Remembering the year of 2017

It was a year marked by tragedies, crime, corruption, weather phenomenons, triumph and healing

Officer Justin Leo (Courtesy of the Girard Police Department)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – 2017 was a year to remember in so many different ways.

It was a year marked by tragedies, crime, corruption, weather phenomenons, triumph and healing.

Late in the year, 2017 saw two tragedies involving local first responders.

On October 21, Girard policeman, Justin Leo was killed while responding to a domestic related incident.

But in the days following this immense tragedy — we watched a community come together — wrapping its arms around Justin’s family, as well as his fellow brothers and sisters in blue.

Over 2,000 police officers from across the nation filled Youngstown State’s Beeghly Center for Officer Leo’s funeral.

Just the day before Officer Leo was killed, beloved Youngstown Battalian Chief Ron Russo died in an accident.

An estimated 3,500 people paid their final respects to Russo — honoring their brother in red.

In February, Nasser Hamad shot five people outside of his Howland home — killing two.

Nine months later he pleaded self-defense but was given life with a chance of parole.

In April, accused murderer and rapist, Robert Seman jumped off a fourth-floor balcony in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas.

This ended a three year long court battle surrounding the deaths of 10-year-old Corrine Gump and her grandparents Bill and Judy Schmidt and a fire that was set in their home on Powers Way.

Four months later in August, the body found in a Campbell home’s freezer was identified as missing Youngstown woman, Shannon Graves.

Arturo Navoa and Katrina Layton were later indicted on several charges including aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

2017 also brought raids of the house and office of developer, Dominic Marchionda — which led to his indictment as the developer continued renovating the Stambaugh building and hotel.

As the heroin epidemic continues to grip the nation, an East Liverpool police officer suffered fentanyl overdose from drug call in May.

Patrolman Chris Green accidentally brushed a powdered drug off his shirt with his bare hand and passed out soon after.

Thunder Over the Valley took flight in Vienna — and Allegiant Airlines left the Youngstown-Warren regional Airport.

Two historic buildings went up in flames — the Salem China Company and the house on the hill in Leetonia.

A tornado touched down near Fowler — that brought down trees and power lines.

Politics also swept the Valley as Tito Brown was elected as Youngstown’s Mayor — Carla Baldwin was elected as the first African American Municipal Court Judge in Youngstown and President Trump paid a visit to Youngstown and Struthers.

But we also saw the Valley rally — as Champion’s baseball and softball teams both won state championships on the same day.

New Wilmington almost took it all in a trip to PIAA Class AA championship in football.