The City of Akron is considering raising the age to legally purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
The following is a press release from the City of Akron:
When Mayor Horrigan appointed Tamiyka Rose as the City of Akron’s first Health Equity Ambassador last Spring, he tasked her with developing and spearheading new strategies to reduce the City’s unacceptable infant mortality rate. “I will never tolerate a scenario where Akron babies are more likely to die before their first birthday than babies born in other communities,” Mayor Horrigan said. “I hired Tamiyka to coordinate our efforts locally, and help turn the tide.”
“In looking at effective strategies to reduce infant mortality, smoking by young, expectant mothers was a key risk factor we needed to target,” Rose said of the initiative. “Looking at the data, it was clear that increasing the tobacco sales age to 21 could meaningfully reduce infant mortality rates and improve lifelong health outcomes for today’s youth.”
More than 290 cities and counties across 19 states have increased the age for tobacco sales to 21, a movement commonly referred to as “Tobacco 21”. Since 2015, 9 other Ohio cities, including Cleveland and Columbus, have passed similar laws.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Not only is it costly in terms of human life, it has a tremendous financial toll. According to health policy research, increasing the national sales age for tobacco to 21 could save society an estimated $212 billion over a 50-year period.
The Tobacco 21 strategy is proven to not just delay, but prevent, tobacco use in young people across their lifetimes. Military leaders are supportive of raising the tobacco age to 21 due to tobacco’s negative impact on military readiness (more info available here).
“Individuals who have never used tobacco by age 21 are unlikely to ever start smoking. While it is estimated to reduce retail sales by only 2%, increasing the smoking age to 21 can prevent approximately 90% of new smokers from ever starting the habit, by making it difficult to obtain during the years they are most susceptible to the addiction,” said Cory Kendrick
Summit County Public Health’s Director of Population Health.
And the link to infant mortality and premature birth is clear. “According to 2014 data, in Summit County, pregnant women under age 21 smoke at a rate that is 70% higher than their older counterparts,” Kendrick continued. “Nearly one in four pregnant women in Summit County age 18 to 21 smoked while pregnant. And pregnant women who smoke are more likely to experience the devastation of infant loss.”
Akron zip codes 44320, 44307 and 44306 have some of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, nearly double the national average. In 2016, 30 Akron babies died before their first birthday.
“If we are serious about giving Akron babies the best possible start to life, we must be willing to challenge structures and institutions that reinforce poor maternal health,” Tamiyka Rose said. “Tobacco use is a clear risk factor, and one we can do something about.”
Akron’s proposed Tobacco-21 legislation, co-sponsored by Councilwoman-at-large Linda Omobien, will be introduced to Akron City Council this afternoon. Representatives from Summit County Public Health, youth ambassadors, and physicians from Summa Health and Akron General/Cleveland Clinic will testify in support of the legislation.
“If you’re not willing to be part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” Rose concluded. “We’re hoping Akron will choose a healthier future for its next generation.”
A fact sheet with more information about the local Tobacco 21 initiative is available here.
A report from the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday afternoon is that head coach Tyronn Lue will be taking some time off from the team to address undisclosed health issues.
The following is Coach Lue's statement from Cavs.com:
"After many conversations with our doctors and Koby and much thought given to what is best for the team and my health, I need to step back from coaching for the time being and focus on trying to establish a stronger and healthier foundation from which to coach for the rest of the season.
I have had chest pains and other troubling symptoms, compounded by a loss of sleep, throughout the year. Despite a battery of tests, there have been no conclusions as to what the exact issue is.
While I have tried to work through it, the last thing I want is for it to affect the team. I am going to use this time to focus on a prescribed routine and medication, which has previously been difficult to start in the midst of a season. My goal is to come out of it a stronger and healthier version of myself so I can continue to lead this team to the Championship we are all working towards.
I greatly appreciate Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman, our medical team and the organization's support throughout."
Reports are that Cavs assistant coach Larry Drew will take over the coaching duties while Coach Lue gets healthy.
LeBron James commenting, saying, "I knew he was struggling, but (Lue) was never not himself," adding, "It's probably long overdue, but health is the most important thing."
Wednesday marks the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.
In conjunction with the anniversary and on National Walkout Day, where students in high schools, and other schools across the country are walking out of class for 17 seconds (one second for each victim), the University of Akron is offering a forum to discuss issues revolving around "Gun Violence in America's Schools."
The LeBron James Family Foundation is sponsoring the event, that runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday evening in Olin Hall, Room 124, at the University of Akron. You can find out more at UAkron.edu.
Stark State College, for the first time in four years, is increasing the instructional fee.
The $10 increase to the fee brings it to $126.50, and is effective starting this summer semester. According to the press release, the instructional fee will only be applied to the first 16 credit hours a student takes each semester; beyond 16 per semester, a student will not be charged an instructional fee.
Dr. Para M. Jones, President of Stark State College, said in a press release, "This tuition increase will enable the College to continue providing quality educational programs that lead to in-demand careers, which is important to our students and employers.”
Even with the increase, Stark State College remains the lowest in the region, and the college continues to increase scholarship opportunities for students.
Read more information from a press release from Stark State College below:
The tuition increase was recently approved by the Ohio legislature, authorizing the state’s community and technical colleges to increase tuition by up to $10 from the previous year.
The Trustees also took action to authorize a career services fee of $6 per credit hour, increasing the general fee from $37.10 to $43.10 per credit hour. This adjusted fee also will be effective summer semester and also applied only to the first 16 credit hours a student takes each semester.The fee was approved by the legislature last year, and most other Ohio community colleges opted for the increase then. Stark State, however, has been focused on expansion and realignment of its career services offerings, and the new fee now will allow more comprehensive career assistance as well as a higher level of integrated connection to employers.
The fee also will help fund additional tutoring services, student support services, student success coaches, additional disability and military support services and increase licensed counseling services.
While increases in tuition are necessary in order to maintain quality academic programs; hire and retain outstanding, student-centered faculty and staff; keep class sizes low; and provide state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, Stark State College continues to seek ways to help make college more affordable for its students. The College has taken these steps in recent years to lower student costs:
Akron Police are looking for 33-year-old Marcus Brooks, who is wanted on a Domestic Violence charge.
According to the APD report, a 25-year-old woman walked into the station about 3:30 Sunday morning, crying, bleeding from her head, and her right eye swollen and bruised. She reported that Brooks, who is her live-in boyfriend assaulted her during an argument, and then grabbed a pistol and threatened to shoot her. After she begged him not to shoot her, the victim told police Brooks hit her with the butt of the
The victim was able to get out of the house and then went right to the police. Brooks, meanwhile, left the house in the victim's car; a dark blue 2005 Nissan Maxima. He's listed as a 6 foot, 260 pound black male.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Akron Police Department Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490; the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-866-4-WANTED; or the Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at 330-434-COPS. You can also text TIPSCO with your tips to 274637 (Crimes). Callers can remain anonymous.
An 18-year-old Brunswick High School student is under arrest after reportedly making online threats against the school.
Tyler Hrouda was arrested Monday at a local business along Pearl Road, after Brunswick Police were made aware of the threat. They contacted the school, who with the help of a resource officer and staff, were able to identify Hrouda.
Hrouda has been charged with making a false report, and in a Facebook post from the Brunswick Police Department, detectives reportedly did recover a firearm during their investigation.
The nature of the threat was not made public.
Mansfield Senior High School was locked down early Tuesday morning after reports of a student with a gun on campus.
Mansfield Police were called to campus and, with the help of a school resource officer, were able to identify the suspect student. They detained him, but did not find a gun, until another student informed Police that the student had the gun off campus and kicked it under a trailer when he saw Police.
Police later found the gun, that turned out to be an Airsoft pistol, but looked like a real gun.
The student was arrested, though it is unclear exactly what the charges are at this point.
The lockdown was lifted at Mansfield Sr. High just before 8 a.m. and classes resumed as normal.
Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Brian Garverick notfied parents of students at Mansfield Sr. High, and while school remains in session, parents were allowed to pick up their children if they felt the need to.
Scams are everywhere these days; from your inbox to your front door.
With that in mind, and as part of Consumer Protection Week, the Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs is holding a "How to Spot and Stop a Scam" seminar on Tuesday, March 6th, from 11 a.m. to noon, at the Shaw JCC of Akron, at 750 White Pond Drive.
The free seminar will teach Summit County residents ways to protect themselves, and their families, from common scams that continue to make the rounds in and around Akron. "(We'll) highlight certain consumer-related scams that have been going on in the area, and common sense ways to avoid such scams," said Chris Verich, Deputy Director of the Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs.
Anyone is welcome, and Verich urges those planning on attending can RSVP at consumeraffairs.summitoh.net.
Akron Police are asking for anyone who may have witnessed a Sunday evening shooting to come forward.
Officers responded to a call of "shots fired" in the 2100 block of 4th Street Southwest Sunday evening, just before 8 p.m. When they arrived on the scene, they found the victim, who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to a local hospital where he was last listed in critical condition.
Police have not offered any suspect description, but again are asking any possible witnesses to come forward.
Akron Police are looking for a suspect who abducted an 11-year-old girl in the city's East Neighborhood Tuesday afternoon and then let her go unharmed.
The victim's mother says the girl was walking home from David Hill Elementary School on East Archwood Avenue about 2:35 p.m. According to reports, the suspect grabbed the girl from behind, covering her mouth, and threw her in the passenger side of his van.
The victim says the man who took her was yelling at her for screaming so loudly and then he dropped her off not long after - along South Arlington near East Wilbeth Road.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 30's, wearing a navy blue shirt and black shorts. He's said to have been driving a black cargo van with no windows on the sides and possibly tinted windows on the front and back. Anyone with info is asked to call Akron Police.