Cole to be captain for Warren police

Cole to be captain for Warren police


Jeff Cole is about to become captain in the Warren Police Department and join police Chief Eric Merkel and Capt. Robert Massucci among the top three officers in the department.

Cole becomes captain because he had the top score in the two-pronged examination carried out between him and Lt. Martin Gargas, according to Atty. Dan Letson, chairman of the Warren Civil Service Commission.

The process involved a written civil-service test and an assessment by several police chiefs and law-enforcement executives. Each part counted for half the score.

Cole has been acting captain in charge of the road-patrol division since Capt. Janice Gilmore retired recently. Cole will continue in that position when he is sworn in as captain, Merkel said.

Massucci is in charge of the detective bureau. Gargas is afternoon-shift commander.

Federal drug charges


A Youngstown man faces federal charges after being accused of selling heroin and crack cocaine near an East Side school, according to federal court documents.

Anthony Scrutchen Jr., 31, is accused of distributing heroin within 1,000 feet of the Youngstown Academy of Excellence on Rigby Street on eight occasions, and distributed heroin near the school at least once, the documents said.

He also maintained a home on South Jackson Street on the East Side for the purpose of selling drugs, the documents said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case, which will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Seeking BCI response


Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene has requested the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation respond to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s request for an investigation into a pair of affidavits alleging wrongdoing against Struthers Municipal Court judge-elect Dominic Leone.

Greene cited potential conflicts of interest and a desire to avoid any appearance of impropriety on the part of the sheriff’s office as reason for asking BCI to handle the investigation.

The office works frequently with Leone, who serves as the prosecutor and law director for the city of Struthers.

Greene said the office was capable of handling the matter, but he wanted to ensure the investigation appeared fair in the public eye.

Traffic changes

The Ohio Department of Transportation announced traffic changes that will start by 6 p.m. today in Austintown and Liberty townships and the city of Girard.

All Interstate 80 westbound traffic between state Route 193/Belmont Avenue and state Route 46 will be placed onto the newly constructed westbound pavement.

The ramp from U.S. Route 422 to I-80 westbound will reopen. The ramp from I-80 westbound to state Route 711 southbound will reopen.

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