In The News

Grand River Village's Merrick Hutchinson Memorial Park debuts

The News-Herald (08/13/2018)

Merrick Hutchinson Memorial Park in Grand River Village is now officially open.

The park, named for the first Grand River village enlistee to die in World War I, served as the site for the Annual grand River Picnic last week. The signature event has been taking place for 50-plus years at the property, located at 512 river St., but this year, attendees got to see the new pavilion and playground equipment, thanks to a $100,00 capital improvements grand secured from the state last year.

State Re. John Rogers, D-Mentor-on-the-Lake, was recognized by Mayor Christopher Conley for assisting the village in obtaining not only the capital grant, but also a grant from the Lake County Reutilization Corp., better known as the Lake County Land Bank, to aid int he demolition of the old Merrick Hutchinson School Building.

Demolition Starts on St Mary's Magdelene Rectory, convent in Willowick

The News-Herald (06/11/2018)

By Kristi Garabrandt

Demolition begins on the rectory at Saint Mary Magdalene's in Willowick on June 11. 

The rectory at one time housed up to six priests and the convent housed up to 12 nuns. 

"The nuns were used to educated the kids and the priests in large measure were used to administer the parish" recalled state Rep. John Rogers, D-Mentor-the-Lake.

"Unfortunately, as the schools and numbers of enrollments are declining the number or priests are declining to and so, this building has sat dormant since 2006"

May Start Eyed for "Better Flip" Project

The News-Herald (04/08/2018)

By Andrew Cass

Mark Rantala calls it one of the most important undretakings in his nearly five years as executive director of the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority

There are 15,000 bungalows in Lake County's west-end communities. Most of those postwar homes were built between 1948 and 1955. The housing stock is good, but the homes themselves are outdated. They don't have things like open-concept kitchens, walk-in closets and master suites that young, modern homebuyers are looking for.

With the "Better Flip" initiative, he's hoping to make those homes more attractive to young buyers.

That plan took a big step forward in late March when the port authority board approved $150,0000 to be used for renovation work at a Willowick home at 557 E. 305th St, which was donated to the agency from the Lake County Land Bank

Lake County Land Bank Continuing to Address Blight

The News-Herald (03/09/2018)

By Chad Felton

The Lake County Land Bank, dedicated to stabilization and/or increasing property values, strengthening communities, and helping to enhance the overall quality of life for Lake County residents, has recently identified 82 properties for demolition and currently has 20 demolitions in progress

Crossroads' Demo Project Complete


By Kathy Strancar, Director of Development

A pair of unused and aging structures located being the Crossroads Early Childhood Services (ECS) building at 1083 Mentor Ave in Painesville (originally part of the old Colony Lumber Yard) have been brought down thanks to $38,510 in funding from the Lake County Land Reutilization Corp or the Land Bank. 

Willowick Home to Demonstrate Port Authority's "Better Flip"

The News-Herald

By Andrew Cass

Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority Director Mark Rantala will be doing his best Bob Vila impersonation in 2018.

At its most recent meeting, the port authority board approved a resolution allowing the donation of a Willowick home from the Lake County Land Bank to be used as a demonstration for the "Better Flip" initiative.

Lake County Land Reutilization Corp Receives 2015-2016 Auditor of The State Award

Lake County Land Reutilization Corp (09/05/2017)

A recent financial audit of Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation by the Auditor of State's office has returned a clean audit report. The Land Bank's excellent record keeping has earned it the Auditor of the State Award.

Former Coe Manufacturing Building to Be Demolished

The News-Herald (07/27/2017)

By Andrew Cass

The office building on the former Coe Manufacturing site on Bank Street in Painesville soon will be coming down.

The Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Authority Board approved a financial assistance agreement with the Lake County Land Bank for the cost of the demolition.

Editorial: Lake County Land Bank has Proved Itself as Productive, Successful

The News-Herald (03/25/2017)

By Chad Felton

When people see a dilapidated house or building in their hometown that has been standing abandoned and neglected for a long time, they might wonder what it will take to tear down or renovate the structure.

That's exactly the kind of problem the Lake County Land Bank specializes in solving

Lake County Land Bank Continues to Address Blight, Vacancy

The News-Herald (03/21/2017)

By Chad Felton

State Rep. John M. Rogers, D-Mentor-on-the-Lake, readily admits that the moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program sounds far more ominous than it intends, but that its "addition by subtraction" blueprint has vastly benefited civic enhancement throughout Lake County

Lake County Land Reutilization Corp Website Launched 

The News-Herald (11/25/2016)

By Andrew Cass

those interested in checking out whcih properties are available by the Lake County Land Bank can now do so at the agency's recently launched website,

While listings of residential and commercial properties, as well as renovated homes are available on the site, the agency;s executive director, John Rogers, also sees the site as an educational tool for the public.

Painesville Parking Garage Demolition Completed 

The News-Herald (11/13/2016)

By Tawana Roberts

Additional parking is now available in Downtown Painesville.

Despite delays, the former parking garage at 66. S. Saint Clair St, located behind Victoria Place, was prepped for surface parking and opened Nov. 9. 

The total cost of the project was $572,508. Half of that cost will come from the city and the other half is being covered by the Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Lake County Land Bank.

Painesville Parking Garage Demolition Nears Completion 

The News-Herald (08/28/2016)

By Tawana Roberts

The Municipal Parking Garage in Painesville closed due to structural and safety issues.

Lake County Land Bank Receives $750,000 in Hardest Hit Funds

The News-Herald (07/13/2016)

By Andrew Cass

Lake County is receiving $750,000 in federal funds for blight removal.

The money is being received by the Lake County Land Reutilization Corp, more commonly referred to as the Land Bank.

Lake County Land Bank Executive Director John Rogers, who is also the 60th house District state representative, said the funds will be used for its Neighborhood Initiative Program.

Getting to know the Land Bank 

Gazette News (06/29/2016)

By Marian McMahon

The Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation, better known as the Lake County Land Bank, was established by a resolution passed by the Lake County Board of Commissioners in April 2012. It effectively began operation in May of 2013.

Painesville Township Gets New Park 

The News-Herald (10/17/2015)

By Andrew Cass

Painesville Township has a new neighborhood park thanks to the Lake County Land Reutilization Corp. The park located at Sycamore Drive and Pontiac Avenue has a small playground and a small pavilion with picnic tables. The idea for the park arose after Painesville Township residents Robert and Margaret Esterle donated land to the Lake County Land Reuitilization Corp., more commonly referred to as the Land Bank, in 2014.

The parcels had previously been a tree-filled lot, said Land Bank Executive Director John Rogers, who is also a state representative.

Lake County Land Reutilization Corp Receives 2013-2014 Auditor of The State Award

Lake County Land Reutilization Corp (10/7/2015)

A recent financial audit of Lake County Reutilization Corporation by the Auditor of State's Office has returned a clean audit report. The Land Bank's excellent record keeping has earned it the Auditor of State Award.

Demolition proceeding with former hotel building in Painesville

The News-Herald (10/3/2014)

By Devon Turchan

Shannon Majewski is anticipating the big, destructive moments the hotel finally comes down.

“I keep hoping there’s going to be a wrecking ball,” she said. Majewski volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters Northeast Ohio for the past five years and was recently hired on with the organization whose office overlooks a building which has stood vacant since 2002. That shell of what was originally built as a Holiday Inn at 257 East Main St. in the 1960s is coming down within the month by wrecking ball, granting Majewski her wish.

New citizens take their oath at Garfield National Historic Site

The News-Herald (7/11/2014)

By Andrew Cass

Hanin Mahdi Hamid knows how long she’s been in the United States down to the day. “Five years, two months and 11 days,” Hamid, 21, said. Hanin and her sister Furquan, 20, came to the U.S. as refugees of the war in Iraq and now live in Parma Heights. Now, after those five years, two months and 11 days, the two are officially U.S. citizens. The sisters, along with 18 other immigrants from around the world, took their oath during the naturalization ceremony at James A. Garfield National Historic Site July 11...

State representatives, local public officials speak out against state tax shift

The News-Herald (6/19/2014)

By Simon Husted

Two Ohio House representatives are joining local public officials in speaking out against financial burdens that homeowners, schools and local governments are absorbing because of decisions by state leaders.
That same group wants to reverse one of the state’s latest decisions by fully restoring a state-financed program that subsidizes 12.5 percent of the money homeowners pay toward local levies, also known as property tax rollbacks...

Mentor-on-the-Lake's Rogers among those with proposals to address heroin epidemic

The News-Herald (5/15/2014)

LORAIN COUNTY — State legislators proposed a series of bills May 13 in an effort to nix Ohio’s ongoing heroin epidemic. According to a news release, Ohio Democratic lawmakers outlined eight proposals to address heroin addiction and overdose. Democrats also called for Gov. John Kasich to declare a statewide public health emergency in recognition of the heroin problem...

11 projects in Lake, Geauga counties funded in state capital bill

The News-Herald (4/3/2014)

By John Hutchison

Eleven funding allocations for Lake and Geauga counties will receive funding from the state’s capital budget bill that was signed into law. Ohio House Bill 497 was introduced March 18 and received bipartisan support in the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate. The bill passed through the chambers and was signed April 1 by Gov. John Kasich.
Money from this budget is utilized from the state’s General Revenue Fund to fund capital projects throughout the state’s 88 counties...

Bill would grant benefits to families of part-time safety officers killed in line of duty

The News-Herald (3/13/2014)

By John Hutchison  

State Rep. John M. Rogers has introduced legislation that would grant benefits to families of part-time police officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty.
Rogers, D-Mentor-on-the-Lake, said the bill is called the “Jason Gresko Act” and is named after the Willoughby police officer who was hit by a drunken driver and killed Sept. 21, 2012, while responding to a request for assistance at Lake Health West Medical Center in Willoughby...

State Reps. Young, Rogers announce legislation they sponsored passes Ohio House

The News-Herald (2/17/2014)

By John Hutchison  

The two state legislators representing Lake County in the Ohio House of Representatives each announced legislation they sponsored has passed through the legislative chamber and moved on for consideration in the Ohio Senate.
A bill sponsored by state Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, aims to strengthen operations of free clinics and allow Medicaid clients to have greater access to health care options.
Ohio House Bill 320 would extend qualified immunity from civil liability for certain volunteer health care services provided to people who are eligible for or receive Medicaid...

Mentor students click away with

The News-Herald (12/24/2013)

By The News-Herald Staff

Shore Middle School students are getting a boost in the technology department after the school received a grant from a national nonprofit committed to expanding computer science education.
The $10,000 grant from’s Hour of Code Program will allow Shore Middle, 5670 Hopkins Road in Mentor, to purchase a cart of Chromebooks to use in the building on a daily basis, said Kristen Kirby, director of community relations for Mentor Schools, in an email...

'Protect and Serve' event aims to promote sober driving

The News-Herald (12/9/2013)

By John Hutchison

After nearly 40 years, state Rep. John M. Rogers still remembers when a young woman died in an emergency room where he was working as an orderly. She was a passenger in a vehicle and a drunken driver hit the car while traveling in the opposite direction. The incident left an especially big impression on Rogers because it was the first time a young person had died while he was on duty. “People need to be cognizant and think about their decisions,” Rogers said... 

Bill could ease student expenses

The News-Herald (12/9/2013)

Lauren Hazen, a 24-year-old astrophysics major, is right on par with the national and state average for student debt at about $25,000. But that number represents what students graduating with a four-year degree leave school with, whereas Hazen is working on her two-year degree.Because of some personal complications, she’s been able to rack up twice the amount of typical two-year debt from school. Her education has taken her from Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, to Denison University in Granville, to California and back...

Lake County Land Reutilization Corp

Press Release (09/27/2013)

The Lake County Land Reutilization Corp. (land bank) in conjunction with the Attorney General, Mike DeWine’s Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program is excited to announce the implementation of the program’s first phase here in Lake County. 

On Monday, September 30th the first house located at 7395 Primrose Drive in Mentor-on-the-Lake is scheduled to be taken down by Medico Systems, Inc. 

Ohio Attorney General extends statewide demolition program 

The News-Herald (9/1/2013)

By Simon Husted

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced a six-month extension to its statewide home demolition program as Lake County prepares to take down it's first set of houses in the next two weeks. The Moving Ohio Forward program, launched in 2012 to demolish homes blighted by the housing bust, was set to expire Dec. 31. Because of requests from several counties, the program has been extended to May 31. 


Rogers introduces bill to encourage hiring college graduates, reduce student debt burden

The News-Herald (8/29/2013)

By John Hutchison

State Rep. John Rogers has introduced bipartisan legislation that aims to encourage businesses to hire recent Ohio college graduates and to reduce the burden of student loan debt. Rogers, D-Mentor-on-the-Lake, said Ohio House Bill 246 is jointly sponsored by state Rep. Terry Blair, a Montgomery County Republican. The bill would adjust the taxable income of recent graduates based on their out-of-pocket qualified higher education expenses incurred for tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, room and board, and special needs beneficiaries...

New state law cuts down on safety inspections of boats

The News-Herald (8/29/2013)

By Simon Husted

Starting this week, boaters here and statewide are going to encounter fewer safety inspections because of a new state law signed Wednesday. Substitute House Bill 29, which took effect immediately Wednesday, eliminates the ability of local and state law enforcement officers from conducting random boat safety inspections. The new law limits boat inspections to cases of when the operator asks officers to board, the course of an official checkpoint, or if officers have "reasonable suspicion" that the operator of the boat is violating a law. The law doesn't apply to the U.S. Coast Guard and all other federal government agencies...

Rep. John Rogers seeks ban on employers mandating use of paycheck debit cards instead of paychecks

Northeast Ohio Media Group (8/28/2013)

By Robert Higgs

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A state lawmaker wants Ohio to require that employees have the ability to receive their pay with direct deposit or a paycheck, rather than through a paycheck debit card that may charge fees for usage. Legislation introduced this week by Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat from Mentor-on-the-Lake, would still allow employers to use reloadable paycheck cards, but they also would be required to offer to pay workers via cash, check or direct deposit...

Flood damage in Lake County short of federal aid threshold

The News-Herald (8/7/2013)

By John Hutchison

Thirteen properties in Mentor have been verified in Lake County to have major structural damage with more than 40 percent uninsured loss after the July 20 storm event. Kenneth R. Gauntner, county Emergency Management Agency public information officer, said the American Red Cross has assessed more than 3,500 properties throughout the county and initially identified 51 homes it felt had major structural damage to them. "Some of the other homes they looked at did not have 40 percent uninsured damage," Gauntner said. "A lot of those were covered by insurance."...

Consequences of state funding cuts to local governments: layoffs and cutbacks

The News-Herald (6/30/2013)

By Simon Husted

Mark Luthanen was a skilled maintenance worker for the Village of Fairport Harbor until he lost his job in a layoff this month. For 13 years, Luthanen fixed roads, plowed streets, repaired electrical systems and drove seniors at the Fairport Harbor Senior Center. The 57-year-old Fairport Harbor resident said he knew a couple village employees would be getting pink slips soon after voters rejected the village's 10.3-mill levy on the May 7 ballot. But he was surprised to learn he was one of them...

Area legislators react to state budget

The News-Herald (6/29/2013)

By John Hutchison

State lawmakers have hammered out a version of the state budget for Gov. John Kasich to sign by Monday. A majority of legislators in the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate concurred Thursday with the measure that was approved earlier by a conference committee. The measure, House Bill 59, passed in the Ohio House by a 53-44 vote with six Republicans crossing party lines to vote no...

State Rep. John Rogers, Sen. Nina Turner meet with Lake County officials

The News-Herald (2/26/2013)

By John Hutchison

State Rep. John Rogers and state Sen. Nina Turner each talked this week with Lake County officials to discuss legislation that will have an impact on city governments. The two members of the Ohio General Assembly spoke Monday at the monthly Lake County Mayors and City Managers Association meeting in Willoughby. Among topics of concern is dwindling state funding, most prominently cuts to the state Local Government Fund...

Blue Coats honor Sheriff's Capt. Ronald Walters

The News-Herald (2/7/2013)

By Bill Debus

If anyone ever puts together a highlight reel of Lake County Sheriff's Capt. Ronald Walters' career, there will be enough good material for a full-length documentary. He's worked on cases ranging from the Kirtland cult killings in 1993 to the 2003 incident in which a young boy received a severe electrical shock while waiting in line to go on a ride at the Lake County Fair in Painesville Township. The boy later died. At other points in Walters' 25 years with the sheriff's office, he's investigated and helped bring about convictions of suspects charged with everything from arson to aggravated murder...

LCLRC takes step on blighted properties

The News-Herald (1/29/2013)

By Arthur Hutchison

The Lake County Land Bank is another step closer to helping communities deal with blighted properties. Lake County commissioners recently approved a temporary request of $350,000 by the Land Bank for current expenses and other anticipated expenditures for 2013. The dollars come from the county Treasurer's delinquent tax fund, which accumulates revenue from penalties and interest collected on delinquent property taxes.