At a glance

Police respond to double shooting in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN – Two people were shot late Thursday on the city’s East Side.

According to police, the shooting happened just before 10 p.m. in the 700 block of Kendis Circle near Oak Street.

Police said both victims were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center where they were being treated for gunshot wounds. The severity of the injuries were not known at press time.

One victim may have been shot in the head, according to reports.

Youngstown police had to call in for extra officers to conduct crowd control, police said. The investigation is ongoing.

Woman pleads not guilty to murdering boyfriend

A Boardman woman accused of killing her live-in boyfriend pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder.

Tequila M. Haskins, 28, remains at the Mahoning County Jail on a $250,000 bond. She is due in Mahoning County Boardman Area Court on July 16.

Haskins, 812 Moyer Ave., told police she fatally stabbed Brian E. Tubbs about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday after she confronted Tubbs about him being naked with another woman inside their home.

Haskins told police Tubbs “went after her” and she stabbed him.

When officers arrived on Tuesday, Haskins yelled, “I stabbed him and he’s not breathing,” police reports state. Officers noted Haskins’ hands were covered in blood.

Investigators found Tubbs in a second-floor bedroom with blood on the floor and walls.

Man gets two years in pizzeria robbery

WARREN – A Vienna man who robbed a Howland pizza shop was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to a charge of robbery.

Robert Jacob Mealy, 23, of Sunny Dale Drive, confessed to a Howland detective shortly after a woman he was with came forward and said she was unaware that Mealy was going to use an air pistol to hold up the Papa John’s Pizza on Elm Road N.E.

Mealy left the woman and returned later with $516 stolen in the robbery.

Police used a search warrant to recover the air pistol.

Judge Ronald Rice ordered Mealy to pay the money back to Papa John’s after he serves the time.

Tree carving expected to be completed Sunday

MESOPOTAMIA – A wood carver is making progress on a large oak tree after a recent setback with rotten wood.

Rock Creek artist Bob Anderson said if the weather holds out this weekend, he expects to have the 15-foot tree chainsaw carving complete by Sunday. The sculpture is being created out of a 300-year-old oak tree that was heavily damaged by a summer storm beside the End of the Commons General Store in Mesopotamia.

“I know it’s taking me a little longer than expected… it’s the biggest piece I’ve ever done and the hardest wood,” he said.

Champion Township responds to vehicle fire

CHAMPION – Township fire crews were called out shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday to a vehicle fire in the parking lot at Sparkle Market off Mahoning Avenue.

A spokesman with the department said crews doused the flames and there were no injuries.

Sparkle was closed at the time and the car was the only vehicle in the lot.

State: Health insurance costs to rise for Ohioans

A state analysis finds that insurers planning to participate in the new health insurance exchange are projecting their costs to cover Ohioans to be significantly higher.

Ohio’s Department of Insurance released preliminary details Thursday of the health plans seeking state approval to operate in the online marketplace created by the federal health care law.

Staff, wire reports

At a glance

Police investigate body found at Warren motel

WARREN – City police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found at the Riverview Motel on Tuesday.

According to a Warren police report, the 54-year-old man was dead when police arrived at the Parkman Road motel around 3 p.m. The police report indicates suspected drug use.

His name was withheld pending notification of family. No other information was available on Wednesday.

Bill would tweak requirement for sheriff

COLUMBUS – Legislation that would make a small change to the qualifications to be a county sheriff in Ohio has been re-introduced in the House.

Democrat state Rep. Ron Gerberry dropped a bill on Tuesday that would require anyone seeking to be a county sheriff to have at least two years supervisory experience as an officer at the rank of corporal, sergeant or above, or have at least a two-year associate degree.

Now the education requirement provides that a candidate for sheriff must have the equivalent of a two-year post secondary education in semester or quarter hours. The bill requires a two-year degree if the minimum supervisory experience qualification is not met.

Braceville trustees award road project

BRACEVILLE – Township trustees this week approved a contract with D’Orio Paving at $96,000 for the safety upgrade to Shanks Phalanx Road.

Trustee Chairman Todd Brewster said three bids were received for the state Issue 1-funded project with the township paying 30 percent of the costs. The project includes widening and ditching of the road.

Trustee Dennis Kuchta will meet with project officials to discuss work and when the project will begin. Brewster said the project will likely start in late summer or early fall.

Kidnapping suspect off suicide watch at jail

CLEVELAND – Jail officials say the man charged with holding three women captive and raping them over a decade in his Cleveland house is no longer seen as a suicide risk.

Cuyahoga County jail spokesman John O’Brien says 52-year-old Ariel Castro has been taken off “suicide prevention” watch. There was no immediate elaboration on the reason for the change.

Castro has been locked up since he was arrested May 6, shortly after three women emerged from his house and said they had been held captive.

Mom who drowned kids gets limited release

CINCINNATI – An Ohio woman found not guilty by reason of insanity in the bathtub drowning deaths of her two children has been granted conditional release from a mental treatment facility.

A judge in Cincinnati on Wednesday granted 35-year-old Bridget Stovall the conditional release to a group home and ordered monitoring for continued use of her medication as a condition of that release.

Stovall’s lawyer said in 2001 that Stovall believed she was exorcising the devil from her 20-month-old son and 4-year-old daughter and didn’t realize her actions were wrong.

Voter suppression in 2012 debated in Ohio

COLUMBUS – Democratic state lawmakers are questioning a review by local county election boards into instances of voter suppression in Ohio during the 2012 presidential election.

Sen. Nina Turner and Rep. Kathleen Clyde said Wednesday that votes were suppressed when thousands of absentee and provisional ballots were rejected. They contend reports of long lines also discouraged voters.

But Ohio’s Republican elections chief says bipartisan boards conducted an investigation into suppression. Secretary of State Jon Husted said in many cases, the Democrats’ concerns stem from policy decisions that they don’t like.

Staff, wire reports

At a glance

Two men injured in Warren Twp. crash

WARREN TOWNSHIP – Two Warren men were in critical condition at Warren hospitals late Friday after the truck they were riding in veered off the road and struck a utility pole about 7 p.m. on Highland Avenue just south of Sixth Street.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Charles J. Zell Sr., 58, is in critical condition at Trumbull Memorial Hospital, and Charles J. Zell Jr., 38, is in critical condition at St. Joseph Health Center.

Zell Sr. was driving a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck southbound on Highland when he traveled off the right side of the road and struck the utility pole, according to the patrol. The truck sustained heavy damage to the front end.

Neither man was wearing a seatbelt, and toxicology results were not known late Friday. The crash remains under investigation.

Ohio Edison was on the scene afterward restoring power to nearby residents.

Time Warner Cable hits deal with local stations

YOUNGSTOWN – Negotiations to keep WKBN-TV and its sister stations on the air at homes and businesses served by Time Warner Cable bore fruit just moments before the stations were set for blackout Friday afternoon.

WKBN President and General Manager David Coy confirmed just moments after 5 p.m. Friday that a verbal agreement had been reached to keep the station along with WYTV, WYFX and MyYTV on the air in Time Warner Cable’s network.

Coy did not release specific details, including the length or terms of the agreement.

A message left seeking comment from Time Warner Cable was not immediately returned.

Time Warner Cable’s contract to carry the local television stations was set to expire at 5 p.m. If no agreement had been reached, Time Warner would have been legally banned from carrying the local signals on its cable systems.

Man is arraigned in cat killing case

WARREN – The Ohio Avenue man accused of beating a kitten to death this week pleaded not guilty at his arraignment late Thursday to first-degree misdemeanor charges of killing or injuring animals.

Jaycen L. Leapline, 34, 158 Ohio Ave. N.W., is free after posting $3,500 bond. He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing at 10:15 a.m. June 11.

Leapline is accused of killing a 3-month-old cat belonging to his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter on Wednesday.

Pamela Calkins, 31, told police that Leapline beat the kitten against the girl’s bedroom walls and then threw it out a second-story window, according to a Warren police report. Calkins told police she and Leapline had argued over his drinking about 5 a.m. Wednesday before the cat was killed.

Falls sets meeting on comprehensive plan

NEWTON FALLS – The public is invited to a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the village’s comprehensive plan at the community center.

Topics to be covered include transportation, housing, business developments and collaborations with other jurisdictions.

Youngstown crews battle vacant house fire

YOUNGSTOWN – Flames engulfed a vacated residence Thursday night on the city’s East Side.

Youngstown firefighters re-sponded to calls about 10:30 p.m. at a home on East Scott Street.

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Patrol investigates ODNR hacking

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the apparent hacking of the website for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which said Friday that the unauthorized changes never jeopardized any personal information for department employees or the public.

An unauthorized user made changes embedded in the website’s code to redirect visitors or increase Internet traffic at other sites, spokesman Matt Eiselstein said.

Staff, wire reports