News In Brief

Friends search Sunday for missing teenager

AUSTINTOWN – Family friends and neighbors in Austintown continued searching Sunday for a missing teen.

High school sophomore Jason Pinto disappeared Friday afternoon after walking away from Fitch High School about 2:45 p.m., police said.

Jason’s mom said he was grounded earlier in the week and she took his cell phone away. She believes he ran away because he was angry, according to Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV 33 News.

On Sunday, dozens of people met at the high school and set out looking for the teen.

Parents Jessie and Jason Pinto said their message is, “Come home. We’re not mad. Just come home. We’re not upset, Jason. Just come home. We want you home safe.”

Austintown police were not involved in Sunday’s search. Officials said they’ve checked out several leads this weekend but nothing has turned up. They do not expect to issue an Amber Alert in the case.

McDonald Schools holds candidates event

McDONALD – McDonald Local Schools are hosting a Meet the Candidates Night at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the school’s auditorium.

The event is sponsored by the McDonald High School Student Council. There will be a question-and-answer session and an open forum for candidates for the board.

Ohio State fans name daughter ‘Scarlet Gray’

SANDUSKY – A couple who root for Ohio State say they’ve made sure their baby daughter embraces their football allegiance by giving her a name that implies automatic fandom: Scarlet Gray.

And those are the colors that Justin and Kim King’s 3-month-old daughter wears as her family watches Saturday games on their big-screen television.

Justin King said the infant won’t have any choice but to be a Buckeyes fan for life. Scarlet’s 3-year-old sister doesn’t share that obligation. Her name is Violet.

Horse track to reopen with new name, racino

CINCINNATI – The River Downs horse racing track near Cincinnati will reopen next spring as a racino and with a new name.

Belterra Park Gaming & Entertainment Center will welcome visitors May 1, after a $300 million project to transform the park into a racino offering slots gambling and to add new restaurants and other amenities.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the racino will employ 700 people, and host 1,600 video slot machines.

Pinnacle Entertainment says 30 acres adjacent to the racino could be developed into a hotel later.

Square dance convention returning to Cincinnati

CINCINNATI – The National Square Dance Convention has chosen its partner and will do its do-si-do’ing in Cincinnati in 2017.

The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau says the convention will mark its return to Cincinnati 25 years after the 1992 meeting.

Some 4,000 square dancers are expected to participate, coming from around the country and with several international delegations.

The bureau projects that attendees will account for 5,500 hotel rooms during the four-day convention.

W.Va. woman accused

of embezzling from job

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An Ohio woman faces charges in West Virginia of embezzling more than $150,000 from her former employer.

West Virginia State Police tell media outlets that 50-year-old Connie Lynn Whitley of Proctorville is charged with felony embezzlement.

Whitley is accused of taking the money while working as a bookkeeper for Uptowner Inn Inc. The company owns several hotels and apartments in West Virginia.

State police say Whitley wrote 191 checks to herself.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Sen. Brown to discuss jobs plan for veterans

AUSTINTOWN – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will hold a news conference 9:30 a.m. today at the American Legion Memorial Post 301 in Austintown to announce a plan to reduce unemployment among recently returned U.S. service members and ease their transition into the civilian work force.

The Democrat will be joined by Youngstown native, Marine Sgt. Bryant Jackson, a recipient of the Purple Heart who struggled to find work after his return from Afghanistan, according to a news release from Brown’s office.

Three arrested in robberies connection

YOUNGSTOWN – City police arrested three people – one adult and two juveniles – in connection with four recent aggravated robberies.

Police said they found evidence linking the trio to robberies at the Burger King and Subway on Midlothian Boulevard, and Family Dollar and Taco Bell on Market Street between Sept. 30 and Oct. 17.

Joseph Mascarella, 19, and two 16-year-olds were arrested at a home on West Midlothian on Saturday.

The trio is believed to be responsible for a string of armed robberies, targeting small commercial businesses and fast food restaurants in the area.

Police said the suspects walked into the businesses brandishing handguns and took money from the cash registers.

Last week, police released surveillance images and asked for the public’s help in identifying the individuals.

Police find firearm behind residence

WARREN – City police were called to a vacant residence on Scott Street S.E. on Friday after receiving reports that there was a firearm behind the building.

Officers reported finding a loaded HiPoint 9 mm carbine at the property just before 3 p.m., according to a Warren police report. The report also indicates police found a HiPoint 9 mm magazine with two Winchester 9 mm rounds and hearing protection.

The states that officers “made contact with” a known male “on investigation” and released him.

Fires at vacant house ruled as suspicious

WARREN – City fire officials are calling two back-to-back fires at a vacant house on Sunday suspicious.

Warren fire Chief Ken Nussle said fire crews responded to the initial fire at 1823 Victoria St. S.W. around 2:44 a.m. and were there for several hours dousing the flames. He said the second blaze, which started around 9 a.m. after the fire department’s shift change, “consumed what was left of the original building.”

He said the one-story building, previously condemned by the Warren Health Department, was leveled.

No injuries were reported. The property is listed as belonging to Jess Cox on the city water department’s database, Nussle said.

Howland park board OKs pergola project

HOWLAND – The Howland Park Commissioners have approved a $57,270 contract with Executive Landscaping Inc. in Vienna to finish the pergola project in the township park.

The pergola is in the northeast section of the park near the tennis courts.

Park officials said they plan to use the pergola for a garden area and walking area for park visitors.

A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained.

Mathews school board to meet on architects

VIENNA – The Mathews Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the high school cafeteria to meet with four architectural firms.

The board will also discuss the lease agreement with Cortland Banks, personnel and other matters.

Action is scheduled to be taken.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Man arrested in stabbing death

YOUNGSTOWN – A city man police believe was involved in the stabbing death of a Columbiana County woman is being held at the Mahoning County Jail.

Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV Channel 33 reported that police charged David Hackett, 51, of Youngstown, with aggravated murder.

Police found the body of Collena Carpenter, 30, of Homeworth, Monday morning on the ground in a vacant lot along West Avenue.

Reports state she had been stabbed multiple times and was lying in a pool of blood. A pile of her belongs was found a short distance away.

It is not clear what charges the 51-year-old man could be facing.

Troopers: Alcohol suspected in crash

BRACEVILLE Ohio State Highway Patrol investigators said they suspect alcohol may have played a role in the Wednesday night crash that killed a Warren man.

Troopers said Stanley Owens, 39, was removed from the scene by Braceville Township EMS, but was pronounced dead prior to his arrival at the hospital. The Trumbull County Coroner’s Office is investigating.

A passenger in the vehicle, Deborah McCabe, 36, of Leavittsburg, was transported to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, where she was in critical condition.

OSP reported that Owens was driving a 1997 GMC Sierra pickup truck eastbound on Eagle Creek Road, just east of Barclay Messerly Road, when he lost control of the vehicle on the wet pavement, traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree just before 9 p.m.

Troopers said McCabe was not wearing a seat belt.

Braceville Township police, fire and EMS departments assisted at the scene.

Man reports being raped two years ago

WARREN – City police are investigating an allegation of rape reported by a 48-year-old man this week.

Warren police reported that based on information provided by the man to a counselor during a visit to Valley Counseling recently, it was discovered that he had been sexually assaulted two years ago by another male, according to a police report.

The police report indicates the assault was reported on Wednesday. The man told police the incident took place in Tod’s Crossing, where the mother of the 31-year-old man accused of assaulting him lives.

As of Thursday, no charges had been filed in the matter and police were continuing to investigate. No other information was available.

Fire department plans open house

WEATHERSFIELD – As part of October being Fire Safety Month, the Weathersfield Fire Department station on state Route 46 will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

The event will include a K-9 unit demonstration with officer Dave Blosser and Danny, car seat safety check, fire safety program for children who will be able to dress in firefighting gear, spray a fire hose and walk through a fire training trailer. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be served.

Domestic violence and burglary charges filed

BRISTOLVILLE – Accused of stabbing his wife and forcing his way into a second home, Chris Dellick, 35, of Champion, is being charged with burglary and domestic violence.

Police responded to a call about 5 p.m. Thursday of a robery and stabbing. It was later discovered that Chris Dellick stabbed his wife in their Clearview home and then proceeded to the home of her ex-husband, according to police.

He forced his way into the second location, a Housel Craft Road home, trying to find his daughter, who his wife had dropped off there. For this, the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office is charging him with burglary.

Champion police are handling the domestic violence charges. According to police, the wife is recovering in a hospital and the wounds were not fatal.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Three people hurt in Champion crash

CHAMPION – Three people received minor injuries in a traffic accident here Sunday before noon, according to the township Fire Department.

The crash happened at the intersection of Mahoning Avenue and Marshall Avenue at around 11:50 a.m. The injuries were not life threatening, according to the department.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating, according to the fire department. No further information was available Sunday night.

Pedestrian cited in Boardman accident

BOARDMAN – A pedestrian hit by a vehicle while crossing state Route 224 near South Avenue Saturday night has been cited for not yielding to traffic outside a crosswalk.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, witnesses told police the pedestrian, of Poland, was running across the busy stretch of road when he was struck by a moving vehicle. The pedestrian was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center and was in stable condition Sunday night, according to the patrol.

Names were not readily available Sunday night.

Vienna hosts chili cookoff set for today at fire house

VIENNA The annual Vienna Chili Cookoff will be held at 5 p.m. today at the fire station on state Route 193. Entries are due by 3 p.m. at the fire station for judging at 3:30 p.m. The public is welcome at 5 p.m. to purchase chili and other food items.

The event has members of the fire department and community residents submitting chilis. Proceeds benefit the safety services and DARE program for the schools.

Cleveland pastor absent from Mass after arrest

CLEVELAND – A priest in residence has filled in for a Catholic church pastor who was arrested in Cleveland for allegedly soliciting sex in a park.

The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reports that there were no direct references to the arrest of the Rev. James McGonegal in Sunday morning Mass at the St. Ignatius of Antioch Church. Parish members declined to comment.

He was arrested Friday after allegedly soliciting a park ranger who was in plainsclothes at Edgewater Park. Police reports say McGonegal told authorities he has tested positive for HIV.

Cleveland Catholic Diocese records show the 68-year-old McGonegal has been a priest since 1971. A phone message was left for him.

The Diocese said in a statement it has a policy of cooperating with civil authorities in such matters.

Smoke diverts plane from Cleveland to Boston

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Officials say a commercial flight carrying 34 passengers had to make an emergency stop in Buffalo after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit. The plane landed safely and no one was injured.

WIVB in Buffalo reported that a Chautauqua Airlines flight operating as United Express made the emergency stop in Buffalo on Sunday. The flight departed from Cleveland and was scheduled to land in Boston at 12:18 p.m.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority spokesman Dan Hartmayer said that the crew reported smoke in the cockpit and pilots decided to divert to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The cause of the smoke was not immediately known.

Passengers were placed on other flights.

Toledo state prison hit by rising violence

TOLEDO – Authorities at the state prison in Toledo have seen inmate violence continuing to rise despite a series of changes, with four slayings in 13 months.

The Blade reports that after the Toledo Correctional Institution’s first homicide last year, staffing was increased on nights and weekends and a second investigator added. Then another inmate was killed in his cell this year, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction added nine officers to the maximum-security prison. There have been two more deadly assaults this year, the latest coming Oct. 6.

Ohio statistics show the four slayings are the most in the past 13 months of any state prison. Authorities say there are more fights, too.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Patrol: Woman, infant hurt in accident

KINSMAN – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating an accident that sent a woman and her infant child to the hospital.

According to the Southington post of the patrol, about 2:45 p.m. Thursday, a 1999 Honda Accord driven by Brandi Cottrell, 21, of Campbell was headed south on state Route 7 when it went off the right side of the road. The car struck a ditch and an embankment and then went airborne into a tree.

Both Cottrell and her child were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown with serious injuries, the patrol reports. The infant was later flown to Akron Children’s Hospital and was listed in critical condition. Condition updates were not available late Friday.

Warren woman not allowed at Giant Eagle

WARREN – A 26-year-old Warren woman has been told to stay away from the Giant Eagle on Elm Road N.E. after she admitted to taking two cases of beer, according to a police report.

The woman, of Burton Street S.E., was caught Thursday by an off-duty police officer working security at the store walking out without paying for the beverages, valued at nearly $40, the report states.

She was released on a summons after being processed at the county jail and told to stay out of the store, according to the report.

Warren man says woman hit him with car

WARREN – A 27-year-old Warren man claims he was hit by a car Thursday, and the vehicle was driven by a woman he knows.

In a police report filed by the man, of Oak Street S.W., he states he was struck about 7:30 p.m. in the area of Haymaker Avenue and Ward Street N.W. The man was taken to St. Joseph Health Center by ambulance with injuries to his left leg, according to the report.

No charges had been filed.

Police: Two detained on drug offenses

WARREN – Officers took two women into custody late Thursday night after drugs were found in their car, according to a police report.

A 21-year-old North Leavitt Road, Leavittsburg, was accused of possession of cocaine, and a 23-year-old Stewart Circle N.W., Warren, woman was accused of possession of drug paraphernalia.

A patrolman said he spotted the two women at the South Street Taco Bell. They did not appear to be customers, the report states. When he approached their vehicle, the passenger began acting suspiciously, the report states.

Narcotics and drug paraphernalia were confiscated, and the women were processed through the Trumbull County Jail and released, the report states.

Charges are pending.

Report: Copper pipe cut outside meat store

WARREN – Someone damaged copper pipe running to an air conditioner and the fence at Premium Meats Inc. on Logan Avenue N.E. early Thursday morning.

It’s believed the alarm at the business scared away the intruder before anything could be taken, according to a police report. Police and a business representative found the fence had been cut and an employee found later that someone had been on the roof, according to the report.

Police probe multiple blow dart attacks

NEWARK – Police in a central Ohio town are investigating a series of blow dart attacks.

The Advocate in Newark reports that a 13-year-old boy was stuck by a dart while riding his bike Wednesday night, though the dart didn’t pierce his skin. It was the third blow dart incident over the last several weeks in the town. One woman reported that she was shot in the leg by a dart, causing a minor injury. Another woman said a dart hit the umbrella she was carrying.

Staff, wire reports

News In Brief

Police and coroner investigate death

WARREN – The death of a 29-year-old Warren man, found inside his vehicle at Arby’s on the city’s west side, is being investigated by police here and the Trumbull County Coroner’s Office.

A report states police were called shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday to the fast food restaurant, 1001 W. Market St., where they found Kelly R. Sexton of Mahoning Avenue, whose death is believed to not include foul play.

An autopsy was performed Monday. Police are waiting for a cause of death ruling.

Man in court on violence charge

WARREN – A 30-year-old Warren man already facing a charge of domestic violence in Warren Municipal Court was in that court again Monday on the same charge.

Joseph L. Bittinger, 2227 N. Feederle Drive S.E., pleaded not guilty to the latest charge, that according to a police report stemmed from an arrest at the Washington Street N.E. home of an ex-girlfriend on Friday.

The woman told police her former boyfriend smashed the back window of her vehicle and threatened her. While police were working on that report, the woman called to say the man was at her home, where he was arrested by police.

Bittinger, on probation for a third domestic violence charge according to a court official, is set to appear in court next on Nov. 19. He is being held in the Trumbull County Jail.

Police investigate sexual assault claim

WARREN – Police here are investigating an allegation of sexual assault involving a young girl, according to a police report.

The report states the mother of the 7-year-old told police the assault happened sometime between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday at a home on McKinley Street N.E. The woman spoke to police about 11 p.m. Friday.

Police would not comment further.

Warren man struck by car while jogging

WARREN – A 53-year-old city man was struck by a car and injured over the weekend while jogging across North Street N.W.

According to a crash report, the jogger, of Comstock Street N.E., was running on the sidewalk along North Park Avenue about 7 a.m. Saturday when he was hit by a vehicle as he crossed North Street N.W. The report says the crash pushed the jogger into the street, and he crawled back to the sidewalk.

The man was taken to Trumbull Memorial Hospital with a minor injury and the driver of the vehicle, of Cortland, was not cited.

Man cited with firing weapon in Warren

WARREN – A Warren man cited Sunday with firing a gun inside city limits pleaded not guilty to the charge Monday in Warren Municipal Court.

James DeHart, 58, 697 Delaware Ave. S.W., told police who arrived at the Front Street S.W. home they were called to for a man shooting a gun, he was ”sighting in the gun” and pointed to a large tree with a target, which was about 75 yards away, according to a report.

DeHart told police he believed he was in Warren Township and not in Warren city, the report states. Police found a bullet hole in the tree high and right of the target. The report states the gun was fired near the entrance of Deemer Park.

DeHart is free on a personal recognizance bond.

Tornado simulation planned in Hubbard

HUBBARD – A tornado drill simulation will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Oct. 16 at Hubbard High School, according to school officials.

The Eagle Joint Fire District will be conducting the disaster drill in conjunction with other local agencies. Staging vehicles will be parked behind the school on Loop Road.

The drill will last approximately three minutes and will include simulated emergency patients who will be transported to three area facilities.

Tribune Chronicle

News In Brief

Newspaper thefts nets suspended jail sentence

WARREN – A 77-year-old Front Street S.W. man was handed a 180-day suspended jail sentence, fined $50 and placed on three years probation after pleading no contest Tuesday to charges of stealing Tribune Chronicle newspapers out of a coin box.

John B. Prymmer was photographed taking several copies of the newspaper out of a box outside Buckeye Apartments last November and December after only paying 50 cents for one copy of the paper.

Officials at the newspaper filed the petty theft charge in Warren Municipal Court after being informed by an anonymous caller from the apartment complex and after conducting an independent investigation.

Tickets are on sale for Taste of Home

Tickets are on sale for the annual Taste of Home cooking school sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle. The show will take place Tuesday 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 and to buy tickets, contact Sue Shafer at 330-841-1696 or at Or click on the Taste of Home button, just below the poll question on the Tribune Chronicle home page, at

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 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

Drug company closing, 1,100 jobs to be lost

BEDFORD – A northeast Ohio company that manufactured cancer drugs is closing, and more than 1,000 jobs will be lost.

Ben Venue Laboratories Inc. said Thursday it will stop production by the end of this year. The Bedford company says all 1,100 jobs will be phased out starting this month and continuing into next year.

The company voluntarily shut down two years ago due to quality problems at its factory. It said last October it had resumed limited drug manufacturing and was upgrading its facilities.

Ben Venue says the investment needed to sustain production isn’t viable. It projected operating losses of about $700 million over the next five years.

Ben Venue is part of the Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim family of companies.

Clay substance spills during pipeline job

CADIZ – Environmental regulators worked Thursday to determine the cause of a significant spill of a clay lubricant during construction of an underground pipeline in eastern Ohio.

Southeast Directional Drilling Co. reported Tuesday it had released an unknown quantity containing the lubricant, bentonite, in Harrison County, northeast of the village Cadiz. The spill occurred during construction of the ATEX pipeline, which will carry liquid petroleum products from Pennsylvania to Texas.

The clay substance, which can be used to lubricate cutting tools in drilling operations, ran into nearby Conotton Creek and onto the properties of two homeowners, affecting their private drinking water, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Chris Abbruzzese said Thursday.

Staff, wire reports

The cleanup was nearly complete, and the company was providing clean drinking water to the families, he said.

“No violations have been issued yet, but they did impact a waterway,” he said. “The agency is investigating all enforcement actions available at this time.”

A message seeking comment from the company was not immediately returned Thursday.

Abbruzzese said bentonite is generally non-threatening to the public, but in large quantities it has the potential to choke out plant life, kill fish and other life in streams and marshes. He said “out of an abundance of caution” the state also was testing the released material to assure it contained no toxins.

News In Brief

Man arrested on drug and weapons charges

LIBERTY – A Youngstown man was arrested Friday evening after being found in a hotel room with guns and drugs.

Corey M. Logan, 24, of 539 Redondo Road, faces felony charges of having weapons while under disability, possession of criminal tools, possession of drugs and permitting drug abuse.

Additionally, Logan is charged with misdemeanor using weapons while intoxicated.

Police responded to Motel 6 on Belmont Avenue about 5 p.m. following a complaint that one of the rooms was being used for the selling of heroin and prostitution, according to the police report.

When officers arrived at the scene outside the room, the report said, Logan approached them. Logan was carrying a fully loaded 40 caliber pistol and a pill bottle with the label ripped off.

According to the report, the bottle contained assorted prescription pills.

Upon entering the hotel room, the report said, police found an additional handgun, five grams of heroin, drug paraphernalia, baggies, a digital scale with a powdery residue on it and a box of bullets.

Another man inside the room, Marquice Denson, 32, of 1230 Kendis Circle, was taken into custody on a warrant out of Youngstown for failure to appear in court.

Youngstown police investigating robbery

YOUNGSTOWN – City police continued investigating a robbery early Sunday involving a group of Youngstown State University students.

Reports state that the robbery was reported about 4 a.m. at a house on Fifth Avenue.

The students were robbed by a group of several people who fled the scene, reports state.

Earlier this month, police arrested two teenage boys in connection with similar robberies on the city’s North Side recently.

Warren man says door was kicked in

WARREN – A Kenilworth Avenue man told police someone kicked in his door late Friday night.

Maurice A. Smith, 25, told police he heard a noise, went to the door and had an altercation with the person, whom he knows, according to a Warren police report.

Reports state the rear entrance door to Smith’s residence was damaged. Police said the person fled the scene before officers arrived, and that they searched the area but were unable to locate the person.

Liberty to meet on cruisers, trash hauling

LIBERTY – Township trustees have scheduled a special meeting for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the township administration building to approve the purchase of police cruisers, extend the trash hauling contract with Republic Services for one year, and other business.

An executive session to discuss contract negotiations may also be held.

300 jobs may be lost at Verizon in Boardman

YOUNGSTOWN – More than 300 jobs will be lost in the consolidation of a wireless voice and data business that received a tax credit recommended by Ohio’s privatized nonprofit job creation board.

The consolidation of Verizon Wireless offices in Ohio will result in the shutdown of the company’s Boardman office and the loss of 370 jobs.

The JobsOhio board created by Republican Gov. John Kasich’s administration to lead Ohio’s economic development efforts recommended the $4.5 million tax credit to keep Verizon in the state.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols says the tax credit saved other Verizon jobs in Ohio. JobsOhio spokeswoman Laura Jones says there’s a net positive of 500 jobs.

Verizon spokeswoman Lauren Merritt says the company is trying to consolidate operations and make better use of its real estate.

Staff, wire reports