Youngstown news, Flash Briefing THURSDAY

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Originally Published: 01:00 a.m., September 28, 2017 and  Updated 11:38 p.m., September 24, 2017

Warren police have filed another bestiality charge against a teen who was convicted of the same act last year involving the same small dog. A police report says a detective investigated after being notified by Trumbull County Children Services of the allegations that the Homewood Avenue Southeast 17-year-old had sex with one or more animals at his home. The teen was taken into custody Tuesday and is charged through county juvenile court with bestiality and animal cruelty, both misdemeanors. A conviction of bestiality, however, can prohibit access to companion animals for life.

A hearing to determine whether Ma’lik Richmond can continue playing football for Youngstown State was postponed Wednesday and no new date has been set. Richmond, who was convicted of sexual assault as a teen in Steubenville, is suing YSU after the university allowed him to join the team, then told him he couldn’t play this season. A judge issued a temporary order allowing him to play until the hearing, so the order will continue until the hearing takes place. The Penguins have a game Saturday, at home.

Five local artists have opened the new Underground Art Club store inside Southern Park Mall as a place to teach and sell art of all kinds — paintings, pictures, silk-screened and air-brushed shirts. Darius McLaughlin, the impetus behind the venture, also makes shirts to show off his Youngstown pride. The club offers screen printing, heat press designs, decals, website design, graphic design, public relations, animation and embroidery, and in the future, the partners want to start a music studio and video and podcast lab. Classes are available in painting, graphic design and eventually, animation.,Thirteen local artists already have their art displayed there.

The Youngstown City School District has nearly 200, or about 4 percent, more students as of the third week of this school year than the 2016-17 school year, not including preschool students. CEO Krish Mohip said the increase is a clear indication that people are starting to believe again in the city schools and believe in what the school system is doing. He said this stride is the product of a combination of reducing misconduct, reconfiguring neighborhood schools and the many programs he and his leadership team put in place to help students succeed.

Making Kids Count distributes 25,000 diapers per month to local families in need, and aims to collect 50,000 by month’s end during national Diaper Need Awareness Week, which runs through Sunday. “One in three families report diaper need,” said Colleen Eisenbraun, program director. “Without diapers, you can’t take your children to day care, and that prevents you from going to school or work She noted that low-income families often don’t have the option of using cloth diapers because they don’t have their own washer and dryer, and the lack of diapers “keeps people from getting back to work or bettering themselves to make the rest of their life more fulfilling.” Diapers can be dropped off at Making Kids Count’s office on West Boulevard in Boardman after caling the office at 330-758-3434.

The Trumbull County Combined Health District has recorded 195 drug overdoses this month, surpassing the previous high of 189 from March. Randy Shoenberger, a registered nurse and epidemiologist with the health district, said she doesn’t know of a specific reason why the numbers are so high right now, but an especially large number of the overdoses are from fentanyl. The health district and Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board have been publicizing the overdose numbers in recent weeks because the Ohio Department of Health instituted an alert when a county’s overdose numbers reach a certain level to make drug addicts aware of the danger and encourage them to seek help. So far this year, there have been 1,113 overdoses.

While violent crime rates rose nationally for the second consecutive year, the Valley’s two largest cities saw violent crime rates decline or remain stable in 2016, according to FBI data released this week. Violent crimes – which include rape, murder, robbery and aggravated assault – declined in Youngstown from 474 in 2015 to 415 in 2016, and rose slightly in Warren from 224 in 2015 to 228 in 2016. Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees said there is typically an ebb and flow in crime numbers. He attributed part of the decline in Youngstown to the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence program which provides a mixture of social-service help to people it considers at risk.

Susan Malysa, 32, of Boardman pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of felony child endangering for duct-taping her 12-year-old son to a chair. She could face up to three years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Boardman police found the boy with his legs duct-taped to the chair, his arms taped together and his mouth taped shut. Malysa was at the YMCA with another child. Mahoning County Children Services placed the boy with other family members. Malysa will be sentenced Nov. 21.

A Canfield grad who’s made her mark in the Southern California real estate market will star in Bravo’s new reality show about the cut-throat world of high-end real estate sales. Joele “Jojo” Romeo-Watson will lead a team on “Real Estate Wars” that competes against another team led by her former boss and current nemesis John McMonigle. Romeo-Watson, who credits the Youngstown work ethic for her success, has racked up an incredible $400 million in sales since 2011 in the county just south of Los Angeles, putting her in the top 1 percent of real-estate agents nationwide. The series premieres next Thursday at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

A Fitch High School senior who designed the Austintown Veterans Memorial outside the school has started a school club dedicated to cleaning and maintaining Austintown schools’ memorials. Seth Welch said the club’s goal is to “bring awareness about veterans, and really just American pride in the school.” The club will oversee maintaining Veterans Memorial, the Class of 1962 memorial on Greenwood Falcon Stadium and a cabinet just inside Fitch’s main entrance.

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