Agencies gear up

for July 4 holiday

Portage County Safe Communities and area law enforcement agencies are preparing for the July 4 holiday period starting at 6 p.m. June 30 and ending July 5 at 5:59 a.m.

Officers will be out in full force enforcing all traffic laws and participating in the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Portage County Safe Communities will be at the westbound Ohio Turnpike service plaza in Portage County on June 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 146 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher during the July 4, 2015 holiday period.

Also, 92 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher. NHTSA data shows motorcycle operators represented the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes.

Portage County Safe Communities Project Director Lynette Blasiman reminds everyone to always wear a seat belt, never text and drive and only drive sober. Portage County Safe Communities is a program of Portage County Health District.

KSU Airport wins

top award in Ohio

During its annual conference in Columbus, the Ohio Aviation Association designated the Kent State University Airport as its airport of the year.

Each year, the association selects an airport that puts into practice the association's mission of promoting aviation by providing access and availability to the exchange of ideas and new methods, as well as information and experiences.

At the conference, KSU Airport manager David Poluga also received an honorable mention for airport manager of the year.

The Kent State University Airport has been serving the community as a general aviation airport for decades. Originally opened in 1920 by the Ohio Flying School and Transport Co., it has since evolved into the home of Kent State's flight training program, which serves thousands of flights every year.

Every September, the airport hosts Kent State's Aeronautics Fair. This free public event features old war aircraft, such as the B-25 and the C-47, in addition to state-of-the art technologies.

Heritage Fest set

The city of Kent's annual Heritage Festival will take place July 1, with the downtown area blocked off and all kinds of entertainment, business and agency booths, food stands, the weekly Kent Farmers Market and classic cars. The event will end at dark with a fireworks display from Kramer fields.

For a schedule of events and further information, visit the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce website at