Ryan Lang

Ryan Lang

(Release Courtesy of the Greater Akron Chamber) The Greater Akron Chamber announced today that Steve Millard has been named President and CEO of the Chamber.  He replaces Richard Norton who has served as Interim President since April 2017.   Millard is expected to join the Chamber on or before June 4.

Currently Executive Vice President of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and Executive Director of its Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), Millard has been with GCP and its predecessor organization, the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, since 1997 and has served as COSE’s President and Executive Director since 1999. 

In addition to his work leading GCP’s small business initiatives, he has had responsibility for its portfolio of member products and services, small business advocacy efforts, member services and a number of economic development initiatives. 

According to Marc Merklin, board chair of the Greater Akron Chamber and chair of the Chamber’s search committee, “Steve is an experienced executive with excellent knowledge of how to serve members of our Chamber, foster economic development and advocate for the business community locally, in Columbus and in Washington. He brings a depth of knowledge of the region to our market and will be able to collaborate with the political leadership, our educational institutions and business leaders here in the Greater Akron Area to advance our interests in fostering a growing and thriving business community. After a national search, we are fortunate to have found someone in our backyard capable of taking on the Chamber leadership role as we enter into our next strategic plan." 

“I appreciate the confidence the Greater Akron Chamber’s leadership has in me and am excited about the opportunities ahead for Greater Akron and the coalition of innovative leaders that is working on a variety of transformational opportunities for the region.  I look forward to being a part of that team and bringing my experience and perspective to the discussion,” Millard said.

“My work with GCP has brought me into frequent contact with leaders and institutions across the region and I have seen Akron making a generational shift in civic and institutional leadership that is driving new opportunities.  The chance to be a part of that work is one of the key reasons I think this is the right opportunity at the right time for me,” he added.

Serving Summit, Medina and Portage Counties, the Greater Akron Chamber is dedicated to ensuring the sustainable economic growth of the Greater Akron region and provides membership benefits with a focus on regional economic development.  Chamber members include global manufacturers, universities, local businesses and non-profit organizations. 

William Knight, 64, of Streetsboro was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted earlier this month in the shooting death of 24-year-old Keith Johnson of Akron. 

The following is a press release from the Summit County Prosecutor's Office: 

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tammy O’Brien sentenced William Knight, 64, of Lady Catherine Street in Streetsboro, to life in prison for killing 24-year-old Keith Johnson.

Knight will be eligible for parole after serving 18 years of his sentence.

On April 10, 2018, a Summit County jury found Knight guilty of the following charges:

  • Two Counts of Murder, each with a Gun Specification – both Special Felonies
  • Two Counts of Felonious Assault, each with a Gun Specification – felonies  of the 2nd degree

“Mr. Knight’s decision to fire his gun forever changed the lives of two families. Today, as Keith Johnson’s mother Laquita said, justice was served. I truly hope the Johnson family finds peace as they move forward,” said Prosecutor Walsh.

In the evening of March 20, 2017, William Knight shot and killed Keith Johnson. The shooting followed a dispute over a stolen dirt bike. Earlier that day, Knight’s son-in-law noticed his dirt bike, which had been stolen in February of 2016, was for sale on a social media site. Knight, his daughter and son-in-law went to Danmead Avenue in Akron to confront Keith Johnson and recover the dirt bike. When Johnson attempted to leave the area on the bike, the son-in law grabbed the dirt bike in an attempt to stop Johnson. Johnson was able to pull away from the son-in-law, but was subsequently shot in the head by Knight. The jury rejected arguments by William Knight’s attorney that Knight was acting in self-defense and defense of his family members.

Akron Police are looking for the public's help finding a suspected bank robber. 

According to a press release from the police, the suspect walked into the PNC Bank at 1 Cascade Plaza around 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon and handed the teller a note. The note reportedly demanded $8,000 in cash and claimed that the man had a gun. 

PNC 1

The suspect (pictured) is described as a black male, between 40 and 45 years old, around 6 feet tall, approximately 190 pounds with a mustache. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron Police. 

Thursday, 12 April 2018 12:19

WGC Leaving Akron, PGA Senior Tour in 2019

After months of speculation and rumor, it is official: the WGC Bridgestone Invitational is leaving the Firestone Country Club in Akron after this summer's event in August. 

PGA Tour officials, along with representatives from Bridgestone and Senior Tour golfers Scott McCarron and Colin Montgomerie were on hand for the announcement Thursday morning from Firestone's Club House. 

Longtime tournament director Don Padgett III was asked about the impact the move would have on the Northern Ohio Golf Charities, which last year raised more than a million dollars with the WGC Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club, to which Padgett replied, "Charitable dollars we'll be able to give back is what the community makes of it," thus encouraging local resident to support the PGA Senior Tour event with the same amount of vigor they have the WGC events. 

Bridgestone Americas CEO Gordon Knapp said, of the transition, "We're very confident that in partnership with the community, we're going to put on a world class event here starting in July of 2019 and continuing for the next four years after that." Knapp added that he doesn't see the move by the PGA as a "major change in direction." Once it the numbers were crunched, and given the direction the PGA wanted to go with their event, Knapp says, "Once (Bridgestone) realized we weren't going to renew the (WGC) tournament, we were absolutely committed that we would still continue with a world class tournament here in Northeast Ohio." He added, "We didn't look anywhere else. The committment was to have that tournament here, at the Firestone Golf and Country Club; it's a world class venue, obviously, and we believe the players are going to be excited to come back here and play." 

The official press release from Bridgestone and the PGA Tour is posted below:

AKRON, Ohio – The PGA TOUR announced today that beginning in 2019, Bridgestone will become the title sponsor for the SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, one of five major championships contested annually on PGA TOUR Champions. The event will be played at Firestone Country Club’s South Course, ensuring professional golf’s 65-year tradition in Northeast Ohio will continue with golf’s legends competing each year. The 2019 tournament will be held the week of July 8-14, with a four-year agreement in place through 2022.

Bridgestone also extended its Official Marketing Partner relationship with the PGA TOUR through 2022 and will remain as the “Official Tire of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions,” with activation at other TOUR events and messaging across TOUR media properties.

“Bridgestone has been a tremendous partner and valued member of the PGA TOUR family since 2005, and we are excited to begin this new journey with them as we bring major championship golf to Northeast Ohio with the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “With Firestone Country Club’s South Course as the host venue, golf’s 65-year tradition in Akron will continue.”

The newly-named Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will return to Northeast Ohio for a second time in its 35-year history after being played at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood from 1983-1986. In total, the tournament has been played in nine different cities at some of the country’s top venues including The Philadelphia Cricket Club, Caves Valley Golf Club (Baltimore), Fox Chapel Golf Club (Pittsburgh), Westchester Country Club (New York) and Exmoor Country Club (Chicago), which will host the event’s 2018 edition the week of July 9-15.

Along with its stature as a major championship and significance in determining the season-long Charles Schwab Cup champion, the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS will also continue to offer its champion a return trip to the PGA TOUR with an exemption into THE PLAYERS Championship.

“We are incredibly proud to extend our partnership with the PGA TOUR and ensure that world-class golf will continue at Firestone Country Club through the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship,” said Gordon Knapp, Chief Executive Officer and President, Bridgestone Americas. “The Akron community and the sport of golf have played significant roles in Bridgestone’s history and will continue to play significant roles in our future, so it is important to us that we carry the sport’s legacy in this area forward. We are excited to work with absolute legends of the sport to start a new chapter in a 65-year tradition of premier golf events that have made so many positive economic and charitable impacts on this community.”

Past champions of the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS include Arnold Palmer (1984-85), Jack Nicklaus (1990), Fred Couples (2011), Bernhard Langer (2014-16) and Scott McCarron, who notched his first senior major title at Caves Valley last year. In 2019, fans can expect the likes of Couples, Langer, Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomerie, John Daly, Steve Stricker and Miguel Ángel Jiménez to be among those vying for the title at a course they’ve all had experience playing in their careers.


In all, 57 of the 78 players who competed in the 2017 SENIOR PLAYERS Championship have competed in either the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational or the NEC World Series of Golf at Firestone Country Club. Most notably, José María Olazábal captured both the 1990 and 1994 NEC World Series of Golf, while Vijay Singh won the 2008 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at 45 years old. Darren Clarke, who will turn 50 this August, won the event’s 2003 edition.

The Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS will replace the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, which has been staged at Firestone’s South Course since 2006. The World Golf Championships event will relocate in 2019, with an announcement set for 3:00 p.m. (ET) today. This announcement does not impact the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which will be contested as scheduled, Aug. 1-5

Ticket and volunteer information for the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship during the week of July 8-14, 2019, will be made available following the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. For more information, please visit PGATOUR.com.

 

ABOUT PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 35 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2018, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 27 tournaments across the United States, Scotland and Canada, with purses totaling more than $56 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air in excess of 190 countries and territories, reaching more than 350 million potential households. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.COM, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.

ABOUT BRIDGESTONE

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

ABOUT BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS, INC.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.

Friday, 06 April 2018 09:27

Akron Fire, EMS Getting Ballistic Vests

The City of Akron has announced that starting the week of April 5th, all Akron Firefighters and EMS will wear ballistic vests and helmets on calls that are deemed more dangerous and threatening to their safety. 

Mayor Dan Horrigan was quoted in a press release, saying, “This is the unfortunate but necessary result of changes in our landscape, including the increasing frequency of volatile and dangerous emergency situations. One of our highest responsibilities is to the safety of our first responders.  Our firefighter/medics can’t help others unless they are safe and protected themselves.”

The protective exuipment was made possible, in part, thanks to the passage of Issue 4, the income tax increase, back in November. The press release noted that the Northern Ohio Golf Charities also provided a $29,000 to cover costs as well. According to the press release, each Akron EMS unit will be outfitted with four sets of ballistic gear (helmets and vests), "to be used whenever conditions warrant added protection." Those conditions, as explained by the city, would include active shooter situations, or other calls that have the potential for escalating into violent situations. 

“Ballistic protection for the safety of our personnel has been a priority for the Akron Fire Department for many years,” Fire Chief Clarence Tucker said. “Providing our officers with this gear will allow them to more safely respond and care for victims at the scene of a shooting or other violent event.”

 

On Easter Sunday, Streetsboro Police received a call from the Gardens of Western Reserve Assisted Living at 9975 Greentree Parkway, that claimed an employee had stabbed another employee. The call cut off, but when officers responded, they found a 19-year-old female with severe cuts. 

Witnesses told police that the suspect, 19-year-old Emilie Brunswick of Ravenna, had fled the scene. The victim was transported to University Hospital Portage Medical Campus in Ravenna and police went to go look for Brunswick, who was later found at a relative's home in Aurora, with the help of the Portage County Sheriff's Department. She was placed under arrest for Felonious Assault. 

The victim, whose name wasn't released, was treated and released from the hospital two days after the incident, but police say she will require follow-up care. 

The report added that no patients nor residents of Gardens of Western Reserve were in danger at any time. 

The City of Akron has released details, including maps and the budget breakdown, for this year's multi-million-dollar road resurfacing project.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Kenmore Construction secured the contract for the work, at nearly $6.4 Million; they'll begin work in mid-May. 

Metro RTA is looking to reoganize their services and the lines that run through Summit County by 2019...

But before a plan is in place, Metro says they want your input on how their routes should look. 

That is why they're hosting a series of open houses with the idea that residents from Summit County will come and offer their ideas on where bus lines should run, how often, and more. 

Valerie Shea, Director of Planning and Development at Metro RTA, tells us the last time they've looked at the system as a whole was in the mid-90's and that development patterns, job locations, and where people live and work have changed since then, so it's time to take a look at different options. 

Below is a list of when and where the open house events will be held:

• Tuesday: 6 p.m. at the Barberton Active Adult Center/YMCA, 500 W. Hopocan Ave., Barberton. There will be a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

• Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center, 631 S. Broadway, Akron.

• Wednesday: 6 p.m. at the Northwest Akron Public Library, 1720 Shatto Ave., Akron. There will be a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

• Thursday: 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center, 631 S. Broadway, Akron.

• Thursday: 6 p.m. at the Green Public Library, 4046 Massillon Road, Green. There will be a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

• April 3: 7 p.m. at Wilcox Elementary School, 9198 Darrow Road, Twinsburg. There will be a formal presentation at 7:15 p.m.

• April 4: noon to 10 p.m. at the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center, 631 S. Broadway, Akron.

• April 5: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rolling Acres Transit Center, 2340 Romig Road, Akron.

• April 5: 6 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St., Cuyahoga Falls. There will be a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

• April 14: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center, 631 S. Broadway, Akron.

Thursday, 22 March 2018 10:48

UA President Wilson Stepping Down

In a letter to the University of Akron community, President Matthew Wilson announced that he will step down from his role as President, effective July 31, 2018, saying he will rejoin the school of law as a full-time faculty member. 

Read the letter President Wilson wrote below: 

Over the past few weeks, there have been many conversations about what my inclusion as a finalist in the University of Central Florida presidential search might mean. My sincerest apologies for any concern that this may have caused. With the search now complete, I want to address these conversations and talk about the future.

As I previously mentioned, the invitation to apply for the UCF presidency caught my interest due to our roots in the Orlando area and the opportunities associated with this once-in-a lifetime chance at the largest university in the country. Please know how much I sincerely appreciate those who reached out with words of gratitude, understanding, and support during the search process. I strongly believe that my inclusion as a finalist in the UCF presidential search is a testament to The University of Akron (UA), its strengths, and its recent progress. In fact, many eyes across the country focused on UA’s achievements, academic programs, research, and innovative initiatives and they were impressed with our University.

As I look back over my past four years at UA, it truly has been an honor to dedicate my heart, strength, soul, and mind to serving the institution in an effort to assist students, stabilize matters, overcome challenges, generate new opportunities, and lead UA to even greater heights. I first served as Dean of Akron Law until the Board of Trustees approached me nearly two years ago about serving as interim president. From the start, my family and I have tirelessly committed ourselves to UA and its success. Of course, the road has been very demanding, especially as we concurrently helped our youngest son successfully fight through a battle with an aggressive pediatric cancer. It has been a privilege to join so many extraordinary people within the UA family to collectively make a difference for our students and community.

Through the efforts of many in the University community, we have made remarkable progress amid challenging circumstances. We have continued to help students succeed and strengthened vital relationships. We have reminded the community, state, and world about the University’s value, benefits, and advantages. We have made progress on the budgetary front, including a $42 million one-year budgetary turnaround last year and increased donations. We have enhanced affordability (Akron Guarantee Scholarship) and international opportunities (International Center) as well as added innovative approaches (esports program and Five Star Fridays), new degrees (Cybersecurity), and flexible learning options. UA has returned to a state of positivity and optimism. Going forward, I am confident that bright times are ahead for UA, particularly if everyone maintains an innovative and creative mindset.

Our short-term strategies have been noteworthy. We also have laid the foundation for longer term plans. Last fall, UA initiated a comprehensive, faculty-led review of our academic programs. That effort is proceeding as scheduled. The Faculty Senate will receive the results soon, prior to determinations by the administration and Board. Additional initiatives (especially our dashboard tools)  provide us with the data and analysis needed to engage in a thoughtful, collaborative process to determine our future direction. In keeping with our commitment to shared governance, successful strategic planning requires a university-wide, inclusive process. To that end, I hope that we can appoint a Strategic Planning Council (including representation from across UA and the community-at-large) to help lead these discussions. As we collectively work to prepare for the future, the likelihood of our success increases as the UA community works together, exudes positivity, and embraces these initiatives.

After four years of intense commitment and with the confidence that UA is on the right track, I have decided to shift from my role as President to join the full-time faculty, effective July 31, 2018. This decision came after much thought and consideration and is based on a host of personal and family considerations. Pursuant to my agreement with UA, I intend at this time to return to my faculty position with Akron Law at a substantially reduced salary, in recognition of ongoing financial challenges for the University.

Over the next four months, my efforts to ensure UA’s ongoing success and a smooth transition will continue in full force, especially as we continue to implement new initiatives. As I have said previously, it is an honor to be here at UA, as I thoroughly enjoy the UA community and students. I value the chance to contribute to a world-class university that is again on an upward trajectory.

Finally, I want to personally thank all who have supported me in my role as dean and president over the past four years. We can all be proud of UA and its achievements. Hopefully, everyone can redouble their efforts to unify and move UA forward.

Sincerely,

President's signatureMatthew J. Wilson
President
The University of Akron

Watch your speed along Akron City streets in the coming months, as APD is starting to crack down on speeders. 

The request is coming from Akron City Council, who will be working with the Police Department's Traffic Commander to decide which areas to target. 

Akron Police Chief Ken Ball tells the Akron Beacon Journal that the department is adding three, four-hour patrols each weekday, to rotate between Akron's 10 wards. Typically, shifts will run late afternoon, which is a high-volume time around the city. 

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