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Regional roundup

January 26, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

Probation ordered in domestic case

STEUBENVILLE - Ajani N. Lawrence, 33, of 707 Market St. was placed on one year of probation on Friday by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. after pleading guilty to felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor domestic violence.

Lawrence was indicted in September on a felony charge of felonious assault. The county prosecutor's office dismissed that charge and filed a bill of information charging him with aggravated assault and domestic violence.

Lawrence was charged with assaulting a woman on July 21 in an apartment on Two Ridge Road, Wintersville.

He faces up to 18 months in prison if he violates probation.

City man sentenced in drug, gun cases

STEUBENVILLE - Robert L. Banks, 28, of Steubenville was sentenced to six months in the Eastern Ohio Correction Center on Friday by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. after pleading guilty to drug and gun charges.

Banks pleaded guilty to trafficking in crack cocaine, which occurred in November 2010. He wasn't arrested on the indictment until September 2012. He was arraigned on Sept. 12 and released on his own recognizance.

Banks was arrested on Sept. 21 by City Police after allegedly threatening a person with a gun in the 300 block of Lawson Avenue. Police reported seeing Banks exiting a vehicle and he was arrested trying to enter a home. Officers reported finding a loaded handgun in a bag under the seat of the vehicle.

Banks will be on probation for two years after his release from the Eastern Ohio Correction Center. He faces up to six years in prison if he violates probation.

WSX Management Club to meet

WEIRTON - The Weirton Steel Managment Club will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at Giovanni's Restaurant (former Gio's Family Restaurant) in the banquet room.

All members and former members are invited to attend the dinner and social time.

Cera named to house committee

COLUMBUS - State Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, will serve as the ranking member of the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and will help to lead the Democratic Caucus on issues coming before the legislative panel.

Cera said he requested the assignment, citing his experience on the committee during his previous tenure in the Ohio legislature.

According to Cera, legislation that affects the industries and communities associated with the production of oil and gas will also come before this committee.

"As the ranking member on the committee, I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create public policy that protects Ohioans and that moves us forward in the production of energy and agriculture. I enjoy working with Dave Hall, R-Millersburg, the chairman of the committee, and I am eager for the committee process to begin," said Cera.

Cera will also serve on the public utilities and policy and legislative oversight committees.

Road work announced

The West Virginia Division of Highways has announced minor road work that is scheduled to be performed next week, pending suitable weather.

In Hancock County, crews will be patching Pennsylvania Avenue and stabilizing shoulders along U.S. Route 30.

In Brooke County, crews will be patching U.S. Route 22, sealing Cross Creek Road and clearing ditches along state Route 2.

Gentile calls for delay in plans

COLUMBUS - State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, has expressed his objection to a recent announcement to consolidate several Ohio Department of Job and Family Services unemployment claims call and processing centers.

Among the major offices scheduled to be closed is The Plains facility, located in Athens County, and the Bridgeport office in Belmont County.

"The workers and families in Southeast Ohio are who I am most concerned about during this consolidation process. A consolidation of this magnitude has many more negative implications on the workers and the quality of service that will be provided to the people in my district," Gentile said.

"There are multiple factors that call for delaying this consolidation. The Ohio Civil Service Employee Association representatives did not have the opportunity to weigh in on this decision that will affect over 500 Job and Family Services employees across the state. The employees in my district affected by this consolidation will have a much longer commute, additional travel related costs and possibly less safe working conditions. It is important that all parties are involved in the discussion to avoid negative future consequences," said Gentile.

Utility assistance now available

WEIRTON - C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc. is accepting applications for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resource's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program through Friday.

Applications can be completed on the third floor of the community action agency's office at 3136 West St. Applicants should bring a copy of residents' current heating bill and proof of income.

For information, call (304) 797-7733.

Group sought for festival parking

FOLLANSBEE - The Follansbee Community Days Committee seeks a nonprofit group to handle public parking during Follansbee Community Days, July 12-14.

The group will direct people parking at the youth football practice field near Jo-Jon's and collect a parking fee set by the city, which the group may keep.

The group will be selected through a drawing. Interested Follansbee organizations should submit their name; organization information and contact number in writing to the Follansbee City Building; P.O. Box 606, Follansbee WV 26037 no later than 5 p.m. April 1.

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