6.7 percent jobless in
the county in October
Portage County’s jobless rate edged up to 6.8 percent in September and then down to 6.7 percent in October, according to information released recently by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The information for September was delayed because of the federal government shutdown in October. Portage County’s jobless rate was 6.5 percent in August. The seasonally adjusted state rate for October was 7.5 percent and the U.S. rate was 7.3 percent.
The number of Ohio workers unemployed in October was 427,000, up 2,000 from 425,000 in September. The number of jobless in Ohio has increased by 31,000 in the past 12 months, according to ODJFS.
In September there were 6,200 Portage residents out of work out of a workforce of 91,100. In October the number dropped to 6,100 people out of a workforce of 91,800, according to ODJFS.
Portage’s highest jobless rate during the recession was 11.6 percent in January 2010 when there were 10,700 residents out of work.
October rates for neighboring counties are: Cuyahoga 6.9, Geauga 5.0, Mahoning 7.9, Stark 7.2, Summit 6.8 and Trumbull 7.6.
— Mike Sever, Record-Courier
Portage Co. will purge
registered voters lists
Once the results of November’s general election are wrapped up, the Portage County Board of Elections will begin its process for purging inactive voters from the rolls.
By law, election boards are required to remove voters who have had no activity for four years, through two federal election cycles. Voting “activity” would include voting in a primary, special or general election or signing a petition.
Faith Lyon, director of the county elections board, said the purge process actually started two years ago when voters with no activity were mailed a confirmation notice by the elections board. “Many times they come back as undeliverable,” Lyon said of the notices.
If there is no activity in the next two years, the voters are struck from the voting rolls. Residents who are struck from the rolls will have to re-register with the board of elections.
Portage County had 108,594 registered voters before the November election, which had about 28 percent of those people cast a ballot.
— Mike Sever, Record-Courier
Old tunes radio show
on the air for 16 years
On Nov. 30, the “Sunday Oldies Jukebox” radio show turned 16 years old. It exclusively plays music from the 1950s to early 1970s.
It is commercial free, which makes its longevity notable in this age of rapidly changing radio formats. The show transmits on 88.9 FM to most of Northeast Ohio, and streams on the Internet at www.sundayoldiesjukebox.com. It can be heard Sundays starting at 3 a.m. until Monday at 4 a.m.
Programming consists of rock, pop, doo-wop, standards and R&B. Many of these songs aren’t being played on commercial radio any longer.
Included are a call-in request show with Guy Zumpetta from 6 to 9 p.m., “name that tune” segment from 9 to 11 p.m., and various specialty shows created by industry veteran Bob Charles. Other on-air personalities include Cathy Dee, Kathy Edwards, Stan Landis, Mike Young, Gary G and Gary the Prize Guy.
The radio station has been involved in community activities such as Streetsboro Family Days, the Ghoulardifest and the recent Sonny Geraci benefit. For details, visty www.sundayoldiesjukebox.com.
No bomb at Walmart
At about 5:30 p.m. Nov. 25, a man called the Streetsboro Walmart, stated “there’s a bomb in the store” and hung up, but no bomb was fround, according to Sgt. Jon Hurley.
Police evacuated about 150 to 200 customers, plus employees, from the building and conducted a search of the premises, but found no bomb, Hurley said.
The building was evacuated for 20 to 30 minutes, and the store reopened about about 6 p.m.
Aid with heating bills
is available in Portage
With winter hitting early this year, help with winter heating bills is available for eligible families through the Community Action Council of Portage County.
David Shea, executive director for the CAC, said during 2012-13, the agency “provided utility assistance to more families that at any time in its history, with more than 8,800 families receiving some type of help.”
Eligibility for Emergency HEAP still remains at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level, which means about $41,000 per year for a family of four.
CAC administers a number of programs that can help eligible residents — owners and renters alike — cut heating and utility bills or make one-time emergency payments, including Regular HEAP, the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus), and the Winter Crisis Emergency Program (E-HEAP). All services can be accessed by contacting CAC.
Households seeking help through E-HEAP must schedule a face-to-face interview with the CAC’s intake staff by calling 330-297-1456 and accessing the agency’s voice activated appointment system.
Ametek site clearing
expected in early ’14
The city of Kent will soon begin receiving demolition proposals to clear Ametek, Inc.’s former site on Lake Street to make way for a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for international floral firm Smithers-Oasis Co.
Kent Community Development Director Bridget Susel said the city expects a contract award to be finalized in February, with site cleanup and razing expected to follow.
Brownfield remediation will include addressing contaminated soil and removing asbestos inside.
She said the city’s goal is to keep the cost of demolition and cleanup equal to a $1 million Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant for the project.
After demolition, Kent has agreed to sell the land to Smithers-Oasis, which relocated its corporate offices to downtown Kent from Cuyahoga Falls, for $120,000 with a buyback clause.
— Kyle McDonald, Record-Courier