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John "Couchburner" Denning

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Appeals Court Rules Against Veteran's Ducks

Jun 30, 2015 -- 10:01am

Judges from the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Coshocton have dealt a blow to an Iraq War veteran in his fight to keep his pet ducks to help him deal with post-war depression. The Court this week said there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove that Darin Walker's ducks are necessary to help him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder or that he has no alternative treatment. He had been convicted of a misdemeanor charge and fined fifty bucks for keeping the ducks at his home in West Lafayette. He plans to file another appeal.



Young Driver Hurt in PorCo Crash

Jun 30, 2015 -- 7:19am

A young man from Warren was taken to a Cleveland hospital with serious injuries following a one-vehicle crash early Monday evening in Garrettsville. The State Highway Patrol says 21-year-old Maxwell Cozadd was driving east on US 422 around 5:20PM when he lost control of his pickup truck, went off the road and hit a tree before the vehicle overturned. He was taken to the Intensive Care Unit of Cleveland Metro Hospital. The crash remains under investigation.



Indictment Issued after Drunk-Driving Arrest

Jun 30, 2015 -- 7:05am

A Brimfield man has been indicted by a Summit County Grand Jury on charges following his arrest during a traffic stop by Mogadore Police. 50-year-old Dale Knepp of Sunnybrook Road was pulled-over June 10 on State Route 532 and had a blood alcohol content of point-296 at the time. He was driving on a suspended license after nine convictions over 16 years. He now faces two new felony counts of OVI, plus charges of driving under suspension and having an open container.



Traffic Worker Hurt in Wreck Dies

Jun 30, 2015 -- 6:04am

A worker servicing a traffic signal in Stark County's Pike Township was taken to Aultman Hospital and later died after the bucket on his truck was hit by a semi on Monday. The State Highway Patrol says 46-year-old Paul Vaughn of Canfield was inside the bucket, raised to the signal when the semi driven by a 62-year-old Cleveland man slammed into it while passing through. The Stark County Coroner's office announced that Vaughn died in the surgical ICU at Aultman at 5:30PM. The accident that happened around 10:05 Monday morning on State Route 800 at Westbrook Street remains under investigation.



Council has New At-Large Member

Jun 30, 2015 -- 5:11am

Akron City Council is back to full strength, with members on Monday night choosing 32-year-old DeAndre Forney as the appointee for the vacant At-Large seat. The appointment finally puts an end to the musical-chairs environment at City Hall that began with the sudden announcement from Mayor Don Plusquellic that he would resign at the end of May. Since then, there have been a groundswell of moves that created need to fill vacancies on an almost weekly basis. Forney was chosen among 17 applicants for the post and will fill the remainder of the term of former Councilman Jeff Fusco, who was elevated to the Mayor's office on an interim basis when Garry Moneypenny stepped-down. Forney is not running for re-election this fall and will see his term expire at the end of the year.



Cleveland Cops' Trial Moved to Black Suburb

Jun 30, 2015 -- 5:10am

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor says the trial of five Cleveland Police supervisors charged in the 2012 deaths of two unarmed motorists will be moved to predominantly-black East Cleveland. Prosecutor Tim McGinty said this week that moving the trial is appropriate, because lives were endangered there during the chase that ended with a hail of 137 police bullets fired into the car. The only patrol officer charged in the case was acquitted on charges for his role in May. All five defendants are charged with dereliction of duty and at least one defense attorney for the supervisors called the change of venue inappropriate. Over 93-percent of East Cleveland's residents are black.



Rapist wants to Play College Ball

Jun 30, 2015 -- 5:09am

Previously convicted in the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old West Virginia girl at an underage drinking party, a former Steubenville High School football player wants to get back in the game. Trent Mays is now 20 years old and wants to play at Hocking College in Nelsonville, where he's enrolled for the fall semester and the community college in Athens County is in the early phase of starting-up it's football program. Mays, however, won't be allowed to live in campus housing due to his criminal record. He was released in January after serving two years in an Ohio Youth Services facility.



Senate Committee Studies Anti-Monopoly Bill

Jun 30, 2015 -- 5:08am

A committee in the Ohio Senate may vote today on revisions to a House-approved measure, which if approved would revise the State Constitution to block future amendments that create monopolies or provide economic benefit to a small group of people. Lawmakers behind the move say a change is needed to protect the Constitution from well-funded, private profiteering. Some see the proposal as a plan to throw a roadblock into the latest push to legalize marijuana use in Ohio for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Both the pro-pot and anti-monopoly issues could appear at the same time on the fall ballot.



Governor to Sign Budget

Jun 30, 2015 -- 5:08am

Governor Kasich is expected to sign the state's 71.2-Billion dollar, two-year budget today, but not without exercising his line-item veto powers first. Kasich hasn't tipped his hand on what will change, although he called the language of medicaid expansion efforts “a little clunky,” adding he has a few concerns about certain parts of the budget which may cause erosion of executive authority. He's likely to approve tax relief for small businesses and investments in K-12 education and will continue to press for tax hikes on oil and gas drilling operations that were removed from the budget bill during legislative hearings.



Parents get Prison for Daughter's Death

Jun 30, 2015 -- 5:07am

A former Richmond Heights couple found guilty in May was back in Cuyahoga County Court on Monday, each of them sentenced to 10 years in prison on convictions stemming from the death of their adopted daughter. 43-year-old Randy Jones and his 46-year-old wife, Carissa, were previously convicted by a jury on charges of involuntary manslaughter, permitting child abuse and two counts each of child endangering. 12-year-old Tia Ann Jones died on February 18, 2013 after suffering pneumonia and an infection that began as an abscess on her left foot. The judge called it one of the worst cases of child abuse she had ever seen.



Plea Deal Possible in Spiked IV Case

Jun 30, 2015 -- 5:07am

There could be a change of plea for a West Virginia woman charged with contaminating her son's IV while he was in a Cincinnati hospital. 35-year-old Candida Fluty of Kermit, West Virginia is due in Hamilton County Court today, where she had previously entered not guilty pleas to counts of felonious assault and child endangering. Last month, the woman was in the same courtroom in Cincinnati to reject a previous offer. In January, Fluty allegedly spiked her nine-year-old son's IV with fecal matter while he was hospitalized with a condition that required a number of surgeries.



Traffic Worker Hurt in Wreck

Jun 29, 2015 -- 5:54pm

A worker servicing a traffic signal in Stark County's Pike Township was taken to Aultman Hospital with serious injuries when the bucket on his truck was hit by a semi on Monday. The State Highway Patrol says 46-year-old Paul Vaughn of Canfield was inside the bucket, raised to the signal when the semi driven by a 61-year-old Cleveland man slammed into it while passing through. The accident that happened around 10:15 Monday morning on State Route 800 at Westbrook Street remains under investigation and the victim's condition wasn't provided by the hospital.



OH Senator wants Change in Redistricting Process

Jun 29, 2015 -- 5:30pm

A Republican State Senator from Copley plans to introduce a bill aimed at over-hauling the redistricting process. Senator Frank LaRose wants to mirror a bipartisan plan that will go before the voters this fall aimed at doing the same thing. The ballot issue would establish a seven-member commission to draw the lines, taking the task out of the hands of the two chambers. That commission would be comprised of the Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and four legislative appointees. Two minority-party votes would be required in order to adopt new ten-year maps for Congressional district boundaries.



New Rules for Lethal-Injection Drugs

Jun 29, 2015 -- 4:02pm

Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has taken the wraps off new rules for testing of lethal-injection drugs in advance of executions, provided the state can find specialty batches of chemicals. The new policy for the state's capital punishment procedures applies to compounded drugs not subject to Federal oversight, which would only be used if samples are properly identified and potency is verified. The state is also adding nurse practitioners and registered nurses to the execution team.



Accused Bank Robber Indicted

Jun 29, 2015 -- 3:50pm

A Federal Grand Jury has indicted a Canton man in connection with the robbery of a bank in the Hall of Fame City earlier this spring. 33-year-old Tyrauli Cutler was named in the paperwork handed-down this week. He allegedly held-up Citizens Bank in the 3500 block of West Tuscarawas Street in Canton on May 28, a crime that netted him just 340 dollars.



Sawyer Drops Out

Jun 29, 2015 -- 2:32pm

State Senator and former Akron Mayor Tom Sawyer has reportedly decided to bow-out of the race for the top spot at City Hall. The Beacon Journal reported on Monday afternoon that Sawyer planned to send a letter to the Summit County Board of Elections to withdraw, leaving three candidates to face-off against each other in the Democratic Primary for the Akron Mayor's office. Frank Comunale, Mike Williams and Dan Horrigan remain in the hunt for the Primary race, with the winner to square-off against Republican Eddie Sipplen this November.



Second Driver Dies after Crash

Jun 29, 2015 -- 2:25pm

An elderly woman from Lake County who was critically hurt in a weekend crash that killed another driver has lost her battle to survive. Mentor Police say 73-year-old Carlene Sass of Madison died of her injuries at Hillcrest Hospital, where she was taken after being involved in a wreck at Johnnycake Ridge and King Memorial Roads early Saturday morning. 34-year-old Kyle Elig of Mentor reportedly drove left-of-center, causing the crash that left him dead at Lake Health West Medical Center.



Guilty Verdict in Baby's Murder

Jun 29, 2015 -- 1:59pm

A Youngstown man was found guilty on charges in the death of his 15-month-old son by a Mahoning County Court jury on Monday. 26-year-old Larry Dawson was convicted on counts of murder and child endangering for the December 13, 2012 death of Rayvon Dawson...who lost his life at Akron Children's Hospital one day after being found unresponsive on the couch in his family's apartment on Oregon Avenue. The coroner's office later ruled the child's death was due to blunt force trauma to the back of the head.



Killer Sentenced to Death

Jun 29, 2015 -- 1:59pm

The man convicted in the sledgehammer slayings of a man and his wife in their New Franklin home has been sentenced to die for his crimes. 20-year-old Shawn Ford Jr of Akron was sentenced on Monday in Summit County Court, where the judge followed the jury's recommendation of death by lethal injection for the April 1, 2013 murders of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert of Rex Lake Drive. Last week, the judge denied defense arguments that Ford's IQ was below the standard allowed for imposing a death sentence. Ford bludgeoned the couple because he was angry with them for refusing to allow him to visit their daughter in the hospital, where she was taken after he stabbed the girl for refusing to have sex with him at a party ten days earlier. Co-defendant Jamal Vaughn, who was 14 at the time of the slayings, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of aggravated murder and one aggravated robbery charge. He'll be sentenced on Tuesday afternoon.



One Arrested after Akron Shooting

Jun 29, 2015 -- 1:58pm

An Akron man has been arrested following a huge fight that erupted in gunfire on the south side near Summit Lake. Officers went to the 1100 block of LaCroix Avenue just before 4:00AM Monday, where a shots-fired report came-in as police were responding to the fight call. On arrival, they found a handgun near where a 17-year-old boy was found with a gunshot wound and was later taken to AGMC, treated and released. Police arrested 22-year-old Shaquille Reynolds of Beechwood Drive in Akron, booking him into Summit County Jail on charges of having a weapon under disability and tampering with evidence. The shooting is still under investigation and additional charges are expected.



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