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Local news briefs — Aug. 17


Free legal help

AKRON: University of Akron law professors will offer free information today for those seeking to have a criminal record eliminated through expungement.

The event will be hosted by Councilwoman Margo Sommerville, Ward 3, and Antioch Baptist Church, 670 Vernon Odom Blvd., from 1 to 4 p.m.

Law professors will be available to help those with convictions that are eligible to be sealed through the expungement process.

Misdemeanors and some felonies can be expunged under Ohio law.

Those seeking advice need to bring a photo ID card.

Former cop guilty

AKRON: A former Akron police detective has pleaded guilty to five charges in a case that alleged sexual contact with juveniles.

Bob L. Pankonien Jr., 52, will be sentenced Sept. 25 by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Lynne Callahan. He pleaded guilty to pandering sexually oriented matter, three counts of illegal use of a police computer and a single count of receiving stolen property.

Pankonien originally was facing a 19-count indictment that included sexual offenses against juveniles.

Prosecutors dismissed more serious counts of sexual battery and gross sexual imposition, involving boys and girls he was previously acquainted with.

Pankonien was placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the criminal case when he was indicted late in 2012. He has since left the department.


Fatal crash

CANTON: Police are investigating a one-car crash that killed a Canton man early Friday.

Thevenin Ledan Terrell, 19, of Brad Avenue Southeast, was traveling westbound on Third Street Northeast about 2:15 a.m., when he apparently lost control of his vehicle. He struck a utility pole and a tree.

Canton Fire Department paramedics transported Terrell to Aultman Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Police said Terrell was not wearing a seat belt and that excessive speed appears to be a factor in the crash.

Man fatally shot

CANTON: Authorities are looking for help in an investigation of a shooting that left one person dead early Friday.

Police did not identify the victim of the shooting found at Seventh Street Northeast and Herbruck Court Northeast. It occurred shortly before 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The victim suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the chest and was pronounced dead by the Stark County coroner at the scene. The victim was taken to the county morgue.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Canton police detectives at 330-489-3144.

Anonymous tips can be sent through Tip411. Sign up for Tip411 at


License suspended

COLUMBUS: The State Medical Board of Ohio has suspended the medical license of Dr. James Patrick Bressi of Hudson and permanently revoked the license of Dr. Mark B. Shaffer Jr. of Aurora.

In a news release Friday, the board said in the case of Bressi, there is “clear and convincing evidence that his continued practice presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public.”

Allegations presented to the board assert Bressi engaged in “non-consensual sexual activity” with five patients during appointments.

In the case of Shaffer, the board said the action is related to the doctor’s pending criminal charges, including kidnapping, a first-degree felony.


Fire guts house

MONTVILLE TWP.: A table will be set up at the Cobblestone Development park in Montville Township to help a family whose home was gutted by fire Friday afternoon.

The fire at 6507 Shale Court caused extensive damage to the residence. There were no injuries.

The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross with temporary housing.

The fire started inside a garage and spread to the attached residence, authorities said. No cause has yet to be determined.

Those wishing to contribute to help the family may do so at the Cobblestone Park community event, 4765 Cobblestone Park Drive, where a special table will be set up. The family-themed event runs from 6 p.m. to dark today when a children’s movie will be shown.

Traffic disruptions

MEDINA: West Washington Street will be closed between South Elmwood Avenue and South Court Street, just west of the city square, for an indefinite period beginning at 7 a.m. Monday.

The closure begins the first phase of the water line replacement project.

Parking in the area will be prohibited and traffic could be detoured at certain times.

Access to local businesses and residences will be maintained.


Circle to close

TALLMADGE: Tallmadge Circle will be closed from 5 p.m. to midnight today.

The Tallmadge Circle Festival of Lights will be occurring in and around the circle during those hours.

The event will include food, entertainment, a parade and fireworks, among other attractions.


Special meeting

WADSWORTH: The city’s Planning Commission will hold a special meeting at 11:30 a.m. Monday in the City Council Chambers, 120 Maple St.

City officials said Friday that commission members will discuss a revision to the site plan at 1000 Seville Road.

Auto parts dealer ECS Tuning plans to expand its Seville Road location by up to 40,000 square feet. The company would add machinery and furniture and would invest $6 million in the project.

In June, City Council approved a 65 percent real estate tax exemption for 10 years and allowed 40 percent off payroll taxes for the potential 105 new employees for nine years as an incentive package for this project.


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