Area news briefs

Youngstown man found guilty in 1997 murder

JEFFERSON – A jury in Ashtabula on Wednesday found a Youngstown man guilty on two of three charges in a 1997 murder case.

John Drummond Jr., 36, of Youngstown, was charged in connection with the 1997 shooting of Ronald ”Maceo” Hull in Ashtabula.

Wednesday was the jury’s third day of deliberations as it considered two counts of aggravated murder and kidnapping charged against Drummond.

The trial began Aug. 22 in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court. Prosecutors said Drummond believed Hull stole $10,000 from a friend. Hull was beaten, pistol-whipped and shot four times.

Four others – George Church, Jawann Evans, Eric Weaver and Stephen Boles – were all charged with kidnapping and murder in January. The murder charges were dropped in exchange for testifying against Drummond. All four pleaded guilty to kidnapping.

Man says he was intentionally hit by car

WARREN – A man told city police a female driver struck him in the legs with her vehicle Monday evening after he yelled at her to “slow down.”

Michael Czechowski, 23, of Greenlawn Avenue N.W. said he was walking through the parking lot to enter the Giant Eagle on Mahoning Avenue around 8:15 p.m. when a mid-sized red car almost hit him, according to a Warren police report.

The report states that Czechowski yelled at the driver, ”Slow down,” but instead she stopped her car, put it in reverse and hit him in the legs. The woman took off, reports state.

The police report indicates Czechowski suffered apparent minor injuries. Czechowski stated he did not call police at the time of the incident, but it is not clear why. The police report indicates Czechowski reported the incident Tuesday afternoon.

Youngstown man charged in shooting

YOUNGSTOWN – A Youngstown man is being held in the Mahoning County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond on accusations he shot another man three times last week.

Teon Stennis, 20, of Alameda Avenue, was ordered held Wednesday on felonious assault charges. He entered no plea, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

Stennis is accused of shooting Kewann Skinner, 19, of Youngstown, at about 6 p.m. Aug. 18 in front of 94 Jean St. Skinner was shot once in the buttocks and twice in the leg, according to police.

Skinner was treated at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Witnesses told police the shooter fled in a black Nissan SUV. Officers found three shell casings in the area.

Area news briefs

Copper thieves steal gutters off restaurant

WARREN – Scrap thieves made a bold move recently after operators of Cafe 422 on Youngstown Road S.E. discovered Monday that their copper gutters were stolen right off the restaurant.

It was only during the last three weeks that the gutters were removed. An employee at the restaurant also alerted police that a storm sewer cover in the parking lot also was stolen.

Police were checking with nearby security cameras for any clues.

Candidates withdraw in Howland and Falls

WARREN – Two people have taken themselves out of consideration for elected office in Howland and in Newton Falls.

Tara Treharn Keating withdrew her candidacy Aug. 20 for a seat on the Howland Board of Education, and Robert Burke bowed out on June 11 for the Third Ward council seat in Newton Falls.

Kelly Pallante, director of the Trumbull County Board of Education, said the candidates’ names will not appear on the Nov. 5 ballot because they withdrew within the time frame allowed in Ohio, which is 70 days before an election.

Girard man arrested with gun and drugs

LIBERTY – A Speedway gas station on Belmont Avenue became the site of an arrest early Tuesday when an officer noticed the grip of a firearm sticking out of a customer’s pocket. A search by the officer resulted in heroin also being found on the man, police said.

Maurice Anderson, 30, of Churchill Road, Girard, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, having weapons while under disability, trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs.

The officer spotted the concealed weapon while in line at the Speedway about 2:27 a.m., reports state. The man told police he forgot the gun was in his pocket, but he carries it for protection because he has been shot at in the past, police said.

During a search, police found several bags with a brown substance, later confirmed as heroin. The prescription drug lidocaine was also found on Anderson, along with three unknown tablets and U.S. currency, the report states.

Anderson was transported to the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, where he awaits arraignment by Girard Municipal Court.

Girard vandals target windshield, tires

GIRARD – A city man reported severe damage to his vehicle Tuesday along East Liberty Street, including a broken windshield and slashed tires. The victim believes his 1974 Chevrolet Corvette was intentionally targeted for vandalism, police said.

The damage includes all four tires punctured, a brick thrown through the windshield, both front seats cut, punctures to the dashboard, electrical damage done by the cutting of wires and damage to both door panels, reports said.

Police are investigating the incident.

Firefighters trained in oilfield emergencies

WARREN – Firefighters from several local departments will participate next month in a workshop training about responding to oilfield emergencies.

Johnston Township fire and EMS will participate from Trumbull County at the Sept. 7 and 8 event in Wayne County being sponsored by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program. Also scheduled to participate are firefighters from Sebring Fire Department in Mahoning County and Paris and Palmyra township fire departments in Portage County.

The training will assist experienced emergency responders with commonly used industry practices, references and standards. It will include both classroom and hands-on training and is endorsed by the Ohio Society of Fire Service Instructors, the Ohio Fire and Emergency Services Foundation and the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association.

Tribune Chronicle

Area news briefs

Cortland woman killed in car crash on Route 5

JOHNSTON – A Cortland woman was killed Monday when her car collided with a semi-trailer on state Route 5.

Rachel Lynn Davis, 22, of Erie Street, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The crash occurred just east of state Route 11 at about 6:35 p.m. when police said a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Davis was traveling eastbound before driving left-of-center into the path of a semi-trailer heading westbound.

Davis’ vehicle was struck head-on by the truck driven by Rohan M. Powell, 46, of Ontario, Canada.

Powell was transported to St. Joseph Health Center in Warren where he was treated and released.

Traffic on state Route 5 was detoured for more than three hours while crews worked to clear the scene.

Troopers were assisted by Johnston Township fire and EMS, Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Youngstown bicyclist dies after hit-and-run

YOUNGSTOWN – Police are looking for the driver of a vehicle who struck and killed a Youngstown woman late last week.

According to police, Lori Fiscus, 53, was riding a bicycle about 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the 2500 block of Elm Street when she was struck by a blue Pontiac Grand Am traveling in the northbound lane. She was pronounced dead at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Police are seeking the vehicle, reports said, which sustained damage to the hood and windshield. Anyone with information should contact Youngstown police at 330-742-8911.

Decaying tree falls

on truck in Boardman

BOARDMAN – A large decaying tree fell on the hood of a truck being driven by a Canfield man Monday afternoon, pinning him in the car.

Jason Bartholomew, 31, is being treated at the hospital, reports said, after his 2002 GMC Sonoma was crushed while heading north on Lockwood Boulevard near Shields Road.

The oak tree crushed the car’s hood, driving the steering column onto Bartholomew’s legs, preventing him from being able to exit the vehicle, according to reports.

Rescue workers with the Boardman Fire Department had to use the jaws of life to free Bartholomew. His injuries were not life-threatening, but his legs and arm were broken in the accident.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, reports said, and Lockwood Boulevard near Shields Road was closed until the tree was removed.

Ohio to begin baiting with rabies vaccine

COLUMBUS – Ohio began putting out baits laced with rabies vaccine on Monday in the eastern part of the state in an effort to stop the disease from spreading.

The Ohio Department of Health says the baiting will continue through Sept. 20 and cover 4,334 square miles. The coated baits intended for raccoons are about the size of ketchup packets. They are white and rolled in a brown fishmeal glaze known to attract raccoons.

Baits will be distributed by aircraft and vehicles.

Five raccoon-rabies cases have been confirmed this year. The cases include four raccoons in Mahoning County and one cat in Trumbull County.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects people and animals and is almost always fatal.

Bats, raccoons and skunks pose the greatest risk of rabies in Ohio.

Girard police seeking vehicle vandals

GIRARD – Two vehicles were vandalized Sunday evening along North State Street, police said.

According to reports, police responded to the scene about 9 p.m. in the parking lot of the Slovenian Hall where four tires were punctured on two vehicles. Girard police are investigating the incident.

Area news briefs

Austintown woman faces rape charges

AUSTINTOWN – An Austintown woman has been charged with rape in connection with a child pornography case involving a Niles man neighbors know as Santa Claus.

Connie Ramirez, 43, appeared in Austintown Municipal Court Wednesday to answer to charges of rape, gross sexual imposition, pandering obscenity involving a minor and pandering sexually explicit matter involving a minor, according to Tribune news partner WYTV 33.

The charges against Ramirez spur from a July raid at a Mason Street home in Niles that led to 25 pandering charges being filed against William F. Brock Sr., 65, who was know to some neighbors as “Santa Claus.”

It was during that investigation that authorities traced photos of a child in sexual situations to a phone owned by Ramirez.

She is being held on $500,000 bond. If she posts bond, she is forbidden from having contact with any children, specifically the alleged victim.

Ramirez is due back in court Aug. 28 for a preliminary hearing.

Lowellville man is indicted on sex charges

CLEVELAND A 50-year-old Lowellville man was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday for receiving and distributing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possessing child pornography.

The indictment charges that on or about June 19 Paul C. Schumacher Jr. knowingly received and distributed computer files that contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Additionally, the indictment charges that on July 30 Schumacher possessed a computer containing child pornography.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the judge who will consider different factors including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

Area news briefs

Canfield motorcyclist dies in I-680 crash

YOUNGSTOWN – A Canfield man died late Monday in a motorcycle accident on Interstate 680.

Zachary R. Zarlenga, 32, died after he was speeding at about 10 p.m. on I-680 southbound past the Mahoning Avenue exit and hit the rear of an SUV, the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office reported Tuesday.

Zarlenga was not wearing a helmet. He was pronounced dead at 10:39 p.m. in the emergency room of St. Elizabeth Health Center, according to the coroner’s office.

The accident shut down the highway for more than two hours, according to WYTV 33 News.

Police chase ends with crashes into two utility poles

YOUNGSTOWN – A police chase ended with crashes into two utility poles on Youngstown’s South Side Tuesday evening.

The police chase started about 8 p.m. on South Avenue near Midlothian Boulevard and ended about 2 miles later at the intersection of Williamson Avenue. The driver sheared off one telephone pole during the chase, but didn’t stop until he wrapped his car around a second pole, according to Tribune Chronicle newspartner WYTV 33 News.

The driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, reports state. His name has not been released, but police said charges are pending.

It was not released yet what set off the chase.

Fourth rabid raccoon found in Mahoning

YOUNGSTOWN – A fourth raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Mahoning County.

The raccoon was found near Market Street and Meadowbrook Avenue in Boardman, according to WYTV 33 News.

Officials from the local U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services confirmed the positive test results. The animal was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for variant typing.

In April and May, three raccoons found in Struthers, Boardman and Canfield tested positive for the rabies virus, according to 33 News.

Appeal hearings set in liquor permit cases

Ohio’s Liquor Control Commission will hold appeal hearings on Sept. 11 on the renewal of liquor permits for Gadd’s Olympic Inn and Blue Magoo’s Ventures LLC, which held the permit for the Sunset Lounge on East Market Street.

In the case involving Gadd’s Olympic Inn on Parkman Road N.W., Warren won its objection with Ohio’s Division of Liquor Control to the 2012-13 permit renewal. However, the city had its objection to the renewal of Blue Magoo’s 2012-13 permit overruled by the state.

Gadd’s Olympic Inn is appealing the nonrenewal of its license and Warren is challenging the state’s ruling on Blue Magoo’s Ventures’ permit.

Area news briefs

City firefighters busy with morning blazes

WARREN – City crews were called to extinguish two fires early Monday morning – one residential and the other commercial.

No injuries were reported in either case. Warren fire Chief Ken Nussle said both blazes were contained quickly.

The first one started about 2 a.m. at a home at 1628 Hamilton St. S.W. Nussle said the two-story structure is occupied, but no one was home when the fire started. He said the fire, reported by a neighbor, originated in a second-floor bedroom. The cause is under investigation. Nussle said early estimates indicate $12,000 in damage. The house is owned by Renee Wilson. It was not clear whether Wilson lives there or if someone rents the property.

The second fire at the business Current Inc., 455 North River Road N.W. near Sferra Boulevard, was reported at 3:30 a.m. Nussle said the fire started when a piece of equipment overheated. He said the fire was contained to that piece of equipment, worth about $250,000, and that the sprinkler system was activated.

A man who answered the phone at the business later in the day Monday said business would not be affected by the fire.

Head Start program announces cuts

Approximately 57,000 children have been cut from this year’s Head Start Program nationwide as a result of Congress’ budgetary sequestration, the program announced Monday.

“The decision to take away funding for high-quality early learning for tens of thousands of young Americans is indefensible morally and economically,” wrote Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Cuts to Head Start were the largest in its history with a 5.1 percent reduction announced by the National Head Start Association in January. Of the 57,000 children, more than 51,000 are between the ages of 3 and 5, while 6,000 are part of the Early Head Start program for pregnant women and children up to 3 years old.

There will also be cuts of 1.3 million days of service, 18,000 fewer hours of service through shortened school days and the termination or reduction in hours of 18,000 employees.

Flooding meeting planned for Newton

NEWTON FALLS – Officials will hold a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the community center to discuss recent flooding in the area.

Village manager Jack Haney invited residents to the meeting where he said there will be topographical and utility maps of the area. Those with property damage are encouraged to attend the meeting and bring photos.

Village officials are hoping to gather more information on the widespread damage so they can bring it to the attention of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Residents unable to attend may email photos and reports to the village clerk at

Area news briefs

Liberty police warn of scam aimed at elderly

LIBERTY – Police here are looking for two men they believe are trying to scam senior citizens out of money.

Police said they have received two reports of senior citizens being approached at Giant Eagle and at the PNC Bank, state Route 304 and Belmont Avenue, recently.

The men tell them that they have inherited money and that they need them to go to their banks and take out money, according to Liberty police.

Police said the senior citizens are told that once they give the men the “earnest” money they can split the inheritance with them.

“We’re just trying to put it out there to warn people and to also locate these men and stop them,” explained Liberty police Chief Rich Tisone.

Individuals who have had contact with these men or have any information are asked to contact Liberty police at 330-759-1511 or 330-675-2730.

Tractor-trailer collides with SUV in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN – A tractor-trailer and SUV collided in Youngstown on Wednesday afternoon, causing the SUV to flip onto its roof.

The accident happened around 2:10 p.m. at the intersection of Himrod Avenue and North Hine Street.

Witnesses told police a tractor-trailer hauling pipe was traveling east on North Hine Street when the driver failed to stop at a stop sign, hitting a Jeep Cherokee exiting the Himrod Expressway from behind and causing it to flip over, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV-33.

The top half of the Jeep was crushed.

A man and woman in the Jeep were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Reports indicate the woman was in stable condition. The condition of the man was not known. Both victims were talking to emergency crews at the scene.

The driver of the truck was not injured, according to reports.

Family: Ohio boy, 15, killed saving boy, 6

VOLANT, Pa. – The family and friends of a 15-year-old Ohio boy killed by a suspected drunken driver in western Pennsylvania say he pushed a 6-year-old out of the way of the vehicle.

The Associated Press is not identifying the 25-year-old woman suspected in Austin Rife’s death because Pennsylvania State Police were still investigating the today incident in Springfield Township, Mercer County.

Police say the pickup drove off a road and traveled about 80 yards through a field before it hit Rife and his 37-year-old mother, Stephanie, who were fishing at a farm pond about 11:45 p.m. Family friend Doug Reiber says Austin Rife saw the approaching truck and grabbed the younger boy, who was not hit.

Reiber says the Rifes were visiting from Dayton.

Man accused of human trafficking in Ohio

TOLEDO – A traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike led to the discovery of two women who say they were driven across the country and forced into prostitution by a man who advertised them on the Internet, state troopers said.

A California man who was driving with the women was charged with human trafficking and arraigned Wednesday.

Investigators said one of the women broke down crying and asked a trooper to help them during the traffic stop Tuesday just outside Toledo.

The women, both in their 20s, were fearful and didn’t open up until the suspect was out of the car and away from them, said patrol Lt. William Stidham.

James D. Jackson, 21, of Sacramento, made an initial appearance on human trafficking and weapons charges in Maumee Municipal Court and was scheduled to appear again today. Court officials said he did not yet have an attorney.

Jackson drove the women to meet with customers in several states and forced them to turn over their money to him, Stidham said.

He would not say how long the women had been traveling with Jackson.

Area news briefs

Two charged in theft attempt of car parts

WARREN – Two people accused of trying to steal radiators and batteries from a local business remained at the Trumbull County Jail on Monday in lieu of $3,500 bond.

Michelle Cox, 35, and Alan C. Jones, 31, both of 2837 Carrie Ave., Southington, are charged with felony breaking and entering.

They were arrested after they were seen breaking into and entering WTR Services at 2421 W. Market St. on Sunday afternoon, according to a Warren police report.

The report states the two were in the process of removing the 20 radiators and batteries, at a total value of $32,500, from the business when they were arrested.

Resident detains woman for police

WARREN – A Hubbard woman is facing aggravated burglary and drug possession charges after a Berkshire Drive resident came home, discovered her inside her apartment and held her down until officers arrived, according to police reports.

Police said they transported Jamie L. Gillespie, 26, to the Trumbull County Jail, where she remained Monday, jail staff confirmed. She is accused of trying to steal jewelry from the residence.

Ohio AG rejects petition to legalize pot

COLUMBUS – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize the use of marijuana in the state.

DeWine on Monday rejected the proposal, saying the petition’s summary was not “fair and truthful.”

A DeWine spokesman said the proposed regulatory scheme did not restrict the use of cannabis to medicinal purposes.

DeWine in a statement explained some of the submitted ballot summary’s “defects.” Among them is its mention that classes may be offered to explain to people the medical harms or benefits from the use of marijuana. Yet, DeWine said such language referencing the harms or benefits is not in the amendment itself.

The proponents needed DeWine’s approval before gathering the roughly 386,000 valid signatures needed by next July to get the issue before voters in Nov. 2014.

Area news briefs

Firefigthers burn church

for training exercise

BRACEVILLE – Braceville, Garrettsville and Southington fire departments trained firefighting techniques Saturday morning after setting an old church on fire.

First Christian Church on Church Street, built in 1874, was used for the training exercise. The congregation moved into a new church built on the property several years ago.

Parishioners tried to sell the old church and its timbers but later donated it to the fire department, according to WYTV 33 News.

Teen killed, mother hurt

when hit by truck at pond

MERCER COUNTY, Pa. – A Dayton area teenager was killed and his mother injured after they were struck by a drunken driver while fishing, police said.

Austin Rife, 15, and Stephani Rife, 37, of Kettering, were fishing along the shoreline of a farm pond on Old Ash Road in Mercer County just before midnight Thursday when they were struck, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Mercer.

Brittany Raskowsky, 25, of Grange Hall Road in New Castle, Pa., was driving a 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck south on Springfield Township road when the truck dropped off the road and plowed through a field before striking the mother and son, police said.

Raskowsky was charged with DUI. Additional charges are pending, police said.

Area news briefs

Fire marshal offers

reward in Warren case

WARREN – The State Fire Marshal has taken up the case of an arson in which a Warren woman was found dead last week.

Lori Wishart, 41, was found about 1:40 p.m. Aug. 2 in her 461 Parkman Road home. Firefighters removed an unconscious Wishart from the home shortly after arriving. No one else was at the home.

A Blue Ribbon Arson Reward sign has been posted at the address. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee for information leading to the identification of anyone responsible for the fire.

“It is imperative that individuals come forward,” State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers said in a news release.

Anyone with information is asked to call the State Fire Marshal’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau at 800-589-2728.

Walkthrough planned

for two Niles schools

NILES – Two Niles elementary schools that are scheduled for demolitions will have final public walkthroughs from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Washington School, 805 Hartzell Ave., and Jackson School, 522 Emma St., will be open for residents who want to see the buildings one last time. Interim Superintendent Frank Danso said the public also will be able to see items in the buildings and may place bids on certain items for sale.

Two new elementary buildings, one a K-2 at the former Lincoln School site, and the other a 3-5 building at the former Bonham School site, will open this school year.

This past school year, Washington housed grades 3 to 5, and Jackson was used for kindergarten students.

Robbery connected

to Internet exchange

GIRARD – A city man told police he was robbed Wednesday night after setting up a sale on the website Craigslist.

The victim, William Blakely of Dearborn Street, told police that he met with two men about 5 p.m. at his residence in a pre-discussed sale of 22-inch car rims. The pair attempted to pay the $4,000 price with a check. When Blakely said the transaction was to be made with cash only, one of the men pulled a semi-automatic handgun and held it on him while the other robber loaded the rims into their vehicle, the police report states.

The two, described as black men in their early 20s, said they were from the Canton area, the report states.

Father and son case

headed to grand jury

JEFFERSON – An Ashtabula County grand jury will hear the case of a father and son who have been charged with shooting two Amish teens last month. Kenneth C. Jameson, 61, and Michael C. Jameson, 30, waived preliminary hearings that were set for Wednesday morning in Western County Court.

Victims Daniel Burkholder, 18, of Geauga County, and a 17-year-old female were among 10 passengers, plus the driver, in an Amish transport van that had gone to the Jameson residence, 6044 Huntley Road, on July 27 to retrieve a radio stored in a barn with the Jamesons’ permission.

The Jamesons noticed the vehicle, thought it was trespassers, and fired multiple rounds from a handgun and shotgun at the van, sheriff’s reports state. The wounded teenagers are expected to survive.

Area news briefs

Police, fire search for bear in Champion

CHAMPION – Several people reported sightings of a black bear Tuesday evening in the area around the township, officials said.

Champion fire officials reported the bear was seen around St.William Catholic Church and later along High Street.

Both the police and fire departments had received numerous calls by 9:45 p.m., officials said, but by that time they had been unable to locate the bear.

Youngstown teachers approve strike notice

YOUNGSTOWN – With classes set to start on Sept. 3, the Youngstown City Schools are facing a strike threat from its teachers.

On Tuesday, members of the Youngstown Education Association unanimously authorized the bargaining team to issue a 10-day strike notice if they see fit, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV-33.

The teachers currently are working under an old contract, which expired June 30.

Negotiations between the union and school officials are still taking place.

Two seeking spot on Trumbull health board

WARREN – Two physicians filed applications to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Pat DiTommaso on the Trumbull County Board of Health.

Expressing an interest were Marisha Agana of Howland and Aron Blecher of Girard. The deadline to file applications was 4 p.m. Monday.

The District Advisory Council, which fills openings on the health board, will meet Aug. 20 to select a replacement for DiTommaso, who had to step down because he has moved outside the health district.

The council is made up of representatives from each township, village and city in the county general health district and county commissioners. Girard, Niles and Warren are not part of the county health district.

Fire damages Hubbard apartment building

HUBBARD – Crews were called to extinguish a fire that started inside a West Liberty apartment on Tuesday.

Although several residents were at the building, no injuries were reported.

An estimate on the damage was not available. The structure is a house that was converted into several apartments.

The cause of the fire, which started just after 11:30 a.m., has not been determined.

Incumbent files in Austintown trustee race

Austintown Trustee Jim Davis filed petitions Tuesday at the Mahoning County Board of Elections for a second term in office.

Others who filed so far for two available seats are Bruce Shepas, Bob Raymond and Ken Carano.

The deadline to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot is 4 p.m. today.

Warren to hold first back-to-school event

WARREN – Warren City Schools is inviting the community to its inaugural Back to School Celebration this month.

The free event will feature food, prizes and refreshments as well as a performance by the Warren G. Harding Band. The celebration will be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 19 at Courthouse Square.

Students will have the opportunity to sign up to win a bicycle, bookbag with supplies and signed athletic equipment. Parents will be able to sign up to be a school volunteer or join the PTA.

Warren Superintendent Michael Notar said it is the district’s hope to hold the event prior to the start of each school year to generate excitement in students returning to school.

Dog area set to be

dedicated in Howland

HOWLAND – Trumbull County commissioners will dedicate the new dog exercise area at 1 p.m. today at the Trumbull County Dog Kennel, 7501 Anderson Ave.

Area news briefs

Investigation continues in park shooting case

WARREN – No arrests had been made as of Sunday evening in the investigation of the shooting death of 18-year-old McKayla Hopkins. She was hit with a single gunshot to the torso about 9:15 p.m. Friday in Perkins Park while attending a birthday party.

Police on Sunday would only say the investigation is ongoing. No witness reported seeing the shooting, only hearing the gunshot, according to early reports.

Detectives are asking that anyone with information call police at 330-394-2521.

Boardman accident hospitalizes two

BOARDMAN – Two people were sent to the hospital following a head-on collision in Boardman on Sunday afternoon.

A male and a female were transported to St. Elizabeth Health Center with serious injuries following the crash, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The accident happened around 2:30 p.m. on Tippecanoe Road near Leffingwell Road, according to WYTV 33 News.

The patrol said the driver of the car went left of center and struck the SUV head-on.

Pa. man arrested in child pornography case

MERCER COUNTY, Pa. – A Mercer County man was charged Saturday following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section into the distribution of child pornography, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.

When agents searched the home of Travis Cook, 21, 1719 Springfield Church Road, Jackson Center, they learned he was living with a 16-year-old whom he met when she was 13, and with whom he had a child three months ago, Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane states.

Agents conducting an online investigation found numerous online files that contained depictions of children under the age of 18 engaged in sexually graphic acts and poses, according to the release. Several of the images depicted children as young as 6, male and female, engaged in sexual activity.

Cook is charged with 28 counts of possession of child pornography, one count of statutory sexual assault, one count of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of indecent assault and one count of criminal use of a communication facility, according to WYTV 33 News. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday.