Venue change denied in murder trial

Venue change deniedin murder trial
YOUNGSTOWN -- A judge has denied Mark Batcho's request to have his murder trial moved out of Mahoning County. Visiting Judge Stephen A. Yarbrough ruled that Batcho's trial will go forward as scheduled in January.
Batcho's lawyer, Mark A. Stanton of Cleveland, had asked that the trial be moved to another county because pretrial publicity may have tainted the potential juror pool. Batcho, 34, of Campbell, is charged in the March 1996 shooting death of Boardman businessman Lawrence Sisman.
He is also serving an 18-year prison sentence for shooting county Prosecutor Paul Gains in December 1996.
Equipment purchasefor Trumbull County
WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners purchased portable, automated defibrillators to be kept at the courthouse, in the county jail and in the sheriff's department cruiser patrolling northern Trumbull County. Training on the machines, which cost $2,049 each, will be provided by the Howland Township Fire Department.
Officials hire engineersfor Ridge Road project
WARREN -- County commissioners hired Lynn, Kittinger & amp; Noble Inc. of Warren to engineer the widening of 0.7 miles of Ridge Road near the industrial park in Vienna. Funding for the project includes $207,000 from the state, $50,000 from the county's revolving loan fund and $249,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration. The engineering firm will be paid $51,000.
Commissioners also hired Adlaka and Associates Inc. of Youngstown to design renovations to the Trumbull County Board of Elections building on Youngstown Road S.E. The company will be paid $9,000.
Theft chargesagainst Howland man
FARRELL, Pa. -- A Howland Township man was in Mercer County Jail after his arrest on theft and other charges. Police said they got a call at 11:30 p.m. Monday saying that someone was stealing lumber from Jac's Kitchens and Counters at Beechwood Avenue and Roemer Boulevard. Investigating officers arrested Richard Caffie, 38, of Castlerock Drive, Howland, at the scene. He was arraigned Tuesday before District Justice Henry Russo on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia, and jailed pending a preliminary hearing. Bond was set at $15,000.
In the swim
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Council member Eleanore Morris said borough pool attendance is good, with more than 500 people swimming there one day last week.
In response to her request, council passed a motion allowing residents to buy two guest passes to the pool. Officials will then review usage to decide if they will be allowed to buy more.
Morris said some people are using the guest passes so that relatives can avoid buying a season pass. The guest passes are intended for house guests, not relatives who live outside New Wilmington, she added.
Sex, drug charges
WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. -- Police serving an arrest warrant on a North Street man on a sexual assault charge also filed drug charges against him. Police said Dustin Bateman, 21, had some marijuana on him when they arrested him at home on the warrant around 5:30 p.m. Friday. He was also carrying a marijuana pipe, police said. He was arraigned on charges of sexual assault, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia and held in Mercer County Jail, and later freed after he posted $2,500 bond.
Youngstown manarrested in Farrell
FARRELL, Pa. -- Police arrested a Youngstown man in the recovery of two stolen handguns from a car in the 200 block of Roemer Boulevard on Sunday.
Damon Dumas, 22, of Lansdowne Boulevard, was arraigned Monday before District Justice Henry Russo on charges of receiving stolen property and carrying a firearm without a license.
Police said they were called to the 200 block of Roemer Boulevard to investigate reports that people in the area had guns. The weapons were found in a car, and police learned they had been reported stolen in Boardman. Dumas was in Mercer County Jail with bond set at $25,000.
Mahoning officialscancel meeting
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners have canceled their regular business meeting scheduled for Thursday morning. Their next regular meeting will be at 10 a.m. July 12 in the meeting room at the county courthouse.

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