WNIR is still seeking donations to help needy families this Christmas through the 34th annual Howie's Helping Hand Campaign.
As of the close of business on Friday, donors had provided support for a little more than half of the families who have sent-in requests. We still need quite a bit of help to provide to the remainder of those on our list.
If you can, please send a check payable to WNIR and write-in “Helping Hand” on the Memo Line.
Send your donations to:
Howie's Helping Hand
c/o WNIR Radio
P.O. Box 2170
Akron, Ohio 44309
Thank you for your generosity and Merry Christmas from all of us here at WNIR!
A former county administrator in northwest Ohio whose husband was charged with sex-trafficking has now been indicted, accused of interfering with the Federal investigation against her husband. Former Lucas County administrator Laura Lloyd-Jenkins was arrested on Friday in Toledo. The 43-year-old woman is also charged with making false statements to authorities and pleaded not guilty following her arrest. Her husband, the Reverend Cordell Jenkins, previously pleaded not guilty to charges that he and two other pastors conspired to recruit teenage girls to have sex...sharing illicit videos and photos with the victims.
The Mount Union Purple Raiders are National Champions in the college football Division III ranks for the 13th time, after shutting-out Mary Hardin-Baylor with a 12-0 final in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl on Friday in Salem, Virginia. The Raiders finish a perfect 15-0 season after holding the Crusaders to 144 total yards in what had been a defensive battle throughout – with Mount Union ahead by just a 3-0 count until D'Angelo Fulford hit Justin Hill on a 42-yard pass play for a touchdown in the Fourth Quarter. The Raiders' defense logged eight sacks in the game.
The US Attorneys office has filed charges against a former attorney from Geauga County, accusing him of siphoning-off money from estates that he represented after clients had died. 64-year-old Donald Navatsyk of Chardon is accused of embezzling over 160-Thousand dollars from clients' estates, depositing the cash into his personal bank accounts and failing to report income to the IRS. The crimes allegedly happened in 2008 while the accused worked as a probate attorney, executor and administrator of estates for wills and trusts. Navatsyk is also on the hook with the IRS for close to 36-Thousand dollars, unpaid taxes on the money he allegedly deposited into his personal accounts.
No one's talking about what's behind it, but an officer on the Munroe Falls Police Department is on administrative leave as an investigation moves forward. The Stow Sentry reported this week that an outside agency was brought-in to conduct the probe involving an officer. The newspaper reports the Police Chief placed the staff member on paid leave and that no further comments would be made by the department, pending the outcome of the investigation once it's complete. The city's Law Director did not identify the officer involved, though the newspaper reported the name of a Police Sergeant who reportedly confirmed he was on leave...but would not say if it was connected to the ongoing investigation. Records requests were denied with authorities citing the ongoing investigation and the need to keep the details under wraps.
Authorities are looking at a possible gas leak as the cause of a house fire that killed a man and his four cats on Cleveland's west side on Friday afternoon. Firefighters responded to the scene in the 6900 block of Southfield Avenue shortly after Noon, where the flames began in the basement and began spreading through the home. The name of the victim wasn't immediately released and investigators believe a gas line may have come loose from the furnace before the flames erupted. The victim was found on the basement floor when crews entered the home and he was reportedly dead on the scene.
The Phillies have reportedly signed free agent First Baseman Carlos Santana away from the Indians. He's reportedly getting a three-year, 60-Million dollar deal and becomes the first to reach an agreement among the nine free agents who rejected qualifying offers from their former teams last month. Santana had played his entire career with the Tribe after Cleveland acquired him in a trade with Los Angeles in 2009. The switch-hitter batted .259 with 23 home runs and 79 RBI last season for the AL Central Division Champions.
The fate of an accused killer is now in the hands of a Stark County Court jury. Closing arguments were heard on Friday and the jury entered deliberations in the case of 19-year-old Xavier Hatchett, charged with murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence. He's accused in the April 10 shooting this year that took the life of 22-year-old Khaleel Kimbrough...gunned-down near Fourth Street and Economy Court SE. A co-defendant who took a deal with prosecutors testified against Hatchett at trial and will serve 15-to-life in prison for his role in the crime. 20-year-old Travonne Pounds told the court that he stayed in a car and pulled the trigger after Hatchett met-up with the victim outside his home for a fight over a woman. Pounds said that Kimbrough chased Hatchett to the car after being punched and the gun went-off as he tried to hand it off to Hatchett.
A 20-year-old worker at a Cincinnati-area fast food restaurant appeared in court on Friday, pleading not guilty to attempted murder charges after two co-workers were shot late Wednesday night. Zachary Allart saw his bond set at four-Million dollars during his appearance in Hamilton County Court. He allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend and the manager of a McDonald's in Anderson Township. Both women remained in critical condition on Friday. When deputies responded to the 911 calls, they found Allart holding a gun to his own head, threatening to shoot himself to death before he was arrested.
Police in Middletown are asking the public to help provide support for a family of nine children...who watched their mother die of a drug overdose. Police say a pair of suspected drug dealers took money from the woman on Wednesday, then left her to die as her children looked-on. Police are asking for donations of clothing, blankets, coats, food, toys and appliances to help the family. The nine children left without a mother range in age from one to 14...five girls and four boys. Police said in a Facebook post that their father is a hard worker who's been struggling to make ends meet.
Akron Police put the collar on a man who was wanted on warrants – and caught him packing heat in the process. Police on Friday announced the arrest of 23-year-old Antony Teague Jr of McKinley Avenue. Officers had stopped a car on a traffic violation and found him sitting in the back seat, then learned he had a warrant on his head on drug-related charges. When they got him out of the car, he was caught with a loaded handgun in his pocket. He's got a prior felony conviction and was booked into Summit County Jail on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and weapons under disability.
The victim who died in the crash of a stolen car in Akron this week has been identified. The Summit County Medical Examiner's office says that 16-year-old Demontier Fowler of Akron was a back-seat passenger in the car that crashed a short time before 2:00PM Wednesday in the 400 block of Eastland Avenue in Goodyear Heights. The car went off the road, hitting a tree and a fire hydrant before flipping on its side and coming to a stop near a retaining wall. The Medical Examiner says Fowler was dead on the scene after suffering blunt force trauma to the head. The driver had bailed and ran from the scene before officers arrived on the 911 calls and police as of Friday had not identified him. The car had been reported stolen from the 700 block of Kipling Street around 11:30 Tuesday night. Tips leading to the arrest of the driver are needed at Detective Bureau – 330-375-2490.
A not guilty plea has been entered in court by a Warren man, accused of raping a small child. 43-year-old Martise Fortson of Southern Boulevard appeared for arraignment on Thursday in Warren Municipal Court, where he faces a felony rape charge that reportedly involves a seven-year-old girl. WFMJ reports that officials from Trumbull County Children Services were tipped-off about the alleged abuse in November, spawning an investigation by police that led to the arrest of the accused. Fortson's bond was set at 100-Thousand dollars and he remains in the County Jail, awaiting his next hearing slated for next Thursday.
Some people apparently still don't understand or care that there's a law against it. Officials from the Portage Animal Protective League have had their hands full again this year, investigating complaints of animal neglect...and they took three dogs from homes in the Ravenna area after they were found tied-up outside without proper shelter or sustenance. The APL says after the dogs were found, officials allowed an hour to pass to see if the owner would do the right thing and bring them inside from the frigid weather. When that didn't happen, a Humane Officer took the dogs to a shelter to get proper care. The APL posted photos of the dogs on their Facebook page, calling attention to the fact that animals can freeze to death in weather such as we've seen over the last several days. There's also a state law barring people from neglect or abuse of companion animals.
Federal child porn charges have been leveled against a man from North Ridgeville. The US Attorney's office has announced that 48-year-old Dana Cain has been indicted on one count of possession of a computer containing illicit images. Cain's April 5 arrest followed an investigation that led to a March 30 search of his home on Avon-Belden Road, where investigators confiscated a computer containing 490 videos of toddlers and young girls being sexually assaulted. Authorities say the images had been downloaded between May 2015 and January this year. Cain was charged initially in Lorain County Court, but the counts were dismissed when his case moved-on to the Federal level.
A raid on a Canton home netted a cache of weapons and drugs this week. Police told the Repository the raid went-down Wednesday morning at a house along the 1200 block of Lawn Avenue SW, where five handguns, methamphetamine, crack cocaine and digital scales were collected-up. Arrested on the scene was 48-year-old Ephraim Risten...who was booked into Stark County Jail on charges of aggravated drug trafficking and possession, trafficking a controlled substance, weapons under disability and several other counts. Police pulled-in three shotguns, two pistols, 22 grams of meth, an undisclosed amount of crack and other contraband. Risten's got a rap sheet including a prior drug-related conviction and saw his bond set a more than 100-Thousand dollars.
A head-on crash that involved several vehicles left two people dead and three others injured outside Columbus on Thursday. The State Highway Patrol reports 55-year-old Robert Fish and his passenger, 54-year-old Lisa Hiles, both of Columbus, died of the injuries they suffered in the wreck. Fish reportedly crossed the centerline while driving north along US 23 in Delaware County, crashing head-on into a car driven the opposite direction. Before the vehicles came to a stop, a semi tractor-trailer and another car were involved in the pile-up. Fish died at the scene and Hiles lost her battle to survive at the hospital. The Patrol says neither of them were wearing seat belts. A Columbus man driving the other car and his two back seat passengers were all taken to Columbus hospitals with serious injuries.
Federal drug and weapons charges have been filed against a Youngstown man by the US Attorney's office. Authorities this week announced a Grand Jury indictment against 22-year-old Antonio Young, naming him in a 20-count filing involving drug trafficking offenses and gun-related crimes. The paperwork claims that Young had been selling heroin and crack cocaine on the streets between January last year and March this year. He also reportedly used a handgun while committing unspecified drug-related crimes. Young's arrest and the charges filed against him came as a result of an investigation by the FBI, the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force and the ATF.
A news reporter and the outfit that employs him have filed a Federal lawsuit against the Clark County Sheriff's office in west-central Ohio. The litigation filed this week names a Sheriff's deputy, the County and the Village of New Carlisle...claiming authorities withheld information and engaged in retaliation against a weekly newspaper. The suit, alleging excessive force and civil rights violations, involves a shooting incident earlier this year in which a deputy shot a news photographer as he set-up his equipment to take a photo of a traffic stop. The deputy said that he mistook reporter Andrew Grimm's camera tripod for a gun when he shot him twice in September. The incident is still under investigation by the Ohio BCI.
Homeowners in Wadsworth are getting a bit of good news just before Christmas, with officials from the school district announcing a reduction in real estate tax bills next year. The District Treasurer told the Medina Gazette that a combination of issuing bonds at lower interest rates and refunding a portion of outstanding debt has led to a reduction in real estate taxes next year at a rate of $38.50 per 100-Thousand dollar valuation. Several bonds were re-financed under lower interest rates, lowering costs to the school district and property owners alike with some of the savings being passed-onto those who've helped foot the bill for various construction projects.