In The Region

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Former School Board
member going to jail
A former Streetsboro Board of Education member who injured a passenger in another car during an alcohol-related traffic crash in September 2012 was sentenced recently to one year in prison, fined more than $600 and had her driver’s license suspended for five years at her sentencing hearing in Portage County Common Pleas Court.
A lack of a prior criminal record, taking full responsibility for her actions and an outpouring of community support worked in favor of Cynthia Pennock-Hanish, according to Judge Laurie Pittman.
She said it was in Pennock-Hanish’s favor that the court received “more favorable letters, calls and emails about you than any other defendant I’ve ever had,” from former students, colleagues, attorneys and community members.
Pennock-Hanish pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony, on June 21, 2013, and resigned the School Board seat she had held since 1996 on the same day.
She was cited by Streetsboro police after a two-car crash on Route 43 on Sept. 7, 2012, during which her vehicle collided with a minivan carrying a family of five from Mantua. One of the passengers suffered a broken collarbone.
— Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier
Portage is ‘moderate’
in Utica shale impact
Shale oil drilling is focusing on eight counties in eastern Ohio, and those areas are seeing some big gains in sales tax receipts.
But those same counties aren’t seeing substantial increases in their wor force levels yet, as the industry awaits further exploration and infrastructure to accommodate oil and gas produced via horizontal hydraulic fracturing.
Those are some of the conclusions reached in the latest “Ohio Utica Shale Gas Monitor,” a new study released by the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State U.
“We’re still another year, 18 months out” from bigger economic impacts, said Ned Hill, dean of the college and one of the authors.
The report identifies the following eight counties as “strong” in terms of shale activity: Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison, Guernsey, Belmont, Noble and Monroe.
Portage is one of five counties listed as “moderate.”
— Marc Kovac, RPC capital bureau
Esposito warns about
land tax appeal firms
A Strongsville firm is promising it can save Portage

landowners money on their
taxes. But county Auditor Janet Esposito said Tax Compliance Services is promising something it can’t deliver.
“No one can offer a ‘guarantee’ of a value reduction. Each case is considered on its merits and documentation presented,” Esposito said.
Esposito said property owners should be wary of companies offering to assist with tax valuation appeals. Property owners can check their tax values online or at the auditor’s office for free.
Esposito said property owners who believe their property values are inaccurate can file a complaint for free with the county Board of Revision by March 31.
Forms and instructions are available at the auditor’s office in the Portage County Administration Building, 449 S. Meridian St., Ravenna. They are also available at www.co.portage.oh.us/auditor.htm.
— Mike Sever, Record-Courier
Man indicted in death
of Windham nephew
A Windham Township man accused of shooting his nephew to death inside the mobile home they shared on Christmas Day has been indicted by a Portage County grand jury on three felony charges.
Joseph E. Thornton, 48, was indicted on one count each of murder with a specification, an unclassified felony, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice, both third-degree felonies.
Thornton pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains in the Portage County Jail on $1 million cash or surety bond after his initial bond was continued during his arraignment in Portage County Common Pleas Court on Jan. 6, according to the Portage County Sheriff’s Department.
Thornton allegedly shot and killed Jason R. Canan, 39, in the P & M Estates Mobile Home Park on Route 82, halfway between Garrettsville and Windham, according to sheriff’s officials.
— Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier

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