Lake man sentenced to seven years and says he’ll testify against Mr. Football, Erick Howard

Seth ObermillerA man who pleaded guilty to taking part in a home invasion and robbery of a North Canton couple in August was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday, as part of a plea agreement where he’s expected to testify against former Hoover High School football star Erick M. Howard.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Taryn Heath accepted the prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Seth R. Obermiller, 20, 2321 Comet Circle NW in Lake Township. He pleaded guilty Nov. 3 to felony charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and kidnapping with two counts of firearm specifications.

Heath sentenced Obermiller to three four-year concurrent sentences for the burglary, robbery and kidnapping charges and two three-year concurrent sentences for the gun specifications. By law, the sentences for the original charges and gun specifications must be separate.

Obermiller’s attorney Rick Pitinii said he instructed his client not to make a statement at sentencing because he’s still involved in the pending criminal case regarding Howard.

A female family member of Obermiller broke out in tears as Obermiller was led away from the courtroom in his jail jumpsuit. She and other family members left the courtroom and declined to comment.

Pitinii said Obermiller will be held at the Stark County Jail until he testifies at Howard’s trial, before he’s transferred to a state prison.

Last week, Michael A. Taylor, 20, of 837 W. Maple St. in North Canton, whom prosecutors called a lookout during the robbery, was sentenced to three years of probation. He had pleaded guilty to one count of attempted burglary and avoided a prison term. Taylor has also agreed to testify against Howard.

On Aug. 20, a 23-year-old man and his 20-year-old girlfriend told police that they awoke that morning to find two men in ski masks pointing handguns at their heads.

Police accused Howard and Obermiller of tying up the couple with duct tape, and police accused Howard of sexually assaulting the woman.

Howard, 20, of 5155 Portage St. NW in Jackson Township, was indicted this month on charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, rape and kidnapping with firearm specifications. Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett said if convicted, he faces a potential 41-year prison sentence.

Howard has pleaded not guilty. He is being held at the Stark County Jail on bond of $250,000.

Heath told Obermiller that he would be supervised for up to five years after his release from prison.

Hartnett said Obermiller could seek early release from prison after serving 3 1/2 years, but there was no indication his request would be granted.

Officials suggest changes to state Route 619 staff report

Ohio Route 619The Ohio Department of Transportation has some ideas for improving traffic flow on state Route 619, between Uniontown and Hartville.

The proposed work is subject to change and likely several years from beginning, officials said.

Initial designs were unveiled Thursday night at an open house at the Kaufman Center. ODOT officials and representatives of TranSystem, a company hired to study Route 619 traffic flow, talked with residents.

Rough estimates set the price for improving the four-mile stretch from Cleveland Avenue NW to Prospect Street NW in Hartville at more that $27 million. The projected costs add 12 percent for inflation and another 25 percent for design contingencies.

The designs estimate traffic volume and flow for 2030, said David E. Sicker, a planning engineer for ODOT’s District 4. Plans call for widening the road and creating roundabouts at several intersections.

ODOT officials liked the turnout and the input they received. Sicker acknowledged that everyone wasn’t positive but said ODOT had the event to hear from people who live in the area.

State officials have spent about a year on the project. They have met with local government, school officials and some business owners.

The next step — some time next year — is lining up money to pay for a detailed design. ODOT and the Stark Transportation Improvement District are seeking funds.

The project’s first phase would be widening Route 619 between Kaufman Avenue NW and Milan Avenue in Hartville.

It would be widened to five lanes west of Hartville, where the Hartville Kitchen and Flea Market are located, and a complex to house Hartville Hardware is being built. In the village, the road would remain three lanes, but be improved.

Area residents who attended the meeting saw eight aerial photographs depicting potential changes aimed at improving traffic flow.

Other potential changes:

• Widening Route 619 to four lanes from Cleveland Avenue NW to Kaufman.

• Rebuilding the intersections of Hoover, Kaufman and King Church avenues NW to create roundabouts.

• Creating a roundabout at Market Avenue NW.

• Adding turn lanes at all of the heavily traveled intersections.

• Lengthening existing turn lanes at several intersections.

Today is Election day: Uniontown/Lake Township candidates and issues

election-day 2011



Candidates and issues that met Wednesday’s 4 p.m. filing deadline for inclusion on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. The validity of candidate nominating petitions must be approved before a candidate officially makes the ballot. The Stark County Board of Elections has until Aug. 22 to complete that process.






* denotes incumbent

Lake Township
Fiscal Officer (elect 1)
Ben V. Sommers *
Trustee (elect 1)
John L. Arnold *

Lake Local School District
Board of Education (elect 2)
Kenneth D. Brott *
Jon Troyer
David A. VanderKaay *


1. Proposed by joint resolution of General Assembly; amend Section 6 of Article IV and repeal sections 19 and 22 of Article IV of the Ohio constitution:
1. Increase the maximum age for elected or appointed judicial office from 70 to 75. 2. Eliminate the General Assembly’s authority to establish court of conciliation. 3. Eliminate the Governor’s authority to appoint members to a Supreme Court Commission.

2. Referendum of Senate Bill 5
Amended substitute Senate Bill 5 is a new law relative to government union contracts and other government employment contracts and policies.

3. Proposed constitutional amendment to adopt Section 21 of Article  I of the Ohio Constitution:
1. In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.
2. In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance.
3. In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.


• Lake, expansion of the Uniontown Police District to the entire unincorporated territory of Lake Township, replacing the tax in the existing township police district, 4.5 mills, continuing period of time, commencing in 2011.
• Lake, precinct A local option, weekday sales of beer, wine and mixed beverages, Circle K #5390, 260 S. Prospect Ave.
• Lake, precinct A local option, Sunday sales of wine and mixed beverages, Circle K #5390, 260 S. Prospect Ave.
• Lake, precinct 9 local option, Sunday sales of beer, wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor, VFW Greentown Post 9904, 8695 Cleveland Ave., NW.




• Lake Local Schools, (1) Bond issue, improvement of school district buildings and facilities, acquiring, improving and equipping real estate for school purposes, $12,781,563, 1.8 mills, 28 years. (2) Additional levy, acquisition, construction, and financing of general permanent improvements, 0.5 mill, continuing period of time. Will be presented to the voters as one question in two parts.
• Stark County,  sales and use tax, one-half of one percent (0.5 percent), for the purpose of supporting criminal and administrative justice services for the county and to pay the expenses of administering such levy, 8 years.

Two admit guilt, agree to testify against Erick Howard

Seth R. Obermiller, 20, of  Lake TownshipTwo men pleaded guilty Thursday for their roles in the robbery of a North Canton couple and agreed to testify against their alleged accomplice, former Hoover High School star running back Erick M. Howard.

Seth R. Obermiller, 20, of 2321 Comet Circle NW in Lake Township, pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and accompanying gun specifications.

County prosecutors are recommending a seven-year prison term when he is sentenced Nov. 21 by Stark County Common Pleas Judge Taryn Heath.

Michael A. Taylor, 20, of 837 W. Maple St. in North Canton, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted burglary. He faces up to three years in prison, but the judge said she would consider placing him in the Stark Regional Community Correction Center, which offers counseling and treatment options.

With the plea, both men gave up the right to have a grand jury review the evidence against them.

They also agreed to testify in court proceedings against Howard, whose case is pending before a county grand jury.

The charges involved an early morning incident on Aug. 20 at an apartment on Sunford Avenue SE in North Canton.

A young couple — a 23-year-old man and his 20-year-old girlfriend — told police that they awoke to two men in ski masks pointing handguns at their heads.

North Canton police charged Obermiller and Howard with binding the couple with duct tape and robbing them. The woman also was sexually assaulted, police said.

Taylor was accused of acting as a lookout for Obermiller and Howard.

Police also said they found marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the apartment.

Attorneys for Taylor and Obermiller declined to comment after the hearing, citing the pending sentencing of their clients.

Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett said she couldn’t discuss the alleged roles of the three defendants, but said Obermiller and Taylor pleaded guilty to charges that reflected their involvement.

Howard, 20, whose address is listed as 5155 Portage St. NW in Jackson Township, surrendered to authorities in early October accompanied by his attorney and others, including a brother who said Howard wants to clear his name.

Howard is a two-time winner of Ohio’s Mr. Football award, and the first Stark County player to receive the honor.

Lake Township trustees meeting Oct. 24

Lake TYownship KEY ACTION  Established a time limit for the public speaks portion of meetings.

DISCUSSION  The time limit was issued in response to a public speaks segment about a proposed oil well that lasted about an hour at the previous meeting. The individual time limit will be “no more than three minutes and no more than one time per meeting.”


• Agreed to send a notice to the owners of a property at 13300 Tippecanoe Ave. NW to remove “junk motor vehicles” from the property. The owners have 14 days after receiving the notice to remove the vehicles or prove the vehicles are usable.

• Authorized the purchase of an excavator from Southeastern Equipment Co. of North Canton at a cost not to exceed $90,000.

• Announced that letters have been sent to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressing the trustees’ concerns about plans for an oil well on property near the Industrial Excess Landfill.

• Mentioned that the U.S. Department of Justice has provided a grant that will cover half of the cost of bulletproof vests for the Uniontown Police Department.

• Responded to the questions of a Uniontown couple about a ballot issue that seeks to expand the Uniontown Police district to provide township-wide protection except for within the village limits of Hartville. Uniontown Police Chief Harold Britt also responded to the couple’s criticism of the issue and its campaign literature.

UP NEXT  Meet at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at Township Hall.

Uniontown Dentist hosts Candy Buy Back event to support troops

By Lindsey Bailey | The Suburbanite

Dr. MeadUniontown general dentist, Dr. Michael Mead and his staff are celebrating Halloween this year by working to prevent cavities before they begin. As part of a national initiative by, Mead’s office will collect Halloween candy from kids and parents alike during a candy buy back event on Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Trick-or-treaters who bring in a pound of candy during the event will receive $1 for each pound. The candy donations will be sent to a local Ohio troop as well as several troops overseas through Operation Gratitude, a non-profit volunteer-based corporation that strives to encourage troops with care packages. Each package is addressed to an individual soldier, sailor, airmen or marine.

Additionally, each participant is encouraged to write letters or cards to the troops to be included in the care packages. Donations of dental hygiene products are also welcome.

Last year, Mead’s office collected 125 pounds of candy which was then added to the 125 tons of candy received last year by Operation Gratitude. This year, Dr. Mead hopes for a much bigger turnout to support the goal of sending 60,000 care packages.

Dr. Bryan Terhune, a dentist in Canton will also be collecting candy for this year’s event. Mead’s office is located at 12981 Cleveland Ave. NW near the corner of 619 and Cleveland Ave.


Lake Township trustees meeting of Monday Sept 12


KEY ACTION  Accepted two bids for the construction of a truck storage building behind the garage of the Road Department at 1499 Midway St. NW.

DISCUSSION  The bid of Hartville’s M&W Masonry and Construction of $29,826 was accepted for the masonry portion of the project. A bid of $24,068 from Pauli Electric of Alliance was accepted for the electrical work.


  •  Scheduled trick-or-treat for 3 to 5 p.m. Oct. 30 for the township.


  •  Agreed to put an electric sign that monitors and displays the speed of vehicles in the Greentree allotment in response to a resident’s concern about speeding traffic in the area.

UP NEXT  Meet at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at Township Hall.

Lake Township Trustees Meeting Notes From April 25


KEY ACTION Acknowledged activation of the agreement authorizing dispatching services with Nimishillen Township for the Uniontown Police Department. Those dispatching services previously have been handled through a contract with the Stark County  Sheriff’s Office. After the meeting, township officials said the new contract went into effect April 18. They said the cost is about $27,000 to $28,000 a year, compared to more than $60,000 a year for the contract with the sheriff’s office.

DISCUSSION Announced that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked the Ohio Attorney General to address possible violations of air pollution control laws at 12777 Mogadore Ave. NW. The letter to Bishopsgate Properties, listed as the owner of the property, states that “numerous violations relating to the demolition of the greenhouse structure(s), which were known to contain asbestos, and the continued condition of the site have been documented.”

The letter advises Bishopsgate that the attorney general’s office attempts “to negotiate a settlement prior to filing a lawsuit against a company that has been referred by the Ohio EPA.”


• Approved an addendum to the agreement with FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. to allow certain Ohio Power customers to receive a discount through the township’s electric aggregation program.

• Acknowledged receiving a letter from Chief Jack Coontz and Capt. Harold Britt of the Uniontown Police Department that said that the department has increased the number of after-hours business checks in the patrol district. Police discovered and secured 23 unsecured businesses.

• Accepted a $2,000 grant from the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Joint Solid Waste Management District for the township recycling center.

UP NEXT Meet at 6:30 p.m. May 9 at Township Hall.

Trial date set for driver in traffic death of Daniel Stiles

By Lori Monsewicz

The woman accused in the traffic death of Uniontown Police Capt. Daniel P. Stiles has been scheduled to go to trial a month from now, according to Stark County court records.

Court records show the trial for Sandra C. Boyes, 39, of 3255 Sweitzer St. NW in the Uniontown area, was set Monday for May 4.

She was charged March 22 with vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, failure to maintain assured clear distance and failure to wear a safety belt — all misdemeanors

The charges stem from the Ohio Highway Patrol’s investigation into the Feb. 15 death of the police captain.

Stiles, 46, was directing traffic at State route 619 and Kaufman Avenue NW for the nearby Lake Center Christian School when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Boyes. He died a short time later. Boyes told investigators that sun glare had been a problem, and troopers have said that it could have been a contributing factor.

If convicted, Boyes faces a maximum sentence of up to 180 days in jail on the homicide charge, 90 days on the manslaughter charges and fines that could total $1,750. The other charges are also misdemeanors.

Driver charged in death of Uniontown police officer

A Lake Township woman has been charged in the traffic death of Uniontown Police Capt. Daniel P. Stiles.

The city Prosecutor’s Office, which has jurisdiction over the township, on Tuesday charged Sandra C. Boyes with misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, and failure to maintain assured clear distance and wear a seatbelt.

If convicted, Boyes, 39, of 3255 Sweitzer St. NW, faces up to 180 days in jail on the homicide charge, 90 days on the manslaughter charge, and fines of up to $1,000 and $750, respectively. The other two charges are minor misdemeanors and carry no jail time, and fines of up to $150.

The charges came after prosecutors reviewed the investigation done by Ohio Highway Patrol troopers of the Feb. 15 incident.

Stiles, 46, was directing traffic at state Route 619 and Kaufman Avenue NW for the nearby Lake Center Christian School when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Boyes. He died a short time later. Boyes told investigators that sun glare had been a problem, and troopers said that could have been a contributing factor.

Patrol Lt. William Weirtz has said that a felony charge would not be appropriate, and the case would not be presented to the grand jury.

Canton City Prosecutor Ty Hauritz said the misdemeanor charges were the result of Boyes’ speed, which “may have been unreasonable for conditions” and the fact that she failed to stop and avoid hitting Stiles.

Boyes could be convicted on both homicide and manslaughter charges, but would likely be sentenced on only one, Hauritz said.

“It’s a tragic, very unfortunate incident,” Hauritz said. “It’s a shame.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of officer Stiles.”