Around Ohio


Homeless treated

to gourmet dinner

Akron -- An Ohio developer has treated 50 homeless men and women to a four-course fine-dining experience.

Joel Testa decided that instead of presents for his 42nd birthday, he wanted his friends and family to donate money to help feed and clothe Akron's homeless population.

Then he decided to treat 50 homeless people to a gourmet dinner on Dec. 22 in the four-star Akron restaurant that he co-owns.

Diners were treated to spinach quiche salad, potato leek soup, braised beef short ribs and a chocolate mousse desert. They were then offered seconds and handed takeout bags with leftovers as they left, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

As part of their evening, Testa's daughter's Girl Scout troop made the group scarves, and the city of Akron provided free trolley service to shuttle them to the restaurant, called DBA

-- Associated Press

WWII veteran

gets Gold Medal

Dayton -- A 91-year-old Ohio man has been recognized for his World War II service with a Congressional Gold Medal.

John Lee Cooper was one of about 20,000 African-American recruits trained to become Marines at Montford Point, N.C., adjacent to Camp Lejeune, between 1942 and 1949.

Like the Tuskegee Airmen, the Montford Point Marines served in segregated units separate from their white counterparts. After boot camp, Cooper was sent to the Pacific theater during the war.

"It means everything to me," Cooper said Dec. 23 at the Hospice of Dayton, where the ceremony was held. "I thought maybe they had forgotten about me."

-- Associated Press

New trial for man on parole in 1994


Cleveland -- An Ohio man who spent nearly two decades in prison for a murder he says he didn't commit has won a request for a new trial in an effort to clear his name.

Anthony Lemons, 39, has maintained his innocence in the 1994 shooting and has fought to clear his name even after he was released on parole last December after spending 17 years in prison.

Lemons was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison for the shooting death of a Cleveland man over what prosecutors said was a dispute over drug money.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Janet Burnside granted a new trial for Lemons on Dec. 23, noting that prosecutors withheld police reports from the defense during the original 1995 trial, The Plain Dealer reported.

The police reports included "critical information that throws doubt upon the credibility" of the prosecution's key eyewitness, the judge said.

-- Associated Press

Memoir planned for Cleveland hero

Cleveland -- The man who famously put aside his Big Mac to help rescue three women held captive in a Cleveland house over a decade has signed a contract to publish his memoirs.

Charles Ramsey signed with Cleveland publisher David Gray & Co.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and Berry's 6-year-old daughter escaped to freedom May 6. Ramsey helped pull Berry out the door and called 911.

According to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Ramsey's co-author will be freelance writer Randy Nyerges. The former U.S. Senate staff speechwriter co-wrote "Day of the Dawg" with former Cleveland Browns defensive back Hanford Dixon.

The women also have books coming out.

Ariel Castro pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. He was found hanged in his cell in September.

-- Associated Press

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