Bridge closed for work
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Indianola Avenue bridge over Interstate 680 will be closed for up to 180 days beginning Feb. 21 while construction workers build a new crossing, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Traffic will be detoured from Shady Run Road to East Boston Avenue and then to Shirley Road and Poland Avenue, the department said.
The work is part of a $3.6 million project to replace five bridges along I-680 in Youngstown. It scheduled to be completed by fall, according to the department.
Man found dead in home
YOUNGSTOWN -- John E. Hlebak, 82, of Mahoning Avenue, who was involved in a car accident Jan. 31, was found dead in his home Monday by a relative. Detective Sgt. Rick Hart, an accident investigator, said a coroner's ruling is pending. Hart said Hlebak had been traveling east on Oakwood Avenue when his car was struck broadside by a minivan that went through the red light on Hazelwood Avenue. Hart said Hlebak suffered neck and chest injuries when he hit the steering wheel and was hospitalized for a time before returning home. The driver of the minivan, Otis Smith, 35, of Eddy Street was charged with failure to stop for the light, Hart said.
Pupil taken into custody
YOUNGSTOWN -- JaQuan M. Weaver, 14, of West Evergreen Avenue was removed from class Monday at The Rayen School after the principal learned that he had a gun, police said. Officers found an unloaded .22-caliber handgun with the serial number partially scratched off in the boy's waistband. JaQuan was taken to the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center to face charges of illegal conveyance of a firearm onto school grounds and carrying a concealed weapon.
Poland man out on bond
AUSTINTOWN -- A 22-year-old Poland man was released on $3,000 bond Monday after pleading innocent to six charges connected with a weekend traffic stop on Raccoon Road.
Nicholas Lawrence was a passenger in a car driven by Amber Johnson, 19, of Youngstown. An Austintown police officer observed the car crossing the center line on Raccoon Road around 3 a.m. Saturday. According to reports, the officer also saw the passenger door open and close several times.
When Johnson stopped, the officer called for a backup unit, which included a police dog. According to reports, Lawrence yelled at the dog and dropped to his hands and knees and barked at the officers.
He has been charged with resisting arrest, drug abuse, harassing a police dog, possession of drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct with intoxication and not wearing a seat belt. A pre-trial date has been set for April 11.
Johnson has been charged with driving under the influence.
No foul play suspected
AUSTINTOWN -- Police say no foul play was involved in the death of a 60-year-old North Carolina truck driver found dead Monday at an Austintown truck stop.
Officers were called to the TA Travel Center after a worker there noticed a truck had been parked with engine running for a long time. According to police reports, workers reported a foul odor.
The body of Murray Gerald Grantham of Fayetteville, N.C., was found in a bed in a sleeping area of the truck. According to reports, his family in North Carolina last heard from him around 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Controller seeks new term
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County Controller Thomas Amundsen has announced he will seek a second term.
Amundsen, 48, of Hermitage, is a Democrat. He graduated from Hickory High School and earned a degree in business administration from Youngstown State University. He is a CPA and has worked as an auditor for the U.S. Department of Defense.
In a second term, Amundsen says he looks forward to completing installation of new accounting software that will streamline operations and eventually integrate other county fiscal offices into one system.