Final election counts in

Portage Co. determined

n Portage County Board of Elections certified the official vote tallies from the Nov. 6 general election.

The Obama-Biden ticket posted 39,453 votes to 35,242 for Romney-Ryan. The turnout for the election was 71 percent of registered voters, right in line with the prediction by election officials.

In 2008, Obama-Biden won Portage 41,856 to 34,822 for John McCain and Sarah Palin. The turnout in that election was 72.1 percent.

Meanwhile, two Streetsboro charter amendments -- Issues 16 and 19 --- are headed for automatic recounts.

Issue 16 would delete the residency requirement for the city's director of public safety. Issue 19 would change the requirement that the Charter Review Commission report to Council within the year they are appointed.

The elections board is doing those recounts Dec. 4 and 5.

Three artists in running

to design vets memorial

n The field of conceptual designs has been narrowed to three for the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority's Veterans Memorial.

It is intended to honor America's veterans, past and present, and is part of PARTA's Kent Central Gateway transit facility project in downtown.

The three finalists, selected through an advisory committee that analyzed proposals from around the country, are Brinsley Tyrrell of Ravenna, George Danhires of Kent and Timothy Gay, Dan Gay and Mary Roberts of Savannah, Ga.

PARTA has allocated $120,000 to fund the design, fabrication and installation of the memorial and administration of the design competition.

Smith said an artist is likely to be selected by the end of the year.

"We're hoping to get the artist under contract by the first of the year so that they have as much time as possible to do their design," he said. "They've been given a schedule to be complete in September of [2013]."

PARTA will conduct two public meetings for feedback on designs before the artist is selected.

-- Kyle McDonald, Record-Courier

7 dangerous animals are

registered in Portage Co.

n Owners registered 721 dangerous wild animals as of the state deadline in November, with another two dozen-plus still being processed.

Portage Countians who registered are: Maryann Nash of Garrettsville, cougar- Kathryn McDermott of Hiram, Canadian lynx- June Witchey of Ravenna, two tigers and a lion- and Walter Horton of Rootstown, two marmosets.

Under a new state law, bears, tigers, lions, elephants, Komodo dragons, crocodiles and other species are classified as "dangerous wild animals."

Existing owners in both cate-gories are banned from acquiring new animals, though they can keep existing ones if they register, implant microchips, meet care standards and get proper permits.

The new law also categorizes a variety of anacondas, pythons and other restricted snakes, with owners required to obtain possession and propagation permits.

-- Marc Kovac, RPC state bureau

Portage union pacts OK'd

n The 27 unionized workers in the Solid Waste Management District have accepted a 2 percent wage increase in their existing three-year pact. The current contract with Teamsters Local 24 expires Oct. 31, 2013.

Portage County commissioners also approved a three-year agreement for the Water Resource Department that calls for no wage increase in the first year and 2 percent in each subsequent year.

Man gets 6 years in jail

for Streetsboro robbery

n A Hudson man will spend the next six years in prison for an August 2011 gunpoint robbery at a Streetsboro convenience store.

Jason W. Douglas, 25, of 2960 Hudson-Aurora Road, recently was sentenced by Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman. He pleaded guilty in April to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, with a firearms specification that adds three years in prison to the sentence.

Pittman gave Douglas those three years, plus another three on the robbery charge, and fined him $300. His prison term will be shortened, however, as by law he must be credited with the 433 days he spent in the Portage County jail awaiting trial.

Streetsboro police said Douglas entered the Circle K store at Route 43 and Frost Road just before 6 p.m. Aug. 5, 2011, showed a gun to the clerk and fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. The clerk was not injured.

Police in Cuyahoga Falls in Summit County and Wadsworth in Medina County were, at the time, investigating robberies at convenience stores in their cities.

Following a three-county manhunt, Streetsboro police and members of the U.S. Marshal's Service Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Douglas at his Hudson residence on Aug. 22, 2011.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Holiday event set Dec. 9

n Children, parents and everyone in between will get the chance to meet Santa Claus at the annual Twinsburg Winter Wonderland on Dec. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Twinsburg Fitness Center at 10084 Ravenna Road.

Participants can expect music, raffles, face painting, crafts, inflatable play sets, snacks and of course, photos with Saint Nick.

Entry costs $1 for ages 3 and older. Proceeds help fund the event. Parks and Recreation director Derek Schroeder said the Winter Wonderland is a tradition of more than ten years with a history of bringing families together to get into the holiday spirit.

"It's just bringing the community together to help celebrate the holiday season in a fun, safe manner," Schroeder said.

UW raises about $600,000

n The United Way of Portage County has reached about 45 percent of its $1.12 million goal for the 2011-12 campaign. That's just under $600,000. Information about donating or programs the United Way supports is available by calling 330-297-1424 ext. 112 or visiting Pat Wesenberg is chairman of the campaign. Ron Skrenes is board president.