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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. The show is hosted by
-Hiram Akeem

Mayor Horrigan Announces Additional $2M Contribution To Summit Lake Vision Plan

 

Akron, Ohio, November 18, 2021 — Yesterday, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan held an event at Summit Lake to announce a new $2 million contribution from the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the implementation of the Summit Lake Vision Plan. This funding is in addition to the City’s previous contribution of $3 million and brings the City’s total commitment to $5 million.

Mayor Horrigan was joined by various community partners including Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville and other members of City Council, Summit Lake Resident Sandy Saulsberry, Summit County Council Representative Veronica Sims, President and CEO of Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition Dan Rice, Knight Foundation, Akron Program Director, Kyle Kutuchief, Akron Civic Commons Donor Committee Co-Chairs Bill and Becky Considine, and others.

The Summit Lake Vision Plan is a key component of the resident-led Akron Civic Commons 2.0 project to create an accessible, equitable and welcoming park for all residents and visitors. The resident-led Summit Lake Vision Plan includes a bicycling and walking trail around Summit Lake, a pavilion for family gatherings, shaded seating and swing, a canoe and kayak share, boat launch ramp and a concession stand.

"This investment represents the priorities of my administration toward building trust and authentic relationships with neighborhood residents and advancing equity in our community parks, trails, and open spaces,” said Mayor Horrigan. "All residents, regardless of their income, race, education, or experience deserve outstanding public places for recreation and relaxation. The federal American Rescue Plan presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for cities like Akron to address both longstanding inequities and pandemic-induced hardships.  Using these federal funds to realize this citizen-driven vision will provide our residents, especially our children, with spaces where they can experience the beauty of nature and connect with one another in a vibrant and healthy environment, right here in their own neighborhood."

The total commitment and cost of the Summit Lake Vision Plan is $10 million, with additional funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, County of Summit, Ohio & Erie Canalway, State of Ohio, and individual donors. Akron Civic Commons 2.0 is coordinated by Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, in partnership with the City of Akron, and they serve as the fiscal agent and project manager for the Summit Lake Vision Plan and Lock 3 Park.

President and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, Dan Rice noted, “We are extremely humbled and honored to partner with the City of Akron and Summit Lake neighborhood residents on this transformational park and public space project at Summit Lake.  Through this resident-led collaboration, we are co-designing, co-creating and co-stewarding accessible, equitable and welcoming parks, trails and open spaces for everyone.”

“Summit Lake Vision Plan is outstanding example of what happens when community organizations come together to seek understanding while listening and reverse the legacy of things being done ‘to and not with’ the community, and ‘promises made and not kept,’” Council President Margo Sommerville said.  “Summit Lake is all about delivering on citizen-driven priorities to advance the health and wellbeing of our neighborhoods, including those that have rarely seen this kind of investment.” 

With this additional $2 million commitment from the City of Akron, phases I and II of the Summit Lake Vision Plan will be constructed in 2022 and 2023. The fundraising campaign for Akron Civic Commons 2.0 continues with the goal of raising an additional $10 million for Summit Lake phase III, Locks 2, 3 & 4, Play Loop in downtown Akron and an endowment for operations and maintenance. 

For more information about donation opportunities and Akron Civic Commons 2.0, please contact Dan Rice, at drice@ohioeriecanal.org or (330) 374-5657.

 

Mayor Horrigan Joined By Health Experts And Community Leaders For 5th Annual Health Equity Summit

Akron, Ohio, November 16, 2021 — Last week, Mayor Horrigan held his 5th Annual Health Equity Summit. Each year, the Health Equity Summit brings together a diverse coalition of healthcare leaders, medical professionals, social service agencies, citizen advocates, and grassroots organizations to discuss the modern ramifications of systemically racist practices and policies and how to equitably tackle racial disparities in healthcare. This year’s two-day virtual Summit, facilitated by Tamiyka Rose, the City’s Health Equity Ambassador and co-chair of the Mayor’s Full Term First Birthday Initiative, had an urgent focus on finding evidence-based solutions to prevent youth and community violence.

On the first day, Dr. Arthur R. James, a former obstetrician, gynecologist, and associate clinical professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, was the featured keynote speaker. His presentation shed light on how systemic racism has greatly increased the number of early and preventable deaths in minority communities.

In a series of moderated panels, medical professionals discussed the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, gave insights into the safety of the vaccine for pregnant women and children, and discussed productive methods of communication for those who are skeptical of vaccination.

Summit County Public Health's Manager of Maternal Child Health and co-chair of Full Term First Birthday, Shaleeta Smith gave updates on how they are utilizing resources to prevent infant mortality and increase infant vitality by engaging the community with resources to ensure children are set up for success later in life.

Ohio House Minority Leader Representative Emilia Sykes joined a panel to discuss the need for policy makers to do more to help provide financial opportunities to families.

The second day of the Summit focused on how economic inequities are barriers to healthcare access. Bev-Freda Jackson, Ph.D. delivered a keynote address which focused on how and why minority communities are less likely to address mental health issues with professional treatment, and the consequences of this lack of support.

The Summit ended with a moderated discussion between Mayor Horrigan and Akron City Council President Margo Sommerville on how city government is working to tackle a rise in youth and community violence with a holistic, strategic framework and historic investments thanks to American Rescue Plan funds.

“While these conversations are never easy, it is critically important to discuss the reality that far too often health outcomes for Akron residents differ based on race,” Mayor Horrigan said. “Finding equitable solutions that will close this gap and increase health services, both physical and mental, across Akron will make this a healthier, safer city for everyone.”

He continued, “The American Rescue Plan has enabled us to make historic investments to reshape Akron for generations. One of the top priorities is investing in effective violence prevention strategies to enhance the safety and wellbeing of some of our most undeserved communities. Embracing a whole-of-Akron approach that gives local youth educational and economic opportunities is key to deterring community violence and breaking historic cycles of poverty.” 

To watch a playlist with a variety of video clips from both days of the Summit please click here. The entirety of the Health Equity Summit can also be found on the City of Akron’s YouTube channel.

This year’s Summit was presented by Medical Mutual with additional support provided by Cleveland Clinic, Summa Health, Akron Children’s and Summit County Public Health.

The City would like to thank all those who volunteered their time to join the panels and offered their expertise throughout the Summit as well as all those who tuned in to learn more about these pressing topics

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Awards Akron Police Department As The First STAR Police Training Academy

Akron, Ohio, November 4 , 2021 — Yesterday, Ohio Attorney General (AG) Dave Yost visited Akron to announce a new recognition program for Police Training Academies and to present the Akron Police Department with the first ever STAR Police Training Academy certification. The STAR recognition is reserved for those academies that provide additional training, assessments, and have proven success of their cadets at the State exam.

“I am incredibly proud of the Akron Police Department for being the very first police academy in the State of Ohio to earn this honor,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “It is a testament to our officer’s dedication and skill, and it exemplifies the work ethic of the Akron Police Department.  I hope our citizens take note of the proactive and advanced training being offered to APD officers and the award-winning drive to raise the bar.”

“The Akron Police Department and Chief Steve Mylett are models of outstanding police work, and that starts with proper training,” said AG Yost. “The Akron academy has earned this designation by going above and beyond the minimum requirements to ensure that officers receive the best training available.”

The Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission licenses basic training academies throughout the state, requiring 737 total hours of training. Academies recognized by the STAR Program must meet at least a dozen extra criteria, which were established by a seven-member peer board. Among the extra measures, an academy is asked to:

  • Ensure that at least 85% of cadets eligible to take the State Certification Exam pass it

  • Conduct periodic academic assessments – no fewer than four – to gauge the cadet’s retention of student performance objectives

  • Provide training above minimum hours in three or more high-risk topics, for at least 15 cumulative hours

  • Maintain or pursue the use of tech training/exposure for students, such as body cams, drones, etc.

Such extra measures help better prepare officers, making them even more effective in serving and protecting their communities.

 “The City of Akron and the Akron Police Department are proud to receive this prestigious designation. Our training staff has worked hard to meet the challenge set forth by Attorney General Yost and to take our training program to the next level,” said Akron Police Chief Steve Mylett.

As part of the application process, the Akron Police Department’s Training Academy completed a rigorous review of its policies and methods, conducted by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. All Ohio academies that provide basic training can request to be certified by AG Yost as a STAR Academy. Those interested should send inquiries to AskOPOTA@OhioAGO.gov