A man who crashed his bicycle in the Kenmore district early Thursday morning died on Friday afternoon at Cleveland Clinic AGMC. The Summit County Medical Examiner's office says that 57-year-old Mark Whitmire died shortly after 3:30PM. Akron Police are still investigating how the incident occurred. Whitmire was found around 6:00AM Thursday on Clearview Avenue near Manchester Road, on a steep hill at the fork in the street. The Traffic Accident Reconstruction Unit was called-in to investigate whether he was struck by a passing vehicle or simply lost control due to road conditions on the steep hill. Whitmire was a 1976 graduate of Kenmore High School and was employed in the Information Technology department for the City of Akron. Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call 330-375-2506.
Drivers trying to make their way north on I-77 in Bath were left drumming their fingers on the steering wheel for a while during the Friday rush. A rollover crash that happened around 4:30PM tied-up all northbound lanes between State Route 18 and North Cleveland-Massillon Road, forcing closure of the entire northbound side until about 40 minutes later. Traffic was allowed to snake through along the inside berm, and vehicles were backed-up past the State Route 21 interchange. No details were immediately made available about the accident and the travel lanes were re-opened just after 5:30PM.
The Wayne County Sheriff's office on Friday announced the arrests of three suspected drug dealers during a Thursday raid on an apartment complex. Authorities say investigators got tips about suspected drug activity at the Northgate Apartment complex along Cleveland Road on the city's north side and obtained a search warrant, then brought SWAT Team members to the scene where they found what they said were “significant amounts” of heroin and cash inside. They say the accused were selling large amounts of heroin and heroin laced with fentanyl. Two of the three suspect arrested are reportedly from Michigan. They remained in Wayne County Jail while the third was released on bond. Names of those arrested were not provided.
A couple that was apparently looking for ill-gotten gains was caught in the act by Sheriff deputies in Richland County this week. Detectives from the Major Crimes Unit happened to be nearby when a truck with Georgia plates backed-up to a house in the 1600 block of Friday Lane in Ontario during the mid-afternoon on Wednesday. The undercover officers watched as 53-year-old David Murray and 42-year-old Devi Jordan allegedly tried to rip-off a riding lawn mower and Murray made his way into the house. The cops went inside and reportedly caught him as he was trying to steal a flat-screen television. Both were booked into Richland County Jail and investigators are trying to determine if they played a role in other burglaries in the area.
A Mansfield man apparently decided to get even with a roommate following an argument by setting him up for child porn charges. 33-year-old Levi Wade was arrested on Friday and arraigned before a Federal Magistrate in Cleveland. He had called Mansfield Police in July, claiming he found illicit images of child porn and videos on his roommate's computer while repairing it. This week, the FBI went inside the place, confiscated the laptop and began asking questions. Wade then reportedly admitted to investigators that it was he who downloaded the images – apparently in retaliation for an argument between the two about six months ago in which Wade was accused of cheating on a woman. He remains in custody of the US Marshals service and is awaiting a September 1 court appearance.
The US Attorney's office says a suspect has been arrested in connection with as many as 27 heroin overdose cases in one day, including two fatalities, in and around Huntington, West Virginia. That suspect is an Akron man. Authorities on Friday announced that 22-year-old Bruce Lamar Griggs was located and arrested in Tallmadge and made his first appearance before a Federal Magistrate on Thursday. He's facing initial charges of heroin distribution and awaiting return to West Virginia to stand trial. Investigators say they traced the source of fentanyl-laced heroin that was the apparent cause of the more than two-dozen OD cases that happened within hours of each other, resulting in the death of one victim in Huntington and another that was found on Wednesday in Cabell County. A number of surviving victims reportedly identified Griggs as the dealer who sold them the bad batch of drugs.
The daughter of a Cuyahoga County judge faces a domestic violence charge after allegedly attacking her mother. 30-year-old Sydney Saffold, the daughter of Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold, was arrested on a domestic violence charge Thursday night at her mother's home in Bratenahl. Police say the mother was watching Sydney's toddler son while she was out and had asked the younger woman to come home early so she could go to bed. She apparently didn't come home until much later and was reportedly intoxicated, sparking an argument in which the daughter punched the judge in the face. Police say the judge defended herself and that the daughter was combative with officers when they arrived on scene. She was booked at the Euclid Jail and bond was set at five-Thousand dollars, ordered to return to court next Wednesday.
Officials at Hiram College have laid-off 13 employees as part of a move to trim the budget. The school announced this week that enrollment numbers were lower than expected and that it needed to cut the budget by some 2.5-Million dollars. Cleveland.com reports that Hiram's enrollment last year stood at 11-hundred students including 203 freshmen and that 11-hundred-32 students including 240 freshmen were signed-up to start classes next week. Those numbers are apparently lower than expected as the US Department of Education continues monitoring the school, one of 500 that were placed on the monitoring list in June for failing the Department's financial responsibility standards. In addition to the baker's dozen in job cuts, Hiram is also taking several other steps to cut spending while formulating new ideas for increasing revenue.
The Ohio Department of Transportation on Friday released traffic camera footage from near the scene of a drive-by shooting along I-77 in Canton that wounded a woman in her minivan. The camera footage shows the victim's vehicle headed south along the Interstate with another vehicle alongside that peels-off to the 13th Street exit as the victim's vehicle stops in the center lane a short time before 3:45 Wednesday morning. The grainy footage then shows a State Patrol cruiser rolling-up on the scene within moments after 24-year-old Erica Larison of Louisville had bailed from the vehicle and ran to a nearby home to call for help, bleeding from a bullet wound to the hand and a graze wound on the back of her head. A suspect has still not been formally identified.
Cincinnati Police updated the numbers on Friday, announcing that there were an estimated 78 heroin overdose incidents in the city in just a two-day period. Investigators are asking for help from the public in identifying the dealers involved after three recent deaths, all apparently related to the same batch of the illegal drug. Local officials have now deemed the problem a public health emergency and say the extra-powerful drug carfentanyl could likely be involved in the latest rash of overdose cases.
A man from New Franklin has reportedly cut a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to lesser charges on Friday in connection with the beating death of another man outside a Norton nightclub. 37-year-old Robert Lantz was due to go to trial Monday in Summit County Court on a murder charge in the November 19 incident outside Desiree's Nightclub in the 4500 block of Wooster Road West. He and 63-year-old Daniel Carraway of Norton got into a fight that left the victim unresponsive on the ground when police arrived on the scene. He died early the next morning at Akron City Hospital. Ohio.com reports that on Friday, Lantz pleaded guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge in exchange for murder and felonious assault charges being dropped. He returns to court for sentencing October 4 and was allowed to go free on electronic-monitored bond.
The State Highway Patrol is providing fair warning in advance --- an OVI checkpoint will be held in Portage County tonight. The State Patrol will be working in conjunction with Streetsboro Police in operating the stop along State Route 14 between 8:00PM and 11:00PM and there will be saturation patrols conducted in the area to catch those who try to get around the stop.
Authorities say the driver of a pickup truck who crashed into a Columbiana County home this week had suffered a fatal heart attack prior to the wreck. Police say 61-year-old Terry Metts of Salem passed-out behind the wheel of his vehicle late Wednesday evening, just before his truck rammed a home along North Lincoln Avenue. Metts' wife was a passenger in the vehicle and suffered minor injuries. She was treated and released at the hospital. The wreck left behind extensive damage to the garage and part of the house. No one inside was hurt.
Authorities in Perry Township showed-up at a city park during the early-morning hours on Friday, embarking on a search for a missing man who reportedly suffers from depression. The Police Chief told the Canton Repository that officers arrived at Sippo Park with nine specially-trained dogs in an effort to locate 57-year-old Paul Kirkbride Jr of Partridge Street. Police began searching for the man on Tuesday when family members sent them to his home, worried about his welfare. The newspaper reports that hand-written notes in the house expressed thoughts of suicide. Police are asking others to call if they've had any contact with him.
Officials with the National Weather Service have confirmed that four tornadoes reached the ground in western Ohio's Van Wert County during a round of storms this week. The funnels were spawned by storms that generated more tornadoes in areas around Indianapolis and Kokomo, Indiana on Wednesday night. As the storms crossed the Ohio line, funnel clouds spun to the ground in primarily open farmland in Van Wert County while at least one more tornado caused damage to eight homes in Putnam County. Officials in Putnam and Defiance Counties were still assessing damage to determine if tornadoes caused roofs to be torn-off some houses and left behind extensive damage at a mobile home park.
Although he ruled that some facets of it violate the State Constitution, a Cuyahoga County judge has affirmed as legal the gun registry law that was enacted by the city of Cleveland last year. However, the intent of the law to mandate that people convicted on new gun-related offenses register with the police department was allowed to stand. A concealed-carry group challenged the law within days after it was pushed through by the Mayor and City Council in April 2015. While the judge ruled that four facets of the bill violated the Constitution, much of the law as it was written was allowed to stand. Critics including one Councilman who voted against the measure say it serves no meaningful purpose in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
Another northeast Ohio city is taking a wait-and-see approach about the state's medical marijuana program. The Safety Committee in Avon Lake has forwarded a moratorium that allows the community to hold-off granting permits for cultivation, processing or selling medicinal pot for at least six months. The move, however, does not ban the use of medical marijuana if it's prescribed by a doctor. Avon Lake joins the cities of Brooklyn and Lakewood in adopting the moratoriums while North Olmsted and Sheffield Village are considering similar moves. The Safety Committee Chairman says the new state law was pushed-through by the Legislature without much input from individual municipalities...adding the local folks need some breathing room to determine the impact.
An Ohio sheriff says an inmate found dead inside a holding cell in a central Ohio jail apparently hanged himself. Coshocton County Sheriff Tim Rodgers says the body of 28 year-old Nicolas Poland, of Lexington, was found in the cell at the county jail during a routine check. Officials say Poland was alone in the cell and apparently used bedding to hang himself. The sheriff says Poland was serving six months in jail on convictions of theft and misuse of a credit card. An investigation is ongoing.
Ohio's Supreme Court has ruled that prior juvenile convictions cannot be used to increase the severity of charges or the length of prison sentences those individuals receive as adults. The justices ruled 4-3 that treating cases from juvenile court as prior convictions for adult-sentencing purposes is unconstitutional and fundamentally unfair. The ruling says prior juvenile convictions can't be used to enhance prison sentences of adults since children facing delinquency charges have no right to a jury trial.
A gun buyback program planned for this Saturday at a church in Akron has been postponed due to lack of funding. Organizers say they hope to hold the event in October. The Piece for Peace program will pay $50 gift cards for rifles and shotguns and $100 gift cards for handguns and assault weapons. State Rep. Greta Johnson, of Akron tells the Beacon....another reason for the delay is the need to create education and peace initiatives.