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Better to Take Care of It Sewer than Later 

Sanitation, convenient herpes tests, and "real" television programs

Residents on Kinzel Road in Avon breathed a sigh of relief last week, after the burgeoning suburb's city council nixed plans to install a sanitary sewer line that residents didn't want. In May, the city told residents that they would each be assessed a fee of $148 per foot of property frontage. Resident Dan Berkheimer, who owns the street's largest lot, was expected to pay around, ahem, $77,000. After months of debate, the city lowered the assessment by 40 percent -- which still meant bills upwards of $15,000 for many households -- before scrapping the plan altogether. Even so, residents on the street may regret passing up the chance to install the sewer sooner rather than later, says Avon Services Director Jerry Plas. "I guarantee you, five years from now, the $148 will come back to haunt us, 'cause that's what it's going to be," he says. "What do any of us know that's gone down in the last five years, costwise -- nothing."

Now you can get a herpes test and catch Mushroomhead in one convenient stop. Medical Express Laboratories, which is offering a new, quick-result test for genital herpes, happens to be located in the Agora building. Not that its proximity to young concertgoers -- at least some of whom presumably engage in high-risk sex -- makes a difference. Dr. Arthur Banné, CEO of Medical Express, says his staff once did an HIV test campaign by leaving fliers in Agora restrooms. After a year, a grand total of one concertgoer showed up for a test. So much for being in the neighborhood.

If you fear your newscasts are too bogged down in news and not enough in derivative pop-culture voyeurism, WKYC-TV/Channel 3 hopes to change your thinking. The station's latest gimmick is "Room(mates)," a series eerily similar to MTV's The Real World, the popular program in which young people of wildly diverse backgrounds shack up on national television in order to learn about themselves and forward their acting careers. Starting August 29, viewers can thrill to thrice-weekly evening updates with the six twentysomething "roommates," who have been holed up in a Flats apartment since August 18. Expect the TV coverage, hosted by reporter Carole Chandler, to be titillating but tame; for the hot stuff, follow the group's exploits on wkyc.com. "Whatever happens on the webcam happens on the webcam," series producer Mike Kirk says. "Room(mates)" culminates in a September special and a viewer vote as to whom you'd most like to live with. "If you take The Real World and add a little bit of journalism to it, that's what this is," Kirk says of "Room(mates)." Which makes it pretty much like the rest of the newscast.

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