Bruce F. Griffin correspondent

Here are the top five stories of 2012 in Copley Township as selected by correspondent Bruce F. Griffin:

Rothrock Road, Walmart relocation controversy continues

No date is set for a gate on Rothrock Road to be activated in order to limit traffic into Fairlawn from a proposed site for a 40-acre Copley township location for a new Walmart and Sam's Club.

Earlier this month Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth said the gate's activation was delayed to give emergency responders time to train with its use and denied its installation is connected to a lawsuit to thwart moving the stores from Fairlawn’s Rosemont Commons west to the Rothrock Road site, less than a mile apart.

Even though not a shovel of dirt has been turned, the proposal has been mired in controversy since November 2010 when the proposal was unveiled to build new stores in Copley.

The proposal to move the stores remains an open rift between Copley and Fairlawn.

Eagle Scout honors Copley shooting victims

In June, local Eagle Scout Candidate Brendan Ahern partnered with friends and Copley Service Department employees to build a memorial in Copley Community Park.

The memorial garden, with a bench as its centerpiece was created to help give tribute to the seven people killed during a 2011 shooting rampage by Michael Hence.

The bench, inscribed with names and photos of the victims, was originally placed in Copley Circle before being moved to the park in July.


Elderly couple's death haunts Copley

In 2012, death continued to haunt the township. In September police were called to a murder-suicide involving an elderly couple.

Dayton Wellspring, 86, and Genevieve Wellspring, 89, died of gunshot wounds, police said.  Both were reportedly ailing.

An investigation determined the husband shot his wife as she lay in bed and then himself.

Copley man burns farm, commits suicide

On Sept. 27, police were called to investigate the death of an Earhart Road man found inside his burning home.

Investigators concluded that Edward Draher, 66, despondent over the possible loss of his beloved alpaca farm, set fire to his 4,000 square-foot home before taking his own life. Their conclusions to the investigation were announced earlier this month.

Copley closes cemetery to non-residents

The Copley Township Board of Trustees decided to close off the cemetery to non-residents in September.

After discovering the cemetery is running out of space, local officials contacted residents for their input. With the small level of feedback and discussions among township, the board approved a resolution to only allow the cemetery to be used by residents.

However, the board must define who it considers a resident and if there will be any time limits on residency put in place.