At a glance

Man gets unwanted pickup passenger

WARREN – A Parkman Road man told police that a knife-wielding male jumped into the bed of his pickup truck Thursday night at a Garden Street residence.

Ronald White Sr., 55, of Parkman Road N.W., told police that the known assailant eventually shattered the rear window of the truck’s cab and stole the keys out of the ignition.

White was not injured, according to the police report.

Student due in court on weapon charge

NILES – A student at Niles McKinley High School will appear before a judge Wednesday after he was found in possession of a folding knife while at school.

Caleb Hall, 18, 548 Stanton Ave., was arrested and charged with fifth-degree felony possession of a deadly weapon.

According to a police report, a teacher at the school found a folding- style trench knife in the hall outside his classroom on Sept. 12.

School officials interviewed Hall then brought the matter to the police.

After Hall told police he brought the knife to school, he was arrested and booked at the Trumbull County Jail.

Registration is on for Make A Difference Day

WARREN – Make A Difference Day is marking its 11th anniversary locally and 23rd nationally Oct. 26, a day volunteers will spend improving their communities.

Project registration forms for the Tribune Chronicle’s Make A Difference Day will be running regularly until the Oct. 11 deadline.

Those who have further questions, need more information or would like to volunteer can contact Tribune Chronicle events coordinator Sue Shafer at 330-841-1696 or at

Bromfield’s ‘Big House’ to reopen at Malabar

LUCAS – Ohio natural resources officials are set to re-open the historic home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield after several months of renovations and restoration.

The Big House reopens at 10 a.m. today as part of Malabar Farm State Park’s annual Heritage Days fall festival, which runs today and Sunday.

Bromfield’s 32-room residence and farm were a popular getaway for Hollywood’s elite in the 1940s and 1950s. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married there in 1945.

The festival will feature 75 traditional crafters, vintage farm equipment and a Civil War encampment.

Poles and bait will be provided for a stocked fishing pond that’s open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. A free square dance is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. today.

Ohio college leaders begin collaboration

COLUMBUS – Gov. John Kasich has named the higher education leaders who will lead collaboration on which construction projects Ohio’s public colleges and universities will include in next year’s capital budget.

Kasich kicked off the latest round of collaborative budget discussions at a meeting with about 20 college and university presidents Friday. The Republican governor has taken the unusual step of asking higher education institutions to cooperate rather than compete for state cash.

He named Ohio University president Roderick McDavis as chair and Southern State Community College president Kevin Boys as vice chair of the several-month effort.

Ex-deputy gets prison for baby-sitting rape

MARION – A former Ohio sheriff’s deputy convicted of raping a 5-year-old girl he was baby-sitting has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says 28-year-old Randy Spencer was sentenced Friday in Marion County Common Pleas Court in central Ohio.

A jury last week found Spencer guilty of four counts of rape. A statement from DeWine says the crimes happened between June 2012 and April 2013 while Spencer was baby-sitting the child in Marion County.

Staff, wire reports

Spencer was employed at the time as a corrections officer in Delaware County and an auxiliary officer in Marion County. He also previously worked as a Marion County sheriff’s deputy.

Defense attorney Rocky Ratliff has said Spencer will appeal his conviction. Ratliff did not immediately return a call Friday.

At a glance

Middleburg Heights woman has oldest fridge

Mary Schmidt’s refrigerator is as old as Mickey Mouse, Scotch Tape and Twinkies.

Schmidt’s 1930 refrigerator has tied with a Columbus area resident’s 1930 fridge for the title of Ohio’s Oldest Fridge.

Schmidt, of Middleburg Heights, was named the Oldest Fridge Contest winner after scheduling to have her 1930 refrigerator picked up by The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co., a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. during this summer’s statewide contest.

She won $1,250 for recycling what is believed to be the state’s oldest operating refrigerator. Schmidt’s parents purchased the refrigerator when she was 1 year old. She used the fridge throughout her life, and at the time of pickup still possessed all the original paperwork for the appliance.

It was one of thousands of refrigerators and freezers picked up throughout Ohio during a joint effort among utilities. To participate in the program, visit The program is limited to removal of two units per household. Appliances to be recycled must be in working order and between 10 and 30 cubic feet – standard size for most models.

Speed not a factor in Ashtabula crash

HUNTSBURG – Investigators said they do not believe speed was a factor in the Ashtabula County crash that killed a Middlefield man on Tuesday.

The Ohio State Patrol confirmed that the investigation is ongoing.

Troopers from the OSP Chardon Post confirmed that Gary L. Swontek, 64, of Middlefield was pronounced dead at the scene of the two-vehicle crash on state Route 322 and Clay Street.

Troopers reported that Swontek, who was driving a Chevy Cavalier south on Clay Street just before 7 p.m., failed to yield at a stop sign and was struck by a Dodge Dakota driven by Jacob M. Cochran, 34, of Roaming Shores.

Troopers said Cochran, who was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured, was arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired. He was taken to Geauga Hospital, where he submitted to a blood test. Troopers said they are waiting for the results of that test.

Troopers said Swontek was not wearing his seat belt.

Police investigate girl’s assault claim

WARREN – City police are investigating reports that a 13-year-old girl was assaulted Wednesday at her Laird Avenue home.

According to a Warren police report, the girl suffered possible internal injury during the aggravated assault. The report also indicates a rifle was used in the assault, but it does not say how or by whom.

The matter was reported to police just before 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Boil advisory in Hubbard Township

HUBBARD TOWNSHIP – The Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s Office issued a boil advisory Thursday for water customers located on state Route 7 south of Chestnut Ridge Road in Hubbard Township.

The boil advisory was issued due to a waterline break and will remain in effect until further notice.

Residents are advised to boil the water used for consumption until further notice.

An advisory means to take precautions and boil the tap water used for drinking and ingestion a rolling boil for three to five minutes.

Marine Corps kicks off Toys for Tots campaign

BAZETTA – The Marine Corps Reserves Detachment 3, Maintenance Company will be kicking off its Toys for Tots campaign by hosting its third annual 5k race, cookout and family event Sunday at Imagination Station Park.

Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys from October to December and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Sunday’s event will include music, raffles, a bounce house and pull-up competition. The race is at 3 p.m. with registration from 1 to 2:30 p.m. with a fee to benefit Toys for Tots.

Tribune Chronicle

At a glance

Baby’s death not considered suspicious

WARREN – Investigators said that at this point they do not consider the recent death of a 5-month-old boy to be suspicious.

Trumbull County Coroner Humphrey Germaniuk said on Monday that there is no evidence to suggest foul play. He said that a preliminary investigation revealed that Carter Clark likely died of natural causes. The baby had been ill for a couple of days before he died, Germaniuk said.

An autopsy was performed Saturday. Germaniuk said his office is waiting for test results and toxicology reports, a process that could take about six to eight weeks.

Warren police were called to Clark’s Adelaide Avenue home on Thursday. The infant was inside the residence and he was not breathing.

He was rushed to Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Opening statements today in murder trial

WARREN – A jury was seated Monday and is expected to hear opening statements this morning in the murder trial of Richard Clark.

Clark, 39, faces charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and possession of heroin in the March 25 death of Dwayne Hickman, 48, of Williamsburg Street, who was found stabbed repeatedly in his home.

The panel Monday afternoon was bused to the murder scene on Williamsburg and a home on Maryland Street where Clark was found later in a drug-induced coma.

Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice is hearing the case.

Warren man charged with felonious assault

WARREN A city man accused of intentionally trying to hit a woman with his car at her Larchmont Avenue residence last week was released from the Trumbull County Jail on Monday after posting $5,000 bond.

Brian Zupp, 43, 1474 Hollywood St. N.E., is facing two counts of felonious assault. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Warren Municipal Court on Monday. He is due back in municipal court at 2 p.m. Sept. 30 for a preliminary hearing.

Kimberly Jackson-Batcho, 32, told police Zupp came to her residence around 5:30 p.m. Friday and caused a scene, according to a Warren police report. Reports state Zupp threw items through a window at Jackson-Batcho and attempted to hit her with his vehicle. Police said they located Zupp at 1227 Laird Ave., where they arrested him and transported him to the county jail.

Police reports name a second victim, a 15-year-old, but do not indicate she was hurt.

Black Caucus dinner Friday in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Warren Black Caucus’ fifth annual tribute dinner has moved to the McGuffey Center, 1649 Jacobs Road, Youngstown.

The keynote speaker will be Youngstown native, Dr. Ron Daniels. State Sen. Nina Turner will be mistress of ceremonies.

This year’s honorees are William ”Ron” Miller and his wife, Lynette, who have been active in the black community for 40 years and are mentors to children through the Harambee Youth Group.

Dinner begins at 6 p.m. Friday. Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be obtained by calling 330-519-6052 or 330-727-5758.

Man reports threats by his neighbor

WARREN – A Woodbine Avenue man told police his neighbor threatened him and spat at him after a dispute over children.

Bradley Newton, 56, 761 Woodbine Ave. S.E., told police the children next door were throwing rocks in the street and his wife asked them to stop, according to a Warren police report. Newton said the children ran into the house and a person came out of the residence screaming at him “for talking to the kids,” the report states.

The report states the person told Newton he would put him in ICU and that he spat at Newton. Newton told police the children have hit his car with a basketball and football, causing the alarm to sound.

Sept. 11 event set for Austintown

AUSTINTOWN – The Mahoning Valley 9-11 Committee will mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on Wednesday.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. at the 9-11 Memorial, 1055 S. Raccoon Road. A fire engine that was used during 9/11 will be displayed. There will also be a Stat Med-Evac flyover.

Guest speakers will include New York firefighters who served at the World Trade Center.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the Austintown Middle School.

At a glance

Farmington road closed for culvert replacement

FARMINGTON – Curtis Middlefield Road between state Route 88 and Painesville Warren State Road in Farmington Township will be closed Wednesday through Sept. 25 for culvert replacement.

The recommended detour is south on Painesville Warren State Road, northeast on Ensign Road, north on Girdle Road, south on Third Street and west on Route 88.

Gala planned for Kinsman House

WARREN – The Gala at the Kinsman House sponsored by the Warren Heritage Center and the GFWC Ohio Warren Junior Women’s League will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the historic house, 303 Mahoning Ave. N.W.

Various activities will take place on the grounds including a wine tasting, Chinese auction and entertainment.

For additional information or tickets, call Jim Valesky at 330-372-0237.

Registration open for Make A Difference Day

WARREN – Make A Difference Day is marking its 11th anniversary locally and 23rd nationally Oct. 26, a day volunteers will spend improving their community.

Project registration forms for the Tribune Chronicle’s Make A Difference Day will be running regularly until the Oct. 11 deadline.

Those who have further questions, need more information or would like to volunteer can contact Tribune Chronicle events coordinator Sue Shafer at 330-841-1696 or at

Kasich to mark battle bicentennial

PUT-IN-BAY – Ohio’s governor will mark the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.

Gov. John Kasich will deliver the keynote speech at the bicentennial ceremony Tuesday at Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie’s South Bass Island.

Tuesday marks the 200th anniversary of the U.S.-British clash considered a turning point in the War of 1812.

A fleet of tall ships gathered to re-enact the battle last week.

Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry captured a British fleet near Put-in-Bay during the battle that’s remembered for his command: “Don’t Give Up the Ship.”

Reward increased in frat house fire

OXFORD – Authorities are boosting the reward for information in a suspected arson fire at a fraternity house at Miami University.

The state fire marshal office and other agencies say the reward is now $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of those who started the May 25 fire at the Phi Gamma Delta house in Oxford.

The agencies didn’t say why they think the fire at the century-old house was arson.

The fire heavily damaged the house, but nobody was injured. Fifteen people were living there at the time, but they all got out safely.

State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers said investigators want to hear from anyone who saw something out of the ordinary or has heard someone speaking about the fire with an unusual amount of knowledge.

Staff, wire reports