The work of Sylvania Township police was praised at a recent ground-breaking verdict in a homicide case in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
In the verdict, Judge Myron Duhart found Coreon Snow-Veley guilty of involuntary manslaughter and trafficking in heroin in connection with the overdose death of a 17-year-old former Southview High School student.
Rob Miller, head of the special units division of the Lucas County prosecutor's office, said of the police, "they gave us the perfect case." It was the first attempt in the county to bring a death-related charge against a seller of heroin from which an overdose death resulted. Mr. Miller noted that it takes diligence on the part of police, and even then it can be difficult to connect the death with the seller.
As an initial attempt to get a more serious conviction, than only a drug sale, the prosecutor's office was looking for a case where all of the loose ends were tied up.
Deputy Police Chief Ray Carroll said the two primary detectives on the case did a great job, "and even if the verdict had gone the other way, I am proud of how hard they worked this case."
The defendant had waived his right to a jury trial and testimony and the case ended about a week prior to Judge Duhart rendering his verdict. He carefully explained his reasoning based on the evidence presented. Judge Duhart noted that the defense attorney had challenged the veracity of a key prosecution witness, but listed reasons, such as phone records and other evidence gathered by the detectives which supported the testimony.
The detectives assigned to the case are Tina Seney and John Szmania.
Snow-Veley will be sentenced at a later date.
Sylvania Township Transport Service Begins
The Sylvania Township Fire Department now has a transport unit. It went into service at 7 a.m. Jan. 22 at the fire station on Monroe Street in downtown Sylvania.
Chief Jeffrey Kowalski reiterated to the township trustees that the unit is meant to augment the use of private ambulances only when those vehicles are not readily available. Too often, patients have had to wait for private ambulance transportation and now the Sylvania Township department will be able to get people to a hospital in a timely manner.
Until now, when delays became apparent, the department relied on neighboring fire departments to transport patients and in some instances private vehicles were used to get people to he hospital. The situation not only resulted in delays for the patient but township personnel had to remain at the scene and were unavailable to take additional calls.
The vehicle in service now is the same one which the department had used prior to an earlier board of trustees decision to get out of the ambulance business. The chief said it has been fully upgraded and equipped.
He again thanked the voters who passed a levy in 2014 which has allowed for the service to resume.
The purpose of the transportation unit is to provide better service to the community
including improved continuity of care, he said.
Standards Set for Sylvania Township Cemetery
Sylvania Township trustees have adopted a set of regulations and standards for the township cemetery. Rules, regulations and a fee schedule have been established for the cemetery after their recent adoption by Sylvania Township trustees.
Rob Nash, road superintendent for the township, said fees had been established by board action in the past, but for some questions such as what items or how many can be left at a grave site, have never been answered in a formal way.
Mr. Nash, who is also cemetery sexton, said having established rules should be helpful to the public as well as road department employees who will now have a document to refer to when answering questions from the public. He said the written rules do not contain anything which is not already in practice at the cemetery, but that it gives everyone an established resource to refer to.
Purchase Approved For Van For Use by SWAT Team
The Sylvania Township trustees have approved the purchase of a "high roof, super-length" cargo van to be used by the police SWAT team.
Police Chief Robert Boehme told trustees that it would respond to emergency situations and can also be used if police are serving a warrant or perhaps raiding a location where the danger may be greater than normal. He said township police and police officers from the city of Sylvania make up the local SWAT contingency and that it is the only team locally which has a combined police force.
The commander of the unit is a Sylvania Township police sergeant with two deputy commanders--one from each department.
Trustees approved the purchase of the van for $38,561.50, with an additional $10,000 for customizing the vehicle for police use.
Restaurant Gains Permission to Use Rear Driveway
The Burger King Restaurant on Holland-Sylvania Road, north of Central Avenue, has been granted permission to use the rear of its parking lot as an exit onto Waldmar Road by the Sylvania Township board of zoning appeals.
Burger King officials asked for the ability to use access onto Waldmar as a driveway after their business was hurt by the construction of a median barrier on Holland-Sylvania. The barrier prevents southbound traffic from making a left turn into the restaurant's parking lot. It also prevents exiting drivers from turning left onto Holland-Sylvania.The matter was brought to the BZA as a request for a change in a previously approved conditional use permit for the property.
Daryl Graus, manager of zoning and planning for Sylvania Township, told board members that the conditional use permit was approved in 1982 and that after several hearings it was determined that the site was best used if vehicles were not permitted to leave and enter using Waldmar. He acknowledged that factors had changed in front of Burger King, but that didn't change the residential nature of Waldmar. Although the BZA agreed to allow the restaurant to take down the fence at the rear of the parking lot and use the drive as a point of entry and exit, they limited exiting vehicles to making right turns only. That will take traffic to Central Avenue and preclude traffic increasing to the north where the street is residential.
In other board action, members denied a request for a conditional use permit for a home occupation at 4925 Valencia Drive. The applicant had sought to open a day care center for a limited number of children. Nevertheless, the staff recommended against approval, noting that the business would not blend in with the neighborhood.
Several residents of the street had sent letters and emails and attended the meeting voicing their opposition to the idea. And, although he voted against issuing the permit, Al Hayes, vice chairman of the board, thanked the applicant for going about it in the right way by seeking a permit.
Sylvania Township has launched an alert system which will allow for a message to be sent to a residents phone and/or email address when Lucas County or the township issue notice of an emergency, such as a tornado warning.
Those who choose to can add features such as reminders of township public meetings, planned road closures and other things of significance to local residents.
Sylvania Township is offering the service for free, although some message fees may apply.
To obtain the service, a resident should go to www.sylvaniatownship.com. On the home page there is a link which will take you to the form to sign up for the service. Then just fill out the application and click "sign up now" at the bottom of the page.
When police and fire departments are faced with emergency situations one of their problems is dealing with members of the public who have unexpectedly arrived at the scene. Just trying to manage traffic and control crowds becomes a job in itself. With the alert system, people on their way to a destination can be warned that there is a problem at a given site and will be able to drive around the area. They will not have as much inconvenience and safety forces will be able to concentrate on the issue to which they responded.
Of a more benign nature, a resident may be following an issue in the township and can receive a reminder of the next public meeting dealing with the issue.
By signing up for Sylvania Alerts you will automatically get emergency alerts issued by the Lucas County and can choose from a number of options for alerts offered by the township.
The service was earlier approved by Sylvania Township trustees and has been purchased by the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency. To participate, the township has agreed to pay no more than $2,500 annually. That cost could be reduced if enough other jurisdictions join the service.
Township officials said none of those who sign up will receive unsolicited calls nor will contact numbers be sold to other parties.
Township residents who sign up for the program may also choose to be notified of such things as the annual leaf and brush pick up and other events of general interest.
Use the form on the Home Page to sign up.