Press release

Author: Lindsay Tournoux, Wayne County Farm Bureau

July 3, 2024

Ag Tire Roundup secures nearly 1,600 tires

WAYNE COUNTY, OH—Nearly 1,600 scrap tires from 57 area farms were dropped off at the Wayne County Fairgrounds on June 28 during the Ag Tire Roundup.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 242 million vehicle tires are discarded annually in the United States. The majority of those, 78 percent, are destined for landfills, illegally dumped, or stockpiled.

Crew members from Willig Tire, a scrap tire recycling company, collected the tires and loaded them onto semi-truck trailers to be taken for processing. According to Operations Manager Mark Smith, 100 percent of the tires will be recycled and reused.

Smith explained that the tires go through a dual shredding process that separates rubber from steel.

“The steel is shipped off to be made into things like beams,” he said. “And the rubber is used for fuel for power plants, playground or landscape rubber. Everything is recycled.”

The event was a collaboration between Wayne County Farm Bureau, Wayne County Health Department, Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio State University – Wayne County Extension, and the Wayne County Fair Grounds.

The event cost approximately $40,000 to host. Funding was provided by grants from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Recycle Ohio program, Wayne County Health Department and the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne Recycling District.



COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting 16 people lost their lives in 15 traffic crashes during the July Fourth reporting period, which began Wednesday, July 3 at midnight and ended Sunday, July 7 at 11:59 p.m.

In nine of the fatalities in which safety belts were available, seven were unbelted (78%). Ohio’s safety belt law remains a secondary violation; however, troopers continued to have zero tolerance during the holiday reporting period when motorists were stopped for other violations and were found not wearing their safety belt. Throughout the holiday reporting period, troopers issued nearly 3,000 safety belt and child safety seat citations.

Troopers also made 438 arrests for impaired driving and 72 for drug-related charges. The Patrol responded to 648 crashes and made 34,209 traffic contacts in total. Additionally, 1,368 citations were issued for distracted driving. Troopers also provided assistance to 2,449 motorists.

A statewide breakdown of enforcement and crashes during the Fourth of July holiday reporting period can be found here.

Motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.



WAYNE COUNTY, OH, Jun. 26, 2024—In a thriving democracy, voter confidence is the cornerstone of a healthy electoral process. When citizens trust the voting system, they are more likely to participate, engage, and make their political voices heard.

Voter confidence is not only about winning or losing an election; it’s about the perceived legitimacy of the election process. It’s about believing that every voice matters, that votes are counted accurately, and that the outcome reflects the people’s will.

No one takes Election Day more seriously than the dedicated individuals who work at election boards. They ensure the accuracy of each vote in every election, and Wayne County Board of Elections (BOE) Deputy Director Bryon Bell is holding a series of presentations to explain the election and voter verification process.

“When voters are equipped with accurate information about the election process, candidates, and issues, they are more likely to trust the process and better able to make informed decisions at the ballot box,” Bell said.

In his first presentation, Voter Registration and Data, held in the Metzler Room of the BOE located at 200 Vanover Street in Wooster, Bell explained some of the seemingly countless federal and state laws that govern his office, including:

  • What disqualifies a vote
  • How provisional ballots work
  • How voters are verified
  • Voter registration
  • Voter equality

“There are a lot of rumors and misconceptions surrounding the election process, and this can be damaging to our democracy, especially if it causes people to lose trust in the process and sit an election out,” he said. “However, by providing accurate information, we can empower voters to make informed decisions and take an active role in helping to shape their communities.”

The spread of misinformation has threatened the democratic process, eroding voter confidence and undermining election integrity. Bell explained that while some voter’s circumstances may seem illegal on the surface, they are, in fact, perfectly legal.

One misconception Bell addressed surrounds a voter’s date of birth.

“There are registered voters in Ohio with a date of birth that makes them older than the oldest living American. Is that proof of fraud,” Bell asked the audience rhetorically. “No,” he answered.

He explained that Ohio law didn’t always require voters to list a date of birth on voter registration forms.

“If you registered, consistently voted, and remained at the same address over the years and didn’t have a need to update your voter registration, your county (BOE) might not have a date of birth on file,” Bell said. “These voters have a placeholder date of birth as January 1, 1800. That does not mean that the voter is 224 years old. It is merely an indicator they registered before recording a date of birth was a legal requirement.”

Bell explained the hows and whys of other perplexing circumstances that, in the age of digital media, lead to inaccurate information being spread.

The next presentation, Voting Equipment and Security, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Metzler Room. Participation is free, but registration is required. To register, visit, or phone 330-287-5480; video of previous presentations may also be watched.

The remaining schedule includes:

  • Candidates and Issues on July 23
  • Absentee and Provisional Voting on August 20
  • Election Logistics on September 24

Dan Starcher is the Public Communications Coordinator for Wayne County.



WAYNE COUNTY, OH, May. 2, 2024 —  The State of Ohio is taking a bold step towards creating safer communities for its citizens. With a significant investment of $15 million, the Governor’s Office is helping the Wayne County Jail bolster its capacity, security, and operational capabilities, promising far-reaching benefits for public safety, law enforcement, and the communities it serves.

Before the introduction of Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Wayne County Commissioner Ron Amstutz recounted the eight-year journey that finally led to the groundbreaking ceremony. In the face of adversity and a defeated levy, the commissioners finally achieved their goal with a new jail scheduled to be operational in 2026.

“The ones that collaborate are the ones that succeed,” Lt. Governor Husted told a group that gathered for the occasion. “Clearly, that is happening here; collaboration is what we do in administrative government across the state. The citizens benefit from the partnership between state and county governments. We recognize the challenges that local communities face.”

At nearly 50 years old, the current jail desperately needs renovation. Opened in 1977 and with a maximum allowable capacity of 80 inmates, the grant will add 72,000 square feet of space, bringing bed capacity to 200 when the project is complete. This groundbreaking is a testament to Ohio’s commitment to addressing the pressing concerns of jail overcrowding, outdated infrastructure, and inadequate resources in the state’s correctional facilities.

“There are many who contributed to our arrival to this day. We have more than 25 persons on our Community Corrections Planning Board, including judges, law enforcement, community members, social services, and other community leaders,” said Wayne County Commissioner Ron Amstutz. “We set this project as one of our top priority goals several years ago. The commissioners hired Greg Strollo’s Architect firm, and now we have hired local Bogner Construction Company as the general contractor and construction manager for what is underway as we speak.”

Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

Amstutz admitted that financing the project went through twists and turns, and features were redesigned occasionally.

“We thought we needed to raise our sales tax rate, but now we can avoid that because we have substantial state and federal funding. We are very thankful for that,” he said. “Patrick Herron, our administrator, has played a vital role in this from the beginning and continues to provide invaluable leadership.”

Ohio’s need for enhanced jail facilities is undeniable, and the statistics paint a stark picture. The opioid epidemic has led to a surge in overdose deaths, and jail facilities are struggling to provide adequate medical care to inmates with addiction.

No one is more familiar with the condition of the jail than Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson. “When I first started here, I was 20 years old,” he said. “We moved into this building, and at that time, it was state-of-the-art. Seeing this new phase start with another state-of-the-art project is very humbling. The support of the state, city, county, and citizens is overwhelming.”

Those in the criminal justice system recognize that many individuals incarcerated in local jails struggle with mental health issues, substance abuse, and other challenges that hinder their ability to reintegrate into society upon release.

By providing a facility with access to counseling, therapy, and treatment services, we proactively address the root causes of recidivism and promote a safer, more rehabilitative environment within its jails, lending to a safer community.

Dan Starcher is the Public Communications Coordinator for Wayne County.



Severe Weather Awareness Week will be March 17 – March 23.

The county wide tornado warning sirens will be activated the full cycle, Wednesday March 20 at 9:50 am. for severe weather week. The activation will take place unless severe weather is in our area, or any type of watch or warning are issued by the National Weather Service.

The Wayne County Justice Center activates the sirens in the area we cover on the first Monday of every month at 12:00 unless weather prohibits it.

If you would like more information on weather safety go to Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness or National Weather Service website.

WCLRC Special Meeting

WCLRC Special Meeting

WCLRC Special Meeting Notice
A special meeting of the Wayne County Land Reutilization Corporation will be held on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. on the second floor of the Wayne County Administration Building located at 428 W. Liberty St., Wooster, to discuss the Welcome Home Ohio Grant, and the Taylor Road in Chippewa Township decision.