METRO DIGEST || South Side building sale


The city's board of control today will finalize a purchase agreement to sell the former Bottom Dollar grocery store on the South Side to a health care provider to open a medical facility there, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said.

The deal with ONE Health Ohio will have the company provide medical, dental, behavioral health, preventive health and educational services to South Side residents, Brown said.

The city had wanted to replace Bottom Dollar, which closed in January 2015 after the company was sold, with another supermarket. But numerous attempts to attract a grocery store failed.

ONE Health will take nine to 12 months to renovate the building before opening.

Man faces drug charges


A Dearborn Avenue man who was arrested Tuesday after refusing to tell police his name faces drug charges after reports said officers found 83 painkillers and a bag of suspected heroin on him when he was searched.

Aurienn Jones, 23, was arraigned Wednesday in municipal court on charges of possession of drugs, possession of heroin and a warrant for a traffic charge. A pre-trial hearing is set for next Wednesday before Judge Elizabeth Kobly.

Jones was a passenger in a car pulled over about 6:45 p.m. at Market Street and East Philadelphia Avenue on the South Side and he was not wearing a seat belt. When officers asked him his name, he refused to give it.

The driver of the car received a citation which he crumpled up, reports said. He was not named in the arrest report.

Man gets probation


Michael Mele, 30, of Campbell, will serve two years’ probation for his involvement in a string of Struthers robberies.

Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court commended Mele at the Wednesday sentencing hearing for returning from his home in Florida and cooperating with authorities to the extent that a co-defendant received nine years in prison.

Both the prosecutor and Mele’s attorney agreed he never went into the homes. Mele will be required to make restitution to the victims in an amount to be determined.

Child-porn probe


The FBI and state Bureau of Criminal Investigation served a search warrant at a Weston Avenue home in the Brownlee Woods section of the city on the South Side.

A spokeswoman for BCI said its Crimes Against Children Unit is assisting. It often is involved in investigations of internet or computer crimes involving children.

An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the warrant was served regarding a child-pornography investigation, but she would not be more specific. Agents could be seen carrying away computer equipment at the home. No arrests were made.

Burglary arrest


Police on Tuesday arrested a man wanted in connection with a burglary. Charged is Joseph Grove, 31, of Youngstown.

According to a police report, officers were sent to a Cascade Avenue residence about 8:30 a.m. March 20 for a burglary report.

A woman reported she had discovered numerous items missing, including $40 in change, jewelry, a gun and $100 in cash.

Police said someone appeared to have gotten into the house through an unlocked first-floor restroom window. Police also reported finding a latex glove in the yard and another in a sewer on the street. Grove was taken to the Mahoning County jail.

City worker on leave


A Youngstown City wastewater department employee is the focus of a criminal investigation for possibly stealing about 30 steel road plates over the past several months.

According to 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, the employee, who has not been charged, is on unpaid administrative leave, pending the results of a pre-disciplinary hearing. The value of the road plates is estimated at about $20,000.

Pa. man indicted


A federal grand jury indicted a New Castle, Pa., man for alleged violations of federal narcotics and firearms laws.

The three-count indictment accuses Michael Schmidt, 21, of possessing heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute and using a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

The alleged crimes took place last October, and Schmidt faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.

Trumbull contracts


The Trumbull County commissioners Wednesday awarded $12.4 million in contracts to six companies for their part of the Blueprint For Prosperity waterline project that will bring water north from Braceville Township to West Farmington on the western side of the county.

Gary Newbrough, deputy county sanitary engineer, said he expects construction to begin in May. The county secured $15.5 million in grants and zero-percent-interest loans for the project.

The companies awarded contracts are to Woodford Excavating, $1,223,265; Caldwell Tanks, $1,715,000; Engineered Fluid Inc., $696,524; DRS Enterprises Inc., $3,464,987; J.S. Bova Excavating, $2,432,300; DRS Enterprises, $2,839,703.

56 dogs surrendered


Fifty-six dogs were taken from a home on Depot Street in Mineral Ridge after they were found in deplorable conditions Tuesday.

The owner of the dogs surrendered all of them, and the last of them were being take by dog rescues Wednesday afternoon, an official at the Trumbull County Dog Pound said.

Gwen Logan, executive dog warden, said the dogs were small, filthy and covered in fleas and feces, according to 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner. There also were a lot of puppies and pregnant dogs at the home.

The smell was bad enough that officials had to wear respirators while in the home.

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