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Here are some of today's top headlines from the area, including airport cab drivers refusing to drive because of Gay Games, Youngstown State University begins first Ohio police academy with rifle training and local police departments weigh the pros and cons of e-ticketing.
E-TICKETS: Representatives from Stow, Twinsburg, Northfield Village, Boston Heights, Sagamore Hills and Macedonia met in Macedonia Mayor Don Kuchta's conference room April 3 to debate whether local police departments should move forward with an electronic ticketing system in about six to 12 months, according to the Nordonia Hills News-Leader. The Twinsburg Police Department already has the e-ticketing system, which replaces three handwritten papers with the ability to swipe a driver's license through and print a ticket in the car while another ticket is electronically submitted straight to court, in place since 2009 or 2010, but Chief Noga said problems early on have led to most officers continuing to write paper tickets. Noga said he is hoping to have the problem ironed out soon, and that the system cost approximately $5,400 for nine police vehicles to be equipped with the system, not including laptops already installed in the car. The system is hoped to cut down time spent by police officers and clerks by 50 percent and save money for police departments. Click here to read more at the-news-leader.com.
SEVEN ARRESTS: Campbell police arrested seven men in nine hours on felony drug charges Monday and early Tuesday morning, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. All seven were discovered during traffic stops, including having objects hanging from rear view mirror, driving through a stop sign, failing to use a turn signal and lack of a rear license plate light. Two were found to be driving with suspended licenses and all were charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. One Daniel Stanley Ho Sang, was cited for carrying a concealed weapon. CLick here to read more at vindy.com.
RIFLE TRAINING: Youngstown State University is now the first and only police academy in Ohio to provide rifle training for cadets, according to the Plain Dealer. Cadets in YSU's Basic Peace Officer Training Academy began training on rifles earlier this month at the Hubbard Gun Range in Hubbard Ohio, and received M-16 rifles from the Austintown and Howland police departments through the Ohio Law enforcement Support Office. YSU academy commander Ed Villone said police are replacing or supplementing cruiser shotguns with rifles due to the rise of high-powered rifles on the streets. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.
CUYAHOGA RIVER: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has approved a request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor, with the condition that the dredged material cannot be dumped in Lake Erie, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The Corps of Engineers can dredge up to 225,000 cubic yards of material and dispose of it in designated confined disposal facilities that it has used since the early 1970s, citing concerns about the potential increase of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) accumulating in fish. The Ohio EPA said it will work with the Corps to analyze the material, which needs to be dredged from the river to allow shipping traffic, to find ways to reuse the dredged material. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
GAY GAMES: Several drivers from Ace, Yellow Taxi and Americab — the zone-based taxis operating out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport — have notified their companies that they are refusing to drive cabs for religious reasons due to rooftop advertisements for the upcoming Gay Games hosted in Cleveland, according to the Plain Dealer. The drivers cited religious reasons for not wishing to drive for the airport, and Hopkins spokeswoman Jackie Mayo said the drivers are Muslims. The airport has brokered an agreement between the cab companies and Standard Parking, a taxi cab stand operator, to replace drivers, and will backfill the 75-cab fleet with metered cabs until permanent drivers are hired, which will take about two to three weeks. The Gay Games, a sports and cultural festival which will be hosted by Cleveland in August, have been held every four years since 1982 and are expected to draw about 30,000 people, including 11,000 participants in more than 30 events. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.