News In Brief

Flasher offers to help woman with yard work

WARREN – A city woman told police a man exposed himself to her Thursday afternoon after asking her if she needed help with her yard work.

The woman, who lives on Summit Street N.W., told police she was trimming her hedges around 12:30 p.m. when the man asked her if she needed help. She said when she turned around, the man was standing there exposing himself and he appeared to be sexually aroused, according to a Warren police report.

The woman described the man as dark-skinned, approximately 6 feet tall with a thin build, and “good looking,” the report states. The woman told police he was wearing a red shirt and baggy pants.

The report states the woman’s son pulled up to the house and, after she explained what happened to him, he approached the man, who then threatened him and ran away.

Police identify fatal shooting victim

YOUNGSTOWN – City police have identified a man who died in a shooting on the city’s South Side Thursday night.

Police said they found Daniel Watkins, 19, of Boardman, slumped over in the driver’s seat of a 2000 Pontiac Firebird with multiple gunshot wounds about 11:30 p.m. Reports state he was barely breathing.

Officers found Watkins when they were called to a home at 3721 Loveland Road after receiving reports of gunfire in that area.

March set to oppose drugs and crime

WARREN – The Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board and Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention will hold an anti-drug and crime march from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.

Those participating are asked to meet at the parking lot next to Trumbull Memorial Hospital on Laird Avenue S.E.

The group says it wants to send a message of change and is asking law enforcement, government officials, health officials, neighborhood groups and others to join.

2 men charged in 2010 slaying of teen

CHARDON – Authorities say two northeast Ohio men have been indicted in the 2010 slaying of a 17-year-old boy.

The announcement by Geauga County officials Thursday came three years to the day after Daniel Swan’s body was found bloodied and unconscious in the middle of the road. He died three weeks later.

Indictments were issued for 26-year-old Dustin Plottke and 23-year-old Matthew Boone. Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland said they killed Swan in a “random act of violence” after finding him walking home along a road.

Bank repossesses wrong house in southern Ohio

McARTHUR – A bank says a bad GPS navigator is the reason it repossessed the wrong house – and threw out all the possessions inside.

Homeowner Katie Barnett says her McArthur home was wrongly repossessed while she was away with her family last month. When they returned to the house, the locks had been changed and many of their belongings were missing.

Barnett wants the First National Bank of Wellston to give her $18,000 for the lost items.

Staff, wire reports

News in brief

Group again seeks frack ban in November

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown, Ohio, Community Bill of Rights Committee is renewing its attempt to limit hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas-related activities inside city limits.

The committee said Friday it is coordinating a new door-to-door campaign seeking signatures of registered Youngstown voters to put a question on the November ballot.

The group believes the bill of rights would ensure citizens’ rights to safe drinking water, clean air and land and to local self-governance.

Area economic development leaders have said passage would force stoppage of all natural gas and oil-related operations in the city, lead to economic downturn and hurt property owners who choose to allow drilling on their property.

A similar measure was defeated handily in May.

Perkins group to work in gardens

WARREN – Members of the Historic Perkins Neighborhood Association will work today and Sunday at the rose garden at the entrance to Perkins Park.

The group will meet at 8 a.m. today for weeding and then at 11:30 a.m. Sunday for mulching.

Volunteers who can assist either day are welcome.

Parks reopen after township flooding

WARREN – Trumbull County MetroParks’ Canoe City in Warren Township and Thomas A. Swift Park in Braceville are now open.

The floating dock at Canoe City, however, will be out of service for at least the next week.

Both parks were closed after floodwaters left a thick layer of mud over parking areas.

Visitors should take caution since surfaces still may be slippery.

News in brief

Route 46 crash injures one, closes highway

WEATHERSFIELD – One person was injured and taken to the hospital Thursday in a crash involving a car and tractor-trailer rig.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Barry Floyd, 48, of Mineral Ridge, was driving south on state Route 46 near Salt Springs Road about 4 p.m. when his Buick LaSabre crossed the center line and struck a tractor-trailer head on.

Floyd was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center with non-life threatening injuries, according to the patrol. The driver of the semi, Larry Stryffeler, 50, of Beloit, was not injured.

Floyd was cited with driving left of center. The crash caused the road to be closed for several hours.

Man gets 5 years in violent purse snatching

WARREN – A Warren man apologized to a woman he robbed before being sentenced to serve five years in prison Thursday.

Matthew Bohyer, 34, of South Street S.E., pleaded guilty to the robbery charge and then waived any pre-sentence investigation before Judge Ronald Rice.

Prosecutors described the case as a purse snatching that turned violent in the parking lot of Trumbull Memorial Hospital on March 28. Susan Small, 63, of Warren, suffered two broken arms trying to struggle with Bohyer and keep her purse.

Kent State receives National Science grant

KENT – Kent State University has received a $134,535 grant from the National Science Foundation, according to U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles.

The money will be used for a project named ”Geographies of Health and Medical Programs in a Conflict Society” and is part of the foundation’s Geography and Spatial Sciences Program. It will fund two KSU graduate students and one undergraduate student’s research through April 2015.

News In Brief

Warren trustees to look at lighting district

WARREN TOWNSHIP – Trustees will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the township administration building to discuss the possible formation of a lighting district in the Gillmer Road area.

Ohio debt raises taxes for employers

COLUMBUS – Ohio employers have been paying millions in higher taxes for the state’s failure to repay a federal loan to cover unemployment benefits during the recession, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The state’s failure to repay the $1.5 billion federal debt has left Ohio employers with a $272 million tax increase over the past 18 months, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Ohio taxpayers have paid an additional $136.5 million in interest on the debt since 2011, with another interest payment of $48.5 million due in September.

Employers pay state and federal payroll taxes to fund jobless benefits. But Ohio was among 36 states that didn’t have enough reserves when the recession hit and were forced to borrow from the federal government to keep paying jobless benefits.

U.S. Department of Labor figures show Ohio is among 22 states owing a combined $21 billion.

Racino completing $1 million renovation

NORTH RANDALL – A $1 million renovation project will update technology and amenities on the racing floor of a northeast Ohio racino.

The work at Thistledown Racino is scheduled to be completed by July 27 in time for the 79th running of the Ohio Derby.

Owner Rock Ohio Caesars reopened the historic track this spring as Ohio’s second racino.

Rock Ohio Caesars’ capital investment in Thistledown will be more than $89 million when the racing floor updates are complete.

The latest renovation includes technology upgrades and installation of more than 150 high-definition 60-inch flat screen monitors to televise live Thistledown and simulcast races.

Some school employees allowed to carry guns

NEWCOMERSTOWN – Some employees of an eastern Ohio school district will be allowed to carry guns on school property under a new policy going into effect in the fall.

The Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District board recently approved a policy authorizing certain employees designated by the board and superintendent to carry guns, The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia reported.

The district released few details of the plan allowing selected employees to carry guns in a designated school safety zone.

Staff, wire reports