Mayor to take oath
Friday at Akron Civic
AKRON: Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic will be sworn in during a ceremony at 12:15 p.m. Friday at the Akron Civic Theater.
A reception will follow.
Plusquellic was elected to another term in November after winning a primary challenge from Joe Finley, a former Ward 2 Akron City councilman.
For more information, call the Summit County Democratic Party at 330-434-1311.
Free cab rides now
to New Year's Eve
AKRON: The annual Life Ride program to reduce fatalities from drunken driving is running each day from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. through New Year's Eve.
Life Ride — in its 26th season — will provide free cab rides home for Akron-area residents who have had too much to drink and should not be driving during the holiday season.
Persons in need of Life Ride should call 330-376-7433 and Life Ride will have a taxi sent to the place of business and provide transportation home. The rides are from businesses to home only.
Life Ride is sponsored by radio stations WAKR (1590-AM), WONE (97.5-FM) and WQMX (94.9-FM), along with Budweiser, the House of LaRose, NECA/IBEW, Circle K, Firestone Tire and Service Centers and Ganley Ford. Life Ride is supported by City Yellow Cab Co. and InfoLine.
1.1 miles in roads
added to township
BATH TWP.: Given the completion of roads in new developments in the township, Bath trustees have accepted the 2007 annual mileage certification from the county engineer as 61.82 miles.
This is an increase of 1.1 miles over the past year and is the total measurement of the roadways for which Bath is now responsible.
— Jody Miller
$175,000 ring taken
from Rawls' home
GREEN: Singer Lou Rawls' widow this week reported the theft of $200,000 worth of jewelry and other items from her home.
Nina Rawls said in a report filed with the Summit County Sheriff's Office that someone took the items sometime between Dec. 12 and Dec. 24.
The report says that an 11-carat diamond ring worth $175,000 was among the stolen items. Other items reported stolen were cash, savings bonds and two U.S. passports.
Lou Rawls died of cancer early this year in Los Angeles. HUDSON
Council renews pact
for ambulance bills
HUDSON: Hudson City Council voted to continue working with Life-Force Management of Streetsboro to provide ambulance transport billing for the city for another year.
The city pays 7.5 percent of money collected to the company for the work.
For the first 10 months of 2007, the city collected $445,640 after paying out $36,133 for services.
Employees determined that managing the billing process in-house would cost too much. The city first retained the company for billing in 2004, when the collection program began.
— Kimberley Sirk
for the holidays
AKRON: All subscribers to the Akron Beacon Journal will receive the Friday edition of the paper during the holiday season, Nov. 23 to Dec. 28.
'Scenic river' study
COLUMBUS: The state is looking closely at three Ohio waterways to see if they have what it takes to be declared officially ''scenic.''
The Vermilion and Ashtabula rivers in Northeast Ohio and the Mad River in western Ohio could join the 13 streams now protected under the state's scenic river program.
The program spotlights rivers that have not lost their natural beauty and wildlife to either development or pollution.
Scenic-river program manager Bob Gable said official studies of whether the three rivers meet the criteria could take up to three years.
The scenic designation can help draw tourists, and it allows the state to turn down nearby highway and construction projects.
One new river made the list in 2006.
Another river was added the year before.
— Associated Press
Man pleads guilty
to firing gun in city
NORTON: A man who authorities said shot a gun outside his home while intoxicated on Christmas pleaded guilty Wednesday in Barberton Municipal Court.
Danford Norman, 55, of Caroline Drive pleaded guilty to using a weapon while intoxicated and discharging a firearm within city limits.
Judge Michael Weigand ordered a presentence investigation.
Norman is in the Norton Jail.
A neighbor called police about 10 p.m. to report that Norman was in front of the home shooting a gun.
Norman told police he was awakened by someone shooting about 30 rounds in front of his house so he got his gun and returned fire, the police report said.
— Gina Mace
State cites two bars
for underage sales
BOSTON HEIGHTS: Two Summit County bars have been cited for alcohol sales to a 17-year-old driver involved in a serious auto accident in Boston Heights.
An investigative arm of the state's Department of Public Safety cited Brubaker's Pub, 4005 Medina Road, Bath Township, and Rose Lounge, 3219 Copley Road, Copley Township, for serving a minor.
The legal drinking age in Ohio is 21.
The Boston Heights Police Department requested the state's involvement in trying to determine how the 17-year-old girl obtained alcoholic beverages prior to the crash in September on state Route 8 in which another person was seriously injured.
''Bar owners need to understand they can be cited for contributing to over-serving and serving underage individuals,'' Cathy Collins-Taylor, executive director of the public safety department's Ohio Investigative Unit, said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
A woman answering the phone at Brubaker's corporate offices Wednesday said company officials declined to comment. Brubaker's operates eight bars in the area.
A woman answering the phone at Rose Lounge also declined to comment.
at library next month
TWINSBURG: The Smithsonian is coming to town.
Key Ingredients: America by Food, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian and the Federation of State Humanities Councils will be on display from Jan. 5 through Jan. 30 at the Twinsburg Public Library, 10050 Ravenna Road.
According to its Web site, Key Ingredients: America by Food ''explores the connections between Americans and the foods they produce, prepare, preserve, and present at table. It is a provocative and thoughtful look at the historical, regional, and social traditions that merge in everyday meals and celebrations.''
Study will determine
water rate hike need
WADSWORTH: A study to determine if a water rate adjustment is needed is expected to be done early next year, Wadsworth Service Director Chris Easton said.
Easton said a number of capital projects are on the list to be financed next year. They include a $2 million water storage tank planned for the northeast section of the city and a waterline from Chippewa Township in Wayne County to the city's water treatment plant.
The waterline will extend more than six miles at an estimated cost of $5.1 million. The city is expected to file up to 21 lawsuits next year to obtain easement rights for that line.
Another expense is construction of new water mains on Broad Street at a cost of $800,000.
Easton said there has been no growth in revenue for the water department and the 2007 budget for that department has a projected deficit of $200,000, growing to $378,000 for 2008.
Easton said revenue for the water department was $2.2 million for 2006, which is expected to be the total again in 2007. In 2008, the projection is $2.3 million.
Easton said this year has seen a record number of waterline breaks. The repairs are more costly because of rising copper and other equipment costs, he said.
— Beau Dusz
Districts to share superintendent
ORRVILLE: Two school districts in Northeast Ohio will begin sharing a superintendent next week, offering a cost-cutting model for districts trying to save money.
Effective Tuesday, Orrville Superintendent Jon Ritchie will take on the additional role as Rittman schools superintendent. The districts in a rural corner of Wayne County already share a treasurer.
''This is not a consolidation,'' said Ritchie, who went to Rittman schools. ''We'll have two budgets, two boards of education, two distinct school districts. We're just trying to streamline services so we can save some money and give additional services to the kids.''
The deal calls for Orrville to pay 80 percent of Ritchie's $98,700 annual salary in the first year and Rittman to pick up the other 20 percent. The arrangement calls for that split to evolve to 60-40 over the next five years, with the proportional share reflecting enrollment.
Neither Ritchie nor schools Treasurer Mark Dickerhoof received a pay raise as a result of the sharing plan.
Scott Ebright, spokesman for the Ohio School Boards Association in Columbus, said Wednesday there may be a few shared superintendents in small districts in the western U.S.
But Ebright said he knew of no others in Ohio. ''I think that's kind of a unique situation up there,'' he said.
Through attrition and reallocation, eight positions in the two districts will be consolidated into six jobs, including Ritchie's and Dickerhoof's, Ritchie said.
The Rittman superintendent has retired.
Combined first-year savings for the districts could reach sn estimated $200,000, Ritchie said.
Ritchie, 39, will be the head of an Orrville district with about 1,750 students and a Rittman district with about 1,050.
— Associated Press