FAIRLAWN — Fairlawn Mayor William Roth Jr. announced his retirement, with his last day in office being Nov. 30. Fairlawn City Council President Russell Sharnsky, 67, will become mayor upon Roth’s retirement and fill out the term. He will have to file to run in the 2023 November General Election to keep the seat for a full four-year term. Council Vice President Barbara Potts (Ward 2) will take over as president of Council. Roth, 64, whose current term expires Dec. 31, 2023, first took office in 1996. He stated that his wife, Jolene, retired two years ago, and he wanted to retire while he is healthy enough to enjoy retirement. He added he plans to stay in Fairlawn and maintain his law practice part-time. “I have, after much careful consideration, decided that now is a good time to step down as mayor,” he said. “It has been a great privilege and honor to serve the residents and businesses of Fairlawn for these last 27 years.” He added he “has been fortunate to serve as mayor for as long as I have.” “The transition will be seamless,” he said of Sharnsky taking over. “I have every confidence in his abilities, and if I did not think he could handle the job, I would not be voluntarily stepping down at this time.” During his 27 years as mayor Roth oversaw: the construction of a new Service Center and Police Department building and the renovation of City Hall; the formation of the FairlawnGig municipal broadband utility; the creation of the Fairlawn Soccer Park and Community Garden; participating in the creation of a Council of Governments to build and operate a joint emergency dispatch center with Summit County, and the cities of Stow, Tallmadge and Cuyahoga Falls; and the formation of a Council of Governments with Summit County for constructing a Tier 4 Data Center and a fiber ring connecting all 31 communities in Summit County. Roth indicated that Fairlawn’s advancement and success have been due to teamwork and cooperation. “I have had the privilege of directing great department heads and employees throughout the years, and I was blessed to work with City Council members that worked with me to advance and improve the city,” he said.
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, along with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, is re-launching the Arrive Alive program to help keep drunk drivers off the roads during the Thanksgiving holiday. According to prosecutor’s officials, the ride-share service LYFT will provide free and reduced fare rides from Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. to Nov. 25 at noon to any residence in Summit County for anyone who has had too much to drink while celebrating the holiday. Up to 400 rides using code SUMMITTHANKS22 for up to a $20 LYFT ride credit will be available. “I do not want a tragedy to impact any family’s holiday season,” said Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh. “If you are planning to drink alcohol, do not get behind the wheel. Use Arrive Alive to get home safely.” More than 2,000 people have used the Arrive Alive service since the Prosecutor’s Office launched the program during the 2018 July 4th holiday, officials added.
CUYAHOGA FALLS — Applications for the 2023 American Municipal Power (AMP) Scholarship Program are now being accepted. According to city officials, this scholarship program encourages high school students in AMP member communities to further their education in the municipal electric utility field. The Cuyahoga Falls Electric System may nominate one candidate for the Lyle B. Wright Scholarship and Richard H. Gorsuch Scholarship, each offering $3,000. High school seniors who will graduate in the spring, have met all the basic requirements for college or technical school and have an unweighted grade point average of 3.0 or better, are encouraged to apply for nomination. Students must complete the local nominee application form and submit it along with a letter of recommendation and an official high school transcript by Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. to the Cuyahoga Falls Electric System office at 2550 Bailey Road. Nomination application packets may be picked up at the Cuyahoga Falls Electric System office and at www.cityofcf.com/services/amp-scholarship. For more information, contact the Cuyahoga Falls Electric System at 330-971-8060.
AKRON — Cleveland Clinic Akron General’s (CCAG) Neighbor to Neighbor campaign now includes the ICARE (Integrating Clinical and Resource Evaluations) program focused on health disparities in Summit County. Hospital officials said the ICARE program, funded entirely through philanthropy, provides a clinical nurse specialist to meet with patients who have been re-admitted in the past year from the six zip codes surrounding the hospital. The nurse also meets with some patients on their first admission to Akron General. Dr. Brian Harte, president of Akron General and an internal medicine physician who provides care for hospitalized patients one week each month, developed the program after observing that patients from neighborhoods near the hospital were re-admitted to the hospital at a disproportionately higher rate than other patients. Officials said Julie Imani, MSN, APRN-CNS, leads ICARE and meets with patients while they are hospitalized and connects them with a primary care physician and social service providers to address challenges sich as housing, food insecurity and transportation. Once a patient is home, Imani contacts them and makes sure they can access these resources and get to their follow up appointments. “You can’t worry about getting to your doctor’s appointments if you are worried about food, shelter and other necessities,” said Imani. “We can be that bridge to provide a holistic approach.” Hospital officials stated Imani met 33 patients in the first few months of the program and found that 42% have food insecurity, 39% lack transportation, 33% have received shut-off notices for utilities, 27% report housing insecurity, 39% need help reading hospital materials and 33% report loneliness. In four months, ICARE decreased readmissions by nearly 9% for patients who are discharged to homes in the zip codes surrounding the hospital. Officials added that Census data shows that people living near the hospital have a life expectancy of 65 years — much lower than residents who lived just west down Market Street, where life expectancy was 81 years.
SUMMIT COUNTY — RedRover has awarded a $60,000 Safe Housing/Purple Leash Project grant to Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties (BWS) to help the agency build a new safe haven for survivors’ pets. According to shelter officials, Safe Housing grants enable domestic violence shelters to create on- and off-site space to house survivors’ pets. Purple Leash Project grants are an extension of RedRover’s Safe Housing grants, funded by Purina. RedRover has awarded more than $3 million in Safe Housing since its inception in 2012. BWS officials stated the Hope & Healing Pet Shelter will be an enclosed, heated structure attached to the emergency shelter that will house six dog kennels and four cat rooms. In addition, the funds will support the purchase of supplies and needed veterinary care for the animals. When the pet shelter is at capacity, BWS will work with partner organizations, including the Humane Society of Summit County, and volunteers to safely foster animals that need a safe place outside of the emergency shelter. “Providing a safe and secure location for pets of the families we serve who are fleeing unsafe homes is a game changer,” said Teresa Stafford, BWS CEO. “Thanks to this grant, we are eliminating one more barrier that keeps people from entering shelter when they are ready to begin their healing journey with BWS.”