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Peter H. Milliken

Stories by Peter H.

Inmates to help patch potholes

The potholes on South Turner, near Mahoning Avenue, like many roads throughout the Valley, present an obstacle course for drivers trying to avoid damaging their vehicles. Mahoning County workers started patching there, but many more holes remain.

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We're having a hotel boom — can Valley sustain it?

The 110-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Canfield is just one of several hotels to be developed in the Valley in recent years. In Mahoning County, new rooms will boost the grand total to 1,897 by the middle of next year. Developments in Trumbull County are equally impressive.

McFall defends document redactions, calls firing political

Carol McFall, chief deputy Mahoning County auditor fired by the county's new auditor Ralph Meacham, said she has “a clear conscience” about redacting public records requested by The Vindicator, saying during a press conference Friday that has been department policy. But county Prosecutor Paul Gains said, “She violated the Public Records Act.” At right, above, is Vindicator reporter Pete Milliken.

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Mahoning microfilm moving to larger, more secure quarters

Lucy DeMart, Mahoning County microfilm supervisor, stands with 2007 civil court case files in cardboard boxes that await microfilming. Her department’s four-person staff has been overwhelmed by the backlog of paper documents awaiting microfilming.

Winter freeze-thaw creates ultimate challenge

A Mahoning County Engineer’s Department truck is loaded with salt and slag in advance of a predicted snowstorm last year. Snow showers are predicted for today and an extreme cold snap is in the forecast the next several days.

Landfill seeking help to stop radiation from household waste

Cheryl Hovanes checks the radiation monitor that immediately sounds an alarm if a truck carrying radioactive waste enters Republic Services’ Carbon-Limestone Landfill in Poland Township. The alarm will sound if it detects radiation exceeding five times the naturally occurring background radiation level at the landfill.

Crowds pack First Night venues; party extends to B&O

Angel Laudermilt of Lowellville, center, holds the hand of her daughter, Livia, 11, left, and her niece, Ava Koontz, 12, a visitor from Wheeling, W.Va., as they skate at the Covelli Centre on Wednesday during First Night Youngstown.

Park, bus, library systems spend $1M to promote programs

Mill Creek Park visitors enjoy the sled riding hill at the Wick Recreation Area.

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Sciortino ousted after 9 years

Ralph Meacham is all smiles as he gets election results Tuesday night at Mahoning County Republican headquarters. The political newcomer, who defeated incumbent Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino, is the first non-judicial Republican elected in Mahoning County in 30 years.

Ground broken for Canfield's new 'community hub'

Hard-hatted children from Canfield Presbyterian Pre-School begin digging before city and library officials donned their hardhats and wielded their shovels at Friday’s ceremonial groundbreaking for the new $5 million Canfield public library branch.

The Vindicator analyzes Mahoning's worker turnover

Donna McCollum of Youngstown walks through a security checkpoint at the Mahoning County Courthouse staffed by sheriff’s deputies Anthony Divoto, left, and Kent Thornton. The sheriff’s office had one of the highest turnover rates among agencies in county government in 2012 and 2013.

U.S. attorney urges max sentence for Lupo in illegal dumping case

The assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting Ben Lupo for illegal discharges of oil-field waste into a Mahoning River tributary in Youngstown wants the maximum sentence — three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine — to deter others from similar conduct.

The Dream 50 years on

Historic day: President Lyndon B. Johnson reaches to shake hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on July 2, 1964, after presenting the civil rights leader with one of the 72 pens used to sign the Civil Rights Act in Washington.

Hubbard High sends off 166 graduates

Chelsey Black and Kyle Bolen examine their diplomas just after receiving them along with 164 of their classmates at the Hubbard High School commencement Friday evening at Stambaugh Auditorium on Youngstown’s North Side.

Mahoning County sales tax fails by slim margin

Mahoning County Commissioner David Ditzler, left, and county Auditor Michael Sciortino appear glum Tuesday night as they watch a half-percent sales tax renewal go down to defeat.

Youngstown plans to return 90 East Side acres to nature

These two vacant houses on Melvina Avenue off Wardle Avenue are among the nine Youngstown wants to demolish in order to close unneeded streets and discontinue unnecessary utilities in a deserted East Side area. The project fulfills one part of the city's Youngstown 2010 plan.

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In 1963, this Youngstowner thanked Ruby for killing Oswald

John Bilicki, who died in January 2001, was chief of security at the Butler Institute of American Art and an accomplished artist, whose paintings are in the Butler's permanent collection. Above, Bilicki's nephew, Michael "Bill" Bilicki of Austintown, left, stands before a portrait of his uncle with longtime executive director of the Butler, Lou Zona,

50 years later, Kennedy charisma still stands out

John F. Kennedy campaigned in downtown Youngstown on Oct. 9, 1960. Vindicator photographer Paul R. Schell named this photograph “The Crush.”

Sharon athletes and father mourned

Vincent Campbell of Farrell, Pa., arranges flowers on a cross he installed at the site of a two-vehicle crash late Friday night on the Shenango Valley Freeway in Sharon, Pa., which killed three and injured four others. Campbell said he didn’t know any of the victims but was moved by the tragedy to create the cross in their memory.

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Thieves beware: Pawnbrokers will report you to police

Jim Eckman, president of Ace Diamond & Jewelry Brokers Inc. of Boardman, inspects silver dollars Ace bought recently. Eckman said pawnbrokers and police work together to quickly catch thieves who sell or pawn stolen goods.

Costs are still exceeding lease revenue

Officials continue to debate whether the purchase of the former Southside Hospital was a wise move for Mahoning County.

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OE sues Boardman couple over pool under power lines

Joseph Bettura of Mayflower Drive, Boardman, and his granddaughter, Livia, 11, stand by Bettura’s in-ground swimming pool. Ohio Edison Co. has sued Bettura and his wife, Marsha, to recover the cost of raising the utility’s high-voltage transmission lines to a safer height above the pool.

Confederates made only one major attack in Ohio

On July 8, 1863, Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate cavalry leader, led 2,000 soldiers across the Ohio River into southern Indiana. His raid continued until his surrender near West Point in Columbiana County. It was the farthest point north the Confederates ever reached during the entire Civil War.

Commander demoted, major suspended in Sciortino DUI matter

Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene announces disciplinary action in the aborted May 26 drunken-driving arrest of county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino.

Are Valley bridges safe?

Randy Partika, Mahoning County bridge engineer, checks the underside of the structurally deficient, 1925-vintage Walker Mill Road Bridge over Yellow Creek in Boardman, where concrete is peeling and the bottom layer of reinforcing bars is exposed and rusting.

Mill Creek's $1M makeover

The Newport Wetlands parking lot is closed for about two months for a $125,000 improvement project, including repaving with permeable paving stones and addition of a filtration garden to slow rainwater runoff, soil erosion and lake sedimentation. The lot will likely reopen in late July.

Hundreds mourn Shenango officer killed in line of duty

A Pennsylvania State Police trooper wipes away tears during the funeral for Shenango Township Police Officer William “Jerry” McCarthy IV. Hundreds of officers from throughout the region attended his funeral Wednesday in St. Vitus Church in New Castle.

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Recycled Christmas trees improve fishing in lake

Trees in the water provide shade and shelter for fish, concentrating them and making them easier to catch.

Epic 1913 Mahoning River flood cast wide net of destruction

The 1913 Mahoning River flood at Youngstown knocked out city water, electric, streetcar and railroad service and inundated river valley homes and industries.

Valentine’s Day wasn’t sweet day for a cat named Valentine

A cat thrown from a car on Sharrott Road on Valentine’s Day is now available for adoption at Angels for Animals.

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What happened to Teddy?

Teddy Foltz, 14, of Struthers (inset above) died of head trauma Saturday. His mother and her ex-boyfriend, Zaryl G. Bush, are charged in his death. Teddy’s father, Shawn Tedesco, of Sharon, Pa., above center, is comforted by an unidentified family friend as Teddy’s grandmother, Sara Foltz, sits at right during Bush's initial appearance Wednesday in Struthers Municipal Court on murder and rape charges.

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Adorning Idora: Block now a model of success

Development corporation focuses on renovating Lanterman Avenue homes

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. wants to showcase a model block in a historic South Side neighborhood.

Youngstown Thermal warms up to wood for cost savings and cleaner production

Youngstown Thermal warms up to wood for cost savings and cleaner production

Jim Mullen, above, general manager of Youngstown Thermal LLC, shows the mixture of wood chips and coal the company is going to burn to create the steam used for heating and cooling downtown buildings. Youngstown Thermal has recently added the wood chips to its mix to reduce the amount of coal it burns to generate steam.

Valley activists protest Gaza attacks

Lyana Mansour from Ramallah in the West Bank, waives the Palestinian flag during a vigil in downtown Youngstown Friday in response to the latest violence in Israel.

Be ready to battle parking, rain, wind

If you’re attending Monday’s Covelli Centre rally featuring President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, you probably should carpool, arrive early and dress for wet, windy weather.

Incumbent judges face challengers

By PETER H. MILLIKEN milliken@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN Two longtime incumbent Republican judges

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Valley ponders casino windfalls

A dealer runs a roulette table at Toledo’s Hollywood Casino, which opened in May.

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Daniel: System should be ‘right-sized’

Heidi M. Daniel, the incoming director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, said it’s too soon for her to say what she might change about the library system’s operation, but that the system should be sized appropriately for this community.

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Ohio justices: the Oakhill 'sealing orders were improper’

Visiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr. hands a document to attorneys in the Mahoning County Courthouse during a December 2010 hearing on The Vindicator’s motion to unseal documents in the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption case, including bills of particulars.


This dry, cracked mud, normally covered by several feet of water, is exposed at Berlin Lake, which is more than 8 feet below its normal summer surface level and dropping at the rate of 3 inches a day. Some docks are high and dry, and unseen sandbars and rocks make boating hazardous.


Deputy Steve Morlan summons Pat Diiullo of Canfield to steer his boat up next to the patrol boat to receive a random safety and law inspection on Berlin Lake.

YMHA completes $10M renovation of Brier Hill housing

Michelle Nieves and her sleepy 1-year-old daughter, Marie, get ready to settle into their apartment at 2779 Hammaker St. in the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority’s newly-renovated Brier Hill Annex complex after a Tuesday ribbon-cutting ceremony. The apartments’ countertops are made from recycled-content Formica.

Hunger strike continues at prison

As 21 Ohio State Penitentiary inmates continued their hunger strike into its second week, the prison warden vowed that no inmate will be allowed to die of starvation or dehydration on his watch.

These offenders save tax dollars

A day-reporting offender works on a horse barn. The program saves the county money, reduces jail crowding and provides free labor for community service projects.

Fish sale nets success

John Scherer of Fender’s Fish & Llama Farm, of Baltic, Ohio, gets fish from a truck-mounted tank during a Thursday fish sale at the Canfield Fairgrounds. The event was sponsored by the Mahoning Soil and Water Conservation District.

Earth Day celebrated naturally

Hikers, anglers, litter patrols converge on Mill Creek Park

Two walking tours Sunday showcased the natural beauty of Mill Creek Park to mark Earth Day.

Recycled style at MCCTC

Students at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center observed Earth Day Friday by modeling fashions they created with recycled materials, including video tape, trash bags and newspapers. The program was the school's fifth annual Trash Bash,

Former music mecca Ponderosa Park is on the auction block

A long neglected former country-music mecca that drew top national talent to the Mahoning Valley may get a new lease on life through foreclosure and a sheriff’s sale.

Gains reigns in tight Mahoning race, fending off Macejko

County Prosecutor Paul Gains celebrates winning re-election during a gathering Tuesday night at Cafe Cimmento, downtown Youngstown. Gains narrowly defeated challenger Jay Macejko, Youngstown city prosecutor, who had the county Democratic Party central committee endorsement.

FOP leader criticizes Mahoning County commissioners

By PETER H. MILLIKEN milliken@vindy.com YOUNGSTOWN The president of the union that represents



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