Citations are given at

area DUI checkpoints

In an unprecedented show of enforcement meant to educate the public on state law and the dangers of drunken driving, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers and local police officers checked drivers for signs of impairment at seven different checkpoints throughout Portage County over six hours May 16-17.

Out of 1,170 drivers who went through the checkpoints between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., 37 were diverted for additional checks or sobriety tests. Troopers arrested three for operating a vehicle under the influence, all first-degree misdemeanors.

Three others were arrested for driving under suspension, all first-degree misdemeanors. One underage drinker was arrested and charged with alcohol prohibitions, a first-degree misdemeanor. And one minor misdemeanor charge was filed due to drugs found in a vehicle, according to Sgt. Brian Vail of the highway patrol's Ravenna post.

The checkpoints were conducted in areas of Portage County identified by the highway patrol as having large numbers of impaired drivers and crashes caused by impaired driving, according to highway patrol Sgt. Tom Hermann of the Ravenna post.

None of the checkpoints were near Aurora, and local officers did not participate in the enforcement effort.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Concealed carry stats

released by state's AG

The number of new licenses to carry concealed firearms dropped in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2013, according to statistics released last week by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Two hundred eighty three new licenses and 161 renewals were reported in Portage County, along with 10 license suspensions, four revocations and two denials.

The number of license renewals statewide during first quarter increased from the year-earlier period. For January, February and March, 16,205 regular concealed carry licenses were issued, along with 15,832renewals. Another 350 licenses were suspended, 111 were revoked and 262 were denied.

The results compared to first-quarter 2013 totals of 31,407 new licenses, 6,354 renewals, 283 suspensions, 64 revocations and 342 denials. County sheriffs issued a record 145,000-plus concealed carry licenses last year.

The attorney general's office compiles quarterly and annual statistics on concealed carry license holders.

-- Marc Kovac, RPC capital bureau

Hospital lease altered

to include U-Hospitals

Portage County commissioners have agreed to add University Hospitals to the membership of Robinson Health System Inc., the not-for-profit corporation that operates Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.

The addition will help Robinson Memorial and UH reach a final agreement on their partnership by the end of May. The two signed a letter of intent in January.

Under the amended lease with the county, University Hospitals will be the sole member of Robinson Health System Inc., said Stephen Colecchi, president and chief executive officer of Robinson Memorial.

The county commissioners will continue to own the land and the facilities of the hospital and lease them to Robinson Health System Inc.

The hospital's board expanded to 15 members when it became a not-for-profit this year. The amended lease would allow a further expansion of the board to include UH.

Colecchi said UH requested some amendments to the lease as part of the ongoing negotiations. Robinson Memorial and University Hospitals are still aimed at having a final agreement by the end of May.

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Red Fox Boat Access

dedicated a new park

The Portage Park District dedicated its newest park -- the Red Fox Boat Access on the Upper Cuyahoga Scenic River, on May 17. It is located on the site of Portage County's Red Fox wastewater treatment plant on Price Road in Shalersville.

The park includes an eight-car parking lot with spaces for boat trailers, signage, an information kiosk and an improved access ramp to the river. It was funded with a Division of Watercraft grant from boat license fees.

The new access will serve primarily as a safe takeout spot for canoes and kayaks that put in upstream; the site is 6 miles downstream from Mantua Village, and will serve as the last public takeout area before reaching the restricted Lake Rockwell waters.

The site is considered part of the developing Cuyahoga River Water Trail, a joint effort by communities in the watershed to promote and manage recreational access to the river.

For more information about the Portage Park District, call 330-297-7728 or visit

Swing dance June 6

Cadillac Lilly will play at the June 6 Bainbridge swing dance at Bainbridge Township Hall on route 306. It is a five-piece band specializing in swing and blues.

The swing dance begins at 9 p.m. It is preceded by a one-hour swing dance lesson at 8. Admission is $10 per adult, $8 per student and $25 per family, including the lesson and dance.

A different live band performs the first Friday of each month. For additional information, contact Will Craig at 216-316-0068 or

TEA Party will gather

The Portage County TEA Party will meet May 22 at 7 p.m. at Maplewood Career Center on Route 88 in Ravenna. The general public is welcome.

The meeting will be highlighted by a presentation by Jeremiah Martin, the Northeast Ohio coordinator for Concerned Veterans. He will explain the causes of the recent deaths of veterans in Arizona and other states, plus other serious problems with the VA.

He will tell what citizens can do to get Congress to take action to protect U.S. veterans. The TEA Party urges all citizens who are concerned about care of veterans to attend.