Payment of land taxes

now possible via Web

Portage County property owners can now pay their taxes online using the auditor's property website.

The change is thanks to a recent partnership between Auditor Janet Esposito and Treasurer Brad Cromes.

According to county records, web traffic to the auditor's property website far exceeds traffic to the county's main site.

Esposito and Cromes have agreed to take advantage of that traffic to offer taxpayers a new method of paying their tax bills. Visitors to the site will now find a link on the "tax" page associated with each parcel offering the option to "pay this amount."

Those who click on the link will be directed to OfficialPayments.com, and asked to enter additional information about the parcel, payer, and payment amount.

"Our offices does everything we can to make interacting with government simpler for the public, and this payment link is about as simple as it gets," Esposito said.

First half real estate tax payments are due Feb. 17. For details about property tax payments, call 330-297-3586 during regular business hours.

Guilty plea entered by

publisher of magazine

The suspended publisher of Crain's Cleveland Business pleaded guilty last week to a charge of public indecency in Stow Municipal Court.

John A. Campanelli, 46, of Hudson pleaded guilty to the fourth-degree misdemeanor which stemmed from a Nov. 7 complaint where a 52-year-old newspaper delivery woman told police Campanelli exposed himself to her at his residence.

Campanelli will be sentenced at a future date by Judge Kim Hoover, who ordered a pre-sentence investigation, according to court records.

Campanelli also was scheduled to be offered a plea deal in Portage County Municipal Court in Kent on Jan. 25, according to Portage County court records.

That charge stems from an alleged indecent exposure that took place at the Aurora Inn Hotel and Event Center on Nov. 16, 2015, according to Aurora police and court records.

-- Hudson Hub-Times

Candidates forum set

A voters and candidates Face 2 Face gathering will take place Feb. 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the United Church of Christ, 1400 E. Main St., Kent.

Voters will have the opportunity to talk with candidates in a small group setting, as the candidates move from table to table.

Candidates in the following races have been invited: state senate 18th District, state rep 75th District, and Portage commissioner, Common Pleas judge, clerk of courts, recorder treasurer, engineer and coroner.

The League of Women Voters of Kent and Northern Portage, Portage County NAACP, Kent Environmental Council and Kent Lions are the sponsoring organizations.

Turnpike sets record

Ohio Turnpike officials say low gasoline prices, mild weather and an improving economy contributed to a record number of vehicles using the toll road in 2015.

More than 53 million vehicles used the 241-mile turnpike last year, topping the previous record of nearly 52 million vehicles in 2006.

Last year's vehicle total was a 4 percent increase over 2014. And motorists last year logged the second-highest number of turnpike miles traveled, with just over 3 billion.

Officials say the turnpike also has seen an increase in the number of motorists using E-ZPass, the electronic toll collection system.

Last year saw the turnpike mark the 60th anniversary for the completion of the toll road that connects northern Ohio with Pennsylvania to the east and Indiana to the west.

Bus driver cited after

3 school buses crash

A Streetsboro school bus driver has been charged in connection with a crash involving three school buses on Page Road on Jan. 13.

Wanda Templeton, 48, of Ravenna, the driver of the rear bus in a line of three, was cited for assured clear distance, according to a Jan. 22 news release from the Streetsboro Police Department.

The charge is a minor misdemeanor. Streetsboro City Schools Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh was not immediately available for comment.

Following the crash, 21 people were taken to area hospitals, including 20 students and one bus driver.

The crash took place at 2:49 p.m. and caused the closure of Page Road from Pike Parkway to Frost Road until about 5:30 p.m., according to Streetsboro Police Chief

According to Streetsboro Police Lt. Tricia Wain, the accident took place in the 35 mph zone of Page Road near the Chapel at Tinkers Creek.

Ohio unemployment

rate goes up slightly

The state's unemployment rate was up in December compared to the previous month even as the number of jobs in Ohio increased.

An Ohio Department of Job and Family Services release said Ohio's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, up from 4.5 percent in November. The number of unemployed workers was 269,000, up 14,000 from November.

Department spokesman Benjamin Johnson said the unemployment rate increased because Ohio's labor force grew.

Ohio's nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 15,200 over the month to more than 5.45 million in December.

The December unemployment rate was down from 5.1 percent in December 2014.

The state's rate continues to track below the national rate of 5 percent for December. The national rate was unchanged from November.

-- The Associated Press