Township residents in Portage County have reported hearing a loud "boom" on several occasions. The first thought was that it was somehow connected to an oil drilling accident or a meth lab blowing up.
Turns out, according to authorities, it's not.
Local target shooters have discovered the newest fad, "exploding targets." The items consist of two chemicals which are inert until mixed together, and then are to explode only under impact from a center fire rifle shot.
The targets are used in training by law enforcement and the military and by civilian target shooters. There are numerous videos online of people using these targets. And, of course, if a little is good, a lot is better. Some videos show people making 50-pound to 250-pound batches of these targets.
Tannerite is the original manufacturer, but there are now a number of other brands available by internet and local brick-and-mortar suppliers.
Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver said his department has had several calls of loud booms in the southern part of the township.
"We believe it's coming from the area of Palm Road" near where Brimfield, Suffield, Rootstown and Randolph come together, he said.
"It can sound a little unnerving. Within a radius of three or four miles, you can definitely hear it. You can feel it physically at closer distances," Oliver said.
So, no, it's not related to drilling. It is related to people who enjoy large, loud explosions and who apparently have little to no regard for their neighbors.
Carbon monoxide detectors required
Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? If you don't, next time you have some work done that requires a building permit, don't be surprised if the building inspector asks about it.
A new state law went into effect Jan. 1 that requires carbon monoxide detectors be in place outside the bedroom areas of homes with attached garages or with "fuel-fired appliances." That includes natural gas or propane furnaces or woodburning furnaces and stoves.
There's no permit or fee required for the installation, and the detectors can be a wall outlet plug-in style detector.
Randall Roberts, head of the county building department, said inspectors have to ask about the detectors anytime they are inspecting interior work that requires a building permit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide is a leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States. Non-fire-related CO poisoning is responsible for some 15,000 emergency department visits and nearly 500 deaths annually in the U.S.
A growing role for Camp Ravenna
Last Saturday's "first shot" ceremony highlighted the growing importance of the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, which is more usually referred to as the Ravenna Arsenal.
Brig. General David C. Harris Jr., assistant adjutant for the Ohio Army National Guard, flew up from Columbus for the ceremony, but a heavy morning fog from West Branch Reservoir forced him to divert to Portage County Airport. As the fog lifted, the general and two others opened the new 25-meter range in front of about 30 invited guests -- civilian and military. The guests enjoyed the chance to see the arsenal grounds as we were bused to the new rifle range.
What was a vast ammunition plant for World War II has become a major training facility for the Ohio Army National Guard. Other agencies and departments, from local, state and federal law enforcement to regular military and Guard units are finding the facility a great place to train as new training areas are added.
All of that means the center will continue to expand its economic role in the surrounding area -- and that's good news for Portage County.
Hang it up, OK?
And, as the days get warmer and longer and more people are out and about, please remember to hang up and drive. The life you save may be mine.