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Local news briefs — Aug. 10


Residents charged

BRUNSWICK: Brunswick police found two city residents dumpster diving behind a thrift store in the city.

Authorities say officers found a “suspicious vehicle” behind the Volunteers of America store on Pearl Road shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday.

Vanessa Patton, 33, and Joshua Huthmaker, 30, were charged with criminal trespass for removing items from a dumpster and from a loading dock.

Authorities say the pair “have been warned on several occasions for the same violation.”


Coughlin to speak

STOW: Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin will discussing his campaign for Stow Municipal Clerk of Courts and the importance of an independent judiciary at a meeting today of the group Citizens for Nonpartisan Politics.

The meeting, open to the public, will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the cafe at Stow-Kent Acme Fresh Market, 4445 Kent Road, Stow.

Former Stow City Council President Janet D’Antonio and former Stow Mayor Karen Fritschel founded the group in 2011 to promote nonpartisan politics at the local level. It is comprised of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.


Voting proposal

COLUMBUS: Ohioans could register to vote and request an absentee ballot online under a state legislative proposal.

The measure from Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley Township, also would let Ohio’s elections chief work with other states to share information to help maintain voter rolls.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted backs online voter registration. He praised the bill’s introduction Thursday, saying it will improve voter access and save the state money.

Husted’s 2014 Democratic challenger also supports many of the bill’s concepts. State Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland says other updates to Ohio’s election process should be considered, such as Election Day registration.

Online registration was part of a contentious election bill in 2011 but later was repealed.

Voters can update their addresses over the Internet under changes Husted made last year.

— Associated Press


Sex offenses

KENT: A Kent State University student was sentenced this week to almost two years in prison and will be required to register as a Tier I sex offender following incidents involving two 14-year-old girls at a slumber party he chaperoned in February in Kent.

Benjamin Schwartz, 20, pleaded guilty in June to felony importuning and misdemeanor counts of gross sexual imposition and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Judge John Enlow sentenced Schwartz, who is listed as biotechnology major at Kent State’s main campus, on Monday. Along with the jail time, Schwartz is required to register as a Tier I sex offender and faces five years of mandatory probation following his release.

Under Ohio law, Tier I sex offenders are subject to registration and verification requirements once every 12 months for 15 years.

Prosecutors say Schwartz attacked the first 14-year-old victim during the afternoon of Feb. 16 and attacked the second victim in the early morning of Feb. 17. He was able to separate the victims from the other juveniles in attendance at a home on Kimberly Drive by using threats.

Schwartz did not have a prior criminal history, prosecutors said.

Search committee

KENT: Kent State University has formed a search committee to recruit a successor to President Lester A. Lefton, who previously announced retirement will be effective July 1.

He has served in the role since July 1, 2006.

“Kent State finds itself at a unique point, one filled with achievement and remarkable opportunities for continued growth,” said Richard Marsh, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and a member of the Kent State Board of Trustees. “Record enrollments, a commitment to academic excellence and the revitalization of our campuses and communities indicate that the university is strong and ready to welcome our 12th president.”

The committee is advisory to the Board of Trustees and consists of faculty, trustees, students and staff.

For more information about the process, go to


Officers targeted

MASSILLON: City police officers were shot at early Friday — on the anniversary of another officer’s death, according to a report from Beacon Journal news partner WEWS.

Steven Bubenchik Jr., 40, was charged with three counts of attempted murder after firing the shots at Massillon police during a standoff.

Officers responded to Geiger Avenue to check on the welfare of a man about 2:30 a.m. Police said the welfare check quickly turned into a standoff, and multiple units responded to the scene.

Several police vehicles were hit by bullets, shattering some windows. No officers were injured, WEWS reported.

A couple of hours after the standoff began, the man walked out of the house and surrendered peacefully to police.

The incident took place 11 years after Massillon officer Eric Taylor, 31, was killed in the line of duty following a vehicle and foot pursuit of a suspect.


Yard sale

PLAIN TWP: Plain Township will hold its first community yard sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 17 at Diamond Community Park, 2782 Diamond St. NE.

Families and individuals are welcome to sell their household items and clothing.

Set-up is before the event between 8 and 10 a.m.

Cost is $10 for a 10-by-10-foot booth space.

Registration deadline is Monday, and spaces are given out on a first-come basis.

For more information, call 330-492-4689.


Pot plants seized

CANTON: A drug raid in Canton this week uncovered 89 marijuana plants worth an estimated $90,000.

The Stark County Metro Narcotics Unit on Friday announced that Monday’s raid at a residence in the 2500 block of 16th Street Northeast also resulted in an arrest.

Kristopher L. Cushman, 28, of Canton, has been charged with illegal cultivation and possession of marijuana.

Interim dog warden

CANTON: A man who is both the former mayor and former fire chief of Alliance has been named interim dog warden for Stark County. He is expected to serve for four to six weeks.

County commissioners appointed Toni Middleton at a special meeting Friday.

He officially took command at midnight, replacing Reagan Tetreault, whose resignation took effect at the end of Friday.

He will be paid $21.07 an hour based on a 40-hour work week, according to County Administrator Brant Luther. He said Tetreault met Friday at the pound with Middleton to give him necessary information.

Commissioners are expected to begin interviewing prospective permanent replacements Aug. 19. More than 80 people have applied for the job.


Nine-year sentence

AKRON: An Akron man who attacked a woman after dragging her out of her car by the hair was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison, authorities said.

Hermaine D. Powell, of Wakefield Drive, was convicted previously in a jury trial on charges of aggravated burglary, felonious assault and disrupting public service.

Prosecutors said Powell was waiting for the woman when she arrived home April 6. After forcing her out of her car, Powell dragged her into her apartment, where he continued to beat her, ripping out a large section of hair.

The woman managed to call 911, but Powell grabbed the phone and hung up, prosecutors said. After police arrived, Powell ran from the apartment but was caught while trying to climb a fence.

Coyote video

Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, has posted a new 11-minute documentary on trapping a coyote as part of an on-going research project.

The video by local videographer Rob Blair is available at

The coyote was trapped, medical tests were conducted and the animal was released back into the wild. Researchers are able to track the animal.

Coyotes are found throughout Summit County. They are generally gray and resemble small, slender German shepherds. They are omnivorous and will eat small mammals, vegetables, nuts and carrion. They are considered nocturnal, although they sometimes travel and hunt by day.


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