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Local News

Akron-Ohio

The Reporter Newspaper Online 

AkronHipHop.com

presents

For those that are not in the know, we here at Mecca Media Entertainment have decided to take on the responsibility to bring to the community a weekly broadcast for The Reporter Newspaper. The program will be featured weekly here on this page and the home page of this site.

The Reporter Newspaper is an all black operated and black-owned weekly newspaper/publication that's been telling our stories for 50 years. In 2016 The Reporter Newspaper announced that they were available online @thereporternewspaperonline.com which is the online equivalent (website) of the tangible form. 
Now in-conjunction with Mecca Media Inc. you can hear/ see the news being read directly from the website via a weekly broadcast.

 

  February 2024

City Of Akron To Demolish Former Word Church Building

Akron, Ohio, Feb. 26, 2024  — Today, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik is bringing legislation to Akron City Council to fund the emergency demolition of the former Word Church Building located at 2324 Manchester Road.

“There is a serious public safety concern regarding the multiple buildings that make up the former Word Church site,” said Mayor Malik. “We’ve seen frequent and increasing break-ins at the site and the condition of the buildings continues to deteriorate. Our Akron Fire officials have concern that if a fire were to break out in one of the buildings, it may not be safe for them to even enter. We cannot put off this demolition. For the safety of our residents, we need to get these buildings taken down.”

The city is bringing legislation to Akron City Council for their approval to enter into a contract for demolition with a goal of having the demolition start by the end of March.

“For years, residents and nearby businesses owners have shared their concerns regarding this site. It has become increasingly dangerous: not just for those who enter it but also for the community surrounding it,” said Ward 9 Councilmember Tina Boyes. “The site has been unsecured for some time, and we frequently see that the boards have been taken down and the buildings are completely open.  The safety of the people in and around the area is my number one concern, and for that reason I am supporting this emergency demolition.”

Councilwoman Boyes will have her monthly ward meeting on Tuesday, March 5 from 6:30-7:30pm at the Kenmore Community Center (880 Kenmore Blvd.). Mayor Malik and other city officials will be in attendance to discuss the demolition plans.

The city will partner with the Summit County Continuum of Care to help with engagement with our unhoused population in the area.  There will be in-person engagement with those residents to inform them of the upcoming demolition and make them aware of their options for shelter. Akron Police and Akron Fire will also do a full search of the property and secure the building and grounds in the week before the demolition begins.

“We know there are many blighted structures across our community, as evidenced by the recent fire off N. Howard Street,” continued Mayor Malik. “These conditions are unacceptable in any of our neighborhoods. The Word Church site moved to the top of the list due to its rapid deterioration and public safety concerns, but we are triaging our approach to all these buildings and will have more to share with the community in the months and years to come.”

The city intends to aggressively pursue repayment for the emergency demolition from the current owners of the building as well as seeking state demolition funding through the Ohio Department of Development.

Community News 4

Kenmore Community Center is looking for Mind Challenge teams to compete in their annual trivia competition! Members of the teams must 50 and over. For more information call the community center at (330) 375-2812

Calling all 6th to 8th graders! Unleash your inner Picasso with us as we paint our own masterpieces! Explore various art mediums, focusing on acrylics and watercolors. Dive into the world of art history, fundamentals, styles, and techniques—all while having a blast! Class meets on Mondays and Thursdays from March 4th through March 28th and costs $40.

To register, visit: https://akron.recdesk.com/Community/Program/Detail...

Don't miss free Tiny Tot Basketball clinics at Summit Lake and Mason Park followed by our Spring Tiny Tot Basketball League!

Following the free clinics, participants will be able to register for our Tiny Tot Basketball League. League fee is $80.00 per participant.

For more information and to register, visit: https://akron.recdesk.com/Community/Program?category=17

City Of Akron Celebrates Black History Month

Akron, Ohio, Feb. 1, 2024  — Today, as the nation kicks off Black History Month, Mayor Malik has announced the City of Akron’s support and celebration of the month-long dedication.  

“Black History Month is an opportunity for us to recognize and uplift the important contributions of our Black community throughout the history of our city,” said Mayor Malik.  “All month long on our social media channels we will be sharing highlights of Black Akronites both past and present, showcasing important landmarks in our city, talking about important events from Akron’s past, sharing upcoming events taking place to celebrate, and much more. This month is also an excellent time to recommit to the important work of equity here in Akron. We must strive not only this month, but every month, to achieve equal opportunities for all Akronites.”

Black History Month Events

  • Akron Art Museum
    All month long, the Akron Art Museum is presenting RETOLD: African American Art & Folklore. This exhibit features art from the Wesley and Missy Cochran Collection and focuses on four themes: Remembering, Religion, Racialization, and Resistance. The Art Museum gallery is free every Thursday. For hours and ticket info visit org.

     

  • Akron-Summit County Public Library
    On Feb. 7 from 6-7pm, the Odom Boulevard and Maple Valley Branch Libraries are hosting the first part of a Black History Month Four-Part Music Series via Zoom. They will explore Blues, Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Disco, Hip-Hop, Rap, and the artists that changed the world through their music. Learn more and register here.

  • Akron Soul Train
    Akron Soul Train (191 S Main St.) artist-in-residence Gina Washington examines Black American identity in her exhibit “Universal Child.” Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit is freeand open to the public and runs through Feb. 10. 

     

  • University of Akron
    The University's Office of Inclusion and Equity and Office of Multicultural Development are hosting a conversation with Akron's own Kofi Boakye. Kofi is a 24-year-old Emmy Nominated pianist, producer, and actor. The event is free and open to the public and takes place Thurs. Feb. 8 at 5pm at the Jean Hower Taber Student Union Gardner Theatre. Learn more here.

     

  • Akron Symphony Orchestra: Gospel Meets Symphony
    Gospel Meets Symphony is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The annual concert features local musicians and vocalists, including the GMS 2.0 Choir, the junior gospel choir. Ticketsstart at $15. The event is Sat. Feb. 10 at 7:30pm at the E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall.  

Black-owned Businesses

The city is also celebrating our Black-owned businesses this month with the Akronite app. Over 65 Black-owned businesses are now on the app and for the month of February, users can earn an additional 15% back in Blimps when shopping at these businesses. The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices. Learn more about the app at AkronOhio.gov/Akronite.

Engagement

Mayor Malik is encouraging residents to follow the city’s social media pages on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and comment and tag their favorite local Black-owned business, Black artists and musicians to help amplify the voices of our community.

Mayor Malik Announces Updates To City Policies

Akron, Ohio, Jan. 25, 2024  — At a press conference held this morning, Mayor Shammas Malik announced updates to two City of Akron policies.

Mayor Malik has adjusted the city’s parental leave policy to move the eligibility date from one year of service to 30 days of service. Permanent full-time employees are eligible for 240 hours of paid parental leave. Read the full policy here.

He has also combined two previous executive orders issued in 2016: one declaring the city as an equal opportunity employer and the other dealing with discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The combined order adds more definition around protected classes and includes: age, race, color, creed, religion, pregnancy, parental status, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, miliary status or any other legally protected group status. The order also provides examples of what constitutes as harassing conduct. This brings city policy in alignment with the city’s ordinances. View the full order here.

“Modernizing the City of Akron’s workplace policies is a critical step in retention, recruitment, and moving City Hall forward,” said Mayor Malik. “Extending our parental leave benefits to employees after 30 days of service better supports our workforce and makes the City of Akron a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Similarly, more clearly defining protected classes for areas of discrimination and harassment improves our workplace by sending a clear signal to all those in marginalized communities that the City of Akron is a welcoming employer and will support you not only as an employee but as a person.” 

City Of Akron Now Accepting Applications For Next Police Chief

Akron, Ohio, Jan. 25, 2024  — Today, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik announced the City of Akron is accepting applications for the next Police Chief of the Akron Police Department (APD). Additionally, by March 1, all on duty Akron police officers will wear their department issued name badges. The department had temporarily allowed officers to remove name badges due to concerns for officers’ safety in July of 2022 following the officer involved shooting of Jayland Walker.

“The decision to reinstate the use of name badges for our officers was made by former Chief Mylett and is supported by my administration and the current Akron Police Department leadership,” said Mayor Malik. “This is an important move to grow trust and transparency between our residents and the police department who serves them. The safety of our officers and our community is of the utmost importance, and we will continue to support our employees while also taking steps to improve engagement between APD and Akron citizens. I thank former Chief Mylett, current Acting Chief Harding, and all of our Akron Police Department officers for their service to this city.”

Last month, Chief Steve Mylett retired after 35 years of dedicated public service, with his final 2 years of service in the City of Akron. The city chose Ralph Andersen & Associates, a nationwide executive job search and consulting company, to lead the efforts on a search for Chief Mylett’s replacement. Before opening applications, the city issued surveys to the community and to Akron Police Department employees to gather feedback on what they would like to see from the next Chief. You can access the community survey in English, Nepali (नेपाली मा), Spanish (Español), and Arabic (بالعربية). You can also fill out a hard copy at any of the community centers.

The city also hosted the first of a series of town halls for the police chief search on Thurs. Jan. 11 at Garfield CLC. The event was attended by over 80 individuals and was livestreamed to an even wider audience. The city plans to host two additional town halls to gather feedback once the top candidates have been identified.

The city has published a recruitment brochure that includes an official job description, highlights about the greater Akron community, and an application submittal process in order to attract and inform those interested in being the next Akron Police Chief. Candidates may apply here.

The city’s ideal candidate will:

  • Have demonstrated the ability to hold others accountable to values characterized by a commitment to integrity, honesty, transparency, humility, proactivity, innovation, equity, compassion, service excellence, and responsive leadership;

  • Have extensive knowledge of complex urban environments and a demonstrated commitment to equitably serving, recruiting minority candidates, and working with all spectrums of multi-racial, multi-cultural, multireligious, and socioeconomically diverse communities;

  • Exhibit outstanding communication skills; be hands-on, open, and receptive to working with people to create and sustain an environment of trust and respect;

  • Possess the ability to be politically and technologically savvy, and have the ability to receive constructive criticism;

  • Demonstrate the ability to make decisions based on facts and merit;

  • Display a demonstrated commitment to community-oriented policing and problem solving, staff development, and morale-building to set a positive tone within the Department;

  • Possess a passion for public service and public safety as well as positive futures for all Akron residents; and

  • Exhibit exceptional leadership and people skills; the ability to work with and establish relationships with a wide range of stakeholder groups, strategic partners, elected officials, colleagues, and the media.

"The ideal candidate for the next Chief of Police will be capable of inspiring trust and confidence in all of Akron's diverse communities, as well as earning the respect and confidence of both sworn and civilian employees," said Mayor Malik. "We are looking for someone who is well-versed in community-oriented policing and has a proven reputation for being accessible and transparent while building partnerships between the department and the community to address crime and quality of life challenges. I look forward to reviewing the survey feedback we receive from both our residents and our Akron Police employees to better inform our search process."

The city is looking for a candidate with a minimum of ten years of command or management experience in law enforcement. Candidates should have experience working with police unions, developing and utilizing key performance indicators, and building diverse workforces. Graduation from a police leadership development program is desired, with a Bachelor’s degree being preferred and a Master’s degree a plus. The selected candidate will be required to successfully complete all Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy certification requirements within the first year of employment. Although not required, it is highly desired that upon hire, the new Chief of Police reside within the corporate limits of the City of Akron. Applications are open to both internal and external candidates.

Interested candidates may apply by sending their resume, cover letter, salary history, and six professional references to Ralph Andersen & Associates via apply@ralphandersen.com.

Candidates are requested to submit materials prior to Monday, March 4, 2024. Candidates may be asked to complete a series of written responses for further evaluation and possible presentation and submit a summary of career accomplishments as part of the selection process.

Community News

Week 2

In case you missed it: The City's Akronite App is celebrating local black-owned businesses! Check out all of our businesses on the Akronite App!

𝗪𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗻? 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲’𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝘄:

Users download and register here: http://tinyurl.com/4m5xptkj

Businesses that want to know more about the app? http://tinyurl.com/46k6ye26

Follow us on Instagram - http://tinyurl.com/3jsad6zs

You're invited! The Citizens’ Police Oversight Board is having a community town hall at Ellet CLC (309 Woolf Ave.) auditorium on Wednesday, February 14 from 6-7:30pm. The town hall will give the community an opportunity to meet Anthony Finnell, finalist for the Police Auditor position, followed by a live Q&A, and a survey will be available to provide feedback. Learn more: http://tinyurl.com/498cem5h

Week 1

Don’t forget to download the Akronite app and support our many local Black-owned businesses! If you have a Black-owned business, please reach out, so that you can be added to the App.

Today, we're featuring Southern Comfort Kitchen! Delicious food, cocktails, and friendly atmosphere housed in the Matinee Bar in Highland Square!

Download the Akronite app and support our many local Black-owned businesses!

Download and register: www.colu.com/akronite

𝗙𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 - 𝗔𝗸𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗔𝗽𝗽 www.instagram.com/akroniteapp

Sidewalks are important for so many reasons and that's why I've allocated $1 million to the city’s sidewalk program to help get us caught up on the backlog of requests. This allocation is the highest for this program in over 10 years. Please share your feedback at our engage page here: http://tinyurl.com/2yukv9mn and to learn more visit http://tinyurl.com/z2a2cvwy -Mayor Malik!

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