News In Brief

Brookfield Schools plan levy request

BROOKFIELD – A 4.58-mill levy will appear on the May ballot to support the school district. The Board of Education passed a resolution on Tuesday to place the question before voters.

The board called the special meeting Tuesday to discuss the property tax levy, which will bring in approximately $600,000 per year. Board member Ronald Brennan said the levy must first be certified and reapproved by the board at their next meeting in February.

Students’ scores to be used nationally

McDONALD – Roosevelt Elementary School will represent Ohio and the nation’s fourth-graders on a national assessment of students.

Roosevelt was selected by the U.S. Department of Education, and students will be assessed this year in reading and mathematics as a comparison of student performance across the United States.

The results of the NAEP will be released as the Nation’s Report Card.

Warren, Southington meet about water

WARREN – Southington Township trustees and water board members met with Warren city officials Tuesday to discuss the status of plans to extend waterlines from the city along U.S. Route 422 to the township.

Trustee Sam Plott said township officials spoke of their trip to Columbus, where they met with representatives of Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, and let Warren officials know the project has been approved and there is a ”clean slate.”

Sections of the township have residents getting water from cisterns and wells. A water district was formed and overseen by a board of directors to help bring water to the township. Southington will need to get the funding for the waterlines in order for the city to deliver the water to the township.

Bob Davis, the city of Warren’s water department director, plans to contact Trumbull County officials to plan a meeting with all entities on the project.

YSU sets record

for fundraising

YOUNGSTOWN – Youngs-town State University received a record $6.67 million in contributions and commitments in just the first six months of the fiscal year.

The donations were given by alumni and other supporters, and YSU also reported a 33 percent increase in donors.

President Cynthia E. Anderson said, “I am overwhelmed but not surprised by the strength and love of the YSU community.”

The previous record was $6.37 million for the entire 2007-08 fiscal year.

Scott Evans, vice president for university advancement, said the majority of the funds will be received over several years. The donations were restricted by donors to all areas of the university, including colleges, programs, scholarships, endowments, capital projects and athletics.

ODOT driver stops wrong-way driver

TOLEDO – Police near Toledo are crediting a quick-thinking snow plow driver for stopping a wrong-way driver on a freeway.

Police say the plow driver was on U.S. Route 23 near the Ohio-Michigan state line when he saw a car going the wrong way in the southbound lanes.

The Ohio Department of Transportation driver then pulled into the road and forced the driver to turn around early last Saturday.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Trumbull and Cuyahoga agree on autopsies deal

WARREN – A longstanding relationship between the Trumbull County Coroner’s Office and Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office to perform some autopsies has been put in writing.

The one-year agreement county commissioners approved Wednesday calls for Cuyahoga County to do some autopsies and related testing for $1,075 per autopsy. It’s an arrangement the two agencies had for some time, and Wednesday’s action formalizes the arrangement, according to Trumbull County commissioners.

Cuyahoga County will only do the autopsies when county coroner Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk is unable or the body is badly decomposed. Trumbull County doesn’t have the facility to process bodies in advanced stages of deterioration.

Hermitage police look for bank robber

HERMITAGE, Pa. – Police are looking for a man who robbed a PNC Bank branch at 1055 N. Hermitage Road about noon Wednesday.

A news release states a man walked into the bank and gave a note to a teller asking for money and the teller complied. No weapon was shown, the release states.

The man is described as about 5-foot-9 inches tall, between 40 and 50 years old, and wearing glasses. He had on a brown wool-type hat and light blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hermitage police at 724-983-6780 or 724-662-6110 after 5 p.m., or the Pittsburgh office of the FBI at 412-432-4000.

Cortland bridge project still on schedule for 2014

CORTLAND – Work on a project to replace the worn-down Main Street bridge in Cortland and improve the intersection it feeds is on pace to hit the targeted build date next year, according to Trumbull County commissioners.

Now engineering and right-of-way acquisition work is being done on the $1.8 million project that includes replacing the bridge over Walnut Run and adding two turn lanes at the intersection of Main and High streets.

The project, headed by the county Engineer’s Office, also includes some cosmetic work that will be done to the new bridge and decorative sidewalk lighting. That’s being paid for by a $200,000 grant Cortland received for the 22 new lamps and decorative railing and concrete stamping to the bridge.

Septic replacement to begin in Hubbard Township

WARREN – Construction of a project to replace broken and failing septic systems with sewers in the Kermont Heights neighborhood of Hubbard Township should begin Monday.

The $3.4 million project is one of a dozen Trumbull County is required to complete under an agreement with the state in areas of the county identified as a potential health risk because of the systems.

Dave Sugar Excavating of Petersburg is doing the work. Construction should be complete by November.

The project involves putting in place almost 17,000 feet of sewer to service 163 homes and a few businesses in a northern part of the township, according to county commissioners.

Jury picked for inmate’s case of attempted stabbing

YOUNGSTOWN – Jurors were selected Wednesday to hear the case of an inmate at the supermax prison on the East Side who is accused of trying to stab prison guards with a homemade knife.

Jurors were also taken to the prison on state Route 616 Wednesday afternoon to view the crime scene before hearing opening arguments in the case today.

Cornelius Harris, 30, faces charges of felonious assault and attempted felonious assault in the attack, which took place in 2010.

Harris is acting as his own lawyer. Opening statements and testimony are expected to take place today.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Wind chill advisory

for Mahoning Valley

WARREN – The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a wind chill advisory for much of the Mahoning Valley through 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The advisory, which was issued Monday evening and includes most of northern Ohio, indicates wind chill readings could be as low as -16 degrees with strong winds gusts up to 30 miles per hour.

Weather officials indicate today’s temperatures are expected to range between 3 degrees and 13 degrees. The NWS forecast calls for a high of 15 degrees on Wednesday.

Those going outside are advised to dress warmly and avoid prolonged exposure to the outdoors to prevent frostbite and hypothermia as conditions can make it feel as if it is -10 degrees or colder.

Niles man accused of driving drunk with child

NILES – A local man is facing charges of OVI and endangering children after police said they found him drunk behind the wheel with a young child in the backseat on Saturday, Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV Channel 33 reported.

Police said they received a call about an out-of-control Buick weaving all over Robbins Avenue heading toward the downtown.

According to reports, William Barton, 42, of Niles, reeked of alcohol and failed all field sobriety tests.

A 4-year-old boy in the backseat wasn’t buckled in with a seat belt. Officers said they gave Barton a Breathalyzer test at the Niles Police Department and his blood-alcohol content registered a 0.380. The legal limit for driving in Ohio is 0.08, meaning Barton’s was nearly five times the legal limit.

Barton and the boy were released into his mother’s custody. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Niles Municipal Court today.

McDonald BOE places renewal levy on ballot

McDONALD – The Board of Education at a special meeting on Monday gave the final necessary reading to place the renewal of a 3.85-mill, five-year operating school levy on the May primary ballot.

Board member Katherine Harvey said the board voted 4-0 on the issue that will generate $200,147 annually for day-to-day needs of the school district. Included in the day-to-day needs is the operation of two school buildings.

The board had given first reading to the issue earlier this month.

The levy was originally was passed in November 2007.

Challenge 24 tourney

on hold due to weather

WARREN – Due to the cancellation of classes at Warren City Schools today, Challenge 24 has been postponed.

The regional math tournament was to be held at Warren G. Harding High School’s gymnasium.

It will be rescheduled for a later date.

For more information, call Tribune Chronicle events coordinator Sue Shafer at 330-841-1696.

Nominations sought

for Community Stars

Nominations are being sought for the Tribune Chronicle Community Star program.

Now in its 12th year, the program celebrates the volunteers who have had a significant influence on Trumbull County, be it through tireless hours of service, random acts of kindness or a single moment of courage.

The 10 people chosen will be recognized in a special section published in the newspaper, and treated to a banquet open to the community at W.D. Packard Music Hall on March 19.

Nominations are due by Feb. 1. They can be emailed to Sue Shafer at or submitted through the Virtual Newsroom on

They can also be hand-delivered or mailed to Sue Shafer c/o Tribune Chronicle, 240 Franklin St. S.E., Warren, OH 44483.

Tribune Chronicle

News in brief

House fire kills two in Jackson Township

JACKSON – A mother and her son died in an overnight Sunday fire here.

The fire started about 1 a.m. on North Duck Creek Road near Silica Road, according to Tribune news partner WYTV 33.

A Milton Township firefighter was injured after a fall from the porch.

The State Fire Marshal has not yet determined where the fire started.

The ages and identities of the pair were not known later Sunday. Autopsies are scheduled for Tuesday.

Sharon teen shot; man facing homicide charge

SHARON, Pa. – A man here is facing a homicide charge following the early Sunday shooting of a teenager in a house on Strawbridge Avenue, police said.

Leangelo Ford, 17, died at about 2 a.m. Sunday in the emergency room of Sharon Regional Health System, the Sharon Herald newspaper reports.

He was a sophomore at Sharon High School.

Police arrested Jontae Maurice Barnes, 19, 381 Liberty St., Sharon, about 12:15 a.m.

Barnes is facing a single count of criminal homicide. His bail was set at $200,000 and he was taken to Mercer County Jail, according to court documents.

Teenager arrested on charges of arson

WARREN TOWNSHIP – A 15-year-old was arrested on an aggravated arson charge shortly after 1:47 p.m. Sunday, following a fire at 655 Bane St.

Police Lt. Don Bishop said the teenager was one of two young people who went into the house and started a small fire. Once the fire started, the youths threw a burning object out of the window to the side of the house. A fire started at the side of house, burning the siding of the home.

There were three people in the house at the time of the fire, Bishop said.

When questioned about the fire, the two boys initially told police they saw someone drive up to the house in a black vehicle and start the fire but later admitted there was no car, police said.

Bishop said the 15-year-old is a suspect in several other fires that occurred in the township since spring 2012.

He was taken to Trumbull County’s Juvenile Justice Center.

Diocese of Youngstown reviews school safety

Diocese of Youngstown School officials held a meeting last week aimed at improving the emergency management plans and safety of its 35 schools, according to a release.

Mahoning County Sheriff’s Deputies Robert Russo, Jeff Saluga, Sgt. Steve Lindlow, Greg Taillon and retired Sgt. Chuck Van Dyke facilitated the workshop. On hand from the diocese were the presidents, principals and other school officials.

The deputies lectured on basic strategies, ways to secure classrooms, the A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) system of school safety, evacuation, and lockdown techniques that will be beneficial in an emergency, the release states.

Further, according to the release, all Youngstown Diocese schools will be conducting audits of their emergency management plans and overall school safety.

For more information, contact the Office of Catholic Schools, 330-744-8451.

Newton officials to meet about cemetery levy

NEWTON – Newton Township trustees will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the township hall to give a second reading and also a public hearing of the proposed 0.5-mill, five-year cemetery levy.

The second reading will officially place the levy on the May primary ballot. The levy would be used for maintaining and operating cemeteries.

At the meeting trustees will also review insurance and discuss employee medical premiums.

News In Brief

Missing man’s body found in building

YOUNGSTOWN – The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office says the body of a missing man found inside an abandoned South Side apartment building showed no signs of foul play.

A news release from the coroner’s office states that Antonio Fusco, 40, was found about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday in the building, which is in the 800 block of East Indianola Avenue.

An autopsy by forensic pathologist Dr. Joseph Ohr showed no evidence of trauma or anything that would cause a natural death, according to a Coroner’s Office news release. There was also no evidence of death due to hypothermia, the release states.

The release states an investigation is ongoing and Ohr is awaiting toxicology results.

Fusco was reported missing by family members on Dec. 27, the release states.

Eastwood Mall eel swallows shark in tank

NILES – Eastwood Mall closed its aquarium for a short period last week after an eel ate one of the sharks.

Joe Bell, director of corporate communication for the Cafaro Company, said on Thursday that the area was closed off to allow workers to clean the aquarium and to avoid causing anyone, especially small children, distress. The Cafaro Company owns the mall.

“Every so often, we have something like this happen when one of the predators will take a bite out of another creature,” Bell said.

“We try to do our best to avoid mixing creatures that are more aggressive, but it’s part of nature. We try to keep the animals well fed so they are full and satisfied, and something like this doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, sometimes it does.”

Flames break out in Youngstown apartment

YOUNGSTOWN – An unattended grease fire caused $6,000 damage to an East Side apartment Thursday morning.

Crews were called about 5:15 a.m. to 610 Kendis Circle. All tenants of the building were outside and smoke was coming from the first floor of the building, firefighters said.

The fire was contained to the kitchen. The occupant of the apartment told firefighters she put on grease to make french fries and fell asleep. She woke up to the smell of smoke and ran outside.

No one was injured.

Schools officer pleads guilty to sex charge

COLUMBUS – A former Ohio school resource police officer has pleaded guilty to a charge that he coerced sexual behavior from minors.

Evidence presented Thursday said the FBI discovered in July 2012 that Todd Smith was having an illicit relationship with a 15-year-old girl and that a second relationship with another 15-year-old girl was then discovered that involved Smith and the girl exchanging more than 6,000 texts.

Smith pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Columbus to one count of using a cell phone to entice two underage minors to engage in sexual activity.

A federal judge had called Smith’s alleged actions “violence of the worst sort” last year after listening to a prosecutor and FBI agent read sexually graphic text messages Smith exchanged with the girls.

Agency combines offices to save $2M annually

COLUMBUS – A plan to consolidate 13 offices is expected to save Ohio’s human services agency about $2 million annually.

The Department of Job and Family Services says the plan to minimize vacant office space will begin this spring and finish by year’s end.

The department’s director says that while moving to new locations might present challenges for some employees, the plan preserves jobs. Michael Colbert says the consolidation maintains the agency’s statewide presence without affecting services to individuals or businesses.

Offices in Bridgeport, Canton, Dayton and Tiffin are among those with staff that will be sent elsewhere.

Staff, wire reports

News in brief

Man gets prison in ‘bodily substance’ case

WARREN – A 21-year-old Hubbard man was sentenced to 30 months in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges of robbery and harassment with a bodily substance.

Daniel Good of East Liberty Street was sentenced by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay to six months for throwing urine on a corrections officer in Trumbull County Jail last fall after he had been arrested on the robbery charge.

Good got an additional two years in prison for the robbery charge that stemmed from a cell phone and car keys stolen from a woman at knifepoint.

Assistant county prosecutor Diane Barber said the robbery occurred at Good’s home. Charges of abduction and kidnapping in that incident were dismissed in exchange for the plea.

Woman gets 90 days in jail in fatal accident

YOUNGSTOWN – A 22-year-old Poland woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail by Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge R. Scott Krichbaum on a charge of attempted aggravated vehicular homicide.

Prosecutors had not recommended jail time for Michelle Green, only probation.

Krichbaum also suspended her driver’s license for a year and placed her on five years probation.

She entered a guilty plea on Nov. 14.

She was charged in a July 2 accident at the intersection of Middletown and Unity roads in Springfield Township that killed 32-year-old Matthew Clinkscale and injured two of his children. Green and a 3-year-old in her car also were treated for injuries.

Sen. Portman to tour Youngstown company

YOUNGSTOWN – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman will tour Dearing Compressor and Pump in Youngstown on Friday, his office announced.

The half-hour tour of the facility on Simon Road is the first of several stops Portman is set to make in northeast Ohio. He also will tour AlphaMicron in Kent and attend a liquid crystal technology roundtable there and then visit the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.

The senator also is expected to swing by the Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters in Boardman in the morning.

Pastor convicted of rape of woman at shelter

NORTH JACKSON – A North Jackson pastor was convicted Wednesday of the 2010 rape of a developmentally disabled 20-year-old woman who was staying at the shelter he ran.

Ronald Pyles, 59, pastor of the Victory Harvest Ministry in North Jackson, was convicted of rape and gross sexual imposition in a bench trial before Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge James C. Evans. Pyles was acquitted of another count of rape and gross sexual imposition.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 23. Prosecutors are asking for the maximum 16-year sentence, according to WYTV 33 News.

The rapes occurred between October 2010 and April 2011 at Victory Harvest Ministry. The investigation began when the woman told a teacher, according to 33 News.

Pyles’ attorney, David Gerchak, said he believed the prosecution failed to prove rape and that the woman was coached what to say during testimony. He plans to appeal, according to 33 News.

Liberty Trustees to hold special meeting on parks

LIBERTY – Township trustees will conduct a special meeting at 11 a.m. today in the Township Administration Building.

The board will explore options regarding the two parks in the township, Churchill and Center parks. Also attending the public meeting will be officials from the Trumbull County MetroParks to discuss possibly taking over control of the two parks.

The special public meeting will be followed by an executive session to discuss personnel issues.

News In Brief

Police looking into pair of robberies

WARREN – Police here were looking for suspects in two unrelated robberies at different stores Sunday.

Shortly after 3 p.m., a 51-year-old Warren man pulled into the parking lot of the Sparkle Market on Parkman Road N.W., and two masked men confronted him and took $160 from his wallet. The victim told police a gun was shown.

About 9:30 a.m., $150 was taken from a 36-year-old clerk at the Family Dollar Store, 378 Elm Road N.E., by a gunman who grabbed the money from the register.

Newton officials to meet on levy

NEWTON – Newton Township trustees have scheduled a special meeting for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the township hall to consider a resolution for a levy for cemetery upkeep, equipment and maintenance.

Trustees also will meet to discuss upgrades to Hott West Road.

Man held in slaying of girl, 16, in Akron

AKRON – Police say a 24-year-old man is being held in a weekend shooting in northeast Ohio that left a 16-year-old girl dead and a 19-year-old woman shot in the head.

Officers say they arrested 24-year-old David Stoddard at a motel Sunday morning, shortly after the shooting at a home in Akron. Police say Stoddard knew the teens, but no motive for the shooting has been established.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that police were called to the home at about 4 a.m. Sunday. Other people in the home identified Stoddard at the shooter.

Casino betting mostly up in December in Ohio

COLUMBUS – Bettors were looking for holiday luck last month, putting more money into slot machines and table games at the two Ohio casinos opened the longest.

But the Ohio Casino Control Commission said Monday the Hollywood Columbus casino which opened in October saw betting drop from November to December for both slots and table games as the novelty wore off.

The Horseshoe Cleveland casino received the biggest boost in December, with slots betting up 17.3 percent and wagers at table games up 12.6 percent.

Man crashes, dies after police chase

CINCINNATI – Authorities say a man died after crashing his car while fleeing a sheriff’s deputy attempting to stop him for an alleged violation of Ohio’s vehicle-window tint law.

The Hamilton County sheriff’s office says 32-year-old Aaron Williams of Cincinnati was pronounced dead at a suburban Cincinnati hospital shortly after the crash on Monday morning.

A sheriff’s release says the deputy signaled the driver to stop after noting the darkly tinted windows. Violating Ohio law’s that prohibits car windows from being tinted too darkly is a misdemeanor.

Authorities say the driver sped off, losing control of his car and hitting a fence and a tree after a chase that lasted about a minute.

Prisons dept. pays $350K to settle claim

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s prisons department has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a medical negligence claim made by a former inmate at the Belmont Correctional Institution.

The Court of Claims of Ohio announced the Dec. 28 settlement on Monday.

According to a 2010 complaint against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Joshua Leach complained of leg numbness and left hand weakness to a prison physician while at the correctional facility in 2008.

Rather than conduct an MRI scan of the cervical spine recommended by an emergency room doctor, a prison physician recommended an electromyogram/nerve conduction study first. Results from that study necessitated an MRI, which was conducted seven weeks later.

Leach alleged that the prison doctor failed to timely diagnose the herniation of his spine.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Flu prompts HMHP visiting changes

Because of a high number of flu cases, Humility of Mary Health Partners is offering guidelines for hospital visits.

The hospital system urges anyone who is not feeling well not to come to the hospital to visit someone because they could run the risk of infecting patients and staff, according to a release from the health system.

Also, no visitors younger than 14 are allowed because children are exposed to more germs and can infect others and can also catch the flu while at the hospital, the release states.

The practice of one family member staying the night has been rescinded as well until flu cases subside except for a gravely ill or minor patient, the release states. Also, waiting rooms will not be allowed to be used for people staying overnight.

To avoid the flu, HMHP recommends to stay away from crowded areas, wash your hands often, cough into your sleeve or a tissue and stay home if you are sick.

The guidelines are in place immediately at all HMHP buildings until flu cases recede, according to the release.

Institute sets 26th annual King salute

WARREN – The A. Philip Randolph Institute Trumbull County Chapter will hold the 26th annual Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan 12.

The event begins at 3 p.m. at DiVieste Banquet Hall, 754 North River Road N.W., with the theme, ”Moving Forward, No Turning Back.” Keynote speaker is state Sen. Nina Turner, 25th District.

The Community Service Award will be presented to Deryck Toles, executive director of Inspiring Minds. The event’s honorary chairman will be Darryl Parker, president, United Steel Workers Local 1375.

Cost is $30 per person, with tickets available through Thursday from any APRI member or by calling David ”Sonny” Morgan at 330-718-5224.

Four injured in

GM complex fire

LORDSTOWN – Four workers were being treated for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at the East Plant at the General Motors complex about 9 p.m. Friday.

Village fire Chief James Wishart said some workers were welding and the sparks caught some oil on fire, and that oil spread to an air vent.

Wishart said the fire was mostly smoke and was out by the time firefighters arrived. He said the workers put the fire out.

The plant was evacuated but Wishart said the only people there at the time were contractors doing other work.

He estimated the damage to be around $10,000. The four workers were taken to area hospitals.

North Jackson firefighters were called out to assist. No one else was injured.

Man charged with heroin possession

WARREN – A city man stopped by police for playing loud music in his car has been charged with drug possession.

Derrick L. Eggleston, 26, 470 Fourth St. S.W., is free on $25,000 bond after pleading not guilty at his arraignment on Friday. He was arrested about 11 p.m. Thursday during a traffic stop near Austin Avenue S.W. and Front Street S.W. in Warren.

Police reported finding a plastic bag containing 78 bindles of heroin in the vehicle after a K9 alerted officers.

Warren police

respond to gunfire

WARREN – City police are investigating gunfire that hit a home in the area of Third Street S.W. on Thursday.

Police said they received a call that 15 shots had been fired in the area. Officers reported locating several bullet holes in the exterior walls of a residence. They also found several shell casings in the roadway, according to reports.

Officers said the resident, Leslie Bryant, 21, told them no one was hurt and she had no idea who might have been shooting.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Body of woman found near barricades

WARREN – The body of a 50-year-old woman was found at 2:35 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of Freeman and Vernon Avenue N.W. and Freeman Street, near some concrete barricades.

Police had not identified the victim as of Wednesday evening.

There were no apparent signs of trauma, according to police. An investigation is ongoing.

Patrol reports decline in holiday fatals

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting that six people were killed on Ohio’s roadways during this New Year’s holiday reporting period of Monday through Tuesday.

Last year, 14 people were killed during the holiday reporting period, which was a total of four days. This year, the reporting period was two days. Of this New Year’s Holiday fatalities, two occurred in Franklin County including a pedestrian, the patrol reported in a news release.

The public is encouraged to continue using #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity, the patrol stated in its news release.

Warren woman reports attack by intruders

WARREN – A 19-year-old city woman said she was pinned to the floor by one intruder while two others ransacked her home Monday morning.

Police said Shantel Boss, 3238 Northwest Blvd. N.W., required no medical treatment even though her feet were cut by glass from a window broken out in a rear door of the home shortly after 10 a.m.

Boss said the one man held her in a choke hold while the other two made off with a $200 video game system and two $500 laptop computers.

Spots open on charter review commission

NEWTON FALLS – The village is accepting applications for seven qualified electors interested in serving on the Charter Review Commission.

The commission is formed every five years to review the village’s charter and submit proposed changes to council for approval.

The commission has four months to submit changes, and the terms expire after eight months, according to village clerk Kathy King. The commission sets its own meeting times.

Interested residents should contact King at 330-872-0806 no later than Jan. 31.

Christmas tree pickup set for Cortland homes

CORTLAND – Curbside Christmas tree collection will be offered today and Jan. 10 by the city. Residents who wish to recycle their trees may also drop them off at Willow Park until Jan. 16.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Police play party pooper in Liberty

LIBERTY – A private New Year’s Eve party was broken up by police before it started because a liquor license couldn’t be produced.

The party’s host and promoter booked the Metroplex Hotel and Convention Center about a month ago for a New Year’s Eve bash.

“She (host Tammi Shadd) paid me money to get the food together, I got the food together, I got security together, we got everything together which was required of us,” Zachary Howell, promoter for Big Boss Events, told WYTV 33 News.

But at 10:45 p.m., with close to 50 people already in the ballroom, Liberty police arrived and asked Metroplex manager Dr. Indira Sammy to show them her liquor license, which she couldn’t find.

Sammy said her ownership group has a license to sell liquor on the premises, and a quick check of the Ohio Division of Liquor Control website confirmed that. Police said they needed to see the original document.

Liberty police continue to investigate and more legal action could be pending.

Thirty people plunge into icy Lake Milton

LAKE MILTON – About 30 people dove into the chilly waters of Lake Milton on Tuesday for the ninth annual Polar Bear Plunge.

Men and women were “freezin’ for no reason” as they dressed in swimsuits and outlandish outfits and ran from the Craig Beach swimming area into the lake, according to WYTV 33 News. The event is sponsored by the Grandview Tavern.

“There has been so much trauma in the world that it’s such a happy event and everybody does something unique with no repercussions. Everybody has a great time,” said Polar Bear Plunge organizer Mary Ann Slaven.

Fire officials were on hand to make sure everyone plunged safely. Afterward, everyone was invited back to the Grandview Tavern to warm up with hot drinks.

“I had to do it again because the first time I did not get my hair wet and according to my cousins, that doesn’t count, so I had to do it again,” said Kim Maurice of Wadsworth.

Thousands without power in Cleveland

CLEVELAND – Thousands of Cleveland residents spent part of New Year’s Day without power after a large transformer blew sometime in the morning.

Crews had power restored to most of the 5,300 FirstEnergy customers affected by the outage by Tuesday afternoon.

The outage hit as temperatures hovered in the mid-20s.

City sues to tax base’s civilian employees

RIVERSIDE – A city has gone to federal court in its fight to tax civilian employees and contractors who work on part of an Air Force base.

The city of Riverside near Dayton says a provision of Ohio’s municipal income tax law that prevents it from collecting taxes from employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is unconstitutional.

The Dayton Daily News reported that Riverside claims the law provides an arbitrary and unjustifiable tax exemption to some government employees and contractors.

Ohio argues the state is allowed to pass laws that restrict cities’ taxing authority.

The city lost a similar case in state courts.

Riverside has been trying to collect taxes on a portion of the base since 2007.

Staff, wire reports