Flu claims lives of

several Ohio kids

State officials say several children around Ohio have died of flu-related illnesses and hospitalizations continue to increase in the midst of what is typically peak time during flu season.

As of Feb. 13, Portage County had four influenza associated hospitalizations in 2017, according to the Portage County Health Department.

The Ohio Department of Health says more than 2,000 people have been hospitalized with flu-related illnesses this flu season, which usually lasts from October to May. The agency is urging Ohioans who haven't received the flu vaccine to do so.

Ohio confirmed three flu-related child deaths in a recent weekk-long period: a 6-year-old boyin Columbiana County, a 6-year-old girl in Cuyahoga County, and a 7-year-old girl in Fulton County.

A coroner separately reported another suspected flu-related death in Columbiana County involving a 7-year-old boy from East Liverpool who died Feb. 11.

The health department recommends getting a flu vaccination as the most effective way of avoiding or spreading the flu, as well as washing hands frequently or using alcohol-based sanitizer.

Flu shots are still available at the Portage County Health District every Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to noon on the 2nd floor of 705 Oakwood Street in Ravenna. All clinics are walk-in with no appointment needed.

CC plans expo in

neighboring city

The Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce invites area residents to take part in its 2017 Community Expo.

The event will enable residents to get to know Streetsboro's businesses, organizations, non-profits, government and school programs better.

The expo will take place March 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Businesses, crafters, clubs and organizations, as well as area agencies, are invited to take part in this event as vendors.

The cost is $150 for Chamber members who've paid their 2017 dues, $225 for non-Chamber members, $100 for crafters, and $75 for non-profit organizations and businesses.

The Chamber also is seeking sponsors for the event. Sponsorship levels range from the $1,000 Community Expo World Headquarters Sponsorship Level to the $250 Community Expo Entrepreneur Sponsorship Level.

For additional information about the 2017 Community Expo, contact Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Valerie Fiala at 330-626-4769 or sacc@streetsborochamber.org.

Marijuana found

in system of man

According to the Feb. 16 toxicology report released by the Summit County medical examiner's office, THC (or marijuana) was found in the system of a 26-year-old man shot and killed Dec. 4 by a Hudson police officer.

The report stated that no other drugs or alcohol were detected in the system of Saif Nasser Mubarak Alameri.

Almost three months after the officer shot and killed the college student while attempting to make an arrest in a wooded area, the investigation continues.

Officer Ryan Doran has been on paid administrative leave since shortly after the shooting, and will remain on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Officials have determined Mr. Alameri did not have a gun, according to Jill Del Greco of the the Ohio attorney general's office. The final autopsy report has not yet been received.

Area closed near

bald eagles' nest

A pair of bald eagles has returned and is actively tending to its nest within the Pinery Narrows area in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

To protect the eagles from human disturbance, the area surrounding the nest tree will be closed until July 31.

The Pinery Narrows area is north of Station Road Bridge Trailhead in Brecksville. The railroad tracks and a 30-foot right-of-way on either side of the tracks are closed to all pedestrian traffic from the Route 82 bridge north to the Fitzwater maintenance yard for Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, bridle trail and Cuyahoga River will remain open. However, the closed area may be expanded if needed to protect the eagles.

Although recently removed from the endangered species list, the bald eagle is still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Bald eagles returned to the Cuyahoga Valley in 2006, after an absence of 70 years. They have nested in the Pinery Narrows every year since then.