Portage County Probate Court Works to Rehabilitate Troubled Youth

Juvenile crime rates in Portage County climbed in the past year despite rehabilitation efforts from the juvenile/probate division of the Portage County Common Pleas Court. In 2017, the juvenile/probate division had 619 cases. That’s an increase from the 2016 count of 531 cases. Offenses range from murder to assault to truancy and tobacco offenses. Youths who embroil themselves in cases relating to any of these charges may find themselves in the office of Chief Probation Officer Jeff Cunningham. “It can be difficult,” he said. “You see all of the kids that don’t necessarily go on and succeed as adults, and you never really know what happens to the ones that

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Failure to Pay Back Student Loans Carries Heavy Consequences

Former students who cannot afford to pay back their loans are out of luck — and so are the communities around them. For many, loans are a fact of life and often the only way to afford a college education. Kaitie Nock graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2013 with a degree in English. She took out federal loans and private loans to cover her education expenses. Though taking out loans didn’t change what field she decided to enter, life after school found her unable to find a job. “I think I was a little bit duped into thinking that this was the better plan for me.” — Kaitie

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Dog Days: Insight into the Portage County Dog Warden’s Office

When David McIntyre started at the Portage County Dog Warden’s Office in 2008, the department was bringing in about 1,000 dogs a year.  Those numbers have dropped significantly in a decade: In 2017, his office brought in about 500 dogs. He estimates that 45 percent of the dogs coming in are going back to their owners, and another 35-40 percent are getting adopted.  The sounds of dogs barking in the background. What you’re hearing is the collective barking of all the dogs in the Kennels at the Portage County Dog Warden’s office. The sound of an old dog barking in the background. That’s an old puggle. Her eyes were cloudy.

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BCI Completes Testing of Thousands of Rape Kits from Past 4 Decades, Including Kent and Kent State

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) tested 62 rape kits from the city of Kent and eight rape kits from Kent State University as part of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiative. <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, or BCI, caught up on testing almost  14,000 backlogged rape kits. Reporter LiAnna Schwerer shows us the process. The kits are commonly known as rape kits, but test for all forms of sexual assault. As part of the initiative, BCI tested kits collected between 1971 and 2014. The backlog of kits were tested separately from current

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Streetsboro Police Department uses drone to take flight

The Streetsboro Police Department takes flight from time to time with the use of the drone they received in September — a tool officers say will soon become indispensable to their arsenal. Chief Powers decided to bring a drone program to the department after attending a conference in DC last year, and now they have one. Reporter LiAnna Schwerer has more about how they plan to use it. Drones nationwide have become increasingly popular. The FAA Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2017-2037 indicates that the preponderance of drones in flight will only continue to grow. In fact, the FAA predicts that there will be more than 3.5 million unmanned aircraft systems

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Stow City Council hires dispatch coordinator, hears citizen concerns

Stow City Council voted to hire a new dispatch coordinator and heard the concerns of citizens at their Thursday evening meeting. Stow City Council Meeting from LiAnna Schwerer on Vimeo. The new coordinator, Danielle Morgan, will manage 13 full-time and five part-time dispatchers. The dispatch covers a small region including the cities of Stow and Tallmadge, the village of Mogadore and Randolph Township. “To be a dispatcher, you have to be a huge multitasker,” said Stow mayor Sara Kline. “You have to be able to remain calm in high-stress situations.” City council also passed an ordinance that set the dispatcher coordinator’s pay at an hourly rate of $29.89. Stow Police

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Former victim’s advocate files suit against former employer, sheriff’s department, former sheriff’s major

A former victim’s advocate for Portage County filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking more than $500,000 in damages against the Portage County Sheriff Department, a former sheriff’s major and Portage County Family and Community Services. A local woman is suing the Portage County Sheriff’s department and two others for sexual harassment and the improper handling of her complaints. Reporter LiAnna Schwerer has more on the case. The plaintiff, Cortney Milone, worked for Portage County Family and Community Services and was assigned to the Portage County Justice Center, which shares space with the sheriff’s department. In the January 10 lawsuit, Milone says: Former major Dennis Missimi “engaged in a continuous

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