TODAY'S VINDICATOR HEADLINES | FRIDAY
Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said Thursday the city “rejects” Ohio Auditor Keith Faber’s “demand” it repay about $3.1 million over 15 years from its general fund to the water, wastewater and sanitation funds for economic-development projects. Brown said ini a statement the city proposed a “series of reasonable ways to resolve the dispute through a proposed structured payment plan, a proposed long-term payment plan and a commitment to stop the grant/loan program,” but "the auditor would not budge from forcing the city into an unaffordable repayment option that would jeopardize city services and employees. The city cannot and will not agree to place such a burden on its citizens.” Council members Julius T. Oliver, D-1st; Nate Pinkard, D-3rd; and Basia Adamczak, D-7th; said they support the mayor’s decision.
The members of Youngstown’s ranking police officers union will receive a 1 percent raise, retroactive to Jan. 1. The union’s contract, approved in 2017, called for no salary increases in the first two years and a clause to reopen the deal in the final year to determine if the city could afford a raise. The city gave other unions 1 percent raises this year so it was agreed to give the 43-member ranking police officers union the same, said Kyle Miasek, interim finance director and a board of control member. Union members will soon get lump-sum payments for back pay, then the 1 percent increase will be included in their pay checks the rest of the year. The increase will cost the city about $28,500.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he wants Congress to consider legislation to expand federal background checks and other gun violence measures when lawmakers return in the fall, but U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland wants quicker action. Ryan led a caravan with Moms Demand Action to McConnell’s home state Thursday. After stops in Akron, Columbus, and Cincinnati and the Oregon District of Dayton, the 30 to 40 Ohioans rolled into Louisville, Ky., and its Muhammad Ali Center’s amphitheater for an evening rally demanding immediate action. At some of the stops, groups of as many as 70 greeted the caravan, Ryan said, and he estimated 1,500 people were jammed into the amphitheater. “Polls say 93 percent of the people in the country favor the House-passed legislation for stronger background checks for gun purchasers,” he said. The Democratic presidential candidate said he wants Republicans and Democrats to work together to get the legislation passed.
18-year-old Justin Olsen of Boardman Township will remain in the Mahoning County jail without bond until his preliminary hearing Tuesday for the “safety element of the community,” county Area Court Judge Joseph Houser ruled Thursday. Olsen is accused of threatening gun violence at a gay bar and against federal officers. He was arraigned on a felony count of aggravated menacing against federal officers as well as a misdemeanor count of telecommunications harassment, to which he pleaded not guilty. He will enter a plea to the felony charge in county common pleas court if indicted by a grand jury. Since February, Olsen has been making what FBI agents said appear to be politically motivated posts to online chat rooms “making light of mass shootings,” specifically targeting Planned Parenthood and including photos of an assault-rifle kit, according to a report.
County Assistant Prosecutor Michael McBride requested Olsen be held without bond in light of last weekend's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton.
At 93, former Lowellville mayor Al Russo is the last living representative of his administration. During his 16-year tenure as mayor – from 1975 to 1991 – Russo navigated the small riverside village through the steel collapse and contributed to the creation of several still-existing projects, including Lowellville’s senior high-rise public housing project and business development partnership CASTLO. His administration also oversaw the creation of the Stavich Bike Trail in 1983, a 14-mile paved trail from Struthers to New Castle, making Lowellville one of the first communities in Mahoning County to have a dedicated, maintained bike trail. Current Mayor James Iudiciani says Russo was a mayor of many of the village’s firsts – when the village first got cable TV, city’s hall’s first renovation since its construction in 1935, and he built Gazebo Park.