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Trumble County voters will decide off-track betting issue



Published: Fri, August 24, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



WARREN -- Trumbull County voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to allow off-track betting establishments.

An issue on the ballot asks if satellite facilities receiving simulcasts of live horse races and conducting wagering on the simulcasts should be prohibited for five years.

Members of Hope for the Valley, a clergy-based group opposed to a betting site at Eastwood Mall, collected the signatures last year to get the issue to the ballot.

Support for it: Niles City Council approved a resolution last August supporting an off-track betting facility at the mall. The approval followed a presentation by the Cafaro Co.

That prompted the clergy group's effort.

The Ohio Racing Commission gave conditional approval last year to Northfield Park Associates for the site. One condition was that Northfield obtain an OK from Thistledown racetrack.

State law requires the approval when a proposed off-track facility is within 50 miles of a track. Thistledown and Northfield couldn't reach an agreement, voiding the racing commission approval.

Any new effort for off-track betting at the mall would have to start at the beginning.

A Bazetta lawyer also filed a lawsuit in Franklin County to stop the license, but the suit was dismissed when the racing commission's approval was voided.

Charter changes: Cortland residents, meanwhile, will not get a chance to vote in November on changes to the city's charter.

A group headed by Ken Zimmerman, a former charter commission chairman, got enough signatures to place three proposed charter amendments on the ballot, but the group was not aware that city council had to approve legislation placing the issue on the ballot.

"We didn't understand council had to do this. It's one of those things," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said he will try again in the May primary election.

Voters must approve any amendments to the charter.




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