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Police in the Mansfield suburb of Ontario have charged a woman with petty theft – for stealing a stuffed animal from the gravesite of a 14-month-old child. 54-year-old Frieda Kay Shade of Mansfield found-out that her image had been captured on surveillance video and turned herself in to authorities on Wednesday night. She told officers there was a dog running loose in the cemetery last Saturday and she took the toy to keep the animal from destroying it. Several other items, including toys and solar-powered lanterns, had been stolen from the grave over the past couple of years. Shade is due in the Mayor's Court on May 15.
A Stark County Court jury began deliberations Thursday afternoon in the re-trial of 23-year-old Michael Hewitt of Canton, charged with murder in an August 31 shooting incident that claimed the life of 26-year-old William Johnson of Canton. The victim was shot in the head and leg while the two men were arguing in a parking lot in the northwest part of town. The jury that heard the original trial failed to reach a verdict in the case and a second trail was ordered. Hewitt faces a life prison sentence if convicted in the crime.
An 18-year-old North Canton man was slapped with additional charges on Thursday, stemming from his arrest last Sunday following a two-vehicle, drunk-driving crash at Ream Avenue NW and West Maple Street. Bradford Black II of Pershing Avenue NE reportedly threatened to kill officers during his arrest on the scene on Sunday afternoon, and officers found a 45-caliber handgun under the front seat of his car. Additional weapons were found in his home --- along with drugs and cash. On Thursday, Black was charged with additional counts of possession of cocaine and possession of drugs. He already faced a long list of original counts. Bond for Black was set at 101-Thousand dollars on Thursday and he's due in court next Tuesday.
Two men on board were seriously hurt when their small, privately-owned helicopter crashed in central Ohio on Thursday afternoon. The wreck started a fire in a farmer's field in Delaware County near the Union County line. The men on board, identified as an 80-year-old Columbus man and a 50-year-old man from Dublin, were both flown to a Columbus hospital for treatment. The State Highway Patrol is investigating.
A decision issued in March by a three-judge panel of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals was upheld on Thursday as the full appellate court denied a request by owners of exotic animals to hear another challenge to the state's law governing dangerous or wild animals. The suit filed by seven owners claimed the law that was passed in November 2012 violated their rights to free speech and free association. The panel said the owners' issues had already been addressed and fully considered in previous hearings.
A raid this week on a Canton Township home netted a Sandy Township man on charges of heroin trafficking and possession. 26-year-old Richie Long Jr was taken into custody after authorities found seven grams of heroin packaged for sale and an aerosol can with a false bottom, apparently used for transporting and hiding the drugs. The raid went-down in the 1100 block of Oak Avenue NW and Long was later released on a 50-Thousand dollar bond.
East Akron Community House may be facing foreclosure proceedings, following a ruling in favor of the bank this week by a Summit County judge. The Beacon Journal reports that the organization fell into default on March 19 on a half-Million dollar loan that was agreed-to in 2005 and the organization's unpaid balance has swollen to 385-Thousand dollars due to accrued interest and penalties. East Akron Community House has reported annual losses on a year-by-year basis since 2008, while gifts, grants and financial support have continued to decline.
A search warrant was executed this week at the offices of the attorney for a woman who was brutally stabbed last year as she walked to an appointment there. NewsChannel 5 reported on Thursday that the FBI, BCI and Cuyahoga County Sheriff detectives conducted an 18-hour search and collected a large amount of evidence from the former office of Gregory Moore, who was the attorney for 53-year-old Aliza Sherman of Cleveland when she was stabbed 11 times on March 24 last year. The station reported that the search was directly related to the murder investigation, which reportedly involves several individuals including Moore, who was indicted for making bomb threats to Cleveland-area courthouses last year. No suspect has been named yet in Sherman's murder.
Police in Mentor have caught-up to the woman wanted for ripping-off donation jars from the countertop of an area gas station. 23-year-old Angel Laquatra of Willoughby was caught by police detectives and agents from the US Marshals Service....found hiding in the basement of a home on Center Street in the city. Surveillance photos were posted online after the woman reportedly ripped-off the donations for Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital two days in a row at a Speedway station. She's charged with theft and other charges are possible.
It's not all about a new arena. Summit County Executive Russ Pry was on WNIR on Thursday morning, detailing the need for the proposed quarter-percent County sales tax increase that voters may be asked to approve this fall. Pry says there are safety issues compounded by a loss of some 50-percent of local government funds, including a loss of 100-Million in total funds over the last six and a half years. At the same time, Pry says the county's hand is being forced into purchase of a new city-county radio system, estimated to cost between 20- and 30-Million dollars. The County also has a long-standing staffing issue at the County Jail, which is in desperate need of more corrections officers and support staff to meet state mandates and improve safety for those who work there. Pry also explained the seven-Million dollar annual expenditure set-aside for building a new arena in downtown, saying the dollars would be used to pay-off construction bonds. He says the Arena would then need to hold around 67 events a year to cover its operating costs. Some costs can be offset by selling naming rights to the facility and loge space. The arena has been in the planning and discussion stages for years, while people attending events at JAR Arena have continued to complain about that facility as outdated and in need of replacement.
The State Highway Patrol says alcohol was definitely a factor in a head-on crash that killed a motorcyclist and his wife earlier this month in Grafton Township. 38-year-old Robert Willis and his 37-year-old wife Jolene both died when Willis drove the motorcycle left-of-center on State Route 57 near Mennel Road, slamming head-on into an SUV headed the other way. The April 6 wreck occurred while Willis had a blood alcohol level of point-209…more than two and a half times the legal limit. His wife’s blood alcohol level was at point-130.
University of Akron Trustees this week pulled the plug on a total of 29 programs in a budget-cutting move, aimed at eliminating under-used programs and reducing staff. The programs were included on a list of 55 that were recommended for termination by Provost Mike Sherman in February and later reviewed by the Faculty Senate. The move involves around 600 current University students, all of whom will be allowed to complete their courses of study. The programs will draw to a close upon their graduations. The Beacon Journal reports the moves came on the same day when Trustees approved raising tuition and general service fees by two-percent for students in the 2014-2015 academic year. Transportation fees rose 6.3-percent, room rates were hiked by six-percent and meal costs rose between two- and five-percent.
A 16-year-old boy has taken a plea deal with prosecutors in his murder case, and is expected to be sentenced to life in prison. A prosecutor in Franklin County Juvenile Court announced the plea agreement this week, saying the boy’s case will be bound-over to adult court…where a Grand Jury indictment will quickly follow before a formal guilty plea is made possibly next week. The boy is expected to admit that he stabbed to death 55-year-old Jane Juergens as she was jogging in a park near a group foster home where the boy lived. The kid threw the knife into the woods after the slaying.
Both prosecutors and defense attorneys have asked the Ohio Parole Board to spare the life of a condemned inmate from Cleveland, but for completely different reasons. The defense claims 54-year-old Arthur Tyler is innocent, and that a co-defendant has repeatedly admitted being the gunman in the 1983 robbery and shooting of a Cleveland produce vendor. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor says while there are legitimate questions about Tyler’s conviction for the crime, he should still serve life behind bars for his role in it. The Parole Board will make its decision later. Tyler’s execution is due in Lucasville on May 28.
Over the last several years, someone’s been swiping flowers, toys, solar lights and other items from the grave of a 14-month-old boy who died in 2007. Police in Mansfield have finally gotten a photo of a possible suspect. A surveillance camera was set-up at the cemetery in Ontario, near Mansfield, where the child’s family had placed a stuffed duck on the grave for Easter. It wasn’t long before a woman came along, picked-up the toy, looked around, then walked away with it. The toy was later found tossed along the side of a cemetery road. The mother of the boy who’s buried there says other graves haven’t been disturbed and she believes her son’s grave has been targeted. Police are trying to identify the woman in the video.