At a glance

Bears break up practice in Fowler

FOWLER – More than 100 people, including three youth football squads and student cheerleaders along with onlookers, were moved Wednesday afternoon when an adult bear and a cub were spotted around Currie Elementary School.

Deputies were called out about 6 p.m. when the practice session for the teams was already under way. Two unrelated black bear sightings were already called in to dispatchers.

Detective Rick Tackett said spectators at the school building on Ridge Road said they noticed the large bear on one side of the school and the cub on a different side.

”It appeared to be a risky situation, especially since momma was separated from her cub. Normally, black bears stay away from a group of people. But we decided to discontinue the practice and move everything down to Baker Elementary School in Vienna,” Tackett said.

Man rescued from pond after tractor dives in

FOWLER – Emergency crews were called Thursday to rescue a man from atop a small tractor that he drove into a pond on Ridge Road N.E. The 77-year-old man was not injured and was rescued from the water by a relative, according to reports.

A relative at the scene said the man was riding the tractor around the yard just before 4 p.m. when he got too close to the edge of the acre-wide pond.

Initial reports indicated he was stuck on the tractor, but that his head was above water. He did not seek medical attention.

Injured ODOT worker still recuperating

SOUTHINGTON – As a 19-year-old Ohio Department of Transportation worker hit by a tow truck last month in Braceville continues to recuperate, an investigation into the accident also continues.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Holt, commander of the Warren post in Southington, said Thursday no charges have been filed against the driver of the tow truck that hit Stephen Vidman of McDonald just after 10 a.m. July 29.

Vidman was struck by James Mahmet, 47, of Lake Milton, who was driving a 2008 Dodge flatbed tow truck toward the ODOT construction area on state Route 534, where Vidman was a flagger. Initial reports indicated he glanced down at an electronic tablet inside the truck when the incident occurred.

Vidman, who played football and ran track at McDonald, planned to attend Youngstown State University this fall. His aunt, Rose Harden, said that her nephew suffered two collapsed lungs, a ruptured spleen, broken left arm, tear in his aorta and a torn ACL.

Howland Fire Dept. to hold Safety Day

HOWLAND – The Howland Fire Department will hold a Safety Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Kmart, 2100 Niles Cortland Road S.E.

The event, which is being sponsored by Kmart, will include car seat inspections, a bike safety rodeo, a fire safety trailer, STAT MedEvac helicopter and safety vehicles and fire engines.

Local safety and law enforcement groups are scheduled to attend with informational displays.

Courthouse honored for energy-efficiency

YOUNGSTOWN – The Nathan R. Jones U.S. Courthouse on Market Street was distinguished on Thursday for reduced energy consumption.

The Environmental Protection Agency recognized two Ohio courthouses for the 2012 Energy Star National Building Competition. Along with the Youngstown courthouse, Cleveland’s Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse was selected by the EPA.

The Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse reduced energy consumption by 20.4 percent in 2012 for $23,700 in annual savings. Money and energy was saved by replacing outdoor lights with energy-efficient LED lights and reducing the building’s use of steam. The facility was built in 2002.

Tribune Chronicle

At a glance

Dominion natural gas rates to drop this month

WARREN – Customers of Dominion East Ohio who participate in the Standard Service and Standard Choice Offers will see their rates drop to $4.059 per thousand cubic feat (mcf) beginning Tuesday, the utility provider has announced.

The new rates are 24.8 cents, or 5.8 percent, lower than the July SCO/SSO rates of $4.307/ mcf, but are about 12 percent, or 44.9 cents, higher than the rates at this time last year.

Under the new filing, the average SCO/SSO residential customer’s bill for the month of August 2013 would be $32.34, up 23 cents, or 0.7 percent, from $32.11 in August 2012.

Local bank stocks reported

WARREN – First Niles Financial remained steady in trading Friday, closing at $7.10 a share. First Place Financial Corp. held steady at $0.0023 per share; and Cortland Bancorp dropped 35 cents to $9.50 per share.

Farmers donation to support incubator

CANFIELD – Farmers Trust Company has announced three gifts for the Youngstown Business Incubator totaling $125,000.

YBI will receive $50,000 from the Jane F. Lamb Charitable Foundation and another $50,000 from the William Neckerman Charitable Foundation. Farmers National Bank also has given the YBI a donation of $25,000.

The gifts come as YBI is embarking on a five-year fundraising campaign to continue its work developing high-tech start-up companies at its facilities in downtown Youngstown. Farmers Trust Company officials noted that of particular interest is YBI’s involvement with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, considered by many experts to be a key national player in the advancement of modern manufacturing.

At a glance

Canfield couple facing child sex charges

YOUNGSTOWN – A Canfield couple is facing numerous charges in connection to the alleged sexual assault of a young boy.

A Mahoning County grand jury on Thursday indicted Jeffrey D. Evans, 43, on four counts of rape and gross sexual imposition. His live-in girlfriend, Liza R. Timm, 51, was charged with four counts of child endangering and gross sexual imposition.

They were both arrested on Friday.

According to reports, the boy is a relative of Timm’s.

Police encourage block watch program

WEATHERSFIELD – The Weathersfield Police Department announced on Thursday the preliminary stages of a neighborhood block watch are under way.

Anyone who may be interested in taking part in the program should contact Capt. Michael Naples Jr. at 330-652-6486, according to the notice.

Warren garden walk planned by group

WARREN – A Victorious Garden Walk sponsored by the Community Concerned Citizens and Community Victory Gardens will be held from noon to 5 p.m. today at the Victory Garden, York Avenue at Jackson Street S.W.

The event will include a stroll through the garden to see the Earth Angel Farm garden, Agape Church Children’s summer program garden, new handicapped accessible garden and new Inspiring Minds Children’s Garden.

There will be chefs preparing food in the garden, a produce market and a 50-50 raffle.

School prep programs receive several grants

A program designed to prepare Jefferson K-8 neighborhood children for school has been awarded a $32,500 grant.

The grant, issued by the RGK Foundation, will help fund Community Solutions’ Warren Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) program.

Community Solutions also was issued several grants for its Project KIND – $20,000 from the Wean Foundation; $22,500 from the Youngstown Foundation; and $20,000 from Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

The KIND program, or Keys to Improvement Necessary for Development, aims to enhance student success in early education by promoting social, emotional and behavioral skills.

Canfield man hurt in motorcycle crash

MILAN TOWNSHIP – Authorities say a motorcyclist has been seriously injured in an accident in the eastbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports 64-year-old James Allen Metzinger of Canfield was flown to St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo after his 2013 Honda Goldwing sideswiped a 2005 Dodge Caravan while attempting to change lanes. Metzinger lost control, slid off the roadway and was ejected from his vehicle. He was not wearing a helmet.

The patrol said several Ohio Turnpike patrons stopped to help provide life-saving measures until emergency personnel could arrive.

The driver of the Caravan was 25-year-old Ryan F. Knaack of Albany, N.Y. He was not injured.

Proposal would let voters register online

COLUMBUS – Ohioans could register to vote and request an absentee ballot online under a bill introduced in the state Senate.

The measure from Republican Sen. Frank LaRose also would let Ohio’s top election official work with other states to share information in an effort to maintain voter rolls.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has long pushed for secure, online voter registration. He praised the bill’s introduction on Thursday, saying it will improve voter access and save the state money.

Online registration was part of a contentious election bill in 2011 but was later repealed.

Staff, wire reports