NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Patty Kreamer, also known as the "anti-clutter consultant," will offer a workshop on organizing work spaces and managing papers from noon to 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, 100 Market St. The cost is $25 per person; lunch is included. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency at (724) 654-8408 or (888) 284-7599.
Abduction, rape reported
YOUNGSTOWN -- A New Castle, Pa., woman who had been left stranded for a ride at a bar in Coitsville Township reported being taken at gunpoint around 11:15 p.m. Monday as she walked west on U.S. Route 422 near the Lincoln Knolls Plaza. She was driven to the Worthington Avenue area on the North Side, where she was raped, reports show.
The 27-year-old woman said the suspect then drove her back toward 422 and kicked her out of his vehicle. She walked to a friend's place in Girard and was driven to Forum Health Northside Medical Center, where she was given a rape examination and interviewed by police at 3:45 a.m. today. The woman described the suspect as black, 300 to 350 pounds, 6 foot 4 inches, around 35 years old, wearing a red satin jacket and driving a candy-apple red Oldsmobile Bravada.
Posed as water employees
CLARK, Pa. -- Pennsylvania State Police said two men posing as water company employees stole two fireproof safes from the home of a woman from Clay Furnace Road, Jefferson Township. While one man was checking the pipes in the victim's basement around 10 a.m. Thursday, another was removing the safes from the home, police said. Residents shouldn't allow anyone into their homes without proper identification, police said, noting that water company employees carry photo identification cards and drive only clearly marked company vehicles. They also always call before visiting a home, police said.
Fake crack cocaine found
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A Youngstown man was arraigned this morning on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, even though he had no actual drugs. Police said Charles Leonard Smith, 18, of 40 Woodbine Ave. was arrested in the parking lot of Jameson South near Reynolds Street at 7:30 p.m. Monday after police were called about gunshots fired in the area. Smith matched the description of one of two men who ran from the area where shots were fired, they said. When they arrested Smith, they found a pill bottle with 10 individually wrapped pieces of suspected crack cocaine. A test later revealed it was not crack cocaine, but Police Chief Tom Sansone said they were able to file charges because of a subsection in the drug law that permits charges when a counterfeit substance meant to represent crack cocaine is found.
Inmate flees hospital
SALEM -- Police officers chased down a Columbiana County Jail inmate who fled from the Salem Community Hospital emergency room wearing a hospital gown and socks.
The man, Jason Coblentz, 24, of Minerva, eventually was tackled on the 1700 block of Third Street by Patrolman Dave Talbert.
Police said the hospital reported that Coblentz fled around 11:30 a.m. Monday after being brought to the hospital from the jail by ambulance. Details on his escape were unavailable this morning.
Typically, the county sheriff's office is in charge of prisoners outside the jail.
Sheriff Dave Smith was unavailable this morning.
It's unclear why Coblentz was in jail or what prompted the hospital trip. He faces several charges in connection with the escape, Salem police said.
Radio coverage of primary
ALLIANCE -- WRMU, the radio station of Mount Union College, will provide local political coverage of the March 2 primary election, station officials have announced. The station is at 91.1 on the FM dial. Programs tonight, Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Friday at 12:30 a.m. will focus on the race for clerk of Stark County Common Pleas Court; Minerva, Marlington and Alliance tax issues; and U.S. and state Senate and House races.