Archives for April 2018

Downtown Ashtabula getting a boost

ASHTABULA – Increasing downtown traffic is the goal of the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association. During a Meet n’ Greet Wednesday city officials shared ideas with the more than 2 dozen people who attended, including bringing public art to Main Avenue, updating the business directory, and providing more security downtown. Officials said new street banners are coming to Main Avenue this summer, and several events also are planned for the year to help attract people.

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Ashtabula mission worker says trip to Puerto Rico opened his eyes

One Ashtabula resident says a recent mission trip to Puerto Rico showed the devastation left behind after a hurricaine tore through the island in September of last year. Jeff Albert, of Ashtabula says he and other mission workers spent the eight day trip rebuilding roofs, cleaning and painting a church camp and apartment, building a cement wall, and interacting with residents of numerous communities. The Ashtabula resident said participants were shocked by the aftermath in the wake of Hurricane Maria which slammed into the island damaging infrastructure, destroying homes and forcing many to leave the island for refuge.
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Ashtabula will have to find a new elections board director

JEFFERSON – Ashtabula will have to find a new elections board director. Carol Lovas announced she will retire next month, after 17 years of service with the Ashtabula County Board of Elections. Lovas will step down at the end of May. Charlie Frye, election board chairman, said Monday the panel will discuss the search for Lovas’ successor at an upcoming meeting. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the board must advertise the position for at least one week.
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Andover man pleaded guilty to four of seventeen felony child rape charges

JEFFERSON – A 56 year old Andover man pleaded guilty this week to four of seventeen felony child rape charges. Trial for Patrick A. Suter, was set to begin Tuesday, but he accepted a plea deal in connection to the case involving four young relatives between 4 and 13 years old when the offenses occurred, from August 2010 to May 2017, according to the indictment. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison and has remained incarcerated in the Ashtabula County Jail since his arrest in mid-November, according to court document.
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Resurrecting downtown’s social hub will require community input

PIERPONT TOWNSHIP – Resurrecting downtown’s social hub will require community input, Pierpont Township Trustees said Monday. The Pierpont Revitalization, Planning and Development Committee was recently created in an effort to bring back, what many locals say used to be a vibrant community, and officials say the committee will identify areas for infrastructure or economic improvement, explore new growth potential and look for “Main Street” investments. The renewed interest was prompted by a township population boom between 2010 and 2016, followed by an economic downturn after retail businesses in the area closed their doors, according to reports from Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County. Officials said the committee plans to appoint a handful of additional members during the May 1 trustee meeting and they’re encouring resident to join the conversation.
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Plans to give Geneva Township Park a facelift will be up to voters

GENEVA TOWNSHIP – Plans to give Geneva Township Park a facelift will be up to voters. There have been a lot of improvements made at the park over the last two years already, but Village Administrator Mark Mizak said future upgrages will depend on whether voters pass a replacement levy. Township officials said the replacement levy, based on 1989 property values, will pay for the required maintenance plan and resolve some erosion issues.
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Geneva School district not giving up on operating levy

GENEVA – The Geneva school district is taking its fourth stab in the last 25 years at passing new operating funding next month. The Geneva Area School District last passed a 4 mill operating levy in 1993. Since then, it has put operating levies on the ballot three times, only for them to be defeated over the years.

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Investigation continues into New Years Eve fire that gutted former North Kingsville Elementary School

NORTH KINGSVILLE – The investigation into a fire that gutted the former North Kingsville Elementary School on New Years eve 2016 is still ongoing. North Kingsville Fire Chief Kevin Hubbard said he doesn’t know why it’s taking this long to get answers from the state regarding its investigation about the Dec. 31, 2016 fire, sparked just a few minutes before midnight, on the third floor of the now demolished brick building on Route 20 near Route 193. The building had been serving as a headquarters for a roofing and construction business, since the Buckeye Local school district closed the campus in a cost-cutting move in 2011.
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Ashtabula’s Ward 3 seat up for grabs

ASHTABULA – Three Democrats have thrown their hat in the ring with hopes of becoming Ashtabula’s next Ward 3 councilperson.
The trio of candidates have applied for the job, left vacant when Ward 3 Council member Reginald Holman stepped down April 2, for giving the wrong address to election board staff when registering to vote, according to records. The committee will meet behind closed doors on Saturday and choose one of the applicants to fill Holman’s term, which ends in November 2021.

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Future of O’Reilly’s auto parts store in downtown Conneaut still being debated

CONNEAUT – The future of an O’Reilly’s auto parts store in downtown Conneaut is still being debated. Law Director Kyle Smith said in a statement the ordinance to amend Conneaut’s zoning code, discussed at length during a Monday night public hearing, could present new opportunities going forward, and is not an attempt to get around a judge’s ruling issued last fall that halted construction of the facility. Council could vote on the proposed changes at next weeks meeting.
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