New police vehicles
AKRON: Akron police will show off the new design for department vehicles Saturday.
Using a more traditional color scheme of a black vehicle with blue and metallic gold lettering, the design is the result of suggestions from members of the department, community and other city employees. It will be used on newly purchased Ford Explorer and Ford Taurus vehicles, which are expected to begin patrolling Akron roads within the next few months, the department said Thursday.
The department’s current fleet will retain the white paint with blue-and-gold stripes until those vehicles are replaced and taken out of service.
The public unveiling will occur from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday during the Winterfest at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron. Also on display will be members of the department’s Police Explorers unit and Akron K9 Unit, which will stage demonstrations every half-hour.
Woman shot, arrested
AKRON: An Akron woman was shot during a home invasion burglary early Thursday, then was arrested on drug charges after being treated for her wounds, police said.
Antonea Jackson, 20, is charged with possession of heroin, tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property, police Capt. Daniel Zampelli said.
Jackson was inside a house in the 500 block of South Rhodes Avenue when intruders entered just after midnight. She was shot in the leg before the intruders ransacked the residence, police said.
Jackson was treated at a hospital before being transferred to the county jail. The intruders have not been identified.
Anyone with information is asked to call Akron police detectives at 330-375-2490.
AKRON: An Akron man who sought revenge will spend almost 12 years in prison on a robbery charge.
Cedric L. Witherspoon Jr., 21, of Rudd Street, was sentenced in Judge Lynne Callahan’s courtroom late Wednesday to 11 years and nine months behind bars. He had pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and a firearms charge Nov. 13.
Prosecutors said that in early September, Witherspoon lured a male acquaintance, who had beaten him up earlier this year, to a house in Akron. When the man arrived at the house, Witherspoon pointed a gun at him and robbed him.
The man fled, but Witherspoon chased him and shot him once in the back, prosecutors said.
Book signing added
AKRON: Former Akron Deputy Mayor Dave Lieberth, who just completed a book on the city’s history, will have a second book-signing event.
Lieberth will sign his book titled Inventive. Industrious. Inspired from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday at Akron Family Restaurant, 250 W. Market St. He previously announced an event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Zeber-Martell Studio, 43 Furnace St.
Lieberth, who retired from the city last fall, describes the 190-page book as “the story of how we got where we are today.”
He said the city and local businesses will use the book as an economic development tool to tell Akron’s story.
Any proceeds will go to the Summit County Historical Society.
The book is $54, or $45 for historical society members. It will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Monday at Perkins Stone Mansion, 550 Copley Road. It also can be purchased for $59.99 on amazon.com.
Zoo adds rare species
CLEVELAND: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has added two critically endangered gharials to The RainForest.
The gharials, members of the crocodile family, were born at a conservation institution in India.
Both of the new gharials are almost 5 years old and female. When fully grown, female gharials can measure up to 13 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds.
Gharials are native to India, Nepal and Pakistan. Habitat destruction for mining and agriculture and illegal fishing and turtle poaching have dwindled their numbers.
They are even rare in captivity, with only seven zoos across the country exhibiting the species.
For more information, go to www.clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo or call 216-661-6500.
FAIRLAWN: A Copley-Fairlawn Middle School student told police that a man he didn’t know approached him and asked him to get in his car Wednesday afternoon.
The incident occurred after the boy got off a bus about 3:30 p.m. at Shelley Lynn Drive and Morewood Road in Fairlawn.
The boy walked away, went home and told his parents, who contacted Fairlawn police.
The boy described the man as a white male in his 30s who was driving a white Mercedes.
Fairlawn police were investigating, and the Copley-Fairlawn school district sent a blast phone message to parents telling them about the incident. The district urged parents to review with their children the proper steps to take if approached by a stranger, which the student in this case took.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Fairlawn police at 330-666-8871.
HUDSON: Six residents attended the City Council meeting Wednesday to object to large, metal containers on the property of the American Fireworks Company, north of downtown on state Route 91.
Resident Jim Fulton said his property abuts American Fireworks, and he described the containers as “unsightly.” He requested the council’s assistance in requiring landscaping or other remedial action to address the situation.
Community Development Director Mark Richardson said the city had visited the property, found a violation and indicated that the matter was proceeding through the legal process.
Council President Hal DeSaussure, who is an attorney, said the legal process in Hudson requires these matters to go through the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals. He said that any appeal of a decision of the board does not come before council, but is taken to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
Woman hurt in fire
JACKSON TWP.: A fire in a Jackson Township apartment complex left a woman injured and displaced seven other tenants.
The fire at 2830 Thackeray Ave. NW was reported about 3 p.m. Thursday.
Two Jackson Township police officers crawled through a smoke-filled apartment to reach a female resident unconscious on the kitchen floor.
The officers pulled her to safety. She was taken to Aultman Hospital in Canton for treatment of what appeared to be nonlife-threatening injuries.
Other tenants were evacuated from the apartment complex.
The township’s police and fire departments are investigating.
No cause has been determined.
AKRON: Thomas Tatum, Akron’s housing rehabilitation administrator, is the 2014 chairman of the Northeast Ohio Four County Regional Planning and Development Organization.
Other officers are Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula, first vice chairman; Todd Peetz, director of the Portage County Regional Planning Commission, second vice chairman; Wooster Mayor Bob Breneman, secretary; and Summit County Director of Administrative Services Craig Stanley, treasurer.
The Akron-based planning agency covers Summit, Stark, Portage and Wayne counties and covers environmental and economic development planning.
New police academy
JACKSON TWP.: Stark State College will hold two public sessions for information about a new daytime police academy.
The academy will provide the required training to be a peace officer in Ohio.
A 15-week session will begin Jan. 13, with meeting times from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Saturdays and some Sundays.
Interested candidates should attend one of the information sessions, at 11 a.m. or 4 p.m. Jan. 6, at the Advanced Technology Center on Stark State’s main campus, 6200 Frank Ave. NW.
Candidates should be in good physical condition, have no serious mental health disorders and no felony or domestic violence convictions.
Application deadline for the spring 2014 program is Jan. 10.
For more information, contact Jerry Snay, law enforcement coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-494-6170, ext. 4414.
WADSWORTH: The City Council adopted a $105.6 million budget for 2014 on Tuesday.
The electric department, as always, will take the largest share of the budget. For 2014, the figure will be $36.3 million.
Wadsworth purchases electricity wholesale through AMP-Ohio, a consortium of communities that, like Wadsworth, have electric distribution systems. The city then sells that electricity throughout Wadsworth and as far west as Guilford Township, east to Norton and north to Sharon Township.
The general fund is budgeted at $12 million. That fund includes the offices of the auditor, city council, law director, mayor, municipal court, safety director, service director, treasurer and the records commission.
In other business, the council approved a 5 percent hike in sewer rates beginning next year. Service Director Chris Easton said the average household can expect a $1.50 per month increase.
For more details from the council meeting, go to http://Wadsworth.Ohio.com.
No decision on Mooney
YOUNGSTOWN: The board of directors at an aging Catholic high school has yet to decide whether to launch a capital campaign as part of a proposal to move the school to the suburbs.
The projected cost of a new building for Youngstown’s Cardinal Mooney High School is $29.5 million, with an additional $5 million endowment for scholarships for needy students.
The Vindicator reports that the potential move was discussed at the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown’s monthly school board meeting Wednesday with no decision.
Some alumni want the school moved to reflect population shifts. City officials want it to stay put to help stabilize its neighborhood.
An enrollment feasibility study found the school would gain 100 to 150 students if it moved to the suburbs.
— Associated Press