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WRITER: Ed Runyan

Commissioners award $2M in ARP funds

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County commissioners awarded another $2 million in American Rescue Plan funds Thursday and also revealed they are giving $750,000 to a project in Campbell. Boardman Township trustees attended the meeting to thank the commissioners for $1 million that will help pay for the $3 million Forest Lawn Sanitary Sewer Park along Market Street at the site of the current Market Street Elementary ...

Craig Beach councilman, 81, runs for mayor

CRAIG BEACH — After 5 1/2 years of living in Craig Beach and after spending two years on village council “with 100 percent attendance” at meetings, Bob Andrea said, he’s ready to be mayor. He’s 81 but says, “I act like 51. No problems. I’m raring to go. I think that’s why I’m trying to take on this job as mayor.” His career involved consulting with first responders in Philadelphia, Pa., and ...

Jury mulls 73 charges in sexual assault trial

YOUNGSTOWN — Jurors in the Dustin Ruiter rape trial in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court went home about 6 p.m. Thursday without reaching a verdict. They will resume deliberations at 9 a.m. today. Ruiter, 46, of Youngstown’s West Side and formerly of Warren, went on trial before Judge Anthony D’Apolito on 73 criminal charges involving three young female victims, including 33 counts of rape involving ...

Stiffer sentence sought for rapper after FaceBook post

YOUNGSTOWN — An assistant prosecutor has asked the judge who sentenced a rapper Wednesday to probation to “reconvene” sentencing — and send him to prison — after seeing a social-media post the rapper was banned from making. Assistant Prosecutor Martin Hume, who asked Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Anthony Donofrio to sentence Holden J. Raines Jr. to three years in prison on Wednesday, filed a ...

2 new deaths reported at Trumbull facilities

The Ohio Department of Health reported two additional deaths at long-term-care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Trumbull County this week. The ODH does not list which facilities had deaths, but it indicated there have been 164 deaths involving such facilities in Trumbull County, which is two more than last week. The number of deaths associated with long-term-care ...

Rapper gets probation in robbery

YOUNGSTOWN — With Youngstown’s history of young men in rap music being killed, officials took seriously the assault and feud involving local rappers Holden J. Raines Jr. and Marlin Ostrom. Prosecutors filed an aggravated robbery charge against Raines, 32, of the New Castle, Pa., area after they concluded that Raines had stolen two necklaces from around Ostrom’s neck and assaulted him at the back of an ...

Judge to rule in Boardman mask lawsuit

YOUNGSTOWN — A judge is expected to rule in a week or so on whether to grant a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit filed by Boardman schools parents trying to overturn the district’s requirement that students wear face masks. The school district has said the masks protect children from COVID-19 and enable students to remain in school. The parents in the lawsuit argued in a filing this week that it is ...

Youngstown store owner finds there’s first time for everything

YOUNGSTOWN — Tony Singh, owner of Gateway Gas Mart on Market Street just south of downtown, says he’s never had anyone drive through a brick wall and into his business to steal from him before. In fact, he had never heard of it happening anywhere before. “Never. This is the first time it happened like this in my life,” he said, adding the 4:30 a.m. Tuesday crash did “big damage,” about $40,000 ...

Judge nixes self-defense plea

YOUNGSTOWN — Raymond B. Owens Jr. 32, could get about 20 years in prison when he is sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10 for shooting a man standing on the porch of a South Jackson Street home June 10, 2020. Judge John Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court found Owens guilty of four of the five charges he faced — two counts of discharging a firearm on near prohibited and one count each of felonious ...

Alleged rape victim takes stand in trial

YOUNGSTOWN — A girl who alleged she is the victim of sex crimes committed by Dustin Ruiter, 46, testified Tuesday that Ruiter started to engage in sex acts with her when she was about 15. The offenses — including rape — lasted about six months, she said. Ruiter, 46, whose last address was in Youngstown, went on trial Monday before Judge Anthony D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. ...