Faulty light caused fire

Faulty light caused fire
AUSTINTOWN -- Township firefighters have determined that a fire that caused an estimated $500,000 in damage to Arby's Restaurant, 701 N. Canfield-Niles Road, last month was caused by a faulty neon light.
Reports state that an employee noticed sparks coming out of the light in the front of the store on the evening of March 9. The sparks lighted the fire, which spread to the roof. There were no injuries.
Assault charge
YOUNGSTOWN -- Kimberly Gulu, 26, of Kendis Circle #B, faces a felonious assault charge. She is accused of stabbing her boyfriend with a steak knife Saturday morning after finding him in bed with another woman.
The boyfriend was treated for injuries in both arms at St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Gulu and her boyfriend both told police they had been drinking before the stabbing.
She was arraigned Monday in municipal court. Her preliminary hearing is set for April 16.
Jail sentence
AUSTINTOWN -- A North Navarre Avenue man began serving a 10-day jail sentence Tuesday for attacking his cousin last month.
Todd Grate, 19, pleaded guilty to assault Monday in Mahoning County Court. Judge David D'Apolito sentenced him to 100 days in jail, with 90 suspended, and ordered him to pay $100 in fines and court costs and serve a year of reporting probation. Charges of resisting arrest and obstructing justice were dropped.
Grate told police that he hit Michael Grate Jr., 26, with a pool cue March 16 during a fight. Michael Grate Jr. was taken to the hospital with a large cut on his lower back. Doctors told police that his wound, however, was caused by a knife or an ax.
Another man, 20 of North Navarre Avenue, has been charged with obstructing justice, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct as a result of the fight.
Building-site thefts
CANFIELD -- Tools and equipment were reported stolen Monday from construction sites here.
Three steel doors worth a total of $1,350 were taken from a site on Gully Top Drive, and five rolls of wire and two 6-inch recess cans worth $132 were stolen from a site on Montreale Drive.
Mahoning County deputy sheriffs are investigating.
Tax abatements
YOUNGSTOWN -- Jeffrey L. Chagnot, the city's economic development director, spent about 15 minutes Tuesday explaining elements of tax abatement enforcement to the Human Relations Commission.
Last month several commission members questioned whether companies that get city tax breaks make good-faith efforts to meet the job goals they promise. Sometimes, companies claim a change in business conditions and hiring goals are waived.
Chagnot explained several different ways the city evaluates whether companies comply with the rule.
Purse snatching
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 74-year-old Boardman woman told police she was outside a South Side store when a man came up behind her and snatched her purse.
The woman said she was heading to Sniderman Brothers on Pyatt Street at about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday to buy canned goods when the man, about 40, pushed her. He stole the purse with $300 and credit cards before entering a car driven by a second man.
Candidates night
YOUNGSTOWN -- The John F. Kennedy Federated Mahoning County Democratic Women's Club will have a candidates night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church Hall, 1898 Wilson Ave.
Overnight fires
YOUNGSTOWN -- City fire officials are investigating two overnight fires that appear suspicious.
Battalion Chief James Flynn said firefighters were called to 602 Lee Ave. on the city's South Side about 11:35 p.m. Tuesday to a fire at a two-story home. The building had been vacant for six months and no one was injured, Flynn said. The blaze caused about $10,000 damage to the home and blistered the paint and cracked windows of neighboring 604 Lee Ave.
At about 2:35 a.m. today, firefighters were called to the East Side for a fire at a vacant one-story home at 1519 Oak Lane. The fire caused about $20,000 damage. No one was hurt.

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