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Mary Beth Breckenridge, who was the home writer for many years for the Akron Beacon Journal, is now a real estate agent for Howard Hanna. She knows her subject well, whether she's writing about it or discussing it with home buyers or sellers. On today's show, she talked about the state of the home market in Akron. It's strong, she says, with property values up for the first time since 2005. And there are a lot of incentives for people to move into the city, as well as a great deal of interest on the part of buyers. You can meet Mary Beth in person at an open house she's hosting on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Morewood Rd. in Fairlawn. For more information, call the Howard Hanna office at 330.836.9300. You also can visit Mary Beth's Facebook page or her website.

Architect Hallie Bowie, owner of New Leaf Home Design, noted that Akron is doing a fantastic job of making home ownership more affordable for people who want to buy or improve a home in the city. She expounded on the city's residential tax abatement, which is one of the incentives that Mary Beth mentioned. Hallie also talked about the Sustainable Homes Network of Northeast Ohio, which has grown to 120 members. She says that you can go to Meetup to join them for meetings and tours of local energy-efficient homes. Speaking of energy efficiency, one of Hallie's recent projects was building an eco village for Hiram College. It serves as residential quarters for students who are interested in environmental matters. You can see Hallie in her other persona as a singer when she performs on Aug. 19 with her husband, Scott, during Highland Square's Porch Rokr. They'll be playing at 11 a.m.; to find out on which porch, visit Scott & Hallie Music on Facebook. To reach Hallie at New Leaf, visit her website.

Dane Leisure, founder and artistic director of Rubber City Theatre, gave away two tickets to Pippin, his company's next production. The musical, which essentially is about finding one's purpose in life, usually is staged in a circus-like setting. Rubber City, which takes a fresh approach to all its productions, is staging Pippin as a vaudeville show instead. It runs Aug. 11 (opening night  is free or by donation) and continues through Aug. 27 at the former First Presbyterian Church, 647 East Market St. in Akron. Then in October, Rubber City returns to Shakespeare, where it started in the first place, with a production of Hamlet set in contemporary times. For more information about the company or to buy tickets, call 234.252.0272 or visit the website.

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