Watch mystery

AKRON: Akron police have a mystery to solve and it centers on a gold watch apparently given to a retiring Firestone tire worker more than 60 years ago.

Police believe the Elgin watch made of 14-carat gold was taken during a burglary. The problem is detectives don’t know whom it was stolen from or when.

The watch was engraved with the name Adolf Panatzer and included the words Firestone, retired and 1948.

The watch has since been melted down for its gold content after it was sold to an Akron pawn broker in April for $35.

Police say the seller is a burglary suspect in another case.

Investigators believe the watch could have been stolen in another burglary.

Panatzer died in the 1960s.

“I have reasons to believe it was stolen. I just don’t know where or who it was stolen from,” said Detective Paul Hooper. “This is just a shot in the dark to see what we come up with.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hooper at 330-375-2490.


Fraud sentence

FAIRLAWN: A Fairlawn man was sentenced to more than three years in prison and ordered to pay more than $14 million in restitution for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Jason Herceg, 37, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to his role in the Florida land deals and separate schemes to defraud two investors, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say Herceg and his business partners sought out “straw buyers” who filed false bank loan documents. The banks ultimately lost $13.1 million on the land deals.

In a second scheme, Herceg and others defrauded two elderly people by selling them a Florida property for $7 million. Prosecutors say that just prior to the sale, Herceg and his associates bought the same property and inflated its value by approximately $2.5 million before reselling it to the victims.

One of Herceg’s partners was sentenced to three years in prison. A third is awaiting sentencing.


Retail event

KENT: Kent’s newest retail and restaurant development, College Town Kent, will host a 2013 Summer Tour event on Saturday from 1-6 p.m.

Guests may register for a passport on-site and tour each of the tenants in the East Erie and South Water streets area for an opportunity to win prizes and collect giveaways.

Activities will include fashion displays and demos by retailers such as Carnaby Street Style, Gracy Lane, One Love Yoga Boutique, Dino Palmieri Salon and Spa, and Universitees and food and beverage samples from Bar 145, Dave’s Cosmic Subs, Fresco Mexican Grill and Salsa Bar, Georgio’s Oven Fresh Pizza Co., Insomnia Cookies, Newdle Bar, Panini’s and Yogurt Vi.

Also included are free children’s activities, including face painting, balloon artistry and cookie decorating, as well as strolling musical entertainment throughout the afternoon and into the evening at select restaurants.


Talks at standstill

NORTH CANTON: Contract talks between the North Canton City Schools and the North Canton Education Association have broken down.

School Superintendent Michael Hartenstein and George “Skip” Baran, president of the education association, declined comment on Friday. The contract expires Sunday.

A federal mediator is scheduled to meet with school and union officials Aug. 8.

The last strike in the North Canton school district was in the early 1970s.


Screening required

COLUMBUS: Ohio Gov. John Kasich this week signed into law a requirement that all babies born in the state be screened for critical congenital heart defects.

The law requires all babies born in Ohio hospitals and birthing centers be tested for life-threatening, critical congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry or other tests before leaving the hospital.

Parents are permitted to object to the testing on religious grounds.

About one in every 100 babies born in the United States has a heart defect, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About a quarter of those newborns have critical congenital heart defects that need immediate medical attention after birth.

Of the estimated 7,800 babies born in the United States each year with critical congenital heart defects, about 300 are sent home with unrecognized critical heart defects, leading to medical crises.


Hunt for offenders

AKRON: Authorities are trying to track down the whereabouts of 10 registered sex offenders who moved and failed to report their change of address.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Summit County Adult Probation Department and Ohio Adult Parole Authority recently held a two-day investigation to verify the addresses of more than 340 sex offenders living in the community.

Ten weren’t at their registered address, authorities said.

There are 1,070 adult registered sex offenders in Summit County.

Reappraisals set

The Summit County Fiscal Office will start working on reappraisals in the village of Clinton and the city of Norton next week. County appraisers will physically evaluate residential parcels as part of the state-mandated 2014 reappraisals.

Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise said the appraisers can be identified by their identification badges and yellow work vests. Their vehicles will be marked with a placard stating they are from the fiscal office. They will be in neighborhoods from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The review phase of the reappraisals throughout Summit County is expected to last through the summer.

Residents with concerns or questions can call 330-643-2710.