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Peter H. Milliken

Stories by Peter H.

Sebring-area schools reopen after favorable lead tests

No detectable lead is leaving Sebring's water treatment plant, OEPA’s Deputy Director of Communications Heidi Griesmer told The Vindicator. “In the main lines, there is no lead piping” in the village water distribution system, she said. Her comments came just a day after village residents showed up in force at a public meeting to demand answers about the lead discovered in their drinking water.

Mental health care in Ohio shifts from hospitals to jails

AFTER WOODSIDE: The 112-bed Woodside Receiving Hospital on East Indianola Avenue in Youngstown, shown is this Vindicator file photo from May 15, 1981, housed people with mental health issues from 1944 through 1996. Since that time, the biggest providers of mental-health services in the state have been jails and prisons. Woodside was demolished two years ago.

Adoptive parents rescue troubled children

Sarah Renee Delatore, 19 months, reaches for the gavel, as Judge Robert Rusu congratulates her and her adoptive parents, Drs. Rebekah and Jason Delatore during a National Adoption Month observance. Today is National Adoption Day.

Every time America called, veterans answered, speaker says

Ed Kutan of Youngstown proudly wears his Vietnam Veteran cap at Wednesday's annual Veterans Day gathering downtown Youngstown where decorated Vietnam War veteran Robert Bush told the crowd, “There should be little distinction between those who served in war and peace.”

CSO control plan is “not the panacea”

MS Consultants engineers John P. Pierko, left, and Joseph Catullo, display a map depicting a portion of Youngstown’s combined sewer overflow control plan linked to curtailment of Mill Creek Park CSOs. Catullo is a former Mahoning County sanitary engineer.

Killing stuns neighborhood

Bob Sharpe, right, of the state fire marshal’s office, discusses evidence he just gave to Youngstown police officer Russell Davis, center, as Davis’ partner, Joe Wess Jr., looks on. The officers were at the Cleveland Street home where the body of Erika Huff, 41, was found beaten and burned. A suspect is in custody.

Contamination threats to Meander revive backup plan

Anthony Vigorito, chief engineer of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, stands inside the MVSD plant in Weathersfield.

Cooperation urged to cut pollution in Mill Creek watershed

The Meander Creek, Mill Creek, and Yellow Creek watersheds are among Mahoning County’s major watersheds. Reducing pollution in watersheds is a responsibility of government and individual landowners, officials say.

Former boxer proposes media studio downtown

downtown youngstown

Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini is proposing a downtown Youngstown digital media studio.

Mahoning County recycling totals soar in 2014

The Mahoning County recycling division saw substantial increases in residential and commercial recycling and in industrial recycling in 2014, compared with 2013, Lou Vega, county recycling director, announced.

Technology improves forecasting, warnings

Cellular phone apps bring weather warnings to people wherever they are.

MAY 31, 1985 | Vivid tornado memories persist 30 years later

Joyce Dripps, a survivor of the May 31, 1985, large tornado, reminisces with photos taken in the immediate aftermath of that disaster at her Hubbard home, which was damaged by the twister as she and her guests took shelter in the basement.

Tungate up for state recognition

William Tungate, corrections officer of the year at the Ohio State Penitentiary, also known as the Supermax, on Youngstown’s East Side, has been at the facility since its 1998 opening. He’ll find out May 1 whether he’s state corrections officer of the year.

Byce appraises antiques in Boardman

Auctioneer Jeff Byce appraises an antique sword Thursday at a free, public antiques and collectibles appraisal event at Boardman library. Among the vintage items brought before him were dolls and other toys, ceramics, books, cow bells, a camera and a telescope.

Mahoning County's bonus bonanza

Mahoning County employees have received more than $165,000 in bonus pay in the past five years.

Mahoning River fish OK to eat

mahoning river

The Ohio EPA has removed all Mahoning River fish from its “Do Not Eat” list, but consumption frequency limits remain in effect.

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.



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