Plans by Crystal Clinic to open a new, 60-bed orthopedic hospital are expected to bring-along close to 500 jobs for the Fairlawn community. Officials with the firm announced this week that plans are in the works to build a new, 100-Million dollar, four-story facility in the 3500 block of Embassy Parkway. Those plans include creation of a dozen operating rooms for orthopedic and plastic surgery procedures, an expansion of imaging services and re-location of an urgent-care clinic from its current location at the outpatient campus. The center will replace the current facility that Crystal Clinic has been operating through the lease of two floors at St Thomas Hospital in Akron since 2009.
A judge in west-central Ohio has ruled the confession of a teenager charged with shooting two classmates at a high school can be used when his trial is held. The ruling came this week in Champaign County Court, where the judge said that 18-year-old Eli Serna understood his rights and spoke freely to police following the shooting incident, which happened in January last year at West Liberty-Salem High School. One teenage student was critically wounded and another suffered minor injuries. Serna pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple charges including attempted murder and his lawyers claimed that he didn't understand his rights before he spoke to police. He will be tried as an adult for the crimes.
Late to enter the game as a Democratic candidate for Governor of Ohio and now among three Dems who were left-off the May Primary ballot in a decision by the Secretary of State this week, Jon Heavey of Cleveland says he's challenging the decision by Jon Husted to keep his name off the list of confirmed candidates. In announcing the challenge, Heavey alleged that the signature-review process employed by the Republican Secretary of State's office is rigged. Heavey claims that his campaign had gathered more than twice the required one-Thousand signatures and cross-checked them against voter databases. According to Heavey, hundreds of signatures were wrongly tossed because elections officials said they were illegible. He says that his staff double-checked all petition signatures and determined you could read them.
Despite the fact he had been convicted on charges of dereliction of duty as a deputy tax commissioner, the Ohio Casino Control Commission not only rehired him...but gave him a promotion. That's what's reported by the Columbus Dispatch, which says that Rick Anthony pleaded guilty in 2014 to the dereliction of duty charge and had spent seven months on leave before resigning as Operations Director for the Commission before entering the guilty plea. He had been holding-up nine-Million dollars' worth of tax refunds for businesses dating back to 1999. In late-2015, Anthony was re-hired as an Operations Manager and last December, he was promoted to the post as Deputy Executive Director of the Casino Control Commission...a change that came with a 23-percent wage hike – increasing his salary to over 100-Thousand dollars a year. He turned-down a request for comment from the Columbus Dispatch.
The Mayor of Stow says she wants new responsibility – and to that end, has submitted her resume along with more than three-dozen others in applying for the vacant Superintendent's post with the Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation Department. Stow Mayor Sara Kline old the Beacon Journal that it's too soon to comment whether she would resign from her current post if chosen to take-on the job for which she's applied. Kline is among those applying for the job that became vacant on February 1, when former Superintendent Ed Stewart retired after four years in the job.
According to a report, the lead Assistant Prosecutor in the Portage County Prosecutor's office has died. The Record-Courier reported on Thursday that Eugene Muldowney, who had served with the Prosecutor's office for close to 30 years and was a candidate for a judge's post in several election bids, died on Wednesday night. Muldowney was elevated to the post as Chief Assistant Prosecutor only recently, taking-on the new title in November last year. The cause of his death was not announced and no further details were provided.
Medina Police are investigating the apparent suicide attempt of a man outside City Hall on Thursday. Police say a suspicious vehicle was reported in the parking lot of the building around 7:00AM and officers responded to the scene in the 100 block of North Elmwood Avenue to find a man inside the vehicle with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and a firearm laying nearby. The man was taken from the scene first to Medina Hospital, then transferred to Akron City Hospital, where his condition was not provided. The incident remains under investigation by Medina Police.
Defense lawyers for a jailed doctor will ask a Stark County judge to reduce his bond – currently set at five-Million dollars. 40-year-old Dr Frank Lazzerini of Barberton was named last week in a 272-count indictment including two counts of involuntary manslaughter, with a Grand Jury alleging he was running a so-called “pill mill” from his office in the 7400 block of Fulton Drive NW in Massillon. The Sheriff said the charges culminated a long investigation by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy, Jackson Township Police, the Stark County Prosecutor's office, the county's Metro Narcotics Unit and the DEA. In addition to the manslaughter counts, dozens of drug trafficking, aggravated drug trafficking and illegal processing of drug document charges were leveled at Lazzerini, along with counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, telecommunication fraud, grand theft, Medicaid fraud and tampering with records. A not guilty plea is expected to be entered on Friday during Lazzerini's next hearing.
The Cleveland man convicted in the rape, torture and murder of 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze took the witness stand on Thursday in Cuyahoga County Court, apologizing to the young girl's family and insisting he feels pain and remorse for the heinous crimes he committed in January last year. 45-year-old Christopher Whitaker gave a statement without taking the oath before the jury that convicted him and will now decide what sentence to recommend. Whitaker faces a possible death sentence following his convictions on all 10 charges filed against him and the judge will make the final decision after the jury issues its recommendation.
According to city officials in Medina, a historic building in downtown that was the scene of a partial collapse on Monday can be saved. Now, it's a matter of doing so. An inspection was performed at the three-story building in the 200 block of South Court Street after a portion of the rear wall came-down and cracks were visible in the roof. Structural engineers say the side walls of the structure are load-bearing and that while they exhibit a few cracks, they're still capable of supporting the rest of the building that was constructed back in 1873. A gift shop located on the First Floor will remain closed until repairs are complete and scaffolding has been put-up in the front of the structure to keep people at a safe distance. The street nearby was re-opened to traffic by Wednesday afternoon when it was determined the building was not in danger of total collapse.
He used a makeshift, facsimile rifle in an attempt at robbing a gas station late last year, but there's nothing fake about the punishment for the perpetrator. 49-year-old Jeffrey Derringer of Olive Street in Akron appeared in Summit County Court to plead guilty to a robbery charge. On Christmas Day last year, Derringer walked into a Circle-K in the 600 block of North Main Street with a hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head and waving-around an item he had slapped-together from pieces of furniture and made to look like a rifle. The clerk recognized him as a regular customer when Derringer announced the robbery and also noticed right away the gun wasn't real. Derringer tried to run, but was caught and held at the scene by employees for police to pick him up. His guilty plea earned him a four-year prison sentence.
Bath Township has had a new Police Chief for a month and a half, though few people knew about the change. On January 8, the title held by Vito Sinopoli was changed from “Interim Chief” and he was named the permanent boss of the Bath Township Police Department...and everyone went about their business with one exception: No official announcement was made to the public. A Township Trustee told the Beacon Journal that the change in dropping the “interim” status from the Chief's title was buried half-way through the paperwork in an Organizational Resolution that listed the names of various Township personnel. So – after taking-on the Chief's post on an interim basis in July last year, Sinopoli's annual paycheck with the new, permanent title rises another 65-Thousand dollars for the Chief's job in addition to the post he still holds as the Township Administrator.
Another round of legal squabbling between the Army Corps of Engineers and the state of Ohio has drawn to a close with a settlement of a lawsuit over dredging the Cleveland Harbor. A court filing on Wednesday calls for the Army Corps of Engineers to cover the costs of dumping dredging sediment into containment dikes in 2016 and last year. The Corps argued unsuccessfully with the Ohio EPA over where to dump the sludge, with the Corps claiming it could be shipped out into Lake Erie and safely dropped into the water without harming the ecosystem. Dredging of the harbor is expected to resume as usual in May.
A guard at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville is recovering from multiple stab wounds following an attack by two inmates – one from Cleveland, the other a three-time convicted killer. State Prison authorities say that 37-year-old Greg Reinke of Cleveland and 30-year-old Casey Pigge of Chillicothe stabbed corrections officer Matthew Mathias at least 30 times with metal weapons inside the prison infirmary on Tuesday. Mathias was listed in stable condition at a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia following the attack. Reinke is in prison on a life sentence for the February 2004 shooting death of a man who tried to stop a robbery outside a restaurant on Cleveland's west side. Pigge has a much more storied past with his murders, including the deaths of two fellow inmates in the state prison system. He pleaded guilty last September to strangling an inmate inside a prison transport van. Pigge has been moved from Lucasville to the state SuperMax facility in Youngstown and the State Highway Patrol is continuing the follow-up investigation.
The issue of shooting-up schools is certainly not a joking matter – and five students at Alliance High School are getting a straight-up, real-life lesson about that fact. The five Freshmen were arrested by police on Wednesday after other students reportedly overheard them talking about a plan to conduct an armed assault. The kids who overhead the chatter went to school staff to report it and while no threat was determined and no lock-down was ordered, the five were booked into the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center on charges of making false alarms. Although they told police the plot was nothing more than a joke, investigators say they had discussed the plans at a lunchroom table, shared information on mobile apps and allegedly had a plan to acquiring weapons and preventing other students from escaping the building. Police say there's no evidence that any of the accused had actually tried to access weapons.
A candidate for State Treasurer of Ohio is calling for a fiscal and economic impact study, to determine the impact of privatizing state prisons. Democratic candidate Rob Richardson sent a letter this week to current Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, saying he has deep personal concern over the fact that our state has one of the highest mass-incarceration rates in the nation. Richardson, who's a former board chairman at University of Cincinnati, wrote that Ohio residents deserve to know how much taxpayer money is being paid to private prison operators. He says the dollars being thrown at Ohio prisons would be better spent on education, affordable health care and better-paying jobs.
It's a no-go for a late entrant into the Ohio governor's race. Cleveland.com reports that its audit of petitions submitted by Democrat Jon Heavey found only 911 of the 2,173 signatures he gathered were valid, short of the 1,000 needed to qualify. Harvey is a Cleveland doctor and venture capitalist. Would have joined a crowded Democratic field. He's spent about $1.5 million of his own money to campaign he says was fueled by anger and frustration over Pres. Donald Trump.
A college student on his way to class yesterday morning suffered only minor injuries in a roll over crash. The state highway patrol says the accident occurred on Peck Road north of Newton Falls Road, in Ravenna Township. The driver was checked out by EMS and did not require medical treatment. He was cited for failure to control.
No one was injured when a car crashed into a home in Parma this morning. Police say the driver drove through a stop sign at the intersection of Twin Lakes Drive and Thornton Drive and went up a driveway crashing into the house. Police say they had one person in custody. Two people were inside the home at the time. They were not hurt. The incident happened just before one o'clock this morning.
An Ohio man accused of ramming a dump truck through the security gate of the FBI's Pittsburgh field office has pleaded guilty to one charge in the case.
Forty-nine-year-old Thomas Ross entered the plea Wednesday to willfully injuring or committing depredation against property of the United States.
Sentencing is set for June 13, where he could face as much as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Last month, Ross pleaded guilty to state charges of fleeing and eluding and simple assault. He was sentenced to time served.
The government estimates the cost to repair the gate, security barriers and light pole damaged in the 2016 incident was about $190,000.
His lawyer has said Ross was "out of his mind" on a combination of drugs and was "clearly desperate."