The Reporter Newspaper Online
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.
Akron Launches Community Survey To Gather Feedback On The Innerbelt
Akron, Ohio, January 9, 2023 — Today, the City has launched a new survey to gather additional feedback from the Akron community regarding future uses for the decommissioned portion of the Akron Innerbelt. In June of 2022, the City announced a public engagement process to start to imagine what could be next for this section of land in downtown Akron. This process has been named "Reconnecting Our Community" and has encompassed a variety of events over the summer and fall to engage Akronites around the Innerbelt. The survey will be available until January 31, 2023.
“As we look ahead to what this area could become, we are taking every effort to engage Akron’s residents and especially those who may have been displaced by the Innerbelt’s construction,” said Mayor Horrigan. “From in-person events, to pop-up educational stands at community gatherings, to this survey, we are looking to our community to weigh in on what they’d like to see in this space. I want to thank the Innerbelt Advisory group for their hard work and dedication to really lead this community engagement effort for our residents.”
The survey consists of 9 questions and is a mix of multiple choice and fill in the blank questions. It is available at https://www.akroninnerbelt.com/community-survey. The survey will be open until Jan. 31, 2023. In mid-February a drawing will be held and 10 people who filled out the survey will win a $25 gift card.
To learn more about the history of the Innerbelt and the City’s engagement process please visit www.akroninnerbelt.com.
Akron Earns Perfect Score In 2022 LGBTQ Municipal Equality Index
For the second year in a row, the City of Akron is proud to have earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC’s) Municipal Equality Index (MEI). You can see Akron’s scorecard here.
The HRC's Municipal Equality Index is the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ+ inclusion in municipal law and policy and shows how cities across the country continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ+ people and workers. Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.
“Back in 2015, Akron’s ranking on the Municipal Equality Index wasn’t in great shape,” said Mayor Horrigan. “Akron earned a lowly 73 that year, and when I took office, I made it a priority to do better. By 2016 we had improved to 82 and then for 5 of the past 6 years we have earned a perfect 100, only missing one point in 2020. I’m incredibly proud of Akron for being a welcoming, diverse, inclusive city that embraces everyone. Our diversity is one of our biggest strengths and we’ll continue to strive for that perfect score again in 2023 and beyond.”
The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online here.
Mayor Horrigan And Akron City Council To Reopen Applications For Citizens’ Police Oversight Board On January 3, 2023
Beginning on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Akron City Council will reopen the application period for the newly created Citizens’ Police Oversight Board. The almost 60 individuals who previously applied will still be considered for the Board. Read the charter language here for all duties and responsibilities of the Board.
The passage of Issue 10 during the November 2022 election changed the composition and scope of the Board which had been previously approved by Akron City Council. The Citizens’ Police Oversight Board will now be made up of 9 Akron residents. Three will be appointed by the Mayor with approval from City Council. The other 6 will be appointed by a 2/3 majority of City Council. No more than two members will be from the same ward.
In addition to seating a Board who represents the diversity of the Akron community, the Mayor and Council will endeavor to include individuals who meet the following criteria:
Attorney with criminal justice and/or civil rights experience
Between the age of 18 and 35
From the faith-based community
Professional background in mental health services
Affiliated with an organization representing economically disadvantaged and underserved communities in Akron
Professional background in law enforcement
The Board will provide external and independent overview of Akron policing practices. Upon the seating of the Board, they will adopt rules for their own procedures and operations as well as those of the Office of the Independent Police Auditor (OIPA). The OIPA will consist of 3 full-time employees including an Independent Police Auditor, a Deputy Independent Police Auditor, and an administrative staff member.
“The creation of this Board has been a long time coming to Akron and I'm looking forward to seeing the impacts of this type of community involvement,” said Mayor Horrigan. “Seating the Board is just the first step. There will be a lot of work ahead for these Board members and I encourage anyone interested in making a real impact on our community to apply and lend your voice to this important dialogue.”
“We are excited that the Citizens’ Police Oversight Board is coming to fruition,” said City Council President Margo Sommerville. “The seating of this Board is the realization of Akron residents’ longstanding desire for increased engagement in the community policing efforts in our city. This Board will help foster better communication between the community and the police, reduce public concern about high profile incidents and prevent future issues by identifying areas of concern and offering options to improve policing.”
Applications will open at 10am on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. They will be available on the City of Akron website and completed applications can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a copy of a current resume if available. Residents will also be able to pick up a copy of the application at City Hall (166 S. High St., Akron, OH 44308) beginning on Tuesday. All applications must be submitted either in person to City Hall or emailed by noon ET on Tuesday January 24, 2023. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
City Council and Mayor Horrigan intend to introduce legislation for each Board member’s appointment on Monday, February 6, 2023 with approval and passage by the end of February.
The City of Akron is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are able to fully participate in public programs, services and activities. Anyone who is in need of an accommodation is invited to contact the HR Department at 330-375-2780. If you require TDD phone service, call Ohio Relay at 800-750-0750 and they will assist in coordinating with the City of Akron.
City Of Akron Accepting Applications For New Akron Firefighters
Akron, Ohio, December 12, 2022 — The City of Akron is currently accepting applications for new Akron firefighter/medics. Applications are due by January 20, 2023 and the exam will take place in mid-February. The list of candidates gathered during this application period will be valid for hire for the next two years.
“We are looking to recruit and hire the most talented people to join our team and to serve the Akron community,” said Akron Fire Chief Natko. “I whole-heartedly believe we have one of the best fire departments in the state and we are aiming to recruit a diverse group of candidates who reflect the community we serve to join us and make our team even better. The position of an Akron Firefighter requires integrity, intelligence, and most importantly the heart to help others and to be a part of an organization that we all take pride in.”
Minimal requirement for hire:
Between the ages of 18-35 on day of written exam (mid-February)
High school diploma or GED
Valid Driver’s License with no more than 6 points on their license
The starting pay for an Akron firefighter/medic is $29.30/hour for an annual starting salary of $61,214.40. The position offers a competitive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, and life. Once hired, each candidate will go through the Akron Fire Academy which is 12-14 weeks and will be paid during that time. Those not certified as an EMT or Paramedic will also be required to obtain those certifications at some point after the Fire Academy. A typical schedule for an Akron firefighter/medic is a 24 hour on-duty shift followed by 48 hours off-duty which averages out to be 9 working days a month or 108 days per year.
The current class of recruits have been highlighted on the City’s YouTube page showing what candidates experience during the Akron Fire Academy. You can also learn more about joining and apply at joinakronfire.com.