Strickland taps Meshel

Strickland taps Meshel
YOUNGSTOWN -- U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland announced that Harry Meshel, a former state Senate president and ex-chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, will serve as honorary campaign chairman for the congressman's re-election effort.
Strickland, a Lucasville Democrat, has also received the endorsement of the Western Reserve Building and Construction Trades Council of the AFL-CIO. Strickland is running in the new 12-county 6th Congressional District, which includes Columbiana County and all but the northeast portion of Mahoning County.
Innocent plea
YOUNGSTOWN -- Terri M. Payton, 50, of Ferndale Avenue, pleaded innocent Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to soliciting prostitution after testing positive for HIV. Judge Robert Lisotto allowed her to remain free on a $5,000 cash or surety bond while she awaits trial.
Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Franken said it's the first time he can recall anyone facing that charge in the county. He said police reports indicate that Payton offered to perform a sex act on a vice officer from the Youngstown Police Department for $20 in December. After she was arrested, she told the officer and a nurse at the county jail about being HIV-positive, Franken said.
Payton reportedly had HIV treatment medication with her when she was arrested. She was ordered to submit to an HIV test for confirmation. If she is convicted, Payton faces one to five years in prison.
Crash leads to arrest
BOARDMAN -- A one-car accident Monday afternoon ended in a felony drug arrest for the driver. The 21-year-old Poland man ran his car into a fence at the corner of Leffingwell and Tippecanoe roads just after 4:30 p.m.
The man was not injured, but according to police reports, officers searching the car found a suspected marijuana pipe and a jewelry box with suspected cocaine inside.
Police charged him with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, and drug abuse involving cocaine, a felony. He also was cited for failure to control his vehicle. He is free on $3,000 bond pending a court appearance.
Lions awareneess
BOARDMAN -- The 18th annual Lions Awareness Day is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the center of the Southern Park Mall concourse.
The event, sponsored by the Lions and Lioness clubs of Zone 5, includes demonstrations by Pilot Dogs of Ohio, free sight screening, blood pressure testing and blood oxygen screening. There will also be information available on various Lions sight programs, and containers for used eyeglasses and hearing aids. Call (330) 533-9876 for more information.
All-State choir
STRUTHERS -- Two local students qualified for the 2002 All-State Choir, which will perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Cincinnati. Kerry Gretsinger, a sophomore in Struthers High School choir, and Todd Kaden, a junior in Poland Seminary High School choir, were chosen out of 497 applicants.
This is Kaden's second time being selected as the only male student representing Mahoning and Columbiana counties. He and Gretsinger were chosen by a state committee based on audition tapes and previous scores at local Ohio Music Education Association contests.
Knife-fight charges
SALEM -- A preliminary hearing is set for Monday in Columbiana County Municipal Court in Salem for a man charged in connection with a weekend knife fight. Christopher Stragisher, 36, of 2295 Monroe Ave., appeared Monday before Judge Robert Roberts after being police charged him with felonious assault, a second-degree felony.
Police say Stragisher cut another man in the hands with a kitchen knife during a fight at Stragisher's residence early Sunday. The man was treated at Salem Community Hospital. Stragisher was being held in the county jail this morning on a $2,500 cash or surety bond.
Writers group meeting
WARREN -- The second monthly meeting of Write On -- The Writers Group will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the community room of Cortland Bank on Elm Road.
Participants are asked to bring examples of their writing to share and can bring a lunch if they want. For more information call Sue Motzer at (330) 394-3924 or Marianne Nethers, (330) 394-1815.

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