In The Region

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Berlin Reservoir remains

could be missing person

The remains of a white male were discovered June 22 at the Berlin Reservoir Wildlife Area off Fewtown Road in Deerfield township, about 20 miles southeast of Ravenna, according to the Portage County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff David Doak said the Big Creek Search Dog Team was training in the area. The dogs picked up the scent and led their handlers to the scene. The Big Creek team regularly conducts training exercises because of its vast, wooded terrain.

The remains had not been identified as of presstime, but authorities speculate they may be Jeffrey Hathaway, 45, of Norton, according to the sheriff's office.

The Summit County man was reported missing by his fiancee on May 15. His car was found May 17 in a parking lot on Fewtown Road, about three-quarters of a mile from where the remains were discovered. A several-day search turned up nothing.

Detective Lt. Gregory Johnson said Hathaway is familiar with the area and has been known to use the archery range and wildlife area.

The remains were taken to the Summit County medical examiner's office for identification and to determine cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.

-- Chad Murphy, Record-Courier

Probation, counseling for

man in Portage standoff

A man who pulled a gun on several Portage County police officers during a short but tense standoff in Hiram in January has been sentenced to five years on probation and ordered to continue mental health counseling and treatment for alcohol abuse.

Steven J. Sargent, 44, of Mantua,was sentenced in Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow's courtroom last week. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, a third-degree felony, on May 2, and faced a minimum of probation or one to three years in prison.

Enlow ordered him to wear an alcohol intake monitor device for 90 days. He will serve three years in prison if he violates probation.

Defense attorney Richard Drucker said it is a "miracle (Sargent) is alive today." Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eric Finnegan agreed.

"At several opportunities, the officers would have been justified in shooting" Sargent during the Jan. 16 incident, Finnegan said.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Wild Hikes kicking off on

trails around Portage Co.

The Portage County Park District is sponsoring its Wild Hikes Challenge again this summer. Those who hike eight of the designated trails before Dec. 1 will earn a hiking stick and brass tag.

Hikers may hike on their own or with a group at one of the guided hikes led by Executive Director Christine Craycroft.

"We have more folks taking the challenge every year, including young scouts, families and senior 'silver sneakers' groups'," said Craycroft.

The Wild Hikes form lists this year's trails and is available at www.portageparkdistrict.org, along with maps and directions to the parks, or by calling the park office at 330-297-7728.

The guided hikes start at 6 p.m as follows: July 1 -- Headwaters Trail starting at Route 700 parking area going east; July 8 -- Headwaters Trail starting at Route 700 going west; July 15 -- Towner's Woods ski trail; July 22 -- Seneca Ponds; July 29 -- Dix Park on Route 44, Ravenna Township; Aug. 5 -- The Portage starting at the Lake Rockwell Road trailhead.

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