METRO DIGEST || ‘Tips for Tots’ at East ‘n Parks today

Eat’n Park eateries plan ‘Tips for Tots’ event


Area Eat’n Park Restaurants will host a “Tips for Tots” event from 4 to 8 p.m. today as part of their annual “Caring for Kids” Campaign. Servers will donate 100 percent of all tips earned during this time to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. The event also will feature raffles, prizes and entertainment.

Participating Eat’n Park locations are: Boardman, 8051 Market St.; Austintown, 5451 Mahoning Ave.; and Warren, 2057 Wal-Mart Drive NE.

Now in its 37th year, the “Caring for Kids” campaign is a five-week effort in which Eat’n Park conducts various fundraising activities to benefit local children’s hospitals in the communities where their restaurants are located.

School bus hit by SUV in Warren Township


A Warren City Schools bus was struck by a Chevrolet Blazer at 3:14 p.m. Tuesday, but none of the four children on the bus were injured, reported the Ohio State Highway Patrol Warren Post.

However, the driver of the Blazer, James Kovalak, 46, of Warren, was treated at Trumbull Memorial Hospital for minor injuries suffered when he lost control traveling south on Lovers Lane in Warren Township, went left of center and hit the bus. The bus driver, Amber Moyer, 35, of Warren, was treated at the scene by Warren Township EMS for minor injuries.

Kovalak was cited for failure to control, the OSHP said.

Council to mull bill to use funds for demolition


City council will consider legislation today to borrow $1.1 million to purchase equipment to help the street department demolish more vacant structures.

The equipment purchases would allow the street department to demolish an additional 150 to 250 properties a year, city officials say.

The money would be used to purchase two excavators and three tractor portions of tractor-trailers for demolition purposes, said Abigail Beniston, the city’s code enforcement and blight remediation superintendent.

The city would borrow the money for up to 10 years with an interest rate of about 2.5 percent, said Finance Director David Bozanich.

The purchases would be repaid with money collected by the city through a recently approved increase in sanitation fees, he said.

Probing cause of fire at Lally Pipe and Tube


Officials are investigating the cause of a fire that broke out Monday morning at Lally Pipe and Tube on Lowellville Road. There were no reported injuries, but the blaze caused an estimated $500,000 in damage, according to Struthers Fire Department.

Struthers firefighters responded to the fire at about 10 a.m. and were assisted by Struthers police and Campbell firefighters. The responders left the scene around noon.

Guilty plea in forgery, receiving stolen property


Eric J. Whetstone, 33, of North Park Avenue, Cortland, has pleaded guilty to charges of forgery and receiving stolen property related to a 2012 incident involving a $657 check from St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church and school on Kirk Road in Austintown.

Whetstone will be sentenced in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court in about four weeks after the county Adult Probation Department conducts a pre-sentence investigation.

Whetstone forged a check from the church’s bank account and tried to cash it, according to his indictment.

An Austintown police report says Whetstone’s uncle, Richard Whetstone, pastor of the church, told police Oct. 18, 2012, that he was advised by a Cashland outlet in Mahoning County and a Red and White store in Warren that a person tried to cash a check at both businesses. Richard Whetstone discovered that a check was missing from the church office and said Eric Whetstone had access to the office.

Multiple drug counts


A woman will have a preliminary hearing Tuesday in municipal court for multiple counts of drug trafficking, possession of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police arrested Lisa Rodriguez, 40, of Youngstown Saturday evening.

Police seized a bag a neighbor said Rodriguez had left on the porch of a Coitsville Road home and found suspected crack cocaine, bath salts, heroin and methamphetamine, the report states.

Officers also searched her Detroit Avenue home due to evidence that there may have been a burglary there, according to police, and found multiple bags of suspected marijuana.

In total, police estimate seizing 339.3 grams of suspected marijuana, 47 grams of suspected bath salts, 29 grams of suspected crack cocaine and 2.5 grams of suspected heroin. Rodriguez was arraigned Tuesday in Campbell Municipal Court.

Domestic-violence case


A township man is facing a felony domestic-violence charge after an incident that was reported Monday afternoon.

A 20-year-old woman told police that Anthony Kornegay, 22, had held a knife to her throat, struck her in the face, held her down and bit her in their Hadley Avenue home. A police report states that Kornegay admitted to holding the knife.

After his arrest, Kornegay was transported to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital due to his threat to commit suicide. He is charged with a felony due to previous domestic-violence convictions.

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