Stow taxpayers who want to know how their money is spent, can now check out that information online.
Stow's the first Summit County city to sign up for the "Ohio Checkbook" program.
Council president Matt Riehl says the city's finances are easily tracked, from small expenses to large.
"Anything from a couple of bucks for some pens and paper, all the way up to items like asphalt, and consultants," Riehl tells WAKR.net, "you name it, it's on there."
Riehl recommends that other cities open up their finances online.
"Absolutely other cities should do this," Riehl says. "It is the people's money, and they have a right to know how their politicians spend this."
Stow's participation is part of State Treasurer Josh Mandel's "Ohio Checkbook" program, and was approved by Stow City Council by unanimous, non-partisan vote.
A Stow couple has waited 31 years for this day.
"It's like I won the lottery," said 66-year-old John Marshall.
Marshall couldn't hold back the tears while explaining the meaning behind getting a marriage license to legally tie the knot with his partner, 65-year-old James Neilsen.
"It's just like all of your life you've been denied something that you know in you heart is right," said Marshall. "And finally the door swings open."
According to the Summit County Probate Court, Marshall and Neilsen were the first male couple to recieve their marriage license in Summit County.
Marshall called it a historic day -- breaking down barriers and giving same-sex couples equal rights.
Within a two hour period, four couples applied for a marriage license Friday afternoon.
The City of Stow will become the first Summit County local government to post its finances on a website created by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's Office.
OhioCheckbook.com allows users to inspect the expenditures of all state government agencies, along with those of any local government agency willing to participate. Mandel says one of the more popular searches at the state level is taxpayer-funded travel, and he expects things like legal fees and road work expenses to be popular searches at the local level. He says he believes taxpayers ought to be able to see how their money is spent.
Mandel credited Stow City Council President Matt Riehl for taking the lead in getting Stow's finances posted. Riehl says the process was easy and that Stow's data is in line with what is needed to post to the site.
"It's a wonderful thing for our taxpayers," Riehl said.
While no other Summit County agencies have signed on with OhioCheckbook.com, Mandel says he's optimistic that the attention paid to Stow's move will encourage other agencies to post their finances as well.
(Ohio Treasurer's Office) Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel stood today with Stow leaders and announced a partnership between the Ohio Treasurer's office and the city of Stow to place their spending online at OhioCheckbook.com. Last year, Treasurer Mandellaunched OhioCheckbook.com, which sets a new national standard for government transparency and for the first time in Ohio history puts all state spending information on the internet. OhioCheckbook.com recently earned Ohio the number one ranking in the country for government transparency.
Treasurer Mandel was joined at today's announcement by Stow Mayor Sara Drew, City Council President Matt Riehl, Stow Finance Director John Baranek and State Senator Frank LaRose (District 27). Stow is the first local government in Summit County to partner with OhioCheckbook.com. Stow is also the third city in Ohio and second city in Northeast Ohio to announce a partnership with the Treasurer's office to place their spending online.
On April 7th, Treasurer Mandel sent a letter to 18,062 local government and school officials representing 3,962 local governments throughout the state calling on them to place their checkbook level data on OhioCheckbook.com and extending an invitation to partner with his office at no cost to local governments. These local governments include cities, counties, townships, schools, library districts and other special districts.
"I believe the people of Stow have a right to know how their tax money is being spent and I applaud local leaders here for partnering with the Treasurer's office to post their finances on OhioCheckbook.com," said Treasurer Mandel. "My vision is to create an army of citizen watchdogs who are empowered to hold public officials accountable."
"We are excited to partner with Treasurer Mandel to make Stow the first community in Summit County to joinOhioCheckbook.com," said City Council President Matt Riehl. "Taxpayers deserve and expect transparent government and I encourage other communities to join Stow in this initiative."
A large coalition of statewide and local government organizations have expressed support for OhioCheckbook.com and local government transparency, including:
· Ohio Municipal League
· Ohio Township Association
· Ohio Association of School Business Officials
· Buckeye Association of School Administrators
· County Commissioner Association of Ohio
· County Auditor Association of Ohio
· Ohio Newspaper Association
· Ohio Society of CPAs
· Buckeye Institute
· Common Cause Ohio
OhioCheckbook.com was launched on December 2, 2014, marking the first time in Ohio history when citizens could actually see every expenditure in state government. Since its launch, OhioCheckbook.com has received overwhelming support from newspapers and groups across the state and, as of June 12, 2015, there have been more than 235,000 total searches on the site.
OhioCheckbook.com displays more than $408 billion in spending over the past seven years, including more than 112 million transactions. The website includes cutting-edge features such as:
· "Google-style" contextual search capabilities, to allow users to sort by keyword, department, category or vendor;
· Fully dynamic interactive charts to drill down on state spending;
· Functionality to compare state spending year-over-year or among agencies; and,
· Capability to share charts or checks with social media networks, and direct contact for agency fiscal offices.
In March, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) released their annual "Following the Money 2015" report and Treasurer Mandel earned Ohio the number one transparency ranking in the country for providing online access to government spending data. Ohio was prominently featured in the report after climbing from 46th to 1st in spending transparency as a result of Treasurer Mandel's release of OhioCheckbook.com. Due to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio received a perfect score of 100 points this year – the highest score in the history of the U.S. PIRG transparency rankings.
The Treasurer's office is partnering with OpenGov, a leading Silicon Valley government technology company, to provide residents of Ohio the ability to view and search local government expenditures in a user-friendly, digital format. "Ohio is setting the standard for financial transparency on an unprecedented scale. We are excited to partner with the Treasurer's office to bring world-class technology to communities large and small across the state," said Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov.
For more information visit OhioCheckbook.com.
Stow police are looking for the person responsible for vandalizing several homes, cars and mailboxes last week.
Police said someone is using a unknown black substance -- possibly a black magic marker or spray paint -- to draw male genitalia, symbols, and other markings on properties in two neighborhoods. Most of the vandalism was done in the neighborhood where Berkshire Road, Devonshire Circle and Glencairn are located.
Police said traffic and street signs were also damaged. It happened between April 9th and April 12. The total amount of damage hasn't been released, but police believe it could cost thousands of dollars to remove the graffiti.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Stow Police Department at 330-689-5700.
Update: Saturday, April 4 - Boil alert has been lifted.
A precautionary boil alert has been issued for some Stow residents due to a water main break.
The boil alert affects residents who live west of Route 8 and south of Steels Corner Road. This includes the Bridgewater and Wyndham Ridge Apartment complexes. It also includes businesses in Bridgewater Plaza, McDonald's , and Circle K/Dunkin Donuts store.
The City of Stow Water System advises residents to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation.
The water main has been repaired temporarily. Permanent repairs will be scheduled for a later date.
The rough winter season is leaving some local cities with low salt supplies.
The city of Green is moving forward with its alternative snow and ice removal plan as they wait for a new shipment of salt.
"This week we're anticipating 500 tons of salt to arrive in 100 ton increments everyday, as well as 750 tons that was on backorder," said Paul Oberdorfer, city service director.
The city of Stow is dealing with the same issue. Stow officials are working to conserve its salt supply. They will ensure that there is enough road salt to treat main roads, hills, curves and bridges. In the meantime, Stow will use a liquid de-icing agent to make up for the salt deficit.
There's still a good amount of salt available in the city of Akron, but Public Works Manager Jim Hall did admit that this has been a rough winter season for the city and surrounding areas.
"I believe we committed to around 37,000 tons of salt for the year and that would give us a plus or minus of about 20 percent," said Hall. "We are in the upper end of that spectrum."
Hall says this season has been a little tougher than the past few years, but he's hoping they'll still have a good amount of salt left for next year.
A statewide search is on for an elderly Streetsboro man who's been missing since Friday afternoon.
Streetsboro police say 82 year-old Alfred Donaldson never made it to his home on Seasons Road after leaving from a friend's home on Temple Trail in Stow at about 2:30 on Friday afternoon.
Donaldson is describe as being a white male, age 82, 5-foot-9 inches tall, 200 lbs. with no hair and blue eyes. Police say he's driving a maroon 2010 Ford Fusion with Ohio plates EKW 9402, with a handicap placard and no hubcaps.
He's said to suffer from several medical conditions and has no medication with him.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Streetsboro Police Department at 330-626-4976.
(Ohio Attorney General's office) A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Streetsboro Police Department statewide.
Information as of: December 27, 2014 at 4:02 AM
Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On December 27, 2014 at 3:55 AM, He was last seen on 12/26/2014.
The incident took place in Summit County, OH on Temple Trail in the city of Stow at 2:00PM.
The adult's name is Alfred Donaldson and the individual is missing. The adult is a White male, age 82, is 5' 9" tall, weighs 200, has no hair, and has blue eyes. Mr. Donaldson suffers from several medical conditions and needs medication, which he does not have with him. He was last seen wearing dark dress pants, a maroon button down shirt with a white t shirt underneath, black velcro shoes, wears glasses and uses a cane.
The vehicle involved is a maroon 2010 Ford Fusion with OH plate number EKW 9402. Vehicle has a handicap placard and no hubcaps
(Streetsboro Police Department, news release) The Streetsboro Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a missing 82 year old male. Alfred Donaldson was last seen on Friday December 26, 2014 at a friend's home on Temple Trail in Stow at around 2:30pm. He left that address and was supposed to drive home to Seasons Rd in Streetsboro but has not been seen since.
Mr. Donaldson is a white male, 5'09" and about 200lbs and was last seen wearing dark dress slacks, black velcro shoes, glasses, and a burgundy snap up collared shirt. He also carries a wooden cane.
He drives a maroon 2010 Ford Fusion with OH registration EKW9402. The vehicle does not have wheel covers.
Mr. Donaldson does not have a cell phone with him. He has traveled to Tennessee in the past but there are no indications he was going there yesterday.
A photo of Mr. Donaldson is attached and the Missing Adult Alert has been activated for this situation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Streetsboro Police Department at 330-626-4976.
The Stow woman convicted of murdering her roommate has been sentenced to up to life in prison.
45 year-old Roxanne Buck got a 15 year-to-life prison sentence in the court of Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands, and also got sentenced to three additional consecutive years for tampering with evidence.
Buck fatally stabbed 21 year-old Michelle Johnson on March 14th in her Stow home.
Police found Johnson's body hidden under blankets in a backyard shed.
An indictment was announced today against a 39-year-old Akron man accused of causing an accident in July that ultimately took the life of an 18-year-old Stow man.
A Summit County grand jury indicted David Brown on a list of charges including:
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a felony of the second degree
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a felony of the third degree
Vehicular Homicide, a misdemeanor of the first degree
Vehicular Homicide, a misdemeanor of the second degree
Operating Under the Influence, a misdemeanor of the first degree
Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, a minor misdemeanor
Speeding, a minor misdemeanor
Space Between Moving Vehicles, a minor misdemeanor
Andrew Moncheck, 18, a graduate of Stow-Munroe Falls High School, died following a crash on Interstate 77 South in Bath Township on July 12. Moncheck was ejected from the passenger side of a vehicle after the car he was in was struck from behind. Brown was the driver of the other vehicle. Authorities said he failed a sobriety test.
The Summit County Prosecutor's Office reports that Brown was arrested yesterday and arraigned this (Friday) morning. His bond has been set at $50,000 at 10% and his driving privileges have been revoked. His pretrial has been scheduled for Friday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.