AKRON

Rape conviction

AKRON: A Summit County jury has convicted an Akron man of rape and gross sexual imposition for an incident last year involving a 10-year-old girl, authorities said.

Daniel Lee Mercer, 48, of Seventh Street, is to be sentenced March 6 by Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones. He faces a sentence of life in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years.

Prosecutors said the Aug. 28 incident occurred behind a garage at the Akron home of one of Mercer’s family members.

The victim immediately told her mother and was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital.

Prosecutors said police obtained a taped confession from Mercer shortly after the incident was reported.

I-76 ramp meeting

AKRON: The Ohio Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday to discuss the possibility of shutting down the westbound Interstate 76 entrance ramp at Wolf Ledges Parkway.

The meeting is at the Odom Boulevard Branch, Akron-Summit County Public Library, 600 Vernon Odom Blvd.

Vehicles entering at the ramp must compete with those trying to get off at the next exit for Main Street and Broadway.

If the ramp were closed, motorists would have to enter the highway at the next on-ramp. The state would barricade the ramp and remove all signs.

About 3,800 drivers use the ramp each day.

AKRON SCHOOLS

Rankin meeting

AKRON: Akron school board member Bruce Alexander will have a meeting to discuss the proposed closing of Rankin Elementary, one of three Akron schools that may be closed because of low enrollment and budget constraints.

Alexander’s meeting will immediately follow the Our City, Our Ward Community Open House that will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Buchtel High School, 1040 Copley Road.

BARBERTON

City to raze home

BARBERTON: City Council passed legislation Monday to use $90,000 from the city’s Stormwater Management Fund to buy a house at 598 Robinson Ave.

The city wants to demolish the home and use the space to expand the retention pond on adjacent land to help deter flooding.

Council approved buying the home in October but did not determine how to pay for it at that time.

Council also passed legislation to apply for a $40,000 grant from the Barberton Community Foundation to improve basketball courts at Breitenstine Park on 37th Street and at Tuscora Park, on North Paige Avenue.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL

McCarty fundraiser

AKRON: The Committee to Elect Judge Alison McCarty to Probate Court will host a cocktail reception from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the O’Neil House, 1290 W. Exchange St.

Valet parking will be available.

Cost is $150 per person or $250 per couple.

For more information, email VoteJudgeMcCarty@gmail.com.

Joint fundraiser

AKRON: Frank Martucci Jr., a Democratic candidate for Summit County sheriff, Summit County Councilman Frank Comunale and state Rep. Zack Milkovich will have a joint fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The event will be at 3 Points Martini Lounge, 45 E. Market St.

The suggested donation is $75 per person.

Event for Barry

BARBERTON: Steve Barry, a Democratic candidate for Summit County sheriff, will have a meet-and-greet event from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Lake Anna Hall, 542 W. Park St.

Free refreshments will be served.

CANTON

Reserve created

CANTON: The city is setting aside $973,000 to pay for any unused sick days or vacation time for 30 employees dismissed after it was discovered they had not been properly rehired.

City Council approved creation of the reserve fund Monday.

The former employees, originally thought to number 29, also might owe the city money for some pay and benefits they received.

A special audit is under way to determine the liability of the former employees who were released in January.

Also Monday, council approved changing the land use for a former armory at 3120 Parkway Ave. NW. It will be used for medical offices.

The former Lehman Middle School at 1120 15th St. NW was rezoned for a medical, health and social service facility.

CUYAHOGA FALLS

Signal change

CUYAHOGA FALLS: The traffic signal at Chestnut Boulevard and Second Street will become a flashing light.

City officials wanted to remove the light and use the parts to upgrade the traffic signal a block away at Sackett Avenue and Second Street rather than spend $12,000 on new parts.

Mary Ellen Pyke, a Republican representing Ward 2, asked her colleagues to keep the light because of a sight distance problem that she feared could lead to accidents.

By a vote of 8-2 on Monday, council approved a compromise amendment proposed by Don Walters, a Democrat representing Ward 6.

The light will continue hanging in the intersection, but it will flash red on Chestnut Boulevard and yellow on Second Street.

LAKE TOWNSHIP

Step for road work

LAKE TWP.: Township trustees on Monday took the first step toward the widening of state Route 619.

They authorized tax increment financing to provide initial funding. That will allow 75 percent of future tax increases to go toward the project, which is expected to take three to five years to complete.

Trustees hired Cody Dollinger as a reserve officer for the Lake Township Police Department and hired Edward Konz as an auxiliary road department employee.

NORTON

Levy clarification

NORTON: By a vote of 7-0, City Council approved a resolution Monday that would terminate current levies for the city’s fire and EMS units if voters approve a proposed 4.6-mill levy March 6.

There has been some confusion among residents concerning the levies currently on the books, but those would be eliminated as soon as the March 6 vote is certified by the Summit County Board of Elections.

“We will not be doubling the tax from the residents,” said Scott Pelot, chairman of the Finance Committee. “If the proposed levy passes, that’s all the residents will be paying.”

If passed, the levy would restore the night shift at the fire station.

Firefighters and EMS personnel are paid only if called out in an emergency from 10 p.m to 6 a.m.

Tax assistance

NORTON: The Central Collection Agency will visit Norton seven times before the tax filing deadline of April 17 to help taxpayers prepare city income tax returns.

On Thursday, the agency will be at the Community Center, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Other scheduled sessions are 1 to 8 p.m. March 8 at the Community Center; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 10 at the Administration Building; 1 to 8 p.m. March 29 at the Community Center; 1 to 8 p.m. April 3 at the Administration Building; 1 to 8 p.m. April 10 at the Community Center; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 14 at the Administration Building.

WADSWORTH

Campus approved

WADSWORTH: The Planning Commission on Monday approved a site plan for a corporate campus for the Restored Church of God off Akron Road near Interstate 76.

Plans call for a 33,900-square-foot administration building with four floors as Phase I; a two-story, 19,200-square-foot Ambassador Center to be built as Phase 2; and a 450-seat auditorium as Phase 3.

Original plans also included a stand-alone printing and mailing center and two dormitories. Those buildings were dropped in the revised plans the commission approved.

The printing and mailing center instead will be located in the basement of the Ambassador Center.

The commission also set a public hearing for 7 p.m. March 12 on a proposal to rezone nearly 5 acres at the northwest corner of the intersection of Johnson and Silvercreek roads from commercial to residential zoning.

That hearing will be held at City Hall, 120 Maple St.