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Death of man at Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park ruled suicide by medical examiner
The death of a man found at Brandywine Falls Tuesday has been ruled a suicide by the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office. Watch video AKRON, Ohio -- An elderly man found dead at Brandywine Falls Tuesday took his own life, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office. The office identified the man as 71-year-old August C. Voight, of Brecksville. Voight died of multiple blunt force injuries, Gary Gunther, chief investigator with the medical examiner's office, said Thursday. Voight was found at the base of a cliff overlooking a 65-foot waterfall on the eastern edge of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Sagamore Hills. Previous coverage: Elderly man found dead at Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Voight's death is the third in the area since the falls became part of the national park. In 1995, a man fell over the boardwalk fence and died. There wasn't another death there until May 2011 when a 31-year-old Canal Fulton man died after falling from the top of the falls.    If you wish to discuss or comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section. Like Chanda Neely on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter: Follow @ChandaNeely // !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); // ]]>
45 points by The Plain Dealer | Ohio and Erie Canal Cuyahoga Valley National Park Summit County Ohio Akron Ohio Death Brecksville Ohio Cuyahoga County Ohio Life
Brecksville Dam demolition the focus of public hearing tonight in Peninsula (photos)
The public will receive its first look this evening at what the Cuyahoga River will look like after the Brecksville Dam is removed next year or the year after. PENINSULA, Ohio - The public will receive its first look this evening at what the Cuyahoga River will look like after the Brecksville Dam is removed next year or the year after. The open house will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Happy Days Lodge, 500 West Streetsboro Road (Ohio 303) just East of Peninsula. The presentation is sponsored by the Ohio EPA and the National Park Service. Conservationists and friends of the Cuyahoga River generally support the dam demolition plan and the environmental benefits the plan will bring to the water quality and wildlife habitat in the river. No organized opposition is expected. "We're excited," said Pam Barnes, a spokeswoman for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. "This is really a good thing for the river." "This project is exactly what we need for the Cuyahoga," said Peter Bode, watershed coordinator for Cuyahoga River Restoration. "It is ridding a major barrier for our migratory species to spawn upriver ... and nothing but a positive for the ecology of the region." Any grumbling about the dam's removal likely will be limited to steelhead trout anglers who enjoy casting their lines into the base of the dam's spillway, where the game fish congregate, unable to proceed upstream. "That is the shooting-fish-in-a-barrel place to be," said Jane Goodman, Cuyahoga River Restoration's executive director. "But it's a small dam. Most people don't even know it's there. I don't expect anyone except the steelhead anglers to have any objections." The EPA and parks officials will present the results of an environmental assessment conducted on the eight-foot tall, 183-foot long dam which spans the river just north of the Station Road bridge trailhead along the Towpath Trail. The assessment identifies an ecological restoration strategy to improve water quality while preserving the Ohio and Erie Canal's cultural integrity as a National Historic Landmark. The EPA and national park officials have proposed completely removing the dam, thus restoring the river to its natural flow conditions. They plan to install a pump to supply as much as 13 million gallons of water a day to the adjacent canal. By removing the dam, state environmentalists would move a step closer to returning the Cuyahoga to a free-flowing river, leaving the 57-foot high Gorge Dam between Akron and Cuyahoga Falls as the only impediment from its source in Geauga County to its mouth at Lake Erie. Removing the Gorge Dam, however, could cost as much as $70 million.
73 points by The Plain Dealer | Cuyahoga River Ohio and Erie Canal Ohio Cuyahoga Valley National Park Lake Erie Greater Cleveland Cuyahoga County Ohio National Park Service
Akron awarded $4 million to reimagine civic spaces, bring diverse communites together
The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition was awarded $4 million to revitalize and connect public spaces, and work to counter the negative impact of economic and social fragmentation along a three-mile stretch in downtown Akron of the Towpath Trail. AKRON, Ohio - Akron has won $4 million to revitalize and connect public spaces along three miles of the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail. The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition received the grant through national initiative Reimagine the Civic Commons, a partnership between the JPB Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Chicago, Detroit and Memphis also won a grant. So did Philadelphia, where the pilot for the initiative took place. Here's where the money will go: The Civic Gateway - Between Cascade Plaza and Lock 3, the gateway is home to the highest paid employees and some of the largest businesses in the city. Park East - Between Bartges and Thornton streets, the area has mixed housing and an underused park setting. Summit Lake - At the southern end of Akron, the area has the most impoverished neighborhoods and is the hardest-hit census track areas in the county. Applying cities were challenged to find ways to bring people of all walks of life together to experience spaces in the same way. "This is to lift them up together as places where the billionaire and the person making minimum wage can access the place in the exact same way and causes that civic mixing that makes city life different from everything else," said Kyle Kutuchief, Akron program director for the Knight Foundation. To win the award, the Canalway Coalition put together a team that went into the neighborhoods and interviewed residents before planning events. "As much as trying to change the physical landscape, it addresses programming and our approach to doing it," said Dan Rice, president and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. "It's actually changing the way we do business. When people ask, what have you got planned, we want to ask the community what their needs and priorities are." A few past programs: Summit Lake: Residents said they were afraid of the water because of the lake's ill-defined edges, so the Canalway planned a community day in April with pontoon boats rides and a fishing derby. Many of the 300 residents who came earned water safety certificates issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Downtown Akron: A cabin was placed in Cascade Plaza for two weeks, with a campfire, to bring people out of office buildings. Some came to make s'mores. "The concept there was, if people think of it as the gateway to the national park, why not bring a little bit the national park into downtown Akron and give people a reason to come out of those buildings," Rice said. The Civic Commons money will dovetail with the $5 million TIGER grant the city was awarded in July to complete the downtown promenade. The city will work on the Main Street side, the Canalway Coalition will focus on the trail. One project that's already under way is to improve Route 59 pedestrian bridge connecting to Lock 4. Groundswell Design Group is working on a design that will use landscaping, lighting and music to draw people across the bridge and into the city. Locally, the Canalway Coalition will work with the city of Akron, Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Downtown Akron Partnership, Summit County Government and Summit Metro Parks to reimagine the chosen sites. To gather information from residents, initial community engagement meetings will take place. 6-8 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Akron Civic Theater 6-8 p.m. Sept. 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Reach Opportunity Center "The main part of design thinking is prototyping and continuing the feedback process from community," said Katelyn Freil, communications coordinator for the Canalway Coalition. "We'll be taking the feedback, evaluating it and seeing how it can be applied to the community. We don't know exactly what's coming next."
122 points by The Plain Dealer | Rockefeller Foundation Ohio Ohio and Erie Canal John D. Rockefeller Jr. Atmospheric theatre Rockefeller family Honda Civic
Cuyahoga Falls man gets five years in prison for shaking infant
A Cuyahoga Falls man was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for shaking his girlfriend's baby, Summit County prosecutor's said. AKRON, Ohio -- A Cuyahoga Falls man was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for shaking his girlfriend's baby, Summit County prosecutor's said. William Jobe, 29, of Second Street, pleaded guilty to child endangering last month. He was arrested in August 2015 after he admitted to police that he shook the 8-month-old baby, prosecutors said. The infant suffered temporary paralysis, according to prosecutors. Jobe, who was home alone with the baby when the incident took place, called 911 and said the girl was having a hard time breathing. The baby was admitted to the Akron Children's Hospital's intensive care unit with serious injuries. Previous coverage: Man charged with shaking, injuring infant in Cuyahoga Falls If you wish to discuss or comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section. Like Chanda Neely on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter: Follow @ChandaNeely // !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); // ]]>
36 points by The Plain Dealer | Summit County Ohio Akron Ohio Ohio Cuyahoga Valley National Park Akron metropolitan area Cuyahoga Falls Ohio Ohio and Erie Canal Stow Ohio
Summit County students fight heroin with PSAs
Students from Summit County schools created and starred in PSAs designed to increase awareness and education about addiction, opiates and drug-abuse warning signs. The student-created PSAs will be unveiled at a red-carpet event Feb. 16. from 7-8 p.m. at Professional Center South, 55 Arch St., Akron. AKRON, Ohio - Students at Summit County schools created public service announcements to increase awareness and education about addiction, opiates and drug-abuse warning signs, a grant from Leadership Akron Class 32. Now, the student-created PSAs will be unveiled at a red-carpet event Feb. 16, 7-8 p.m. at Professional Center South, 55 Arch St., Akron. "This project showcases the heartbeat of Crew 32, incorporating things they came to care deeply about during their year together," Mark Scheffler, president of Leadership Akron, said in a release. "In focusing their investment through a lens of collaboration, they fostered a partnership to reduce the impact of the opiate epidemic, a human tragedy that stirred their leadership during their year together in Leadership Akron." The United Way of Summit County funded the project, which was a collaborative effort with the Community Health Center - Project PANDA; the County of Summit ADM Board; Ohio Guidestone; and Summit County Community Partnership for the Healthy Rx for Youth campaign. The project was based on evidenced-based research practices suggesting youth-led prevention activities are effective at helping to curb undesirable behavior, such as drug use, because youth tend to respect their peers more than adults. "We are grateful to Leadership Akron for recognizing the value of youth led prevention," Darryl Brake, executive director of Summit County Community Partnership, said in a release. "It is a sound investment through establishing meaningful youth involvement in a community prevention effort. These talented students stretched their imagination and creativity for this project and deserve our appreciation.  I encourage the public to join us at the red-carpet premiere to recognize their exceptional work." The red-carpet event, sponsored by Summa Health System, will feature 10 PSAs from 16 students. Attendees can vote for their favorite PSA for the Viewer's Choice award. Cocktail attire is preferred for the free event. Register here. The PSAs will also air in local Cinemark theaters this spring.   
18 points by The Plain Dealer | Akron Ohio Collaboration Community Public service announcement Ohio Ohio and Erie Canal Opiate Community Health Center
Flood warning issued for Cuyahoga River at Independence
The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a flood warning for the Cuyahoga River at Independence. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a flood warning for the Cuyahoga River at Independence. The warning is in effect through this evening. At 10 a.m. the river was already 12.9 feet deep, and flood stage is at 16 feet. Moderate flooding is in the forecast, and the river will rise above flood stage this afternoon and reach a crest near 17.2 feet shortly after. The river will then fall below flood stage later this evening. At 17 feet, according to the Weather Service, water reaches Murray and Fosdick roads in Valley View. Portions of Exchange Rd., Wall St., and Cloverleaf Rd. will be inundated. 11:10 a.m. radar image.Kelly Reardon, cleveland.com  Keep checking cleveland.com/weather for daily weather updates for Northeast Ohio, and don't forget to submit any weather questions you may have! Kelly Reardon is cleveland.com's meteorologist. Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter @kreardon0818.
-2 points by The Plain Dealer | Flood Cuyahoga County Ohio Weather River Monsoon Tropical cyclone Ohio and Erie Canal Akron Ohio
Akron Roller Derby kicks off 6-game home season in February
A pair of roller derby teams have merged to form Akron Roller Derby, which kicks off its home season this month. AKRON, Ohio - A pair of local roller-derby squads have joined forces to form Akron Roller Derby, which begins a six-bout home season this month. Previously, NEO Roller Derby and Rubber City Roller Girls skated. The merger actually has resulted in two teams - Akron Roller Derby All Stars is the A team, and the AK Rowdy Rollers is the B team. While roller derby in Akron is "full contact," the team promotes the sport to be "family-friendly," player Mae B. Hazardous says. "We're nothing like the elbows throwing of the past." The 501-c3 organization falls under the Women's Flat Track Derby Association and maintains a pay-to-play structure, with money raised for women's, children's and animal charities, she said. Schedule All games are on Saturdays. The home schedule: * Feb. 11, John S. Knight Center. * March 25, John S. Knight Center. * April 15, John S. Knight Center. * May 20, Summit County Fairgrounds. * June 17, Summit County Fairgrounds. * July 8, Summit County Fairgrounds. Where they play The Knight Center is at 77 E. Mill St., Akron. The fairgrounds are at 1100 North Ave., Tallmadge. What it costs Tickets are $10 (presale), $15 (at the door), free (kids 4 and under), $5 (ages 5-12). When it is Juniors skate 4-6 p.m. Main event is 6 p.m. and takes about 90 minutes depending on injuries or play stoppage. The B team plays after that. "It's a different crowd for different people they want to see," Mae says. More info Go to akronrollerderby.net for ticket and details.
138 points by The Plain Dealer | Akron Ohio Summit County Ohio The A-Team Ohio and Erie Canal Tallmadge Ohio Portage County Ohio Ohio Akron metropolitan area
Valentine's Day 2017: Where are the most romantic spots in Ohio?
In preparation for Valentine's Day, share your suggestions for the most romantic spots in Ohio. COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away (Feb. 14 for you calendar-challenged), and cleveland.com is looking for the most romantic spots in the Buckeye State.  We want to know where you would take your special someone for a romantic moment, date or weekend. It could be a cozy bed and breakfast, a dimly-lit bistro or even a stop off the beaten path with a great view.  Maybe you've fallen in love with Brandywine Falls in Summit County, a vista in the Hocking Hills, a charming brick street in Columbus' German Village or a boat on the Ohio River. We're looking for sweet spots across the state, from Cleveland to Cincinnati, Appalachian Ohio to Lake Erie and everywhere in between.  Share your suggestions in the comments section below. 
36 points by The Plain Dealer | Columbus Ohio Ohio and Erie Canal Romance Ohio Ohio River Love Mississippi River Midwestern United States
See transformation of Akron's Lock 4 park through lighting, landscaping, music (video)
The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition on Thursday showed off the new amenities the group is implementing at Lock 4 park as part of a $5 million Reimagining the Civic Commons grant. Watch video AKRON, Ohio - Ahead of this weekend's Downtown Akron Harvest Fest, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition unveiled new year-round, multi-colored lighting at Akron's Lock 4 park and over the Route 59 bridge that brings the Towpath Trail into downtown Akron. Now, new jewel-tone LED lighting at Lock 4 shifts colors, reflecting off the Ohio & Erie Canal as it cascades over small waterfalls, and makes the old brick buildings glow with hues that deepen as darkness falls. Bright white lights twinkle from trees planted around the perimeter. For this weekend's festival, Adirondack chairs, beer garden-style tables and moveable furniture will be added to allow Akronites to relax and toast s'mores at open fire pits, while local vendors serve food and spirits. A movie will play on the side of the Civic Theatre. The Lock 4 project is one of the first the Canalway Coalition has implemented through its $5 million Reimagining the Civic Commons grant. A block away, the Route 59 bridge is also lit in vivid hues programmed to change color, creating waves and dappled effects. New cedar benches line the bridge, side-by-side with steel planters filled with colorful vegetation and signs to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Akron Art Museum and other areas of interest. It's all designed to make the space more inviting for downtown residents, workers, visitors and Towpath Trail users. "It's like an oasis," said Canalway Coalition President Dan Rice. "That's going to be our challenge. People are going to want to see more." To design the urban park, the Canalway Coalition is working with Groundswell Design Group, based in Philadelphia. Groundswell has led work on similar projects, designing spaces to be enjoyed in winter , along waterways and in warmer seasons. "We just gave Akron all the ingredients to make a great cake," said Groundswell president David Fierabend. Lock 4 will also offer outdoor games, such as giant Jenga, concrete ping-pong and cornhole. "People can come down here during the day and have a coffee and blow off steam," he said. Akron was selected for the grant to enable the Canalway Coalition to come up with effective ways to revitalize and connect public spaces along the Towpath Trail that bring together people from different backgrounds. The organization has reached out to the community over the past year to gather input from residents to assist in that process. Many additional projects are planned for the next three years along the Towpath Trail from downtown Akron to Summit Lake. Many of the improvements planned for the park will be showcased this weekend at the Harvest Festival. Harvest Fest to kick off public space improvements in downtown Akron
68 points by The Plain Dealer | Ohio and Erie Canal Akron Ohio Ohio Cuyahoga Valley National Park Erie Canal Cuyahoga River Light-emitting diode Lighting
‘Nature is the great equalizer’: A black couple’s road trip discovering the national parks
A few years ago, a dear friend and I traveled to the Grand Canyon — a trip we'd talked about taking for a decade before we actually made it happen. It was my third visit to the copper-colored wonder of the world, but my friend had never been. I grew up with parents who drove us all over the United...
596 points by Chicago Tribune | National park Yellowstone National Park National Park Service Yosemite National Park Black people Race Ohio and Erie Canal Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Akron to save nearly $57 million on sewer projects this year
Dialogue between the city of Akron and state and federal EPAs has led to nearly $57 million in savings through modifications to the city's long-range work plan to bring the sewer system into compliance with the Clean Water Act. AKRON, Ohio - The city of Akron will save an additional $38 million on current sewer projects, bringing total sewer project savings this year to $56.7 million. At a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Dan Horrigan said the latest savings are a result of ongoing dialogue with the state and federal Environmental Protection Agencies and other agencies. Those talks led to two major modifications to the city's 2014 agreement detailing the long-range plan to bring the sewer system into compliance with the Clean Water Act. "This is the way the process should work," Horrigan said. "We're constantly looking at what will be the best way forward. Eventually this community is going to have to pay for all this, so we're working to bring down costs." Approved modifications for projects near the Akron Water Reclamation Facility also will eliminate the need to close at least a mile of the Towpath Trail for about two years. Akron unveils new plan to save on $1.4 billion sewer project Here is where the savings are from: Redesign of the main sewer trunk worth $30 million The original plan for sewer upgrades included building a second pipeline alongside the existing main sewer trunk visible on Riverview Road. The sewer trunk was built out of brick in the 1920s and the the EPA was concerned it could eventually break during large flows. Original plans called for a second line to be built to capture some of the flow, disrupting the Towpath Trail, the Cuyahoga River, area wetlands and possibly the nearby Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. However, a city inspection of the main sewer trunk found it in good shape. The EPA approved a modification to place a concrete cap, with walls and foundational support, along the length of the trunk, adding protection and extending its life. The concrete is colored brown to blend with the natural surroundings. Because the Towpath Trail has a $450 million per year economic impact on the area, its closure would have been detrimental, said Dan Rice, president and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition. "We are extremely grateful to the city for recognizing the importance of the Towpath Trail," Rice said. "They have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to find the best possible solution." Three green projects worth $8 million Earlier this year state and federal agencies to substitute three green infrastructure projects for "gray" storage basins. Rather than build large concrete storage basins to capture sewer overflow, the city instead will separate the combined storm/sanitary sewers in certain areas so the storage basins won't be needed. Treatment projects ahead of schedule The EPA also increased the biological secondary treatment capacity of the Akron Water Reclamation Facility to 220 million gallons per day from 130 million gallons per day. That puts the city ahead of schedule for sewer system improvements at the water reclamation facility. In early September, city engineers presented a plan that earned the city the EPA's Water Pollution Control Loan Fund Nutrient Reduction Discount. It eliminated interest on a loan for work at the city's Water Reclamation Facility, reducing the cost of the loan by $18.7 million.
61 points by The Plain Dealer | Water pollution Clean Water Act Combined sewer Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio and Erie Canal Sewage treatment United States Environmental Protection Agency
Elderly man found dead at Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
An elderly man was found dead Tuesday at the base of a cliff at Brandywine Falls, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office. Watch video SAGAMORE HILLS, Ohio -- An elderly man was found dead Tuesday at the base of a cliff at Brandywine Falls, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office. The man had not been identified, Gary Guenther, chief investigator with the medical examiner's office, said Wednesday morning. He was found at the base of a cliff overlooking a 65-foot waterfall in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Investigators are still trying to determine how the man died. "Circumstances are still unclear," Guenther said. Law enforcement and firefighters responded to a report of a park visitor falling around 12 p.m. Tuesday. The 65-foot waterfall is a popular destination on the eastern edge of the national park. Tuesday's death marks the third in the area since the falls became part of the national park. In 1995, a man fell over the boardwalk fence and died. There wasn't another death there until May 2011 when a 31-year-old Canal Fulton man died after falling from the top of the falls.  Previous coverage: at Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Like Chanda Neely on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter: Follow @ChandaNeely // !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); // ]]>
107 points by The Plain Dealer | Ohio and Erie Canal Summit County Ohio Death Cuyahoga Valley National Park Akron Ohio Cuyahoga County Ohio Cuyahoga Falls Ohio Brecksville Ohio
New wave of heroin overdoses hits Ohio city
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio city is experiencing a new spike in deadly heroin overdoses. Authorities say at least eight deaths this weekend could be from overdoses. The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office is investigating. There have also been dozens of other confirmed or possible overdoses. Police say a ...
-1 points by The Washington Times | Fentanyl Akron Ohio Heroin Naloxone Ohio and Erie Canal Ohio Morphine English-language films