“When it became known that TAG was going to be disbanding, key players in Ashtabula County law enforcement began collaborating on the formation of a county-wide drug and major crimes enforcement task force.” — Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nick Iarocci on the Crime Enforcement Agency of Ashtabula County (CEACC), the new county-centric drug task force that has replaced the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Task Force.


“Being the largest city in the county, we do have the largest drug problem so this is really special for us to be able to participate on this team. This is something we wouldn’t have seen 12, 15 years ago with the collaboration that we’re seeing now. All the pieces were in place and all the right personalities were there to make this happen.” — Police Chief Robert Stell on Ashtabula participating in the Crime Enforcement Agency of Ashtabula County after not participating in the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Task Force. CEACC will be a multi-jurisdictional county-wide drug enforcement task force covering Ashtabula County only and include the Ashtabula, Conneaut and Geneva police departments, along with the Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Drug Enforcement Administration.


“These are the types of stores and retail we need in our county. We’re expanding and getting new stores. Ashtabula County is booming.” — Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas on the new Gordmans store that opened this week in the former Peebles in Saybrook Plaza.


“Riverbend Hotel is born out of love for Ashtabula and pride seeing my boyhood home undergo a positive transformation while preserving the historic roots that make it such a special destination. It was our desire to build something exceptional to strengthen the connection between Ashtabula and the people who live in and visit Ohio. Once we conceived the idea of a hotel, we started to reimagine the use of this space here off Bridge Street. Next year, this empty lot will be home not to just a new hotel, but a place that capitalizes on the area’s importance to Midwest history and brings people together.” — Ashtabula native and developer of the new Riverbend Hotel Todd Canter during a groundbreaking ceremony for the 30-room, 27,000-square foot project at 533 Goodwill Drive. It will be the first new hotel built in the city in 100 years and is expected to be open to guests in May 2020.


“When the Northeast Geek Expo announced that 2018 would be their last year, (we) believed the local geek community needed an event. An event where people of all ages, genders and interests could come together to celebrate what they geek out on. From comics, art and cosplay to games, anime and other geeky pursuits, the Great Lakes Geek Fest was born.” — Tony Capo, owner of Robot Zero in Geneva, on organizing the Great Lakes Geek Fest coming in September. As a promotional event, organizers are hosting the Great Lakes Geek Fest Toy and Comic Takeover from 12-5 p.m. Sunday at Ashtabula Towne Square.


“If this doesn’t pass, then it will go off the books. It’s done. It’s last collected in 2019. Any attempts in the future to pass a permanent improvement levy will be a new permanent improvement levy. If one is passed in the future, it’s going to cost more.” — Geneva Area City Schools Treasurer Kevin Lillie on the importance of passing the district’s capital improvement levy renewal, which the board of education voted this week to place on the November ballot.

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