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News Headlines from Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

DRUG BUST

24-year-old Fritz J. Davis of Newark was arrested during a traffic stop on Monday. Newark police found about 4 ounces of methamphetamine and $3,000 cash in his vehicle. Following the arrest, Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force officers searched multiple Newark addresses associated with Davis and seized marijuana, methamphetamines, thousands of dollars in cash, and several handguns. Task force lieutenant Paul Cortwright called Davis a large scale drug distributor in the area. More arrests may follow Monday's operation. Davis was charged on with first degree felony aggravated possession of drugs in Licking County Common Pleas Court.

COUNTY LEVIES 

Licking County residents may see two more levies on an already packed ballot this November after levy requests for senior citizens and children's services were forwarded by the Licking County Commissioners yesterday. Voters will be asked to replace a 1 mill, 10 year levy for children's services. According to Licking County Chief Deputy Auditor Brad Cottrell, the proposed replacement levy would raise $3.76 million annually for ten years. The current 1 mill levy will expire at the end of this year. Voters will also be asked to renew a 1.2 mill, 5 year levy for seniors. 

8TH OVI OFFENSE

Gary G. Willis of Pataskala was charged with his 8th OVI since 2000 when he was stopped by police on Saturday. Police followed Willis after they were given his license plate number by employees at a Kroger where he attempted to purchase alcohol. He was stopped after nearly causing a head on collision while pulling into the Taco Bell on Broad Street. Willis failed field sobriety tests and refused to do a breath test. His license was already suspended through June 2015 due to a previous conviction. On Monday Willis's bond was set at $50,000.

PROPERTY TAXES ARE DUE SOON 

Licking County Treasurer Scott Ryan is reminding property owners of extended office hours leading up to the close of second half real estate tax collection on Wednesday, July 23rd. Both locations, on S. 2nd Street in Newark and Township Road in Pataskala, will be open this Saturday from 9am to noon, and next Monday through Wednesday they will expand normal operating hours to 8 am to 5:30 pm. 

PROPOSED SOLID WASTE COLLECTION ORDINANCE

Newark City Council's Service Committee met on Monday and forwarded provisions to full council as part of a proposed update to the city's ordinance governing solid waste collection and disposal. Provisions would require homeowners, landlords, and tenants to contract for trash pickup, and all licensed haulers to offer recycling services. The current proposal requires residents to place their garbage out for collection no earlier than 7 pm the evening before pickup, and remove the receptacle no later than 11 pm the evening of collection. City Law Director Doug Sassen said enforcement would be complaint driven. The second reading of the proposal and final vote is expected on August 4th.

HEATH PROPOSED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT LEVY

Heath City Councilís Safety Committee met last night, moving closer to approving a 1 mill, 5 year fire levy for the November ballot. The levy would cost about $37 annually per $100,000 of assessed valuation. The funds would only be used for capital improvements, including two new engines. Final council approval could come as soon as August 4th.

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