Vacant motel's razing

sought in Streetsboro

Streetsboro still has its eyes on tearing down what some people consider an eyesore -- the Palms Motel -- which now is vacant, according to Law Director David Maistros.

"We're trying to get it [torn] down," Maistros recently told City Council. "We have taken down the [motel] sign for failing to meet the [zoning] code."

The motel was shut down by city leaders in June 2010, and the city has been trying to get the building torn down since 2012. The motel is on Route 14, just south of Walmart.

"I've had extensive discussions with Council about the owner of that [motel]," Maistros said recently. "The ownership has changed hands a number of times in the last couple years. In my opinion, they've been exchanging hands of the title of the property in order to try to stay one step ahead of us."

Maistros said the "owner of that property owns a number of other properties, so he does have legal counsel engaged, and we're working our way to get it knocked down."

-- Mike Lesko, Gateway News

Work on Kent bridge

to push into October

A project to replace a portion of Kent's Main Street bridge is now expected to drag on until early October because of various setbacks.

Craig Boyce, a construction manager with the Portage County engineering office, said one reason the project has fallen behind its initial work timeline is because of concrete that was rotting and had created holes bigger to fill than originally anticipated.

Meanwhile, the bridge's supports and abutments needed more work than expected. And deliveries of new beams being laid on the bridge were delayed as a result because the repairs have required extra time.

The project, which began June 16 and was originally estimated to be finished 75 days later (Aug. 30), may begin trickling over its $800,000 budget. "There probably will be some increase in cost," Boyce said. "I'm not exactly sure, but I don't expect it to be very much."

The 37-foot-long span crosses over CSX Railroad track. Main Street will remain closed between Gougler and Franklin avenues for the duration of the project.

-- Jeremy Nobile, Record-Courier

Kent St. aviation fair

slated at KSU Airport

Kent State University's 18th Aviation Heritage Fair will take place Sept. 13 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kent State University Airport on Route 59 in Stow.

"The purpose of the fair is to give the general public and university students, staff and faculty an opportunity to see history flying, or even on the ground, and to expose people to the rich heritage of aviation," said Ben Satyshur, aviation safety program manager at the Kent State University Airport.

Like last year, the fair will have two World War II veterans as speakers brought in by MAPS Air Museum in North Canton. MAPS also will bring to aircraft its has restored and two jet engines.

There will be static displays of several aircraft, including a North American B-25 Mitchell, a Fairchild C-123 Provider, a Douglas C-47 Skytrain (DC-3), Cleveland Metro Life Flight and SkyFox 8 helicopter. About 30 aircraft are expected to participate.

Guility plea is entered

in benefit funds theft

A Streetsboro businessman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $23,000 raised at a November 2013 benefit concert for an ailing Cleveland area musician who was a frequent performer at Streetsboro's annual Family Days event.

William "Chef Bill" Thompson, 49, of Cuyahoga Falls, who operated Stringz & Wingz, pleaded guilty to grand theft in Portage County Common Pleas Court on Aug. 25. He faces up to 36 months in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said Judge Laurie Pittman will hold a restitution hearing prior to sentencing to determine how much money Thompson owes the victim of the theft, a benefit concert for Sonny Geraci.

A sentencing date has not been set. A message seeking comment on the plea was left Wednesday for Thompson's attorney, Troy Reeves.

The former lead singer of The Outsiders and Climax, Geraci suffered a brain aneurysm in April 2012 and remains confined to a wheelchair.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

United Way campaign

begins, eyes $1.1 mil.

The United Way of Portage County kicked off its 2014 fundraising campaign Saturday at Kent State University's football season opener, setting a goal of $1.1 million to fund local programs.

The goal is a bit more than the total $1.07 million raised during last year's campaign, but officials are hopeful the community will see the benefit of supporting local programs.

"If each person just give a little bit more, it makes a huge difference," said Donna Kovolyan, campaign chair. She is vice present and manager of Hometown Bank's Ravenna office.

On hand for the kickoff were a number of United Way volunteers, Phil Faluotico of Ametek, who is United Way board chairman, and Brian Duchon, president and CEO.

"There are a lot of new things going on," Duchon said. "United Way is making the funding process more strategic to make sure we're making the most effective and efficient use for every dollar."

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Livestock brings cash

The grand total for the 2024 Portage County-Randolph Fair market livestock auction, conducted by Kiko Auctioneers, was $452,028, according to the fair board.

Average prices were $2.77 per pound for steers; $3.21 per pound for hogs; $392.65 per head for goats; $4.91 per pound for lambs and $787.12 per lot for rabbits and poultry.

Portage seeks grant

for drug rehab center

Portage County commissioners have signed a letter of commitment to provide up to $500,000 as part of a grant application by Family & Community Services Inc. to open a drug rehabilitation center.

F&CS filed an application last week with the Ohio Department of Mental Health, seeking money to buy Brookside assisted living center north of Ravenna.

The grant would come from $5 million the Kasich administration made available in August to help such programs. Local officials said it is a very competitive grant program.

While there's no guarantee F&CS will get the grant, county officials, judges and law enforcement and others agree that drug rehabilitation is needed to stem the rising tide of heroin addiction.

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier