Fire labeled arson

Fire labeled arson
CAMPBELL -- The state fire marshal's office has attributed a New Year's Day fire at Niko's Place restaurant, 374 Robinson Road, to arson.
Fire Chief David Horvath said Wednesday the blaze had more than one starting point, and a flammable liquid had been poured at the scene. The restaurant was closed when the fire was reported at 5:17 p.m. No injuries were reported.
Pesticide applicators
YOUNGSTOWN -- A private pesticide applicator training session is set for Mahoning County at 1 p.m. Jan. 17 at McMahon Hall at Mill Creek Metro Park Experimental Farm, 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road. The cost is $5 at the door. Pre-registration is requested by phone at (330) 533-5538.
A private and commercial applicator exam will be given by the Ohio Department of Agriculture Feb. 21 at the Ohio State University Mahoning County extension office, 490 S. Broad Street, Canfield. There is no charge for the exam.
For more information, call (330) 533-5538.
Two plead innocent
STRUTHERS -- Two Fourth Street residents, charged in an altercation that left two police officers injured Monday, pleaded innocent Wednesday in Struthers Municipal Court.
Luis Morales, 41, of 3945 Fourth St., faces a charge of disorderly conduct with intoxication and had a trial set for Aug. 14. He's free on $100 bond.
Victor M. Estrada, 26, of the same address, faces resisting arrest, disorderly conduct with intoxication and assault on a police officer. He was released after paying $700 of a $7,000 bond. A preliminary hearing on the first two charges and a court trial for the assault charge are both scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Police said Morales began yelling after officers made a traffic stop on some of Morales' relatives near the Fourth Street home. Police arrested Morales and said two officers were struck several times while attempting to arrest Estrada for yelling profanity at them.
Cat was strangled
GREEN -- The cat found dead Monday at Angels for Animals was alive when it was hanged by a nylon rope from that organization's sign at state Route 65 and Washingtonville Road, an autopsy has determined.
Diane Baird, the organization's president, said humane officer Dave Nelson of Animal Charity informed her Wednesday of the autopsy finding. The 15-pound neutered male tabby died of strangulation, she said.
Mayor, 19, takes oath
MERCER, Pa. -- A recent Mercer High School graduate who may be the nation's youngest mayor took his oath of office Wednesday.
Christopher Portman, 19, and now enrolled at Westminster College, said he plans to live up to his campaign promise of creating a Mercer Revitalization Foundation to raise money to improve the borough. He also said he has plans to push recycling and seek more grants to aid the town.
Portman beat two Republican rivals in the May 2000 primary to win the part-time post. There was no Democratic contender.
Animal welfare group
SALEM -- A spokesman for a group taking over animal welfare efforts in the area says he'd like to have a new shelter opened before summer. Pete Johnson, Salem Humane Society Inc. vice president, said Tuesday that in coming months, the group will be raising funds and scouting for a location.
Meanwhile, it will try to have animals needing help placed in other area shelters or seek temporary homes for them with individuals. A shelter west of Salem that housed animals for decades was ordered closed last month by a Columbiana County Common Pleas Court judge after a lengthy legal dispute that included allegations of mismanagement.
Temporary budget
CANFIELD -- City council has approved a temporary budget that includes more than enough money to pay all city expenses in 2002.
The resolution calls for about $12 million in appropriations and is set to last through the end of March. City Manager Charles Tieche said $12 million is more than the city is expected to spend during the year.
Tieche said the additional money is included to use if council does not pass a permanent budget by March. The temporary resolution was approved at a meeting Wednesday night.
Tieche said council passes a similar resolution each year. Council is expected to hold meetings to discuss the 2002 budget during the next few weeks.
Crime victims support
LISBON -- The next Columbiana County support group meeting for Victims of Crime will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Family Recovery Center, 964 N. Market St.

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