MRDD levy renewal
LISBON -- Columbiana County voters will be asked in November to renew a 2.5-mill levy to help pay for educational and workshop activities for the disabled.
County commissioners approved a request Wednesday to place the issue on the ballot for the county mental retardation and developmental disabilities board.
The levy expires at the end of this year, although collections will continue through 2003, said Jerry Baker, MRDD superintendent.
Right now the levy is for five years. But the renewal, if approved, would make the levy continuous, Baker said.
It produces about $2.7 million annually in revenue.
Bank robbery charge
CLEVELAND -- A federal grand jury has indicted Robert J. Gibson, 44, of Monaca, Pa., on a charge of unarmed bank robbery. Gibson is accused of robbing National City Bank on West County Line Road, Columbiana, of $1,765 on May 31.
The case was investigated by the FBI and Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force and is being prosecuted by Gary D. Arbeznik, an assistant U.S. attorney. If convicted, Gibson faces 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
New coach and teacher
SALEM -- The school board has hired a former college All-American runner as cross country coach.
Mike Almond is replacing longtime coach Frank Parks, who is resigning.
Almond, whose age wasn't immediately available, was an All-American standout in cross country at Malone College, from which he graduated in 2001. Almond also was an assistant coach for the Malone team.
He was a special education teacher in the Marlington School District near Alliance during the 2001-02 school year.
Almond will be paid $3,500 to coach at Salem. He also will serve as a special education teacher at the high school, earning an annual salary of $29,360.
Part of dam will close
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Illegal use of alcohol and other behavior have prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the day-use area below the Shenango Dam at 9 p.m. every day.
Fishing still will be permitted, but all other activities in the area will be prohibited after 9 p.m.
The gate leading to the area will be closed and fishermen will have to move their vehicles to the parking lot in front of the maintenance building before that time, the Corps said.
Girl falls from tree
TRANSFER, Pa. -- A 12-year-old Pymatuning Township girl was in critical condition this morning in Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh, with injuries she suffered when she fell out of a tree around 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Township police said Amber Bono of 12th Street was playing with neighbor children in the 100 block of Circle Drive when the accident occurred. Police said Amber fell between 20 and 30 feet and was unconscious when they arrived. She was flown from the scene to the hospital.
A hospital spokesman said she was in the pediatric intensive care unit this morning.
SHARON, Pa. -- Police said Tine Peagle, 24, of Hamilton Avenue, Farrell, lost his left eye in an unprovoked attack by Willie F. Phillips Jr. in the 400 block of North Street.
Police said Phillips, a professional boxer, punched Peagler twice in the face and destroyed his left eye during the attack on June 30.
A warrant has been issued for Phillips, 24, charging him with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. His last known local address was on Florence Street, but he is now believed to be living part time in Florida, police said.
Extra police patrols
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Lawrence County Housing Authority will pay about $20,000 to New Castle police to provide extra patrols in the public housing units in the city beginning in September.
The money will pay the wages of the patrol officers, and the patrols will end when the money runs out.
Authority Director Robert Evanick said the $20,000 is left over from a grant originally given to Ellwood City by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Evanick said Ellwood City didn't use the entire grant because of problems with its police force, and after Aug. 31 the money will be turned over to the Lawrence housing authority.