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South Side News & Notes

8/2/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Body found in Nimisila Reservoir identified as Akron man

GREEN — Authorities said a 78-year-old Akron man whose body was found in Nimisila Reservoir July 30 likely fell into the water after falling down at the dam.

Gary Guenther, of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office, said David Menhorn Sr., of Akron, died as a result of a dislocated neck injury.

“It looks like he either fell or had an event that caused him to fall down a steep cement incline into the water,” Guenther said, adding that the death has been ruled accidental.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office reported that a fisherman spotted the man’s body floating in the reservoir and called authorities. Deputies and the Green Fire Department responded to the scene.

Inspector Bill Holland, of the Sheriff’s Office, said the death remains under investigation. The office reported that there does not appear to be any criminal involvement relating to the death.


Springfield Police presenting Ron Victor Fishing Derby

SPRINGFIELD — The fourth annual Ron Victor Memorial Fishing Derby, presented by the Springfield Police Department, will take place Aug. 11 on Springfield Lake along Canfield Road.

According to Springfield officials, the fishing derby was named for a retired Springfield police officer who established the event in 2005 and died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 2008. Victor worked for the Springfield Police Department for 24 years in various divisions. He retired in 2004 and returned shortly after to work part-time in community policing, including the fishing derby, a bike rodeo, boating safety, the Shop With a Cop program, Coats for Kids, Fill-the-Cruiser and other projects.

The annual fishing event is for children ages 4 through 15. Trophies will be awarded to the anglers who catch the most fish and the biggest fish. In addition, young fishermen can receive prizes of fishing gear. Organizers stated participants should bring their own gear, but bait will be supplied.

A lunch of pizza, chips and a beverage will be available at noon.

Registration will begin at 7 a.m. at the Vincent J. Mealy Memorial Gazebo, and fishing will start at 8 a.m. on the lake between the boat dock and the gazebo. The event is free and ends at 1 p.m.


Ohio case of West Nile virus reported

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year on July 27.

ODH officials said a case of WNV encephalitis was confirmed in an 85-year-old man who is hospitalized in Clermont County. They added there also has been a sharp increase in the number of WNV-positive mosquitoes in the state.

“This first human case is about a month earlier than what we’ve seen over the last several years,” said ODH Director Dr. Ted Wymyslo. “The number of West Nile-positive mosquito pools are up significantly across the state, and it’s important that residents of Ohio take note and are diligent in protecting themselves against mosquito bites.”

So far in 2012, 374 mosquito pools have tested positive for WNV. At this time last year, the ODH lab had only recorded 59 WNV-positive mosquito pools, officials said. The current year’s early increase in WNV activity is similar to 2002, during which there were 299 positive pools by the end of July. By the end of the 2002 season, there were 441 human WNV cases and 31 fatalities in Ohio.

The ODH reports that culex mosquitoes (the type that transmit WNV) do well in drought-like conditions, preferring to breed in organically rich water sources, such as shrinking water in ditches and catch basins. Recent heat across the region also has sped up the mosquitoes’ life cycle and virus amplification, they said.

State officials gave these tips to avoid possible infection from mosquito bites:

√ If you are outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, be sure to wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks.

√ Wear light colors, which are least attractive to mosquitoes.

√ Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.

To eliminate mosquito breeding sites near your home, the ODH recommends:

• removing all discarded tires and other water-holding containers, such as tin cans and unused flowerpots, from your property;

• eliminating standing water from your property;

• making sure all roof gutters are clean and properly draining;

• cleaning and chlorinating pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, keeping them empty when not in use and draining water from pool covers; and

• changing water in bird baths weekly.

WNV can have no symptoms, or can lead to West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease, ODH officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 20 percent of people who become infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can be as short as a few days, some people have reported being sick for several weeks.

The CDC estimates that approximately 1 in 150 people infected with WNV will develop a more severe form of disease, such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis.

Ohio has recorded human cases of WNV each year since 2002. For more information, visit the ODH website at www.odh.ohio.gov or the ODH mosquito information page at 1.usa.gov/l8HkPt.


AMATS study shows slight increase in crashes

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The number of traffic crashes in the Greater Akron area increased slightly in the years 2009 to 2011 but are still not near the high numbers of a decade ago, according to officials with the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS).

An analysis showed that overall crashes in Summit and Portage counties increased by less than 3 percent, from slightly more than 16,450 in 2009 to slightly more than 17,000 in 2011.

The agency identified 115 high-crash roadway sections and 259 high-crash intersections in the Greater Akron area. AMATS prepares its reports based on crash records provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). As the agency responsible for transportation planning in the area, AMATS uses this information to identify needed projects throughout the area.

Although crashes ticked up slightly last year, the area still had 6,000 fewer crashes when compared to the peak year of 2002, AMATS reported. According to Dave Pulay, AMATS transportation engineer, the number of crashes on the area’s roadways and intersections is being held down because of local safety improvements such as the new state Route 8 project in northern Summit County and the addition of several new roundabouts. 

Stepped up law enforcement and education campaigns, especially those aimed at younger drivers, also are helping the area’s crash totals, Pulay said.

“The number of crashes is almost the same as last year,” he said. “So are injuries and fatalities. Bicycle-related crashes are down slightly, too.”

He added that impacts of safety improvements are often offset by new challenges, such as distracted driving due to texting and using other electronic devices when full attention should be paid to driving and changing road conditions. There is also the ongoing problem of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The analysis also showed that Akron is home to five of the 10 highest ranked high-crash roadway sections. They are Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (state Route 59) from West Market Street to North Broadway Street; West Exchange Street between Rhodes Avenue and Dart Avenue; Manchester Road between Carnegie Avenue and Waterloo Road; Canton Road between the Akron south corporation line and Triplett Boulevard; and Brittain Road between East Tallmadge Avenue and Independence Avenue.

Akron also had five of the highest ranked high-crash intersections in the area. They are: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at North Howard and Main streets; South Arlington Street and East Waterloo Road; East Market Street at Mogadore Road; North Main Street at East Tallmadge Avenue; and Canton Road at Mogadore Road.

Pulay said that the agency will release its analysis of freeway locations in the Greater Akron area in the coming weeks once data is available from ODOT. The 2009-2011 Crash Report is available on the AMATS website at www.amatsplanning.org. For more information, call AMATS at 330-375-2436.


— Kathleen Folkerth and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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