Edward "Ed" Esposito is vice-president, information media for the Rubber City Radio Group. He oversees news and public affairs programs for www.AkronNewsNow.com, 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation; a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation and a former president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He's also served as a member of the Akron Press Club , Kent State University Student Media Advisory Board, Ohio Open Government Coalition, Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He's lectured on broadcasting and journalism for the University of Missouri in China, as well as across the country for RTDNA and RTDNF. You can reach Ed through the newsroom at 330-864-6397 or by email email@example.com
We're past the season for happy, jolly and nice; now it's time to batten down the hatches and protect ourselves against the onslaught of the flu virus. There's no better sign of just how widespread a cough, a sneeze and a running nose impacts the community than seeing area hospitals crack down on visiting hours.
It's not the first time Akron/Canton-area hospitals, all members of the Akron Regional Hospital Association, agree on tightening regulations governing visits to patients. The hospital environment is challenging enough in the war against infection to allow the additional spread of cold and flu season viruses to those already battling other ailments.
The restrictions cover nearly every hospital in the Akron area; Akron Children's Hospital is developing similar restrictions with a special nod to their younger patients.
(ARHA news release) Due to increased influenza activity in the community the following ARHA hospitals are restricting visitation in order to provide additional protection to patients. Hospitals frequently enact visitation restrictions each year during influenza season.
These hospitals include: Affinity Medical Center, Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, Akron General Medical Center, Akron General Lodi Community Hospital, Alliance Community Hospital*, Aultman Hospital, Aultman Acute Care Specialty Hospital, Medina Hospital (a Cleveland Clinic Hospital), Mercy Medical Center, Regency Barberton Hospital, Regency Ravenna Hospital, Robinson Memorial Hospital, Select Specialty Akron Hospital, Select Specialty Canton Hospital, Summa Akron City Hospital, Summa Barberton Hospital, Summa Rehab Hospital, Summa St. Thomas Hospital, Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital and Summa Western Reserve Hospital.
Fiscal cliff averted...sort of...but swings in the price of crude oil blamed in part on the budget scene in Washington leaving us paying more to move.
On average gasoline prices up nine cents a gallon after a relatively cheap fill-up over the holidays says AAA East Central. We did set a record for 2012, though; the annual national average of 3.60 a gallon was the highest on record.
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(AAA news release) Northeast Ohio motorists are paying nine cents more per gallon this week as prices continue their upward trend. The average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.316.
The year ended with an annual national average of $3.60 per gallon – the highest on record and nine cents more expensive than the previous high of $3.51 in 2011.
At Monday’s close of formal trading on the NYMEX, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled at $91.82 per barrel, up $1.02 on the day. While oil prices are rising, they remain more than $10 less expensive than the $102.96 settlement price to begin 2012. WTI peaked for the year at $109.77 per barrel on February 24. Commodities prices could continue their upward trend as investor confidence returns and economic fears are allayed with the passage of a fiscal agreement.
Despite the pricier start, AAA expects national gas prices in 2013 to average less than they did in 2012. Last year, prices increased to begin the year as geopolitical tension with Iran mounted and the “fear premium” in oil markets propelled the national average price at the pump to a high of $3.94 on April 5 and 6 – more than 65 cents higher than the price to begin the year. Continued economic concerns, weak demand and increased domestic crude oil production are likely to temper any seasonal price increase in the coming months.
This week’s average prices: Northeast Ohio Average $ 3.316
Average price during the week of December 25, 2012 $ 3.226
Average price during the week of January 3, 2012 $ 3.358
Today’s National Average Price $3.291
It's winter -- whaddya want?
Keith Harpster at Akron Snow and Ice with the full compliment, that 51 trucks -- the highest level response the City has to snow. ODOT's in similar territory on the major state and interstate routes but most of the snow falling steady and fine with roadways snow-covered off the big streets, and you'll find bridges and ramps slippery.
The worst of the storm down south where winter weather advisories stretch to Columbus where up to a half foot is expected today.
LINK TO National Weather Service Akron forecast, maps and radar
Harpster says the radar models showing the greater Akron area snowfall ending by noon, giving crews ample time to clear streets by tonight.
As of noon Sunday a few cities across northeast Ohio had issued snow parking bans to ease with snow removal. Cuyahoga Falls imposed the ban starting at 12:00 noon through 8:00 Sunday morning, but other cities were expected to follow suit. Most have highway signs posted advising motorists to keep their vehicles off city streets when snowfall exceeds two inches; those in violation of a snow parking ban are subject to fines and could even have their cars towed.
Now that the "first major storm of winter" is behind us -- and yes, it did qualify as "first major storm of winter" because it had more snow than the "first storm of winter" on the winter solstice last Friday -- time to examine the annual surprise many of us feel when it snows in December.
I was struck by the wave of negative comments regarding NewsChannel 5's Mark Johnson and Jeff Tanchak of 19 Action News. I'm thinking there aren't that many of you considering Andre Bernier or Betsy Kling as the type going over-the-top or hyping the forecast when bringing us the latest weather information. Right or wrong, Johnson and Tanchak certainly have the most energetic presentation, but is it fair to argue they're guilty of really try to scare their viewers?
One must wonder if that's because northeast Ohio really IS the "Best Location in the Nation" as Reddy Kilowatt advertised back in the day on television.
You may not be in the over-50 crowd old enough to remember Reddy, or a northeast Ohio native when the advertising image for electric utilities (in our case, The Illuminating Company on WEWS-TV) was just as well known as Don Webster. Heck, you may not even remember Don doing the weather, much less hosting Upbeat, but that's another story.
It was reassuring to see Reddy motor those lightning-bolt legs across the screen, making sure no matter the weather we knew living in northeast Ohio was special. Even when we didn't see the sun for four months. Even when the rain changed over to ice changed over to snow. Even when the snowfall in the eastern snowbelt totaled feet, not inches.
We were tough enough to take the snow. We not only survived blizzards, we ate 'em for lunch and still went about our business. We had snowplows that went both ways uphill, just like we all walked to school in three feet of snow. Barefoot.
So in the course of a generation, just how did we get to be such wimps?
How did we emerge into an environment where meteorologists on TV, radio and social media stake out territory on just how scary they can make the forecast? And is it really that scary, or does it just seem that way?
Put me on the side of those who don't appreciate the scare tactics, but understand many stations adopt that position precisely because there are more folks than me who want the hype.
Some of my early, albeit fuzzy, memories of local television had folks like Webster, Wally Kinnan the Weather Man, and even the Godfather of Storms, Green's own Dick Goddard, calmly tell us what was on the way. By today's standards, it was downright archaic; symbols stuck on carpet maps with Velcro with sunny smiley faces or puffy white clouds or angry grey clouds served as modern graphics, maybe even with a snowflake. There was just radar, usually not the Triple-Double-Dare-Doppler-XXXL and it moves! radar we see today. It for sure wasn't instant, up to date, even up to the minute.
Now we have Betsy and Jeff and Mark and Andre, backed by their teams, with the latest technology that allows radar images to zoom into neighborhoods so we can almost taste the snow swirling. Weather spotters across the region can be counted on for backyard snow totals. If they're doing weather on TV, odds are they've got the American Meteorological Society Seal (and a number to go with it) so we understand these aren't just folks ripping and reading the forecast off the newswire. They've got the tools to help them create their own forecasts unique to northern Ohio's unstable weather patterns. Back in the day, Dick Goddard could tell us it was an Alberta Clipper; today's tools let weather forecasters tell us what Canadian postal code the winds are coming from.
Total trivia: when writing folks in Edmonton, the provincial capital of Alberta, use T5A 0A1 as your first choice. Calgary, go with T2P 4K1.
We even have apps from television, radio and web weather news providers so we don't have to wait for the news to give us the lowdown, which brings us to the changing presentation of the weather and what some perceive as the strategy of using scare tactics.
Truth is, this still isn't an exact science, even with all the gleaming toys. It is a lot more exact than it used to be, but going five or more days out is still dicey. So when most of the meteorologists tracking a storm think it may have a big enough punch 48 hours from now to dump a foot of snow, and when our own taxpayer-paid National Weather Service is among them, is it really scare tactic to tell us what might be coming? Would you rather they say it's only packing four inches and then watch a half-day of inch-an-hour snowfall? They're offering us their best estimate (not a guess; there's still science at play here) and it's worth remembering just how fluid weather conditions can be when offering up a forecast. Patterns change with the winds, just as snow and rain totals can change.
Besides, we've proven as a consuming audience that sometimes talking to us as adults just doesn't work. Most of us wonder why news anchors and traffic reporters always remind us to back off snowplows, and provide tips on driving in the snow and ice. Know why they do that? It's because so many drivers can't seem to hold a cognitive thought when it comes to driving in winter past spring. And they have to do it all over again six months later. Any surprise there's research to indicate it takes going overboard to get through to some folks that Station X is your choice for reliable forecasts?
Then there's the business reason why broadcasters, and television in particular, pay So Much Attention to their weather product. It's because weather coverage is in high demand when the weather is at it's worst. You won't be surprised to learn radio news stations a few years ago from Washington, DC to Philadelphia had huge spikes in listening with crippling snowstorms. Or the radio stations in the New York metro area had some of their highest listening ever when Hurricane Sandy wreaked such havoc in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Or how broadcast coverage was a lifeline to those in harm's way from Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf. It's partly because radio listening may have been the only way to get information when cable TV systems went dark, or cell service was spotty, or the only thing with a speaker that still worked when the power was out for weeks remained the car radio.
Television viewing goes way up, too, just as use of mobile devices for texting and social media hit highs. We wanted information, but we also wanted to talk about it and share our experiences. We also wanted to comment to help or disparage. It comes with the territory. We may complain when we watch and listen, but to an advertising-based media platform the keywords there are "we watch and listen."
One of my former bosses used to note what we did wasn't brain surgery. He's right, it's not. Brain surgeons get much better training and much more focused vetting than those of us on television, radio or the web. They still make mistakes, too, but when their diagnosis of the case is off the stakes are much higher. When a weather forecaster is off the mark, we complain when it isn't bad enough but wouldn't you rather swing that way than being unprepared? Do we really give more weight to the inconvenience of some businesses closing than their decision opting to hold the safety of their employees against what might happen? Really? We opted to take the fizzled blizzard seriously, especially when getting a hard look at road conditions after noon and hearing about the mountain of wrecks from police radio traffic. Some businesses didn't, and that's their call. I'm glad I work at a place where picking up the job the next day in safety ranks higher than a project that doesn't absolutely have to be finished that day. Unless, of course, you work in our news department. Or on the air.
In that case, we take the responsibility to help our listeners better understand what's happening in a style that could hardly be described as trying to scare people. But I don't think any of the local stations consciously want to scare you into action; some may have more energy than reassurance, but I'd chalk that up to being excited they have the opportunity to give you the information you need. Even when it goes over the top on occasion.
When it comes to hyperactive weather warnings, take a page from winter: chill out. The ultimate message you don't like the approach someone is taking in getting you the forecast is found when you turn the channel. Trust me, that's the forecast the folks who run the broadcast stations and web sites follow very closely.
The National Weather Service updated it's winter storm warning for the greater Akron area and now says it's in effect until 9:00 p.m. tonight, with 6-12 inches of snow likely. Highways remain dangerous tonight as snow continues it's steady fall across the region. Many businesses closed early today as the impact of the storm was felt after 10:30 a.m. across northeast Ohio.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
340 PM EST WED DEC 26 2012
GEAUGA-ASHTABULA INLAND-MEDINA-SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-RICHLAND- ASHLAND-WAYNE-STARK-MAHONING-MORROW- HOLMES-KNOX-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CHARDON...JEFFERSON...MEDINA...AKRON...RAVENNA...WARREN... MANSFIELD...ASHLAND...WOOSTER...CANTON...YOUNGSTOWN...MOUNT GILEAD...MILLERSBURG...MOUNT VERNON
340 PM EST WED DEC 26 2012 ...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EST THIS EVENING...
ACCUMULATIONS...6 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW. TIMING...HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL TAPER OFF THIS EVENING.
WINDS...NORTHEAST 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH.
IMPACTS...HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL MAKE FOR DIFFICULT TRAVEL.
VISIBILITIES...DOWN TO A FEW HUNDRED FEET AT TIMES FROM THE COMBINATION OF FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... IF YOU WILL BE TRAVELING IN THE WARNING AREA YOU SHOULD USE EXTREME CAUTION AND EXPECT SNOW COVERED ROADS AND REDUCED VISIBILITIES. YOU MAY WANT TO DELAY THE START OF YOUR TRIP. STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR FURTHER DETAILS OR UPDATES.
Ever wonder what those "snow emergency levels" mean? Wayne is already up to a Level 2, while Portage, Medina and Summit observe Level 1. If it gets up to Level 3, odds are you won't notice anyway -- unless you are just asking to get a trip to the county jail.
Level 1 may be what you're seeing now, as snow and ice build up and you need to be cautious. Level 2 means call work ahead to see if you absolutely need to be there, adds the word "extremely" to the caution level. WhenLevel 3 is invoked, that's when it gets most serious. Police can arrest you for just being on the road during a major winter weather event, with up to 30 days in the pokey and a $250 fine to go with it but those penalties increase if being on the highway creates a "risk of physical harm to persons or property."
LINK HERE to see the updated AkronNewsNow listing of closings
LINK HERE for weather radar and the latest forecast from the National Weather Service
With today's near-blizzard weather conditions, making the case it's risky to yourself and others to be on the road may not be as difficult to prove in a court of law as one might think. State law gives the right to all 88 of Ohio's sheriff's the authority to declare snow emergencies on all highways, including those in other jurisdictions they may not necessarily cover such as townships, villages or cities.
(State of Ohio)
Snow Emergency Classifications
A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare a snow emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his/her jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion 97-015, issued April 1, 1997, concluded that this authority includes state roads, county and township roads and municipal streets.
Any person who knowingly hampers or fails to obey a lawful order of the sheriff declaring a snow emergency and temporarily closing highways, roads and/or streets within his/her jurisdiction may be subject to criminal prosecution under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.13, "Misconduct at an emergency" or other applicable law or ordinance. A violation under that section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $250. If the misconduct creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.
Snow Emergency Classifications
LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.
LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.
LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.
ORC 2917.13. Misconduct at emergency.
(A) No person shall knowingly do any of the following:
1. Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other authorized person, engaged in the person’s duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot or emergency of any kind;
2. Hamper the lawful activities of any emergency facility person who is engaged in the person’s duties in an emergency facility;
3. Fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer’s duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster or emergency of any kind.
(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit access or deny information to any news media representative in the lawful exercise of the news media representative's duties.
(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of misconduct at an emergency. Except as otherwise provided in this division, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If a violation of this section creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(D) As used in this section:
1. "Emergency medical services person" is the singular of "emergency medical services personnel" as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.
2. "Emergency facility person" is the singular of "emergency facility personnel" as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
3. "Emergency facility" has the same meaning as in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 03-22-2004
To view the state’s weather-related road closures and restrictions, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation’s traffic Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org.
Attorney General's Opinion No. 97-015
Authority of County Sheriff to Close Roads during Snow Emergencies
"The county sheriff may, pursuant to Revised Code 311.07, declare a snow emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. (1986 Op. Attorney General No. 86-023 approved and followed.)"
To briefly summarize this opinion, the county sheriff’s authority to close county and township roads during a snow emergency was expanded to include closure of state roads and municipal streets. The authority falls generally within a county sheriff’s duty to preserve the public peace. The Attorney General’s opinion is that there should be no distinction among the different types of roads within each county so long as the circumstances warrant closure during snow emergencies.
The head of Akron's Global Business Accelerator is turning over the keys. Michael LeHere's last day is the last day of the year. He was the first head of the business development agency in 1983, expanding from the former O'Neils building to Canal Place.
Over LeHere's term the Accelerator has grown to house 50 companies with $46 million dollars in revenues and 140 jobs.
Dr. Anthony Margida will take over as CEO January 1st.
(City of Akron news release) Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced today that after 29 years of managing the Akron Global Business Accelerator, Michael LeHere will step down as CEO on Dec. 31, 2012. Under Lehere’s Leadership the Accelerator has grown to house 50 technology companies in 2012 that generated $46M in revenues, attracted over $35M in outside investment and created 140 new jobs.
LeHere started with the City in May of 1983, and it was at this time that he established the predecessor of the Accelerator, the Akron Industrial Incubator, located in the former O’Conner Steel Warehouse building on Lincoln Street. LeHere has since taken the program through moves to the former O’Neils building and to its current location in Canal Place. The program has been through 3 major expansions since moving to Canal Place in 1996.
In 1986, the Accelerator became one of the first four Edison Technology Incubators in the State of Ohio. Today there are 10 Edison Incubators across the state. The Accelerator was awarded the National Innovation Award by National Business Incubation Association in 2008 signifying the most innovative program of its kind in the country. This year the Accelerator was recognized in an article appearing in the Cincinnati Business Courier as the premier Edison Technology Incubator in the State of Ohio.
"Mike has always been passionate about the Akron Global Accelerator and the tenants he has attracted,” said Mayor Don Plusquellic. “He has also assembled a top notch team that assists the start-up and early stage companies. Mike is a true professional and we will miss his everyday presence. Thankfully, he will be around to mentor his successor, Dr. Anthony Margida."
Taking over responsibilities as CEO of the Accelerator will be Dr. Anthony Margida. Margida has over 28 years of experience in developing and commercializing new technologies, along with creating and facilitating the implementation of new companies in the specialty chemical, advanced material, cleantech, MEMS, IT and medical device industries. He has been active as Director of Entrepreneurial Services for the Akron Global Business Accelerator and associated roles since 2007.
Margida is the current Leadership Chair for the LaunchTown™ Entrepreneurship Awards promoting entrepreneurship with Northeast Ohio’s college and university students. He also has served for six years on the Akron ARCHAngels Deal Flow Committee and Leadership Board. In the past, Margida developed and implemented Battelle’s Emergent™ Services NASA Company Formation process and served as Company Formation Advisor for Glennan Microsystems Inc. (also with Battelle). His 18 years of corporate experience include roles as Director of Technology for H.B.Fuller Adhesives, and as Commercial Development Leader for Lord Corporation. Dr. Margida was instrumental in launching both the Magnetorheological (MR) Fluid business at Lord Corporation and the global footwear adhesive business at H.B.Fuller.
"Anthony shares the same passion towards the Accelerator and its tenants as Mike LeHere,” said Bob Bowman, Akron’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “He has worked closely with Mike and Terry Martell through the years to insure that the Accelerator continues to be the best in Ohio and in the Country."
Margida received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Akron and a BA from the College of Wooster. He received his business education at the University of North Carolina. Margida lives with his wife of 28 years, Andrea, and their children Michaela and Gregory.
Akron Children's Hospital receiving a $1.6 million dollar grant to help children and families deal with trauma -- the type of emotional battering that comes with incidents such as the Newtown shooting, or ranging from physical and sexual abuse to natural disasters, terrorism, crime or illness.
The hospital says it will create a "network of care" that helps link health-care providers with the resources to help both kids and adults.
(Akron Children's Hospital - news release) Akron Children’s Hospital been awarded a $1.6 million federal grant to provide services and support to children and families who have experienced psychological trauma.
Akron Children’s joins a national network of over 130 child trauma centers that address a wide range of traumatic experiences, including physical and sexual abuse; domestic, school, and community violence; natural disasters and terrorism; and life-threatening injury and illness.
With the four-year grant, Akron Children’s becomes a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), whose mission is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and availability of services for children and families who experience traumatic events. Community surveys suggest that by their 16th birthday, 67 percent of American children are exposed to at least one significant traumatic event.
With this new funding, Akron Children’s will develop the Center for the Treatment and Study of Adverse Childhood Events, with the goal of providing leadership, training and consultative services in the area of childhood traumatic stress for northeast Ohio. The center will create a trauma-focused network of care, which will improve access to treatment, help identify children who have been exposed to adverse events, and create a trauma-informed system of care throughout the continuum of care offered by Akron Children’s Hospital.
“Tragic shootings in Copley, Chardon and now Connecticut reinforce the importance of trauma training for teachers, doctors, nurses, and others who work with children,” said Norm Christopher, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Akron Children’s and the author of numerous studies on childhood trauma. “And it’s not just these headline-generating tragedies that can have lasting effect on families and communities. This grant will also enable us to deliver age-appropriate and research-based responses to the death of a high school student, the chronic illness of a sibling, or domestic violence as they can be equally devastating for loved ones.”
Melissa Peace, a social worker who spent ten years leading the Summit County Children Who Witness Violence Program, will serve as project director.
According to Peace, her team will begin by creating a community trauma advisory council and rolling out trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy (TF-CBT) for Akron Children’s clinical staff and community mental health providers and then to area school personnel. TF-CBT is an evidence-based approach to helping children create and share “trauma narratives” to cope with their emotions stemming from a traumatic event.
The grant also has a research component, led by pediatric psychologist Sarah Ostrowski, PhD, who is the research program director in Akron Children's NeuroDevelopmental Science Center.
“As a member of the network, we will have a direct connection to the experts and most current research in childhood traumatic stress,” said Ostrowski, who will serve as principal investigator. “And through our own research, we will be contributing to that body of knowledge as well.”
The grants are awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The U.S. Congress authorized the NCTSN in 2000, in response to the growing needs of children exposed to trauma in the United States.
The NCTSN is a collaboration of academic, clinical, and diverse community service centers, and is coordinated by the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS), co-located at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Duke University Medical Center. The NCTSN combines expertise in child traumatic stress, knowledge of child development, and attention to cultural and family perspectives as it supports the development and dissemination of evidence-based and trauma-informed treatments and services.
“Working in collaboration with SAMHSA and thousands of national and community partners, the NCTSN has been able to raise the standard of care and improve services for children and families throughout the country,” said Robert Pynoos, MD, NCCTS co-director at UCLA. “We know that children who experience trauma need effective treatment and that untreated trauma can have life-long consequences for a child’s development and health.”
“The NCTSN has helped to bring best practices to local communities,” noted John Fairbank, PhD, NCCTS co-director at Duke University Medical Center. “We are pleased to be helping to bring trauma-informed resources to all child-serving systems.”
Akron-based FirstEnergy is giving it's aging service fleet a makeover.
The utility says it will invest nearly $15 million dollars for new high-tech vehicles used by line crews and other "front-line" workers usually first to respond to emergencies.
FirstEnergy -- which operates Ohio Edison in the greater Akron area -- says it will replace 106 vehicles with most including bucket trucks. The utility says it operates approximately 15-hundred vehicles in the Ohio Edison footprint.
(FirstEnergy news release) FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) today announced that it is investing more than $14.7 million in new vehicles for line crews and other front-line service employees across its Ohio Edison service territory.
Ohio Edison will be obtaining 106 new vehicles for their fleet, replacing many vehicles more than a decade old. More than two-thirds of the new vehicles will be bucket and digger derrick trucks that will help crews perform their field work efficiently while also protecting workers’ safety. In total, Ohio Edison maintains a fleet of approximately 1,500 vehicles.
“The new trucks contain advanced technology that includes enhanced hydraulics to better handle heavy materials and more robust lighting to help create a safer work area during night-time operations,” says David Karafa, regional president, Ohio Edison. “These new vehicles also are better for the environment since they are more fuel-efficient, some with near zero emissions.”
The new vehicles are part of a $110 million investment in vehicles being made by parent company FirstEnergy Corp. FirstEnergy expects to acquire nearly 850 vehicles before the end of the year.
Ohio Edison serves more than 1 million customers across 36 Ohio counties.
Talk about a Christmas gift just in time for the season; nearly eight million dollars earmarked by the Knight Foundation for the University Park area.
The Knight Foundation is sending the bulk of the money -- a grant of six million dollars - to programs they say will "engage neighborhood residents, local businesses and city institutions" be be directly involved in revitalizing the area around the University of Akron. It's a 50-block area and includes redeveloping University Square. This is just the latest infusion of cash from the Foundation, with $18 million supporting the University Park Alliance over the past six years.
(Knight Foundation - news release) The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced a nearly $8 million commitment to help residents strengthen and reshape University Park in Akron.
The University Park Alliance will use the funds to revitalize a 50-block area at Akron’s urban core. The bulk of the Knight funding, a $6 million grant, will go to engage neighborhood residents, local businesses and city institutions to ensure they are directly involved in the direction and evolution of the University Park revitalization. The rest, a $1.8 million low-interest loan, will support the redevelopment of University Square, a linchpin of the alliance’s master plan that will provide housing and shopping for both students and residents.
“The work at hand will help build a vibrant, engaged community in Akron where people aspire to live, work, learn and play,” Eric Anthony Johnson, the alliance’s executive director, said. “The alliance is building on the tremendous groundwork of visionary local leaders such as Mayor Don Plusquellic and University of Akron President Luis Proenza. The pieces are in place for the transformative work ahead.”
The investment recognizes the alliance’s success over the past two years in engaging the community in crafting the master plan for Downtown Akron, said Jennifer Thomas, Akron program director for Knight Foundation.
"This new support builds on the momentum of the last two years in creating partnerships and re-engaging the community," Thomas said. "The alliance's efforts are galvanizing residents around a larger vision for the city, and engaging the next generation of neighborhood leaders who want to drive the city's future."
Knight's long-term commitment to the University Park Alliance - $18 million over the past six years - reflects the foundation's belief that transformative community change takes not just vision but the tenacity and time to see it through.
The alliance, meanwhile, in its redevelopment plans, connects each real estate project to a major Akron institution. The first real estate project, Market Square, broke ground in August and is in partnership with Akron Children's Hospital and Child Guidance Family Services. The mixed-use University Square project includes residential units plus retail near the University of Akron, and is expected to generate revenue for the alliance. Knight's loan will cover pre-development costs and cover credit guarantees.
Knight’s grant funding will help strengthen programming like neighborhood block clubs, community gardens, organized business associations and other projects that have led to a new level of civic participation in the neighborhood.
Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic praised the funding as critical ongoing support for the downtown area. “This is very much appreciated,” Mayor Plusquellic said. “The city has already invested $10 million to support this central area of our city, and Knight Foundation’s generous grants to the alliance will significantly boost our collaborative efforts to revitalize Akron’s urban core.”
Dr. Proenza and Bill Considine, a Knight Foundation trustee and president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital, both extolled the collaboration that is benefiting the city.
"The University of Akron takes tremendous pride in the productivity of our collaborative ventures, and we are pleased that Knight Foundation continues to recognize the central role of University Park Alliance in the ongoing renewal and expansion of economic vitality in downtown Akron and the region," Proenza said. "Akron is a city that values and promotes collaboration,” Considine said. “UPA is a wonderful example of the power of collaboration, and Knight Foundation's generous support provides affirmation to UPA's work and the partners' participation."
David James, Akron Public Schools superintendent and chairman of the alliance’s board of trustees, said the funding will benefit Akron for generations. “This support secures a continuation of the long-term work of University Park Alliance while fueling execution of plans in the short term,” James said.
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