Monday, September 24, 2012

From fall festivities to drunk guy w/guns, Mentor memo has it all

Mentor has many recreational opportunities lined up next month, the police dept recently earned a rare distinction, and I think I can safely say you wouldn’t want to live next to the Eastmoor Road resident below. Those items & more in the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council:

Manager Comments 
• Patrol officers responded to 8275 Eastmoor Road for a complaint of shots fired last Sunday. The department is familiar with this residence and knows the resident has several weapons in the house, including an assault rifle (AK-47 type). The resident, Ronald Ewanek, refused to come outside and speak to officers. Three other people in the house came out and said Ewanek fired his assault rifle three times in the backyard and was highly intoxicated. Mentor SWAT and Crisis Negotiators responded to the scene but Ewanek still refused to speak with officers or come out of the house. He eventually exited the house after SWAT introduced chemical gas inside the house. Ewanek was arrested and charged appropriately. Recovered inside the house was one handgun, four rifles, including a Ruger mini 14 assault rifle, a FEG 7.62mm assault rifle (which include a 100 round magazine drum) and hundreds of rounds of ammunition for all of the weapons.

• ODOT Director Jerry Wray was in Mentor Friday morning for a press conference to highlight a new safety initiative passed by the State legislature. This initiative will involve the temporary adjustment of speed limits within construction zones by use of remotely controlled trailers.  he concrete repair work on SR 2 will be the first pilot project in Ohio to utilize this technology. The conference was held in the Big Lots parking lot and guests included District 12 Deputy Director Pakush, Representative Young, and Senator Patton, who sponsored the legislation. Dave Swiger, Councilman Landeg, Captain Knight, and I also attended.

• Traffic congestion continues to be a challenge at Diamond Center and Heisley Road due to ODOT construction. Daily lane closure will continue in both the northbound and southbound directions as work is completed. While northbound traffic is limited to one lane, significant back-ups occur on both Heisley Road and Diamond Centre. The City is attempting to work with ODOT and their contractor on a resolution to this issue. The city has been advised that work in this area will be complete by mid-October. Mentor PD has had officers directing traffic during the mid-day and evening rush hours. This will continue until the work is completed.

Fire Department
• Mentor Fire Department recently responded with equipment and chief officers to Wickliffe for two separate fires. The first fire was Sept. 14 at 4:03 p.m. and the second was Sept. 15 at 10:20 p.m.

• On Sept. 15 at 8:17 a.m., the fire department responded to Lincoln Electric for a reported industrial accident. Paramedics arrived on the scene to find a worker, who after cutting wire, had a piece fly up and embed just under his right temple. The patient was treated and transported to the hospital in stable condition.

• On Sept. 18 at 12:07 p.m., the fire department responded to 7445 Mentor Ave. for a single car motor vehicle accident that resulted with live electrical wires on top of the vehicle. The female driver suffered minor injuries but could not be removed from the car for nearly 20 minutes as FirstEnergy crews had to be called to de-energize the wires for paramedics to access the patient.

• On Sept. 18, several neighboring fire departments provided additional fire and EMS coverage to the City of Mentor while several of our members attended funeral services for deceased Part-time Firefighter Michael Friedel. Mike had served the city well for 28 years and our prayers are with his family.

Police Department
• Our department was recently recognized by the ATF and the U.S. Bomb Data Center as having 100 percent accuracy in the reports we filed in the ATF Bomb Arson Tracking System. Use of this system is required of bomb squads to report all related calls for service.  BATS is used to track activity and related calls across jurisdictional boundaries. Of the more than 400 public safety bomb squads in the United States, only 10 have had this distinction. 

Parks and Recreation Department
• These are a few activities that will be taking place during the month of October: Great Pumpkin Hunt on Oct. 5; Employee Fun Day on Oct. 6; the Fall Bridal Gala on Oct. 7; the Fireside Series — “Betcha Didn’t Know” with Jim Collins on Oct. 10; the 26th Annual Porcelain Treasures Show on Oct. 14; and the Howl-O-Ween Party for Dogs on Oct. 19.

• The Community Garden was a success this year with plenty of vegetables being donated to the Senior Center. The Community Garden is being entered for an award through the Ohio Parks & Recreation Association. 

• We received the Healthy Ohio Healthy Community Bronze Award for 2012, which is given out by the Department of Health. 

• The Senior Center luncheon for the volunteers was a big success with about 175 people in attendance. 

• The Ohio Flames — Ignite the Ice Women’s Hockey Tournament starts Friday and will have teams participating from around the country. 

• The haul-out of boats has begun at the Mentor Lagoons Marina as the boating season comes to an end.

• Signal work continues at Center Street. The contractor is preparing to resurface the Center Street interchange area within the next couple weeks. Upon completion of the resurfacing, Center Street will be striped into its final configuration with dual left turns onto SR 2 eastbound and westbound. 

• On mainline SR 2, noise wall placement continues. The contractor is also preparing to pave mainline SR 2 from SR 615 to the west. The pavement east of SR 615 is expected to be paved in the spring.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman and Tony Zampedro attended the quarterly economic development meeting of the Lake County Port Authority. Communities throughout Lake County, as well as representatives from Federal, State and County governments, presented brief updates about current economic development activity.

• Ron Traub participated in an exploratory meeting regarding the “repurposing” of one of the buildings in the Old Village.

• The City will be soliciting competitive quotes to obtain favorable pricing on its property and casualty insurance for next year. We will be working with our risk management and insurance consultant to ensure that coverage remains with highly rated companies.

Public Works Department
• It’s Better In Mentor festival preparation
• Removed sediment from ditch line at 6696 Heisley Road
• Repairing leaking supply line at Morton pool
• Storm sewer cleaning - Weatherby, Barnaby and Champaign
• Drainage assistance projects - Olde Meadow and Olde Field
• Raised inlet basin on Old Johnnycake
• Inlet basin repairs - Kathleen and Lori Jean
• Crack sealing - SR 84 and Kittery Cove

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mapping Northeast Ohio fall foliage

We're looking for the best fall foliage in Northeast Ohio. If you've got a Google account (which includes Gmail, Blogger, Google+ and YouTube), you can edit our map to add locations where you've seen great foliage.

View Northeast Ohio fall foliage in a larger map

We're also accepting pictures of fall foliage in our Community Photo galleries. Visit our Northeast Ohio fall foliage photo album to upload your picture. You can also email individual photos to; include the caption in the subject line. If you're on Twitter or Instagram, photos posted with the hashtag #neofoliage will move to the moderation queue for the gallery. (I've also embedded the submission button below.) Remember to share where the photos were taken so others know where to go to find the great color.

Photos submitted by the end of the day Oct. 23 may be published in the Community section of our Nov. 4 edition.

— Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A chance to meet Mentor's K-9 cops

Supporters of Mentor PD’s K-9 program are invited to a meet-and-greet with the dogs and their handlers, deer hunting permit packets are now available and a busy week for the fire dept. Those items and more in the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council.

• The police department will host a social gathering for supporters of our K-9 program on Sept. 25, from 6-7:30 p.m. Participants will be able to meet K-9 Bo and K-9 Titan, talk to the handlers and have pictures taken.

• Deer packets are ready and available for residents and hunters to pick up in the Parks and Recreation office, or go online to & other nuisance animals and select Mentor Deer Hunting Permit Packet. Once filled out, return the forms to the Natural Resource Specialists in the Parks & Recreation Department.

Fire Department
• On Sept. 6 at 4:29 p.m., a teenager was transported after her car collided with a deer. The driver was wearing a seatbelt.

• On Sept. 7 at 11:43 a.m., a call came in from Perry Fire for an elevated rescue at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. Workers were stranded in a crane bucket and Mentor’s aerial was the nearest one tall enough to reach the workers.

• On Sept. 7 at 1:16 p.m., Mentor Fire was dispatched to Classic Toyota for a rubbish fire where some flammable liquid caused a flash fire, which set off the sprinkler system. There was no damage to the facility.

• On Sept. 7 at 2:31 p.m., Mentor Fire was dispatched to a residence for a television that caught fire, which the homeowner extinguished.

• On Sept. 7 at 3:12 p.m., paramedics were called to a possible overdose. The16-year-old male was treated and transported in stable condition.

• On Sept. 8 at 2:56 p.m., paramedics transported a high school football player with a possible concussion after a helmet to helmet collision on the field.

• On Sept. 8 at 4:09 p.m., paramedics were called for a possible electrocution. The 25-year-old male was transported for evaluation.

• On Sept. 2 at 6:42 p.m., paramedics were called for a woman bicyclist who was hit by a van on Munson Road. The patient was transported and life-flighted.

Police Department
• A male was arrested on Sept. 9 for aggravated robbery at JC Penney. The male was shoplifting and confronted by the store loss prevention officer. The suspect began fighting with the LPO. At one point during the fight, the suspect pulled a knife from his pocket, but it was hit out of his hand by the LPO. The suspect escaped from the LPO, but was stopped outside by MPD after getting into a vehicle with two other people. All suspects involved were arrested for either their involvement in the aggravated robbery or separate drug charges. All three suspects are heroin addicts and had heroin, syringes and other drug paraphernalia in their possession.

• There was an injury accident involving a vehicle and bicycle on Sept. 12. The bicycle was traveling eastbound on Lakeshore Blvd. in the marked bike lane, approaching Emery Circle. The vehicle was traveling westbound on Lakeshore and turned left onto Emery Circle in front of the bicycle. The vehicle failed to yield to the bicycle. The bicyclist struck the side of the vehicle and suffered head and torso injuries.

Parks and Recreation Department
• The Ice Arena Lighting project is almost complete and just in time for the hockey and figure skating season to begin. They will then determine what lights will need to be turned on for the different events (hockey, figure skating and open skates).

• The After-School Bus Program at the Ice Arena is off to a good start with 190 children registered from area elementary schools.

• The Lake Health Hospital “Kids Shape Up” program is a family/community-oriented event that will be moving from Willoughby to the Mentor Community Center in 2013 for one night a week. The program is geared toward obese children and teaching them and their families the benefits of healthy eating habits and exercise. This 9-week program will be held year-round. This is a Lake Health Hospital program that is grant funded and currently has 17 Lake County families involved. Mentor will become the hub for the Lake County program and the hospital will handle registration.

Economic and Community Development
• Ron Traub and Tom Thielman met with a representative of JobsOhio and representatives of a business which has outgrown their current facility and has an interest in moving operations to a Mentor location or to other out of State opportunities. Various State of Ohio and local incentive programs were discussed.

• Thielman met with Patricia Hoyt, President/CEO and Jamie Keyser, Executive Director of the Alliance for Working Together Foundation (AWT). AWT is a not for profit organization which promotes careers in manufacturing. The organizations signature programs are the annual high school “Battle Bots” competition and the creation of a new curriculum at Lakeland Community College in Manufacturing Studies.

• The annual budgeting process is underway with city departments submitting items to be considered in the 2013 Operating Budget.

• Several Finance Department staff members participated in training provided by the city’s financial software vendor. One of the main topics was purchasing and accounts payable with the goal of implementing a system of electronic distribution of purchase orders.

Public Works Department
• Inlet basin rebuilds (6) on Kathleen
• Ditch stabilization - 9160 Lakeshore
• Storm sewer cleaning - Palmerston, Cranberry, Weatherby
• Installed inlet in r-o-w - Wheeler
• Installed dry well - French
• Raised curb inlet - Mentor and Old Johnnycake
• Crack sealing - SR 84
• Winterizing pools and spray parks
• Replacing sinks at Walsh Park restroom
• Morton pool piping and concrete repairs

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A bit more helium news

While writing the helium shortage story, I contacted NASA Glenn Research Center to see if they had any experiments that used helium. The reply was a little late for the story, but the information is still interesting.

I received this from one of our facility managers; there may be other ways we use helium, but this is one of them:

NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland uses helium in the vacuum facilities for our cryogenic vacuum pumps and for leak checking.  Depending on the facility, we either have a standalone cryogenic vacuum pump, or cryopanels connected to the Electric Propulsion Lab’s helium system.  Both systems recirculate the helium so the only helium consumed is what escapes from these systems.  Helium gas is also used in conjunction with a helium leak detector for leak checking.

That came from Katherine Martin, a public affairs specialist for NASA Glenn.

-- Elizabeth Lundblad,, @NewsHLiz

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Further exploration on the helium shortage

 Let’s talk helium. With any luck you’ve read this article about how local businesses, namely balloon supply stores and florists, are coping with the global helium shortage.

But how can helium, the second most abundant element in the universe, be disappearing? Well, the element itself is perfectly safe (more about that later). What is dwindling is the stored supply of the resource.

During World War I the United States became interested in developing defense technology using helium, specifically “buoyant aircrafts” or, as I like to call them, blimps with guns. Click here for a better description from the Bureau of Land Management, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The BLM oversees the operations of the Federal Helium Reserve. No, you read that right. There’s a reserve of government-owned helium. It’s sitting in the middle of the Texas panhandle and has pipelines snaking across Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming.

As mentioned above, the U.S. government was all over helium after WWI and right on up to the Cold War. Armed blimps seem like a great idea and, well, because helium is inert it doesn’t have the tendency to explode. Google “Hindenburg disaster” for reference.

Fast forward through the Cold War. It’s the 1990s, and while blimps are still totally cool the only place you really see them is circling football stadiums during games. Turns out stealth bomber airplanes are actually more effective than big ships of floating gas. Who knew?

So, in 1996 Congress decides the country has a large enough supply of helium and passes the Helium Privatization Act.

Joe Peterson, the assistant field manager for helium resources at the Amarillo office of the BLM, said Congress devised the 1996 Act to do three things: 1) to make sure there was a viable private industry to take over crude helium sales; 2) to get the federal government out of helium; and 3) to sell most of the government’s stockpiled crude helium.

The Federal Helium Reserve was built using a roughly $1.4 billion loan, which the government wanted to be paid. In 1996, Congress determined the price for the government’s crude helium that was necessary in order to repay the debt. From year to year that number would be adjusted for inflation.

But the market changed since 1996. That set price, while arguably viable in 1996, has been called “artificial” by some critics today. If the U.S. sells cheap crude helium, it isn’t really economically advantageous for a private company to work to extract crude helium and then refine it into a usable product on a large scale. Better to buy most of the already extracted crude helium and then begin the refining process.

Sale of federally owned crude helium has other restraints placed on it, but I’ll direct you here. This is the helium information review published by the U.S. Geological Survey in Jan. 2012. The survey is also run by BLM.

Back to the helium disappearing.  The stockpile of relatively cheap U.S. crude helium is set to be sold off by Jan. 2015, as per the 1996 legislation. Peterson said other sources of helium have been identified, but have yet to be tapped.

Helium is primarily gathered in the process of drilling for natural gas. To learn more about this process check out “Selling the Nation’s Helium Preserve,” a study and analysis by the Board on Physics and Astronomy published by the National Academies Press in 2010.

The BLM identifies many uses for helium. The same noble gas that inflates Tom the Turkey at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade also helped NASA send shuttles into space. See the full list here. You'll never look at a balloon the same way again.

Earlier this year, April 26 to be exact, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate that aims to extend the federal government’s involvement in helium. Sponsored by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and John Barrasso (R-WY), the bill would change the pricing structure of the 1996 Act.

You can read about Senate Bill 2374, better known as the Helium Stewardship Act, here. The bill has been referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. GovTrak, a web-based tool that tracks legislation, gives the bill a five percent chance of being enacted during this session of congress. Check out the bill’s GovTrak stats here.

If you’re interested you can watch the full committee hearing of S.B. 2374 and/or read the transcripts from the hearing. The video of the hearing starts around minute 17 of the 76 minute clip posed on the senate committee website.

Elizabeth Lundblad
Twitter: @NewsHLiz

Monday, September 10, 2012

More details on Mentor 'beach fest'

More info on a new Mentor beach festival and changes to an old standby are in the latest city manager memo to City Council. Also, look for a major freeway entrance closure, a house fire that injured two firefighters, and an update on the deer hunting application packet.

Manager Comments 
• We have been informed by ODOT that work on the SR 306 entrance ramp eastbound to SR 2 will be closed from 7 p.m., Friday until 6 a.m. Monday.

• I thank council members for your input on the proposed Headlands Beach Fest for 2013. After much consideration by staff, we are proposing a single-day event in July (likely the 20th or 27th) that will complement our IBIM festival, planned for Aug. 23 and 24. The Beach Fest will enhance a full calendar of events taking place throughout the year in the city, and it will not overburden city staff. We are currently projecting a $16,000 budget for the Beach Fest that we are hoping will be offset by grants and sponsorship.

• As a result of the Police Patrol Division’s effort during the 2011 Click-it-or-Ticket campaign and the freeway construction traffic enforcement grant, the State of Ohio Department of Public Safety awarded us a new laser for use in traffic enforcement. This piece of equipment is valued at approximately $3,000 and is a show of appreciation by the Ohio Department of Public Safety for the strong effort made by Mentor PD.

• Income tax collections for the month of August were up $130,000 when compared to August of last year. The current year collections through August, as compared to last year, are up 11.5 percent.

Fire Department
• On Aug. 31 at 1:09 a.m., paramedics were called to another drug overdose. The patient was found lying unconscious on the bathroom floor of the owner’s home who called 9-1-1. The patient resides out of the area and the homeowner reported that he did not know she was there until he heard a “crash” in the bathroom and went to investigate. Paramedics administered Narcan and provided Advance Life Support treatment. The patient regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital. Reportedly, the patient used ecstasy, alcohol and heroin prior to collapsing.

• On Sept. 3 at 7:14 p.m., the Mentor Fire Department was called to Taft Street for a working fire in a two-story house. A neighbor reported heavy black smoke coming from the house and rescued a dog from the home by breaking a window prior to the fire department’s arrival. The fire began in the kitchen and spread throughout the home. The family was not home at the time of the fire. The fire was declared under control at 7:47 p.m. and appears to be accidental. There were no reported civilian injuries, but two firefighters suffered minor hand injuries. The home cannot be reoccupied until repairs are made. Loss damages are estimated at $85,000.

• Fire Station #2 and the fire department’s dive team was summoned twice to the Headlands State Park area the weekend before last. The first call was Aug. 31 at 8:29 p.m. for a report of a lost windsurfer and then again on Sept. 2 for a swimmer who was reported (via 9-1-1) as a possible drowning victim. The windsurfer was separated from his sail board and located safe on the beach. The swimmer was not in distress but was swimming beyond the designated area of Headlands State Park.

Police Department
• Over the past week, there have been two day-time burglaries. One occurred on Center Street, just south of Mentor Ave. The other occurred on Johnnycake, west of Center Street. Both houses had left a door unlocked.  Only jewelry was taken from both burglaries. The Detective Bureau is investigating both incidences.

• We received our new Total Station machine, which will be used by our Accident Investigative Unit to diagram complex accident scenes. The team received two days of training with additional training scheduled in the future to maintain their proficiency.

• Work has begun on the paving of Iroquois Avenue, north of Lakeshore Boulevard. The work is being performed by the city of Willoughby as part of its road repair program. According to Willoughby City Engineer Jim Sayles, the cities of Mentor and Willoughby have historically alternated resurfacing the roadway, as the center line of the roadway serves as the municipal border between the communities. It is anticipated that the work will be completed this month.

Parks and Recreation Department
• With the passage of the hunting ordinance last week, the Recreation Department’s Natural Resource Specialists are putting the finishing changes in place and reviewing the private property hunting packet. The packet will be available online starting this week and in the Recreation Department. All information regarding acquiring the packet and staff information sheets will go out at the beginning of the week.

• It’s time for the fall “Just Kid’s Garage Sale” on Saturday. The event will run from 9 a.m. until noon. It is a community “kid’s items only” sale that fills Garfield Park with more than 100 sellers and great bargains.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman and Anthony Zampedro met with the new owners of the multitenant retail center formerly known as Staples Center. Ownership is working with various possible tenants and inquired about financing and incentive opportunities, as well as retail marketing data available from the city (Buxton research). 

• Tom Thielman met with a representative of the proposed shooting range new construction project regarding SBA 504 and other SBA financing programs.

• Tom Thielman met with a representative of the U.S. Small Business Administration – Cleveland District Office regarding the Small Loan Advantage 7a Loan program and a new partnership the SBA has with the Federal Reserve Bank and local Small Business Development Centers to help facilitate more new business start-ups.

• The City collected $224,000 in TIF revenues as part of the second half real estate settlement distributed by the Lake County Treasurer. The TIF balance is now approximately $1,250,000.

Public Works Department
•    Storm sewer repairs – Sharonlee
•    Replaced concrete road slab - Terrace Park
•    Cleaned storm sewer - Dunbar
•    Sewer televising/cleaning - Traymore, Palmerston, S. Shandle, Westmoor
•    Completed three inlet basin rebuilds on Jeremy
•    Started basin and slab repairs on Kathleen and Lori Jean
•    Crack sealing - SR 84
•    Hot patching - numerous locations

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mentor safety forces put to the test

Last week was a busy one for Mentor police and fire — a big drug bust, restaurant fire, fuel spill, robberies, car crashes, a lawnmower accident — plus the latest on Route 2 construction-related congestion. Those items and more in the latest city manager memo to City Council.

Manager Comments 
• One Mentor officer participated in a multicounty methamphetamine roundup on Aug. 29. This raid involved the arrests of more than 60 suspects after an extensive investigation of the methamphetamine problem in Ashtabula and Lake counties for the crimes of illegal assembly, manufacturing and conspiracy to manufacture.  The investigation was initiated by the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office and Madison Police Department.

• Center Street has been paved with an intermediate layer of asphalt. Lane configurations have been returned to pre-construction configurations with the exception of right-turn lanes at Market Street and at SR 2 Eastbound. This should assist with reducing traffic congestion during the evening rush hour. In mid- to late September, the final surface layer of asphalt will be placed and the roadway will be striped to its final configuration.

• Harrison Street Storm Sewer: A public meeting was held Aug. 28 regarding a possible Harrison St. storm sewer assessment project. About 12 residents attended the meeting to learn about the assessment process and costs associated with the project. Residents were informed that they will need to circulate the petition form around the neighborhood to collect the necessary signatures (60 percent of the lot frontage along Harrison St. at a minimum) before the project could be considered for construction. Among other documents, a sample petition form was provided for their use.

Fire Department
• On Aug. 24 at 9:40 a.m., a fuel delivery driver reported that he spilled 25-plus gallons of gasoline when he overfilled one of the underground gasoline storage tanks at the city’s Maintenance Facility (later calculations indicated that possibly 200 gallons of product was spilled). The fire department was able to contain the spill to the immediate area using hydrocarbon absorbents. Also, as a preemptive measure, a pneumatic pipe plug and floating booms were placed at the outfall culvert, near the retention pond, until a private clean-up contractor removed the spilled fuel. Ohio EPA provided the oversight of the clean-up process.

• On Aug. 24 at 3:38 p.m., paramedics were called for a rollover vehicle accident on State Route 2. A jeep flipped. The driver was found walking around the scene. There were no reported injuries.

• On Aug. 24 at 5:47 p.m., the fire department provided assistance to the Concord Township Fire Department for a structure fire at the Red Hawk Grille on Auburn Road. Mentor Fire Department responded a ladder truck, safety officer and chief officers, as several departments were requested to respond via Concord MABAS box request 1313.

• On Aug. 25 , at 1:15 p.m., paramedics were called for a 60-year-old male with multiple toe amputations from a lawn mower accident. He was treated and transported to the hospital in stable condition.

• On Aug. 27, at 8:02 p.m., the fire department was called to a scene where an SUV hit and drove through a garage. Upon the fire department’s arrival, two occupants were out of the vehicle with no reports of injury. The fire department secured the electrical utilities to the garage and performed a structural assessment of the home. The home was able to remain occupied and the fire department assisted the homeowner with their insurance needs. The building department was notified of the incident.

• On Aug. 28 at 11:17 a.m., the fire department was called to 8671 Tyler Blvd. for report that “the building was filling with smoke.” The investigation revealed that the cause of the smoke was a faulty rooftop HVAC unit. Power was secured to the HVAC unit and the occupants were able to return to their building. An HVAC contractor was called to repair the rooftop air conditioner.

• On Aug. 29 at 2:10 p.m., the fire department was called to Foxmill Condominiums for a report of smoke in one of the units and a strong electrical odor in an attached unit. A faulty washing machine motor was discovered as the cause of the smoke and odor.

• On Aug. 29 at 2:18 p.m. paramedics were called for a woman left in a car for reportedly two hours. The patient was weak and confused. Shortly after, her daughter came to the scene and stated she only left her in the car for 45 minutes. The elderly patient was treated and transported to the hospital in stable condition.

Police Department
• The Shell gas station on Mentor Avenue was robbed Aug. 26 at 4:02 a.m. by a black male with a handgun.  The male entered the store and demanded money from the register. Along with money from the register, the male also stole Newport cigarettes and Black and Mild cigars. He fled southbound on foot. We believe he is connected to a robbery in Chardon and a robbery of the Shell gas station in Willoughby. The description of the suspect matches in all three robberies. All three robberies happened on Sunday morning.

• The PNC Bank located at 8537 Mentor Ave. was robbed at 12:44 p.m. Aug. 29. The suspect was a black male in his 30s. He handed the teller a note demanding money and then fled on foot from the bank. The suspect was identified as a past customer by the tellers. He was then arrested driving away from Mentor Mall Village, where he lives. The male is also a suspect in the Dollar Bank robbery from July 17.    

• News Channel 5 and the Mentor Police have partnered together to complete a news segment on speeding vehicles in school zones. The objective of the story is to educate motorists and get them to slow down in the school zones. A Channel 5 reporter and photographer rode with an officer on Wednesday for the first day of school. They accompanied the officer while he conducted traffic enforcement in different school zones in the city.

• SR 2 widening:
o SR 2 noise wall work continues with a mid-October completion schedule. In addition, the contractor anticipates opening the third lane eastbound by the third week of September. The third lane westbound will remain closed until mid-October.

o Heisley Road work continues. Median removal and concrete placement is scheduled to occur the week of Sept. 4. This work will limit Heisley Road to one lane in each direction from north of SR 2 to the Burger King driveway. Upon completion of this work, the contractor will begin the addition of the second right-turn lane from Diamond Centre to SR 2 eastbound, limiting northbound traffic to one lane. This work is expected to be completed in two to three weeks.
o Signal pole delivery for the project has been delayed to Dec. 1. At this time, the contractor anticipates maintaining temporary signals to service traffic until the signal installations can be completed next spring. This office will continue to coordinate traffic-control operations with ODOT and their contractor.

• Sidewalk Replacement Program: On Aug. 23rd, the City had a public meeting concerning the sidewalk program at the Mentor Senior Center. Nineteen residents attended the meeting. The Engineering Dept. is currently mailing out notices to residents regarding deficient sidewalk. Residents will have 45 days from receipt of their notice to complete sidewalk repairs. Sidewalk repairs not completed by this date or residents not under contract with a sidewalk contractor will be placed into the assessment portion of the program to have repairs completed.

• Stoneybrook Lane/Garfield Road Culvert Replacements: The project is now substantially complete. Culverts under Stoneybrook Lane and Garfield Rd. have been installed and pavement restoration is complete. The contractor has seeded and mulched the surrounding areas. The overflow spillway at the pond at Garfield Rd. and SR84 has been repaired with new rock channel protection that has been cement grouted in place. The only remaining item to be performed is the installation of guardrail on the east side of Garfield Road.

Parks and Recreation Department
• The Classic Car Cruise-In returns to the Civic Center campus Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This event has drawn close to 1,000 cars in the past and with a little help from Mother Nature (it rained us out last year), we will have another great year. Cruise in for some great-looking cars, music and a bit of history. If it rains, we’ll do it Sunday instead.

• The Fall/Winter Recreation brochure is out and registration for classes and programs for Mentor residents begins today. Check out the brochure in print or go to the website, and click on the Fall/Winter Brochure on the bottom of the page.

• This week, the Solo Rider golf cart finally arrived at Black Brook. We will place the cart in operation immediately. The addition of this golf cart to the fleet will now allow people of different abilities the chance to golf at a premier golf course. Next time you are by the course, stop by and have the staff demonstrate how the cart works.

• On Aug. 28, the Mentor Senior Center — along with the Italian, German, Slovenian, and Hungarian cultural groups — held the first International Potluck Picnic at Mentor Beach Park. The event was bigger and better this year because all of the cultural groups involved, and there was plenty of food and entertainment shared by the 100 people in attendance.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman met with representatives for Lake National Bank regarding a new SBA 504 loan for a retail new construction project in Mentor estimated at $1.5 million.

• Thielman also attended the Ohio Jobs Creation Tax Authority meeting in Columbus representing the City in support of Cleveland Construction’s application for State Tax Credits for their proposed corporate headquarters expansion. The request was unanimously approved.

• The City welcomed new employee Jennifer Mohr to her position as accounting assistant. She will be working in the purchasing and accounts payable functions in the Finance Department.

• The City’s 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is complete. Copies have been distributed this week to all recipients and the CAFR is now posted on the city’s Wiki. We have also submitted the report to the GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) for its consideration and review under the certificate of achievement award program. The entire CAFR is prepared in house, including design and printing, saving us the cost of paying an outside printer.

Public Works Department
• Dog Park pavilion completed
• Garfield Park pavilion roof replacement - ongoing
• Prepping baseball fields for Labor Day tournaments
• Inlet basin rebuilds on Jeremy (3)
• Concrete road repairs - Cornell/Ellington
• Provided emergency generators for traffic signals on 8/29
• Crack sealing - SR 84
• Storm sewer repairs - Sea Pines and Thistlewood
• Completed large drainage assistance program on Cumberland benefitting five properties
• Storm sewer cleaning - Palmerston, Traymor and Brainard

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy