From young to old, Elaine Evans leaves her mark
Elaine Evans was known as the woman who "wanted to plant pretty things in pretty spaces and make people feel good," Sarah Vradenburg, Master Gardener, recalls.
As plain and simple as it sounds; much labor was put into the projects that Evans hoped will continue to live on through Let's Grow Akron (LGA).
Before her death, Evans "passed the torch" to Lisa Nunn, new Executive Director of LGA, who plans to continue this endeavor, spreading the beauty of gardening to the young and old throughout Akron.
Elaine Evans leaves a legacy through Let's Grow Akron
She's been referred to as the "fairy godmother" of community gardens in Akron, Ohio, known for her art of turning "trashed" areas into treasured gardens of beauty.
The late Elaine Evans sure left a legacy and impact on this city that will be remembered forever.
"(There was) a magic that she created by creating these gardens and then watching what happened in the neighborhood. She's been adding her little gardening fairy dust to neighborhoods that most people would rather just drive through," Sarah Vradenburg, a master gardener, recalled.
Human trafficking continues to be a national, local problem
Did you know that there are more human slaves in the world right now than ever before in history?
Approximately 27 million people are trapped in this spider web of perverse modern day slavery throughout the world – and even scarier – 13 million children.
Human trafficking is an illegal, underground business that takes on many forms, mostly involving sex and work for little to no pay.
This past weekend, the Chapel, an Akron-based Christian church, hosted "Stop the Trafficking," a conference that highlighted the horrifying facts and statistics on the reality of this mind-boggling 21st century form of slavery. It also offered the hope of how you and I can take steps to end this.
Right Here in America
'Man-Up' strengthens male role models
Jonathan Greer is a man on a mission. A father of two sons, Jonathan has a passion for encouraging men to be present and active in the lives of their children. Rarely will you see him without his 3-year-old son, Jonathan Jr., by his side.
Whether at an event, meeting, prayer time or work…his son spends most of his time with him – watching what his dad does and how he lives his life. "My oldest is with me all the time, he helps me set up (for events) and hangs with me," Greer said.
The Man-Up Movement is a challenge to men, to rise up higher and be the men that God has called them to be, which will in turn have a ripple effect on generations to come. "It's a ministry of the family. Our design is to help build men up to 'man-up' to what they were designed to be and what they were destined to do," said Greer.
City takes neighborhood focus with recent appointment
Do you have a noise complaint, zoning question, block club matter or other neighborhood question? The city of Akron has a plan for that, as it has put into motion the creation of its first new department in nearly 50 years. The Neighborhood Assistance Department was created by Mayor Don Plusquellic with hopes that it will significantly enhance the city’s neighborhood oriented services and keep neighborhoods safe, secure and clean.
Akron Deputy Service Director John Valle took on the new title as Director of Neighborhood Assistance, overseeing the project. Valle, a member of the mayor's cabinet, said he plans to tackle issues and concerns in the community to improve neighborhoods and the city as a whole.
Residents who need assistance with any neighborhood questions, issues, complaints or concerns are encouraged to speak with Valle, whether it be during his visits to community centers, over the phone, over email or at his office.
'Black Widow' comes to Akron for National Hamburger Eating Contest
Looking at the petite, 100-pound, Asian “Black Widow,” one would never assume she could do so much damage when it comes to eating. But don’t judge this book by her cover.
At just 5-foot, 5 inches, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas has taken the world by storm with her unassuming ability to devour food, landing her as the fourth ranked eater and No. 1 female eater in the world.
She and other top-ranked, major league eaters will be in Akron at Lock 3, Aug. 18 and 19 for the National Hamburger-Eating Championship at the Seventh Annual National Hamburger Festival in Akron.
Community rebounds from damage to children's garden
Authorities still looking for suspects
It was just an ordinary Saturday when a volunteer went to check on the community garden at Mason Park, but to her dismay, she found its plants had been ripped out by the roots and the beds all tore up.
“We have a mom come to water, she’s there every day faithfully helping us out, and she gave me a call in tears. Vandals pulled out almost all of the plants,” Tom Crain, of the NEOhaus Institute, said.
They went after the children’s garden and four family gardens, of all things. The community garden, in its early stages of just two years of growth, was really beginning to bloom until being uprooted and destroyed. The damage was reportedly made two weeks ago.
AMHA: working to break the cycle of generational poverty
The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) does much more than just house people. It isn't a free ride, and people are closely screened to make sure that they are truly in need and eligible.
"The truth is, when somebody applies for public housing they go through more scrutiny than most people do in getting a job," Anthony O'Leary, Executive Director of AMHA, said. Family members, income, birth certificates, immigration status, military status and criminal records are all checked.
"And we repeat it once a year," O'Leary said. "We actually have to re-certify people and their income's checked."
Camp Digi-Lit sparks youth creativity, mystery-solving
During the past couple of weeks, a group of area second- through eighth-graders jumped into the world of mystery-solving and writing their very own e-books. The Center for Literacy at The University of Akron’s College of Education put on this two-week educational summer camp in order to nurture, encourage and inspire future generations of readers, writers, learners and thinkers.
Through programs like “Forensic Files” for grades 5 through 8, and “Uncover the eTreasure," for grades 2 through 5, students spent part of their summer break diving into a world of wonder.
“They’ve been enjoying creating their own books with digital technology and using the story creation method to create mysteries,” Courtney Cable, Camp Leader with The University of Akron’s College of Education, said. By the end of the week, each group created their own mystery themed e-books.
Crown Point's community offerings are abundant
It’s a picture-perfect moment at Crown Point Ecology Center. With farmland stretching for miles, it welcomes the public to come enjoy all it has to offer.
The property, purchased by the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 1967, offers a vast display of nature’s wonders. More than 10,000 people are touched by this program each year, including many served by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
“Every season is wonderful. One of the neatest things to me is seeing the farm in each of its seasons,” Ellen Otto, advancement coordinator, smiled.
This certified organic farm contributes to the community primarily through their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. They also are experts at sparking children’s interest in eating healthy and educating them in gardening.