City to keep guns
AKRON: The city said Thursday it will not return weapons confiscated from the now-demolished home of veteran Larry Modic unless a court orders it to do so.
Modic, who had made threats to kill anyone who tried to demolish his home, responded with an expletive when asked about the city’s position.
Akron police officers took Modic, 57, to a mental health facility for treatment in mid-January after he made threats over the imminent demolition of the home.
During a search of the house on Manchester Road, police found three loaded rifles, a loaded shotgun and a loaded handgun along with ammunition, body armor and other items. Modic said he asked city officials this week to return his weapons by Friday.
City Chief Prosecutor Gertrude Wilms said in a news release that the weapons would not be returned because the city believes Modic still might be a threat to himself or others.
Parking lot to close
AKRON: The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail’s parking lot at Summit Lake will close to the public Monday. That’s when the city of Akron will begin to expand the community center at 380 W. Crosier St.
The work will not affect the Towpath Trail, but it will shut down the parking lot closest to the trail and to the center’s basketball courts.
New Hoban leader
Archbishop Hoban’s board of directors said Thursday that Todd R. Sweda was selected as the high school’s next president.
He will replace Brother Kenneth Haders, who will leave at the end of the school year after 17 years in the position.
Sweda has been serving as assistant headmaster of Gilmour Academy in suburban Cleveland since 2003. He also has been an English teacher, director of the middle school and dean of student affairs among numerous roles at the school.
Building to be razed
AKRON: The city offered the two-story brick Board of Realtors building for free to anyone willing to move it but got no responses.
The deadline for proposals was Wednesday.
That means the downtown building at 405 S. High St. will be torn down to make room for a 250-space parking lot to serve student housing in the area, said Mike Teodecki, a city engineer.
The building is expected to be demolished in the next month, and the parking lot completed by mid-August, Teodecki said.
One student-housing building near the future parking lot is occupied, while a second is expected to be finished by August. A third is proposed a block away at East Exchange Street and South Broadway.
BOSTON TWP.: The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park is winner of a $5,000 grant from Columbia Sportswear Co./Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Belay Program.
In addition, Appalachian Outfitters provided a matching $1,500 grant.
The funds will be used to support a local habitat restoration and to control exotic plant species in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The project calls for getting urban youth involved.
The conservancy was one of 16 organizations nationwide selected in this year’s program.
Fire at apartments
MEDINA: A fire early Thursday at a Medina apartment building gutted the complex and displaced eight families, fire officials said.
Residents in eight occupied units of the Birch Hill Drive complex escaped the fire unharmed, fire Chief Bob Painter said. The complex management and the American Red Cross are assisting residents with housing.
A cause of the fire had not been determined.
Painter said the fire started on a patio outside a second-floor unit and quickly spread to adjoining apartments. Firefighters were contacted just after 4 a.m.
The chief said five units sustained heavy fire damage and seven others sustained smoke and water damage. The complex is a total loss, he said.
“If they rebuild any of it, I’d be surprised,” Painter said.
Some of the 12 units in the complex were vacant, he said.
DeVitis office hours
GREEN: State Rep. Anthony DeVitis, R-Green, will hold district office hours from 8 to 9 a.m. today at the McDonald’s restaurant, 3672 Massillon Road. No appointments are necessary.
The district includes parts of Green, Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge, Mogadore, Lakemore and Springfield and Coventry townships.
Residents unable to attend can contact DeVitis at 614-466-1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Track ruling upheld
COLUMBUS: An Ohio court delivered a setback Thursday to an anti-gambling group that’s seeking to challenge Gov. John Kasich’s decision to legalize slots-like video lottery terminals at Ohio’s seven horse tracks.
In a unanimous ruling, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that the Ohio Roundtable lacks legal standing and cannot proceed.
Roundtable Vice President Rob Walgate said the group is weighing its next legal move. The overall suit argues Kasich improperly expanded the lottery by allowing the devices without putting the question to voters.
— Associated Press
Girl’s texts read
STEUBENVILLE: Prosecutors on Thursday introduced graphic text messages in the trial of two Ohio high school football players charged with raping a 16-year-old girl.
The texts include messages from the alleged victim in which she says she doesn’t remember the night of the attack and is trying to find out what happened. The girl also implies that she believes she was drugged that night.
“Swear to God I don’t remember doing anything with them,” the girl wrote to a friend who authorities say saw the assaults.
“I wasn’t being a slut. They were taking advantage of me,” she also wrote to the same boy.
Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, and Trent Mays, 17, are charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in the back seat of a moving car after a party Aug. 11, then in the basement of a house. Mays also is charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.
Prosecutors insist she was too drunk to consent to sex, while defense attorneys have portrayed her as someone who was intoxicated but still in control of her actions. Witnesses have said the girl was so drunk she threw up and had trouble walking and speaking.
Special Judge Thomas Lipps is hearing the case without a jury. He said Thursday he will keep the trial in session well into the evenings and through the weekend.
— Associated Press
Civil rights probe
CLEVELAND: The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday it will open a wide-ranging civil rights investigation into the use of force by Cleveland’s police department, whose officers fired 137 shots at the end of a massive police chase last fall, killing two likely unarmed people.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said the investigation will look beyond the November car chase that involved more than 60 patrol cars and ended in the shootings of Timothy Russell, 43, and his 30-year-old passenger, Malissa Williams.
Perez said the probe will not be a criminal investigation; its focus is the entire department, not individual officers. It will analyze several years of excessive force claims as well as police policies, training and procedures, he said.
— Associated Press