New trial is ordered for

a convicted murderer

AURORA -- The April 2006 conviction of an Aurora man, charged with fatally stabbing his wife, has been overturned by an Ohio appeals court. James K. Warner, 58, was found guilty in Portage County Common Pleas Court of two counts of murder for the November 2005 death of his wife, Carolyn. Warner is incarcerated at the Toledo Correctional Institute, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Web site. Judges from the 11th District Court of Appeals in Warren June 15 ordered a new trial for Warner because of the trial court's "failure to give an instruction on voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault" and its failure to allow certain expert testimony.

Bedford man, 21, killed

in police shoot-out

BEDFORD -- A Bedford man is dead after police say they returned fire after he shot at them June 20. Police stopped Joseph Picciano, 21, on Lincoln Avenue after receiving a call from his mother at about 5:15 p.m. that he had left his house on Johnson Avenue with a shotgun. Police say Picciano got out of his car and allegedly fired at officers. Police said a crisis intervention team tried to talk to Picciano, but at 6:45 p.m. Picciano allegedly fired at officers again. Police say officers returned fire, striking Picciano, who was later pronounced dead at UHHS Bedford Medical Center. Three officers are on administrative leave while an investigation is pending, according to a detective with Bedford police. No one else was injured.

Falls OKs changes to utility billing

CUYAHOGA FALLS -- Renters and landlords in Cuyahoga Falls will see changes in the way the city runs its utilities, after City Council approved increased security deposits for new city-run utility accounts, added fees for items such as bounced checks or off-hour utility turn-ons and imposed a lien for delinquent water and sewer accounts. Councilman Doug Flinn voted against the ordinance, saying it's not "fair" to use a lien without first investigating whether the other changes would cover the amount owed by delinquent accounts. Service Director Valerie Wax Carr said the number of delinquent utility accounts on rental property has increased 140 percent since 2003 and the city has accumulated about $1 million in overdue utility bills in the past decade.

Former ambassador doesn't want park named after him

HUDSON -- The naming of park property on Veterans Way is back in the hands of the park board after former U.S. Ambassador to Norway John Ong asked City Council to remove his name from consideration. Council had been set to consider naming the park in honor of Ong, but withdrew the legislation after Council President Brian Daley said he received a letter from Ong asking that the park board not use his name. Daley said Ong was no longer in favor of the city using his name after members of City Council and the park board appeared at odds over whether it was the best name for the park property.

Safety Town to re-open

at Stafford Park

MAPLE HEIGHTS -- After more than two years of looking more like a ghost town than a teaching tool, Safety Town will be dusting off its scooters and sweeping the dirt from its vacant streets. The pint-sized town at Stafford Park will be ready for kindergarten through second-grade traffic July 9. The program, which was stopped after 2004 because of budgetary constraints, will run from July 9 to Aug. 3. Classes are Monday through Friday with two sessions --10 a.m. until noon and 1 to 3 p.m. daily. The cost is $5 per resident child. Registration for the program will be at the Maple Heights Senior Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Topics will include recognizing strangers, school bus safety, fire safety and proper street crossing.

Village waste hauler kills contract

NORTHFIELD VILLAGE -- The village will have to seek bids for a new trash hauler after the firm that had been collecting rubbish terminated its contract with the village, said Mayor Victor Milani. In a June 12 letter to the village, Tony Discenza, public sector representative for Waste Management of Ohio, said the company was invoking a clause in the contract that allows either it or the village to terminate the deal with 90 days notice. Citing increased costs, particularly for fuel, the letter states that Waste Management will no longer be able to provide collection and disposal services at the current monthly rate of $11.68 per home. Milani said the village will immediately advertise for bids and he does not foresee an interruption in rubbish pickup.

NORTHFIELD VILLAGE -- The village will have to seek bids for a new trash hauler after the firm that had been collecting rubbish terminated its contract with the village, said Mayor Victor Milani. In a June 12 letter to the village, Tony Discenza, public sector representative for Waste Management of Ohio, said the company was invoking a clause in the contract that allows either it or the village to terminate the deal with 90 days notice. Citing increased costs, particularly for fuel, the letter states that Waste Management will no longer be able to provide collection and disposal services at the current monthly rate of $11.68 per home. Milani said the village will immediately advertise for bids and he does not foresee an interruption in rubbish pickup.

Streetsboro man dies in car accident

Lake Erie to benefit from research grants

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission awarded $50,000 to research projects officials say will benefit the lake and its environmental and economic resources. Included in the grant money is $10,000 earmarked for Cleveland State University to be used to investigate the nutrient structure of the Cuyahoga River. Case Western Reserve University also will receive around $10,000 to study the prevalence of a lethal fish virus in the lake's yellow perch. The rest of the grant fund will go to projects to be performed by the Center for Water Quality Research and the Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District. For more information, visit www.epa.state.oh.us/oleo.

City resumes JEDD talks with Suffield

TALLMADGE -- City officials will meet with Suffield Township officials June 28 at 7 p.m. at Suffield Town Hall to discuss a possible Joint Economic Development District. The benefit, said Mayor Christopher Grimm, would be improved water, sewer and economic infrastructure in Suffield. "It provides the ability to abate taxes to help get businesses going with the idea that they'll stay there," he said. Taxes would be collected from the income of employees of businesses and the corporate taxes within the JEDD, said Grimm, adding, "Tallmadge would initially get 100 percent of the JEDD tax, then 50 percent would go back to Suffield." Tallmadge's Economic Development Director Pat Sauner said 55 to 60 businesses are in the proposed JEDD area.

Incumbent mayor outraises challengers

TWINSBURG -- Mayor Katherine Procop finished the primary election season with almost $16,000 more in her campaign coffer than her closest challenger, according to post-election campaign finance reports filed with the Summit County Board of Elections. Procop, seeking her third term, had a $16,500 balance as of June 6, while At-Large Councilor Steve Murphy had about $664 in his campaign bank as of June 13. Resident Sally Gaydosh did not submit a post-election campaign finance report by the 4 p.m. June 15 deadline. Procop finished the May 8 primary election with 52 percent of the ballots cast, while Murphy finished second at about 30 percent, according to the elections board. The two will square off Nov. 6.