2 are dead in alleged
local murder / suicide
Two men are dead after an incident Sept. 4 that brought Twinsburg police and Metro SWAT to a townhouse in the 9600 block of East Idlewood Drive.
At least two residents in the area called 911 just before 5 p.m. to report sounds of gunshots, police said.
When police arrived, they found 57-year-old Jerry Robinson on the ground near his truck with “multiple gunshot wounds to his abdomen.”
Robinson, whose driver’s license lists a Northfield address, was transported to Cleveland Clinic-Twinsburg, where he was prounounced dead an hour later.
The suspected shooter, 58-year-old Robert Waltzer, went back inside the home and did not respond to attempts by Twinsburg Police and Metro SWAT to make contact.
At about 10 p.m., SWAT deployed tear gas into the townhouse, then entered the residence. Waltzer was found dead of an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” according to a press release from Twinsburg Assistant Police Chief Bob Gonsiewski.
Robinson’s parents told cleveland.com that his relationship with a longtime girlfriend recently ended and that she had moved in with Waltzer.
— Gina Mace, Twinsburg Bulletin

Panel recommending
Portage jail expansion
A subcommittee formed to advise Portage County commissioners on how best to spend money from a five-year, 0.25 percent sales tax increase has accomplished its first goal.
The group has recommended the county build a new 132-bed “pod” or housing unit for women inmates. Estimated cost is $12.4 million.
It also asked commissioners to consider remodeling an existing but unused indoor exercise area into dorm housing for either a work release program or minimum security prisoners, or both.
That would add some 20 to 25 new beds to the jail at an estimated cost of $318,252.
The panel is now developing a request for proposals for drug treatment and prevention programs to fund.
Joel Mowrey, executive director of the county Mental Health and Recovery Board, said the MHRB is working with the Portage County Health District to compile a list of rehabilitation programs, but it’s not an easy task.
“We have no detox facilities in Portage, we have no psychiatric evaluation in Portage,” Mowrey said, and the facilities elsewhere are already at capacity.
— Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Portage’s drug policy
excludes medical pot
Portage County commissioners on Sept. 6 approved an amendment to their existing drug and alcohol policy to include prohibitions against marijuana.
Portage County has a “drug-free workplace” policy. But commissioners wanted to address medical marijuana in separate legislation as an amendment to it.
The decision is response to the state law passed on June 8, which authorizes health care providers to prescribe marijuana for medical usage. That law went into effect Sept. 8.
The policy reads that “employees who are using marijuana with a valid prescription or authorized by Ohio law are not exempt” from the “zero-tolerance policy ... in any way.”
With or without authorization of the law, the policy states, anyone found to be using marijuana “will be treated the same as the use of all other illegal drugs or the abuse of illegal drugs.” Resulting consequences can include termination.
Janet Kovick, the county’s assistant director of human resources, said she will send the updated policy to all county employees.
— Matthew Merchant, R-C

Brecksville man dies
in fall at Brandywine
Authorities say a 71-year-old Brecksville man died Sept. 6 after falling off a cliff east of Brandywine Falls in Northfield.
Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire Chief Frank Risko said the man did not survive the fall due to extensive head injuries.
Summit County Sheriff’s Deputy Wes Dobbins said the man apparently fell from the other side of the wood-fenced boardwalk designed to keep people away from the steep sides of the gorge leading up to Brandywine Falls.
Dobbins estimated the fall to be about 100 feet. He said the man was discovered by hikers walking at the bottom of the gorge around 11:30 a.m. The hikers called 911, and Dobbins was the first on the scene.
Risko said a 37-year-old sheriff’s deputy was treated for heat exhaustion during the recovery. He was taken for further treatment at Cleveland Clinic-Twinsburg.
In addition to the fire district, the Macedonia Fire Department and Sagamore Hills police assisted Cuyahoga Valley National Park rangers, who are handling the investigation.
— Eric Marotta, News-Leader

Streetsboro brothers
sentenced for drugs
Two Streetsboro brothers who admitted making methamphetamine at their duplex in April recently were sentenced after pleading guilty to felony charges.
William H. Hawkins, 33, was sentenced in Portage County Common Pleas Court to two years in prison, with credit for 146 days already served in Portage County Jail.
He and his brother, Jerry H. Hawkins, 49, both pleaded guilty in June to one count each illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, both third-degree felonies.
Judge Laurie Pittman fined William Hawkins $5,000 and ordered him to pay $206 in court costs, all within 10 years.
Pittman sentenced Jerry Hawkins to 180 days in Portage County Jail, with credit for 158 days served. She placed him on four years probation. He was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $224 in court costs, according to Pittman’s sentencing order.
— Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier

Windham man to get
treatment after 7 DUIs
A Windham Township man’s seventh drunken driving conviction in the last 20 years will keep him in Portage County Jail for at least four months until he can be transported to a court-ordered drug treatment program.
Keith C. Fagen, 48, was sentenced rrecently by Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman. He pleaded guilty in June to operating a vehicle under the influence, a fourth-degree felony, after a Streetsboro police officer stopped his vehicle on April 1.
Pittman ordered Fagen placed in the Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program in Warren upon bed availability, then interviewed for placement in Root House, a Portage County-based recovery and treatment program.
Fagen’s prior drunken driving convictions were in May 2014, February 2007, September 2005, November 2003, February 1998 and January 1998, according to court records.
— Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier