AKRON


Crowd driver guilty


AKRON: An Akron woman was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for driving her vehicle into a crowd of people last summer following a fight on Donald Avenue, authorities said.


Lashawndra N. Weems, 25, of North Seiberling Street, pleaded guilty this month to felonious assault and three counts of aggravated vehicular assault in the July 13 incident.


After Weems and her sister got into a fight with several other women in the 800 block of Donald, Weems got into her vehicle and began driving away as onlookers watched.


Prosecutors said Weems then turned her vehicle around, sped back toward the scene, jumped a curb and drove into the crowd.


One woman with whom Weems had been fighting was hit along with four others, prosecutors said. Two of the victims were children.


 


Prosecutor named


AKRON: Gert Wilms, an assistant Akron prosecutor, is Akron’s new chief prosecutor.


Wilms will replace Doug Powley, whose retirement takes effect Sunday.


“She not only has the experience and ability to do this job well, but she has the respect of the judges and defense attorneys whom she has to work with on a daily basis,” Mayor Don Plusquellic said in a news release Thursday announcing the appointment.


Wilms, an assistant city prosecutor since March 2002, has a law degree and master’s in public administration from the University of Akron and a bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University. She will earn $92,144 in her new position.


Powley had served as Akron’s chief prosecutor for 23 years.


 


New park director


AKRON: The Cascade Locks Park Association has a new executive director.


Ferris W. Brown, a certified public accountant and a former Medina County auditor and commissioner, has been selected.


“He brings not only a strong background in both government and nonprofit experience, but tremendous energy to our organization,” President Robert L. Keener said.


Brown, 54, has also worked for Streetsboro, Clayton, Ohio, Branson, Mo., and the Victory Foundation. He recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan where he assisted the U.S. Agency for International Development work with local officials to improve municipal governments.


He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from American University in Washington, D.C.


He and his wife, Karen, have two children.


 


Programs at zoo


AKRON: Who wouldn’t want to unlock the mysteries of an owl pellet?


Families are invited to do just that and experience lots of other hands-on educational opportunities at Family Evening Programs at the Akron Zoo from 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 13 and May 11. The two programs will have different themes and are geared toward families and children 6 or older.


On April 13, the theme of the program is “Mammal Mania.” Guests can learn about mammals that live in Ohio and build a bat house to take home.


On May 11, the theme will be “Raptor Realities” and participants can learn about birds of prey in Ohio and dissect an owl pellet. Both programs also include an animal encounter and several hands-on activities.


The cost for one program is $20 per person for Akron Zoo member participants, $25 per person for nonmember participants and $5 for additional spectators. Registration is required. To register, call 330- 375-2550, ext. 8973.


The Akron Zoo is still operating under winter hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., until the end of April. Admission is $6 per person. The zoo will change to summer hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on May 1 and admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for senior citizens, $7 for children (ages 2-14). Children under 2 are free. Parking is $2.


For more information, visit www.akronzoo.org or call 330- 375-2550.


 


CUYAHOGA VALLEY


Healthier train fare


BOSTON TWP.: The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is adding healthy options to its dining car from Hattie’s Cafe & Gifts.


Salads, sandwiches, wraps and preservative-free baked goods prepared at Hattie’s Cafe in Hudson are now available to train passengers.


Hattie’s Cafe is a social enterprise of Twinsburg-based Hattie Larlham that employs people with developmental disabilities.


Many of the food items will feature certified organic produce grown by Hattie’s Garden at Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath Township.


 


GRANGER TOWNSHIP


Service chief hired


GRANGER TWP.: Granger Township trustees have hired Mark Novak as service director.


Novak lives on River Oaks Drive. He previously did maintenance work for Richfield Township for five years. He also owns a construction company.


He will have a six-month probationary period, and will be paid $16 per hour.


Novak replaces Bob Dalziel who passed away.


 


MEDINA COUNTY


Auctions approved


WADSWORTH: The Planning Commission Monday approved a request for an auction house at 869 Broad St., formerly the site of an automobile dealership.


Interstate 77 Auctions plans to use 17,000 square feet of the building for office, storage and the auctioning of antiques and collectibles.


In other action, the commission recommended that City Council rezone nearly five acres at the northwest intersection of Johnson and Silvercreek roads from commercial to residential. Nye Financial Group of Hudson plans to develop that acreage, along with adjacent acreage with ranch-style housing for seniors.


 


REVERE SCHOOLS


Public input sought


BATH TWP.: The Revere Local School District is inviting community members to take part in Revere’s “Vision for the Future.”


Participants will review and enhance the district’s vision, mission and belief statements, as well as strategic priorities to effectively guide the schools into the future. The process will include three one-hour meetings, all starting at 6:30 p.m., in the Revere High School Library, 3420 Everett Road. The meeting dates are on Wednesdays, April 4, April 18 and May 9.


If planning to attend, contact Terry Snow at tsnow@revereschools.org.


 


STARK COUNTY


Two rescue man


CANTON: A state trooper and a nursing student are credited with saving the life of a man in a fast-food drive-through lane Wednesday night.


The Apple Creek man, 21, stopped breathing shortly before 9 p.m. while in line at Burger King. His passenger, a Beach City man, 19, ran into a nearby intersection shouting for help.


State trooper M.B. Claxton was assisting the Ohio Department of Transportation with traffic control at Raff Road and Southway Street when he heard the calls for help.


When the trooper arrived at the car, he found the victim unresponsive. A nursing student, DeAnna Patterson, who had stopped at Burger King, also rushed over to help.


Patterson pulled the man from the vehicle and began chest compressions as the trooper provided rescue breaths. After about three minutes, the man began to breathe on his own.


He was transported to Aultman Hospital.


 


SUMMIT COUNTY


Special hours


AKRON: The visitor center at the Seiberling Nature Realm will be open on Monday, April 9.


The center is normally closed on Mondays, but will be open that day because Akron Public Schools are on spring break.


Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 330-865-8065 or visit www.summitmetroparks.org.


 


Around Ohio


New bill on finance


COLUMBUS: The Ohio Senate on Tuesday passed a bill requiring township trustees serving townships with more than 5,000 residents to file financial disclosure statements.


The law now law exempts township officials from this disclosure, which already applies to municipal and state officials. About 270 townships, including 31 in the five-county Akron-Canton area, have populations over 5,000.


Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, the sponsor of Senate Bill 238, said filling out the form is a “ pain in the neck,” but it allows public officials to review their income sources and take stock of any potential conflicts of interest.


“At the end of the day, it makes us better public servants,” she said.


The bill passed 31-2 and now goes to the House.