News In Brief

Man gets probation

in computer sex case

WARREN – An interpreter certified by the Ohio Supreme Court was used Thursday in court when a man who couldn’t hear was sentenced to five years of probation for using his computer to have sexual conversations with a 12-year-old girl.

Stephen D’Andrea, 23, of Warren, also pleaded guilty to another charge after authorities found he had naked photos of a relative on his cell phone in the fall of 2011.

Both charges were fourth- and fifth-degree felonies.

Judge Ronald Rice also declared D’Andrea a Tier II sex offender, requiring him to register his whereabouts with authorities twice a year for 25 years.

Rice also told D’Andrea he was required to write a letter of apology to the victim in the case, perform 200 hours of community service and was not to have access to the Internet while on probation.

County recorder

warns of scams

WARREN – Trumbull County Recorder Diana Marchese is warning residents of a company from Northbrook, Ill., charging nearly $60 for uncertified copies of property deeds.

Marchese said certified copies can be obtained through her office for $5 and copies can be printed from her website for free.

People who are unable to come into her office, 160 High St. N.W., can send a request, $5 check and self-addressed, stamped envelope. Marchese said the request would be processed the day it’s received.

A certified copy is stamped and can be used as an original document.

County hires two

for maintenance

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners Thursday hired two men to work in the county’s maintenance department.

Matthew A. DiCristofaro and Nick L. Massacci are set to begin Monday.

Both men will earn $9.76 an hour for the first six months of their employment then receive an increase to $10.36 an hour.

Woman beaten over baby-sitting money

YOUNGSTOWN – A city woman told police she was assaulted by a group of at least eight people, some of whom she knew, Wednesday night at her Lauderdale Avenue residence.

Christina Gradillas, 33, told police at least six females and two males came to her door just before 8:30 p.m. and forced their way into her home, locked her in a bedroom and beat her. She said at one point someone hit her in the head with a handgun, according to a Youngstown police report.

The report states Gradillas’ purse, wallet, identification and $169 were taken.

Gradillas told police she owed one of the women $100 for baby-sitting, but had told the woman the day before the alleged assault that she did not have the money to pay her yet.

Police said Gradillas suffered visible bumps and bruises and that her lip was busted open, but she refused medical treatment.

Bristol BOE to interview candidates

BRISTOL – The Bristol Board of Education scheduled a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. Monday at the board office to interview candidates for the elementary principal position.

Current principal Christopher Dray will begin serving as the district’s superintendent this summer. He is replacing Marty Santillo, who is retiring.

Earlier this month, the board hired Tracey Ryser as the new high-school principal to replace Gene Jones, who retired.

Action may be taken at the meeting.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Police suspect burned car is arson case

YOUNGSTOWN – Police are investigating possible arson charges after a car was found burning Friday morning on the city’s East Side.

Youngstown fire crews were called about 8:20 a.m. and found smoke coming from a Chevrolet Impala parked at 144 E. Midlothian Blvd. They saw a man, John Maynard, coming from the rear of the vehicle with a bucket, reports state.

Maynard later said he and his girlfriend, Kristyn Harris, were smoking a cigarette on the side of the apartment building when they noticed the smoke coming from the trunk. Maynard said he kicked a rag out of the fill tube of the gas tank before throwing a bucket of water on the trunk to put out the flames.

Harris said she heard footsteps prior to the blaze, but did not see anyone leaving.

The car is owned by Toni Floyd, who was reportedly awakened from bed prior to looking out the window and seeing her car on fire.

Youngstown police are investigating the cause of the fire. No one was injured and no charges have been filed.

Man at center of scuffle waives extradition

WARREN – It took two days, but the man who scuffled with court security Thursday is now on his way back to Michigan to face a weapons charge.

Rickey Smith, 21, who has an address at 690 Woodbine Ave. S.E., waived his extradition hearing Friday.

One day earlier, however, Smith was in Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice’s courtroom for the same hearing when he had to be removed for repeated complaints that the chains around his waist were too tight. Deputies took Smith out of the courtroom and were re-securing the shackles around one of his legs when he continued to resist and was taken to the floor while one of the deputies used pepper spray on him.

Smith’s younger brother, Peirre Earl, 13, 358 Voorheis St., Pontiac, Mich., rushed the courtroom door from inside the room in an attempt to help his brother. Earl reportedly either punched or elbowed Deputy Joellen Weaver on the right side of her face.

Earl was being held in the juvenile lockup, charged with obstructing justice and assault on a police officer.

Law enforcement nabs 3 wanted on warrants

WARREN – The U.S. Marshal’s Task Force went to a Roosevelt Street residence to serve a federal warrant on a California man and arrested him as well as two other people also wanted on outstanding warrants.

According to police reports, officers arrested Harvey Robert IV, 39, 8803 Darby Ave., Northride, Calif., on a federal warrant for drug trafficking / conspiracy-dangerous drugs charges. Harvey was taken to Ohio Federal Court in Youngstown.

Also arrested were DeShawn Smith, 26, 948 George Place S.W., Warren, on a carrying concealed weapons charge from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, and Derricka Thrash, 27, Lane Drive S.W., Warren, on a Warren Police Department warrant on an assault charge and for failure to appear for a court appearance.

Smith was transported to Mahoning County Jail. Thrash was transported to the Trumbull County Jail.

Man held on $1 million bond in beating death

WARREN – A city man is due back in court next month after pleading not guilty Friday to killing his ex-girlfriend’s father.

Jarred Watson, 28, is facing an aggravated murder charge in the Sunday death of George Myers, 57, of Dickey Avenue N.W.

His pre-trial hearing is set for June 6 before Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice, and his bond was set at $1 million.

Trumbull County Coroner Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk ruled Tuesday that Myers died from multiple blunt force traumatic injuries. Police said it appeared he died from being beaten to death with a blunt object and may have been stomped to death.

Police said Watson is Myers’ daughter’s ex-boyfriend.

Myers’ death marks the city’s fourth homicide of 2013. Warren had five homicides last year.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Man facing death penalty in shooting

YOUNGSTOWN – A city man accused in the shooting of a woman earlier this week is facing the death penalty.

Tribune Chronicle newspartner WYTV 33 News reported that Willie G. Wilks Jr., 41, of Elm Street, was indicted Thursday by a Mahoning County grand jury on charges of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications in the fatal shooting Orora Wilkins, 20, Tuesday on the city’s North Side. Wilkins was sitting on a front porch and holding a five-month-old baby at the time.

Wilks was also charged a lesser murder charge and two counts of attempted murder in the shooting of Alexander Morales, 24, and shooting near the baby. He is also facing two counts of felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm into a home and having weapons despite being prohibited to do so by law.

The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force apprehended Wilks on Wednesday following a short car and foot chase outside the Rockford Village Apartments on Youngstown’s East Side. Police found a semiautomatic handgun and $1,680 after the chase.

Police said Wilks shot Wilkins and Morales about 5 p.m. Tuesday while the two were sitting on the front porch at 725 Park Ave. Police said he was seeking Wilkins’ brother.

Morales was shot trying to get back into the house, police said. The 5-month-old belongs to Wilkins’ best friend, Renea Jenkins.

Three people shot at while inside vehicle

WARREN – A city man told police three men shot at a truck that he and two other people, including a 3-year-old boy, were in Wednesday night.

The vehicle was parked in the driveway at the residence of one of the victims, a 43-year-old Garden Street man, about 10:40 p.m. when three men punched the truck, ordered the occupants out of the vehicle before firing three shots, according to a Warren police report.

No one was injured, and no bullets struck the truck, police said.

Later, three men were identified as the individuals involved. Police took one of the men, a 19-year-old Warren resident, to the police station for a gunshot-residue test after the 43-year-old identified him as the shooter. However, he was released “on investigation,” the police report states.

Officers noted they found no gun or shell casings.

Former teacher accused of date-rape

YOUNGSTOWN – A former Boardman Center Middle School teacher now living in Florida was indicted Thursday on rape charges.

Tribune Chronicle newspartner WYTV 33 News reported that Jay Dana, 56, formerly of Columbiana, is accused of using a concoction similar to grain alcohol to impair three women authorities said he eventually date-raped.

A Mahoning County grand jury indicted Dana, now of Fort Myers, Fla., on three first-degree felony rape counts. He is not currently in police custody, authorities said.

Prosecutors claim that Dana raped one woman in July 2006, another in September 2006 and another in May 2011.

He is a former Boardman High School freshman basketball coach.

Dana’s wife, Michele Dana, 44, died mysteriously on Christmas Day 2010 from alcohol poisoning from the combined effects of alcohol and pseudoephedrine. The Columbiana police department investigated the case but calls it unsolved.

Tribune Chronicle

News in brief

Man: Stun guns stolen from car

WARREN – A Youngstown man reported items were taken from his vehicle by two men claiming to be police officers in the parking lot of a Warren business.

Nathan Haynes, 34, told Warren police that two white males carrying badges and guns and wearing plainclothes identified themselves as police officers in the parking lot of a laundry on 555 South St. S.E. in Warren on Thursday before taking individually packaged stun guns valued at $210 from his vehicle. The incident occurred shortly after 11 a.m.

According to reports, the two men gave names unknown to Warren police or other area law enforcement agencies, and the offense is being investigated as theft by deception.

Water boil alert issued in Vienna

VIENNA – Due to a service line break, Trumbull County water customers in Vienna Township on Niles Vienna Road between Warren Sharon Road and south to 692 Niles Vienna Road are advised to boil their water used for consumption until further notice.

A boil advisory means that people take precaution and boil the tap water used for drinking, cooking or other ingestion to a rolling boil for three to five minutes before cooling for use.

Housing offices closing periodically

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offices will close Friday and maybe six more times through August as a result of automatic across-the-board federal spending cuts that took effect in March.

A news release from HUD says that if action isn’t taken to overcome the spending cuts, the offices will be closed again June 14, July 5 and 22 and Aug. 2, 16 and 30.

Johnston trustees to discuss abatement

JOHNSTON – Township trustees will hold an abatement hearing at noon Monday at the township hall to review, discuss and abate nuisance removal from property at 5697 Stoddard Hayes Road, Farmdale.

Trustees will then hold a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. to act on the outcome of the preceding abatement hearing.

Nuisance is defined as vegetation, garbage and other debris located on a property.

Hartford officials to meet on storm, oil lease

HARTFORD – Hartford Township trustees will hold a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the township hall to discuss finances for the police department, township insurance claims from storm damage and a BP oil lease.

Former Youngstown resident killed in crash

BEDFORD HEIGHTS – A former Youngstown woman, who recently moved to the Solon area, was killed in a crash early Friday morning.

Sharella Thomas, 42, rear-ended a tow truck about 10:30 a.m. on the Interstate 271 northbound ramp to I-480 westbound in Bedford Heights, police said.

The impact sent the tow truck into the two vehicles in front of it. Those three drivers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The ramp was closed for two hours.

News In Brief

‘Boom Boom’ Mancini coming home for visit

YOUNGSTOWN – Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini is scheduled to visit Mahoning County today to promote his book.

Mancini, a native of Youngstown, will make a public appearance at 2 p.m. at Park Vista of Youngstown on Fifth Avenue.

He will be signing copies of his book “The Good Son: The Life of Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini,” which will be available for purchase.

Mancini began his boxing career in 1979 and retired in 1992. Over that period, he amassed a record of 29-5 and held several belts, including the WBC lightweight title.

Johnston trustees to hold abatement hearing

JOHNSTON Township trustees have rescheduled the starting time of their meeting to 8 p.m. today at the VFW Hall, 5922 Warren Road, due to an abatement hearing on property located at 5970 Youngstown Kingsville Road.

Fiscal Officer John Moran said the abatement hearing will start at 7:30 p.m., also at the VFW Hall. The trustees meeting was originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Lordstown to discuss force main project

LORDSTOWN – Village Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. today at the municipal building to vote on a change order for SET Inc. regarding the village’s force main on the eastside sewer.

Trumbull County veterans sought

WARREN – Memorial Day is just around the corner.

And as the nation takes a day to honor the men and women who served in the Armed Forces, the Tribune Chronicle re-launches its annual veteran profile series.

Since 2003, the newspaper has run a profile of a Trumbull County veteran every Monday between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

If you are a Trumbull County veteran or know someone who is and would like to be profiled, contact Metro Editor Jim Wyko at 330-841-1785 or; or Assistant Metro Editor Burton Cole at 330-841-1758 or

Everyone profiled is also invited to take part in the annual Veterans Day Parade in Warren.

Man hurt in wrong-way crash in northwest Ohio

BOWLING GREEN – A wrong-way crash on Interstate 75 has left one man injured on the same stretch of highway in northwest Ohio where a wrong-way crash killed three sorority sisters a year ago.

The site of Sunday morning’s crash is just a few miles from where the three Bowling Green State University students were killed in March 2012.

The State Highway Patrol says alcohol and drugs are believed to be a factor in the crash Sunday.

Troopers say a 29-year-old Bowling Green man was hurt when his pickup truck smacked into a tractor-trailer.

The driver of the rig was treated and released.

Ohio group to manage drone contest for NASA

DAYTON – NASA has selected an Ohio nonprofit organization to manage a contest aimed at helping unmanned aerial vehicles fly safely in civilian airspace.

NASA said Friday that it picked Development Projects Inc. in Dayton to run the competition involving the vehicles commonly referred to as drones.

The Dayton Daily News reports the contest is expected to draw competing teams from across the country to fly robotic aircraft in restricted airspace above the Camp Atterbury military operating range in southern Indiana.

The program executive of the NASA Centennial Challenges Program in Washington says the first stage of the competition to start next year will test the unmanned vehicles’ capabilities to avoid aircraft broadcasting their location and direction.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Investigators:?Arsonist sets fire in vacant house

WARREN – City fire investigators are looking into the cause of a late Wednesday night fire at a vacant house on Warren’s southwest side.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said the fire at 656 Oak Circle S.W. was intentionally set in the house’s living room. Damage to the home estimated to be worth $15,000 is about $5,000. The fire happened shortly before midnight and was reported by a neighbor.

Report: Ohio prisons cutting medical costs

COLUMBUS – Authorities say Ohio prisons cut more than $26 million from inmate medical expenses last year.

That’s according to a new report from the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee released Wednesday. It shows a 15.2-percent reduction in prison medical expenses last year.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a $2 inmate co-pay, mail-order drugs, requiring prisoners to buy their own aspirin, and other measures allowed the savings.

The state paid $188.3 million for prison medical expenses last year, compared with 211.5 million in 2011, and $222.8 million in 2010.

University of Akron tries to cut remedial students

AKRON – The University of Akron is taking steps to filter out students who are not ready for college.

University trustees have approved a renewed effort to cut down on the number of students taking remedial course work that won’t count toward a degree.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the students filtered out would be referred to area community colleges before being admitted to University of Akron. The university started redirecting remedial students to community colleges last year.

U.S. rep to talk energy with Regional Chamber

CANFIELD – Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson will discuss U.S. energy policy and its affect on manufacturing May 30 at a Regional Chamber luncheon. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at A La Cart Catering, 429 Lisbon St., Canfield.

To register, call 330-744-2131, Ext. 12; email; or go to the chamber’s website,, under “upcoming events.” The cost is $25.

Johnson represents the southern portion of Mahoning County.

Inspiring Minds founder speaks at commencement

WARREN – Deryck Toles, founder and executive director of Inspiring Minds, will serve as the guest speaker today for the spring commencement ceremony of Kent State University at Trumbull.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W.

In 2006, Toles founded Inspiring Minds with a goal to help at-risk youth become independent, fully contributing members of society. Inspiring Minds offers tours of college campuses, helps to improve academic and athletic skills and focuses on community service.

In 2012, Toles inaugurated a summer athletics and academics program for middle- and high-school youth in Warren City Schools, and will pilot “On My Own” to help Inspiring Minds students learn healthy cooking, household management, budgeting and other life skills.

Teen points authorities to bodies of two others

OTTAWA – Authorities in northwest Ohio say two of three teenage boys named in an Amber Alert were found dead after the third teen was located several counties away and told authorities where the bodies were.

Ottawa police said the Thursday morning alert about two missing 17-year-old boys and a missing 14-year-old boy was issued after a mother returned to a Putnam County trailer home and found a crime scene. Police and the sheriff released no details about that scene, the bodies or where they were later found.

Staff, wire reports

News in brief

Grohl Alley festival set for Saturday in Warren

WARREN – The Grohl Alley burger and the Grohl Alley beer will be unveiled during a festival scheduled for 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday on David Grohl Alley downtown.

The festival is being sponsored by Main Street Warren.

The Warren G. Harding High School marching band will perform at 6 p.m., while the burger and beer will be unveiled at 6:15 p.m. There also will be an art show from Trumbull Art Gallery and live music until 10 p.m.

Visitors can walk the alley and see the updates.

The event is free and is open to the public.

For more information, write to

Bike ride deadline coming May 18

The deadline to register for WOW 2013, the World of Wildlife Tour bicycle ride, is May 18.

The ride takes place on the Western Reserve Greenway in Trumbull and Ashtabula counties on June 8. Participants can ride 20, 40 or 68 miles, or a distance of their choosing.

Proceeds will benefit the portion of the greenway in Trumbull County. Previous rides have funded materials for the pavilion at the Oakfield Trailhead and sealing the trail in 2012. So far, more than $38,000 has been raised from the rides.

More information is available at, or by calling 330-647-3666 or 330-675-3072. Information is also available at local bicycle shops and at the YMCA in Warren.

Deryck Toles to speak at commencement

CHAMPION – Kent State University at Trumbull students will hear from guest speaker Deryck Toles, founder and executive director of Inspiring Minds, during spring commencement.

The ceremony is set for 7 p.m. May 10 at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren.

Graduates from the previous summer and fall terms will be recognized along with spring graduates. The ceremony will last approximately one hour.

The Inspiring Minds organization has provided more than $40,000 in scholarships and assists area students with improving academic performance as well as provides preparation for college, vocational school and the workplace.

NH auction to feature EKG of Armstrong

AMHERST, N.H. – A New Hampshire auction house will soon accept bids on space and aviation artifacts, including an electrocardiogram of Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong’s heartbeat taken when he first set foot on the moon.

Amherst-based RR Auction will take bids on the EKG recording and other artifacts during an online auction from May 16 through May 23.

Auction officials say over 85 lots of Apollo 11 material will be featured in the auction.

Armstrong, a one-time resident of Champion, took his “giant step for mankind” on July 20, 1969.

Buzz Aldrin later joined him on the moon’s surface.

Armstrong died in August at age 82.