Salem cop pleads not guilty to OVI
CANFIELD - The Salem police officer charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and a marked lanes violation entered a plea of not guilty during arraignment Wednesday night in Mahoning County Court in Canfield.
Gary Poage, 47, of Salem, appeared with attorney Walter Ritchie before Judge Scott Hunter, who released him on his own recognizance and said a pretrial date will be set.
A patrolman with the Salem Police Department since June 1993, Poage was suspended without pay on Tuesday pending the outcome of the court case. Police Chief J.T. Panezott said he was evaluating Poage's personnel file "to decide if any other action will be taken prior to this being resolved in court."
Poage's vehicle was stopped at 2:32 a.m. Sunday on South Broad Street by Canfield Police after allegedly traveling left of center and weaving. He was found to be more than three times over the legal limit for alcohol after blowing a 0.260 during a portable breath test. The legal limit in Ohio is 0.08.
At the police station, he agreed to a chemical test which resulted in a reading of 0.244.
Man charged in $8.8M tax scheme
CLEVELAND - A northeast Ohio man has been indicted on federal charges alleging he made false claims for income tax refunds totaling more than $8.8 million.
Federal prosecutors in Cleveland say Brian Krantz and corporations he controlled were issued 17 refund checks amounting to more than $3.6 million as a result of the alleged scheme.
Prosecutors say it involved fake Internal Revenue Service forms and that Krantz used some of the proceeds to finance a real estate venture.
The 45-year-old Twinsburg man was indicted on 30 counts of making false claims and one count of conspiring to make false claims after an IRS investigation.
It wasn't clear Thursday if he had legal representation.
Prosecutors say his alleged co-conspirator pleaded guilty.
Man who died in rescue hailed as hero
COLUMBUS - Police have provided a funeral escort for a central Ohio man who died trying to save a child from an icy pond last week.
Columbus police and other first responders said they were treating Thursday's funeral of 30-year-old James Jenkins as that of a hero and fallen brother.
Jenkins died after going into a pond at a Columbus apartment complex after a 5-year-old child fell in on Feb. 7. Rescue divers pulled Jenkins and the boy from the freezing water some time later. Both later died.
Witnesses say Jenkins did all he could to try to save the boy's life. He tried to hold the boy's head above the water as they both struggled in the icy pond.
Youth pastor charges with sex with teen
TROY - Authorities say a youth pastor at a western Ohio church has been charged with having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl he was mentoring.
The Dayton Daily News reports that bail was set at $100,000 Wednesday for 26-year-old Michael Mohler. He was a staff pastor at First United Methodist Church in Troy.
Detectives say Mohler became involved with the girl through the church and began mentoring her when she came to him for advice about her boyfriend. The alleged sexual contact took place at his home in August.
The church said Mohler has been relieved of his duties.
He was in jail Thursday. Online records did not indicate if he had an attorney.
Staff, wire reports