A local resident who relocated to Vietnam has been extradited – heading back to Ohio to face child porn charges. The US Attorney’s office announced on Wednesday that 67-year-old former Canton resident Larry Smith has been named in a two-count indictment – charging him for receipt and distribution of child porn and possession of child porn. The Federal government says that Smith collected illicit images back in 2013 – using multiple computers and hard drives that contained images of kids being abused. After moving to Florida, he relocated to Vietnam…from where he was extradited on Wednesday.
The city of Cleveland has been chosen to host the NFL Draft in 2021. The news came just before 4:00PM from the Governor’s office. It's the first time in League history that the Lakefront City has been named the host for the annual event.
Democrats currently holding office and running for President have been very busy on the campaign trail. So busy, in fact, that a number of them have failed to cast votes on a number of issues that have gone to the floor in Congress. According to a firm that keeps track of such things, Democratic US Representative Tim Ryan of Niles has missed 32.6-percent of Congressional votes this year – almost one-third of the issues that he was elected to watch by his constituents. “ProPublica” reports that Ryan is by far the leader in the number of missed votes…with Cincinnati-area Republican Representative Brad Wenstrup coming-in at Number Two with a 10.4-percent rate of missed calls to the floor. Among Democratic US Senators running for the Oval Office, Cory Booker of New Jersey leads the pack for no-shows with 32.8-percent.
A driver accused of colliding with a police cruiser in a construction zone in Stow has now been slapped with felony charges in connection with the crash. 57-year-old Stephen Eibel of Massillon was initially charged with OVI and other misdemeanors following the incident that happened on State Route 8 near Steels Corners Road on May 6. The State Highway patrol reports that he’s now charged with a felony count of aggravated vehicular assault. The Patrol reports that Eibel’s blood alcohol level at the time of the incident registered point-216 when his car slammed into the cruiser in the northbound lanes a short time before 10:30PM. Stow Police Sergeant Ted Bell was left hospitalized after the wreck – which happened as his emergency lights were running. Eibel has four prior convictions for OVI.
An area business has decided to continue its support of families with loved ones who are serving active duty. This weekend marks the third annual Memorial Weekend event to benefit the National Military Family Association’s “Operation Purple”…with Canal Fulton Canoe Livery and Campground prepared to set-aside some of the rental fees to help support the organization. The fundraising weekend starts with a kick-off event and live auction at Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge 2736. That event will be held on Friday evening at the lodge – located at 5899 Manchester Road in New Franklin. From Saturday through Monday, Canal Fulton Canoe Livery and Campground will donate 25-percent of every canoe rental fee to the cause for “Operation Purple.” The canoe livery is located at 219 West Cherry Street in Canal Fulton. For details, call 330-854-4008.
One of two suspects wanted for a carjacking in Portage County this week has turned herself in. 28-year-old Margaret Hayes of Auburn Township surrendered on Tuesday night at the Portage County Jail and was booked on felony charges of abduction and theft. The Geauga County woman along with 32-year-old Christopher Hastings, listed as homeless, were named in arrest warrants issued by the Sheriff’s office in connection with the Monday night crime. They allegedly stole an SUV from a 73-year-old man outside Midway Drive-In on State Route 59 in Ravenna Township. The crime happened around 8:40PM, less than an hour after the couple had been released from the county lock-up following earlier arrests. After driving-off with the man’s 72-year-old wife in the back seat, they reportedly shoved her out of the stolen ride along Powdermill Road and stole her purse. She was found by a Good Samaritan about three hours after the rip-off occurred, taken to the hospital for a check-up. Hastings and the stolen vehicle were yet to be found as of Wednesday afternoon.
A group of suspects accused of holding-up an area restaurant have chosen to accept a deal with prosecutors in Mahoning County Court. The co-defendants, 32-year-old Trevon McMullen, 22-year-old Kalilo Robinson and 21-year-old Jayquan McMullen, all copped guilty pleas to charges connected with a January 16 robbery in Youngstown. Two of them entered a Taco Bell on Youngstown-Poland Road, where they dragged a worker and other employees to the back of the business at gunpoint during the stick-up. The robbers escaped in a get-away car with a waiting driver who led a police chase until he was stopped in Struthers. Two suspects were caught on the scene and the third was captured about a week later after running-off. All three defendants got eight-year prison terms in the deal that was reached between defense lawyers and prosecutors.
The problem of drug abuse has permeated virtually every neighborhood in Ohio – evident with a recent bust that went-down near Amish Country. Millersburg Police were joined by other agencies including the Holmes County Sheriff’s office and the Ohio BCI in executing a search warrant at a home in the 700 block of South Washington Street. Once inside, authorities collected a large amount of crystal methamphetamine, around two-dozen syringes and some cash. There were 10 people inside the house at the time – but only five were arrested on the scene while the others remain under investigation. Two of the people found in the house were wanted on outstanding arrest warrants. The Canton Repository reports the Monday bust followed a similar police action on May 16 at another home along Alexander Street, where two other people were busted on drug charges.
An area man with a particular distaste for a former girlfriend is now a convicted arsonist. 62-year-old Robert Suchan of Broadview Heights went before the bench in Parma Municipal Court this week, pleading no contest to a string of charges including arson, aggravated trespassing, obstructing official business, falsification and inducing panic. On May 6, he showed-up at the home of the ex-girlfriend on Lucerne Avenue in Parma, starting a fire inside the garage around 8:00AM before leaving. After getting away, he called 911 and gave police a false name…then left the telephone number of the ex with the dispatcher before he cut-off the call. By the time fire crews arrived, the flames had already gone out. His penalty for the stunt was a suspended 180-day jail sentence and three years on probation after the judge convicted him as charged.
Some creepy people on the internet are apparently trying to take advantage of the kindness of the public – setting-up fake fundraising accounts in the name of a young Medina woman who collapsed and died near the end of the Cleveland Marathon on Sunday. The FBI is now investigating after fundraising accounts – purported to be aimed at covering 22-year-old Taylor Ceepo’s funeral expenses – appeared on the website “GoGetFunding.” Although the questionable pages were later removed, Federal authorities are looking into the apparent con-games. A friend of the family says there are currently no ongoing fundraising efforts in the name of Taylor Ceepo, a graduate of St Vincent-St Mary High School and Walsh University. She died while running in her first Marathon and the family asked that instead of flowers, people can donate to Akron Children’s Hospital in her memory.
Road crews have been going “roundabout crazy” and it’s enough to make your head spin. In the course of just a few years, roundabouts have materialized at numerous intersections in the region and more are coming. A pair of the most recent were completed within a quarter-mile of each other along State Route 619 in Hartville, where drivers get the run-around at Kauffman Avenue NW and King Church Avenue NW…locations within eyesight of one another and in back-to-back fashion. Another was recently completed along Route 619 and Pickle Road in Green…and that community will soon see yet another traffic circle installed at 619 and Myersville Road…west of Cleveland Avenue. The intersection will be closed to traffic between June 3 and August 20 and you will need to take a detour…again.
A strike by staff members at one of Toledo’s largest hospitals is now into its third week with no end in sight. The 22-hundred unionized employees at Mercy Health St Vincent Medical Center hit the picket lines on May 6…demanding movement by the hospital’s bargaining team on issues including a policy that forces the nursing staff to repeatedly work mandatory overtime. It just so happens that a proposal is under consideration in the Ohio Legislature which, if approved, would allow nurses to refuse orders to work extra hours. Many of the striking members have said that nurses at the Toledo hospital are forced to endure staff shortages – imposing extra hours and forcing them to remain on-call every day. Hospital officials claim the policy is “reasonable” and common within the health care industry. They also say the practice helps to ensure proper care of patients, despite arguments from the nurses that many of them are exhausted. The striking workers have said that forcing them to work long hours isn’t safe for them or their patients.
Authorities in Warren are investigating the discovery of a body that was found in the Mahoning River on Tuesday evening. Police report that a softball player at nearby Perkins Park off Mahoning Avenue was walking along the bank when he noticed the remains in the water just before 7:00PM. The 911 call brought police and Warren Fire-EMS to the scene to retrieve the body…initially identified only as a male. A backpack was also found snagged on a tree along the river and was collected from the scene. The body was taken to the Coroner’s office for study to determine the identity and possible cause of death. No further details were provided.
Reward money has been put on the table in an effort to identify and locate a suspect involved in an Akron murder last year. Summit County CrimeStoppers and Akron Police have announced that five-Thousand dollars in cash is up for grabs for the person who provides a tip leading to the arrest and indictment…an effort to find the person who shot to death 15-year-old Ty-Ron Phelps of Ottawa Avenue in Akron. He was found bleeding from multiple bullet wounds when officers rolled-up to the 400 block of Noah Avenue on the city’s west side at 10:30PM July 15 last year. Phelps was rushed to Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Anyone with a tip to help catch the killer needs to call Akron Police Detective Bureau or Summit County CrimeStoppers.
A murder investigation is under-way in Canton, where a man was found shot to death during the early-morning hours on Wednesday. Police responded to the 1300 block of Spring Avenue NE a short time after 1:30AM, arriving to find the victim’s body laying in the road. He was found with a gunshot wound to the head and was taken to Mercy Medical Center where he died. The victim’s name was withheld to allow the family to be informed and police haven’t mentioned if any witness information provided a lead to a possible suspect. Tips are needed at Canton Police – 330-489-3144.
A whistleblower lawsuit has been filed by a former medical supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Jail. The suit was filed late Tuesday by Gary Brack, the former Interim Director of Ambulatory Care at the Jail. Among a number of claims made in the litigation, he said that County Executive Armond Budish had him fired as allegations began to rise over an alleged cover-up of inmate abuse at the hands of corrections officers and their superiors. On May 22 last year, Brack raised criticism over the manner in which the Jail was being run and managed…and he says that’s what led to his job termination. Brack said that he had raised concerns about problems at the Jail well in advance of the public hearing in which he began offering the criticism. He was among the county employees who testified to the FBI as the Federal probe into the Jail operations was heating-up. The suit seeks unspecified damages for wrongful termination and an alleged conspiracy to deny him his First Amendment rights.
Data regarding trace amounts of radioactive material in and around a school zone in southern Ohio is being made available for public study. US Energy Secretary Rick Perry this week ordered the release of over four years’ worth of data collected from air monitoring systems, set-up around Zahn’s Corner Middle School in Pike County. The campus is in fairly close proximity to the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which had produced enriched uranium until 2001. The school was closed last week after monitoring systems within the building began picking-up signs of radioactive material. Tests are being done and the health impact is being evaluated before any decision is made about reopening the school doors. Perry says that data from 2015 through the First Quarter this year will be made available from six air monitoring systems on property owned by the DOE…plus 10 more monitors in the Piketon area.
A proposal introduced this week in the Ohio House calls for an easier process of sealing the records involving low-level, non-violent and non-sexual offenders. House Speaker Larry Householder was joined by Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs in announcing the proposal…one of several items they say are considered priority issues with bipartisan support. Along with the effort to help low-level convicted offenders resume their lives, another plan calls for creating a loan repayment program to help recruit and retain lawyers who want to become public defenders. Yet another plan involves making things easier to transfer credits from one high school to another in order to help students who previously left their classrooms. The goal is to help determine eligibility for an Associate’s Degree or some form of job-training certificate.
Starting next month, there will be a new person in charge of the troubled Cuyahoga County Jail. Current Lorain County Jail Administrator Ronda Gibson will take-over the post, effective June 3. Gibson’s duties will include overseeing the Corrections Center located in downtown Cleveland – where eight inmates died last year and another lost his life earlier this month. The lock-up has been under a high level of scrutiny and criticism since the US Marshals Service issued a scathing report last year, saying that conditions inside the walls are deplorable and inhumane. A number of current and former Jail staff members have been indicted on criminal charges in an alleged corruption scandal.
They apparently had everything they needed to pull the job…but the suspects who had planned to rob a local jewelry store didn’t consider the possibility that someone who would able to interrupt the caper - which is what happened on Tuesday afternoon along the border of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls. Police responded to Jared’s Galleria in the 300 block of Howe Avenue around 2:30PM…where five suspects got out of a car and donned their masks and hooded sweatshirts to cover their faces. A quick-thinking employee saw them coming…and locked the entry doors. The would-be bandits who were stopped at the door got back into the car and fled the scene…abandoning the vehicle a short distance away, where it was found by Akron Police. Cuyahoga Falls Police need info to help identify and capture the suspects – five black males. Call 330-971-8334 with your tips.