Salt prices take a drastic

drop for 2013-14's winter

Road departments are going to save a lot of money this winter, because the state price for road salt has dropped to a level not seen for a decade.

Portage County Engineer Michael Marozzi said the state cooperative bid price from Morton will be $27.50 per ton. That's down from the $37.13 per ton Cargill was getting last year.

"This is unexpected good news," Marozzi said. "We haven't had a price in the $20 range since the winter of 2002-03," he said. If the county buys at the 7,000-ton level it did last year, "we're looking at $70,000 in savings," he said.

Cities and townships that also buy under ODOT's cooperative bid can look forward to similar savings.

But, there is a cloud over this good news. Last year "was one of the lightest winters we've had in a while," Marozzi said. Because it was so light as far as snow goes, most road departments still have plenty of salt left over from last winter.

"We had to buy at the minimum amount [of the contract] and we still have a full salt shed. I can't take advantage of the lower price, not like I'd like to," Marozzi said.

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Sand pit turned down for

mining near county wells

Portage County commissioners said "no" last week to the mining of sand and gravel near the county's well field in Shalersville. The board split 2-1, with Tommie Jo Marsilio voting to allow the activity.

The well field supplies drinking water for the county Water Resources Department's customers. The county water plant is located off Coit Road, adjacent to Lakeside Sand and Gravel's mining operation.

A $90,000 hydrology study did not recommend allowing mining on the county's property because it was too close to the well field. Marsillio said Lakeside has been a "good corporate neighbor" by hosting the sheriff's shooting range on its property nearby and making improvements at no cost to the county.

She said the company has "responsibly and successfully, without legal or environmental event" operated for years. Marsillio also called the study report by "geologyfolk" "a bunch of might be's and could be's -- nebulous at best."

Commissioner Kathleen Chandler said she could not support mining on the property. "Our primary responsibility is to protect the integrity of the well field. There is too much of a risk of contamination of the well field" by mining. "We just can't risk that," she said.

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Order a memorial brick

Families have until Sept. 1 to order memorial bricks to be placed at the Portage County Veterans Memorial in front of the courthouse in Ravenna in time for Veterans Day.

Orders for the bricks may be placed by calling the office of the Portage County commissions at 330-297-3600 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A form is available for the information to be inscribed on the bricks at To get it, click on the word "here" where it says "To order a brick in a serivce person's or veteran's name click here for order form."

Cost is $100 for an 8-by-8-inch brick or $250 for a 12-by-12-inch brick.

Cleveland walk for Lupus

is Sept. 28 in Brecksville

The Lupus Foundation of America's Greater Ohio Chapter will host the 16th annual Cleveland Walk To End Lupus Now on Sept. 28 at the Cleveland Metroparks' Brecksville Reservation Oak Grove Pavilion.

This year's event begins with a 1 p.m.. check-in followed by an awards ceremony at 2:30. A 5K walk concludes the event. A $20 minimum donation is required to register.

Last year, more than 1,000 community members walked in honor of loved ones, family members and friends. President and CEO Suzanne Tierney says she is especially excited for this event explaining "This is an opportunity for community members to come together and raise awareness for a necessary cause," she said.

Walk to End Lupus Now events take place in more than 60 cities across the United States, making it the largest nationwide lupus walk program. The walk events bring community members together to raise money for lupus research and education programs, increase awareness of the disease, and rally public support for those who feel the brutal impact of lupus.

Registration for the Walk is open online at Participants also can create a personal fundraising page on the walk website to raise money, recruit new team members and get valuable fundraising tips.

Potato fest entries sought

The Mantua Potato Festival celebrates 40 years of family fun and entertainment Sept. 6-8. Many activities and events are scheduled thoughout the weekend. New this year will be a talent showcase Any singers, musicians and comedians who would like to participate should contact Lisa at 330-554-7137.

Past queens and grand marshals also can participate in the grand parade on Sept. 8, and vintage cars, trucks, tractors, horses, youth groups, clubs, teams, musical units and other units also are welcome to enter the parade. They should call Elaine Jones at 330-274-8019 or email Activities are listed online at

Ravenna man indicted in

sex abuse of teenage girl

A Ravenna man has been indicted on 14 felony and misdemeanor counts related to alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile female that began in February 2011 and continued through June 2012.

Geoff M. Householder, 43, was indicted July 26. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $50,000 bond at his arraignment July 29 in Portage County Common Pleas Court. Judge Laurie Pittman set a trial date for Sept. 24, according to court records.

A Portage County grand jury indictment charges Householder with 14 counts, including four counts of importuning, two third-degree felonies and two fifth-degree felonies; two counts each of gross sexual imposition, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and sexual battery, all third-degree felonies; and four counts of sexual imposition, all third-degree misdemeanors.

All the alleged incidents took place between Feb. 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, when the alleged victim was between 13 and 14 years old, according to Householder's indictment. The charges were filed following a Ravenna Police Department investigation.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Southern Portage group nabbed on drug charges

Five Atwater residents were arrested July 30 and charged with growing marijuana in the vicinity of a 9-month-old child after Portage County Drug Task Force agents served a search warrant on their Industry Road residence and discovered marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, stimulants, drug paraphernalia and firearms.

Arrested were Kathyrn A. Apenzeller, 49, Zachary D. Apenzeller, 21, Lisa Vue, 20, Eden E. Masch, 19, and Jonathan M. Apenzeller, 18, all of 1366-A Industry Road -- less than two-tenths of a mile south of the Waterloo schools campus. Jonathan Apenzeller, Zachary Apenzeller and Vue are being held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $100,000 bond. Masch is jailed on 10 percent of $75,000 bond, while Kathryn Apenzeller is free after posting 10 percent of $7,500 bond.

None have prior criminal records in Portage County, according to court records.

Sheriff David Doak said agents executed a search warrant following a complaint from a citizen who was concerned about the welfare of a 9-month-old child living at the residence. Once inside, agents found two areas in the basement and a bedroom on the second floor where marijuana was being grown, next to the child's room, he said.

Seized were 95 marijuana plants, ranging in height from 1 to 8 feet; psilocybin mushrooms; the drug MDMA, aka "ecstasy;" two firearms; "sophisticated" growing equipment including power supplies, lights, fans, filters and humidifiers; related drug paraphernalia and an undisclosed amount of cash, Doak said.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Ox Roast winners noted

Some winners of events at the St. Joseph-Mantua Ox Roast Fair were announced recently.

In the kiddie tractors pulls, winners were: 4-5-year-olds -- Bo McPeak of Kent, Dmitry Hruby of Grafton and Jayda Gross of Warren; 6-7-year-olds -- Nick Rushnok of Shalersville, Roxxy Bretz of Mantua and Hank Winland of Mantua; 8-9-year-olds -- Miles Winland of Mantua, Donald Whitehair of Shalersville and Jackson Summer of Mantua.

In the frog jumping contest, the top three winners were Mason Koltz of Medina, Destiny Verbic of Mantua and Matt Wright of Shalersville. Ox Roast Idol winners were Eric Perrault ($200), Raymond Markward ($100) and Kandi ($50).

Gateway offically opens

The Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority marked the grand opening of the Kent Central Gateway on Aug. 5. The new facility is a parking, retail and transit hub on South Depeyster Street. U.S. Rep.Tim Ryan, Kent City Manager Dave Ruller, Acorn Alley developer Ron Burbeck and Kent State University reps were among dignitaries on hand.