AKRON

Shooting arrest

AKRON: A homeless man has been charged with the July 21 slaying of an Akron man.

Corey Michael Hardison, 21, faces charges of murder and felonious assault in the death of Karma Tamang, 35, of Blaine Avenue.

Tamang was found with a gunshot wound to the head about 1:30 a.m. Saturday in a car in a parking lot in the 500 block of Blaine Avenue. He was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital, where he later died.

Hardison is in the Summit County Jail on unrelated charges.

Man guilty of rape

AKRON: An Akron man faces life in prison after a Summit County jury found him guilty Wednesday of rape and gross sexual imposition.

Brolin Payne, 40, of Grand Avenue, repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl over the course of six months, county Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh’s office said in a news release.

Visiting Judge Richard D. Reinbold Jr. will sentence Payne at 1 p.m. Sept. 5.

Ward 2 meeting

AKRON: Councilman Bruce Kilby will host a Ward 2 meeting at 6:30 p.m. today at Forest Hill school, 850 Damon St.

A representative from the Community Orientated Policing Unit (COPS) will attend and answer questions.

AKRON SCHOOLS

Levy request

AKRON: The Akron Board of Education took the final vote required to place a 7.9-mill property tax levy on the November ballot at a special meeting Wednesday morning.

The levy would cost the owner of a $75,000 home, the average home value in Akron, about $180 a year, according to the district. It would represent an 18 percent increase in school taxes.

The board voted on the millage amount at its Monday regular meeting, but state law requires a second vote after the request is certified by the county auditor.

The levy would bring in about $19 million a year and still require the district to make about $8 million more in cuts next year. If the levy fails, the school board would have to cut $23 million next year.

CLEVELAND

Fraud allegations

CLEVELAND: A Cuyahoga Falls man is accused of trying to sell more than 100 counterfeit high-end purses.

Ronald Jason Azar, 34, is charged in U.S. District Court in Cleveland of trafficking in counterfeit merchandise.

According to federal prosecutors, “Azar [last year] intentionally trafficked and attempted to traffic approximately 104 counterfeit designer handbags which, if genuine, were valued at approximately $183,488.”

The counterfeit items include 12 Gucci, 23 Coach, 17 Louis Vuitton, five Versace, five Chanel, two Marc Jacobs, three Dooney & Burke, six Prada, eight Fendi, seven Chloe, seven Jimmy Choo and nine Dolce & Gabbana handbags.

The bags bore counterfeit marks, logos, labels, hang tags, patches, stickers, emblems, holograms and packaging, prosecutors said.

KENT STATE

Innovation grants

COLUMBUS: Ohio Third Frontier announced Wednesday it would award a $3 million grant to Kent State University and commercial partners.

The money comes from the Third Frontier’s Innovation Platform, which links development and innovation at Ohio colleges, universities and not-for-profit research institutions to the innovation needs of for-profit Ohio companies. This connection must support job creation and business opportunities in Ohio.

KSU, in collaboration with AlphaMicron, Akron Polymer Systems, Crystal Diagnostics and Kent Displays, will use the funds to create applications for liquid crystals. One such possibility is censor devices in clothing and the body.

Other winners were the University of Dayton, $2.9 million; the Cleveland Clinic, $2.7 million and $3 million for two separate projects; Ohio State, $3 million; and Case Western Reserve University, $2.4 million.

STARK COUNTY

Contracts awarded

CANTON: Renovation of the Frank T. Bow Federal Building is expected to begin Aug. 13 and finish by the end of the year.

Stark County commissioners awarded nearly $1.5 million worth of contracts for the work Wednesday.

Costs are to be paid from the county’s permanent improvement fund and a special fund of the Common Pleas Court.

The former federal building will be used by 92 employes of court-related departments of county and state government.

Contracts were awarded to W M Pachan Construction Co. Inc., general trades, $837,306; Abbott Electric Inc., electrical and security, $367,039; Standard Plumbing & Heating, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, $165,510; Doerschuk Plumbing & Heating Inc. of Louisville, $78,668; and Ameriseal & Restoration of Akron, masonry restoration, $18,530.

STOW

Task force joined

STOW: The Stow Police Department has joined the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

“This new partner agency will give predators one less place in Ohio to hide. From community education to conducting investigations, the Stow Police Department has increased the ability of law enforcement to bring online sexual predators to justice,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said in a news release.

The Ohio ICAC Task Force is composed of numerous Ohio prosecuting attorneys, sheriffs and chiefs of police, along with state and federal authorities, who work across jurisdictional lines to apprehend and prosecute online predators.

Online bill payment

STOW: Beginning Wednesday, Stow water customers can pay their water bill online.

The service is at paymybill.stow.oh.us and offers customers access to view and pay their current water bill, view past bill consumption, payment history and print bills.

Customers will need their account number and the name on the account when creating a login, all of which can be found on their water bill.

STATE NEWS

Appeal denied

COLUMBUS: The Ohio Supreme Court won’t reconsider its ruling declaring Ohio’s smoking ban constitutional.

The high court on Wednesday denied a request by a Columbus tavern owner to revisit the May decision on the ban.

Justices ruled unanimously on the question, rejecting claims by Richard Allen and his business, Bartec Inc., that the smoking ban was supposed to be enforced against smokers, not businesses.

Allen’s tavern, also known as Zeno’s Victorian Village, was cited 10 times between July 2007 and September 2009 for violations of the ban and faced fines of $33,000.

— Associated Press