Early voting begins in

Portage County, state

Early in-person voting opened Oct. 12 in Portage County and across Ohio, and Portage Board of Elections Director Faith Lyon said 363 voters cast ballots.

Oct. 12 also was the first day the board could mail absentee ballots to more than 12,000 county voters who requested them so far, and Lyon said the first batch of about 6,000 ballots, filling 32 mail bins, went out.

"We'll be mailing daily after that. We hoped by the weekend we'd be caught up," Lyon said.

For dates and open hours for in-person voting, see the board's web page at www.co.portage.oh.us/election/. The board also lists what identification or information is acceptable to vote.

Election officials were "extremely busy" Oct. 11 with voters calling to confirm their registration information and voting status. Also, there was a steady influx of people stopping by to register or drop off an absentee ballot application.

Lyon said she hopes to have final registration numbers this week.

For the last presidential election in 2012, Portage had 108,154 registered voters. In 2015, that number was down to 99,434.

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier

New Queen of Hearts

drawing starts soon

The Queen of Hearts will soon begin again at Garrettsville's SkyLane bowling alley.

After breaking the national record last month, owner Aaron King said he would restart the game after restructuring the winnings.

Starting Nov. 6, the first drawing will be for a jackpot starting at $342,629. That is 10 percent of the whopping $3.4 million jackpot taken by Mantua's Terri Vechery.

Tickets also will be sold from the Sugarbush Golf Course in Garrettsville on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Oct. 22. Tickets will only be sold at SkyLane on Sundays.

It will be mandatory to attend the drawing on Sundays to win full jackpot amounts less than $750,000. If the jackpot tops that, the winner does not have to be present.

Those picked who are not in attendance will receive 50 percent of the scheduled total.

Drawings will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Sundays, with ticket sales stopping at 4 p.m. Anyone 18 years or older is eligible to play.

Tickets cost $5 for one ticket or $20 for five tickets. A W2-G form will be issued for all winnings greater than $600. Awarded funds will not be given until the form is completely filled out.

-- Matthew Merchant,


Favorites of TEA Party

include Donald Trump

The Portage County TEA Party announced last week it endorses Donald J. Trump for president of the United States.

It also announced that it is withholding its endorsement of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Ohio Congressman David Joyce because they are not supporting Republican Trump.

The Portage County TEA Party, as a corporation, can endorse federal candidates as provided under the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. The endorsements came after a recent vote by its members.

"He wants what we want," said Tom Zawistowski, Portage County TEA Party executive director, "a growing economy powered by a less-regulated private sector not big government; good-paying private sector jobs; the repeal and replacement of Obamacare with a competitive private sector solution; school choice for all students; a strong military; (and) security at home and abroad including enforcing our borders."

In other endorsements, the group is backing: John Eklund for Ohio Senate 18th District; Sarah LaTourette for Ohio House 76th District, John Mancini and Sabrina Christian-Bennett, county commissioners; Tia Paoloni, county clerk of courts; Lori Calcei, county recorder;

Trisha Heath, county treasurer; Pat DeWine, justice of the Ohio Supreme Court; and

Ron Tamburrino, judge 11th District Court of Appeals.

Get rid of legal drugs

The Portage County Sheriff's Office, County Water Resources and Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Anyone wishing to participate is asked to take their pills to the Portage County Water Resources offices at 8116 Infirmary Road on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for disposal.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. No liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches, will be accepted.

"This is a great opportunity for Portage County residents to clean out their medicine cabinets of old medications that could be harmful to the environment," said Portage County Sheriff David Doak.

Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 5.5 million pounds of pills.

Cyclist indicted after

chase in Streetsboro

A Hudson man is facing a felony charge for allegedly leading Streetsboro police on a high-speed motorcycle chase in August. David E. Feathers, 56, of Edgeview Drive was indicted recently by a Portage County grand jury on a charge of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony.

He pleaded not guilty Sept. 26 in Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman's courtroom and posted $1,500 bond, though Pittman noted his probation in another case could soon be revoked.

Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eugene Muldowney said on Aug. 19, Streetsboro police chased a motorcycle carrying Feathers and a female passenger on Route 14, but stopped after the chase became a safety hazard.

Feathers then crashed the motorcycle and he and his passenger had to be taken to a hospital by LifeFlight helicopter. Feathers' attorney Mike Giulitto said the woman was in court for Feathers' hearing.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Township gets grant

to fix up schoolhouse

Mantua Township recently received a First Energy Foundation grant to help with its efforts to restore the Mantua Center School building.

At a recent township trustees meeting, Dana Heffner, area manager for Portage, Stark and Wayne counties for First Energy, presented a check for $1,500 from the foundation to Linda Ehlert, co-chair of the grants and funding committee.

Those funds will be used for the school's elevator project, which has been hitting financial and architectural difficulties lately. Community members are hoping to get the elevator installed to make the building handicap accessible.

The First Energy Foundation provides funding for community projects that may improve the vitality of communities and safety initiatives, promote local and regional economic support, or support revitalization efforts, according to a news release from the restoration committee.

Heffner had been advising the grants committee through the application process for the funds.

She said at the meeting that she toured the building and determined the restored building "will be a great asset to the community," a requirement for the grant.

Left of center causes

many highway deaths

The Portage County Traffic Fatal Review Board reviewed five fatal crashes occurring during the months of July to September.

For the same period in 2015, Portage County had six fatal crashes. To date in 2016, Portage has 13 fatal crashes and 15 traffic-related deaths.

Ravenna Ohio Highway Patrol Post Commander Lt. Antonio Matos reported the leading cause of fatal crashes in Portage County so far this year is "left of center, and that will be an area of focus for troopers.

"Whether lane violations are caused by impairment or distracted driving, they're causing dangers to everyone on the roadways, and have caused 46 percent of our fatal crashes."

The seat belt usage rate for Portage County is 76.4 percent. Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci expressed the need to promote seat belt usage, noting last year the usage rate was 86.2 percent.

The review board is a requirement of the Safe Communities grant comprised of state, county and local law enforcement, Portage County Health District, UH-Portage Medical Center, ODOT, and Portage County engineer, coroner and prosecutors offices.

Meteorologist to talk

WKYC Channel 3 Meteorologist Greg Dee will visit the Garrettsville Library on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. to talk about weather and storm safety.

Dee will touch upon the work that he does as a meteorologist, and will discuss severe weather and storm safety tips.

This program is intended for adults, but all age groups are welcome to attend.

Registration is required to attend. To reserve a seat, contact the Garrettsville Library's circulation desk at 330-527-4378.

The Garrettsville Library, a branch of the Portage County District Library, is located at 10482 South St.