METRO DIGEST || 2 fires investigated

2 fires investigated


City firefighters are investigating two structure fires, one arson and another for which the cause is unknown.

Youngstown Fire Department personnel were called to a fire at a vacant dwelling at 1:40 a.m. Thursday at 556 W. Warren Ave. The structure was fully engulfed, so firefighters turned their attention to saving an occupied home next door where the siding was beginning to burn. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

A fire at 3603 Irma Ave. at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, which firefighters said was deliberately ignited, caused an estimated $10,000 damage to the dwelling. A large sofa was wedged against a door, making entrance difficult for firefighters. The fire, which was started in the basement, burned up through the floor and out the roof. No injuries were reported in either fire.

Police promotions


Mayor Charles P. Sammarone and Police Chief Rod J. Foley are promoting two police patrolmen to the rank of detective sergeant today.

The officers being promoted are Anthony Vitullo, who’s been with the department since July 28, 1997, and Robert Lodwick, hired May 8, 2000.

Lunch with Santa


Youngstown Parks and Recreation and the Youngstown Association of Black Professional Firefighters will sponsor a Lunch with Santa from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Wick Park, 260 Park Ave. The free event will offer music, games, prizes, pizza, chips and drinks for children age 2 to 12. For information, call 330-742-8711.

Toy giveaway


There will be a free Christmas toy giveaway sign-up for the first 30 families to arrive at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at Nevels Temple Church, 939 Elm St. The giveaway is for newborns through 17 years old.

Requirements for sign-up are valid picture identification, Social Security card or birth certificates of children, proof of guardianship, proof of all income, the child cannot be signed up at another agency, and presentation of a Job and Family Services printout or medical cards/insurance cards.

Treating bridges


The Ohio Department of Transportation is treating roads even before the snow flies.

ODOT is putting salt brine — salt and water mixed together — on bridges to help prevent icing, according to a news release.

Bridges ice before roadways because of the lack of insulation underneath them, and cold air can change the surface temperature of a bridge more quickly than a section of roadway that has dirt under it, the release stated.

The measure helps prevent black ice, which is not visible to drivers.

Gay/straight group


The Mahoning Valley Gay/Straight Coalition is having its kickoff and informational meeting from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lemon Grove, 110 W. Federal St. The public is invited.

The coalition is forming executive and advisory boards that will be composed of both gay and straight men and women. There will be no dues required for membership. All monies will be raised through donations, grants and fundraisers.

For information on the meeting or to volunteer to be on the boards, contact the coalition at

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