Law enforcement 'Sweep' hits county

AKRON -- A "Gun Violence Reduction Sweep" took place May 19, said members of the Akron Police Department, Summit County Sheriff's Department and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Division. Seventeen Akron residents were arrested on 18 misdemeanor charges and six felony charges, according to the APD. The sweep seized 1,155 grams of marijuana, $1,589.00 in cash, a 2005 Ford Mustang, a body armor vest and a loaded .25 caliber handgun. The most significant arrests, according to officials, were made when the detail executed a search warrant in the 100 block of Paris Ave.

Relay For Life planned at Aurora High stadium

AURORA -- "Mission: Possible" will be the theme of the eighth annual Relay For Life that will kick off June 2 at 8 a.m. Relay is a 24-hour event jam-packed with activities, games, shows, fundraisers, contests, food, music, inspiration and touching moments, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Activities get under way at 7:30 a.m. with a free pancake breakfast at Harmon School courtesy of the Rotary Club of Aurora. The event concludes with closing ceremonies and the presentation of awards at 7:30 a.m. June 3.

60 homes approved by

Bedford Heights Council

BEDFORD HEIGHTS -- Construction on a cluster home development off Columbus Road could begin within the next 30 days. At a May 22 meeting, the city's planning commission voted 4-2 to approve plans for a 60-unit senior housing development west of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Developer Larry Newman, who purchased 6.5 acres from Holy Trinity, plans to construct 60 single-story, two-bedroom units valued at about $125,000 each to be "completed about this time next year." At the request of the developer Council voted May 21 to make the minimum age requirement 55 for residents in the development.

Police looking for bike trail flasher

HUDSON -- Police are looking for a man who reportedly exposed himself to passers-by on the Metro Parks Hike and Bike Trail at Barlow Road just after 6 p.m. May 15. The man, who was walking on the trail, was described as being between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall with sandy hair, no shirt and black shorts. He was reported to police by a Hudson resident. Stow police also were notified, and an investigation is under way. Anyone with information can call the Hudson police at 330-342-1800.

Pool opening is

dead' in the water

MAPLE HEIGHTS -- The swimming pools at Stafford and Dunham parks, dry for two summers because of budgetary problems, will not open this year. "The whole issue is a dead one," Council President Jackie Albers said at a May 16 meeting. "As far as I'm concerned, this will be the last discussion on whether to repair pools or demolish pools until we can stabilize the financial situation," she said. Ideas were splashed around about tearing down the pools, building new facilities and sharing the Maple Heights High School pool and the pool at the Southeast YMCA in Bedford.

First eaglet in decades being raised

SAGAMORE HILLS -- The first bald eagle chick in the area in 70 years can be seen on the other side of the Cuyahoga River from the Towpath Trail, say Cuyahoga Valley National Park officials. This is the second year the eaglet's parents have built a nest among a flock of nesting herons just north of Route 82, but the first year the pair has had chicks. Two chicks were hatched around Easter, but one apparently died, officials said. The park ordered a "no stopping" order for pedestrians the section of the Towpath Trail in the vicinity of the eagle nest to prevent the animals from being disturbed.

Trial set for Stow man accused of sexual imposition

STOW -- A 63-year-old Stow Road man charged with four counts of sexual imposition involving a 12-year-old girl is scheduled to appear in court for his trial Aug. 6, after pleading not guilty May 23 before Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mary Spicer. Stow Police Lt. Rick Myers said Joseph W. Smith was indicted March 20 on the four counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, related to four alleged incidents involving the girl. The U.S. Marshal Northeast Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Smith in his home Feb. 16, according to Myers. Smith is free on a $10,000 bond, according to Spicer's office.

Portage County parks plan runs through Streetsboro

STREETSBORO -- Points of historic interest, schools, recreational resources and regional destinations may be connected via a web of hike and bike trails through sensitive environmental areas and neighborhoods when the Portage County Parks District's master plan comes together. About 20 to 30 people interested in the future of parks in Aurora and Streetsboro gathered May 23 to hear an outline of the process of creating a master plan and identify possible opportunities for creating "greenways" and hike and bike trails. "We hope the whole project will be wrapped up by March 2008," said Portage County Parks District Executive Director Christine Craycroft.

Cowboy church offers services from saddle

TWINSBURG TOWNSHIP -- Horses peek over their stall doors, silently watching as minister Dave Fedor begins another Cowboy Church service. A new ministry in the area that combines prayer and people with horses, Cowboy Church meets the last Saturday of each month at Blair's Riding Stables, 8124 Stow Road in Twinsburg Township. Cowboy Church services take place after riding lessons have finished at the stables. The group sets up hay bales covered in blankets around the ring within the barn, and Fedor preaches from the saddle. For more information, call 330-425-RIDE.