News at a glance

Man accused of assault on police officer

WARREN – A man accused of assaulting a city police officer early Wednesday was released from the Trumbull County Jail later the same day after posting $1,000 bond.

Emanuel Cofield Sr., 37, of 241 Eighth St. S.W., is facing a felony drug possession charge and misdemeanor charges of assault, playing loud music and resisting arrest. He appeared in Warren Municipal Court for an arraignment on Wednesday and is due back in municipal court Oct. 21 for a preliminary hearing.

Police said Cofield assaulted Officer David Weber, 45, who suffered apparent minor injury during an incident at 805 W. Market St. just after midnight, according to a Warren police report.

Anti-fracking group plans gathering

YOUNGSTOWN – FrackFree Mahoning Valley, a group opposed to hydraulic fracturing in the natural gas industry which has organized the ”Community Bill of Rights,” will hold a townhall-style meeting 7 to 9 p.m. today at Wick Park Pavilion, 260 Park Ave., Youngstown.

The meeting will include brief informational films, a statement from the group and questions and comments from the audience.

The Community Bill of Rights is a measure on the Youngstown November ballot that would change the city’s charter in an attempt to prevent fracking and other industry-related activity in the city.

Attorney General sues Youngstown business

YOUNGSTOWN – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Thursday sued Encore Music Productions of South Avenue, claiming it deceived donors while soliciting for police and firefighter charities.

Court records show DeWine won a temporary restraining order against the company.

The 42-count civil suit filed in Allen County Common Pleas Court alleges violations of Ohio’s Corrupt Activities Act and the Ohio Charitable Organizations, including money laundering, mail and wire fraud, theft and deceptive acts and practices. Named were 18 defendants, DeWine said.

A statement says an investigation indicated donors were told 100 percent of donations went to a local charity, but only 10 to 33 percent did, along with other alleged violations.

A message seeking comment was left with Encore.

Building work planned for Elections Board

VIENNA – Trumbull County commissioners Wednesday hired Phillips-Sekanick Architects of Warren to design improvements for the restrooms at the Trumbull County Board of Elections.

The work will make the facilities handicapped accessible. The $6,570 cost of the proposal is being paid for with casino revenue money received by the county.

The board of elections asked commissioners to look into making the upgrades to the building at 2947 Youngstown Road S.E. in May.

Warren police investigate gun shots

WARREN – City police were called to Youngstown Road and Kenilworth Avenue Tuesday afternoon after receiving a report of gun shots in that area.

Officers recovered shell casings in front of 1643 Youngstown Road S.E., where they found the building had several bullet holes in the front porch and front window, according to a Warren police report. Reports state no victims were located.

Purse snatcher sought

NILES – Niles police are searching for a man who snatched the purse of an 89-year-old woman Wednesday outside Golf Headquarters on U.S. Route 422.

Reports indicate the man followed the woman to her car, stole her purse and then got into a Black Honda Sedan which had two women in it.

Survelliance video was taken at the store and showed the man to be over six feet all and weighting about 250 pounds, according to Tribune Chronicle’s news partner WYTV-33.

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Pavlik pleads not guilty to theft in cab case

CANFIELD – Former middleweight boxing champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of petty theft.

Pavlik is being accused of refusing to pay a $25 cab fare early on the morning of Sept. 18.

The cab driver, Santino A. Bleggi, told a deputy from the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office that he was “ripped off” by a drunken Pavlik, according to an incident report.

Bleggi told deputies that Pavlik requested to be taken to his Canfield residence at 3692 Sugarbush Drive. However, when they arrived at the home just before 3 a.m. and Bleggi told Pavlik the cab fare was $25, Pavlik refused to pay it, reports state.

In addition to the not guilty plea, Pavlik’s lawyer filed a waiver for his client’s right to a speedy trial. A pre-trial hearing is set for 9 p.m. Nov. 8 in Mahoning County Canfield Area Court.

Four dead cats possibly were shot

WARREN – Four cats, at least three of them kittens, were found dead in a northwest side yard after possibly being shot.

The animals were found Monday afternoon in a front yard on Northfield Avenue N.W. home.

According to reports, residents in the area may have been feeding the kittens that appeared to be strays.

Animal Control Officer John Onatz is investigating.

Two people arrested on robbery charges

WARREN – Two 20-year-old local men were arrested Monday night after police said they robbed a man they know while he was walking along Parkman Road N.W.

The victim, Daric Simpson, 19, of Lexington Avenue N.W., said the two men came up to him and started a conversation while all three walked in the 1400 block of Parkman, where Simpson said he felt the barrel of a gun in the small of his back.

One of the men grabbed his arm and directed him to a poorly-lit area of a parking lot where they went through his pockets, removing about $40 and his cell phone.

After they ran off, Simpson called 911 from the nearby Fast Way Gas Station.

Police caught and were holding Marcus Williams, of Williamsburg N.W., and Jumal Rowe of Red Fox Run Drive N.W., who were identified by Simpson.

Warren man gets probation in gun case

CLEVELAND – A Warren man was sentenced to five years’ probation including one year on house arrest for illegally selling firearms without a license at a Warren flea market.

Walker, 60, and his brother Ricky, 54, both pleaded guilty in June in federal court to charges of conspiring to defraud the government by selling the unlicensed weapons and possessing the unregistered firearms.

Sentencing for Ricky Walker was continued until Nov. 5.

Nine of the rifles, handguns and shotguns were sold on Nov. 7, 2011, and 22 were sold on Oct. 20 of that year.

Niles police looking for stolen vehicle

NILES – A woman was visiting a friend in the area of West Park Avenue Tuesday evening when her vehicle was stolen, police said.

Niles police said the blue Honda Odyssey was left running in a driveway about 8:30 p.m. when it was taken.

Police searched the area but were unable to locate the vehicle.

They also attempted to contact AT&T to track a phone that was left in the Honda, according to police, but the phone service said since it was not a matter of life and death, they could not provide any information.

As of 10 p.m., Niles police were still looking for the vehicle.

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Reward offered in Donofrio death

YOUNGSTOWN – A $25,000 reward is being offered for information about the death of local businessman James Donofrio.

The reward is being offered through Youngstown Crime Stoppers and the Mahoning County Violent Crimes Task Force.

Donofrio, former owner of Avalon Gardens restaurant in Youngstown, went missing Sept. 26, 2011. His SUV was found abandoned near the Mahoning River by the Market Street Bridge.

His body was pulled from the Ohio River near the West Virginia line on March 25, 2012. However, it took more than a year to identify him. Officials in West Virginia explained that the identification process was delayed because the state only has one medical examiner to perform autopsies.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 330-746-CLUE (746-2583) or can send an anonymous tip to

Police issue warrant in RV break-ins case

WEATHERSFIELD – Township police have issued an arrest warrant for a Niles man wanted in connection with a break- in at an RV business in McKinley Heights.

Weathersfield police have charged Wayne Edward Perry with eight counts of breaking and entering. Reports state that several RVs and motor homes at Ralph’s Mobile Home and RV Center on Youngstown-Warren Road were broken into in July. Doors were ripped off, and TVs and fishing poles were stolen.

Reports indicate that the evidence collected led police to Perry. More charges are expected sometime this week. Police are asking anyone who has information about Perry’s whereabouts to call the Weathersfield Township Police Department at 330-652-6486 or the dispatch line at 330-675-2730.

Man arrested on robbery charges

WARREN – Police are investigating a robbery reported Sunday at the Circle K convenience store on North Park Avenue.

Garry Morgan Jr., 27, of Scott Street, was arrested on robbery charges after he tried but failed to steal money from the store’s cash register just before 3 p.m., according to a Warren police report.

Reports state that Morgan tried to take the money directly from the cash register but fled when he was unable to do so.

Police said they located and arrested Morgan in front of 199 Porter St.

Man gets two years in burglary, violence

WARREN – A city man was sentenced to two years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to burglary and domestic violence from an incident April 8 at Stonegate Apartments on Roberts N.W.

Jamar Holmes, 27, of Maxwell Avenue N.W., had remained in jail since that time in lieu of $150,000 bond.

Prosecutors said Holmes kicked in the door of the apartment of his child’s mother and assaulted her while she was pregnant with another of his children.

Warren police found him hiding in a closet in the women’s apartment.

Trumbull Fair Board to elect officers Saturday

BAZETTA – The Trumbull County Fair Board annual meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the fair board meeting room where four proposed constitutional amendments will be voted on.

Election of fair directors will follow from 1 to 5 p.m.

The following are running for the five seats: Paul Aaron, Cortland; Barry Brown, Cortland; Kim Carnivale, Cortland; Richard Houk, Newton Falls; Jack Lammers, Hartford; Michael McCaslin, Southington; Norman Wilson, Bristolville; and Tyler Wolfe, Farmdale.

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Family members charged with abuse

YOUNGSTOWN – The sister and brother-in-law of a 24-year-old man suffering from mental illness who went missing in July were indicted Thursday on accusations of abusing him.

Heather K. Wymer and Michael Wymer of Ellsworth were indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury Thursday on charges of fourth-degree felony assault, fourth-degree felony failing to provide for a functionally impaired person and two counts of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence, according to WYTV 33 News.

Prosecutors said the two abused Scott McCrory, 24, causing him to run away from his home July 24. McCrory was eventually found two days later in Niles. Detectives were alerted that signs of abuse were discovered while McCrory’s health was checked.

McCrory’s mother, Karen Thom, said at the time McCrory would often get upset and leave their home for a few hours. They called Mahoning County Sheriff’s deputies after he didn’t return for a full day.

Thom described McCrory as someone who was easily confused and was unable to find his way home by himself.

Second teen charged in rash of robberies

YOUNGSTOWN – A second teenager suspected of being part of a rash of robberies on Youngstown’s North Side near Youngstown State University was arrested late Wednesday, police said.

The 16-year-old was arrested at his home in the 200 block of Lora Avenue. A 17-year-old was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the robberies. He is facing two aggravated robbery charges in Juvenile Court, according to WYTV 33 News.

Police said the duo committed seven armed robberies in a 10-day span, including one on Monday.

Prosecutors said they intend to ask a judge to allow them to try the two as adults. No motion has been filed yet to ask to bind over the 16-year-old.

Police found handguns, drugs, clothing, cell phones and cell casings connected the robbery when they arrested the 17-year-old.

Library survey asks for cooking, languages

YOUNGSTOWN – Cooking classes could be on the way to the library. Results of a public survey were presented Thursday to the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

The survey results showed some of the things people would like to see offered include healthy eating programs and cooking classes, arts and crafts programs, computer training courses and foreign language classes. The results will be used to come up with a plan of action for the future.

The Library 2020 Plan launched in March and the surveys were distributed in April and May at all 15 branches and online. Nearly 1,800 surveys were returned, which is a lot more than officials expected, according to WYTV 33 News.

Farris Marketing presented the survey results, which gave statistics on library usage, what patrons would like to see in terms of programs and activities and areas that need improved.

Police probe deaths of Pennsylvania couple

LAWRENCE, Pa. – A man and woman are dead after an apparent murder-suicide in Lawrence County.

Police were called about 3:45 p.m. Thursday to Bessemer State Lake on Route 317. It was not clear exactly what they found when they arrived, but they soon called Pennsylvania State Police as well, according to WYTV 33 News.

Investigators could be seen searching the area for clues. The pair was shot, but police aren’t saying which of the victims was the shooter or who made the initial 911 call.

Champion to meet with planning commission

CHAMPION – Township trustees along with the township’s zoning boards will meet with the Trumbull County Planning Commission at 6:30 p.m. Monday the fire station.

Trustee Bob Farmer said the meeting is a workshop to review the comprehensive plan being worked on by the planning commission.

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Commissioners reject sheriff’s pay hikes

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners Wednesday accepted, as expected, a state fact-finders report that denies pay raises for some employees in the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.

The members of the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association wanted an increase of $5 an hour. Commissioners accepted the report’s recommendation denying the increase because it was too expensive.

The contracts that cover about 60 road deputies, sergeants, lieutenants, cooks, secretaries, clerks and maintenance employees in the OPBA expire at the end of the year but also called for a wage re-opener for 2013, which led to the wage dispute.

The matter is headed toward binding conciliation because the union rejected the report’s finding on Monday.

The fact-finder determined the county could not afford the pay increase.

Eastgate receives $169K grant from feds

WARREN – Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, a metropolitan planning organization, has been given a $169,095 federal grant to develop and implement a comprehensive economic development strategy for Trumbull, Ashtabula and Mahoning counties.

The grant from the U.S. Economic Development Association was announced Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who said the resources will ”lay the groundwork” for small businesses to create new opportunities and jobs.

Recycling containers temporarily removed

WARREN – The recycling drop-off containers in the parking lot of the Trumbull County Administration Building on the corner of Harmon and Monroe in Warren will be temporarily removed.

Trumbull County commissioners have asked Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste District to remove the containers because the parking lot is going to be paved, according to a release. Both containers will be returned when the paving is complete.

The district asks that people not leave recyclables at that location until the containers are returned. For information about other recycling drop-off sites, call 330-675-2673 or 800-707-2673 or visit

Counties’ job services trade cash even up

WARREN – Trumbull County’s Department of Job and Family Services is giving its counterpart in Marion County $175,000 and Marion County is giving that much to the JFS here to help fund services.

The exchange was approved Wednesday by Trumbull County commissioners.

JFS director John Gargano said Trumbull is giving Marion JFS $175,000 in what is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money, used largely for job and work-related programs, and in return will receive $175,000 in income maintenance funding, used for food assistance.

The trade, Gargano said, is being done to avoid falling short of funding for both agencies.

Commissioners in Marion County, in central Ohio, already have approved releasing the money, Gargano said.

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Police investigate death of baby boy

WARREN – Police are investigating the death of a 5-month-old boy.

According to police reports, Carter Clark of Adelaide Avenue S.E. was found not breathing at about 4 p.m. Thursday inside his home.

An ambulance took the boy to Trumbull Memorial Hospital, where he died, reports say.

Officials said they are waiting on an autopsy by the Trumbull County Coroner to determine how the baby died. The autopsy is scheduled for this morning.

Brother, sister report attempt at enticement

WARREN – Police spoke with a 12-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother to try to develop a description of a vehicle driven by a man who tried to entice them into the car Thursday evening.

Officers said they responded to an emergency 911 ”hangup” call on Ohio Avenue N.W., where the girl told them she and her brother were approached by the man at Ohio and Ward Street N.W. about 6:40 p.m.

The girl said she and her brother took off for home and made the call.

No description of the vehicle was contained on the report.

Warren swears in two firefighters

WARREN – Daniel Stehler and Bill Millard were sworn in Friday on the steps of City Hall as the city’s newest firefighters. That brought city staffing up to 68.

Stehler and Millard were hired under the federal SAFER grant. The city was granted an extension in May, one day before the grant was set to expire. The city already had handed out layoff notices to 14 firefighters when they got the extension to use the remaining $1.7 million that will expire next May.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said an application for renewal of the grant has been submitted.

Both Stehler and Millard told WYTV 33 News that joining the department was a longtime dream.

“I was in high school, a few of my father’s friends were firefighters and they would tell great stories about the camaraderie of the fire department,” Millard said.

Stehler said, “I wasn’t able to help in a situation. Therefore it made me want to help others in that same type of situation.”

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Mom gets 15 years in son’s abuse death

YOUNGSTOWN – The mother of a Struthers teen who was beaten to death earlier this year was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Shain Widdersheim, 32, of Struthers, pleaded guilty in June to four counts of child endangering and obstructing justice charges.

Her boyfriend, Zaryl Bush, 43, of Struthers, also pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 33 years on charges of murder, four counts of child endangering and two counts of intimidation.

Widdersheim’s son, Teddy Foltz, 14, died Jan. 26 of head trauma after he was taken first to Akron Children’s Hospital Boardman Campus and then St. Elizabeth Health Center.

She was accused of allowing the abuse to happen and hindering the investigation by Struthers detectives.

Anti-fracking meeting set for tonight at church

YOUNGSTOWN – An activist group opposing hydraulic fracturing and related measures is hosting a town hall meeting 7 to 9 p.m. today at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1105 Elm St., Youngstown.

Group spokeswoman Susie Beiersdorfer said the meeting will help “inform the public of all aspects of fracking, injection wells and other related processes.”

The group is leading the charge for a “Community Bill of Rights” which will appear on the November ballot in the City of Youngstown.