Skill-Based Gaming Centers Following The Rules?
Internet Cafes have slowly fallen off the radar after a state law went into effect which limited prizes to items valued at no more than $10.
Locally, it appears a few skill-based gaming centers are still thriving in several cities. The same state restrictions are attached to skill-based gaming centers, but the only difference is they're allowed to give gas cards worth no more than $10. But we found at least one skill-based gaming business that is not playing by the rules.
On January 23, I walked into Silver Pyramid on Cleveland-Massillon Road in Norton. In just about 20 minutes, I won $15 in cash after playing Triple Sevens, a slot-like video game. That's more than the $10 limit and -- it was in cash.
Prizes can not be given in cash. Both skilled and sweepstakes games follow the same rules. The only exception is skilled gaming parlors can hand out gas cards --- but still no greater than $10.
I was also told to use the term "transfer" when I wanted to redeem my prize (or winnings), but I could only "transfer" in $5 increments. Even when I was up to more than $39, I could only "transfer" when I would fall to $35 or win an even $40.
A week later, I visited Treasure Island Cyber Cafe on Wooster Road in Barberton. As soon as I sat down to play another round of a similar slot-like video game, I was told by the employee on duty not to use the "C-O words", which I later found out meant "Cash Out".
It was a little confusing since the outdoor sign (picture to the left) featured the words "Cash Pay Out".
Several attempts were made to talk to the owner about my experience, but no one returned my call.
Both skilled gaming parlors were listed with the Ohio Attorney General's Office as Sweepstakes/Internet Cafe establishments. Barberton and Norton officials said they have since transitioned into skilled gaming parlors.
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Becoming A Neighbor To A Local Refugee
Fashion can be used as a way to express yourself. For Neighbors Apparel, it's a chance to become the neighbor of a refugee living in Akron.
Tessa Reeves wanted to do more with her fashion degree from Kent State University. She wanted to make a difference in the community -- and that's exactly what she's doing.
Reeves teamed up with the non-profit group Urban Vision to help create employment for refugees in the North Hill area and to bring cultures together with fashion.
What I don't want to do is create pity. We're not doing this because 'Oh, they need us," said Reeves. "We're doing this to celebrate the fact that we have these survivors living alongside us as neighbors."
Neighbors Apparel focuses on bringing two cultures together by blending traditional fabric with American design.
"One thing our people really like is our Ohio Tee," said Reeves. "Basically, we take the fabric from Thailand and we cut out a shape of Ohio and then paste it on a t-shirt. That's my favorite product because I think it tells our story the best."
Among those working at Neighbors Apparel: Head seamstress Ka Naw, a Karen refugee woman from Burma, and Chandra Rai, a Bhutanese refugee.
"There's lots of people who want to come to America, but they don't get a chance to be here due to economic problems," said Rai. "We are lucky that we get a chance to be here in America and I'm happy to be here."
In about six months, five local retailers have picked up the clothing/accessory line -- including the Market Path at Highland Square and the NOTO Boutique in Downtown Akron. Reeves hopes it's just the beginning.
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Can a CCW protect you?
More people are making the decision to get their concealed-carry permit to defend themselves. Is that enough?
When the Summit County Sheriff’s Office set me up with the Firearms Training Simulator (F.A.T.S) test two days before my CCW course, I could tell my nerves were going to be problem throughout the journey. A real-life scenario was projected on a large screen where I was given a handgun to defend myself. My scenario: A robbery in progress inside my home. When I come face to face with the robber, he pulls out his gun and I shoot. Little did I know, he fired a shot in my direction before I even had a chance to pull my trigger.
The next two days, I spent 10 hours in a classroom and 2 hours on the shooting range to complete my CCW course. My instructor, Daniel Clevenger, veteran police officer, taught us the very basics: firearm safety, CCW laws, laws pertaining to self defense and proper handling of a handgun. A few days after I was handed my CCW training certificate, I prepared myself for a second round at the simulator. It turns out, my nerves got the best of me. I was too scared to even pull the trigger. In both situations, I fired my gun only after the suspects fired first.
“You have to be within your legal boundaries to use your weapon and I think that’s one area that needs to be stressed. They need to have a good, firm understanding of the law when it comes to self-protection,” Summit County Sheriff Deputy David Fatheree said.
When you're put it in as dangerous situation, your stress levels increase causing increased heart rate, auditory exclusion and tunnel vision. Fatheree says even though the situation I was put in was not real, my reaction time slowed down during the training simulator test.
Earlier this week, a 23-year-old man with a concealed-carry permit turned an attempted robbery around after he pulled out his own gun when two armed suspects approached his car on West Market Street late Saturday night. The 23-year-old and his father attended Clevenger's CCW course earlier this year.
Even though I wasn't as confident as I thought I would be after taking my CCW course, I was able to grasp the basics of carrying a handgun and when to use my weapon. But it's important to note that the class focuses on the basics. It's the constant training following your certification that instructors and law enforcement say is necessary to have before making the decision to carry a handgun.
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A look into the lives of two people --- two different religions -- one world.