AKRON

Judge throws out suit

over teacher's actions

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit this week filed against the Akron and Tallmadge school districts involving a former Buchtel High School teacher who had a relationship with a student — and had his child.

The student sued the school districts saying they failed to protect him from the abuse by former teacher Laura Lynn Cross. U.S. District Judge John Adams, however, ruled Tuesday that the student filed the lawsuit after the statute of limitations for a sexual assault.

Cross, 38, of Tallmadge, was sentenced to three years in prison in June 2018 after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual battery for her three-year relationship with the student beginning when he was 16. Cross also lost her teaching license.

Summit County Judge Tammy O’Brien granted Cross an early release from prison March 14 and placed her on probation for two years. O’Brien previously designated Cross a Tier 3 sex offender, which means she must register her address every 90 days for the rest of her life.

CUYAHOGA FALLS

Proposal to rezone

golf course property stalls

A controversial proposal to rezone a golf course property to allow construction of a 148-unit townhouse development has stalled.

The rezoning of the Sycamore Valley Golf Course property, 1651 Akron-Peninsula Road, was requested by developer Danny Karam and Sycamore Valley Development Co. LLC for a $35 million project in which Ryan Homes would build the homes. For the project to move forward, city council would have to agree to rezone the land.

The council’s planning and zoning committee voted 2-1 Monday against bringing out the proposal for a vote by the full council. The committee’s vote occurred following a lengthy discussion at a meeting that was attended by more than 100 people.

Many residents have attended previous council and planning commission meetings to voice their objections, including concerns about flooding and additional traffic, and they believe that the area near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is the wrong place for such a development.

MEDINA TOWNSHIP

Officer pleads not guilty

to off-duty OVI charge

A Medina Township police officer has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence.

Clifford Nicholson Jr., 42, of Medina, was charged on St. Patrick's Day after police received a 911 call at 10:53 p.m. reporting a driver slumped over the wheel of a Dodge Charger in the 900 block of Beechwood Drive, the Medina Gazette reported. He was off duty at the time.

Nicholson, who has been with the department since 2004, entered a plea of not guilty Friday and waived his right to a speedy trial, according to the Medina Municipal Court online docket.

“He’s been a good employee and police officer," township Police Chief Travis Colonius told the newspaper. "I was surprised and disappointed by his actions.”

To read the full story, go to: http://www.medina-gazette.com/Cops-and-Courts/2019/03/21/Off-duty-Medina-Township-officer-faces-OVI-charges.html.

STOW

Police officer cited

in two-vehicle crash

A Stow police officer has been cited in a March 16 two-vehicle crash, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Stow Sgt. Ted Bell was cited in the crash on Graham Road, just east of Fishcreek Road, said patrol Lt. Antonio Matos.

Bell was treated for minor injuries, according to authorities. No other injuries were reported.

Bell is a 20-year veteran with the department.

Police Chief Jeff Film said he does not anticipate any departmental discipline for Bell. Department policy calls for reviews when an officer is involved in such an incident and “corrective action” may be taken if there is a pattern of incidents, but that is not the case for Bell, he said.

“I believe this is his first accident in 20 years,” Film said. “Anybody who drives for a living, 40-plus hours a week, is more susceptible to traffic crashes than those who don’t.”

Matos said the investigation determined that while westbound in the left lane approaching Fishcreek at 8:48 p.m., Bell went into a U-turn and his cruiser was sideswiped by a westbound vehicle in the left turn lane.

“The cruiser did not have its emergency lights on, but possibly had its turn signals on,” said Matos, adding that it appeared the other vehicle may have been in Bell’s blind spot.

Damage to the cruiser was still being evaluated, Film said. Information on damage to the second vehicle was not available.