Summit County Probate Court

If you are needing help with the Probate Court they now have a help desk.  A description of how they can help you and the services they offer are listed on their website:

“The Help Desk offers guidance in the following areas: name changes, assist with simple estate transfers, clarify issues related to guardianships, distribute and review probate forms, provide notary services, and answer questions regarding probate court procedures. Help Desk attorneys cannot assist with the making of a will, complicated estates, adoption proceedings, or contested matters. If a specific situation is not within the scope of the Help Desk, individuals will be referred to the Akron Bar Association for a list of probate attorneys who specialize in probate law.

Probate form packets for all court matters are available in the Probate Court Clerk’s Office, 209 S. High Street, Akron, Ohio, 44308, or can be downloaded at www.summitohioprobate.com/Forms. Help Desk hours are every Wednesday and Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Prior appointments preferred yet walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the Probate Court at 330.643.2323. Court filing fees remain applicable; there is no charge for Help Desk services.”

In addition, check out the Probate Court website to see valuable information concerning Advanced Directives, the importance of wills and guardianship volunteer opportunities.

 

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Five Easy Ways to Spot a Scam Phone Call

The IRS continues to warn the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call. These callers claim to be with the IRS. The scammers often demand money to pay taxes. Some may try to con you by saying that you’re due a refund. The refund is a fake lure so you’ll give them your banking or other private financial information.

These con artists can sound convincing whenever they call. They may even know a lot about you. They may alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.

The IRS respects taxpayer rights when working out payment of your taxes. So, it’s pretty easy to tell when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a sign of a scam. The IRS will never:

1. Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what to do:

  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
  • If phone scammers target you, also contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” to report the scam. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to talk about payment options. You also may be able to set up a payment plan online at IRS.gov.

 

Remember, the IRS currently does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issues. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

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Looking for a Way Out: Addiction Treatment and Education Resources in Summit County

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Addiction damages individuals, families, communities.  Akron-Summit County’s Business & Government Division has compiled a guide to Summit County resources entitled Looking for a Way  Out:  Addiction Treatment and Education Resources in Summit County.  Copies are free and available at Main Library and our branches.  Contact Business & Government at (330)643-9020 for more information.

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Morningstar Investment Research Center

Use your library card to access the Morningstar Investment Research Center database through the Akron-Summit County Public Library, in house or from home.  Not only only will you find in ratings and in-depth information on mutual funds, which Morningstar is famous for, but also individual stocks, exchange traded funds and markets.  The database also contains various features and tools that compare and screen funds, as well as a “portfolio x-ray” feature in which you can input your own holdings and the website will analyze your entire portfolio. Plus access PDFs of their mutual fund, stock and ETF newsletters. The site also boasts access to articles and videos, as well as, an educational portal which offers guides and courses on a wide range of subjects on the database and investment topics.

 

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Author returns to Akron to retrace her war bride grandmother’s footsteps 70 years on

Join us for an Author Talk on September 10 at Main Library, 6:30 PM in Meeting Rooms A&B.

The author of international bestseller GI Brides, Nuala Calvi, will return to Akron in September to mark the American publication of her book 70 years after her grandmother arrived in the city.

Calvi’s grandmother Margaret Boyle was one of the first GI brides to come to America following the ‘friendly invasion’ of more than 2 million American soldiers to Britain during World War Two. Some 70,000 British women lost their hearts to American men stationed in the country in the run-up to D-Day, giving up everything and everyone they knew to start a new life in the US.

Margaret’s husband, Lawrence Rambo, left the struggling South for a job at the Goodyear Tire Company in Akron, which was booming in the war years producing synthetic rubber for the war effort and building parts for B29 bombers and blimps for the US navy.

Staff at Akron City Hospital saved Margaret’s life with a new miracle drug – Penicillin – when she gave birth to her daughter and contracted puerperal fever. The drug had been developed for the troops and was extremely rare at the time.

Calvi and her writing partner Duncan Barrett came to Akron in 2012 for their research. Staff at Akron-Summit County Public Library helped them track down a 1945 edition of the Akron Beacon Journal in which her aunt’s birth at Akron City Hospital was announced.  They also helped identify where Calvi’s grandparents were living at the time, in a rural area with no street address. Using old maps of 1940s postal routes they were able to locate the right area.  Calvi also visited Akron City Hospital and was shown by an older nurse the ward where her aunt was born almost 70 years ago.

For more information, call the Business & Government Department at (330)643-9020.  Copies of GI Brides will be available for purchase and there will be a book signing after the talk.

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FTC Sends More Than $16 Million in Refunds to Consumers Harmed by Tax Relief Scam

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing refund checks totaling more than $16 million to 18,571 consumers who paid money to American Tax Relief, which bilked financially distressed consumers by falsely claiming it could reduce their tax debts. Under a settlement, the defendants turned over millions of dollars in assets the court had frozen, including bank accounts, jewelry, and a Ferrari. The relief defendants, who were the parents of one of the defendants, also turned over bank accounts, jewelry, a Beverly Hills residence, and a Los Angeles condominium.

Affected consumers will receive, on average, 16 percent of the amount they lost. Those who receive checks from the FTC’s refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the mailing date. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or to provide information before refund checks can be cashed. Those with questions should call the refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC, at 1-877-430-3699, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds for more general information.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

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Where do I park downtown?

That is a common fear that we often hear when encouraging people to come into Akron.  There are a variety of parking spots downtown, including the deck that is attached by  indoor walkway to the library.  If you go to  http://www.downtownakron.com/getting-around/parking  you can get a list of all of the parking areas along with a map that you can download.  This resource from the Akron Downtown Partnership should take some of the stress out of wondering where you will go once you are in the city.

While you are here, stop in your Main Library at 55 S. High St. and then pop up to the third floor which is where the Business & Government Division is now located.  We still have the same great resources and also some added subjects along with a much better view.  We welcome your visit.

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Outside Akron

The moderate temperatures this summer are perfect for outside strolls.  For those with an interest in local history, “Walks around Akron: rediscovering a city in transition,” by Russ Musarra and Chuck Ayers is the perfect guidebook.  The essays first appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal from 1987-2000 and explore both popular and forgotten areas of Akron and the surrounding communities.  Some of the places originally illustrated by Chuck Ayers have been altered or demolished, as the first essay “Howe House” makes known.  This is a book of “discovery” as Russ Musarra says in the preface; a discovery of both the past and the present as the reader ambles through these pages and the sidewalks of Akron.

Another book interested in the past and the present is “Steps in time: ninety years of MetroParks, Serving Summit County” by Sarah Vradenburg.  Earlier this year the park changed its name to Summit Metro Parks.  This is the fascinating story of Summit County’s natural wonders and the people who had the vision to save them for the residents.  For information on the park trails and park activities, look at www.summitmetroparks.org.  A little aside, outstanding photographs submitted by volunteers can be viewed at Summit Metro Parks’ facebook page.  Hopefully, one or all of the essays, illustrations, history, or photographs will lead you outside to experience the urban and the rural.

The books mentioned above are located in the Business & Government Department.  Call 330-643-9020 to reserve your copy.

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Ohio Crime

For fans of television shows such as Forensic Files and Investigative Discovery channel, the Business and Government division has an abundance of books to satisfy any true crime enthusiast. Of particular interest are the volumes that recount ghastly crimes that happened close to home here in Ohio and Akron.  A good place to start would be True crime, Ohio : the state’s most notorious criminal cases by Patricia A. Martinelli.  This paperback covers local events like Cleveland’s grizzly “Torso Murderer” who claimed 12 victims. Sam Sheppard also makes an appearance as well as Akron’s own Edward Wayne Edwards who had the distinction of making the FBI’s 10 most-wanted list.  To satiate one’s appetite for Ohio crime and sleaze, no need to look further than Ohio confidential : sex, scandal, murder, and mayhem in the Buckeye State by John Boertlein.  Here you will find the notorious black widow serial killer “Arsenic Anna” and the account of Jeffrey Dahmer’s first killing.  It also contains the dubious tale of Jerry Springer’s prostitute debacle and Charlie Manson’s Ohio connection, plus much more.  If you want to stick as close to home as possible, then perhaps try If looks could kill by M. William Phelps which chronicles the story surrounding Cynthia, the wife of Tangier owner Ed George who was implicated in the murder of Jeff Zack, or another Akron business slaughter story with Please… don’t kill me” : the true story of the Milo murder by William C. Dear and Carlton Stowers.  As one can see, you don’t have to turn on the television for harrowing tales of murder and mayhem; just look in your own backyard or the Business and Government division of main library.

 

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Consumer News

Ready for a discussion that’s likely to upset the whole family? First, explain these concepts to your four-year-old: online shopping accounts that are linked to your credit card, unlimited in-app charges, and store policies that state all sales final. Then, explain how the virtual coins your child uses in a game can cost real money charged instantly to your account. Sounds like fun, right?

The experience has been anything but fun for parents whose children racked up hundreds of dollars playing “free” games on the Kindle Fire. According to the FTC, Amazon allowed kids to buy virtual goods — like coins, stars, and pet food — without getting parents’ permission. The FTC is suing Amazon and seeking refunds for parents and other account holders who were billed for unauthorized charges.

Many moms and dads complained that they didn’t know — and their kids didn’t understand — that kids could spend real money, billed to the parent’s account, for extras that cost anywhere from 99 cents to $99 each. The FTC’s complaint highlights internal communications in which Amazon employees stated that allowing unlimited in-app charges without a password was “clearly causing problems for a large percentage of our customers,” adding that complaints from customers were reaching “house on fire” levels.

And yet, for over a year, many in-app purchases on the Kindle Fire didn’t require a password or otherwise involve parents in the purchase process. Even when Amazon finally began requiring a password for certain in-app charges, the company didn’t make it clear that entering a password once could allow children to incur unlimited charges for fifteen minutes to an hour without further parental involvement.

The company’s stated policy is that all in-app charges are final and nonrefundable. According to the complaint, parents who sought an exception to that policy faced a difficult and confusing process.

If you’re a parent who was shocked to find in-app purchases charged to your Amazon account without your permission, contact the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

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