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WRITER: Ed Runyan

Records refute claims of Youngstown killing victim’s mom that EMTs took full hour to arrive

YOUNGSTOWN — Call logs and audio recordings from the Youngstown police 911 center on the night in 2020 when Brandon D. Wesley, 19, died from a gunshot wound of the shoulder indicate he arrived at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital about 23 minutes after the first 911 call about the gunfire. He died a short time later. A 911 recording indicates the coroner’s office was notified of his death about 36 ...

YSU hit with lawsuit over parking lot construction

YOUNGSTOWN — Marucci & Gaffney Excavating Co. has sued Youngstown State University over an asphalt, surface parking lot construction project on which the company bid, but was not selected. The project is called the Arlington Parking Facility and will replace the former parking deck on Fifth Avenue between Lincoln Avenue and Arlington Street. The surface lot will have 163 parking spaces. The lawsuit, ...

Jury finds city man guilty of rape

YOUNGSTOWN — It was anybody’s guess what the jury would decide late Thursday when they announced they had reached a verdict in the Franklin Herns rape trial. Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court read the verdict of guilty on one of two counts of rape, which could put him in prison for a decade or more. The jury deliberated a long time — about 90 minutes Wednesday afternoon then ...

Helicopter helps police catch up to fleeing couple

YOUNGSTOWN — Law enforcement outsmarted two young people Wednesday who thought they could escape police by fleeing in a vehicle. Instead, Kaylen H. Gabbidon, 22, of Pine Valley Road in Columbus, the driver, was taken to the Mahoning County jail and was charged with felony fleeing and eluding, and several lesser misdemeanor offenses. His passenger, Nevaeh E. Johnson, 18, of Melrose Avenue in Boardman, was ...

$2.1M set aside for internet and connectivity upgrades in county

YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning County commissioners on Thursday authorized the use of approximately $2.1 million of its $42 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to invest in the MYORIS project to speed up the county’s internet access and computer system connectivity across the county’s 70 buildings. Jake Williams, information technology director for the county, said the project will result in the ...

Youngstown man pleads guilty in $1M arson, fraud case

YOUNGSTOWN — Juan Rodriguez, 33, of Potomac Avenue in Youngstown, one of seven people charged in a three-county $1 million scheme to burn buildings to collect insurance money, pleaded guilty Wednesday to reduced charges of forgery and insurance fraud and will be sentenced at 11 a.m. Nov. 8. He could get a couple of years in prison. Prosecutors are not recommending a specific sentence. Rodriguez, also ...

Youngstown man gets 27 years in prison on child-sex charges

YOUNGSTOWN — Jason S. Huffman of Youngstown was sentenced to 27 years and two months in federal prison after pleading guilty to five charges relating to sexual exploitation of children. Huffman, 50, of North Hartford Avenue, pleaded in U.S. District Court in April to two counts of sexual exploitation of children, two counts of transportation of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit ...

Defendant in rape trial takes the stand

YOUNGSTOWN — Franklin C. Herns took the stand in his own defense Wednesday on the last day of testimony in his rape trial to deny that he forced a woman he knew to have sex with him at his mother’s house on Sunshine Avenue on the East Side on June 27, 2021. The jury began deliberating at 3 p.m. but went home later and will resume deliberations today. Earlier in the trial, the woman read Facebook Messenger ...

Girl with gun ‘tired of being picked on’

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown girl, 11, found to have a loaded gun while riding a school bus from St. Joseph the Provider School on the North Side, said she brought her mother's gun with her to school because she was "tired of being picked on all the time." Youngstown police were called to West Wood Street and Wick Avenue near Youngstown State University at 2:37 p.m. Monday after the bus driver reported the ...

Man’s accuser takes the stand at Youngstown rape trial

YOUNGSTOWN — Prosecutors said Tuesday the rape trial of Franklin C. Herns of Sunshine Avenue is a case of “no means no,” and Herns would not accept no for an answer June 26, 2021, when he forced a woman he knew to have sex with him multiple times over four hours. Assistant Prosecutor Caitlyn Andrews told jurors in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court that Herns, 29, tortured the woman, 29, with whom he ...