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.
Crime victims support
LISBON -- The next Columbiana County support group meeting for Victims of Crime will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Family Recovery Center, 964 N. Market St.
EAST PALESTINE -- The winter session of the East Palestine City Schools adult-community education program begins Jan. 15. Classes offered include introduction to computers, weight training, fitness and chair caning. Classes are weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $25 for district residents and $50 for nonresidents. Register 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the high school at 360 W. Grant St.
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 was suspicious because it 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.
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.
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.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A West Pittsburg man faces two counts of indecent assault and three counts of corruption of minors. Pennsylvania State Police said Robert Hartley Snarey, 64, of Fourth Street, Box 462, turned himself in Dec. 26 at District Justice J.V. Lamb's office, where he was arraigned and released after posting $2,000 bond. Police said the charges stem from a swimming party at the man's home and involve two girls ages 6 and 11. Police said the girls were indecently touched and assaulted.
Truck damages house
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A pickup truck crashed into the side of a house after it slipped out of gear. Police said the 1982 Chevrolet was parked in the rear of a West Balph Avenue home when it started drifting north into the rear of a Charter Street home at 2:42 p.m. Wednesday. Police said the crash caused damage to a bedroom wall at the house. The truck had minor damage, they said. Truck owner Amy Talbert of West Balph Avenue was issued a citation for not having auto insurance.