Food banks make killing from Mentor culling
• The Police Department was informed this week that we are receiving $10,780 from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services through the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to Local Law Enforcement program. The grant will be used toward the purchase of forensic video, image, and audio equipment. The Byrne grant is made available through federal funding administered by Ohio. Mentor is the only Lake County community receiving a Byrne grant in this round. Patrolman Marilyn Satterfield has once again done an outstanding job in bringing outside resources to our community to enhance our law enforcement efforts.
• The first delivery of venison from the first 10 days of the culling season is ready for pick-up from Canal Fulton Processing to be delivered to the Cleveland Food Bank. A total of 3,500 pounds of venison will be delivered to food shelters and pantries throughout the area.
• Planning continues on this year’s CityFest. Senior staff met this week to finalize a committee structure and to review progress to date. A Festival Committee of nine persons (to include two Council members) will be established, along with 15 subcommittees. Much planning has already occurred by Recreation Staff and will be reviewed at the first official committee meeting planned for February. I have spoken to Council President Marn about Council representation on the Festival Committee and subcommittee co-chair positions. Vendor applications are being sent out this week, a festival website will be launching at the beginning of next month, and festival promo material has been ordered. We will need many volunteers and committee members, so any suggestions from Council would be appreciated.
• At approximately 11:30 a.m. Friday, 9-1-1 service was knocked out in Mentor, Lake County, and apparently much of Ohio. The cause of the outage is not yet known, but appears to be with AT&T. We began accepting calls for emergency service at the (440) 255-1234 and (440) 255-1212 numbers. A press release went out immediately after the system failed alerting the public of the outage and instructing callers to use the non-emergency lines. By approximately 3 p.m., land line 9-1-1 calls were being received (at least to some extent) at Lake County Central Dispatch. By 3:30 p.m. service was fully restored to our dispatch center. Most city land phones were also unable to send or receive calls during this period. Cellular 9-1-1 service was not affected. When an explanation is known, we will forward it to you.
• The unemployment rate for the City of Mentor remained at 5.4% for the second straight month after five consecutive months of decline; one year ago (December 2011) the unemployment rate was 5.8%. In Lake County, the unemployment rate increased 0.2% to 6.3% in December 2012. The City of Mentor’s unemployment rate ranks third lowest among communities with a population over 50,000 behind Cleveland Heights and Lakewood. The State of Ohio’s unemployment rate increased 0.1% for the month of December 2012 to 6.6%.
• On Saturday, Jan. 19 just before 10 p.m., Mentor Fire Department, along with eleven other fire departments, was requested as part of a response to Willoughby Hills for an apartment fire at the Bishop Park Apartments. Five apartments had to be evacuated until the fire could be controlled. An active natural gas leak and a frozen gas meter shut-off delayed fire fighting efforts. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is being investigated.
• On Jan. 22 at 2:25 p.m., the fire department was called to Orchard Road for a significant working structure fire. Fire crews arrived to find fire coming from several first-floor windows of the home. The female resident and homeowner reported that everybody was out of the two-story house. Station #2 arrived first on the scene with only two firefighters as the rescue squad was committed to another call. Due to weather conditions (extreme temperatures and high winds) and a well-involved fire conditions, the response was upgraded to include a second alarm, medium-hazard response in which several neighboring departments assisted. It is believed that a cat perished in the fire; there were no human injuries. The loss is estimated at $250,000 and the initial cause appears to be unattended cooking.
• A male was arrested for domestic violence after he assaulted his live-in girlfriend at their residence on Nowlen Street. The male struck and choked the female. After the altercation, the male took a necklace and ring belonging to the female and fled the home. He was located in the area of Villa Marina. Two used syringes were located in his backpack at the time of his arrest. He was charged with domestic violence, theft and possession of drug abuse instruments.
Parks and Recreation Department
• Make your reservations now for the Father-Daughter Skate on Feb. 9 at the Civic Ice Arena. The event will start at noon with games and activities, followed by lunch and skating.
• On Feb. 1, the Mentor Senior Center will join the social media by launching its Facebook page. Also, starting in April, the Senior Center newsletter will be changing to a bimonthly issue, which will enable the Center to improve the quality and readability of the newsletter for all.
• The planning for “2ba Healthy Kid Carnival” is going well. The event is scheduled for March 16 at the Mentor Senior Center from noon to 4 pm. Recreation Specialist, Maggie Kuyasa, has been busy securing sponsorship, vendors, and in-kind donations.
• Registration for Winter Session programs is going well. “Adult Volleyball” has returned this year and the program is full. Also, the “Men’s Hoops” program and “Community Gardens” are full again this year.
-- Betsy Scott, BScott@News-Herald.com, @ReporterBetsy