Here are some of today's top stories from around the area, including PETA's request to turn Jeffrey Dahmer's former Bath Township home into a vegan restaurant, three cars catch fire within an hour of each other on Cleveland's West Side and man convicted of shooting and killing a Twinsburg cop will appeal the death penalty tomorrow.
THOMPSON TRIAL: The Ohio Supreme Court will hear an appeal on April 8 from Ashford Lamar Thompson, who was sentenced to death for killing Twinsburg Police Officer Joshua Miktarian following a late night traffic stop in 2008, according to the Twinsburg Bulletin. Thompson's public defenders are citing 18 errors at the common please level, including that an African-American juror was excluded "without providing a satisfactory race-neutral reason," that the death sentence is inappropriate and not proportionate to other similar offenses, and that the court refused to "allow counsel to question jurors who are hesitant about imposing the death penalty and applies the wrong standard in deciding whether to exclude jurors for cause." Miktarian was killed when he was shot four times in the head at close range in the driveway of Thompson's residence, and was the first officer in the history of the Twinsburg Police Department to be killed in the line of duty. Click here to read more at twinsburgbulletin.com.
HUDSON REZONING:A public hearing on April 16 will give Hudson residents the chance to offer input on rezoning a commercial property into residential, allowing 88 more homes to be added at The Reserve at River Oaks, according to the Hudson Hub-Times. The parcel of land is south of Boston Mills Road and will change the area from "District 6: Western Hudson Gateway" into "District 3: Outer Village Residential Neighborhood Zone." The planning commission recommended approving the rezoning at its March 10 meeting. Click here to read more at hudsonhubtimes.com.
CLEVELAND CAR FIRES: Three cars caught fire within an hour early Monday morning on Cleveland's West Side, leading police to investigate whether they are related, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.The first fire began at 4:59 a.m. in the 3400 block of West 100th Street, igniting a 2003 Ford Taurus. The second car, a 2013 Toyota Venza, caught fire in the 3500 block of West 120th Street at around 5:31 a.m. A 1999 Volkswagen Passat caught fire at 5:53 in the 3400 block of West 126th Street. Fortunately none of the cars were occupied, but the first two fires caused an estimated $1,000 each in damage and the third caused an estimated $4,500 in damages. Police are still investigating how the fires started and whether or not they are related. Click here to read more at cleveland.com.
TALLMADGE INCOME TAX: Last fall, the city of Tallmadge mailed out aboutt 2,800 letters to residents and employees of local businesses that the Regional Income Tax Agency though might owe income taxes because they did not file returns for 2010, 2011 and/or 2012, and according to the Tallmadge Express, it is expecting to collect about $250,000 after all the taxes have been repaid. Of the 2,800 letters mailed, around 1,300 contacted RITA to pay the taxes, update their information or prove that they didn't owe the taxes. From those, RITA has collected more than $107,000, and has sent out about 1,500 administrative subpoenas requesting contact from those who didn't respond to the first round of letters. Click here to read more at tallmadgeexpress.com.
JEFFREY DAHMER: Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sent a letter to the Bath Township real estate agent in charge of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home on Friday, proposing to create a vegan restaurant to "evoke sympathy for these victims and to suggest that a life-affirming diet can change everything," according to the Akron Beacon Journal. However, the three-bedroom house at 4480 W. Bath Road — where Dahmer killed and dismembered Coventry Township resident Steven M. Hicks and spread his remains across the property — is zoned for single-family residential use, has well water and a septic system and difficult area for parking. Richard Lubinski, the zoning agent of Stouffer Realty, said he isn't sure if the letter is sincere or a publicity stunt, but he is going to treat it as a serious offer at this point. PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajit said the organization already has a name, concept and menu items for the restaurant. Click here to read more at ohio.com.