Gunmen rob barber

AKRON: A customer and workers at the Blessed Cuts barbershop in Akron were robbed at gunpoint, police said.

The robbers, one of whom was armed with a pistol, patted down the barbers and a lone customer before fleeing the Grant Street shop Tuesday afternoon with about $400, wallets, cell phone and car keys.

Police said the robbers were two black men in their early 20s. One wore a black scarf, black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. The second man also wore a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron police at 330-375-2490. Anonymous tips can be left at http://akronohio.gov/asp/tip.html.

Clerk assaulted

AKRON: A man who went to buy a bag of potato chips Tuesday night assaulted a dollar store clerk and stole money from her cash register, Akron police said.

The incident happened about 8 p.m. at Family Dollar, 251 Darrow Road. The cashier was not seriously injured.

According to police, the clerk was pushed as she was ringing up the cost of the man’s chips. He then took money from the register and fled.

Police said the robber was white and in his early 20s. He wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron police at 330-375-2490. Anonymous tips may be left at http://akronohio.gov/asp/tip.html.

Police win grant

AKRON: Akron police plan to use a $60,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety to target speeders, drunken drivers and enforce seat belt laws.

The grant is for 2013 and is designed to reduce driving fatalities and improve safety, Chief James Nice said.

Nice said officers will use the grant funds to conduct high visibility enforcement and perform overtime duties “in order to reduce the number of serious injury and fatal crashes in the city of Akron.”

The funds are passed through the Ohio Traffic Safety Office from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “to support the efforts of safety partners statewide and focus on traffic safety priority areas such as restraint use, impaired driving, motorcycle safety and youthful drivers.”

Judge reprimanded

AKRON: Akron Municipal Judge Kathryn Michael has been publicly remanded and fined $5,000 for judicial misconduct related to her campaign.

A five-judge panel appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court announced their decision Wednesday. It marks the second time this year that Michael has been disciplined.

In its decision Wednesday, the panel found that Michael violated Ohio’s Code of Judicial Conduct by making improper statements on her campaign website about her opponent in the upcoming election.

She also made inappropriate comments to a criminal defendant after she accepted a plea bargain. Michael urged the elated defendant to “tell all your family how you feel about me because I’m running this year for Common Pleas Court.”

Later, Michael apologized for her “off-the-cuff” remarks.

A Democrat, Michael is running for a seat on Summit County Common Pleas Court. She is opposing Judge Tammy O’Brien on Tuesday’s ballot.

County GOP Executive Director Debbie Walsh filed the complaint last month.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued a cease-and-desist order amid allegations Michael’s campaign improperly accepted a $25,000 donation from her ex-husband. She was fined $2,500.


Home tours today

AKRON: The latest house built by students through the Akron school district’s Education in Action Program will be open for tours today.

The house at 1946 Second St. SW in Kenmore will be open from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. Those who attend can meet the students and talk to instructors and contractors. Voters, parents, community members and prospective employers of the students are encouraged to attend.

The program, formed in 1997, is a partnership of the Akron school district, city of Akron, the Urban Neighborhood Development Corp. and the Home Builders Association. The purpose is to give students hands-on experience in building a new home. The program has resulted in 18 new houses being built and sold to new owners and involved 520 students in the process.


Suspect arrested

CANTON: The Stark County Sheriff’’s Office, Canton Police and a SWAT arrested a Canton man Wednesday suspected of robbing the Fisher Video Store at 3008 12th St. NW on Oct. 15.

James J. Vanest, 52, of the 2500 block of Kingwood Street Northeast, is charged with aggravated robbery.

Police said the robber shot a clerk in the face with a paintball gun and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.


Tuition frozen

HIRAM: Private Hiram College announced Wednesday it will freeze tuition for all incoming students in the 2013-14 school year at current levels.

The college also has a tuition guarantee in which students pay the same amount for all of their college years.

Next fall’s tuition for traditional undergraduate students will be the same as this fall’s: $29,065. Room and board are additional costs.

“In these difficult economic times, we want to ensure that Hiram is accessible to all students from all communities and all economic circumstances,” Hiram President Thomas Chema said in a news release.

Like many colleges and universities, Hiram’s enrollment fell this semester from the previous year. The number of students dropped 5 percent to 1,295.


Judge retires

CANTON: Judge Charles E. Brown Jr. retired Wednesday after more than 10 years on the Stark County Common Pleas bench.

In a letter to Gov. John Kasich, Brown said that while he was “still capable of trying cases and meeting the requirements of trial work, I am concerned that I will not be able to discharge all of my additional day-to-day administrative duties according to my normal practice for the remaining two years of my term. Therefore, I must choose between not giving the taxpayers at least a full eight-hour work day five days a week and recognizing my age and retiring. I choose the latter.”

Brown turned 70 in June.

Gov. Robert Taft appointed Brown to the judgeship on Feb. 11, 2001. He was elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2008. His term was to end Dec. 31, 2014.

Brown earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University Law School in 1967. A Marine, Brown served as chief trial counsel for the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam.

He served as acting judge for Alliance Municipal Court from 1999 to 2001.

Contract approved

CANTON: Unionized employees of the Stark County Sanitary Engineering Department will receive no raises this year under terms of a contract county commissioners approved Wednesday.

They will get raises of 2 percent in 2013 and 2014. Their share of medical insurance premiums will rise from the current 5 percent to 8 percent in 2013 and 10 percent in 2014.

In other action, commissioners increased the premium contribution that nonunion county employees will pay.

Their share will remain at 10 percent in 2012, but increase to 11 percent in 2014, 13 percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2016.

Monthly premiums for the county’s self-funded medical insurance plan will not rise in 2012, staying at $475 for an individual and $1,215 for an employee with family coverage.


Grants for court

AKRON: The Summit County Felony Drug Court has been awarded two grants to pay for ongoing programming and enhance treatment for individuals with trauma-related symptoms or opiate addictions.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded a one-time grant of $300,000, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded a three-year $325,000 grant.

The specialty court handles cases involving drug dependent, nonviolent offenders.

“We are seeing an increasing number of people who have drug addictions that stem from post traumatic stress disorder or abuse of prescription drugs,” said Judge Thomas Teodosio, who oversees the court. “These grant monies allow us to add more intense programming that helps these individuals learn how to address specific barriers and prevent future relapses.”

More than 460 people have completed the program since it began in 2002.