×

WRITER: Raymond L. Smith

Treatment over incarceration

Felony drug courts in Mahoning and Trumbull counties are helping to steer some of those facing criminal prosecution on substance abuse-related charges into treatment, instead of prison. The special courts are designed to help those facing lower-level felony drug crimes avoid state prison time, if they are willing to help themselves by going through extensive intervention programs designed to help them break ...

Longtime Trumbull judge leaving bench

WARREN — Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter J. Kontos, 68, announced his retirement from the bench effective July 31. Kontos cited personal reasons for to his decision to pursue retirement before the end of his term in December 2026. He has served as judge of the Trumbull County Common Pleas General Division since 1997. Prior to joining the bench, Kontos served as a Trumbull County ...

Petition to remove Trumbull commissioner gets little support

WARREN — A year-old petition on the Change.org website to remove Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko from office has received relatively little support, as it has only 95 electronic signatures. The petition was placed on Change.org by Tamara Welker. According to the website, it needs a minimum of 100 signatures to be moved to the site’s recommendations sections. “We need commissioners to ...

Trumbull County Commissioner Frenchko arrested at public meeting

WARREN — Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko was arrested by sheriff deputies Thursday morning on charges that she disrupted the board of commissioners meeting. Frenchko was placed in handcuffs as she attempted to defend herself on statements made by Trumbull County Sheriff Paul Monroe in a letter sent to the commissioners. She claims the sheriff set her up; he says that’s not so. The ...

Young people to talk about community violence

WARREN — Young people this month will tell their own stories about how violence has affected them. They will speak out during a NAACP-sponsored young call-to-action at a 3 p.m. July 10 vigil at the Trumbull Community Action Program building, 1230 Palmyra Road. The focus of the event will allow members of Generations X, Z, and I to give their views about what is happening in their neighborhoods and express ...

Danny Lee Hill execution upheld by US high court

WARREN — The U.S. Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 to uphold a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision — a ruling that upholds the death penalty sentence for Danny Lee Hill. Hill sought to be removed from Ohio’s death row for the 1985 torture-killing of 12-year-old Raymond Fife in a field in Warren. He has been appealing the conviction for more than 30 years. Hill was 19 at the time of the rape and ...

Liberty shooting suspect asks about death penalty

WARREN — The 55-year-old man accused in a shooting and gunfight with police in Liberty on June 10 has pleaded not guilty — but asked if he can request the death penalty. Kevin Mallard of Youngstown is accused of approaching, shooting and blinding a 20-year-old Warren resident, as the victim sat behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon during a video arraignment in the ...

Struthers man, 29, granted 180-day delay

WARREN — A 29-year-old Struthers resident accused of two counts of assault, gross sexual imposition, kidnapping and endangering children was granted a request for an additional 180 days before trial to enable his attorney to prepare his case. The next preliminary hearing for George W. Panno II, 853 Fifth St., Struthers, is scheduled for Aug. 8. Panno is accused of dragging a 26-year-old resident of 142 ...

Area leaders head to DC

Leaders from Mahoning Valley governments, nonprofit agencies and private businesses joined the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber in the nation’s capital last week to learn how to bring millions of dollars into regional projects. The fifth Washington, D.C., Fly-In welcomed 52 participants from Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. “We do this to help the Mahoning Valley better compete against ...

Schools place security strategies under scrutiny

Some Mahoning Valley school districts are continuing efforts to change protocols so their buildings are safer for students, as well as for adults working in and around the facilities. Leaders in Youngstown, Boardman and Canfield school districts all say the districts have been doing what they’re financially able to do to improve security in their buildings and on their campuses. The superintendents also are ...