Schools halt prayer
West Branch schools have halted prayer before athletic games after receiving a complaint.
A nonprofit organization said prayer before athletic games is a constitutional violation, said Superintendent Tim Saxton in a Jan. 29 letter. “[A] letter to the district also stated concerned citizens contacted the nonprofit with complaints.”
The district is in contact with its legal counsel to look into the matter, and as of Jan. 18, there have been no prayers before athletic events, “and this will continue until the situation is resolved,” the letter continued.
“We recognize that while some find this prayer before events offensive, the West Branch community cherishes this practice and the rich history that goes along with it.”
Youngstown State University’s Centofanti Symposium will feature Ronan Farrow and Tarana Burke at 7 p.m. March 28 at Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave.
Burke coined the phrase “Me Too” in 2006 to raise awareness about sexual abuse and assault.
Farrow, The New Yorker investigative reporter, helped uncover the Harvey Weinstein sexual- abuse allegations.
Annual transition fair
More than 30 community agencies and businesses and 17 school districts have joined to help children prepare for the start of kindergarten at the 4th annual Trumbull County Kindergarten Transition Fair in Center Court of Eastwood Mall, 5555 Youngstown-Warren Road.
The free event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and is open to all Trumbull County children entering kindergarten in the fall and their families.
Families will visit 11 learning stations to show them how to teach their children the skills needed for school success.
School officials will meet prospective students, share information about kindergarten registration, and begin relationship building with the families. Research shows the stronger the relationship among school, community and family, the better the child will perform in school.
Fire destroys home
Reports said a 2649 Hunter Ave. home was a total loss after a fire Saturday afternoon.
Crews were called about 3:30 p.m. and found heavy smoke coming through the roof. Reports said a neighbor told firefighters he saw smoke coming from the South Side home and about 25 minutes later, he noticed flames.
The home had caught fire previously. The cause was listed as “rekindling” on fire reports. Damage is listed at $7,000.
A city woman, 63, reported being robbed of her purse by a young male while she was standing in the passenger-side door of her car in the Warren Plaza parking lot on Elm Road Northeast at 2:20 p.m. Saturday.
The male didn’t say anything and just took the purse, which she tried to pull back, but the male pushed her in the face, and she let go of the purse. She said she was not injured.
The owner of three German shepherds accused of biting a Champion woman a week ago has asked Judge Philip Vigorito of Newton Falls Municipal Court for a hearing on the dogs’ potential “vicious” designation.
Gwen Logan, executive dog warden, has designated the dogs vicious, which would trigger additional requirements for their owner, David Hanson, 59, of Warren Road.
Among them are obtaining liability insurance, keeping them in a locked cage with a top when they are on Hanson’s property and muzzling them when they are off of his property.
The dogs are accused of biting an employee of Venture Plastics, 4000 Ravenna Road, on Jan. 22 causing “extensive” injuries.
A hearing on the vicious designation as well as a charge of failure to restrain dogs is 10 a.m. March 15.