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South Side News & Notes

3/13/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Akron juvenile to be tried as adult for New Franklin murders

AKRON — Jamall Vaughn, the juvenile who was charged as the alleged accomplice of a man accused of the murders of Fairlawn attorney Jeffrey Schobert and his wife, Margaret (“Peg”) Schobert, of New Franklin, will be tried in adult court.

According to investigating police, Vaughn, of Akron, who was 14 at the time of the incident, was with then 18-year-old Shawn Ford when he allegedly bludgeoned the Schoberts to death in their New Franklin home April 2. Vaughn has been charged with aggravated murder, as well as aggravated robbery, and has been held in the Juvenile Detention Center since his arrest this past April.

According to the judgment entry on the case, Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio made the decision to move Vaughn’s case to adult court March 10. The document indicates the state had asked the court to relinquish jurisdiction and move the case to adult court.

In making the ruling, Teodosio stated she considered the fact Vaughn was not the principal offender and under the negative influence of another, that he is emotionally, physically and psychologically immature and he has an IQ of 70.

The judge also noted there are six years remaining to rehabilitate Vaughn in the juvenile justice system, and “given the heinous nature of the offenses, the court cannot find this is sufficient time to rehabilitate Jamall to a level where community safety can be assured.”

The judge also noted Vaughn “has had prior contact with the juvenile justice system” and he and Ford talked about the murders as they walked 8 miles to the Schoberts’ home.

Vaughn’s bond was set at $1 million, the case will be moved to Summit County Common Pleas Court, and he will remain in the Juvenile Detention Center while he awaits trial, according to the judgment.

Ford, who was the Schoberts’ younger daughter Chelsea Schobert’s boyfriend for a time before the murders, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder and faces the death penalty if convicted. He is also charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of grand theft. He is being held in the Summit County Jail.


Law enforcement agencies operating OVI enforcement effort

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office will run an operating-a-vehicle-under-the-influence (OVI) enforcement effort with help from other law enforcement agencies beginning today, March 14, through March 17.

According to Sheriff’s Office Inspector Bill Holland, the enforcement will begin along the Interstate 77 corridor from the southern boundary line of Stark County to the northern edge of Summit County. That enforcement effort is being conducted with cooperation from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, the Akron Police Department and other law enforcement officials, according to Holland.

In addition, there will be all day patrols all over Stark and Summit counties March 15-16, with cooperation from the Stark County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The all-day patrols will continue with OVI checkpoints March 17 with cooperation from the Summit County OVI and Stark County OVI task forces.


State extends energy assistance program

COLUMBUS — On March 4, the state announced the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program will extend its application deadline from March 31 to April 15.

The program provides assistance to eligible households that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected or if their tank contains 35 percent or less of its capacity of bulk fuel.

“Our heating bills for these cold winter days will come due in March/early April. Extending the Winter Crisis Program allows Ohioans who didn’t think they would need help the opportunity to receive it,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Since the start of the program in November 2013, more than 116,000 Ohioans have participated in the program. To qualify for the Winter Crisis Program, a household must be at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. For a family of four, the annual income must be at or below $41,212.50. Individuals interested in receiving assistance must have a face-to-face interview at their Winter Crisis Program provider. A list of providers by county can be found at development.ohio.gov/is/is_heapsummer_prov.htm.

Ohioans can call 800-282-0880 (hearing impaired customers may call 800-686-1557 for assistance) or visit energyhelp.ohio.gov for more information.


Expungement clinic this weekend

DOWNTOWN AKRON — A free Expungement/CQE Clinic will take place March 15 at 1 p.m. at the Akron Urban League, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd.

The University of Akron School of Law will participate and assist the first 50 qualified applicants with Expungement/Record Sealing and the Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE). Summit County Department of Job and Family Services also will accept applications for financial assistance with the $100 CQE filing fee.

CQEs, created through state Senate Bill 337 in 2012, may remove certain barriers to employment for people who have committed felonies or misdemeanors and are finding it hard to get a government-issued occupational license or a job with an employer. A CQE does not guarantee a license or a job, but it may help make the process easier, according to county officials.

To qualify to file a petition for a CQE in Summit County, an applicant must:

  • currently live in Summit County; and
  • have been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor in the state of Ohio and it’s been at least two years since completion of all of the terms of a sentence (including any probation, community supervision) and all court costs have been paid; and
  • need a CQE to relieve a collateral sanction (penalty or disadvantage) that will help the applicant get a job or an occupational license.

County officials said a CQE can’t excuse:

√ a requirement to register as a sex offender;

√ a driver’s license suspension, cancellation or revocation;

√ a restriction on employment as a prosecutor or law enforcement officer; or

√ a denial, ineligibility or suspension of a license as a health care professional if you: were convicted of or pled guilty to murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault, kidnapping, rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary or unlawful distribution of an abortion-inducing drug; are addicted to or were found to be improperly distributing controlled substances; or are in default under a child support order.

Individuals planning to attend should go to www.uakron.edu/law/clinical/cqe-clinic.dot to find out what they need to bring to the clinic or for additional information.


Akron budget legislation before City Council

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron City Council received legislation pertaining to the 2014 operating budget March 10.

The budget for this year comes in at just more than $500.35 million — and it has its ups and downs, as described by Finance Director Diane Miller-Dawson during the Budget and Finance Committee meeting.

Income tax revenue is expected to be up 2.5 percent this year; however, local government funding has decreased significantly, from $14 million in 2007 to $6.1 million. That funding from the state, Miller-Dawson said, is used solely for public safety expenditures. In addition, there was a reduction caused by the elimination of state tax revenue, and the casino revenue that was expected to fill that gap has not done so, Miller-Dawson said.

“Across the country, casino revenue has been down,” said Councilman Michael Williams (D-at large). “It is never going to be the big economy generator that was talked about.”

Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Mike Freeman (D-Ward 9) said the committee will ask Council to approve the budget at the March 17 meeting.

Also at the meeting, Council filed an ordinance establishing an agreement with the Cascade Locks Park Association to construct a zipline along the Ohio & Erie Canal. Planning Committee Chairman Jeff Fusco (D-at large) said the petitioner has not updated the city on the proposed project. He added the legislation, which was first brought before Council in June 2013, could be reintroduced in two years.

The next Akron City Council meeting will take place March 17 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal building, 166 S. High St. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon.


Akron seeking nominations for Global Youth Service Day

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The city of Akron is currently seeking nominations for its 24th Global Youth Service Day, which will take place April 22. The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. March 21.

Organizations are asked to nominate a youth 12-18 years old who has volunteered at least 20 hours in 2013 with their organization or program.

The three youth volunteer age categories are 12-13, 14-15 and 16 and older. In each category, a “Volunteer of the Year” and “Outstanding Volunteer” will be selected.

Organizations whose nominees are selected for these two top honors will receive cash prizes to help further their volunteer programs.

All the nominated youth volunteers will be honored at a reception and awards ceremony at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St. Youth volunteers also will have the opportunity to tell their stories of why they give time to organizations, hospitals and communities.

For volunteer nomination forms, go to www.akronohio.gov, type “Global Youth Service Day” in the Search Box and click on “GYSD Nomination Form.”

For more information, contact Billy Soule at 330-375-2660 or bsoule@akronohio.gov.


Grafs announced as lead landscape designer for Dreamscape Raffle

AKRON — Keep Akron Beautiful’s (KAB) 11th annual Dreamscape Raffle, sponsored by SummaCare, has officially begun.

Raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Tickets can be purchased online from www.keepakronbeautiful.org, at the KAB office at 850 E. Market St., or the following locations: Dayton Nurseries Inc., 3459 Cleveland-Massillon Road in Norton; Graf Growers, 1015 White Pond Drive in Copley; Paul’s Greenhouse, 1993 Wright Road in Copley; Suncrest Gardens, 5157 Akron Cleveland Road in Boston; and Donzell’s Flower and Garden Center, 937 E. Waterloo Road in South Akron.

The Dreamscape Raffle funds KAB’s Flowerscape Program.

The winning ticket will be drawn June 5 at 10:30 a.m. at Alexander Park on West Market Street. The winner will have until the end of June to meet with this year’s landscape designers and project managers, Lisa Graf and Craig Graf, of Graf Growers Garden Center and Landscape Design, to create a plan for the landscape transformation the week of Aug. 4-8.

The grand-prize winner may choose to make over the front or back yard of his or her property. In addition to the grand-prize ticket, there are three runner-up prizes, which include 4 yards of mulch or compost blown into landscaped beds by TerraScape LTD, a birdbath donated by Suncrest Gardens and a basket of gardening supplies, courtesy of Graf Growers.

Along with the vendors listed above, the 2014 Dreamscape Raffle also has the following vendor partners offering goods and services for the landscape makeover: Advanced Arboriculture, Belgard® Sales, Cascade Lighting, Circle K, Hitchcock Fleming and Associates Inc., Main Street Gourmet, Naragon Irrigation, Nick’s Landscaping of Ohio LLC, Pam’s Perennial Plant Farm, R.B. Stout Inc., R.G. Thomas Landscape and Design Inc., Gates Landscaping Co., KB Compost Services Inc., Star Printing Co. Inc., Tim’s Custom Electric, Wilson Plumbing and Heating Inc., W.L. Tucker Supply and YES Press Printing Co.

For additional information, visit www.keepakronbeautiful.org or contact KAB at 330-375-2116.


Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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