Man pleads guilty in

rape of a 12-year-old

A Streetsboro man has pleaded guilty to raping and molesting a 12-year-old girl numerous times between August 2014 and June 2015.

Patrick L. Goodwin, 42, pleaded guilty Sept. 6 in Portage County Common Pleas Court to two counts of rape, both first-degree felonies; and three counts of gross sexual imposition, all third-degree felonies.

Judge Laurie Pittman ordered a pre-sentence investigation. In addition to being labeled a sex offender, Goodwin faces three to 11 years in prison on each rape charge and one to five years in prison on each gross sexual imposition charge.

Ten additional sexual assault charges were dismissed upon Goodwin's guilty plea. He remains in the Portage County jail on $1 million bond.

According to a Streetsboro Police Department investigation and a subsequent grand jury indictment, Goodwin sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl numerous times at a residence in the Camelot Village mobile home park on Frost Road.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Towner's Woods 40th

anniversary planned

The Portage Park District will celebrate the 40th year of its most popular park -- Towner's Woods just north of Kent -- with a community celebration Oct. 8 at 4 p.m.

Festivities will include a formal proclamation of the anniversary by public officials, historical hikes, a nature photo booth, campfire, music, refreshments and a food truck.

Towner's Woods was acquired in phases by Portage County in the 1970s. It was developed as parkland and dedicated to the public during the 1976 U.S. bicentennial.

The park has 241 rolling acres, easy and strenuous foot trails, a cross-country skiing area, an historic Indian mound and an interlocking railroad tower at the entrance.

The event will mark the dedication of two new features -- a 0.6-mile wetlands trail and a 7.4-acre residential property, including a pond visible from the main trail.

Kent State professor emeritus Mark Seeman will talk about Hopewell Indians history / culture and lead a hike to the mound.

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

Portage's jobless rate

drops 0.2% in August

Portage County's jobless rate has dropped again -- to 4.5 percent in August from 4.7 percent in July, according to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.

It was the second month of incremental drops after June's 4.8 percent. The county's highest jobless rate this year was 5.6 percent in March. The rate was 4.3 percent in August 2015.

There were 4,000 county residents without job sand seeking employment in August. That was down from 4,200 in July, according to ODJFS. The county's workforce in August was 87,800, down from 89,000 in July.

Across Ohio from July to August, unemployment rates decreased in 72 counties, increased in one and were unchanged in 15, according to ODJFS.

August rates (not seasonally adjusted) for counties adjacent to Portage (with July rates) were: Cuyahoga 5.5 (5.5); Geauga 4.4 (4.4); Mahoning 5.8 (5.8); Stark 4.9 (5.0); Summit 4.7 (4.7); and Trumbull 6.0 (6.2).

-- Mike Sever, 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

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

Family Fun Fest slated

Family & Community Services Inc. and the Portage County Health District are hosting a free Health & Safety Fall Family Fun Fest on Oct. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Family and Community Services Building, 705 Oakwood St. in Ravenna.

The purpose of the event is to show residents the programs and services available to the community that are located in the building.

There will be family friendly activities with prizes and food. The health district also will be hosting a community flu shot clinic. Visit the PCHD website at or call 330-296-9919 for more information.

Along with the Portage County Health District and Family & Community Services Inc., agencies participating in include Ohio State Extension Office, Portage Parks and Recreation and Home Instead.

The FCS programs participating are: Help Me Grow, Big Brothers and Sisters, Senior Center, HESS, Senior Care and Consumer Credit Services.

Health expo coming up

University Hospitals Portage Medical Center plans a free Women's Health Expo on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown. Partici-

pants will hear presentations and panel discussions. Free health screenings and a complimentary brunch will be available. Reservations are required at 1-877-597-6348 before Oct. 7.