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Local news briefs — Sept. 25


Homicide suspected

AKRON: The death of an Akron man whose body was discovered in bushes over the weekend is being treated as a possible homicide.

The body of Clarence Keys, 50, of Russell Avenue, was found outside an apartment in the 400 block of West Miller Street around 12:15 p.m. Sunday.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office said “unexplained injuries” were discovered during the autopsy. Police said the injuries consist of abrasions to his knuckles on his left hand.

A cause and manner of death are pending further testing and investigation.

Police hunt driver

AKRON: Akron police were asking for help locating the driver in a hit-skip crash this month that injured a construction worker on Interstate 77.

Authorities released a surveillance video that shows a woman get out of her vehicle and go into a gas station convenience store.

In a news release, police said the driver of the tan sport utility vehicle seen in the video hit the worker about 8 p.m. Sept. 9 on I-77 north of the Vernon Odom Boulevard exit and fled the scene.

Police said the SUV, possibly a Ford, likely has damage to the driver’s side.

Anyone with information about the driver or the vehicle is asked to call the department’s hit-skip unit at 330-375-2508.

Anonymous tips for this or any crime can be made to Crimestoppers by texting TIPSCO along with the information about the case to the number 274637 (CRIMES) or by calling 330-434-COPS (2677).

Robbery near UA

AKRON: University of Akron police were asking for information to help solve an off-campus robbery reported at 2:10 p.m. Tuesday at Carroll and Beaver streets, east of state Route 8.

UA police said two strangers approached a man and asked to use a cellphone. They took the phone and fled.

No weapon was shown.

The first robber was described as a thin, black male with short hair, in his early 20s. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed about 130 pounds. He wore a black hoodie and black jeans.

The second robber was described as a black male, also in his early 20s. He is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighed 170 to 180 pounds. He wore dark blue pants, a red hoodie, red hat and black-and-red Air Jordan shoes.

Both robbers were described as wearing baggy clothes.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call University of Akron police at 330-972-2911.


Towpath funding

BARBERTON: The City Council on Monday adopted an ordinance appropriating $225,000 from the city’s general fund for the Towpath Bridge and Trailhead Connector Project.

A bridge will be built over the Tuscarawas River to connect the Towpath Trail to downtown Barberton.

This project, which began in 2007, will greatly benefit residents of the community, Assistant Planning Director Joe Stefan said.

Currently, the Towpath Trail is split in the city’s downtown by the canal on the west and the Tuscarawas River on the east.

Stefan hopes this new connection will bring more people into Barberton to see what the city has to offer.

The balance of the $557,193 project will come from local funds, civic donations and other nonfederal grants.

Next, the city must award a construction contract.

The bridge is expected to be completed by next summer.


Trail head approved

CANTON: A trail head will be established for the Middle Branch Trail at 55th Street Northeast and Johnnycake Ridge.

The City Council approved the purchase of a 0.36-acre parcel of vacant land at that location from Norman and Barbara Lord for $20,300.

Members also appropriated $5,547 for the engineering and park departments to develop the site.

In other action Monday, Becky Murphy of St. Elmo Avenue Northeast urged officials to inspect vacant buildings for hazardous conditions.

She was among the residents forced to stay away from her home temporarily as a result of a Sept. 16 fire and chemical reaction at the former Convoy Containers, at 1811 20th St. NE.

She called the closed factory “an accident waiting to happen.”

The council also heard a complaint about problems around the Canton Friendship Center, a social service agency at 2200 Cleveland Ave. NW.

In August, a client smashed windows of two nearby businesses and a police car.

Councilman John Mariol II, who represents the area, is trying to find a new location for the agency.


EMS proposal

GRANGER TWP.: Fire Chief Jim Paulett told trustees Monday that his department recommends the purchase of a heavy-duty EMS vehicle that will accommodate power cots and lift systems. The cost would be $201,623.

Paulett said the department spent more than 300 hours of research on EMS units.

The vehicle would replace a 2007 Ford vehicle that would be sold at auction.

All of the equipment on that unit would transfer to the new unit.

Trustees agreed with the choice, but said that before they can vote, the contracts need approval from the Medina County prosecutor.


Law license revoked

COLUMBUS: A Canton attorney’s law license has been permanently revoked in an Ohio Supreme Court action.

Court officials announced Tuesday that Agatha Martin Williams, 53, was barred from practicing law for misusing more than $170,000 in client funds and causing serious harm to five clients — mostly because of her gambling addiction.

The high court, in a unanimous decision, imposed a harsher penalty after the court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline had recommended an indefinite suspension of Williams’ law license.

While her case was pending before the board, Williams pleaded guilty to felony charges of forgery and theft.

She is serving an eight-year prison term in the Ohio Reformatory for Women.

According to the high court’s findings, Williams engaged in a pattern of dishonesty and neglect, collected excessive fees, endorsed a settlement check without authorization, stole settlements from two clients and transferred another client’s funds for personal use.


Candidates denied

AKRON: Five independents hoping to run for seats in the Nov. 5 election were disqualified by the Summit County Board of Elections because of insufficient signatures on their petitions.

They had hoped to run for Barberton council at large, Cuyahoga Falls mayor, Cuyahoga Falls council at large and Akron council in Ward 3 and Ward 10.

At least one, Stephen Dabney, a candidate for Cuyahoga Falls mayor, plans to ask the elections board to reconsider its decision at its meeting today.

The only independent candidate the board recently granted ballot access was Valerie Jackson, who is running for Akron council in Ward 4.

The board also certified nonpartisan candidates for two Akron Municipal Court judicial races. Copley school board member Julie Schafer and Akron City Prosecutor Gert Wilms are competing for the seat of Judge John Holcomb, who is retiring, while Jon Oldham, a magistrate in Summit County Probate Court, is challenging Judge Katarina Cook.


Driver talks to girl

WADSWORTH: Wadsworth City Schools issued an alert after a stranger tried to talk to an intermediate school girl as she walked to a dance class Monday afternoon.

The girl was not touched, and the driver has not been identified.

Wadsworth police said the girl was walking to the Northeast Ohio Dance School, 124 College St., after leaving Central Intermediate School about 3:30 p.m.

The man stopped, rolled down his SUV’s window and tried to talk to her. The girl ran to the dance school, and police were called.

Police said the man was driving a black Jeep Liberty, Honda Pilot or other similar SUV.

He was described as white, with very short, light brown hair, a mustache and “scruffy” facial hair.

Wadsworth schools sent parents an “Alert Now” notification regarding the incident.

Anyone with information about the driver or his vehicle is asked to contact Wadsworth police at 330-334-1511.

Anonymous information can be left on voice mail at 330-335-2769 or emailed to wads­


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