Deadly fire was arson
YOUNGSTOWN -- Fire that killed two little girls last Thursday at 33 E. Lucius Ave. has been ruled arson, said Lt. Alvin Ware, commander of the Youngstown Fire Department arson bureau. Ware said anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist will receive a $5,000 reward. Ware can be reached at (330) 782-0055. Rakaylah Clark, 8, and her sister, Ranayja Clark, 4, died from smoke inhalation.
Charged in shooting
NORTH LIMA -- Beaver Patrolman Mitch Moore pulled his cruiser into the lot at Mellinger's Nursery on state Route 165 to run radar to catch speeders. But what he caught was a man who pulled into the lot and shot at the building. Beaver Chief Carl N. Frost said the suspect fired four shots early today, spotted Moore, then took off, with Moore in pursuit. The chase led to Washingtonville, then Canfield, where spike strips on the road tore up the man's tires, Frost said. The suspect was eventually taken into custody on Western Reserve Road, Frost said. The man shot at the building because his girlfriend had been disciplined or fired by the nursery, Frost said. Charges are pending.
Salvation Army opening
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County Salvation Army will officially open its new facility at 10 S. Fruit St. on the East Side with an open house and ribbon cutting at noon Thursday. The organization began expanding its work on the East Side in July 1999 while working from a leased house on Shehy Street. It bought the new facility last fall and made renovations that will give the agency room to provide more services and assistance in that area. The Salvation Army has facilities on Youngstown's South Side and Austintown.
Guilty of tax violation
CLEVELAND -- Robert Coakley of Warren has agreed to plead guilty to a one-count information that charges him with filing a false tax return for 1996, according to Robert E. Bulford, an assistant U.S. attorney. Coakley, 38, of Pierce Road, faces up to three years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The charge is linked to a long-term investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Trumbull County Drug Task Force. That investigation led to an indictment in June 2001 that charged Coakley and others with conspiring to distribute marijuana. Coakley has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing in the drug case.
Nurses banquet speaker
YOUNGSTOWN -- Diana J. Mason, registered nurse, Ph.D. and editor in chief of the American Journal of Nursing, is the main speaker for the annual Nurses Make A Difference banquet of District Three, Ohio Nurses Association on Friday at the DeBartolo Stadium Club at Youngstown State University. Registration for the meeting will begin at 6 p.m., dinner will be at 6:30 and the speaker will follow at 7:45. Call (330) 799-4199 for more information, including costs.
Charged in stabbing
YOUNGSTOWN -- An 18-year-old Girard woman was to be arraigned today on a felonious assault charge. She is accused of stabbing a 17-year-old Lora Avenue boy outside Western Reserve Transit Authority's Federal Street station downtown Tuesday. According to police reports, the two were arguing around 12:25 p.m. when the woman pulled a knife. A security officer told police he saw the woman holding the boy in a headlock as she stabbed him three times. The boy was in stable condition Tuesday evening.
AUSTINTOWN -- A decision on how $1.4 million in Clean Ohio Conservation Fund money will be allocated to local projects has been postponed. The District 6 Natural Resource Assistance Council met Tuesday to determine how the funds would be distributed. Eight local groups have submitted requests. The council, made up of local officials and community leaders, has requested further documentation. Allocations should be decided by May 30. Requesting project funds are the Mahoning River Consortium, Mill Creek MetroParks, Austintown Parks Department, Trumbull County Soil and Water Conservation District, the city of Warren, Campbell schools, Trumbull County and Howland Township.