The State Highway Patrol's Portage County post says alcohol and drugs were apparent factors in a car-pedestrian incident over the weekend that claimed the life of a man. 68-year-old Donald Leasure of Windham was walking along Bryant Road north of State Route 303 in Windham Township shortly after 12:30PM when he was hit. Leasure becomes the sixth person to be killed in highway incidents this year in Portage County. Charges are expected to be filed against the 21-year-old Windham woman who was behind the wheel. Troopers are still investigating.
A use-of-force expert hired by prosecutors in Cuyahoga County took the witness stand in the trial of Cleveland Police officer Michael Brelo on Monday, telling the judge that the cop's actions in jumping on the hood of a car and emptying his clip into the windshield were unreasonable. The testimony came as prosecutors prepared to rest their case against Brelo, who faces two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the November 2012 shooting deaths of two unarmed people who led officers on a long, high-speed chase that ended on the east side with 137 shots fired into the vehicle...the final rounds from Brelo's gun as he stood on the hood of the car.
An Akron man led police on a chase before he was eventually stopped and arrested. Akron Police say 21-year-old James Pixley of Champlain Street refused to stop when an officer tried to pull him over at Vernon Odom Boulevard and East Avenue. He allegedly ran several red lights before he pulled into his driveway and was taken into custody. Officers found him carrying a knife and charged Pixley with carrying a concealed weapon and willful fleeing.
A mid-day bank robbery in Akron netted the bandit an undisclosed amount of cash on Monday. Akron Police say a man in full camouflage including a full face mask entered the US Bank branch in the 600 block of South Canton Road shortly after 11:30AM, placed a bag on the counter and demanded money. No gun was seen and the robber fled the bank with the loot. He's described as a white male, 50-55 years old, five-feet-seven and 200 pounds with facial hair. In addition to the olive-green camo coat and pants, he was wearing brown boots. Police are looking for tips on his identity and surveillance photos have been released. If you have information, call APD Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490.
An Akron man was convicted Monday on charges of burning a two-year-old girl. 24-year-old Devon Melton of Tonawanda Avenue took the child to the hospital January 4, telling staffers that the little girl had fallen into boiling water that was sitting on the floor. The toddler suffered second-degree burns in the incident and investigators said the injuries to her hands and legs were more consistent with someone torturing her with the heated metal from a cigarette lighter. Melton entered an Alford plea on Monday in Summit County Court and was immediately convicted on two counts of felonious assault and three child endangering charges. He returns to court for sentencing on June 2 and faces a maximum 16-year prison sentence.
Medina County saw more than its share of highway tragedy over the weekend, with two separate crashes that claimed the lives of three people and left four others hurt.
The State Highway Patrol says 25-year-old Jessica Shortland of Wakeman and 36-year-old Mary Curney of Elyria both died late Sunday night following a two-vehicle crash that ejected both victims at State Route 83 and West Smith Road in Litchfield Township. Troopers say their car collided with another that ran a stop sign at the intersection. 84-year-old Houston Lloyd of Wellington and his passenger, 80-year-old Martha Lloyd, were both taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland with serious injuries.
Shortly before Midnight Friday night, a pickup truck failed to make a turn on Foskett Road at Fawn Haven Drive in Brunswick Hills Township. The truck hit a tree, ejecting 25-year-old Shawn Barre of Brunswick from the cab and killing him on the scene. 23-year-old driver Kory Kuntz of Medina was reportedly drunk at the time. He and another passenger, 22-year-old Christopher Kreeger, were both taken by LifeFlight to a Cleveland hospital with serious injuries. None of the occupants of the pickup were wearing seat belts.
An arrest has been made after three Stark County Jail inmates needed hospital treatment over the weekend for heroin overdoses. 29-year-old Ryan Jones of North Canton was booked into the Jail on charges of possession and trafficking of heroin and illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility. He allegedly sold the drugs to inmates who were rushed to the hospital on Friday night. All of them were back in the lock-up by Saturday morning. A fourth inmate was treated at the Jail. Authorities say Jones had been arrested last Tuesday on a heroin trafficking warrant.
The Summit County Sheriff’s office is continuing its investigation into a car explosion that happened over the weekend in Green. Calls came in shortly before 9:30 Saturday night and responding deputies found a vehicle destroyed with fire burning around it in the 3600 block of Tabs Drive. Fire crews were called and quickly put-out the flames and there were no reported injuries. The county’s Crime Scene Unit and Bomb Squad are also involved in the follow-up investigation and are looking for tips. If you saw any activity in the area before 9:30 Saturday night, call the Detective Bureau at 330-643-8637.
Now that winter has passed and construction season is getting started, Portage County drivers using State Route 14 in Ravenna and Edinburg Townships will have to contend with a detour starting next week. On Monday, Route 14 will be shut-down between Industry and Hayes Roads for replacement of culverts. Drivers will need to detour on State Routes 5 and 44 through completion of the project, slated for May 4. There are several other projects ongoing in the area that will make travel a bit of a headache.
A former Massillon resident recently appeared in Portage County Court to plead guilty to a list of charges and was immediately sent to prison for eight years. 32-year-old Gary Thompson’s pleas were in connection with a plot to rob a drug dealer in Kent in December 2013 and his efforts to flee trial proceedings by jumping bail and running-off to Tennessee. Thompson and four others were caught with SWAT-style equipment, handcuffs, masks and other gear before they were able to mount a bogus raid on the drug dealer’s house. He was given five years on a conviction for conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery with another three years tacked-on for a gun specification.
The weekend started and ended with deadly gunfire in Youngstown. Police say 55-year-old William Jones was shot to death in front of the home of a relative on Princeton Avenue on Sunday afternoon. Youngstown detectives are also investigating the Friday shooting that claimed the life of 28-year-old Xavier Vega, gunned-down in front of a home on South Jackson Street. Police say both men were victims of apparent drive-by shootings and while investigators have a few leads in Sunday’s murder, no suspects have been named in connection with Friday’s incident.
Drivers in Ohio were met with higher prices at the pump again on Monday. AAA’s weekly price report shows we were paying seven cents more than we did a week ago, with an average cost for a gallon of regular at $2.41. The agency says the cost is still $1.31 less than we paid last year at this time and five cents lower than the national average, which also rose seven cents over the past week.
Members of Cleveland City Council are expected to vote on changes to the city’s gun laws that exceed state mandates. Legislation headed to the Council floor and endorsed by the Mayor’s office would require private sellers to report transactions to police, outlaw concealed carry and require gun owners to immediately report stolen or lost firearms to law enforcement agencies. The plan is expected to result in another round of litigation in the courts. In December 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that state law outweighed that of municipalities in a previous challenge to Cleveland gun law changes that were passed by Council nine years ago.
The US Army Corps of Engineers says it has a plan to address the chronic issue of flooding in the northwest Ohio city of Findlay…but the solution won’t be cheap. The Federal agency has fronted a plan to build a 10-mile channel to divert water from downtown and build a levee to hold-back flood waters from the Blanchard River, an effort with an estimated cost of 66-Million dollars. With river flooding in the city an ongoing problem each year resulting in Millions of dollars’ worth of damage, officials say the plan would reduce flood waters by around two feet and keep most of the city dry during a major flood.
Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center is heading-up a state-wide colon cancer screening effort, looking for ways of preventing the disease. OSU’s project involves 42 hospitals around the state with a goal of screening all Ohioans diagnosed with colon cancer since 2013 for evidence of Lynch syndrome. Researchers say it’s an inherited genetic mutation that’s known to increase the risk or recurrence of cancer. The university also wants to create a state-wide database for future research and reports that 15-hundred Ohio patients have already signed-up for the screenings. Enrollment in the program is open through the end of the year.
Some state lawmakers in Ohio and the Governor continue to differ in their opinions on how to make a college education more affordable. One way or another, however, the Columbus Dispatch reports that universities are going to have harder financial times once the Governor and Legislature agree on a plan to keep tuition in check. Governor Kasich’s proposed budget calls for capping tuition hikes at two-percent for two years while lawmakers want a flat 200-dollar cap. The House also wants to ban “course overload” fees while the President of the Senate is asking schools to find ways of reducing overall student costs by five-percent.
Governor Kasich made more stops in the Primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire over the weekend and for a man who says he’s undecided, seems to be headed toward a formal announcement on a run for the White House. Appearing on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” on NBC, he stopped short of tipping his hand while telling the audience that he’s getting “more serious” about a run for the GOP nomination. He said that his experience would outweigh that of any other official candidate so far and that if he ran, he’d be able to cite what he’s done…instead of just what he wants to do.
Two women were killed in a two-vehicle crash last night in Medina County. It happened just before 10 pm on State Route 83 and West Smith Road in Litchfield Township. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said an 84 year-old Wellington man driving a van did not stop at a stop sign and hit a PT Cruiser. Both people inside the PT Cruiser were ejected as the vehicle rolled several times. Killed in the crash: 25 year-old Jessica Shortland, of Wakeman, and 36 year-old Mary Curney, of Elyria. The driver of the van and his 80-year-old passenger were transported to a Medina hospital with serious injuries.
The man accused of stabbing a 76-year-old Cleveland woman to death appeared in court this morning. Fox 8 reports, 47-year-old Glen Campbell , pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder. Bond set at $2 million. Eva Hodisan was found dead in her Cleveland apartment on April 7. She had been beaten and stabbed. Physical evidence was recovered from the scene and Campbell was arrested a week later in Cuyahoga Falls.
Stark State College will offer free workshops on basic computer skills at various Akron Public Schools. The sessions will cover the parts of a computer, navigating the Windows operating system and Microsoft Word, as well as other topics. The sessions, 5:30 to 8 pm , Tuesday and Thursday at Jennings Middle School, 227 E. Tallmadge Avenue. Also, April 27 and 29, Hyre Elementary School on Wedgewood Drive and May 12 and 14 at Innes Middle School on East Avenue. To register, call 330-494-6170, ext. 4977.