Meth suspect held

AKRON: An Akron man free on bond while awaiting trial on charges of running a meth lab in his home has been arrested again on the same charges.

Steven Thornton, 44, was arrested Tuesday inside his home on Chester Avenue on multiple charges related to the manufacturing of methamphetamine, court records show.

He was being held in the Summit County Jail pending his next court appearance.

Thornton and eight others were arrested at the same house in December. A grand jury indicted him and the others on meth-related charges and also child-endangering charges. Police said the group was making the drug with a child inside the house.

Thornton had been free on a $5,000 personal bond when he was arrested Tuesday, court records show.

Funding announced

AKRON: The NeighborWorks America network awarded $104,000 to the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corp., U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon Lake, announced Wednesday.

The money will be used to promote affordable housing and to create or sustain jobs through local projects.

Store thieves strike

AKRON: An estimated 60 cartons of cigarettes have been stolen by two men who targeted convenience stores at least 12 times since October, police said.

Police have released surveillance photographs of two suspects and are seeking the public’s help in identifying them.

Akron police said the men typically have visited area stores and asked to purchase five or more cartons of cigarettes. Once the items are on the counter, the men grab the cartons and flee.

In one case, a clerk was shoved out of the way by one of the men who jumped over a counter to take the cigarettes, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Akron police at 330-375-2490. Anonymous tips for this or other crimes in the city may be left at http://ci.akron.oh.us/ASP/tip.html.

Cubs to leave zoo

AKRON: The Akron Zoo’s first snow leopard cubs born last year are moving to new digs.

Raj and Sabu, born May 14 and named by zoo patrons in a public contest, first were seen on exhibit in August. The animals will leave in March as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan.

Raj will go to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek Mich., and Sabu will go to Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, R.I.

The cubs, which weighed about 2 pounds at birth, currently weigh about 55 pounds. Raj is going to the zoo where his mother, Shanti, was born and where his grandmother, Lotus, resides.

The zoo has a new breeding recommendation from the AZA for Shanti and the cub’s father, Roscoe.

The cubs will be on exhibit daily until they leave.

Updates on their departure will be posted on www.akronzoo.org, www.facebook.com/akronzoo and at www.twitter.com/akronzoo.


Marijuana seized

ALLIANCE: Alliance police said they uncovered a record-setting indoor marijuana farm after raiding a home Tuesday night.

The raid at the South Seneca Avenue house uncovered 260 marijuana plants, police said. They were found in four rooms in the basement.

Police said the seizure is the largest marijuana indoor operation found in the department’s history.

Homeowner Robert Baumgartner, 41, was arrested as officers arrived about 8 p.m. Tuesday to serve a search warrant. He was being held on marijuana trafficking and other charges. Detectives had been investigating the case for about a month.

Police said some of the plants were as large as 6 feet tall and were being grown with an elaborate lighting and ventilation system.

Police also recovered more than $7,000 and packaging and shipping materials.


Woman dies in fire

BRUNSWICK: An elderly woman died early Wednesday after a fire broke out inside her Brunswick townhouse.

Firefighters said Delia Kuzda, 78, was partially disabled and died after being trapped inside a bathroom of her home on Doral Drive, near state Route 303 and Neura Park.

The fire was discovered about 4:45 a.m., and the residence was engulfed when firefighters arrived. They evacuated nearby residents.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Brunswick firefighters and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The townhouse contains six units. Flames destroyed Kuzda’s home, and there was water and smoke damage to a neighboring unit. Damage is estimated at $250,000.


Upgrades approved

HUDSON: The Hudson Board of Education voted Tuesday to hire SunGard Public Sector to provide a new and comprehensive student and operational information system for the district.

Board member James Field said work will ensure the district will be prepared for increased reporting requirements by the state.

Board President David Zuro said the system has not been updated since 2000.

The first year of the contract will cost no more than $269,095, with the tab in the second and third years running $118,272.

The board also voted to move ahead with planning for enhanced security measures at the schools.


Drug charges filed

STREETSBORO: Streetsboro police say they arrested a couple Tuesday and recovered what they said was a large amount of high-grade methamphetamine.

Officers were called to an unidentified motel in the city after receiving a tip that a guest was acting suspiciously, police said.

Brian Crawford, 32, of Kent, allowed officers to search his room, and police recovered $6,000 worth of “glass or ice” meth that is of a higher grade than the typical homemade meth. Police said the drug weighed about an ounce.

Officers also recovered a small amount of marijuana and prescription drugs.

Crawford was charged with possession of drugs.

Christina Dunham, 32, of Kent, was charged with complicity.


Crash victim dies

TUSCARAWAS TWP.: A 24-year-old Massillon woman has died after being struck by a car Monday night while walking on state Route 172 east of Kenyon Avenue.

The Stark County Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said Neivada D. Toland, 24, died Wednesday night at Aultman Hospital in Canton.

A 2000 Chrysler 300 driven by a 42-year-old North Lawrence woman was headed west on state Route 172 when it struck Toland.

The driver was not injured.

Authorities said Toland was walking home around 9:55 p.m. from her job at McDonald’s.

No charges have been filed. The case remains under investigation.