Here are some of today's top headlines from around the area, including 3 tons of stolen beef found in Wooster trailer park, Medina City Schools receive $60,000 bill from the IRS and even more endorsements for Jim Tressel.
TRESSEL: On top of endorsements from Rep. Tim Ryan and Trumbull County Commissioners, former football coach Jim Tressel is also being urged by Rep. Robert Hagan and Rep. Nick Barborak to be hired by Youngstown State University as its new president, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. Hagan purportedly spoke with Tressel at Monday's State of the State address and Tressel, who formerly coached YSU and Ohio State to national championships, did not dismiss the idea, saying "There is a process that is very important and has to be followed." YSU is looking to replace President Randy Dunn, who resigned after only seven months as university president. Click here to read more at Vindy.com.
DRIVING WHILE CALLING: Shaker Heights City Council passed an ordinance Monday making the use of cell phones while driving inside the city a primary offense, even while talking on the phone, according to Sun News. The law, voted in 5-1, will take effect 30 days from when the legislation is signed by Mayor Earl Leiken sometime this week but drivers will not be cited until late may. Cell phones may still be used in parked cars outside of lanes of travel and certain emergency uses will be permitted, but cited drivers could receive a $1,000 fine, 30 days in jail plus two penalty points on their driver's licenses. Beachwood, Pepper Pike, University Heights and South Euclid already make driving on the phone a primary offense. Click here to read more at Cleveland.com.
TWINSBURG TRAFFIC DEATH: The man accused of fatally hitting a Twinsburg man who stopped to change his wife's tire on the side of Interstate 480 with his car pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Please, according to the Twinsburg Bulletin. Andrew Picha, 21, of Mayfield Heights, was indicted Feb. 20 on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Picha was allegedly driving westbound on I-480 near Warrensville Heights when he struck 64-year-old Lester D. Mitchell, who had arrived to change a tire on his wife's red Jaguar on the side of the road, on Feb. 2. Mitchell, a retired former chief of police for Cleveland State University was pronounced dead at MetroHealth Medical Center following the collision. Picha is being held in Cuyahoga County Jail on $100,000 bond. Click here to read more at TwinsburgBulletin.com.
MEDINA IRS AUDIT: An IRS audit of Medina City School has billed the school district with a wealth of new problems totaling $60,791.65, most of which come from the $47,991.18 in taxes not withheld from the district's payment of Superintendent Randy Stepp's college loans, according to the Medina Gazette. Stepp was put on paid leave in April following a state audit preliminary report that found he had spent at least $4,121 illegally, which also found that a half-million dollars in spending from the Educational Service Center fund in which the purpose was unclear and nearly $1 million was spent without school district authorization. The IRS audit also billed the district for more than $9,000 for uniform allowances for employees, wellness physical allowances for administrators, people hired as independent contractors who should have been classified as employees and employees who were rehired as contracted service providers but should have remained classified as employees. Click here to read more at MedinaGazette.NorthCoastNow.com.
STARK SHERIFF: Democrat Douglas S. Smith, a lieutenant with the Summit County Sheriff's Office, declared his intention Monday to run as a write-in candidate in the May 6 primary election for Stark County sheriff, according to the Alliance Review. Smith will be facing current Sheriff George Maier in the primary, assuming Maier's candidacy is approved by Secretary of State John Husted. Maier was removed from office Nov. 6, 2013, for not meeting qualifications but was reinstated Dec. 11 after fulfilling those qualifications, and has been involved with several lawsuits as a result. The winner of the Democratic primary will go up against Larry Dordea, chief of police in Hartville and the only Republican running for the sheriff position. Click here to read more at The-Review.com.
DRUG CHARGES: Three people have pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of Erin Trell, 18, who died of an apparent drug overdoes on multiple drugs including cocaine, Xanax and marijuana in September 2013, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. Ruben Best, 20, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, trafficking in drugs and trafficking drugs containing cocaine. Gary Hartman, 24, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, corrupting a minor with drugs and two counts of trafficking in drugs. Marijo Mazon, 46, was charged with trafficking in drugs and corrupting another with drugs. The charges follow a recent trend in Ohio of investigating overdose deaths like police normally do with homicides. Click here to read more at Vindy.com.
WHERE'S THE BEEF?: Wayne County sheriff's deputies arrested three people Saturday in Wooster in connection with stealing more than three tons of beef from Canaan Meats in Creston, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Deputies called the case "Operation: Where's the Beef?" after Canaan Meats discovered the more than three tons of beef in 50-pound containers had been stolen from a storage freezer. Deputies arrested suspects James Malone, 36; Penny Malone, 41; and Tyler Chrostowski, 24, in a mobile home Saturday on charges of receiving stolen property after finding large quantities of meat in two bathtubs and in trashbags, both filled with snow, as well as in the trailer's refrigerator. Deputies also said they found a ledger with names of people allegedly buying the meat. The around $9,000 of stolen meat will have to be destroyed. Click here to read more at Ohio.com.