Man dies on area trail
A man found dead on a trail in Streetsboro died from a heart attack, according to Dr. Dean DePerro, Portage County coroner. An autopsy was performed March 24.
The body of Julius Babul, 49, of Streetsboro was found at about 4 p.m. March 22 by a hiker. Babul was about 500 to 1,000 feet off Kelly Lane, according to Streetsboro Police Lt. Troy Beaver.
An autopsy was performed March 24. Babul’s twin died about a month of ago of natural causes, added Beaver.

Portage’s jobless rate
falls 0.5% in February
Portage County’s jobless rate declined a half a percent in February from the previous month, according to numbers released this week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Portage’s February rate was 7 percent, compared with 7.5 percent in January, not adjusted for seasonal influences. The jobless number is still above December’s 6.5 percent rate.
Across Ohio, rates dropped in 86 counties and stayed even in two. Rates ranged from a low of 4.3 percent in Mercer County in western Ohio to a high of 14.2 percent in Monroe County on the Ohio River in the southeastern portion of the state.
ODJFS said Portage County had 6,300 people unemployed and looking for work out of a workforce of 91,100. Portage ranked 53rd out of Ohio’s counties, with 35 counties having lower rates.
February rates for counties abutting Portage (with their January rates) are: Cuyahoga 8.2 (8.8), Geauga 7.6 (8.0), Mahoning 7.9 (8.6), Stark 7.0 (7.4), Summit 6.5 (7.1) and Trumbull 7.9 (8.4).
— Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Paul Janis is selected
as Portage’s HR head
Portage County Commissioners hired Paul Janis as the board’s director of human resources March 27. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, has a mater’s degree in public administration and a law degree from Cleveland State University.
Janis started March 31 at an annual salary of $80,000.
Most recently, Janis was law director for the city of Cuyahoga Falls where he was paid $101,414. As part of his duties, he was responsible for labor relations, civil service functions and as the team leader for labor contract negotiations.
Janis was one of several department heads, including the directors of finance, service and community development, not retained by new Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters. He succeeds Karen U’halie as county HR director. Commissioner Sabrina Christian-Bennett said 41 had applied for the director’s job.
— Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Teen charged in death
of Franklin 11-year-old
A 15-year-old Franklin Township boy is facing a charge of reckless homicide in Portage County Juvenile Court in the March 12 shooting of an 11-year-old relative at a residence on Johnson Road.
County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci confirmed March 28 that an investigation by the Portage County Sheriff’s Department and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation led him to file the charge against Logan Grootegoed.
He said the boy was served with the charging documents on March 28, but remains in the care of his parents and is not in custody. Arraignment is scheduled for April 17.
Sheriff’s deputies said the 15-year-old shot and killed A.J. Nicholson while they were both inside the home on Johnson Road. It was a snow day for the Kent schools. Nicholson died at the scene, and a handgun was recovered for testing, officials said.
— Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier

Youth jobs program
gearing up for 2014
This year’s summer youth employment program through the Portage County jobs service is taking a new direction. It will give youths more of a real first-job experience and give employers more say in who works for them.
Instead of being placed at a job site, eligible youths will make contact from a list of approved employers and schedule an interview. Employers can pick the youths to interview, and choose to hire or not.
Helene Leightner, who is running the program this year, said she’s already had some success recruiting employers with the new focus. With employers being able to do the interview and hiring, more are showing interest, she said.
The program is open to young people ages 16 to 24 who meet family income eligibility, which ranges from $2,622 gross monthly income for a family of two up to $6,682 per month for a family of eight.
Leightner said an employer meeting is set for April 17 to get the range and type of jobs that are going to be available. For information on the program, potential employers can reach Leightner at 330-297-3763.
Applications for youths will be available starting May 1 at the county Jobs and Family Services office, which will begin accepting applications no earlier than May 6.
— Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Circuses to visit area
The Carson and Barnes Circus is returning to Sunbeau Valley Farm on Route 59 in Ravenna Township for four shows on Aug. 2-3 to perform a benefit for the Ravenna Gridiron Club.
Meanwhile, the Kelly Miller Circus — known as America’s “One Ring Wonder” — will return to Aurora on July 20 for two performances to benefit the W.R. Ricksecker Masonic Lodge.
Don and Kay Viall, owners of Sunbeau Valley Farm, have hosted the Carson and Barnes Circus several times. The circus is celebrating its 76th anniversary.
Prices for tickets and ticket outlets for both circuses will be announced later.