Nearly a dozen guards at the Cuyahoga County Jail have been placed under 14-day quarantine, having had close contact with six inmates who tested positive this week for COVID-19. The officers will only be allowed to return to work if they’re symptom-free at the end of their quarantine. Officials at the Jail distributed Personal Protective Equipment to all staff, while those working in the pod where six inmates tested positive have been given N95 masks and other protection. All six infected inmates are expected to recover.
Two people were hurt, one critically, in a crash involving a car and motorcycle in Ashland County’s Mifflin Township this week. The State Highway Patrol reports the wreck happened as 41-year-old Ricky Lane of Ashland was riding the motorcycle north on Township Road 1153 shortly after 5:00PM Thursday. Lane’s machine went left-of-center, colliding head-on with the oncoming car. Lane and a passenger on the motorcycle were both ejected and he was not wearing a helmet. He was listed in critical condition at City Hospital in Akron, while his teenage passenger who wore a helmet was treated for minor injuries at Mansfield Hospital.
A not guilty plea was entered on Friday during video arraignment in Summit County Court, where 52-year-old James Miller of Akron is charged with murder, felonious assault and domestic violence for the bludgeoning death of a man inside his west Akron home on March 1. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s office said that 58-year-old Theophilus Jones III died as a result of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head and neck – officially ruling his death a homicide. Akron Police were called to Jones’ home in the 1900 block of McTaggart Drive near Diagonal Road, arriving around 6:15AM to find him down and unresponsive. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene. Miller was arrested at the scene and booked into Summit County Jail, where he remains under a 100-Thousand dollar bond and due for a pretrial hearing April 16.
(AP) - An Ohio mayor has pleaded with a local church to "reconsider" holding in-person services amid concerns of the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Monroe Mayor Jason Frentzel sent a letter Thursday to Solid Rock Church asking church officials to halt service. The church has continued to leave its doors open and hold in-person services despite calls from Gov. Mike DeWine and advocacy groups to stop. Church officials tells the Enquirer they are having members of their congregation practice social distancing inside the church and are disinfecting their facilities before and after services.
The 23 community colleges located here in Ohio are stepping-up and playing a role in the response to the pandemic. The Ohio Association of Community Colleges reported on Friday that the schools had donated more than 200-Thousand medical face masks and pairs of gloves to hospitals and local first responders in the state. Along with those items, the schools managed to dig-up 25 ventilators to assist in the response. Colleges also donated other items including thermometers, lab coats and shoe & hair covers.
Authorities have confirmed a second death of a Federal Prison inmate in Ohio due to the Coronavirus. 65-year-old Margarito Garcia-Fragoso was turned over to the health staff at Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County on March 27. After he came-down with breathing problems, he tested positive for COVID-19 and as his condition deteriorated, he was placed on a ventilator but was unable to survive. Prison officials report that he had other, pre-existing medical issues that placed him into a high-risk category. He became the second inmate to die at Elkton this week after 53-year-old Woodrow Taylor died on Thursday – before COVID-19 test results even came back.
The latest data from the Ohio Department of Health on Friday afternoon set the state’s COVID-19 death toll at 91, with 895 people hospitalized among the three-Thousand, 312 cases that have been confirmed. As those numbers continue to escalate, The Ohio National Guard is continuing efforts to identify and prepare for set-up of alternative treatment sites. Major General John Harris Jr is Adjutant General for the Guard here in Ohio…and noted that alternative sites will be used for those who require hospitalization – but are not among those with most-critical medical need.
Governor DeWine, meanwhile, noted that many hospitals in the state are following his directive to stop sending kits to private labs for testing.
For people who have lost their jobs due to business closures in the face of the pandemic, Lt Governor Jon Husted said that a database that was set-up this week for temporary jobs in response to the crisis had grown from a Thursday level of 11-Thousand to Friday’s total of 21-Thousand available positions. Those who need work can go online to www.Coronavirus.ohio.gov to search for what’s available.
Rape charges have been filed against a Stark County man in connection with his alleged assaults on a young girl several years ago. Agents from the US Marshals Service paid a visit this week to arrest 22-year-old Kyle Ravenscroft of Canton Township, capturing him on the arrest warrant in Beach City and issuing a second warrant after he had been booked at Stark County Jail. Authorities allege that Ravenscroft had assaulted an 11-year-old girl between December 2014 and March the following year, when he was 17 years old. He was ordered held without bond following his arrest.
Small business owners in the city of Barberton will be able to get some economic help through a special program that’s been set-up by the Barberton Community Foundation. The group has established a 200-Thousand dollar Emergency Loan fund to provide some relief to business owners who are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Foundation recently set-up a means by which affected business owners can apply for zero-interest loans of up to 10-Thousand dollars – but there are certain conditions which must be met in order to qualify. Contact the Barberton Community Foundation for more details.
Federal authorities are warning Americans to be on watch for possible scams related to those stimulus checks and other relief efforts connected with the COVID-19 pandemic. The US Attorney’s office in Cleveland said it’s highly likely that con artists will do all they can to take advantage of the crisis and upcoming economic impact payments. Among the con games will be efforts to glean personal information from their targets – including Social Security Numbers or bank account information. Some will try to hoodwink their victims into making phony payments or giving-up their funds through several underhanded efforts. With COVID-19 economic impact checks due to be released at some point in the next three weeks, many Americans will see the checks direct-deposited into their bank accounts. The elderly and other people with no formal bank accounts will receive paper checks, much in the same manner in which they received Income Tax refunds in the mail. If you receive a call or mailer asking for information in return for a stimulus check, do NOT give the other person any information whatsoever and do NOT call any number that’s provided to you. Fraud can be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or email tips to the United States Attorney’s Office: www.USAOHN.COVID19@usdoj.gov.
Akron’s METRO RTA will implement a Contingency Schedule starting Monday. The Transit Authority announced on Friday the change is necessary in response to ongoing concern over the COVID-19 pandemic. Riders will see service reductions Monday through Friday, while for the time being, there will be no change to Saturday service. Effective April 12, there will be NO Sunday runs. METRO said the changes will not affect life-necessary trips including paratransit for medical, grocery or work. A new schedule that will remain in effect until further notice will be posted on the METRO website: www.akronmetro.org.
A small child was killed and several other people were hospitalized after flames raced through a home in Muskingum County this week. Multiple Fire Departments responded to 911 calls that sent them to the scene around 10:45 Thursday morning along East Pike in Zanesville. Crews found the two-story structure fully-involved on arrival and a witness reported hearing a large explosion before the flames were seen. Children were seen climbing out of second-story windows to escape the smoke and flames when the first crews rolled-in. The body of the small child was carried-out by a firefighter as crews continued their work to douse the flames. Seven other residents in the house were taken to hospitals – but their conditions were not provided. Two Sheriff deputies were treated on the scene after being hurt in the response. The cause and origin of the flames were not immediately determined and the State Fire Marshal’s office is involved in the follow-up investigation.
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks reports there have been a record number of requests for help from families as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic deepens in our state. The group has requested 25-Million dollars in emergency assistance from the state in order to respond to the growing need. The Executive Director is also calling on private citizens and corporations to step-up and lend a monetary hand, while encouraging others in the state to stop hoarding food.
A Trumbull County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against a Weathersfield Township man, formally charging him for the shooting death of his roommate last month. A murder charge with a gun specification was issued against 29-year-old Ian Payne – accused as the trigger man in the March 18 incident that took the life of 27-year-old Zachary Wiczen. The shooting happened around 11:30PM in the 100 block of Barcelona Drive. Police arrived to find Wiczen dead on the scene and were told that the two men had an argument – that Wiczen had pulled a gun and the two men struggled for the weapon before it fired – sending a fatal round into the victim’s head. Payne surrendered to police the moment they arrived.
Police in Maple Heights on Friday were still investigating, trying to identify and arrest the suspect involved in the shooting of a 10-year-old boy. Officers were called to South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights after the child’s mother brought him to the Emergency Room, seeking treatment for a bullet wound to the stomach. The mother told police that she and her son were playing outside their home along Libby Road shortly after 5:00PM Thursday when she heard multiple gunshots…then realized her son had been wounded. The boy was transferred to Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and is expected to recover. There was no available description of a suspect and police were asking the public to call-in tips that will result in an arrest.
An Ohio appellate court has affirmed the sentence that was handed-down last year to a Wadsworth teenager who was convicted for the murder of an elderly woman in his neighborhood. The Ninth District Court of Appeals issued the ruling in the case of 18-year-old Gavon Ramsay, who had filed an appeal in February last year after being handed life in prison with no chance of parole. He got the sentence in early January last year after convictions on counts of aggravated murder and lesser charges including murder, gross abuse of a corpse, kidnapping and aggravated burglary. On April 6, 2018, Ramsay made his way into the home of 98-year-old Margaret Douglas while she slept on her couch. He took cell phone photos of his victim before strangling her while taking even more images – then stuffed her body into a closet and covered it with a pile of clothes. The sentence that was handed-down to Ramsay was the stiffest penalty available due to his age: Life in prison, no chance of parole.
An officer with a local police department has been included among those on a growing list of Ohioans confirmed as a COVID-19 carrier. The New Franklin Police Department issued a statement on its Facebook Page on Thursday, confirming the positive diagnosis. The Mayor’s office and Police officials have said that, despite all efforts to avoid infection, even more attention will be paid to the issue with additional preventative measures and a watch on social distancing. The Mayor told the Beacon Journal that a BioMed team went through the entire City Hall building for cleaning and overnight disinfection fogging. Other staff members will be monitored to see if any among them develop symptoms.
One of the most recent deaths attributed to COVID-19 was an 85-year-old woman who was a resident at a senior living center in Aurora. The administrator for Anna Maria of Aurora confirmed the death and said that another 14 people at the center had tested positive for the highly-contagious illness. That number included 10 residents and four members of the staff. The unidentified woman joined a man in his 80’s who died March 29 as the two fatalities reported so far in Portage County. Officials at the Aurora facility noted that the woman who died had other significant health issues, as well.
Authorities have identified the victims as a search for the suspect involved continues following a double-homicide that happened in Middletown this week. Police were called to the scene in the 100 block of Euclid Road shortly before 6:30 Thursday morning, when the bodies of a man and woman were found shot to death inside a car. Responding officers found the vehicle in the middle of the street and the victims dead on the scene. They were later identified as 31-year-old Aaron Paige and 29-year-old Dashaua Brown, both of Cleveland. There was no word of a possible suspect and the motive is yet to be determined.
A Warren man has been named in a Trumbull County Grand Jury indictment, formally charged as the gunman in two shootings that wounded a man and woman. 31-year-old Daron Warfield Jr is up on two counts of attempted murder, plus additional counts of felonious assault – both with firearms specifications – along with a charge of weapons under disability. On January 7, Warfield allegedly opened fire on 42-year-old Melissa Putsey and 34-year-old Jamey Stamper, both Niles residents. Putsey was wounded in the shoulder while she walked along Oak Street and Stamper had been shot near the intersection of Union Street and Parkman Road. Warfield has previous felony convictions and prison time for crimes dating back to 2013.