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Lake youngsters get introduction to archery in new school program

HARTVILLE: Two whistles sent 20 mini-Robin Hoods and mini-Katniss Everdeens scurrying for their bows.

The young archers then assembled Hunger Games style on a white line on the gym floor with quivers of arrows at their feet and targets about 33 feet away.

Teacher Annie Yost blew the whistle once and the fourth- and fifth-graders began launching arrows at the targets in the first-year archery program at Hartville Elementary School.

Nearly all arrows hit the targets with soft thuds. A few misfired arrows end up on the gym floor or in the safety netting.

Most of Yost’s archers end up with clusters of arrows near the center of the targets.

Archery’s appeal is very simple — it’s fun, said 11-year-old Aaron Hess, a fifth-grader.

“It’s cool to do,” added 10-year-old Emma Gross, also a fifth-grader. “I just love everything about it.”

Archery is a fast-growing sport and the Lake Local School District is one of the most recent local school districts to join in. Other Akron-area district with archery programs include Waynedale and Hudson schools. Norton schools will soon be adding one and Springfield schools is planning a visit to Hartville for a closer look at its program.

In 2004, 12 Ohio schools signed up for the National Archery in the Schools Program through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Today there are 740 schools in Ohio enrolled in Ohio’s 10-year-old program, said Matt Neumeier, shooting sports coordinator with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. This includes more than 100 schools in the 19 counties in Northeast Ohio. Those programs average about 125 students.

Ohio is No. 2 behind the United States for involvement, behind only Texas.

Last year, 3.1 million youngsters were involved in archery, a total that surpasses Little League baseball, he said.

Ohio even crowns a state champion in archery. Maysville High School in Muskingum County earned top team honors in the 2015 state competition. A total of 1,152 archers from 53 coed teams competed in the state tournament including Waynedale High School in Wayne County.

There is other evidence of archery’s growing popularity.

Summit Metro Parks has added two outdoor archery ranges in Norton and North Akron. Both are getting heavy use and park-offered classes for adults and youngsters are booked solid.

The Hartville program got started last fall after the school got three grants totaling about $7,500 to purchase equipment, said Yost, who directs the program along with teachers Jenna Rosso and Millie McVicker.

This included $3,000 from the Lake Academic Boosters. There were separate grants from the ODNR and from Whitetails Unlimited. The instructors then were certified with the ODNR last summer.

The initial investment can be costly, Yost said. Bows cost about $110. Sixty arrows cost $145. Targets are $200.

Yost and her husband, Jason, made the quivers and other equipment.

Archery was then introduced in physical education classes for the school’s 552 fourth- and fifth-graders. They got at least three chances to shoot in gym classes. The school also started a Wednesday after-school shooting club that runs for four weeks.

Safety is always stressed.

“This is a weapon. These are real,” Yost said of the bows and arrows.

There is a 12-step shooting process and whistle commands that the students must follow.

There have been no problems with the Hartville archers, she said.

“The kids really love,” Yost said. “It’s something different. Kids who may not score a touchdown or a basket can be successful. It’s incredible to see the look on their faces when their first arrow hits the target. If they break a balloon with an arrow, they feel like a million bucks. … This is a sport where every kid can feel success and can improve.”

Archery is also an activity that can become a lifelong activity, she said.

The scores of the young archers are also improving, Yost said.

The scores for five arrows started out at about 10 and has climbed into the 20s, 30s and 40s, she said.

Fifty is the maximum score for five bull’s-eyes.

The archers also shoot at 49 feet from the targets.

“It’s not really hard,” said Sara Peters, 10, a fourth-grader. Her lowest scores are in the 30s and she said she has shot “a couple of 50s.”

Shooting can cause minor pain to the arms and hands, but it’s not a big deal, she said.

Hess said archery is easy to pick up and “pretty much anyone can do it,” he said. His scores are climbing as his accuracy increases, he said.

Angela Kerstetter, 9, a fourth-grader, said she likes the freedom of archery.

“I aim for 50s, but my arrows don’t always end up where I want them to go,” she said.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.

Akron officials look to revive citizen accountability in construction spending

As they set out to spend the remainder of the $800 million earmarked for new school buildings, Akron officials say it’s time to bring back a committee of watchdog citizens who once scrutinized items that were over budget.

The Joint Board of Review, a collection of city and school officials, suggested on Monday that the 10-member Citizens Monitoring Committee be reconstituted after a five-year absence.

The agreement that formed the joint board in 2003 — when voters approved a quarter percent income tax to repay $364 million in city-issued bonds to fund the massive, 15-year project — also called for the citizen watchdog group that would meet monthly through 2010 to review all expenditures and pick apart any that exceeded estimated costs by at least 10 percent.

“I’ve been around long enough,” Council President Garry Moneypenny said during the joint board meeting. “If it says we should have it, we should have it.”

The committee works without pay. The city and school each appoint five members who have been local Akron business managers, attorneys and financial workers. The last eight members — three appointed by the city — stopped meeting in 2010, having reviewed only five building projects with final receipts available.

Today, 31 projects have been completed; about $300 million in bonds have been sold and the 30-year income tax has been collected for 12 years.

An advocate of the citizen committee, Paul Flesher, the facilities director for Akron Public Schools, said there’s “no good reason” the group disbanded other than a lack of participation.

The joint board agreed to revisit prior members to fill some of the vacancies. To ease the burden, they considered cutting the pro bono terms to two years.

The $800 million construction project initially targeted 58 district-owned buildings, with the state paying 59 percent toward rebuilding or renovating them.

With an original completion date in 2018, school officials have yet to announce the remaining six to 10 projects as they await local funding. City financiers, who hold roughly $60 million in bonds, must factor incomes in the city and current interest rates to determine the ability to repay the debt.

Construction costs continue to soar even as the project shrinks.

District enrollment, once above 30,000, is expected to dip below 20,000 in the next four years. Officials now expect between 41 and 45 projects, instead of 58, to be completed.

Workers have begun construction on Firestone-Litchfield and excavation on Harris-Jackson. Planning and bidding have commenced on Case Elementary and Ellet High School.

Lacking local labor

The original plan also included hiring goals: 50 percent local, 25 percent low income, 20 percent minority and 5 percent female.

G Stephens Inc., a construction management firm headquartered in Akron, monitors these goals, some of which have local leadership in a tussle with state lawmakers over plans to use local labor to fix the city’s sewer system.

G Stephens’ most recent audit shows contractors have hit only the female hiring goal.

At 20 percent, contractors beat state expectations on hiring low-income labor but fell shy of the city’s goal.

Employers were furthest from local and minority hiring goals.

Only 6.95 percent, down from the previous report, were minority. And less than a quarter of workers lived in the Akron area.

This is an improvement from the previous report, but with the city sewer project looming, analysts expect local labor to be squeezed by demand.

“We’re really going to have to push to get these numbers,” said Jeffery Thompson, a project manager at G Stephens. “I think you’ll have a lot of Akron folks working. They’ll just be spread out across more projects.”

Board member resigns

In other business, Akron school board accepted board member David Lombardi’ resignation, effective Wednesday when he steps into his governor-appointed role as an Akron Municipal Court judge. In jest, Lombardi voted against his resignation after colleagues offered kind words.

Lombardi’s term on the school board expires in December 2017.

Board members haven’t decided yet to flatly appoint a new member or interview candidates, as they did in 2013 when Veronica Sims was appointed.

Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com.

Retired iron worker selected to fill vacant Canton Board of Education seat

CANTON: A retired iron worker is the newest member of the Canton City Board of Education.

A three-person board majority on Monday chose Willard Grimsley, 59, of Grandview Avenue Northwest to fill the remainder of the term of Ryan Brahler, who resigned March 7 after a personal incident at a girls basketball game.

Voting for Grimsley were board President John Rinaldi and members Lisa Gissendaner and Richard Milligan. Vice President Ida Ross-Freeman recused herself.

He was selected over three other applicants: former board member Ron Duff, the Rev. Philip Moore and Richie Harper.

“It’s hard to pick, and the voters are going to pick in November for the coming years,” Milligan said.

Milligan noted that the board had 30 days from the vacancy’s occurrence to choose someone to fulfill the remainder of the term, which runs through Dec. 31. Absent timely board action, Stark County Probate Judge Dixie Park would have selected the replacement.

Grimsley already has taken out nominating petitions to run for the four-year term that will start Jan. 1. The seat represents a subdistrict that lies south of a line that roughly follows 12th Street Northwest and Northeast.

The new board member said the greatest challenge facing the district in the near future is the merger of Timken and McKinley high schools, scheduled to occur in the next school year.

Grimsley himself is a 1973 McKinley graduate who has three relatives working in the system: son Josh Grimsley and bother Dan Grimsley work in safety and security; daughter Tiffany Grimsley teaches English at McKinley.

Local news briefs — March 30

AKRON

Man’s face slashed

AKRON: An Akron man suffered a severe laceration to his face during a fight Sunday afternoon.

Police were called 3 p.m. for a report of two men fighting in the 1000 block of Yale Street.

Investigators say one of the men pulled out a box cutter and cut the other man in the face.

The victim was taken to Akron City Hospital.

Shoffon C. Gentry, 52, of Yale Street, was charged with felonious assault.

Car hit with bullets

AKRON: An Akron man called police Sunday afternoon after he found his car had several bullet holes in it.

Police were called to the 700 block of Aberdeen Street around 4 p.m. Sunday.

The 2007 Chevy Impala was shot four times.

Robber runs off

AKRON: An Akron robber had the tables turned on him Sunday when his victim pulled out his own gun.

Police say two men agreed to meet the seller of a PlayStation in the 2200 block of East Market Street around 5 p.m. Sunday.

When the woman who was selling the game system asked the men to walk behind a home in the 100 block of Edgehill Drive they refused.

A man with a gun then walked out from behind the home, police said, and demanded their possessions.

“One of the male victims, who is a CCW [concealed carry weapon] permit holder, was carrying a handgun on his hip, pulled out his gun and demanded the suspect drop his gun and get down on the ground,” Akron police report. “The male suspect dropped his gun and fled on foot through the backyards.”

Officers recovered the gun from the driveway.

A PlayStation box with a brick inside was also found nearby.

Natasha Brady, 22, of Eastholm Avenue, in Akron, was charged with robbery and booked into the Summit County Jail.

The male suspect has not yet been identified.

Block watch meeting

AKRON: The Highland Park Block Watch will hold its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Sam Salem school, 1222 W. Waterloo Road.

For more information, call Greg Burke at 330-730-2612.

Sewer group meeting

AKRON: A group seeking funding alternatives for Akron’s major sewer project will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Highland Square Branch Library, 807 W. Market St.

Residents can express concerns and help the group formulate a plan to pay for the huge project.

CANTON

Man found shot dead

CANTON: A man who was found dead in his car over the weekend was the victim of a gunshot wound to the head.

Police are investigating the death of Taiwan White, 31, who was found shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of Pulley Place Southeast, Beacon Journal news partner NewsNet5 reported.

Officers were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area.

White was behind the wheel of the vehicle when police found him. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Stark County Coroner’s Office.

COVENTRY TOWNSHIP

Fiscal assistant hired

COVENTRY: Trustees agreed Monday to hire former Springfield Township trustee Bruce Killian to assist fiscal officer Robert Saffian on an “as needed” basis.

Killian will be paid $25 an hour as a temporary consultant effective March 23.

Saffian was appointed earlier this month to fill the unexpired term vacated by the retirement of former fiscal officer Joni Murgatroyd, who retired at the end of February with 10 months left in her term in office.

GREEN

Theft from elderly

GREEN: A woman charged with theft was in Barberton Municipal Court on Friday after being indicted for stealing from her elderly aunt.

April M. Ramsey, 42, of Green, has been charged with two counts of theft for allegedly taking more than $30,000 from her 83-year-old aunt’s bank account from January 2012 to August 2014 without the woman’s authorization, according to court records.

The victim’s son reported the theft of $22,147 from her bank account and $9,252 in unauthorized charges on her credit card to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in August.

The victim has moved from Green to North Carolina.

Ramsey, who was arraigned Friday, was released on a $10,000 signature bond and ordered to have no contact with her aunt.

NORTHEAST OHIO

Caregiver event

AKRON: An event for caregivers will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Lakeland Community College’s Mooreland Mansion in Kirtland.

Lori Hogan, author of Strength for the Moment and co-founder of Home Instead Senior Care, will be there for a prayer time and to share her story and encourage others to tell theirs.

The event includes dinner and a copy of Hogan’s book at the reduced rate of $10.

For additional information, contact Home Instead Senior Care at 330-995-1522.

SUMMIT COUNTY

Burglar sentenced

AKRON: An Akron man was convicted of burglarizing four homes Friday.

Jurors found Alex Garcia, 35, guilty of breaking into homes in Copley and Coventry townships between February and March 2014.

None of the victims was at home when the burglaries occurred, according to the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.

Copley police discovered Garcia when he used a victim’s credit card at a gas station.

Summit County Judge Todd McKenney will sentence Garcia on April 21.

Garcia could get up to 33 years in prison for the second-degree felonies.

Educators to meet

AKRON: All retired educators of Summit County and surrounding areas are invited to attend the next meeting of the Summit County Retired Teachers Association at noon Monday at Guy’s Party Center, 500 E. Waterloo Road, Akron.

Reservations must be made by Thursday and the cost for lunch is $12.

For additional information, call 330-644-6886 or 330-645-9928.

Foster, adoption info

AKRON: Summit County Children Services is sponsoring a free foster care and adoption information meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. April 7 at the Odom Boulevard Branch Library, 600 Vernon Odom Blvd., Akron.

This event is free and open to the public.

Reservations are not needed.

For more information about the meeting, call 330-379-2055.

Center closing briefly

AKRON: The visitor center at the Seiberling Nature Realm will be closed April 21 for seasonal cleaning and sealing of the floor.

The center at 1828 Smith Road will reopen April 22.

For additional information about the center, call 330-865-8065 or www.summitmetro
parks.org.

Tires to be collected

STOW: ReWorks will collect scrap tires from Summit County residents April 25.

The collection will run from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Center, 1201 Graham Road.

The fee is $1 per tire and there is a limit of 10 passenger and light-truck tires.

No household hazardous waste will be accepted.

The center will open for the season June 4.

For additional information, call 330-374-0383 or go to www.summitreworks.com.

WADSWORTH TOWNSHIP

Road to close

WADSWORTH TWP.: State Route 57, between Interstate 76 and Blake Road, will close Monday for a culvert replacement.

The road is expected to remain closed until April 10, the Ohio Department of Transportation said.

The detour route involves I-76, state Route 3 and state Route 162.

Cuyahoga Valley park to build first off-road trail for mountain bikers in northern Summit County

Cuyahoga Valley National Park will start building its first off-road trail for mountain bikes this summer.

Constructing that single-track trail —a 2.3-mile loop in northern Summit County — will require park supervision and additional park staffing, plus expected help from local mountain bikers, trail volunteers and interns from the Virginia-based Student Conservation Association, park landscape architect Kim Norley said.

A special trail-building machine, plus staff and volunteers working with hand tools, will build the narrow trails, she said.

Work could begin this summer on what is being called the East Rim Trail system, after the 33,000-acre federal park completes modifying federal rules to allow off-road biking on 10 miles of unpaved trails in Cuyahoga Valley, Norley said, a step that requires congressional approval.

Building that first trail will be funded by a $249,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, said Patty Stevens of the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the friends-of-the-park group that is involved in raising money and trail planning with the National Park Service.

That money also will pay for the engineering of Phase 2, a 6.2-mile loop. Construction will begin on that loop in 2016. Additional grant funds are being sought for that project.

The Knight grant was unexpected and provided “a great boost” to plans to add the mountain bike trails, Stevens said.

The first trail will be built between Boston Mills Road and the Ohio Turnpike in the western part of Boston Heights.

The Phase 1 loop — for beginner and intermediate cyclists — would be accessible off the Bike & Hike Trail on the east rim of the Cuyahoga Valley. There is a small parking lot off Boston Mills Road. The new trail also could be accessed from Brandywine Falls Trailhead off Brandywine Road in Sagamore Hills Township via the Bike & Hike Trail.

A short section — about 0.3 miles — would be added to enlarge the first loop with a rocky section for experts only in Phase 3. It is unclear when that spur would be built.

Phase 2 of the project calls for building 6.2 miles of trails north of the Ohio Turnpike and south of Hines Hill Road, also in Boston Heights, for intermediate cyclists.

That phase also includes a skill area near the beginning of the trail where mountain bikers could practice their skills before embarking on the loop trail.

The turnpike would separate the first two off-road trails in the Cuyahoga Valley.

Building mountain bike trails is “more of a challenge than standard hiking trails,” said Clint Belcher, the park’s trails and grounds supervisor.

The new trails will be narrow — only 12 to 18 inches wide. They will be built to minimize environmental impacts.

The park service will closely assess how mountain biking might affect the Cuyahoga Valley, Norley said.

The new trails will be built with input from local mountain bikers and advice from Alex Stewart, an Indiana-based mountain bike racer and mountain bike trail designer. He has planned and built trails in state parks in Indiana and Kentucky. He came to the Cuyahoga Valley a year ago and helped map and flag the new trails. He is scheduled to return to Cuyahoga Valley in the next month to flag the exact routes.

The park’s plan for the initial trails drew far more positive comments from the public than negative comments, Norley said.

The Cuyahoga Valley park prefers the term “off-road trails” to describe the new trails because they are not solely mountain bike trails, she said, noting that the trails will be open to hikers, too.

The plan is that hikers will move counter-clockwise on the trails and mountain bikes will move clockwise to minimize conflicts, she said.

Those directions were selected because it provides the best access into the expert-only bike spur, she said. It could change later.

The federal park has applied to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a $150,000 grant to fund building Phase 2 of the mountain bike trails.

Summit Metro Parks also is seeking $150,000 — the maximum amount that can be sought — to continue building its first mountain bike trails near the old Hardy Road Landfill in Hampton Hills Metro Park on the line between Akron and Cuyahoga Falls.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or bdowning@thebeaconjournal.com.

Area deaths — compiled March 30

MEDINA

Ganyard, Calvin A., 91, of Medina Township. Died Sunday. Waite & Son, Medina.

Hodek, Donald K., 75, of Medina. Died Sunday. Waite & Son.

Mack, Evelyn I., 90, of Medina. Died Saturday. Carlson.

PORTAGE

Herchek, John G., 95, of Randolph. Died Saturday. Wood-Kortright-Borkoski, Ravenna.

Richards, Kenneth E., 98, of Atwater. Died Friday. Wood-Kortright-Borkoski, Ravenna.

Woodruff, James Lee, 63, of Ravenna. Died Thursday. Wood-Kortright-Borkoski.

STARK

Banta, Shirley A., 85, of Massillon. Died Friday. Paquelet.

Glenn, Stephen P., 65, of Canton. Died Friday. Paquelet & Arnold-Lynch, Massillon.

Sebald, Wanda I., 88, of Canton. Died Sunday. Spiker-Foster-Shriver.

OTHER

Ruston, Evelyn E., 96, of Stow. Died Friday. Bissler & Sons, Kent.

Summit County will see lower flat-rate sewer fees starting next month

Summit County flat-rate sewer customers will see lower bills next month.

County Council voted Monday to reduce the flat-rate fee by 10 percent.

Starting Wednesday, customers will be paying $56.03 a month instead of $62.22.

The cost will remain the same for metered customers at $6.67 per 100 cubic feet.

There are 46,000 county sewer customers and about 11,000 of them use the flat-rate fee service.

There have been complaints for years that the rates are simply too high and it’s a big burden on folks,” said Sandra Kurt, who heads the council’s Public Works Committee. “So, if we can reduce the amount and still cover our costs at least for a year or so then that’s what we wanted to do.”

The rates have been the same for the past four years with a promise from the county’s environmental services department to come up with a new rate and fee model for three years.

Mike Weant, director of environmental services, offered three scenarios for a revised rate model, with one increasing the rate for metered customers by 4 percent.

Council’s decision will result in a surplus of $1.8 million in 2015, but a shortfall of $1.6 million in 2016 and a shortfall of $725,000 in 2017.

Weant said he likes to keep $20 million in cash balance reserves for emergencies.

The county executive’s office was also in favor of the 10 percent reduction to flat-rate customers and keeping the metered rate the same at $6.67.

“When we evaluated the numerous options, the county executive determined that a 10 percent reduction was appropriate and that it would not carry an overly burdensome impact on the Department of Environmental Services reserves,” said Jason Dodson, chief counsel to Russ Pry. “While it certainly took some revenue out of our model, we felt it was proper to provide some relief to the nonmetered customers.”

Dodson said the lost revenue should be cushioned by the sale of the Norton sewer system to the city of Barberton.

The county would receive $1.75 million over the next 10 years, or $175,000 each year.

Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or mmiller@thebeaconjournal.com.

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I-X Center Indoor Amusement Park to host Jewish Community Days

To mark Passover, the I-X Center Indoor Amusement Park is offering two Jewish Community Days.

The park has set April 5 and 7 for Jewish visitors to celebrate Passover.

A private Jewish Community Room will be set up throughout both days and visitors are invited to bring in Kosher foods.

The park, which is now open daily, is offering 61 rides and funhouse attractions this year including the return of the popular Crazy Mouse spinning roller coaster.

The I-X Indoor Amusement Park is held at the I-X Center in Cleveland near the Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Tickets to the indoor amusement park are $21.99 and $18.99 for children under 48 inches tall.

Seniors are $9.99 on Saturdays and Sundays and free on weekdays.

Discount tickets are available at Marcs.

For more information call 1.800.897.3942 or visit online at www.ixamusementpark.com.

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