In The Region

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Christian Bennett remains Portage Co. commissioner

It was "deja vu all over again" Aug. 13 for the Portage County Republican Party's Central Committee. By a vote of 48-0, with one abstention, the committee appointed Sabrina Christian-Bennett to fill a vacancy on the county board of commissioners.

It was the same end result of action in February; the difference this time was that the vote tally was known.

In February, Christian-Bennett was elected out of a field of seven candidates by the central committee to fill the year left on the term vacated by Tommie Jo Marsilio. This time, all but one candidate -- Kristen Kline Morris of Garrettsville -- withdrew from consideration.

Kline Morris did not attend the meeting at Ravenna High School. "I don't want to participate in something I think is illegal. Why didn't they do it right the first time?" she said.

The "do-over" was called by Republican Party chair Janet Esposito after talk surfaced that the party's February election did not pass muster with a couple of Ohio attorney general's opinions.

-- Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Kent man to serve 2 years

for death of Florida hunter

A Kent man has been sentenced to two years in prison for killing a Florida man in a hunting accident in the city in October 2013.

Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman sentenced Joshua R. Cook, 28, according to the Portage County prosecutor's office. Cook pleaded guilty to one count each of reckless homicide and tampering with evidence, and two counts of receiving stolen property in April.

Pittman also sentenced Cook to two years in prison for evidence tampering and 18 months on the receiving stolen property charges. Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said all three sentences will run concurrent to each other for a total sentence of two years.

Cook was accused of shooting and killing Donald W. Pigg, 56, of Beverly Hills, Fla., while out hunting with him in Kent on Oct. 14, 2013. After the shooting, which occurred within city limits where hunting is illegal, he and Pigg's son hid their guns.

Kent police said Cook fatally shot and killed Pigg while trespassing on private property in Spring Water Park on the south end of Kent. Vigluicci said the shooting took place shortly before 9 a.m. Pigg, a Rootstown native, was taken to Akron City Hospital where he died Oct. 16.

-- Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

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