Soap Box hire

AKRON: The FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby has a new director of marketing.

Bobby Dinkins has 26 years of public relations, marketing and business experience, including 17 years developing communications and sales strategies and managing events for the Professional Bowlers Association.

Dinkins will promote the Soap Box Derby program in more than 130 local race cities and with sponsors.

He officially joins the organization Oct. 8.

Man shot

AKRON: An Akron man was shot Tuesday night on Copley Road.

The man, 18, is being treated for a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening, police said.

The gunman has not been identified.

Police say they found the victim lying on a sidewalk near the intersection of Noah Avenue and Copley Road about 8:30 p.m. The man could not provide police with a detailed description of the shooter.

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron police at 330-375-2490.

Worker hit

AKRON: A discount store worker who tried to stop a shoplifter from driving away Tuesday afternoon was bumped by the getaway vehicle, leading to a brief chase.

In the end, four people were arrested on theft and assault charges.

Katrina Clark, 29; Keniceia Miller, 19; Lawon V. Prima, 25; and a 15-year-old boy are accused of taking part in the incident.

Police say the 42-year-old clerk tried to stop a woman with a purse stuffed with stolen items from driving away from Family Dollar on South Arlington Street about 2:30 p.m.

The worker said the woman got inside a pickup truck, which “bumped” the worker as it was moving through the parking lot. Police responding to the scene eventually became involved in a short chase until the truck stopped, a report shows.

The worker sustained minor injuries, police said.

Store robbed

AKRON: Akron police are looking for the man who used a gun to rob a Highland Square store clerk Tuesday night.

Police say the gunman went inside Pandora Novelties & Gifts on South Highland Avenue about 9 p.m. and pointed a pistol at the 71-year-old clerk. A neighbor heard the clerk scream and a commotion and called police, according to a report. The gunman fled with about $100. No shots were fired.

Shooter sentenced

AKRON: An Akron man convicted of shooting at a sheriff’s deputy and of several other felony charges was sentenced Wednesday to 27 years in prison.

James G. Maffei, 52, of Dollar Drive, received the sentence from Common Pleas Judge Tom Parker.

According to the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, Maffei got into an argument with and threatened a male visitor at his home Dec. 10. He then shot at the man’s feet and at him again when the man fled from the residence.

A woman who was at Maffei’s home at the time of the shooting reported the incident to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office a few days later.

When SWAT members responded Dec. 13 to arrest him, Maffei fired a gun at them, prosecutors said.


Tailgate party

AKRON: The Committee to Elect Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty to Probate Court will host a “tailgate party” before the Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens football game tonight.

The event will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at Windsor Pub, 1322 E. Tallmadge Ave. Suggested donation is $50 per person.


‘Living green’ ideas

GREEN: Mayor Dick Norton has appointed six residents and two city representatives to a new City of Green Living Green Task Force to determine what “living green” looks like for the city.

Norton said once that determination is made, the panel of residents and community members would develop a plan that would “enable us to live out a commitment to be accountable stewards.”

Chosen to serve are Kyle Lukes, Cynthia Vignos, Yolanda Walker, Jane Warmus, Megan Weidner and Anthony Ziehler. The city representatives are Paul Oberdorfer, deputy service director, and Community Development Administrator Sarah Haring.

City Council is expected to appoint a council representative to fill an advisory role on the panel at its Oct. 9 meeting.

The group’s first meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd. Background of the city’s sustainability efforts to date will be discussed.

Stipend approved

GREEN: After several meetings discussing the issue, City Council has agreed to grant $1,500 stipends to appointed members of both the Civil Service Commission and the Design Review Board.

Payments will begin Oct. 1, the council said in approving the issue this week.

The council initially considered the increase for the Civil Service Commission because the group is a decision-making body.

Ward 2 Councilman Dave France asked the administration to consider whether other unpaid volunteer boards should be included in the payments.

Mayor Dick Norton and Jeanne Greco, Human Resources manager, then recommended to the council that the Design Review Board also receive the stipend.


Cruisers purchased

PLAIN TWP.: Township trustees on Tuesday agreed to buy two cruisers for the sheriff’s office.

The 2012 Dodge Chargers will be purchased through the State Cooperative Program from Greve Chrysler at a cost of $30,565 each. They will be assigned to deputies who patrol Plain Township.

Wenger Excavating was awarded the contract as general contractor for the Schneider Park Sanitary Sewer project. Trustees accepted their bid of $159,802, and signed a contract for the project.

Trustees also authorized the purchase of iPads for use by township firefighter/paramedics. Fire Chief Don Snyder said using the iPads will eliminate paper reports and improve efficiency in the department.


Kent Reads event

KENT: Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents Jim Petro and his wife, Nancy, will read from their co-authored book False Justice: Eight Myths that Convict the Innocent at 2 p.m. Friday at the Kent State University Library, 800 E. Summit St.

The event, part of the university’s ongoing Kent Reads program, will be in the Quiet Study Area on the first floor of the library. The event is free and open to the public.

Guilty plea

RAVENNA: A Ravenna man has pleaded guilty to driving drunk and seriously injuring a college football player in a hit-and-run crash last fall.

Joshua Frey, 36, pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and operating a vehicle under the influence. He faces up to 18 months in prison and other penalties when he’s sentenced at a later date.

Police say Frey was driving the minivan that hit an SUV driven by 20-year-old Clayton Hull, then a sophomore wide receiver for the University of Mount Union football team, on Nov. 11.

Hull, who was returning from a concert, was ejected from the car and suffered a broken neck and other injuries. He has since recovered.

— Associated Press


Contract awarded

CANTON: Stark County commissioners on Wednesday awarded a contract for $111,256 to Feinman Mechanical of North Canton to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning at the dog pound.

Commissioners Janet Weir Creighton and Thomas Bernabei made the decision. Commissioner Peter Ferguson did not attend the meeting.


Chapter formed

STREETSBORO: Parents for Public Schools have formed a new chapter in Streetsboro.

The group works to empower parents to be leaders in their school districts and work with school leadership and the community to strengthen public schools.

Local chapter organizer Michelle Mrakovich said nearly 80 percent of the community has no children in the public school system, making it hard to get school levies passed.

“We know that a community who understands the importance of public education and its outcomes will support the students in public schools,” she said.