Here are some of today's top stories from around the area, including an early resignation date for Youngstown State University President Randy J. Dunn, a deadly heroin cocktail in Cuyahoga County and an Akron man suing the city over a false hit-skip arrest.
FALSE HIT-SKIP: Akron resident Shaune Chesney filed a lawsuit against the city this week for falsely arresting him for a hit-skip which landed him in the Summit County Jail for eight days and declining to make a restitution offer, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Chesney was arrested for the hit skip and for driving under a suspension March 21 while picking his son up from school, a week after a hit-skip that left a 5-year-old boy with a broken leg. Chesney, who is seeking unspecified damages, was held in jail for eight days while police investigated the actual hit skip driver. Click here to read more at ohio.com.
YOUNGSTOWN FEDERAL CASE: U.S. District Judge Benita Y. Pearson ruled in a federal lawsuit that the plaintiff, a 47-year-old Youngstown woman sufficiently showed the Youngstown Police Department failed to properly investigate complaints against Lt. Kevin Mercer, including complaints that he used excessive and unreasonable force and search and seizures without probable cause, according to the Vindicator. The ruling allows the lawsuit to against the city, former Police Chief Jimmy Hughes, and offices Mercer, Patrick Mulligan and Malik Mostella to move forward. The suit alleges the three officers performed a search and seizure on her then-12-year-old son in 2009 while pointing guns at him without probable cause, and he wasn't charged with a crime, and says that her family and young black males were targeted by police. Judge Pearson wrote that the police investigation of complaints against Mercer was "cursory, one-sided, and incomplete. The city failed to take the most basic of investigative steps." Click here to read more at vindy.com.
HEROIN: Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson is warning the public that heroin laced with powerful opioid fentanyl was detected in three fatal overdoses in the county Tuesday, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Fentanyl, referred to as "China White," is 80 times stronger than heroin, and has been found in overdose victims in Lorain County and Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, including one weekend in November which saw nearly 20 cases of overdoses in Lorain County alone. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's office reported eight suspected heroin overdoses Monday and Tuesday, three of which were fatal. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.
AMISH CHEMOTHERAPY CASE: Though the Ohio Supreme Court voted not to take the case in which Akron Children's Hospital sued an Amish family to force them to continue chemotherapy for their 11-year-old daughter with cancer, the family's non-profit attorney filed a motion Monday for the court to reconsider, according to the Medina Gazette. Maruice Thompson, of the libertarian 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in Columbus, argued that not resolving the case would set a bad precedent, allowing lower courts to appoint limited guardians to make medical decisions for children, as in the case of Sarah Hershberger. Hershberger's court-appointed guardian, Maria Schimer, resigned last month, saying that her efforts were futile since the family fled the country. Click here to read more at medinagazette.northcoastnow.com.
YSU: Youngstown State University trustees approved a contract amendment for outgoing president Randy J. Dunn that moves his effective resignation date from Aug. 17 to March 21, according to the Vindicator. Dunn will receive no pay after that date, will be provided COBRA temporary health insurance through June 30 and he and his wife will leave the university-owned Pollock House within 30 days of his resignation. Dunn announced he had accepted a job as President of Southern Illinois University last month. AGB Search, who performed last year's presidential search that named Dunn, is performing a new search for free in light of Dunn's quick, seven-month presidency, although many are pushing trustees to hire former YSU head football coach Jim Tressel. Click here to read more at vindy.com.