aaron Coleman
Omobien feels the House Republicans' stance on Planned Parenthood has less to do with the services they provide and more in regards to a social agenda.
"I think this has less to do with Planned Parenthood and their services, and more to do with the Republicans bashing women and continuing to do so as an agenda item."
Ohio has 32 Planned Parenthood centers that provide women with cancer screenings, pap smears, birth control, STD prevention and other services.
Omobien says by Council's vote, those in Columbus will have some things to think about.
"We wanted to send a very clear message to the Governor and the General Assembly that this will not be tolerated in this state," Omobien.
Editor's Note: The original version of this story included a reference to a letter sent by CSPA Union President Daniel Sladek stating opposition to the carryover. Sladek contacted our newsroom this morning to correct us. CLICK HERE to read the letter.
City employees will now be permitted to use their unused minimum paid leave into 2012, thanks to an ordinance passed by Akron City Council.
Ward 9 Councilman Mike Freeman said this new ordinance helps employees that have deadlines that still need to take time off.
"Obviously the city is operating on a lean staff and because of some departments just not being able to have personnel gone they haven't been able to take vacation," he said.
"This gives them the ability to take their vaction over to next year."
The agreement deals with the city's four bargaining units and allows them to carry forward over up to 80 hours of annual leave per year which would include sick days and vacation days.
City Council recieved a letter from the Akron CSPA President Daniel Sladek Monday stating that they are in favor of letting the employees use their carry-over hours in to next year
At-large Councilwoman Linda Omobien said the city wanted to examine the situation more thoroughly.The issue was addressed in the city's Budget and Finance committee.
"We just wanted to know exactly what we were doing and how much we were talking about in terms of the city incurring more debt," she says.
"Everybody was in favor of this and we want to make sure the employees understand we're not going to deny them of the time they earned, but to get a full understanding of what we're doing.
Omobien says that the ordinance should draw the attention of managers within the city to encourage their employees to use time.
"We're hoping that managers continue to manage this as closely as possible and encourage employees to take time off."
Councilman Freeman says the ordinance helps the city and its workers.
"It will give the city the ability to function and provide the services it provides without employees sacrificing their paid leave."
The City of Akron is taking steps in trying to get more senior housing in Akron's Ward 9 neighborhood.
City Council passed legislation to get an application to the Ohio Housing Financing Agency to get a 40- unit senior housing complex on Kenmore Boulevard.
Ward 9 Councilman Mike Freeman explains how the ordinance works.
"The legislation allows the city to do a land swap with the Akron Public School system," he said.
"Once we have control of the site, we would make it available to Buckeye Community Hope Foundation to build the facility on."
There's still some negotiation on how much the city will be paying for this venture, which will probably be based on demolition costs.
At-large councilman Jeff Fusco says the seniors in the area will benefit tremendously.
It's directly next door to the Kenmore Community Center, but I know the seniors meet there and both of the buildings can feed off one another."
Fusco says that there's a real need for senior housing within the city.
Freeman said that after years of planning, it's good to see the plan come to fruition.
I just hope 20 years from now I drive past a building and say that I had a part in getting some seniors some quality housing."
Once the process is approved by the Ohio Housing Financing Agency, both men say groundbreaking will take place in early to mid 2012.
Akron City Council is doing its part to try to keep an extended presence on roads with high fatalities, DUI's and dangerous intersections with a grant from the state.
Ward 9's Mike Freeman says the $62,000 grant will have drivers paying attention.
"This money allows us to have a larger presence than we normally would in these areas."
With the 2012 High Visibility Enforcement Overtime Grant, Freeman says in addition to having Akron Police closely monitoring high accident areas and alcohol related traffic problems, they will be looking for drivers speeding and not wearing seat belts.
Freeman didn't specify where the higher concentration of police will be, but he knows they have an idea where the trouble spots are.
"There's certain areas throughout the city that the police know these are the places they need to have higher visibility in."
He says that by keeping public safety a priority with this grant, hopefully more people will drive smarter.
"If we've set up a presence, ticketed enough cars, and slowed down enough people, the public will realize that we're serious about safety when it comes to automobiles."
Freeman emphasized with the winter season coming up, it was doubly important to be aware on the roads.
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