Women faces her 6th
drunk driving charge
A Streetsboro woman has been charged with her sixth drunk driving offense in the past 20 years after she was stopped by city police for erratic driving on Frost Road.
Tina M. Smart, 48, allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.384, or nearly five times the legal limit, when stopped on Frost Road near Hannum Drive by Officer Stan Siedlecki at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14, according to Streetsboro police.
Police said Siedlecki saw Smart’s vehicle cross the center and edge lines “multiple times” before stopping her. She was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence.
Smart has been arrested for drunken driving five times previously, and six arrests in a 20-year period makes the charge a felony under Ohio law.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Portage County Municipal Court, Smart was convicted of drunk driving in Portage County in January 1996, April 1996 and June 1998, and felony drunk driving in Summit County one time each in July 1999 and May 2001.
— Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier
Son says man’s death
near Kent an accident
Donald W. Pigg, a Rootstown native who died while hunting in Kent on Oct. 14, was killed in an accidental shooting by a fellow hunter, according to his son.
Donald J. Pigg said he was hunting with his father and a family friend in the wooded area north of Howe Road between Mogadore and Sunnybrook roads when their friend accidentally shot his father.
Donald W. Pigg, 56, was taken to Akron City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:13 a.m. Oct. 16 after undergoing surgery.
“It was just a freak accident,” said the victim’s son.
Donald W. Pigg most recently lived in Beverly Hills, Fla., and was on his yearly hunting vacation in Ohio when the incident occurred.
Kent police and Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci are in discussions regarding the case.
— Kyle McDonald, Record-Courier
Man gets prison time
for 8th DUI conviction
An Edinburg Township man was sentenced to eight years in prison after his eighth drunken driving conviction in the past 30 years.
Joseph W. Weideman, 51, was sentenced to five years based on a guilty plea to a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence with an attached specification that earned him an additional three years behind bars to run consecutive to the five-year term.
Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman also suspended Weideman’s right to drive for 20 years, fined him $1,500 and ordered him to attend aftercare programs in prison for two years.
Weideman received credit for 84 days served awaiting trial, according to court records. He pleaded guilty on Aug. 15.
According to Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci, Weideman was arrested by the Ohio Highway Patrol after his 1993 GMC pickup truck was spotted operating in a reckless manner in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 76 on July 8.
— Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier
Inmate is treated after
suicide attempt at jail
A Portage County jail inmate was being treated at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna after apparently attempting suicide at the jail.
Portage County Sheriff David Doak said Nathan W. Konzen, 26, with a last known address on Summit Road in Ravenna, was “observed lingering by the stairway leading to the second floor housing units.”
Konzen then tied a bed sheet to the railing of the stairwell, apparently intending to hang himself. Two inmates were able to grab Konzen before he dropped, and corrections officers brought him down and started medical treatment. He was then taken to Robinson Memorial for evaluation, according to the sheriff’s office.
Konzen had been incarcerated at the jail since 9:30 p.m. Oct. 16 on a charge of domestic violence, a fourth-degree felony, following his arrest by Ravenna police, according to the sheriff’s office.
Trucker cited in GOP
leader’s traffic death
A southwest Ohio truck driver has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the death of Republican Party leader W. Roak Zeller of Kent in a traffic crash on Interstate 76 in Summit County on Sept. 6.
Daniel C. Ballard, 48, of Cleves in Hamilton County, is charged with one count each of vehicular manslaughter, a second-degree misdemeanor, and failure to maintain assured clear distance ahead — or following too closely — which is a minor misdemeanor, according to Stow Municipal Court records.
Ballard recently pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on bond pending a pretrial hearing in Judge Lisa Coates’ courtroom on Nov. 5, according to court records.
Tallmadge police filed the charges after Ballard’s semi-truck allegedly struck Zeller’s vehicle from behind in traffic while headed westbound on I-76 shortly before 8 a.m. Zeller had slowed down in traffic caused by a different crash in the Akron area. Zeller’s vehicle then struck a third vehicle.
—Dave O’Brien, Record-Courier
Hudsonite charged in
fatal motorcycle crash
A 47-year-old Hudson man was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide Oct. 13 after police say the SUV he was driving collided with a motorcycle driven by an 18-year-old man.
According to police, Philip Wiese, 47, was eastbound on Route 303 shortly after 11:30 p.m. Oct. 12 when he attempted to make a left turn onto St. Regis Boulevard in Hudson.
The SUV collided with a westbound motorcycle driven by Scott Graber. Police said Graber, who was wearing a helmet, was thrown from the 1999 Suzuki motorcycle. Graber, a 2013 Hudson High School graduate, was transported to Akron City Hospital where he died.
No injury was reported for Wiese, who refused treatment from EMS according to the police report. Wiese allegedly “smelled of an alcoholic beverage and performed poorly on the field sobriety tests,” according to police. He was originally charged with OVI and aggravated vehicular assault.
Wiese was unable to successfully perform field sobriety tests and refused a blood alcohol content check, according to police.
—Tim Troglen, Hudson Hub
Food / shelter money
drops for the county
The Portage County Emergency Food and Shelter Board said the county will receive $63,762 to help local emergency food / shelter programs.
The money, a decrease of $7,469 from the previous year, is from the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Funds are available for housing and utility programs and food assistance. The amount of the award each county gets is based on number of unemployed compared to the number of unemployed in all qualifying jurisdictions.
Groups interested in applying should contact Brian Duchon, chairman of the Portage County Emergency Food and Shelter Board, at 330-297-1424 ext. 112 or visit United Way of Portage County, 218 W. Main St., Ravenna between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Completed applications are due by 4 p.m. Nov. 1.