New year, new baby
YOUNGSTOWN -- The first baby of the new year in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, Tyler James Austin, was born at 4:39 a.m. Tuesday at Forum Health's Northside Medical Center.
His parents, Nikeesha and George Austin, of Warren, weren't expecting him until Jan. 7.
"Everyone else was anticipating that I might have the New Year's baby," Nikeesha said; she didn't believe it until an hour before he was born.
The couple also has a 3-year-old son, Carvell, who, Nikeesha said, "is very excited about having a baby brother."
A celebratory New Year's Day dinner, a family tradition, will be a little more exciting from now on, Nikeesha said. "We have one more thing to celebrate."
Youth hurt in crash
LIBERTY -- The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a one-car crash that sent a 17-year-old township youth to the hospital. Reports say that around 12:35 a.m. Tuesday, Ryan Battison of Tibbetts-Wick Road was riding in a car driven by David King, 18, of Liberty.
King's car was heading south on state Route 193 when King lost control of the car and went off the road, reports state. Battison, who suffered head and chest injuries, was taken by ambulance to the hospital. King and another passenger, Bobby Walley, no age or address available, were not seriously injured, reports say.
Fire at restaurant
CAMPBELL -- A city restaurant had a rough start in the new year with about a $45,000 fire loss. Firefighters responded to an alarm call from Niko's Place, 374 Robinson Road, at 5:17 p.m. Tuesday. City fire officials said the restaurant was closed at the time. Firefighters were on the scene for more than four hours. No injuries were reported. The fire is under investigation.
Man shot in eye
YOUNGSTOWN -- Raul Irizarry-Cruz was shot in the right eye as he arrived at a neighbor's home on South Bruce Street just before midnight New Year's Eve.
Irizarry-Cruz, 24, told police he heard rapid gunfire as he approached the back porch of his neighbor's house at 203 South Bruce on the East Side, then felt pain in his eye. He was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center for treatment. The victim told police he didn't see the shooter.
STRUTHERS -- Police following a damaged vehicle on Youngstown-Poland Road Tuesday morning ended up arresting an 18-year-old Hubbard man on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. The man later confessed leaving the scene of an accident.
Police said they stopped the vehicle after it accelerated past the 40 mph speed limit and began weaving. They said the man confessed he hit a parked vehicle on Sexton Street. A 17-year-old Hubbard boy and a 16-year-old Struthers boy, also in the vehicle, were cited for curfew violations.
Cat hanged from sign
GREEN -- A cat was hanged from a sign at Angels for Animals on state Route 65 and Washingtonville Road. When dispatched to the scene Monday, a Mahoning County deputy sheriff found the dead cat on the ground, with a nylon rope around its neck that had been cut to remove it from the sign.
A man whose daughter saw the animal hanging from the sign called Angels for Animals and reported it. Dave Nelson, humane investigator for Animal Charity in Youngstown, took the cat and will investigate.
Traffic stop arrest
AUSTINTOWN -- Township police arrested a man wanted in Trumbull County after a New Year's Eve traffic stop and short foot chase through a neighborhood in the Rhode Island Drive and Idaho Road area.
Officers pulled over a burgundy Oldsmobile driven by Kareem R. James at about 5 p.m. as he pulled into his driveway on the 4600 block of Rhode Island Drive. The state Bureau of Motor Vehicles had issued a confiscation order on the car based upon vehicle registration.
Police said James fled northwest across Idaho and then south across Rhode Island before entering a wooded area and then returning across Idaho. They found him hiding under a wooden deck in a back yard. He refused to come out until threatened with use of a police dog.
He was arrested on the warrant for receiving stolen property and driving with a suspended license, and faces new charges of obstructing and resisting arrest. A female passenger also attempted to run and faces a charge of wrongful entrustment in connection with the vehicle.