The Columbiana County Health Department has been awarded a $300,000 state grant to help repair septic systems for income-eligible residents. Lori Barnes, the health department's environmental director, reported at this week's board meeting the application to continue participating in the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's water pollution control grant program was recently approved for 2017-18.

Dead are homeowners, E. Deboraha Pusateri, 63, and Frank A. Pusateri Jr., 65, according to Wade Boley, an investigator with the Columbiana County Coroner's Office. Village Fire Chief Barry Podwel said a neighbor called at 8:04 a.m. to report there were flames shooting out of the front of the two-story wood frame home at 1605 Clark Ave. Podwel said the home was fully engulfed in flames by the time the first firefighters arrived at the scene, which resulted in an immediate call for assistance, with the Highlandtown and Liverpool Township fire departments responding.

William C. Owens, 31, Mike Road, Wellsville, pleaded guilty in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court to receiving stolen property and misuse of credit cards, He faces up to 18 months incarceration and a $3,500 fine. Sentencing is set for March 24. The defendant had possession of Linda Ferello's Capital One credit card, which was stolen from her purse and used between July 6 and July 20, 2015.

While there has been some progress in the collection of property taxes, Councilman John Cianni said the village and its residents still have some work to do. During Tuesday's council meeting, Cianni discussed the back taxes and provided an update on how much money has been collected.

The Reach for the Stars gift shop opened its doors last month and will hold it's first event on Feb. 4 when it dedicates the day to its vendors. Customers can meet some of the people who design, draw, paint and make the merchandise Reach for the Stars sells.

Corey A. Snay, 22, South Union Avenue, Salem, was sentenced in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court to seven years and four months in a state prison in three drug-related cases. The newest charges dealt with the illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine, the illegal possession of the chemicals for manufacturing meth and several counts of possession of drugs.

The Hancock County Health Department will conduct food handler classes at 5 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Chester Municipal Building, as well as 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Mary H. Weir Library in Weirton Any individual involved in food service in Hancock County is required to possess a current Food Handler card. The class is for volunteers as well as those employed in the food service industry.

The East Liverpool Area YMCA wants to refinance the construction bonds used to build its Calcutta facility in 2002, with the move expected to save the organization $120,000 a year. YMCA CEO Rob O'Hara met this week with the Columbiana County Community Improvement Corp. and received the board's blessing to take his request to county commissioners, who have the final say in what is a two-step process.

Since 2009, the Columbiana County General Health District has utilized approximately $800,000 in funding available through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's Water Pollution Control Fund to repair and replace 96 septic systems in Columbiana County and clean up more than 34,000 gallons of wastewater per day. The CCGHD is slated to receive an additional $300,000 for the 2017-18 construction season.

Tony A. Sonagere, 65, state Route 45, Salem, was served a secret indictment for cultivation of marijuana with a forfeiture specification and having weapons while under a disability, both third-degree felonies. Sonagere allegedly grew at least five kilograms but less than 20 kilograms on July 7. Additionally, he had several firearms - a Marlin .22 caliber, a Winchester .22 caliber, a Browning 12-gauge shotgun, a Browning 20-gauge shotgun, a Browning 16-gauge shotgun, a Benelli 12-gauge shotgun, a Smith and Wesson 1500-22-250 with a scope, a Thompson .50 caliber and a Hi-Standard model HD .22 caliber - which were for use in the purpose of protecting his marijuana growing operation.

Columbiana County commissioners restored funding and then some to a department that was among those cut in 2017, but the agency was not the county Veterans Services Commission. Commissioners on Wednesday agreed to a new contract that increases funding for the Criminal Defense Co., the non-profit agency created by commissioners to provide public defender services in the county.

The Columbiana County Department of Job and Family Services will be hosting a Winter Quarterly Informational Fair from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan 26 featuring 42 county agencies, businesses and charities.

Karenna L. Harty, a former employee of Wellsville Elks Lodge 1040, has been ordered by visiting Judge Richard Reinbold Jr. to make restitution in the amount of $27,055 or face 16 months of prison time. Harty, 50, Main Street, Wellsville, appeared in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court for sentencing on Wednesday after pleading guilty in September to theft, a fourth-degree felony.

William P. Helman, 62, Speidel Road, East Rochester, was northbound on state Route 9 in Butler Township at 5:54 a.m. Wednesday on icy conditions when he failed to maintain control, went off the left side of the road, struck a ditch and overturned into a utility pole. Helman was checked for possible injuries by KLG ambulance, but refused to be transported.

City voters may see the charter commission question again this year, but not on the May 2 ballot after the Committee of the Whole voted 4-2 against a primary attempt. When the proposed ordinance supported by Councilmen Geoff Goll and Clyde Brown failed, Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey moved for placement on the Nov. 7 ballot, which all six council members voted to support and to forward to city council for future consideration.

Let us hope President-elect Donald Trump's interaction with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on business deals has not blinded him to the very different way in which the Kremlin handles diplomacy. Lavish receptions, posh accommodations, gracious words and even state awards for business partners might lead some people to believe they are dealing with nice guys.

Human trafficking is illegally transporting men, women and children to be used in forced labor or forced sexual exploitation that profit their The International Labor Organization provides data to emphasize the huge problem, informing that 11.4million women and girls and 9.5 million men and boys are under forced labor. That means they work very hard and are not paid for their labors.