YOUNGSTOWN — Amid recent violence and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, City Council members spent time Monday night encouraging residents to stay safe.
Early Saturday morning, gunfire erupted inside Utopia Video Nightclub on East Midlothian Boulevard, resulted in one death and two injuries. On Monday, Mahoning County Coroner’s Office identified 27-year-old Charles Allen, a local rap artist, as the man killed.
Councilwoman Basia Adamczak, 7th Ward, sent her condolences to the families involved.
“Any time there is a loss of life, it is a tragedy for the whole community, and the whole community grieves,” Adamczak said.
She commended Youngstown Police Department Chief Carl Davis and officers for promptly responding to the incident and praised the collaboration with surrounding municipalities who responded to the nightclub on Saturday, including Boardman, Struthers, Campbell, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Youngstown State University police departments.
Councilman Jimmy Hughes, 2nd Ward, echoed the sentiments.
“I encourage everybody to stay safe and to have hope and faith that we are Youngstown and we are better,” Hughes said. “We will be better.”
Councilman Julius Oliver, 1st Ward, told people to stay safe and “to stay encouraged.”
“I know we go through a lot in the city, but I want people to start living by who they are in the city not according to where they are,” Oliver said. “Let’s not settle for anything.”
Councilman Mike Ray, 5th Ward, was filling in for President DeMaine Kitchen and led a moment of silence at the end of the meeting for those who have been affected or lost lives due to the recent violence in the city.
Anyone with knowledge of the incident can leave an anonymous tip with CrimeStoppers Youngstown at 330-746-CLUE (746-2583) or Youngstown police at 330-742-8YPD (742-8973)
Councilwoman Samantha Turner, 3rd Ward, reminded people to continue to wear a mask, wash their hands and maintain social distance.
She encouraged everyone to find a clinic to receive the coronavirus vaccine with hopes for more community gatherings this summer.
“Let’s all continue to move forward together,” Turner said.
Councilwoman Anita Davis, 6th Ward, urged people to get the coronavirus vaccination, especially people in the Black community. Once vaccinated, she said people need to continue to wear a mask.
“That’s the only way we are going to get back to the truly normal,” Davis said.
The Youngstown City Health District’s next mass vaccination clinic at the Covelli Centre will be today followed by April 14, April 22, April 29 and May 6. Appointments can be scheduled on the health department’s website or by calling 330-502-4276.
City Council approved an ordinance to authorize Director of Finance Kyle Miasek to start a fund called the "American Rescue Plan Fund."
The purpose of the fund would be to track the $88.6 million awarded to the city of Youngstown from the U.S. Department of Treasury from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.
The city is expected to receive the first half of the funds in May, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said in Monday’s finance committee meeting.
“We want to establish that so when we get the monies in May that’s where the money will be placed, and we will utilize those dollars out of that fund,” Brown said on Monday.
Other ordinances approved by council on Wednesday:
- City council approved the acceptance of a $195,000 awarded to Youngstown Municipal Court from the U.S. Department of Justice to cover costs and payroll benefits of the full-time veteran’s court probation officer. This is a renewal of the grant the court has received since 2017.
- Council members approved two ordinances to appropriate $62,000 for the municipal court probation services fund to support partial costs for drug court staff, including probation officer, bailiff and deputy bailiff secretary. Another ordinance approved $65,000 for the same fund for a grant to reimburse payroll and benefits costs for the veteran’s treatment court in 2021. The grants pay for 25 percent of the salaries and benefits.
- City council approved an ordinance to create a position in the Youngstown Municipal Court for a victim advocate with a salary ranging from about $39,400 to $51,800. The new position is created for the court to be in compliance with Marsy’s Law, which was passed in 2017. The law gives victims of crimes the same rights as criminal defendants. The court is looking to move a current employee into that position.