News In Brief

Girard woman killed in Pennsylvania crash

MERCER, Pa. – A Girard woman died early Friday after crashing her car on Interstate 80 between Mercer and Hermitage, Pa., police said.

Pennsylvania State Police said that Sharla Ranttila, 24, was driving her 2006 Pontiac G6 about 6 a.m. in the westbound lanes when she drove off the side of the road. She struck an embankment, which caused the car to roll several times.

Ranttila was wearing a seat belt, the report states. The crash remains under investigation.

Grand jury hands down indictments

YOUNGSTOWN – A Mahoning County grand jury indicted one man on a sex-related crime and another in connection with child pornography charges.

Gollin Freeman, 38, 36 Hilton Ave., was indicted on Thursday on a first-degree felony rape charge and sexual predator specifications. He is accused of raping a woman in April.

Daniel W. Nutt of Sebring was indicted on charges of illegally using a minor in nudity-oriented material and pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Car hits motorcycle, one taken to hospital

BAZETTA – One person was injured Friday night when a vehicle hit a motorcycle on state Route 305 near Bazetta Road.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was dispatched at 9:21 p.m. The driver of the motorcycle was not wearing a helmet and was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries, troopers said. The driver’s name and condition were not released Friday night.

Bible thumping takes on whole new meaning

TOLEDO – Police say a northwest Ohio man hit a gas station clerk in the head with a Bible numerous times forcing the employee back into the store and then demanded cash.

Abbott Griffin, 57, was arraigned on an aggravated robbery charge on Friday in Toledo Municipal Court. A judge set the Toledo man’s bond at $50,000.

Court records show that when the amount of money seemed not to be sufficient for Griffin on Wednesday night, he allegedly threatened the clerk, saying he had something in his left hand that could put the clerk “on the floor.” Police arrested Griffin at the scene. They found two folding knives on him during a pat-down.

Next OSU president has much to deal with

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State University trustee leading the search for the school’s next president said one qualification is clear: The person must be able to deal with a large, complicated organization.

Trustee chairman Jeffrey Wadsworth said the candidate must be prepared to handle a breadth of issues at the school, a large research university that also has a huge medical center and one of the country’s biggest undergraduate campuses.

Wadsworth said Friday that the search committee is collecting information about qualities of the leader it wants rather than coming up with lists of candidates.

Wadsworth said the committee hopes to have its profile of a potential candidate in place by next month and then start gathering names.

Governor backs use of recognition system

COLUMBUS – Gov. John Kasich is backing the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement officials to identify possible criminal suspects.

Kasich’s Friday remarks follow the decision by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to convene a group of judges, a prosecutor and others to study the use of the sophisticated software by authorities.

Since June, local and state law enforcement officers could use the facial recognition software to match images of possible suspects or victims with Ohio driver’s license photos. Critics have called the technology’s use intrusive and have complained that DeWine didn’t notify the public about its launch.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Kasich clarified his remarks Friday afternoon.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Bradley Brownlee Road closing extended

FOWLER – Bradley Brownlee Road in Fowler between Stoddard Hayes Road and Sodom Hutchings Road will be closed through Tuesday for culvert replacement.

The Trumbull County Engineer’s Office previously said the project would be complete today, but due to weather conditions and a need for more work, the closing has been extended.

The recommended detour for motorists is south on Sodom Hutchings, west on Everett Cortland Hull Road and north on state Route 193.

Bazetta trustees to meet on collective bargaining

BAZETTA – Township trustees have scheduled a special meeting for 9 a.m. today at the administration building to discuss collective bargaining matters.

Tickets are on sale for Taste of Home

Tickets are on sale now for the annual Taste of Home cooking school sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle. The event will take place Oct. 8 at the W.D. Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren.

Along with the chance to win a door prize, those who buy a ticket at $10 for general admission can win a table-top KitchenAid mixer if they donate a nonperishable food item at the door.

Goodie bags full of coupons and more also will be offered to all attendees and include a cookbook with the recipes featured in the day’s presentation, led by culinary specialist chef Eric Villegas.

For more information or to buy tickets, contact Sue Shafer at 330-841-1696 or at

Three people arrested on kidnapping charges

YOUNGSTOWN – Two men, including one acquitted of rape in March, and a 16-year-old boy are facing charges that say they kidnapped a man at gunpoint and held him in a Youngstown home for two days and threatened to kill him if he tried to leave.

Stacey Rice, 23, and Kenneth Hubbard, 33, were being held Thursday night in the Mahoning County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping and aggravated robbery, according to WYTV 33 News.

The duo and a 16-year-old boy were arrested early Thursday on the charges.

Rice, who was acquitted of rape five months ago, was caught dangling from a bed sheet hanging from the second floor of 330 W. Earle Ave., police reports state. Hubbard slammed the door on an officer, catching him between the door and frame.

A 33-year-old Austintown man flagged down an officer about 4:15 a.m. Thursday, stating he’d just escaped from the home and that people were searching for him. He told police that he was accused of owing Rice money.

Rice, according to court records, was acquitted in March by a jury of five counts of rape and kidnapping. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in 2010. Hubbard was convicted of domestic violence in July.

Man convicted of rape indicted on new charge

YOUNGSTOWN – A Youngstown man previously convicted of raping a 7-year-old girl was indicted Thursday by a Mahoning County grand jury on a new rape charge.

Gollin Freeman, 38, of 36 Hilton Ave., was indicted on a first-degree felony rape charge and sexual predator specifications.

Freeman is not yet in custody, according to WYTV 33 News

Freeman, according to the indictment, raped a woman April 26.

Court records say Freeman was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2002 after he pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony count rape that alleged he had sexual contact with a 7-year-old girl in March 1999.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Stabbing reported in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN – Two people were taken into custody after a Sunday morning stabbing at a home on the city’s North Side, Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV Channel 33 reported.

Reports state the stabbing took place about 11 a.m. at an Ohio Avenue home.

Details are sketchy and police provided little information, but a woman who knows the victim said a female stabbed a male in what appeared to be the arm.

County looks for development chief

LISBON – Eleven years after the Columbiana County’s economic development director’s position was eliminated due to lack of funding, county commissioners are preparing to bring it back.

Commissioners reported at last week’s meeting they intend to fill the position as early as this week since they have the extra money to do so, thanks in part to the money from the county’s share of the state casino tax.

The position was eliminated in 2002 by the former board of commissioners because it was no longer paying for itself in the form of state and federal grants being obtained by the director.

DeWine to provide update on crime topics

COLUMBUS – Attorney General Mike DeWine today is expected to provide an update on a number of crime fighting and solving initiatives.

DeWine, according to a release, will discuss the hiring of additional scientists to test old rape kits submitted by police departments statewide, new legislative efforts to ban synthetic drugs and new technology that is aiding in criminal identification.

He also is expected to release the latest statistics regarding methamphetamine lab cases across the state.

$5M insurance claim impacts Butler County

HAMILTON – Officials in a southwest Ohio county are concerned that a whopping insurance claim of more than $5 million will hinder efforts to keep down employee health care benefit costs.

The Hamilton JournalNews reported that Butler County officials won’t release any details of the claim because of health privacy laws. But Jim Davis, assistant director of human resources for the county, said it is the biggest claim ever handled by its insurance provider, which is the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio. That group provides health care benefits for some 26 Ohio counties.

The claim comes as the county is exploring options to head off rising health costs. The cost of employee health insurance coverage is expected to rise by 7 percent next year. County employees have an average co-pay of 20 percent on medical care.

Cellphones are hot prison contraband

CLEVELAND – Ohio corrections officials are finding that cellphones are increasingly popular contraband items for prison inmates.

The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reports that state prison records show corrections officers have seized 319 cellphones in the year’s first seven months. That compares to 340 for all of last year, and is a jump from 126 seized in 2010.

New and smaller kinds of cellphones are making it easier for them to be smuggled into and hidden in prison. Authorities say inmates can use cellphones to plan escapes or assaults and to run crime operations from inside the prison.

Ohio corrections officials have begun using cellphone detectors that can track phone use. They also have increased training of guards on looking for cellphones, and also are using search dogs.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Warren police probe woman’s assault claim

WARREN – Police are investigating a 21-year-old woman’s report that she was a victim of a felonious assault early Thursday in the parking lot of a local bar.

Jasmine Bruner of Commerce Avenue N.W. required treatment at Trumbull Memorial Hospital for what officers called a large laceration to her left hand she suffered between 1:15 and 1:30 a.m. outside the Powerhouse Bar on Mahoning Avenue N.W.

A police report fails to explain whether there is any suspect in the case. The report only states she was assaulted with ”an unknown object.”

Sheriff’s deputy sues over lack of promotion

WARREN – A Trumbull County sheriff’s deputy is suing his boss, claiming he is overdue for a promotion to sergeant.

Deputy Richard Tackett, a former detective with more than 20 years in the department, filed the action Wednesday against Sheriff Thomas Altiere, seeking an order from a judge to hold a promotional exam for the sergeant’s position.

Tackett states in the lawsuit that he has already been working in the capacity of a supervisory sergeant.

Altiere declined comment since he hadn’t been served with the paperwork. He did say Tackett is an asset to the department, a ”good officer” and would make a great sergeant.

The case has been assigned to Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan.

Preschool teacher charged in porn case

AUSTINTOWN – The woman caught up in a child pornography case was a preschool teacher at TLCC Preschool and Day Care on Idlewood Road in Austintown for about 12 years.

“It absolutely floored me,” preschool Director Norma Johnson told WYTV 33 News about Connie Ramirez, 43, of Austintown. ”A model employee, came to work, great with the children, parents loved her.”

Johnson is alerting parents, and said Ramirez never was alone with a child at any time.

A child pornography case against William ”Santa Claus” Brock, 65, of Niles, led investigators to Ramirez, who was charged Wednesday in Austintown Municipal Court on charges of rape, gross sexual imposition, pandering obscenity involving a minor and pandering sexually explicit matter involving a minor. She is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

Newton Falls seeks flooding relief

NEWTON FALLS – Village officials gathered information from residents Thursday night about damages caused from flooding earlier this month. They’re trying to a disaster declaration from the state or county to get FEMA to help with relief.

Route 534 and most of the Newton Falls Community Park were under water along with several homes and businesses after getting hit with more than 3 inches of rain Aug. 8.

“On short term, we’re trying to pick a couple of the areas we might be able to do something quickly to alleviate some of the flooding. But it was so big so quick and it came in all over the city, that short term I’m not sure what we could do,” Newton Falls Mayor Lyle Waddle told WYTV 33 News.

Requirements to get help from FEMA involve knowing how much of a loss there was and how much of it wasn’t covered by insurance.

GE is adding jobs in Ohio and Illinois

WARREN – After closing a General Electric plant in Warren in April, the company said it will add more than 150 jobs at three factories in Illinois and Ohio.

GE officials said there is an increased demand for alternatives to traditional incandescent light bulbs, and part of the expansion involves a new deal with Walmart.

The company said in a news release Thursday that it will add 70 jobs in Bucyrus, east of Mansfield, and 50 in Circleville, south of Columbus. GE will add another 30 jobs at a Mattoon, Ill., plant that makes halogen bulb components.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Troopers investigate injury crash in Mespo

MESOPOTAMIA – Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers are investigating a Sunday afternoon crash involving three vehicles on state Route 87.

A Ford Explorer driven by Wade A. Sunnafrank, 63, of Cambridge, first struck a Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Barry D. Bulford, 49, of Warren, according to a release from the patrol’s Warren post.

After the Explorer struck the Pontiac, the SUV then struck a 2009 Kawasaki motorcycle driven by Sean Crean, 41, of Niles, as he was slowing to turn left onto Bundysburg Road.

A passenger on the motorcycle, Angela Lenart, 41, of Howland, was flown by LifeFlight MedEvac helicopter to Cleveland Metro Hospital for treatment. She was not wearing a helmet, the patrol reports.

Sunnafrank was cited for failing to stop within assured clear distance. Preliminary investigation indicates that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Assisting troopers at the scene were Mesopotamia Township EMS and fire crews.

Plane registered in Youngstown crashes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two people were killed when a single-engine and locally registered plane crashed at a small airport near downtown Kansas City.

The single-engine Mooney crashed shortly after taking off Sunday afternoon from the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, reports state. No other injuries were reported.

The victims’ identities haven’t been released.

Lynn Lunsford, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the pilot reported engine trouble shortly after departing the airport. He said the plane crashed about a quarter mile from the airport. FAA records show the plane was registered to Air McRoyal of Youngstown.

Lunsford said investigators were headed to the scene.

Wheeler Airport, located just west of downtown Kansas City, is used largely by corporate and recreational flyers.

Howland to address Bolindale area issues

HOWLAND – The Howland Township Zoning Commission will hold a work session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the township hall to discuss potential modifications to the zoning resolution.

Zoning Inspector Kim Mascarella said the commission will discuss short-term zoning changes to encourage investment in the Bolindale neighborhood.

She said the commission also will examine residential accessory uses.

Gun safe sent to Ohio man filled with pot

SIDNEY – Authorities in Shelby County say a man who ordered a gun safe online opened it up only to discover 280 pounds of marijuana inside.

Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart in western Ohio said the safe was made in Nogales, Mexico, and that it was sent by truck to Ohio.

He said the marijuana has a street value of $420,000.

Federal authorities who are investigating say the truck driver who brought the shipment into the United States is now missing.

Staff, wire report

News In Brief

Coroner, police ask help in identifying victim

YOUNGSTOWN – The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office has released a photograph of the face of a man struck by a vehicle in Warren last week in an effort to identify him.

The man appears to have been in his 50s, was 5-foot-9, weighed between 200 and 220 pounds, had blue eyes, short, reddish brown hair and a moustache, according to the coroner’s report. He has no tattoos. He was wearing a dark brown / green polo shirt, blue jeans and black shoes. He was known to wear glasses.

An autopsy showed he died from multiple blunt force trauma, the report states.

He was hit by a van at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 near the intersection of Youngstown Road S.E. and Adelaide Avenue. No charges have been filed against the van driver.

Anyone with information about the man’s identity or the accident is asked to contact the coroner’s office at 330-740-2175 or the Warren Police Department traffic division at 330-841-2507 or 330-841-2797.

Man reports stabbing after answering door

WARREN – A Phillips Drive man told police he was stabbed in the face early Tuesday morning after answering his door to two men he did not know.

William H. Hill, 41, suffered an apparent minor injury and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, according to a Warren police report.

Hill told police two men knocked on his back door just after 1 a.m., and when he went to answer it, one of them stabbed him in the left lower jaw area, the report states. Reports state the men then ran off in a northern direction.

Police said Hill’s girlfriend told them she thought the people were two young girls who had been hanging out in the area and harassing them, the report states.

The report states that Hill was vague and did not give officers much information about what had happened.

Two-year-old’s drowning ruled as accidental

WEATHERSFIELD – No criminal charges will be filed in connection with last month’s drowning of a 2-year-old Hubbard girl who stopped by her grandparents’ home on Emerson Avenue, according to an opinion from the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police turned their investigation over to prosecutors, who looked into the death of Marina N. Baugher, who died in St. Joseph Health Center July 6 after she was found unresponsive in her grandparents’ swimming pool by her mother, Maria A. Reynolds of Morningside Drive.

The Trumbull County coroner ruled the death an accidental drowning after mother and daughter went to retrieve something at the house while the grandparents were away.

Commissioners consider Kinsman note renewal

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners, who on Monday approved advertising for bids for a $10 million sewer project in Kinsman, are today likely to approve renewing a note that’s been used to pay for a portion of the project.

A large chunk of the $653,000 note has been spent on engineering, and some of the remainder has been spent on tree removal, easement purchase and appraisal and administration related to that project that when complete, will replace broken or faulty septic systems with sewers in a part of Kinsman.

The money will be reimbursed to Trumbull County from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Ohio Public Works Commission.

Construction is expected to begin in October and last about one year.

The project will provide sanitary sewer for about 350 homes and businesses in an area that was identified in 2007 as a potential health risk because of the malfunctioning and nonworking septic systems.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Teen killed, mother hurt when hit by truck

MERCER COUNTY, Pa. – A Dayton 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.

Firefighters burn church for training

BRACEVILLE – Braceville, Garrettsville and Southington fire departments trained in 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 building on the property several years ago.

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

Mosquito spraying is set for Howland

HOWLAND – Howland will hold a mosquito spraying by Alexander Pest Control from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. today and Tuesday.

In case of rain, the sprayings will be the following evenings.

Residents are encouraged to close their windows, keep pets indoors and not to leave any food outdoors during the spraying.

Champion trustees set special meeting

CHAMPION – Township trustees have scheduled a special meeting for 12:15 p.m. today at the township hall to hire a cemetery worker.

Warren gardening group holds work day

WARREN – Members of gregg’s gardens spent Sunday assembling a stone wall and spreading soil at the corner of Vine Avenue and Porter Street as part of a weekend work day.

The group and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership has been working to beautify sections of the city.

Ohio gets $4 million for mental health

COLUMBUS – The state is getting $4 million in federal money to bolster services for young adults with severe mental illness.

Ohio’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says the grant is part of the state’s effort to make it easier for young residents to transition between the child and adult mental health systems.

Department Director Tracy Plouck says young people often get caught between the two mental health systems, which have different policies and eligibility criteria.

The project will serve 2,000 young people from 88 counties.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Filing deadline passes for November elections

WARREN – Wednesday at 4 p.m. was the deadline at the Trumbull County Board of Elections for candidates in non-partisan races to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot. A total of 162 people filed for 48 races.

The board will meet Monday to certify the names.

A complete list of filings for city and village councils and boards of trustees, public affairs and education appears on Page 4B.

Trumbull County transit chair stepping down

WARREN – Chairman of the Trumbull County Transit Board, Glenn W. Holmes, is stepping down and will not be serving another term.

Holmes, the mayor of McDonald, said Wednesday after county commissioners approved his resignation that time constraints and other obligations are why he’s leaving the board, which oversees the countywide public transportation system.

His term expires Aug. 30. Commissioners will name a replacement.

Woman: Prized chicks killed by wild dogs

WARREN TOWNSHIP – A Tod Avenue woman said two wild dogs killed eight of her prized chickens Wednesday morning.

Mary Smith said she reported the matter to township police but was told there was not much officers could do about it. She said the dogs ran into the woods when she realized what had happened. She said eight of her 10 Buckeye chicks, all 3 months old, were killed.

“It’s just heart-breaking,” Smith said. “I hadn’t even realized the dogs had gotten in the fence.”

She said she has no idea where the dogs came from, but that they ran toward Warren.

Police report accidental shooting in Warren

WARREN – A city man was wounded Tuesday in what police reported was an accidental shooting.

Police were called to Trumbull Memorial Hospital about 4:30 p.m. in reference to a gunshot wound, according to a Warren police report. Michael Holmes, 34, of Sidell Court N.E., told police he was the victim of an accidental discharge.

Police did not identify who shot the gun or how seriously Holmes was wounded. No other information was provided.

County jail workers granted 25-cent raise

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners on Wednesday approved an agreement between the county sheriff and corrections workers in the jail that gives them a raise of a quarter an hour.

Jim Keating, county director of human resources, said the wage increase for each of the 66 corrections officers, who are members of United Auto Workers Local 1112, amounts to an additional cost of about $35,000. The pay increase is retroactive to July 1, 2012, and runs through the remainder of the contract, which expires in December 2014.

The bargaining agreement, which originally called for a wage freeze, also contained a re-opener clause to discuss wages for 2013.

Trumbull institutes employee wellness

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners Wednesday approved an employee wellness program and biometric screening. It’s hoped the program will lead to improved employee health and consequently, lower health care costs, according to commissioners.

Zachary Svette, chairman of the Wellness Committee, said the biometric screening will include blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and body mass index testing.

Any employee with a BMI greater than 27.5, which is in the overweight category, can participate in a 16-week ”Lose and Win Program” put on by the YMCA to provide nutritional and fitness assistance, Svette said.

The program will cost $38,500.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Police:?Man cut by intruder during break-in

WARREN – A city man told police a woman cut him with a knife after she entered a residence through a window then fled when he confronted her.

Police responded to 1175 Robert Ave. around 5:13 p.m. Sunday after receiving a burglary report. Officers said Terry McElroy, 53, 3362 Northwest Blvd., told them a woman came to the residence and forced entry through a rear window, according to a Warren police report. The report states that when McElroy confronted the woman, she cut him with a knife and ran outside.

The police report indicates McElroy suffered an apparent minor injury.

Single-car crash injures driver in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN – A single-car crash in Youngstown Monday evening sent the driver to the hospital.

Witnesses told Youngstown police an SUV hit a guardrail and then a cement abutment before flipping over onto the highway around 8 p.m. on the Madison Avenue Expressway between the Fifth Avenue and Belmont Avenue exits, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV-33.

The driver was found hanging out the window.

Police on the scene used a fire extinguisher to put out a fire.

The driver was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center. No further information, including the victim’s name or condition, was available.

Police initiate search after driver flees on foot

YOUNGSTOWN – Law enforcement using a plane and K-9 on Monday initiated a manhunt for the driver of a vehicle who fled on foot following a chase that began near the I-680 and Midlothian Boulevard.

Police were looking for Jesse Lewis, 20, of Youngstown after attempting to stop the vehicle he was driving. Reports state he sped off and exited onto Midlothian and then to Shady Run Road, where he stopped the vehicle and ran away, leaving two passengers.

According to reports, police questioned the passengers at the scene and the vehicle was towed.

Police said Lewis has several warrants for breaking and entering.

Road closed for work

in Bazetta Township

BAZETTA – Henn Hyde Road between King Graves Road and Cadwallader Sonk Road will be closed for a bridge replacement Wednesday to Aug. 21.

The recommended detour is west on Cadwallader Sonk Road, south on Howland Wilson Road and east on King Graves Road.

Ohio inmate walks away from work site along I-70

COLUMBUS – State prisons officials say an inmate has walked away from a work assignment along Interstate 70 near London, Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said 28-year-old Spencer Johnson left an outside work assignment picking up trash around 2 p.m. The crew was working in the area of mile marker 81.

An active search is under way for Johnson. He is a white male with brown hair and hazel eyes, 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds. When last seen, he was wearing a state-issued khaki shirt and khaki pants.

Ohio State Fair breaks attendance record

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Fair has set a new attendance record after more than 900,000 people visited the fair this year.

Authorities say the 2013 fair turnout is an increase of more than 6 percent compared to the previous record set in 2004 when slightly more than 850,000 people strolled by the fair during the first year that the event lasted 12 days instead of 17.

Authorities on Monday said this year’s event also set records in youth participation in livestock and non-livestock products. Individual sale records were broken for youth-raised chickens, lambs, pigs, cows, goats, fowl, and Swiss cheese.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Female shot in Perkins Park

WARREN – An unidentified female was wounded about 9:15 p.m. Friday in Perkins Park during a birthday party. The extent of her injuries had not be released.

Capt. Robert Massucci said that although there were several witnesses and adults around, they all said they didn’t see a gun being pulled out on anyone but only heard a shot being fired.

As of late Friday, police had no suspect and no gun, he said. Whether the shooting was accidental or intentional also remains unknown, he said.

Several witnesses were taken to the police station for additional questioning, Massucci said.

Police originally were called out for a shooting victim behind the gazebo at the park. A few minutes later, as a medical crew tended to the victim, police taped off a pavilion adorned with minimal birthday decorations and held witnesses, mostly teenagers, in a second pavilion to give statements to police.

A person not part of the group of rounded-up witnesses claimed that one teen was showing off a gun when it accidentally fired.

Suspect arrested in Boardman teen’s death

YOUNGSTOWN – Michael Brown, 20, of Youngstown, was charged with aggravated murder in connection with last week’s shooting death of Daniel Watkins, 19, of Boardman.

Youngstown police said Friday that Brown confessed to shooting Watkins during a drug deal in which Watkins was supposed to trade cough medicine and cash for a gram of heroin.

Watkins was shot in the chest July 25 while sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle parked on Loveland Road on the South Side. Watkins was found slumped over the steering wheel.

Brown is being held in the Mahoning County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. Brown, who recently moved to Youngstown from Texas, told police he thought Watkins had a gun and planned to shoot him, so Brown shot him first, police told WYTV 33 News.

Watkins was a recent graduate of Boardman High School, where he was a popular baseball player.

Thieves take converters from auto dealer’s lot

WARREN – A local auto dealer told police that five catalytic converters were stolen from the business this week.

The manager of Agree Auto Sales on Youngstown Road S.E. told police that the car parts, valued at $750, were stolen from underneath vehicles parked in his lot sometime between Monday and Wednesday.

In recent weeks, thieves have targeted local businesses, government buildings and agencies in a series of thefts involving catalytic converters and truck and bus batteries.

Newton Falls woman wins $100,000 in lottery

NEWTON FALLS – Phyllis Collins of Newton Falls won $100,000 in the Special Edition Cashword Ohio Lottery scratch-off game, according to the Ohio Lottery.

Collins purchased the ticket at BP Food Mart in Ravenna, according to the Lottery.

Motorcyclist killed after hitting car

WEST POINT – A 25-year-old man was killed Thursday when the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a Mercury Sable on Y&O Road in this Columbiana County town.

The Lisbon Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that about 2:45 p.m. in Madison Township, Justin D. Knapp of County Airport Road, Wellsville, was on a 2007 Honda motorcycle driving northwest on Y&O Road when he struck the Mercury Sable driven by Samantha M. Baker, 18, of Y&O Road.

Baker was in the process of making a left turn out of a private drive onto Y&O Road, troopers said.

Whether charges will be filed is not determined at this point, and the matter is being forwarded to the Columbiana County Prosecutor for review, trooper Jodi Bowlen said. Excessive speed is not believed to be a factor, and the patrol is looking into possible view obstruction, she said.

Knapp was not wearing a helmet. Baker was not injured.

News In Brief

Saggy pants may have aided in death

YOUNGSTOWN – A city man died Thursday after a fall that may have been caused by the sagging pants he was wearing, according to WYTV 33 News.

Savar Hendrix, 30, was helping set up a pool at an East Judson Avenue home on Tuesday when he complained of stomach pain and went to use the restroom, according to reports. Several minutes later, witnesses said they saw him lying on his back with his head on concrete steps and his pants around his ankles, police said. Hendrix reportedly hit his head.

Doctors told police Hendrix suffered a cracked skull and brain trauma consistent with a fall, reports said.

Police said Hendrix’s blood-alcohol volume was more than the .08 legal limit for driving.

Brookfield proceeds with two levies

BROOKFIELD – To help bring the fire and police departments back to levels they were at almost 10 years ago, township trustees gave final approval at a special meeting Thursday for placing two levies – a 1.6-mill continuous replacement police levy and a 1.3-mill additional fire levy – on the November general election ballot.

Trustee Chairman Ron Haun said the police levy, which would replace a 2.1-mill levy and be a reduction by .5-mills, will be used for day-to-day needs for operations such as equipment, materials and personnel.

The police levy would generate $206,095.

”This will bring the police department back to the levels it was at in 2004. The department has been operating on $100,000 less since then,” Haun said.

Trustee Phil Schmidt said the fire levy would generate $158,851 at year, which Haun said would be additional money for the emergency medical service, equipment, vehicles and personnel.

Vienna safety forces find missing teen

VIENNA – Police and fire crews in Vienna spent about four hours Thursday searching for a missing teen who is autistic.

Christian Bernard, 14, was located about 9 p.m. on Smith Stewart Road, less than one mile from his home, according WYTV 33 News.

Bernard’s mother said he was with her in their Sodom Hutchings Road driveway about 4 p.m. as she was unloading groceries. When she came out of the house to get another load of groceries, he was gone, she told news crews.

There are thick woods behind their home, which is near Turkey Run Road, and a MedStat helicopter helped police and firefighters search the area.

Police said this was the second time in the past several months that Bernard has gone missing.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Auction and sale today for James Friend artwork

WARREN – An auction of artist James Friend’s original pieces is being held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today in the cafetorium at Warren G. Harding High School, 860 Elm Road N.E. Attendees should use ”Entrance M.”

Also, a two-day sale of framed and unframed Friend prints runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Tribune Chronicle, 240 Franklin St. S.E.

For more information on the auction and sale, contact Tribune Chronicle community events coordinator Sue Shafer at 330-841-1696 or at Interested buyers also can call Shafer to place absentee bids.

Friend, formerly of Warren, died Dec. 14, 2012, at his home in Fairmont, W.Va.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Tribune’s Newspapers In Education program.

Warren woman reports gunpoint abduction

WARREN – A 31-year-old woman told police that she was abducted by another woman at gunpoint from a local gas station and forced to withdraw money from her mother’s bank account Tuesday evening.

Christina Oller, whose address was not provided, told police she went to the Sunoco gas station at 805 W. Market St. around 10 p.m. and as she was fueling her gas tank, a woman she did not know got into the front passenger seat, a city police report states.

Oller told police the other woman, who revealed a handgun, advised her that she would be taking her where she needed to go, the police report states.

Oller told police she was forced to go to Huntington Bank and PNC Bank and withdraw $480 from her mother’s account.

The women made their last stop at Giant Eagle on Mahoning Avenue, where the other woman got out of the vehicle and Oller called 911, the police report states.

Crash spills mulch over intersection in Lordstown

LORDSTOWN – A car hauler driving through an intersection in Lordstown was struck by a semi truck carrying mulch, which caused mulch to be spilled all over the intersection.

Lordstown police said the car hauler stopped at a stop sign at about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Salt Springs Road and Muth Road.

When he started to cross Salt Springs Road, the mulch truck driver, who had no stop sign, struck the car hauler.

The driver of the car hauler was taken to an area hospital and the mulch truck flipped over, according to WYTV 33 News.

The intersection and rail line was shut down while crews cleaned up.

Tribune Chronicle