WARREN -- WCI Steel chose to shut down some of its primary steelmaking operations for part of the day Wednesday rather than pay a premium rate to First Energy, its electricity provider.
Tim Roberts, a WCI spokesman, said the company has a bulk-rate contract with FirstEnergy that allows the utility to invoke an economic interruption clause to raise its prices when the cost of producing power becomes very high.
Roberts could not say how many workers were idled by the partial mill shutdown. He said finishing units continued operating.
Joe Mosbrook, a FirstEnergy spokesman, said low temperatures, the high price of gas and maintenance problems at several of its power plants caused the price of power production to go higher than usual Wednesday.
GIRARD -- Kirstie A. Bournias, 21, of Oak Knoll S.E. was to appear in Girard Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday, but the vehicular homicide case has been postponed with no new court date set.
Bournias is charged with a first-degree misdemeanor in a crash that killed 8-year-old Ian B. Wheeler of Vienna on Christmas Day. Bournias, who pleaded innocent in January, is free on a $10,000 personal bond.
According to reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Bournias lost control of her sport utility vehicle around 8:10 p.m. on icy state Route 193 in Vienna. Reports say she went off the right side of the road, overcorrected and sideswiped the Wheeler car. Ian died at the scene. His parents and 10-year-old sister were injured.
WARREN -- Police believe a 14-year-old boy who died in one of the dormitories at Trumbull County Children Services committed suicide.
The boy was found dead in the closet of his room around 1 a.m. Wednesday, police said. He was being housed in the agency's Secure Care Unit, 2282 Reeves Road N.E., officials said. The unit is for children with emotional or behavioral problems, according to officials.
Robert Kubiak, director of the agency, could not be reached to comment.
Murder case evidence
WARREN -- Attorneys representing a woman accused of killing her husband are trying to prohibit prosecutors from using letters she wrote to a co-defendant as evidence against her.
Donna Roberts' attorneys argued that point during a hearing Wednesday before Judge John Stuard of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, who'll rule later.
Roberts, 57, of Howland, and Nathaniel Jackson, 30, of South Pearl Street, Youngstown, were charged with killing Robert Fingerhut in his Fonderlac Drive S.E. residence Dec. 11, 2001. Jackson was convicted and sentenced to death.
Fingerhut operated the Greyhound bus terminals in Warren and Youngstown.
Tax break gets OK
WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners have approved a 75 percent tax break for 10 years on $8 million in new investment at Dinesol Plastics Inc. in Niles. The company says planned expansion will result in 20 new jobs.
The tax abatement, which has already been approved by Niles City Council, covers property and personal property taxes on $3 million in new construction and building additions, $4.5 million in new machinery and equipment and $500,000 in new inventory.
The company is based in Youngstown.
NILES -- Court proceedings are set for next month for a Warren man accused of masturbating in the Target store at the Eastwood Mall.
Roy E. Shaw, 49, 1433 Oak St. S.W., pleaded innocent Wednesday to charges of sexual imposition and public indecency in Niles Municipal Court. Shaw was arrested Tuesday when Target employees notified police.
Shaw, who is free on $2,000 bond, is set to appear for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. March 28.