City OKs 3-year pact

with firefighters union

AURORA -- Local firefighters and the city have reached a deal on a new three-year contract that includes pay raises and a new health care plan for the city's 15 part-and full-time firefighters, according to Law Director Alan Shorr. The firefighters, represented by the International Association of Fire Firefighters Local 2488, signed the contract during a recent weekend meeting, he added.

Schools get good

fiscal bill of health

BEDFORD -- School district Treasurer Janet Pavlic said she was "very happy" with the district's recent audit by the state, which covers the academic year 2005-06. "This is the cleanest audit I've ever had," she said. Steve Faulkner, spokesperson for the Ohio Auditor's Office, said there were no findings for recovery in the audit, which was released Jan. 19. "Findings for recovery" are situations where money could be missing or is expensed improperly. Pavlic said the district has an operating budget of about $47.6 million.

Falls City Schools will place levy on May ballot

CUYAHOGA FALLS -- The school district has cleared the first hurdle toward placing a levy on the May ballot. The Board of Education recently approved a resolution declaring it necessary to renew a five-year, 4.75-mill levy. The district will ask the county fiscal officer to certify the amount of revenue which would be generated by the proposed levy. Superintendent Dr. Edwin S. Holland noted a 4.75-mill levy expired in December 2006, although collection of levy money continues through 2007. If the levy is not renewed during 2007, Holland said the district would be $3.3 million in the hole before the end of the 2007-08 school year.

Eagles' donations aim

to fund city programs

MAPLE HEIGHTS -- Thanks to grants from a local organization, a food pantry will soon open and the fire department will be able to purchase a new thermal imaging camera. Mike Lagaza, a trustee with the Bedford Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge 2122, and Frank Edwards, president of the group, donated two checks to help city organizations. A $5,000 check went to Linda Vopat, human services coordinator, and a $10,000 check to Maple Heights Fire Chief James Castelucci, on behalf of their departments. The $5,000 check was made out to the Maple Heights Senior Development Inc., which helps support activities of the senior center, Vopat said. The $10,000 fire department check was made out to the Maple Heights Social Services Fund, which is used for donations to help the fire department.

Fire department may increase hours

NORTHFIELD VILLAGE -- More money coming into the village's coffers may mean 12 more hours per week that firefighters will spend staff the village fire station. The station is currently staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The plan would stretch Friday and Saturday staffing to midnight. Sunday's hours may also be increased to midnight, after about six months. Officials said the move is thanks to the village ending the year with a $600,000 surplus.

Levy campaign

to focus on positives

STREETSBORO -- The School Board will tell voters how a 5.1-mill property tax levy on the May 8 ballot would help the schools, rather than emphasizing possible budget cuts. Superintendent Tom Giovangnoli said he wants the campaign not to "make threats" about cutting teachers or busing within the district as in past levy campaigns, but to show voters how the district spends its money and what the added funds would do for the district. "We need to have a positive approach and explain to people what steps to improving the district we'll take with their money," Giovangnoli said.

Prosecutor says no laws broken in death

SUMMIT COUNTY -- County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced Jan. 25 that her office concluded sheriff deputies violated "no Ohio statutes" resulting in the death of former inmate Schuyler DeJournett. DeJournett was pronounced dead Oct. 22, 2006, at Akron General Hospital after seizing in his cell at the Summit County jail. Walsh said in a news release that autopsy reports indicated DeJournett died from the effects of "acute cocaine toxicity" from drugs ingested during his arrest. The coroner ruled the manner of death accidental, Bevan Walsh said.

School Board renews treasurer's contract

TALLMADGE -- The School Board unanimously approved a four-year contract for District Treasurer Jeff Hostetler, who has been with the district since January 2005. In December 2005, Board members approved a 10 percent increase for Hostetler's 2006 salary to $86,500 annually. The new contract does not include a salary raise.

First mayoral primary election is May 8

TWINSBURG -- Two have taken out petitions with the Summit County Board of Elections to run in the city's first mayoral primary election on May 8; incumbent Mayor Katherine Procop and At-large Councilor Steve Murphy have said they will vie for the position. Board officials said the two were the only candidates who had pulled petitions for the post as of Jan. 29. The filing deadline is Feb. 22, according to the elections Board. Voters in November 2006 passed a charter amendment that established the city's first mayoral primary election.