Kent area police discontinue use of controversial Breathalyzer device

The City of Kent Police and Kent State University Police departments have halted the use of the Breathalyzer device called the Intoxilyzer 8000 in response to defense attorneys disputing the device’s reliability under a new Ohio Supreme Court decision. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Oct. 1, 2014, that alcohol-related offenders can question the scientific reliability and proper operation of Breathalyzer devices. As of two years before the ruling, an estimated 135 appeal cases have been brought to the 11th Appellate District Court in Portage County involving the Intoxilyzer 800, said Dan Weisenburger, a defense attorney at Weisenburger Law. Due to the controversy other police departments in Portage County such as

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Police data reveals Kent crime hotspots

Crime in Kent is primarily concentrated along Franklin Avenue, Main Street, Silver Meadows Boulevard, Mantua Street and Water Street, according to data compiled from Jan. 1, 2014 to Oct. 2, 2014, from the Kent Police Department. Franklin Avenue and Main Street came in first with 52 reported incidents each, followed by the 40 reported incidents on Water Street. This ranking was no surprise to Lt. Jim Prusha of the Kent Police Department.     Top 5 Crime Streets in Kent | Create Infographics   Definitions of Major Crimes Aggravated Assault Causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm to another person while under the influence of sudden passion or in

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Voters approve all three Sunday liquor licenses

Portage county voters approved the Dusty Armadillo, Chuggers Bar & Grille and Haylett & Sons Corner Store in Portage County to sell liquor on Sundays with a D-6 permit. A D-6 permit will allow the sale of wine (also including hard cider), spirituous liquor and mixed beverages on Sundays between 10 a.m. and midnight. Portage County currently has 126 businesses with a Sunday liquor licenses. Yes wins Issue 52 – The Dusty Armadillo The country bar and line dancing venue, The Dusty Armadillo, located on State Route 44 in Rootstown, was approved a D-6 permit to allow the Sunday sale of liquor between 11 a.m. and midnight. Before Issue 38

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Portage County Sunday liquor licenses up for vote

The Dusty Armadillo, Chuggers Bar & Grille and Haylett & Sons Corner Store are all applying for a D-6 permit that would allow the sale of wine (also including hard cider), spirituous liquor and mixed beverages on Sundays between 10 a.m. and midnight. Originally, D-6 permits only allowed Sunday liquor sales after 1 p.m. In 2009, the Ohio Restaurant Association lobbied Ohio lawmakers to change the time to 11 a.m. to help boost business. All businesses that are granted a D-6 permit can sell liquor on Sundays between the set times they request that are within the permit’s restrictions. In Ohio, beer can be sold on Sundays as long as

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Pros and cons presented by ignition interlock bill

A new bill from the Ohio House of Representatives Judiciary Committee could require first-time OVI offenders to have a Breathalyzer device called an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle. Ohio law currently only requires second and repeat OVI offenders within six years of their last OVI to have an ingnition interlock device. While the bill known as House Bill 469 or “Annie’s Law” has the potential to save lives, the bill’s final Ohio Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 30, was postponed after the Ohio State Bar Association and Ohio Judicial Committee outlined their oppositions to the bill that would affect state and local government. “Drunk driving’s a problem in Kent,

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City Council passes changes for West Main Street bridge parking

Kent City Council passed a motion Wednesday, Oct. 1, that will create parallel parking on the West Main Street bridge and explore the possibility of meter parking for the future. The motion was proposed by Councilman Garret Ferrara after Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer’s motion to keep the parking as is and explore paid parking for the future was shot down. Council members, Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala and administration discussed the future of the bridge after City Engineer Jim Bowling gave recommendations based on research and studies on the bridge. “I know any day now, (the bridge) should be seeing its conclusion,” City Manager Dave Ruller said as the discussion opened. Bowling

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Kent economic development director applicants under review

Application reviews for the City of Kent’s new economic development director are underway after the application deadline ended Friday, Sept. 26. The position has been vacant for over a year following the extended illness and death of former director Dan Smith. “We’re looking for a person that brings a sense of optimism, energy and community pride to the job first and foremost; the administrative expertise can be learned over time,” Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said in an email. The economic development director “works to promote the maintenance and expansion of the local economic base and your investment in Kent,” according to the City of Kent website. Duties include providing assistance to existing

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West Nile virus positive mosquitoes found in Portage County, City of Kent taking precautions

Words by Carley Hull. Photo by Rachael Le Goubin.  The City of Kent and Portage County Health Departments are taking measures to rid the area of mosquitoes after five mosquito pools tested positive for West Nile virus. The City of Kent Health Department confirmed four positive pools, three in Kent and one in Brimfield, in August. Kent State University labs confirmed a fourth positive Kent mosquito pool last week, but results from the Ohio Department of Health are pending, said City of Kent Health Commissioner Jeff Neistadt. These are the first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes confirmed in the county. Eradicating mosquitoes Portage County Health Commissioner DuWayne Porter said that

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