Jury recommends death sentence
YOUNGSTOWN – A jury on Monday recommended the death penalty for Willie Wilks, who was convicted of murder last in the death of Orora Wilkins in Youngstown last spring. Judge Lou D’Apolito has not set a sentencing date.
Wilks was accused of killing Wilkins and then turning his AK-47 on Alexander Morales Jr. last spring as the two sat on the front porch of a home on the city’s North Side. Morales was injured.
Willard to receive library grant
WARREN – Willard PK-8 School has been granted a $5,000 grant to expand, update and diversify its library book collection.
The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries awarded the grant to more than 200 schools across the country. The application for Willard was submitted by a school librarian. Willard is the only school in the Mahoning Valley to receive this year’s award.
The grants are funded through donations and approved by the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
OVI checkpoint set this week
SOUTHINGTON – The Ohio State Highway Patrol announced Monday that troopers will operate a checkpoint this week in an effort to intercept impaired drivers.
The specific area in Trumbull County where the checkpoint will be held will be released the morning of the operation. Operational support for the sobriety checkpoint will be provided by local law enforcement agencies.
Girard rejects bridge repair bids
GIRARD – The city has rejected bids to repair or replace the bridge into Liberty Park.
According to Girard city Service Director Jerry Lambert, the city turned down a bid of $142,000, which was more than 10 percent over the estimated cost of repairing the bridge
The bridge was condemned in early February as a part of the city’s routine maintenance checks. Lambert said that holding off until a later date in the hopes of drawing more competitive bids is the next possible step for the project.
Warren taking grant applications
WARREN – The city is accepting proposals for funding for its 2015 Community Development Block Grants. Nonprofit organizations serving low-to moderate-income residents are invited to apply for a portion of what is expected to be about $1 million worth of grant money that may be available to the city.
Organizations interested in submitting proposals are encouraged to attend workshops to review the application process at 9 a.m. Thursday and at 2 p.m. Friday. Workshops will be held at the Community Services Building, 418 Main Ave. S.W., Warren. Applications will be accepted until 3:30 p.m., July 31.
For information, call Erica Davis, 330-841-2595, Ext. 12.
Pair report beating inside Warren bar
WARREN – Police are investigating the reported assault of a couple early Wednesday morning at the Summit Lounge on the city’s north side.
The couple said they were beaten about 4 a.m. inside the bar with a baseball bat and metal dog chain by a person they know, the police report states. Later in the morning, the pair told police they were followed to their Parkman Road home by the same man who assaulted them, according to the report.
Arrests are pending an ongoing investigation by Warren police, the report states.
Mathews to host forum on bond issues
FOWLER – The Mathews Bond Issue Committee will hold the final information forum at 3 p.m. Sunday at Currie Elementary School.
Personnel will be available to explain the bond issue and the future of Mathews’ facilities.
‘Ohio Strong’ award presentation today
VIENNA – Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel will be at STARR Manufacturing in Vienna today to present an employee there with an ”Ohio Strong” award.
The program recognizes local workers in the manufacturing and skilled trades areas and raises awareness to encourage more people to pursue careers in these type of fields, according to a release from Mandel’s office. The event begins at 9 a.m.
Nominations sought for teacher awards
WARREN – Nominations are being accepted for the Tribune Chronicle’s 2014 A+ teacher awards.
The teacher should be a current K-12 educator who teaches in Trumbull County in a public, private or parochial school setting.
Nominations should include the name of the teacher and school and how the teacher has influenced, supported or inspired students. Nominations can be submitted by students, parents or colleagues. Parents can assist children with nominations. Twenty teachers will be chosen and will be featured in a story on May 18.
Forms have been sent to area schools, but submissions also can be emailed to Tribune Chronicle Events Coordinator Sue Shafer at email@example.com or dropped off or mailed to the Tribune Chronicle, 240 Franklin St., Warren 44483.
The deadline for entries to be received is Wednesday.
Fire crews battle debris fire
BAZETTA – Fire crews from Bazetta, Bristol and Champion battled a large debris fire Monday on North Park Avenue.
A Bazetta fire spokesman said the department originally received a call at 10:45 a.m. of a large brush fire at 4560 N. Park Ave. but when crews arrived it was a large fire of trash, debris, scrap and junk vehicles on fire.
Crews were able to quickly get the fire under control.
Also, a brush fire on Youngstown’s East side Monday afternoon caused some problems for firefighters trying to put it out.
Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV-33 reported the fire was in the woods along state Route 616 near Coitsville Township and was spreading quickly when Youngstown fire crews arrived on the scene.
Four other departments were eventually called in to help. At one point, the fire threatened several homes on Route 616.
Crews also ran into problems with the soft ground. Their trucks became stuck in spots.
Weekend OVI blitz nets 3 arrests
CANFIELD – Three drunken driving arrests were made by law enforcement officers during an enforcement blitz over the weekend in Mahoning County.
The blitz, conducted by the Mahoning County OVI Task Force in collaboration with the Ohio Highway Patrol, included two checkpoints and one corridor enforcement blitz on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, one OVI arrest was made during the corridor enforcement blitz, held from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. along state Route 46 and Market Street. In all, 55 traffic stops were made, which resulted in one seat belt citation, two speeding citations, one distracted driving citation and one felony arrest for theft.
On Saturday, a sobriety checkpoint was conducted from 10 p.m. to midnight on Market Street in Boardman. A total of 356 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, resulting in one OVI arrest, one summons for driving under suspension, one citation for no operator’s license, one citation for no child restraint and one citation for defective exhaust.
Additionally, a sobriety checkpoint was conducted from 1 to 3 a.m. Sunday at 11330 Market St. in North Lima. A total of 41 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, with five directed into the diversion area for further investigation. One arrest was made for OVI, along with one citation for no seat belt and one summons for drug paraphernalia.
The Mahoning County OVI Task Force is funded by a federal grant, which is administered through the Ohio Department of Public Safety. The task force will continue to conduct coordinated saturation patrol blitzes, corridor enforcement blitzes, and sobriety checkpoints across the county, according to a media release.
Seminar set for nominations
WARREN – A seminar for high school students in the Mahoning Valley interested in nomination to one of the U.S. Military service academies for 2015 will be held at 6 p.m. today at Youngstown State University’s Kilcawley Center.
Fire damages parked vehicles
WARREN – Three vehicles were damaged about 2:30 a.m. Monday as a result of one of the cars being intentionally set on fire.
A 1999 Pontiac Grand Am belonging to Patricia Baumgartner parked outside of 423 Martin St. S.W. was set on fire, Warren police said. Two other vehicles parked nearby, a 2000 Chrysler Concorde and a 2000 Mitsubishi Diamante, were also damaged.
The loss of the three vehicles has a combined estimated value of $4,200, police said. An investigation is ongoing.