Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Eastlake City Council meeting rescheduled

Due to the Christmas holiday, the regularly scheduled meeting of the Eastlake City Council has been moved to Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.

Eastlake council's first meeting of December is set for Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.

-- Elizabeth Lundblad, western Lake County reporter

Monday, November 26, 2012

Locker sniffing, bank security talk & more in Mentor

Mentor’s K-9 cops were sent sniffing in three middle schools, police hope to school local bank leaders on better security, and some more drainage-relief projects are in the works — those items and more in the latest weekly city manager memo to City Council.

Police Department
• The Police Department’s Community Services Unit is sponsoring an informational session Nov. 28 on the recent bank robberies in and around the Mentor area. Members of the detective bureau and local FBI have made observations regarding the security surrounding several local banks. These observations will be shared and suggestions will be made on how to upgrade overall security. This session is for bank security personnel and banks managers, not tellers.

• On Nov. 20, the Police Department’s two K-9’s conducted a drug sniff of lockers and vehicles at the three middle schools. The Mentor school system requested this service to provide a drug-free environment. No drugs were found in any of the schools. Additional searches will be conducted before the end of the school year. 

• A female was involved in a domestic violence incident with her live-in boyfriend. As a result of the abuse, the female suffered an injury that severed part of her ear. The boyfriend was arrested and charged with felonious assault.

• An accident occurred at The News-Herald, where an employee was struck and pinned against a loading dock. The employee was directing a vehicle to the loading dock when the driver’s foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas pedal. The employee suffered a significant injury to his leg. 

Fire Department
• On Nov. 16 at 9:11 a.m., Mentor Fire was dispatched to a water line break on Tyler Blvd. On arrival, it was discovered that contractors had been installing a new hydrant when a valve assembly separated. Water entered the building, and the Fire Department assisted with water removal and providing power for a trash pump to clear water from excavation.

• On Nov. 16 at 12:19 p.m., paramedics were called to a residence for a 20-month-old baby with his leg caught in a crib. Paramedics manipulated his leg free with no injury.

• On Nov. 18 at 2:06 a.m., paramedics transported a male with a near leg amputated from being pinned between a loading dock and a truck bumper. Patient was stabilized, transported to Lake West and flown to the Level I Trauma Center at Cleveland Metro Hospital.

• The Mentor Fire Department responded to several reported assaults over the past several days. Some of these assaults were related to family disputes between juveniles and their parents. 

• The Engineering Department will be requesting quotes until Dec. 7 from several contractors to perform modifications to the outfall of the detention basin at SR-615 and SR-2. The basin is located on the east side of SR 615 just north of Classic Chevrolet. The purpose of the project is to provide a restricted outlet in the detention basin and to utilize the available storage capacity to provide additional stormwater management, thereby reducing peak flows through the downstream watershed. The anticipated completion date of the project is June 30, 2013 to allow for restoration to take place.

• A preconstruction meeting was held Nov. 19 with A-Action Waterproofing pertaining to the city’s Drainage Assistance Program. The contractor expects to start work on six drainage assistance projects beginning next week. Projects scheduled to be completed are located on Hoover Ct., Brainard Ct., Coolidge Ct., Bellflower Rd., Palmerston Dr., McKinley St. and Edgehill Rd.

Parks and Recreation Department
• The Recreation Department staff has been working to secure the headline act for the concert to be held on Saturday night at next year’s CityFest. Contract negotiation is process and is approaching finalization.  Recreation Manager Jill Korsok is working with staff on creating the logo for the event, which we hope to have very soon.

• The Senior Center is planning some exciting trips for 2013. Tour operators will present trip information with detailed fliers and visuals at a meeting on Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. Trip registration will open at the conclusion of the meeting.

• The 33rd Wildwood Cultural Center Holiday Display & Craft Show will be on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This annual event offers one-of-a-kind centerpieces and wreaths made with live greens. All items are handcrafted by the Wildwood Garden Club.

• Design your own Fresh Green Holiday Centerpiece with Instructor Chris Amos. Chris will demonstrate how to create centerpieces using greens, flowers, candles and other holiday novelties. To register for this or other holiday decorating classes, call the Recreation Office at 440-974-5720 or go online at

• The Wildwood Singers Holiday Concert is on Dec. 7 at the Mentor Senior Center. This free concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

• The Recreation Department wants to remind you to stay active over the holiday season. Join Mentor In Motion to keep a record of your activity miles. A daily 30-minute walk can help relieve stress and help you feel better overall. Contact the Recreation Office or go online to register.

Economic and Community Development
• Ron Traub met with a representative of a local developer regarding mixed-use opportunities in Mentor.

• Ron Traub met with Larry Villines, chair of the Mentor Chamber of Commerce’s new Economic Development Committee.

• Ron Traub and representatives of the Building & Engineering Department and Fire Department met with representatives of a local manufacturer regarding a significant lease in the former Caterpillar building for product storage. 

• In an effort to reduce costs and broaden the distribution of contract bid specifications, Finance and IT have implemented the first phase of an online bid specification project. Electronic bid specification forms can now be made available to bidders on the city’s website. The first two bid packages available online are for Tree Purchase/Planting and Multi-function Device Leases. Future enhancements under review include interactive capability, such as submitting bids online.

Public Works Department
• Hot patching - SR 306
• Concrete slab replacement - Weatherby
• Inlet basin rebuilds (5) - Spinach
• Installed pull boxes on Plaza Blvd. in conjunction with Signal upgrade program
• Completed sand stone wall at Lagoons entrance
• Storm sewer cleaning - Melshore, Cumberland, Cambridge Park
• Storm sewer televising - Bellflower, Edgewood, Mansion, Westport and Market
• South Shandle r-o-w improvement completed
• Storm sewer repair - 6321 Dunbar
• White Pine detention pond - removed restrictor plate

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mentor unemployment hits 5-year low

This holiday season, it appears that a lot of Mentor folks can be thankful for having jobs.

The unemployment rate for the city of Mentor decreased for the fifth consecutive month to 4.5 percent in October, according to information released by the city this week.

That is down from 5.1 percent in September and the lowest the rate has been since November of 2007. A year ago in October, unemployment was at 5.4 percent.

In Lake County, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent in October, down from 5.7 percent the month before. Ohio’s unemployment rate declined 0.3 percent to 6.3 percent last month.

Mentor continues to have the lowest unemployment rate for any community in Ohio with a population over 50,000 and has the second-lowest (only Dublin is lower) for any of the 65 cities for which unemployment numbers are calculated.

Source: October 2012 Civilian Labor Force Estimates – Ohio Department of Job & Family Service, Office of Workforce Development and Bureau of Labor Market Information.

Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another busy Mentor bridge being analyzed for work

ODOT is examining another busy Mentor bridge for potential rehab work, the police department wins a traffic safety award and more details on lockdown at autism school — those items and more in the latest weekly city manager report to City Council.

Manager Comments 
• On Nov. 13, at 1148, the Mentor Police responded to the Cardinal Autism Resource and Education Center, located at 5028 Forest Rd., for a disturbance/trespass complaint. The complainant, who is employed at the center, advised that she and her ex-husband, identified as 46-year-old Armand R. Dinardo Jr. of Mentor on-the-Lake, are currently in a custody dispute involving their teenage daughter. Dinardo had driven the daughter to the center to pick up her cell phone from the mother. The mother advised her daughter that she would not be leaving with her father. School authorities wanted Dinardo to leave the property, but he refused. Dinardo was advised numerous times to leave by Mentor Police, but he still refused. Dinardo identified that he had a concealed carry permit and a handgun was seen in plain view on the center console inside the vehicle. He then drove his vehicle to another area of the front parking lot near the school. Upon seeing officers with weapons displayed and taking up tactical positions, school officials went into an immediate “lockdown.”

Dinardo continued to disobey commands to exit the vehicle. He then drove slowly towards officers with his hands in the air. Officers were able to get him to stop the vehicle. He was removed from the vehicle and taken into custody.  Dinardo was also found to have a large machete behind the driver’s seat. Dinardo did not pick up the handgun during the incident. The lockdown by the school was completely appropriate for the situation. He will be charged with two Counts of Illegal Conveyance of a Deadly Weapon in a School Safety Zone (Felony 5), Inducing Panic (Misdemeanor 1), and Criminal Trespassing (Misdemeanor 4).

• On Nov. 19, a contractor working for ODOT performed preliminary analysis on the Center Street Railroad Bridge for determination of what rehabilitation will be necessary for the bridge deck. During their operations, one lane of Center Street will be closed to performance of deck testing. Cores will be taken of different portions of the deck during the operation.

• AAA East Central announced today the national award winners for Northeast Ohio.  Several communities in Lake County received awards ranging from Bronze to Gold, but the city of Mentor was the only community to receive the prestigious Platinum Award. Capt. Kevin Knight along with officer Marilyn Satterfield were in attendance to receive the honor. Each year, AAA accepts applications from communities and are asked to describe in detail the efforts and successes of their transportation safety initiatives. Emphasis is placed upon what AAA calls the “3E’s”: enforcement, education and engineering. The top platinum award is given to communities that have achieved great success within the area of traffic safety. The gold award recognizes projects and initiatives that demonstrate superior effort within traffic safety.

Police Department
• A juvenile student at Mentor High School was arrested on Wednesday for making a bomb threat at the school. The suspect wrote on a bathroom wall about a bomb placed inside the school. The school was evacuated and then searched by police and school administrators; nothing was found. The juvenile was interviewed and confessed to making the threats. He was charged with inducing panic, making false alarms and criminal damaging.

• A shoplifter was arrested and charged with robbery after a confrontation with a JC Penney loss prevention officer. The suspect was attempting to steal six wallets when she was approached by the LPO. She punched the LPO in the face and ran out of the store with another female. Both females were arrested in the area of Baker’s Square.

• Mentor Police received three traffic enforcement grants in 2011 and participates in all the National Mobilization campaigns. This is in addition to the Third Grade Seatbelt program and poster contest, high school mixer and shakers program, bike helmet purchasing and safety citation programs, Officer Phil elementary school program, child safety seat inspections, a Bicycle Patrol Unit, and others. Mentor officers are members of the Lake County Safe Communities and the Greater Cleveland Safe Kids Coalitions which provide the public with many safety initiatives and countywide projects. We are very proud of this achievement.

Fire Department
• On Nov. 11 at 3:01 p.m., the fire department was called to White Oak Drive to extinguish a woods fire.

• On Nov. 11 at 6:24 p.m., the fire department responded to a call involving a male’s hand stuck in a lawn mower.  The fire department had to cut the mower deck with a saw to free the male’s hand. The male was treated and transported to Lake Health.

• On Nov. 13 at 2:18 p.m., paramedics responded to an industrial accident where a male suffered a significant hand injury. The male was treated and transported to a trauma center.

• On Nov. 14 at 12:50 p.m., the fire department stood by as Mentor School officials and the police department investigated a bomb scare in the E-wing of the high school. The school was evacuated; however, there was no device found.

• On Nov, 14 sometime after 1 p.m., a contractor struck a natural gas line at 8651 Station St.; however, the fire department was not notified until well after the event. The fire department is following up on this incident. There were no injuries and the line has been repaired.

• Public Education Specialist Nate Peters assisted staff from Lake Health with “Hands Only CPR Training” at the Lake County Safety Council’s monthly meeting that was held at the Holiday Inn Express Nov. 16.

• 2012 Sidewalk Program: 325 parcels were identified in Council’s Resolution of Necessity for sidewalk repair. To date, 155 parcels have completed work, leaving 170 parcels that will be assessed if work has not been completed by the property owner before T.C. Construction begins. Because of cold weather, T.C. Construction may not start work until March of 2013.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Black Brook Golf Course will be open until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. With the recent nice weather, Black Brook had 122 rounds played on Sunday and in the month of October they had a total of 1,472 rounds played.

• On Nov. 9, the Senior Center celebrated Thanksgiving with a wonderful luncheon at LaMalfa with 223 seniors.  Rave reviews were received for the entertainment of the Temptations.

• The Senior Center hosted 230 people, including 167 veterans, at the Veteran’s Breakfast Nov. 10. 

• On Nov. 12, the Senior Center crew completed preventive maintenance and some repairs. This included fitness equipment preventive maintenance and replacement of door thresholds at both the 615 and Munson Road entrances.  The crew also cleaned and waxed the floors in some of the activity rooms.

• Letters have been sent from the Marina to dockers who have not yet paid their deposits for the 2013 boating season.  Follow-up phone calls have been made. If a signed contract and payment are not received by the deadline, same dock assignment cannot be guaranteed in the coming season. Dock relocation requests will be started this week; waiting list requests will begin shortly thereafter. Questions can be directed to Bob Martin at the Parks & Recreation department.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman & Ron Traub manned a table at the NE Ohio Entrepreneur Expo. There were 159 participants; the cities of Cleveland and Mentor were the only government participants, although several business incubators were present. Several communities walked the floor of the exhibition hall. While Mentor officials didn’t pick up any direct leads, they did have conversations with individuals and literature was handed out.

• Traub met with Ray Jurkowski of Laketran and several manufacturers in the Tyler/Heisley corridor regarding a survey instrument to assess interest in limited bus service to this “neighborhood.”

• Traub participated with several others regarding “hot” employment opportunities in the region, state and U.S. in the future for the Lake Shore Compact Stakeholders meeting.

• Traub met with representatives of Lake One Stop and the Greater Cleveland Partnership regarding sources for workers and training opportunities for a Mentor manufacturer.

• Tom Thielman attended the newly energized Manufacturing Committee of the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce at Great Lakes Power. Topics included bulk purchasing, outside contractors, energy savings opportunities, waste and scrap removal and how the group should proceed. After the meeting, a tour was given of Great Lakes Power.

• Tom Thielman attended the Board of Directors meeting for the Lake County Development Council. LCDC approved a $1,000 grant for the Alliance Working Together manufacturing group to be used for student scholarships for manufacturing careers.

• MEACO approved a $25,000 Mentor Small Business Loan for the Second Sole running shoe store to help finance building façade improvements.
• Departmental 2013 budget reviews have been completed. Compilation of a draft line item budget and Capital Improvement Program for the 2013 budget is under way for the City Council budget work session today.

• The Ohio Municipal League has drafted sample Resolutions expressing opposition to recently introduced legislation (HB601) by Representatives Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) and Mike Henne (R-Vandalia) mandating numerous changes to current municipal income tax administration procedures that are very alarming. If adopted, HB601 will cause a loss of revenue to cities and will impose “unfunded mandates” that hamper the ability of municipalities to administer local income tax collections.

• Congratulations to Jay Luteran, city IT administrator, who will be retiring Dec. 10.

Public Works Department
• Traffic signal improvements on Plaza Blvd.
• Residential brush chipping
• Dura patching - Glen Lodge
• Inlet basin rebuilds (4) - Spinach and Yellowbrick
• Implemented “Holiday” Signalization program
• Constructed benches for the Dog Park
• Removed street flags
• Planting trees and shrubs at E. R. Walsh Park
• Constructing sandstone wall at Lagoons entrance
• Cleaning 42” storm sewer - East Avenue
• Storm sewer televising - Living Homes area
• Right-of-way improvement on South Shandle completed
• Preparing bid documents for generator at FS #1

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Friday, November 16, 2012

7th Annual Lakeland Career Expo results

Nancy White, director of Career Services at Lakeland Community College, emailed The News-Herald the results of the Lakeland career expo on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

Here's what she had to say:

  •  More than 400 job seekers attended, which was less than the usual total but the flow was steady.
  • Employers plan to off er at least 618 interviews, which is a higher ratio of job seekers to interviews than previous years.
  • Ninety-nine percent of employers and job seekers rated the event good to excellent on individual evaluations handed out at the event.Job seekers who may have missed the expo should

Job seekers who may have missed the expo shouldn't worry, Lakeland hosts five job fairs a year that are open to the public. Four "mini" job fairs averaging 25 employers each: Sept. 2012, February 6, March 27 and April 14, 2013; and a Health Careers Job Fair: March 4, 2013.

--Elizabeth Lundblad, western Lake County reporter

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mentor's deal with Penske paying off

A proposed auto dealership in Mentor means a big payoff on city-owned property, the deer continue to drop and drugs continue to take a tragic toll on area’s youth. Those items and more in the latest weekly city manager report to City Council:

Manager Comments 
• This week, the city received $500,000 from the Penske Automotive Group for the sale of land containing approximately 5.97 acres located on Market Street. (An Audi dealership is planned.)

• The recorded deer harvest number is 66 as of Friday.

Fire Department
• The Fire Department responded to two cardiac arrests that were possible overdoses this past week. One was deceased; the other was treated and transported, but resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. Both were in their twenties.

• The Fire Department provided EMS, Fire Prevention, Haz Mat and Incident Management support at Mentor High School for the appearance of President Obama on Nov. 3. Three people were treated for medical problems during the event. Two of the three were transported to the hospital — one to Lake West and the other to TriPoint.

Police Department
• Two new officers, Bryan Distelrath and Matthew Jacob, were sworn in by Judge Trebets last week. Both officers begin with a two-week orientation phase and then a fourth-month Field Training Program.

• The visit by President Obama on Saturday went well with no major problems encountered. Due to the amount of security needed for this detail, a request for mutual aid was made to all Lake County law enforcement agencies. A total of 45 officers from other agencies participated along with 30 Mentor officers. These officers covered traffic posts for the arrival and departure of the motorcade, exterior perimeter security, to include two mobile tactical teams and interior security.

• One complaint of possible tampered candy was received on Halloween. A box of Wonka Grape Nerds was found to have staples inside the box instead of candy.  The box was received somewhere in the Headlands during trick or treating. 

• Storm sewer installation started Nov. 5 for the Station Street Resurfacing and Drainage Improvement project. The contractor is progressing from the existing culvert at 8583 Station St. to the east toward Jackson Street. The contractor is using a temporary traffic signal during construction operations.

• The Engineering Department along with the city manager and Councilman Landeg met with the Lake County Dept. of Utilities on Nov. 6 to discuss the recent sanitary sewer back-ups experienced on 10/29/12 in the area of N. Palmerston and N. Weatherby Drive due to rainfall from Hurricane Sandy. The county has indicated that they are continuing to evaluate the problem and looking into possible engineering solutions. A dye testing program to identify sources of inflow in this area was also discussed.

Parks and Recreation Department
• Terri Rosenwald, Ice Arena Manager, met with a representative of the Collegiate Hockey program to discuss bringing the 2015 Division I, II, III and Women’s hockey tournament to the Mentor Ice Arena. 

• The Special Elders program at the Senior Center will adopt a family for the holidays. They will have a Giving Tree that will be ready by Nov. 20. The tree will have items on it for individuals to select and purchase and return to the Senior Center by Dec. 14. The Special Elders group will wrap the gifts for the family.

• Last weekend began the Teens in Action volunteer program. There will be three groups cleaning up yards and raking leaves at seven low-income seniors’ homes.

• On Nov. 16, the Ice Arena will hold its annual Mascot Day from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Economic and Community Development
• Tom Thielman attended the annual Lake County Development Council Economic Forum at LaMalfa. Michael Chriszt, V.P. of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta predicted continued slow, but bumping growth of 2 percent. Though he did say that the U.S. economy needs to start creating more jobs just to keep up with those entering the work force. Dr. J.B. Silvers, Case Western Reserve University, presented a complete examination of the Affordable Healthcare Act and its impact on business and employees. He believes “in theory” that it can all work, but its success or failure will rely on continuous improvements and how well the plan is executed over time.

Public Works Department
• Chipping storm damage
• Crack sealing - Center Street
• Sewer televising - Melshore
• Right-of-way drainage improvement - S Shandle
• Marina entranceway improvement
• Storm cleanup - Garfield Park and Cemetery
• Inlet basin - rebuilds Bosley Cove
• Replaced traffic control equipment for controllers at Mentor Ave/Hart/Acacia
• HVAC bid opening (2) Nov. 14
• Submitted 3rd  Qtr. ARRA Report

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy

Veterans share their memories for interactive map

In honor of Veterans Day this week, we started a new project to collect veterans memories and publish them on an interactive map (embedded below). Readers can click at different points on the map to listen to a veteran tell his or her story.

View Veterans Memories in a larger map

We'll be continuing to add veterans stories to our map as long as veterans want to continue sharing them.

Veterans who would like to share their memories as part of the project can call 440-207-0727. State your name and city of residence, the branch with which you served, and the dates and locations of your service. Then share your memory, letting us know as specifically as possible where and when it is from, so we can accurately place it on the map.

If you have photos to accompany your memory, you may email them to, or drop them off at our office, 7085 Mentor Ave. in Willoughby, attention Cheryl Sadler. Include your name and city of residence, as well as "Veterans Memories" with all submissions. For photos that are dropped off at our office, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope so they can be returned.

Thank you for your service.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Upcoming events in western Lake County communities

A collection of items found on the city calendars from western Lake County communities.

  • "Fill the Cruiser," Saturday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m: Wickliffe Police Department needs the community's help to pack a police cruiser with donated non-perishable food items to re-stock the food bank at Vineyard Community Church in Wickliffe. Those interested in donating items can drop them off at Spinner's Discount Tobacco & Beverage, 29726 Euclid Avenue.
  • "Turkey Hunt," Saturday, Nov. 17, 11:30 a.m.: Event held at Coulby Park. Participants should meet at the gazebo. Adults and children are welcome. This event will take place rain or shine.
  • "Holiday Lighting & Open House," Saturday, Nov. 24, 6 p.m to 8 p.m.: Revelers can expect to enjoy an evening of fun, food, music and a visit from Santa Claus. The Mt. Carmel Singers are set to perform and there will be crafts for the kids. Bicycles will also be raffled off for Wickliffe children. The Knights of Columbus will be serving chili and the Keep Wickliffe Beautiful Commission will be providing hot chocolate.
  •   "7th Annual Lakeland Career Expo," Wednesday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: More than 67 employers are looking to fill positions the annual job fair. Companies attending include Lake Health, Wiseco Pistons, Avery Dennison, JC Penney, Windsor/Laurelwood, Cardinal Community Credit Union, Cleveland Clinic, Progressive, Steris and many more.Some helpful tips from Lakeland Community College Career Services Center: bring multiple copies of your resume, dress professionally and research companies for which you are interested in working. The job fair will be at Lakeland's Athletic & fitness Center. It is open to the public and free.
  • "Holiday Lighting Celebration," Thursday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m.: Residents are urged to gather for the lighting ceremony at Point Park. An auction will follow at City Hall at 7:35 p.m.
Willoughby Hills:
  • "Veteran's Day Ceremony," Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 p.m.: A Veteran's Day ceremony will take place inside the Willoughby Hills Community Center. The event is expected to last an hour.
  •  "Veteran's Day Ceremony," Sunday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m.: The American Legion Post #678 and VFW Post #3863 will be hosting a ceremony at the gazebo behind Eastlake City Hall.
  • "Senior Center Holiday Boutique," Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.: The Senior Center, 1580 East 332nd St., will have a holiday boutique with craft tables, a bake sale, a Chinese auction and a concession stand. Admission is free.
  • No events were listed on the city's online community calendar.
-- Elizabeth Lundblad, western Lake County reporter

Monday, November 5, 2012

What are you thankful for this year?

Family? Health? Home? Job? The News-Herald wants to know what you’re thankful for this year.

You can submit your response in several ways:
  • Email
  • Call 440-497-0858.
  • Fax to 440-975-2293, Attn: Cheryl Sadler.
  • Mail to The News-Herald, Attn: Cheryl Sadler, 7085 Mentor Ave., Willoughby, OH 44094.
  • Tweet @newsheraldinoh with the hashtag #thankful.
Be sure to let us know your name and city of residence when you tell us what you are thankful for.
We’ll be collecting responses through 5 p.m. Nov. 21.

Select comments will be printed in The News-Herald on Thanksgiving Day. All responses will be published on


Mentor staff unites to battle Sandy

The damage in Mentor in the wake of Hurricane Sandy had nearly all departments working in tandem this past week. That is reflected in the latest Mentor city manager memo to City Council, along with assorted other goings-on:

Manager Comments
• The Emergency Operations Center at Fire Station #5 was opened Monday afternoon with planning and support functions carried out during this week’s storm activity. The fire department maintained good coordination with the police department, other city departments, local and county agencies and our neighboring fire departments.

• Storm damage throughout the city resulted in multiple power outages from downed electrical wires and transformer fires. There were 12 houses that had trees fall on them and some suffered extensive damage. The fire department responded to two house fires during the storm. The first was on Tuesday morning on Forest Lane and the second house fire occurred Tuesday evening on Dartmoor Road. Both fires were quickly controlled. The only storm-related injuries were from motor vehicle accidents that occurred during the storm.

• House Bill 601 dealing with Municipal Tax Uniformity was introduced to the Ohio House of Representatives on Oct. 30. The language as submitted could result in significant revenue loss for some of Ohio’s municipalities, especially with changes to Net Operating Loss and Residency requirements.

It did not include language to allow the state to create a central collection of local tax revenues, which is positive, but does have language that allows the state to take over the administration of all local tax practices by mandating all local tax ordinances must adopt “by reference” Ohio Revised Code Chapter 718, with no alterations or deviations.

The state would further regulate all local tax operations through the oversight powers of what would be a newly created Municipal Tax Policy Board and the Joint Committee on Agency Rule and Review, which would allow outside private influences to have access to the ability to alter local taxing procedures and rules, directly through the State of Ohio. We will work with RITA to gather information as to the possible impact on the city of Mentor.

Police Department
• Police Department efforts early this week were focused on numerous storm-related activities. Extra staff was brought in to keep the roads open and to assist our residents.

• A male was arrested for shoplifting at Kohl’s and then for using force against the Loss Prevention Agent to escape. The male was chased through the parking lot by a Mentor officer. The officer tackled the male, but struck his head into the side of a parked car while trying to make the arrest. The male was able to get up and run, eventually being caught by two other officers behind Dunkin Donuts. The officer who struck his head received a neck injury. The suspect was charged with robbery and resisting arrest.

• A male was arrested after he attempted to break into a home on Brooks Blvd. The homeowner heard noises from outside and saw the male attempting to open his kitchen window. Police responded and eventually identified the male. He was located at a house in Wickliffe, arrested within an hour of the crime and was charged with attempted burglary.

Fire Department
• On Oct. 25 at 4:36 p.m., the Department responded to a motor vehicle accident with entrapment at 8300 Tyler Blvd. Four patients were transported — two to Lake West and two to Hillcrest.

Public Works Department
• Sandy Response and Cleanup
- All of the DPW’s resources have been focused on dealing with the impact and aftermath of Sandy
- 24/7 staffing and operations since Monday morning
- Removed approximately 45 trees/large limbs from roadways to maintain safety vehicle access
- Provided continuous generator power to approximately 12 signalized intersections
- Continuously monitored storm drainage and maintained flow - no significant drainage problems (aware of at this time)
• Impact on City Parks
- Lost several trees at Mentor Beach Park
- Lost some shingles at city-owned house at Mentor Beach Park
- Pond at Garfield Park overflowed, damaging a baseball field

Parks and Recreation Department
• As part of the city’s efforts to keep the public informed and respond to the needs of the residents during Hurricane Sandy, the Recreation staff operated the Administration’s phone system throughout the night Oct. 29. The Red Cross set up a Reception Center in the Senior Center and became the county’s emergency shelter on Tuesday morning, equipped with supplies and bedding for anyone that was displaced due to the storm. On Thursday, the Red Cross closed the shelter and moved to Fairport Harbor while the Senior Center staff maintained the Reception Center until 10 p.m.

• As we come up on the end of our first month of public hunting in the city we would like to report that we have recorded 56 deer harvested at the time of this writing. We have had three deer leave the hunting area property and had to be tracked to other lands. In these cases the Police Department has been informed. We have maintained a tight rein on all aspects of the program and I believe the program is running very well.

• The Ohio Parks & Recreation Association’s Awards of Excellence Program notified the city of Mentor that the Community Garden was awarded third place in the Programs & Community Wellness Category. This is the city’s first year in the program. The Community Garden was a huge success for the city in terms of participants and donations of fresh produce to the Senior Center’s lunch program.

• Reminder that the Kalahari Resort special group getaway is Thursday. For more information or to make reservations, call the Kalahari Resort at 877-525-2427 and request the “City of Mentor Group Rate.”

Economic and Community Development
• The 2013 Harris Ohio Industrial Directory (a division of D&B) indicates that Mentor experienced a decline of 18 manufacturing firms, but has experienced an increase of 922 manufacturing jobs (the period of study is June 2011 to July 2012). Over a five year time period (2009-2013), manufacturing employment has increased by 1,460 jobs or 17%. A full analysis of the 2013 Harris Ohio Industrial Directory is attached.

• The Lake County Development Council’s annual Economic Forum is scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at LaMalfa. Michael Chriszt, VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will present comments about current monetary policy and Dr. J.B. Silvers, Case Western Reserve University, will give an overview and impact of the Affordable Care Act. Tom Thielman is the current president of the LCDC.

• The City received $70,659 this week from AT&T for video service franchise fees for the third quarter of calendar year 2012.

• Career Firefighter Grant Hoyt and Part-time Firefighter John Kelleher have retired after nearly 60 years combined service. Their last shifts were Oct. 30.

-- Betsy Scott,, @ReporterBetsy