George W. Davis

GREEN: City council members heard facts about how the heroin epidemic is affecting the city during their Tuesday meeting.

“This is a very real problem. It is in Green and in every part of our community,” Mary Alice Sonnhalter of Summit County’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board and the county’s Opiate Task Force said. “It is of epidemic proportion.”

Stephen Dyer, chairman of the council’s Safety Committee, arranged the program with the goal of educating the public “since one of the gateways into heroin is through legally prescribed opiates [painkillers] that many of us have lying around. Kids find and take them and become addicted’’.

Dyer said the Summit drug unit conducted 20 drug dog searches last year in Green Local Schools. No drugs were found in the middle and intermediate schools, but seven of 12 searches at the high school turned up drugs.

He added that national statistics show that 62 percent of kids said it is easy to get prescription drugs from in-home medicine cabinets.

Green schools’ free Celebration of Education on Saturday in high school conference Room 128 will focus on drugs and reducing the problem, according to Julie McMahan, the district’s director of communications and community relations. Drug discussions will run from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The celebration, which will include many activities for all residents, will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The council also held a public hearing on amending the Heritage Crossings general development plan off of Massillon Road to permit an 86-bed assisted living facility to be built on 10 acres of the 75-acre development.

The vote is expected at the council’s March 8 meeting.

A vote also is possible March 8 on the city’s Capital Improvement budget of $5,603,838, including $3,548,838 for resurfacing Boettler, Pickle and Cottage Grove roads (Caston to state Route 619); Raber Road (from the Chapel to Mayfair Road); and sections of Corporate Woods Parkway and Raintree Estates (asphalt surfaces to renew deteriorated concrete pavement).