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Chesy man sentenced for tire dumping

Published 9:41am Thursday, March 28, 2013

Site on Rockwood Ave. being cleaned up


A Chesapeake man charged with open dumping was sentenced to probation Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Harry Wilks, 64, of 521 Rockwood Ave., previously pleaded guilty to dumping tires on his property, although he told the court he was still confused of the charges.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Wilks said. “… I don’t see them as scrap. I see them as property.”

Wilks was charged with illegal open dumping, an unclassified felony, following an investigation by the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District.

Steve Hileman, enforcement officer for the LSSWMD, said public complaints led to the investigation.

“All of the tires he had were all the way out to the sidewalk on Rockwood Avenue, all piled up there,” Hileman said. “We received numerous complaints from the public that they couldn’t walk down the sidewalk.”

Hileman said according to Ohio Revised Code, any dumping of tires is considered illegal and the crime is taken seriously.

“Also if they are not properly stored, which they were not (in Wilks case), they were out in the open, rainwater gets down in those tires and that’s what creates mosquito breeding.”

In addition to mosquitoes and disease, Hileman said improperly stored tires are a serious fire hazard.

“If someone would have walked down through there and thrown a cigarette down and it caught one of those tires, more than likely it would have caught that whole block,” Hileman said. “Tire fires are a very hot, serious thing. It takes a long time to get those put out. You can’t just put them out with water either. The fire department has a special foam they have to use.”

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Wilks to four years community control sanctions and ordered him to clean up the site, as well as prohibited him from anymore dumping.

If Wilks violates his CCS orders, he could be sent to prison for two years.

Mike Davenport, Wilks’ attorney, said the site cleanup is almost complete.

“I don’t understand it, but it’s the court’s pleasure,” Wilks said.

Hileman said illegal tire dumping is a big problem in Lawrence and Scioto counties since there is virtually no way to track the tires. He said on a drive through Lawrence County Wednesday, he spotted 60 to 70 tires along the roadsides.

“You can drive out through some of the county roads and if you’re looking for them, you’ll see them,” Hileman said. “But if you’re not looking for them, it’s just kind of a piece of the scenery that you never really recognize.”

To properly dispose of tires, Hileman said tire shops do charge an Ohio EPA fee, but the tires are sent to facilities where they can be recycled into rubberized mulch for playgrounds.

He also urged the community to report illegal dumped activity to the LSSWMD by calling the office at (740) 532-1231. All reports remain anonymous. People are also able to email photos through the LSSWMD website.


In other cases:

• Eric Collins, 23, of 3997 State Route 243, Ironton, pleaded guilty to a third-degree count of theft of a firearm.

Cooper sentenced the man to two years in prison and ordered him to pay his court costs.

• Rebecca Hogston, 38, of 87 Township Road 343, Ironton, was sentenced on a charge of third-degree tampering with evidence, to which she previously pleaded guilty.

Cooper sentenced the woman to four year CCS under intensive supervised probation with three years reserved in prison if she violates her probation. Hogston was also ordered to pay court costs.

• Brandon Mullens, 30, of 171 Township Road 211, Ironton, pleaded guilty to a count of fifth-degree forgery.

Cooper sentenced the man to six months in prison and restitution in the amount of $336 to City National Bank.

• Richard Snodgrass, 25, of 455 29th St., Ashland, Ky., was arraigned on a bill of information of fifth-degree possession of drugs (oxycodone), to which he pleaded guilty.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced the man to 11 months in prison with a judicial release to the STAR Community Justice Center when a bed becomes available, 200 hours community service, a $1,250 fine and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

• Clinton Cremeans, 33, of 433 Private Road 856, South Point, admitted to CCS violations that he tested positive for cocaine. Bowling sentenced the man to six months in prison.

• Donald Goody, 49, of 4113 County Road 128, South Point, pleaded guilty to a count of misdemeanor receiving stolen property, which was amended from a second-degree count of complicity to burglary.

Bowling sentenced Goody to 180 days in jail suspended, three years probation, a $500 fine and restitution in an amount not to exceed $24,000 to be paid joint and severally with other co-defendants.

  • Poor Richard

    The public has been complaining about that site for the past 10 years, it’s about time the owner is made to clean it up. Might I suggest he move to WV or KY where he would be more at home with all his tires?

    Now the EPA needs to go across the street and look at some of those ghastly garbage dumps as well. And while they are at it, drive up Route 93 and look in the backyards of some of those homes with their personal garbage dumps/mini landfills where they burn trash. I think those property owners could bring the state substantial fines and penalties!

    (Report comment)

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