Mike Ward

Mike Ward

Mike Ward is the afternoon anchor/reporter for 1590 WAKR. He has been a radio news reporter and anchor for over 20 years, for a variety of stations in Ohio, Virginia, and California. For seven years, he was a news reporter and anchor for Sacramento's top-rated news/talk station, KFBK, and was also news director for WFIR in Roanoke, Virginia. He's also been heard on Cleveland stations. Mike has a special interest in technology, and was a regular on the nationally syndicated radio show "On Computers with Gina Smith". Despite his out-of-area experience, Mike is an Akron native. He was born at Akron City Hospital, and grew up in Cuyahoga Falls. He's been with WAKR since 2009. You can reach Mike through the newsroom at 330-864-6397, or by email at mward@rcrg.net.

Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:38

President Welcomes World Champion Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers went to the White House on Thursday afternoon, and got congratulations on their NBA championship from President Obama.

On the White House East Lawn, the President listed some of the key highlights of the Cavaliers' Game 7 win over the Golden State Warriors.

"There was the block, what LeBron has said was the defining play of his career, the shot by Kyrie, putting the Cavs up five, the stop by Kevin Love," he recalled.

And President Obama said he knows the championship ended Cleveland's tortured sports history.

"The city that throughout sports history has been through a lot," the President said, listing some of the more infamous local sports moments, "the Fumble, the Drive, Jordan over Ehlo, a whole lot more...but through it all, Cleveland was always Believeland, and that's why...and that's why the Cavs have always given back to their fans and the community that's been loyal to them."

President Obama mentioned, among other things Cavaliers team members have done for the community, LeBron James sponsoring University of Akron scholarships for Akron school students.

The President got an "Obama / 16" Cavaliers jersey from Kevin Love.

The president says the Cavaliers were already a championship team before last year, and that Cleveland should be proud of them.

Wednesday, 09 November 2016 15:06

Ex-Fugitive Sentenced For Multi-Million Fraud

A long-time fugitive who defrauded investors out of $65 million with his Doylestown company will be behind bars for 20 years.

Eric Bartoli was sentenced after pleading guilty to eight counts of fraud, securities charges and income tax charges.

Prosecutors say his Cyprus Funds company was a large scale Ponzi scheme in the late 1990s, and that Bartoli fled in 1999 after being charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The law caught up with him in Peru in 2013.


(U.S. Attorney's Office Northern Ohio, news release) Eric V. Bartoli, who a fugitive for more than a decade, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for defrauding hundreds of investors out of millions of dollars in the 1990s, law enforcement officials said.

Bartoli pleaded guilty earlier this year to eight counts, including conspiracy, securities fraud, sale of unregistered securities, wire fraud, mail fraud and attempted income tax evasion.

Bartoli operated a large-scale Ponzi scheme from 1995 through 1999. He created and operated a company by the name of Cyprus Funds, Inc., which was based in Doylestown, Ohio and incorporated in Central America. Bartoli and his co-conspirators operated Cyprus to sell certificates of deposit and unregistered mutual funds. Cyprus raised approximately $65 million from an estimated 800 investors in Latin America and the United States. Some of Cyprus's victims included retirees, according to court records.
Bartoli was sued in 1999 by the Securities and Exchange Commission on charges involving the Cyprus Funds, Inc.

Bartoli did not appear at a scheduled hearing regarding the SEC charges. He was subsequently found in contempt of court and a civil arrest warrant was issued. Bartoli had fled Ohio and was arrested in New Hampshire. Bartoli was not detained at that time and became a fugitive.

An indictment was filed against Bartoli in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in October 2003.

Bartoli was taken into custody by the Peruvian National Police in Lima, Peru, in 2013. The operation was a joint effort between the FBI, Diplomatic Security Service, and the Peruvian National Police. He was returned to the United States last year.

"Mr. Bartoli spent years stealing millions of dollars from hard-working people, then more than a decade on the run," said U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon. "Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly, but today Mr. Bartoli was finally held accountable for his crimes. The fact that he will spend the foreseeable future in prison is a testament to the efforts of everyone who worked on this case."

"After years of living on the run, Mr. Bartoli will now serve time behind bars for swindling individuals out of large sums of money, including entire life savings," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. "The FBI will continue to investigate fraudsters, like Eric Bartoli, and will hold them accountable for their criminal behavior, no matter how long it takes and no matter where they try to hide."

"More than a decade has passed since Mr. Bartoli's criminal actions were brought to light in an indictment. Well, today marks the end of a long successful investigation that uncovered a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme laced with a web of financial lies that left 800 investors in financial peril," said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. "The IRS, FBI, and the U.S. Attorney's Office never stopped pursuing Mr. Bartoli, proving that you can run, but you cannot hide from the federal government."

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Antoinette T. Bacon and Christos M. Georgalis following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Monday, 07 November 2016 17:39

KSU Football Player Suspended

A Kent State football player has been suspended from the team after kidnapping charges.

Senior Nate Holley is off the team indefinitely facing first degree felony kidnapping charges, in a case involving a female last week in Franklin Township.

That's according to the Record Courier.

Cleveland.com reports that he's posted 10 percent of a $50,000 bond and has been ordered to stay at Akron's Oriana House.

Holley has a preliminary hearing set for Thursday in Ravenna.

Kent State has confirmed the suspension, and say they are taking the matter "very seriously".

Friday, 04 November 2016 17:25

Cedar Point Bet Loss: "Top Thrill Cubster"

A Cedar Point ride will temporarily have a name that'll sting for Indians fans.

The Sandusky amusement park made a wager with the Six Flags Great America amusement park near Chicago...and since the Cubs won the World Series, Cedar Point will rename "Top Thrill Dragster" to "Top Thrill Cubster"...but only for 2017's opening weekend.

Cedar Point workers also made a video of them singing "Go Cubs Go".


(Cedar Point, Facebook) It wasn't the way we wanted it to end, but we're paying up! Congrats to the Chicago Cubs on their history-making World Series win! In their honor, and to make good on Six Flags Great America/Hurricane Harbor's wager, here's our video. And on 2017's opening weekend, Top Thrill Dragster will be renamed "Top Thrill Cubster". What a great season, Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs!

Thursday, 03 November 2016 16:42

APD Seeks Kidnapping, Assault Suspects

Akron police are looking for two people they want in a kidnapping case.

Police say 37 year-old Sarah Persinger of Akron, and Richard Mallardi of Wadsworth, are wanted for holding and assaulting a 34 year-old man who was invited to Persinger's apartment in October.

They're wanted on felonious assault and kidnapping charges.

Summit County Crimestoppers is offering a reward for information leading to Persinger and Mallardi's arrest.


(APD news release) The Akron Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Office Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is asking for assistance from the public for information that could lead to the arrests of two wanted fugitive, Sarah E. Persinger and Richard W. Mallardi.

Sarah Persinger, 37, of Marshall Avenue in Akron, and Richard Mallardi of Wadsworth, are wanted for Felonious Assault and Kidnapping.

On October 20, 2016, Persinger and Mallardi invited the victim, a 34 year old male acquaintance to Persinger's apartment. Once inside the apartment, they held the victim against his will and assaulted him.

Sarah Persinger is 5'08" and 230 lbs. Richard Mallardi is 6'0" and 215 lbs.

A reward is being offered by the Summit County Crimestoppers, Inc. for information directly related to the arrests of Sarah Persinger and Richard Mallardi.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these fugitives or any other fugitives is encouraged to call the Akron Police Department, Detective Bureau at (330) 375-2490; the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-866-4 WANTED; or the Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at 330–434–COPS. You can also text TIPSCO with your tips to 274637 (Crimes). Callers can remain anonymous.

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in Summit County is composed of the following federal, state, and local agencies. U.S. Marshals Service, Summit County Sheriff's Office, Akron Police Department, State of Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Summit County Prosecutor's Office, U.S. Attorney's Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Local city police departments include: Aurora, Barberton, Bath, Boston Heights, Copley Twp., Cuyahoga Falls, Kent, Lakemore, Norton, Reminderville, Silver Lake, Stow, Twinsburg and the University of Akron.

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 16:22

Hoban Recruiting Sanctions Final

The investigation into Archbishop Hoban High School's football program is over, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association has handed down its sanctions.

The post-season suspension of Hoban coach Tim Tyrrell for recruiting violations has been reduced to two seasons if Hoban advances in the playoffs.

The program will be on probation through June 2018, and will have a reduction in next summer's coaching days. New sanctions include a $5,000 fine and development of an educational program for Hoban coaches and staff.

The OHSAA says it's now confident that Hoban understands the violation and will work to correct issues.

It says Tyrrell was "cooperating and forthright" with the OHSAA.


(OHSAA news release) OHSAA Concludes Investigation into Akron Archbishop Hoban
Sanctions include probation, fine, summer coaching reduction and educational program for all staff, but reduction in postseason coaching suspension

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A recent meeting of Akron Archbishop Hoban administrators and the Ohio High School Athletic Association has resulted in the end of an investigation into the football program at Archbishop Hoban and an agreement on sanctions.

On Sept. 20, the OHSAA announced its initial findings and penalties, which included a postseason coaching suspension for head football coach Tim Tyrrell for a violation of OHSAA Bylaw 4-9-2 – Recruiting. That postseason suspension has now been reduced to a two-game postseason suspension, if Hoban advances in the playoffs. Other sanctions already announced include probation through June 2018 and a reduction of coaching days next summer. New sanctions include a $5,000 fine and development of an educational program for all Hoban coaches, administrators and admissions staff.

"We recently met again with officials from Archbishop Hoban in connection with their appeal and are confident they now understand the violation in question and will take measures to correct those issues," said Dave Gray, OHSAA interim commissioner. "Coach Tyrrell was cooperative and forthright in responding to our questions. We have made suggestions to Hoban administrators to ensure understanding and compliance in the future with all OHSAA bylaws, which is our ultimate goal."

"We were very pleased with Commissioner Gray's approach to resolving this appeal," said Dr. Todd Sweda, Archbishop Hoban President. "The focus was on education of the Bylaws and productive, corrective action. We look forward to spearheading a program to further educate our coaches, admissions personnel and those of surrounding schools."

Candidates in the Summit County Clerk of Courts are focusing on their opponents' campaign finance filings in the days before the November 8th election.

Challenger Ann Marie O'Brien pointed out what she calls discrepancies in the pre-election campaign finance report by Sandra Kurt...showing a difference between over $478,000 in contributions, and receipt of only $30,000.

Kurt says that's a "typo" that is being corrected in an amended report that the campaign is filing when the Summit County Board of Elections is open on Monday, and that the treasurer informed her about the error on Friday morning.

Kurt says an entry on O'Brien's campaign report shows a $2,500 contribution from a Republican committee for state candidates, which she says can't be used for County-level candidates.

Kurt says she presumes O'Brien will also amend her report to correct the entry, and says that amended campaign finance reports are "very common".

In a campaign press release issued Friday, O'Brien says "if Ms. Kurt is unable to accurately complete a simple campaign finance report, how can she be expected to appropriately supervise the multi-million dollar Clerk of Courts operations?"

Saturday, 29 October 2016 08:16

Indians Win World Series Game 3, Watch In CLE

The Chicago Cubs waited 71 years to host a home World Series game...they'll have to wait longer for a win.

The Cleveland Indians rode amazing pitching and just enough hitting to a win at Wrigley Field last night...

Pinch hitter Coco Crisp hits an RBI single in the 7th, scoring pinch runner Michael Martinez.

Josh Tomlin, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen blanked the Cubs.

The final score - Tribe 1, Cubs 0 -  as the Indians now lead the World Series two games to one.

Game Four is tonight at 8:08 from Wrigley Field...Corey Kluber is back on the mound for the Tribe. The game is on 1590 WAKR.

Wrigley Field was packed for last night's World Series Game 3, but so was Progressive Field, even though the actual game was being played hundreds of miles away.

Indians fans cheered loudly in downtown Cleveland at the first road game watch party.

And there will be another watch party at Progressive Field on Saturday night...but it's already sold out.


Josh Tomlin had the Game 3 start, and his father had a thrill.

Jerry Tomlin was in the stands at Wrigley Field, watching his son play in the World Series. Jerry Tomlin became paralyzed from the chest down a couple of months ago, but was among a small group of Tribe fans watching his son pitch in the big show.

Saturday, 29 October 2016 08:12

Rolling Acres Is Coming Down

Rolling Acres Mall is coming down.

The Beacon Journal reports that demolition of the interior part of the long-closed mall has gotten underway, with the area between the former Sears and Dillard's stores the first target of the demolition crews.

The city of Akron took over the mall property after a long foreclosure process ended earlier this year.

Most of Rolling Acres' former department stores are not coming down - they're owned by private businesses now.

But the former JC Penney store was donated to the city of Akron, and will be torn down separately.


On the Web: Akron Beacon Journal, www.ohio.com

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 17:15

Frye Family Heroin Supplier Sentenced

The man who supplied the heroin that killed 16 year-old Andrew Frye in a Green hotel room has been sentenced for heroin possession.

59 year-old Donald Callaghan, the boyfriend of Andrew's grandmother Brenda, will spend six months in the Glenwood Jail and two years under community control.

Brenda Frye tried to buy heroin from Callaghan, and took it herself after he passed out and gave it to her daughter, Heather Frye...Andrew's mother.

Brenda and Heather Frye have been sentenced to nine years in prison.


(Summit County Prosecutor's Office, news release) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Lynne Callahan sentenced Donald Callaghan, 59, of Neville Avenue in Akron, to six months in the Summit County Glenwood facility and two years Community Control. Callaghan was also ordered to be assessed for drug treatment.

On September 12, 2016, Callaghan pled guilty to the following charge:

Possession of Heroin – a felony of the 5th degree

Summit County Law Enforcement conducted a search of Callaghan's home following the death of 16-year-old Andrew Frye on April 6, 2016. Frye died in a Green motel room after taking heroin obtained by his grandmother, 52-year-old Brenda Frye.

Brenda Frye was Callaghan's girlfriend at the time of Andrew's death and arranged to purchase heroin from Callaghan. However, Callaghan was passed out from substance use and was unable to provide the heroin to Brenda. Brenda knew the location of the heroin and completed the transaction. Brenda then gave the drugs to her daughter Heather. Brenda and Heather are both currently serving nine year prison sentences after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with Andrew's death.

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