If you missed-out on a chance to buy t-shirts to support the Akron Police Memorial and Eternal flame in February, you've got another chance. Retired officer Frank Martucci and his wife, Diane, will have the table set-up again on Friday from Noon until 4:00PM at police headquarters. The shirts go at a cost between 15 and 19 dollars each, depending on size. Every dollar raised supports the Memorial and Flame, dedicated in July, 2000 by officer Russ Long before he passed-away and the daughter of Akron Officer Ben Franklin, who died in the line of duty. The police department is located at 217 South High Street in downtown Akron.
Charter schools in Ohio with low performance ratings may face a new set of accountability standards. A proposal approved on Thursday by the Ohio House passed on a 70-25 vote and now goes to the State Senate. It would demand that charter school sponsors provide more information regarding finances, enrollment and attendance reporting. Governing boards would also be required to file annual conflict-of-interest statements and low-performing schools would be barred from gaining new sponsors. The move follows a recent study that showed mediocre performance results among charter schools and students lagging-behind their traditional counterparts.
The Ohio House on Thursday voted 78-13 to approve the proposed two-year, seven-Billion dollar transportation budget. It's now headed to the desk of Governor Kasich for a review. Democrats are calling on Kasich to use line-item veto powers to eliminate a provision requiring new residents who register to vote or file their taxes to obtain an Ohio driver's license and register their vehicles within 30 days. They claim the language discourages out-of-state college students from voting in our state. The senate had previously passed the bill with a unanimous vote.
A Cuyahoga County judge on Thursday granted a defense request for a bench trial for Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo. He's up on voluntary manslaughter charges in connection with the police-related shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects at the end of a long chase in November 2012. Brelo allegedly stood on the hood of the suspects' car and fired the final rounds of a 137-shot barrage into the windshield, which left 43-year-old Timothy Russell and 30-year-old Malissa Williams dead inside the vehicle. Brelo's trial is slated for April 6.
If you forgot to file your Federal income taxes in 2012 for the 2011 tax year, you'd better get cracking. The IRS says there are some 40-Thousand Ohio residents who are due a total of 35.2-Million dollars' worth of refund money...and if you fail to file by April 15, you'll be out of luck in collecting that refund. The IRS says the average refund due to Ohio residents is 700 dollars and nation-wide, around a Million taxpayers are still in line to claim around a Billion dollars. If your refund for the 2011 tax year isn't claimed by this year's tax deadline, the money is forfeited to the government.
The Summit County United Way has announced they're getting a new CEO. 34-year-old Jim Mullen, who currently works for the United Way agency in Nashville, Tennessee, will take-on his new post on May 4. The announcement comes following a nation-wide search conducted by the Summit County United Way that began last fall when Bob Kulinski announced plans to retire after a long career with the agency.
An Akron man whose conviction on multiple murder charges last year was over-turned will see his re-trial get under-way this spring. 23-year-old Deshanon Haywood was accused as an accomplice in the murders of four people in the city nearly two years ago. A Summit County Judge on October 18 vacated the conviction and ordered a new trial on multiple counts of aggravated murder. A jury on October 1 had convicted Haywood for the April 2013 murders of two young men and two 19-year-old women at a townhouse on Kimlyn Circle, but his lawyers immediately claimed misconduct by the County Prosecutor's office and at least two witnesses in the trial. A Summit County judge on Thursday ruled that the death penalty specifications against Haywood will remain intact. Jury selection in the next round of proceedings was originally slated for April 27 but has been moved-back to May 11.
A young Barberton man has been arrested for the second time in less than a year on charges of impersonating a police officer. 19-year-old Michael Bollinger came upon a disabled vehicle with three people inside last Friday on Wooster Road and reportedly told them that he was a cop...asking for license and registration, saying he could issue a citation for blocking traffic. The people in the disabled car got suspicious and began asking questions and were apparently told by Bollinger that he's part of a special security force. He eventually left the scene. Bollinger had pleaded guilty to an identical charge last July and Barberton Police are asking others to come forward with information if they've had a similar encounter.
The slow-down in oil and gas drilling operations in Ohio and elsewhere has reduced demand, resulting in temporary layoffs for some 200 workers at Republic Steel in Lorain. The company says the job cuts impact both hourly and salaried employees at the plant, which provides stock to the US Steel Lorain Tubular Operations that's been idle for the past three months. No word how long the layoffs will last and the president of the United Steelworkers Local says the plant is also being hurt by an influx of foreign firms dumping cheap steel into the US market.
A Zanesville man who had worked for a child-care facility has been indicted on child porn charges involving a teenage girl under his care. 34-year-old Rodney Curtis has been hit with 63 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and 11 counts of sexual battery. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment this week in Muskingum County Court and saw his bond set at one-Million dollars. Curtis is accused of photographing a 15-year-old resident of Avondale Youth Center for abused and neglected children, then sharing the images online.
A 29-year veteran Cincinnati firefighter is being hailed as a fallen hero after dying from the injuries he suffered during a rescue attempt. 54-year-old Daryl Gordon was taken by stretcher from a fire scene and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Crews had responded to King Towers apartment complex on a fire call around 5:45AM Thursday and Gordon fell down an elevator shaft while working to rescue tenants from the building. Another firefighter was taken from the scene with second-degree burns. All the residents were evacuated, though some required treatment for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Police in Warren are looking for the driver of a car that may have been involved in the March 12 crash that killed a 17-year-old girl. Alyssa Wynn died when her mother lost control of her pickup truck on Market Street and crashed into a building. The mother told authorities that she was cut-off by the other car, causing her to swerve and hit a pothole before she lost control of the wheel. Police are looking for a white, 90’s-model Chevrolet, possibly a Malibu that was driven by a white male between 21-35 years old with tattoos on his left arm.
What was once a well-known restaurant in the Twin Lakes area is fast falling to ruin. It’s been less than a year since the Rusty Nail in the 7200 block of Route 43 closed its doors…and the roof of the structure has begun to collapse. Officials have set-up barricades and roped-off the structure to curiosity-seekers and are looking at what to do with the building. The Rusty Nail opened in 1967 but was shut-down for good in June last year and has since gone into foreclosure.
Right up until he was sentenced, a Canton man continued to insist he’s innocent in the beating death of another man last year. 42-year-old Anthony Cook was sentenced to a life prison term with no chance of parole for at least 25 years. A jury convicted him on the murder charge last week for the August 20 beating death last year of 50-year-old Ernest Morris. The victim was attacked in a parking lot near Second Street and Fulton Road NW and Cook’s fingerprints were found on the dead man’s vehicle, although he continued to claim he never met the man or had any contact with him.
Authorities say that a Canton man charged with nine counts of aggravated arson in connection with the fire that left nine people, including four children, hurt in this week’s blaze inside an apartment complex had just been evicted from the place. 57-year-old Christopher Cooper is charged with starting the blaze in a unit at the facility located in the 1400 block of Rachel Street NW. The flames began around 6:00PM Tuesday and forced a number of people to jump or toss their children from windows on the upper floors. Investigators say witnesses saw Cooper load-up his belongings into a truck before going back inside the three-story building and allegedly setting fire to the unit he had rented. He had reportedly made previous threats to burn the building down. Damage in the aftermath was estimated at 250-Thousand dollars.
The State Highway Patrol says two people were hospitalized in a head-on crash that happened in Wayne County’s Canaan Township late Wednesday afternoon. The wreck happened just before 4:30PM on State Route 83 and Ewing Road, just as drivers were calling 911 to report a reckless driver. 23-year-old Michael Valentine of West Salem went left-of-center while driving southbound on Route 83, his car slamming into the car driven the other way by a 68-year-old woman. Valentine was taken by LifeFlight to Akron City Hospital while the woman had to be cut from her vehicle before being transported at AGMC. Valentine admitted he’s an illegal drug user but refused a sobriety test. Charges are pending as the investigation continues.
The head of the UAW Local in Toledo says he’s confident that production of the Jeep Wrangler will be saved at the city’s assembly plant. The President of United Auto Workers Local 12 says a final decision from Fiat-Chrysler is expected within the next few weeks. The automaker said last year that it was considering a move to an all-aluminum body for the Wrangler, but that the change-over wasn’t cost-effective at the Toledo plant. City officials in Toledo recently stepped-up to offer incentives to keep the company’s line where it is.
Dozens of people accused of being involved in a large-scale drug ring in southern Ohio have been indicted by a Grand Jury. Authorities in Circleville announced this week that 17 people are facing drug-trafficking charges while 54 others are up on charges of possessing cocaine, heroin or both. The State Attorney General’s office says the ringleaders were raking-in about 40-Thousand dollars each month as they and others transported drugs from Columbus to Circleville, where the contraband was funneled to the streets between August 2010 and December last year.
The 24-member panel convened by Governor Kasich to look into police-community relations issues was slated to meet again on Thursday in Columbus and are reportedly close to issuing a final report. The group comprised of city council members, religious leaders and law enforcement officials gathered information from a number of forums held around the state. Their job is to recommend changes in police training and improve interaction between officers and residents in minority communities. A recommendation is expected within the next few weeks. Meanwhile, a separate task force put-together by the State Attorney General is reviewing possible changes to police training techniques.
Two men charged with defrauding investors in a sports drink company were convicted this week in Columbus Federal Court. Preston Harrison and Thomas Jackson, operators of Imperial Integrated Health Research and Development in Westerville, were found guilty by a jury on charges they misled investors about the product OXYwater, then diverted the victims’ money for personal use. Harrison and his wife were also convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing a false income tax return. Authorities say investors lost around nine-Million dollars through their actions between summertime of 2010 and spring of 2013. They’ll be sentenced later.