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Federal court gets lawsuit by 2 ex-cops



Published: Tue, August 6, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Federal court getslawsuit by 2 ex-cops

YOUNGSTOWN -- A lawsuit filed against the city by two former city police officers has been moved to federal court.

Mark Rakocy and Christopher Lombard filed the suit in June in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court against the city and former Police Chief Richard Lewis, who has retired. It says they were defamed and targeted for selective prosecution in a criminal case last year.

The officers were accused of robbing Thomas Cole of Struthers in the restroom of The Pulse bar on Market Street in March 2001. A common pleas court jury cleared them after a trial earlier this year. They were recently fired after an internal investigation.

At the city's request, the lawsuit was moved to U.S. District Court here.

Railroad crossingwill remain closed

LOWELLVILLE -- The Third Street railroad crossing will remain closed for another week, pending completion of repairs.

Construction began July 29, and repairs were expected to be completed last Friday, but the extent of renovations required and the number of hours railroad employees are permitted to work prohibited that from happening, said Phil Alfano, village administrator.

The railroad crossing is expected to reopen Friday.

Construction also continues at the village administration building. The addition of an elevator should be completed within a month, said Chuck Mills, building inspector.

Kreidler Construction Co., Poland, is overseeing that project.

Home energy program

YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown Area Community Action Council is now scheduling August appointments for the Home Energy Assistance Summer Cooling program.

Funding is limited, and YACAC will prioritize assistance to eligible applicants. The program ends Aug. 31.

All income-eligible households with a member who is 60 or older will be eligible to receive one payment on an electric bill without a disconnection notice based on a percentage of income or the current bill, whichever is more. The amount will not exceed $175.

HEAP applicants must reports their total income for the past three months for all members 18 and older. Potential applicants with household income equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines should call and make an appointment before filling out an application.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the YACAC office at (330) 747-7921.

Humane investigatorto press charges

CANFIELD -- The Animal Charity humane investigator plans to press charges against the owner of two dogs that were found in poor condition by Canfield police Friday in a Lisbon Street back yard.

One of the dogs was bleeding from fly bites and forced to lie in feces. The dog was chained to a wooden pallet and did not have any food or water, police said.

The second dog, which police think was a pit bull, was chained to a dog house in the corner of the yard. Neither dog was wearing a license tag, police said.

Police were called to the Lisbon Street home at about 10:30 a.m. Friday to investigate a complaint about a barking dog. After finding the two dogs in the yard, police called Dave Nelson, the Animal Charity humane investigator.

Nelson took custody of the pit bull and said charges would be filed against the owner of the dogs, reports state. The reports do not include the name of the dogs' owner or details about what happened to the dog that was not a pit bull. Nelson could not be reached for comment late this morning.

Trustees, panel to meet

NEW SPRINGFIELD -- Springfield Township trustees will meet with the township's fire and EMS levy committee at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the township hall.

Web site controversy

COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Republican Party is threatening to file a federal elections complaint over Democratic congressional candidate Tim Ryan's Web site.

The Republican Party wants the Ryan campaign to remove the official seal of the U.S. House of Representatives from the candidate's site. The party said it will file the complaint if the item isn't removed.

Republican's call the display of the seal illegal and misleading to voters.




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