Monday, 24 April 2017 19:19

AUDIO: Hack N Akron Develops Solutions For City

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A group of tech, business, and design experts spent ten hours Saturday working on some of the pressing issues facing Akron.

By the end of the Hack N Akron hackathon, participants had developed branding for Akron neighborhoods including logos and websites, assembled an online booking system for rooms in Akron's community learning centers, and built an app that can search the city's land parcel data and break it down by usage.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan told the group of volunteers before they started their work that the city intends to utilize the group's work. 

Courtney Gras, Executive Director of event organizer Launch League, joined Jasen to talk about what the group accomplished and what they plan to do in future hackathons.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 19:21

AUDIO: Akron Proposes Medical Marijuana Rules

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With the state licensing process about to get underway for Ohio's medical marijuana facilities, the City of Akron is getting ready to implement rules of its own.

A package of rules unveiled Monday would keep medical marijuana facilities at least 500 feet from any Akron school, park, playground, library, or church. It would also require the facilities to receive approval from City Council to operate and would implement an annual licensing and fee structure.

Ellen Lander Nischt, Assistant Director of Law and spokesperson for the City of Akron, joined Jasen to talk about the proposal and explain that Akron is not trying to regulate the medical marijuana industry out of Akron.

(City of Akron) (Monday), Mayor Horrigan introduced legislation to Akron City Council that would heavily regulate potential medical marijuana facilities in the City of Akron, in anticipation of the State of Ohio’s issuance of licenses to businesses for cultivation, processing, testing, and dispensing of medical marijuana across the State. The proposed regulations would prevent facilities from locating in residential areas, or within 500 feet of a school, church, library, playground, or park, and require Council to issue a special conditional use to a medical marijuana business before it can operate in the City limits. Additionally, the ordinance would implement a multi-step local licensing process and allow the Akron Police to inspect any medical marijuana facility at any time.

In September of 2016, Mayor Horrigan introduced, and Akron City Council passed, a one-year moratorium on the “issuance or processing of any license, building permit, certificate of occupancy, conditional use or other authorization that would enable the cultivation, processing, or dispensing of medical marijuana within the City of Akron.” The moratorium was issued to enable the City to study and review the new Ohio medical marijuana law (H.B. 523) and other applicable zoning, business, and criminal laws and regulations. Today’s ordinance is the result of the City’s careful study of the new Ohio law, and decision to strictly regulate these businesses, should they seek to locate in Akron.

“The Ohio General Assembly established a system to allow Ohio residents to access medical marijuana, with their physician’s recommendation, to treat serious medical conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy,” Mayor Horrigan said. “Recognizing that medical marijuana will now be legal across Ohio, we felt it necessary to enact additional local restrictions that will limit where medical marijuana businesses can locate in Akron and give us greater control over licensing, regulating, and inspecting these facilities to make sure they are being operated in a legal, appropriate, and safe way. The goal of this ordinance is to allow patients to access legal medical treatment while ensuring that these facilities do not have any unwanted impact on our neighborhoods. We will continue to enforce existing criminal laws and will closely monitor the impact of this new law to safeguard the health, safety and vitality of the entire community.”

The City also created a two-page fact sheet outlining the new Ohio law and how it will impact Akron, available at https://goo.gl/Ck0GoJ. A public hearing before City Council regarding the proposed zoning regulation of medical marijuana facilities is scheduled for Monday, May 1, 2017.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 10:51

AUDIO Indians, Fans Pumped For Opener

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Cleveland Indians Communications Coordinator Joel Hammond joined Jasen Sokol live from Booth 6 in Progressive Field to talk about the festivities going on during Opening Day today at Progressive Field as the Indians take on the Chicago White Sox.

 

Director of Merchandising Karen Fox also joined Booth 6 to shed some light on what new Tribe gear will be available at the Indians' Team Shop this season.

Thursday, 06 April 2017 19:17

AUDIO: Akron Introduces New Basketball Coach

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The University of Akron formally introduced John Groce as its new Head Basketball Coach Thursday. Groce, who previously served as Head Coach at Illinois and Ohio, inherits a team that won 27 games in 2016-17 under Keith Dambrot before he left for Duquesne.

Groce joined Jasen shortly after his introduction to talk about his plans for Zips Basketball.

 

Thursday, 06 April 2017 17:14

AUDIO: Rubber Bowl Owner Says He Has A Plan

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Summit County foreclosed on the Rubber Bowl this week, saying stadium ownership group Team1 Marketing owes nearly $200,000 in back taxes. But one of the partners of Team1 says his group has a plan to not only pay off the back taxes, but bring music festivals to the decaying facility.

Sean Mason would like to see the city assume ownership of the property and lease it back to Team1. That would allow the city to more easily change the property's zoning. Mason says it would also prompt an investor to come on board to assist with the renovation of the stadium, which has gone largely unused since The University of Akron left for Infocision Stadium after the 2008 football season.

Mason joined Jasen to discuss his plan and address the concern held by some that the plan is unfeasible.

Thursday, 30 March 2017 19:51

AUDIO: Clarence Mingo Launches Bid For Treasurer

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Clarence Mingo is the newest person to throw his hat in the ring for the 2018 election.

Currently the Franklin County Auditor, Mingo will run for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer. He currently has one opponent in the GOP field, State Rep. Robert Sprague of Findlay. No Democrats have announced bids.

Mingo joined Jasen to introduce himself to Akron area voters and talk about his ideas for the office if he's elected.

Thursday, 30 March 2017 18:31

AUDIO: LaRose Talks Fentanyl Bill, Redistricting

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A bill passed by the Ohio Senate this week would lead to harsher sentences for fentanyl traffickers.

Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Sen. Frank LaRose (R-Hudson), lowers the amount of fentanyl for which someone can be charged with felony trafficking. Under current law, LaRose says a trafficker has to have enough heroin to kill 10,000 people before they can be charged with a felony. Fentanyl is frequently being mixed with heroin, creating a much more deadly concoction than straight heroin. The bill now moves to the General Assembly.

LaRose joined Jasen to talk about the bill and his proposal for congressional redistricting reform.

Monday, 20 March 2017 19:46

AUDIO: Akron Proposes Nondiscrimination Policy

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If you've been listening to Akron's leaders recently, you've probably heard the phrase "Welcoming City" quite a few times. Mayor Dan Horrigan's latest step toward that label extends the welcome to members of the LGBT community.

Horrigan and Councilman Rich Swirsky (D-Ward 1) proposed a city nondiscrimination ordinance Monday. If passed by City Council, the ordinance would ban discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, gender identity or expresson, sexual orientation, or military status. It would apply in the areas of housing, employment, public accomodations, and city contracts. Exceptions would be made for religious groups and the Akron Public Schools. 

While state and federal law already outlaws discrimination against most of the groups covered by Akron's law, it does not include provisions for sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Violations of the ordinance would be investigated by a new Civil Rights Commission made up of 5-7 people appointed by the mayor and confirmed by Council. The commission would have the power to penalize those who violate the ordinance.

Horrigan joined The Jasen Sokol Show Monday to discuss the proposed ordinance.

Monday, 13 March 2017 18:26

AUDIO: Connie Pillich Enters Race For Governor

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The Democratic gubernatorial field grew again Monday as former State Rep. Connie Pillich announced that she is entering the race. Pillich, who also ran for State Treasurer in 2014, joined Jasen to discuss why she's running for Governor and give her thoughts on health care reform and the heroin epidemic.

Wednesday, 01 March 2017 20:42

AUDIO: Reps. Ryan, Joyce React To Trump Speech

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President Donald Trump struck a different, much softer tone as he laid out an outline of his policy agenda Tuesday night in a joint address to Congress. Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) and Dave Joyce (R-Russell Twp.) joined Jasen to react to the speech and discuss how Trump's proposals will be viewed in Congress.

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