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.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Monday, 06 March 2017 12:22

Akron Shooting Suspect Still Loose

Akron Police are looking for help for a suspect they say punched and then shot a man he was arguing with Saturday morning. 

It happened around 2 a.m. inside a home on West Crosier St. According to the police report, John R. Meeks, 28, was involved in an argument with the 41-year-old victim. It turned physical and Meeks allegedly punched the victim in the face. Then, police say, Meeks pulled out a handgun and shot the victim "several times" in the abdomen. Meeks then fled the season. 

The victim was later transported to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital with potential life-threatening injuries. There's been no update on the victim's status. 

Meeks is charged with aggravated robbery and felonious assault. Anyone with information on his whereabouts are asked to not approach him and to call 911 immediately. 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 13:31

Akron Mayor's State of The City Address

During his "State of the City" address today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan promised to do more with less, and to continue efforts to revitalize the city of  despite continued economic challenges.

Horrigan pointed to action he's taken over the past year to reduce spending on city health care benefits, to increase collection of funds owed to the city, and to cut the cost of the city's massive sewer improvement project, as examples of progress.

He also pledged that support for basic city services such as police, fire, and road maintenance, will remain strong.

The State of the City event also included an appearance from Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, who presented a $50,000 check for a law school endowment to University of Akron President, Matthew Wilson.

The money will be used for scholarships, and was given to the University in honor of former County Executive, Russ Pry, who passed away last year.

 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 11:39

Deceased Akron Recycling Worker Identified

The Summit County Medical Examiner has released the identity of the recycling worker who died on the job in Akron last week. 

On February 22nd, Eric Russell, 24, reportedly became trapped inside a baler machine at Greenstar Recycling at 1535 Exeter Road in Akron. 

It has been ruled an accident. An investigation into how it happened is ongoing. 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 12:27

Warrant Issued In Akron Home Explosion

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Rodney Lee Hylton, 49, of Akron, in connection to the home explosion on Courtland Avenue at South Hawkins in Akron last week. 

Hylton, who was renting the home on Courtland, is charged with Aggravated Arson and Arson, both felony counts, in the explosion and fire. Hylton was inside the Courtland home at the time of the explosion and has been in the hospital since. 

The two counts are because the neighboring home on South Hawkins. 

Stay with WAKR.net and 1590 WAKR as more details are revealed. 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 11:10

Akron Man Guilty, Sentenced In Rape Case

Billy Patterson, 19, of Akron plead guilty in Summit County Common Pleas Court Tuesday to breaking into his elderly neighbor's home and raping her. 

The charges against Patterson were 1st degree felony Rape, Aggravated Burglary, also a first degree felony, and Felonious Assault in the second degree. 

The incident in question occured back on September 24, 2016, in the middle of the night. Court documents show Patterson broke into the 71-year-old woman's home, hit her in the face multiple times, and choked here to near unconciousness. Then he proceeded to rape the victim, who she says she'd known for nearly 10 years. 

Immediately after his guilty plea, Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Joy Malek Oldfield sentenced Patterson to 15 years in prison. He's also ordered to register as a sex offender with the local sheriff every 90 days after his release from prison. 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 11:30

Akron, Salvation Army Set Community Table

The City of Akron is teaming up with the Salvation Army for another extension of their Community Table. 

Summit Lake will play host to the latest effort to feed more Akron-area individuals and families that need help. 

“This program demonstrates what is possible when we work together,” Mayor Horrigan said in a press release. “The City is investing significant energy and resources into lifting up the Summit Lake neighborhood, and we are happy to open our doors to host a hot lunch every day of the week at our Summit Lake Community Center. We thank the Salvation Army for their contribution to improving the lives of our residents and look forward to expanding this partnership to other community locations." 

The Summit Lake meals will be offered Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In addition, the Salvation Army of the Akron area continues to offer daily meals at their Barberton and downtown locations. 

Anyone looking for more information on the meals or volunteer opportunities can check SalvationArmyAkron.org for details. 

Published in Local

It's already a busy week in Akron, as workers began demolition Monday of a portion of the Akron Innerbelt. The work means the intersection of MLK, N. Main, and Howard will be closed for six months. This means visitors to the Northside will have to detour to Summit St. and Furnace St. to access businesses like Luigi's and Jilly's Music Room.

At City Hall, city leaders unveiled their long-term housing plan. The key provision of the plan calls for a tax abatement for home construction.

Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy joined Jasen to address both projects and what they mean for Akronites.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Thursday, 26 January 2017 11:27

Attempted Robbery Of Akron Dollar Tree

Akron Police looking for the suspect in an attempted robbery of a Dollar Tree store on Vernon Odom Boulevard. 

According to the police report the suspect walked in, approached a checkout counter, and demanded the clerk empty the cash register drawer. The clerk refused and the suspect fled with nothing. 

The suspect is a black male, between 20 and 25-years-old, about 6 ft. tall, weighing between 160 and 180 pounds. He was wearing a cmouflage hoodie under a navy coat and blue jeans. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron Police. 

Published in News
Monday, 23 January 2017 19:12

AUDIO: Changes Coming To Summit Lake

If you drive on Interstate 76/77 through Akron, you've seen Summit Lake. But did you know there is only one bench at the lake and it faces away from the lake?

The lack of amenities around Summit Lake could soon change thanks to the Knight Foundation and the Trust for Public Land. An environmental study is getting underway to find out what uses are possible for the lake. Kyle Kutuchief from the Knight Foundation and Matt Schmidt from the Trust for Public Land joined Jasen to talk about what's ahead.

A community meeting to discuss the future of Summit Lake will be held on January 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Summit Lake Community Center.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Thursday, 12 January 2017 17:43

AUDIO: Addressing The Issues At Oriana House

An Akron City Council committee took time this week to address issues at Oriana House, including a recent fatal overdose. Akron City Councilwoman Tara Mosley Samples and Oriana House Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford joined Jasen to discuss the concerns and how to improve recovery programs in Akron.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 10:14

Vacant Akron Home Sells For $1

A new revision in Ohio state law made it possible for a vacant 92-year-old Akron bungalow to sell for $1 at a sheriff's sale last month. 

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the home is the first to sell for so little in Summit County since the passage of House Bill 390 last summer. 

Under the new "fast-track foreclosure bill," vacant homes can now be sold for less than two-thirds their appraised value at public auctions in Ohio. The bill also decreases the time abandoned can be wrapped up in foreclosure lawsuits to as little as six months, in an effort to eliminate criminal activity or further deterioration. 

The winner of the auction on that $1 Akron home was Citizen's Bank, reportedly unchallenged by any other bidder. 

Published in Local
Thursday, 22 December 2016 09:24

Akron OK With Holiday Trash

The City of Akron issuing a press release, saying it's OK if you have a little more trash than usual around the holidays. They expect residents to have more garbage than usual and say if boxes and excess wrapping paper is not included in the recycling bins they will still pick up the trash. They plan to accomodate the excess pick-up the week of January 3 through the 7th, 2017. 

The city adds that if residents are disgarding their Christmas trees, that's OK too. 

A reminder that the trash pick-up will be pushed back a day during the holiday week. Christmas is Sunday, December 25, 2016. 

See the full press release below: 

Akron, Ohio, December 21, 2016 – Effective Tuesday, January 3, 2017 and continuing through Saturday, January 7, the City of Akron Sanitation/Curb Service Division will be permitting residents to place extra trash or recycling, in the form of wrapping paper and boxes alongside their trash or recycling carts, on their normal collection day. "Each year we provide this extra service to our residents after the holidays, most of whom have additional items to discard or recycle,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. "This particular pickup is intended for extra holiday items, like wrappings and boxes, which we realize won't all fit in one or maybe even two trash carts." Following the holidays, the City will also collect residents' holiday trees left alongside trash carts on their normal collection day. As always, customers who wish to put out a larger volume of other household trash are asked to call Akron's 311 Call Center at 3-1- 1 or (330) 375-2311, to pre-schedule one of the three special large pickups allotted each household, each year. Please also note that, due to the holidays, curb service will be on a one-day delay for the next two weeks, with curb service resuming Tuesday through Saturday.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 08:14

AUDIO: Wrapping Up 2016 With Local Mayors

As the year winds down, Ray Horner catches up with the mayors across the region and how their cities and townships fared.

Ray caught up with the mayors of Stow, Tallmadge, Wadsworth, and Barberton, and later on Cuyahoga Falls and Akron, on how 2016 was and what is to come in 2017.

Sara Kline - Stow

David Kline - Tallmadge

Robin Laubaugh - Wadsworth

Bill Judge - Barberton

Don Walters - Cuyahoga Falls

Dan Horrigan - Akron

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Monday, 19 December 2016 09:12

Akron Man Charged In Mother's Death

Akron Police have charged 47-year-old Derrick Williams with murder in connection to his mother's death. 

Last Thursday police were called to the home of 78-year-old Alaine Williams, where she was found unresponsive by her daugther. In the 911 call, her daughter said it was her brother Derrick that killed their mother. An investigation and autopsy revealed that Alaine died of blunt-force trauma to the head. 

Police caught up with Derrick Williams over the weekend, reportedly at the home in Akron. He has been booked in Summit County Jail. 

Published in Local
Friday, 16 December 2016 11:27

Life In Prison For Akron Woman

Kerieda Beavers, 22, of Ericsson Avenue in Akron has been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of her boyfriend. Beavers, who will not be eligible for parole for 18 years, was sentenced Friday in Summit County Common Pleas Court by visiting Judge H.F. Inderlied. 

On January 9, 2016, Beavers and her boyfriend Tevael Parker got into an argument. Beavers, according to court documents, shot Parker in the head killing him. Parker was 22-years-old. Beavers said she and Parker were together for three years before the shooting. She was convicted by a Summit County jury back on November 23, 2016. 

In a statement released Friday, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said, "I am pleased my office was able to secure justice for this victim and his family. I will continue to aggressively prosecute gun violence in our community." 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 11:14

Akron Man Arrested After Wild Youngstown Night

Vincent White, 23, of Akron had quite the evening in Youngstown. According to police reports, White was kicked out of or denied entry to 6 out of the 9 bars in downtown Youngstown. 

Multiple witnesses say White was severely intoxicated, rubbing up against women, yelling at employees of the various establishments, and even threatening to "shoot up the place" when he was told to leave. 

One report indicates that one single police officer working downtown Youngstown told White to leave the area three times. White was finally arrested just after 12:30 Saturday morning after he reportedly swung from a light pole and yelled at two women. He's been charged with disorderly conduct and, according to the report, told the arresting officer, "If partying is wrong, I don't want to be right." 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 05:16

Trump Protests Invade Akron, Remain Peaceful

Roughly 750 protesters, according to organizer Stephen Kaledecker, gathered at the Chipotle on W. Market Street Tuesday night, voicing their displeasure with the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. 

"Trump Protest, Akron" was the name of the Facebook group that organized the rally just about a week in advance. As protests have been organized across the nation, a group of friens with aligning political views got together and created the public event. Before they knew it more than 2,000 people replied with either an RSVP or a "maybe." With numbers like that, Kaledecker says they had no idea what to expect. 

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The event officially began just after 11 p.m. Tuesday night as the group rallied and then set off on a march down W. Market St. The inital plan, according to the Facebook page, was to march to the University of Akron campus. Plans changed, however, as Kaledecker said they did not want to disrupt the residents of the area. When asked why they scheduled the event from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on a Tuesday night, he said, "Our voices and our feelings don't stop at 8 o'clock at night." He went on to say, "We're not going to rest until our voices are heard." 

The collective voice of the "Trump Protest, Akron" group was heard down W. Market to S. Valley and then back to Chipotle from just after 11 p.m. Tuesday until about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. The best part of the protest: Everyone remained peaceful. Akron Police, while present, stayed relatively quiet and let the protesters say their piece; as long as they stayed on the sidewalks of W. Market. The reason the group did not need a permit was because they planned to stay on the sidewalks, and they did. 

Published in Local
Monday, 14 November 2016 12:51

Guilty Plea In Akron Bar Fight

Robert Jarvis, 65, has entered a guilty plea in Summit County Common Pleas Court on Monday in the involuntary manslaughter case stemming from an Akron bar fight this past January. 

According to court documents, Jarvis got into a physical altercation with bar DJ Forrest Ryan, 43, at the Zodiac Bar. Jarvis reportedly punched Ryan 3 times in the head. 

Ryan later died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Medical Examiner's report. 

Jarvis is scheduled for sentencing on December 28. 

Published in Local
Monday, 14 November 2016 12:24

Akron Man Charged In Grandmother's Murder

Akron Police have arrested 24-year-old Nathan Craig Huff and are charging him with murder in the stabbing death of his grandmother.

According to the Akron Police report, Huff called 911 last Friday night shortly after 10 o'clock, to report that he went to his 70-year-old Lena Cline's home and found his grandmother dead on the living room floor.

After investigating and interviewing Huff, police arrested him on charges of murder. He's been booked into Summit County Jail. 

Published in Local
Thursday, 27 October 2016 11:16

Elderly Man Hit By Car, Killed Along I-77

The Traffic Bureau of the Akron Police are investigating after they say an elderly man was hit and killed by a passing car along I-77 Southbound near the Vernon Odom Boulevard exit Wednesday afternoon. 

According to the report, the 87-year-old man parked his car along the side of the highway and got out so that he could retrieve the license plate that had fallen off his car. It's unclear what side of the highway he was parked along, but the report states that he was hit by an oncoming Nissan Altima in the far left lane. He died instantly, police say. 

The highway was closed for a couple of hours due to the accident. Police do not believe speed nor alcohol factored into the accident. The investigation is ongoing and the victim's name has not been released pending the autopsy. 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 09:22

APD Looking For St. V Thief

Akron Police are looking for a suspect who was very clearly caught on CCTV breaking into the St. Vincent-St. Mary Field House and making off with a number of items. 

It happened back on October 16th, at 12:30 in the morning. Police have just released the video (below) and are asking anyone with information to call Detective Anthony at 330-375-2490. 

Published in Local

Ohio's Attorney General Mike DeWine is considering filing criminal charges against Akron City Councilman Bob Hoch in connection to an ethics complaint filed back in 2015. 

The complaint references Hoch's voting on certain legislation that benefitted his two sons who are both Akron firefighters. It was filed by a former city administration that had been involved in a public dispute with Hoch regarding his outspokenness on issues that directly related to the city fire department. 

After an investigation by the Ohio Ethics Committee, the case has been turned over to the Attorney General's Office and a spokesperson says their prosecutors are involved. 

Hoch, who has been on the Akron City Council since 2012, denied that there was any conflict of interest on his part. 

Published in Local

A federal investigation into the fatal executive charter flight crash back in November of 2015 reveals that in addition to the flight crew, Florida-based ExecuFlight and even the FAA are at fault for what lead up to the crash that left 9 people on board dead. 

Back on November 10, 2015, the Hawker 125-700 twin engine jet that was on its way to Akron Fulton International Airport crashed into Akron's Ellet neighborhood, slamming into an apartment complex. Nine people, including the two pilots were killed on impact. 

During a conference Tuesday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher Hart said that charter company ExecuFlight, the flight crew, and the FAA all share blame in the deadly crash. "This disregard for safety was not confined to the actions of the flight crew; it extended to their employer, ExecuFlight. Our investigators found organizational factors in hiring, training, and scheduling, and other factors that predated the flight," Hart said in his opening statements of Tuesday's briefing.

The NTSB concluded that the probably cause of the jet crash was the flight crew's mismanagement of the approach and multiple deviations from the company's and the FAA's standard operating procedures, thus putting the plane and those aboard in an unsafe situation. 

Hart said that also contributing to the crash was "the casual attitude toward compliance and standards" set by the FAA. He did, however, not deter fault from the FAA itself, saying, "At the federal level, FAA oversight of ExecuFlight was insufficient to catch and correct the company's noncompliance of the regulations of its own standard operating procedures." 

 

Published in Local

An aggravated burglary suspect was shot at after he allegedly punched his neighbor in the face and walked into his home.

Police said a 66-year-old man reported that his neighbor, 36-year-old Daniel Givens, knocked on his door around 7:30 Sunday morning on Sullivan Avenue.

The victim told police he refused to answer the door and Givens left -- only to return several minutes later. When the man opened the door, Givens punched him and entered the home. That's when the victim pulled out a .45 caliber handgun and fired a shot, striking the neighbor in the ankle.

According to police, Givens was treated for non-life threatening injuries and was later charged with aggravated burglary and assault.

Published in Local
The spotlight on Northeast Ohio in 2016 has shined brightly, but the growth in the area began its uptick a few years before.

Gregg Mervis, president and CEO of the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about these numbers. Specifically, Mervis says the increase in tourism has increased 12.4 percent between 2013 and 2015. The double-digit growth number really surprised and humbled the optimistic Mervis.

Where are these visitors spending their money on in Summit County? First, you factor in the 70 new hotels, then look at the events and staple locations in the area, such as the Bridgestone Invitational and Stan Hywet.

"There is a growing vibe and an authentic spirit…within the community,” says Mervis.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER

The former treasurer of the Parent, Teacher and Student Association at Firestone High School CLC is accused of stealing more than $6,600 from the association.

Police say Stacy Walker, 42, of Akron, forged checks from the association (previously known as the PTA) and deposited the money into her own account during her time as the PTSA's treasurer.

The fraudulent transactions were allegedly made between December 2015 until the account was audited in late July. The total loss to the association was $6,671.55.

Police say Walker turned herself in Thursday morning. She was booked into the Summit County Jail.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 06:11

Akron Husband Charged In Wife's Overdose

Robert Tepper, 54, of Akron is facing charges that he provided the deadly dose of fentanyl that killed his wife.

Back on April 3, 2016 Tepper called 911 to report his wife, 52-year-old Karen Tepper, was unresponsive in their home on Moon Street in Akron.

EMS arrived and shortly after pronounced Karen Tepper dead on the scene. Robert admitted to buying the drugs and giving them to his wife.

Tepper is charged with involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs; both felonies. 

Published in Local
Monday, 03 October 2016 18:21

Clinton Touts LeBron Endorsement In Akron

A candidate for President was in Akron Monday, but the King of the Rubber City was in the spotlight.

At an event at the newly-renovated Goodyear Hall, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton touted the endorsement he received from LeBron James in Monday's Akron Beacon Journal.

"I'm obviously delighted to be endorsed by someone who has demonstrated such leadership and such extraordinary ability," Clinton said. "He is someone who uses the platform he has earned, because he has worked so hard over so many years, to speak up and speak out for those who do not have a voice."

Clinton also blasted Republican candidate Donald Trump over The New York Times' reporting that he wrote off $916 million of losses on his tax returns in 1995. She responded to the assertion made by some Trump supporters, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Fox News Sunday, that Trump is a genius for working the tax system to his advantage.

"What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in the first place?" Clinton quipped.

While Clinton benefitted from a bump in the national polls in the days after last week's presidential debate, the first post-debate Ohio poll tells a different story. The Quinnipiac University poll shows Trump leading by three points in head-to-head polling against Clinton, and five points when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included.

The event was billed as a voter registration event with just over a week until the registration deadline, but it was every bit a traditional campaign rally. The more than 2,500 people in attendance cheered loudly, waved signs, and applauded when asked if they were registered to vote.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Reps. Marcia Fudge and Tim Ryan spoke ahead of Clinton. A handful of protesters held pro-Trump signs outside.

Published in Local
Friday, 30 September 2016 12:08

APD Looking For Breaking And Entering Suspect

Akron Police are looking for the public's help in identifying the suspect who threw a large rock through the glass door of the Dollar Magic store on E. Tallmadge Avenue back on August 31, 2016. 

Surveillance video (below) shows the man shuffle up to the door with the large rock and then check the door to see if it was actually locked. When he saw that it wasn't, he then threw the rock through the door, ducked inside, and grabbed Lottery tickets. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Rhodaback with the Akron Police Department at 330-375-2490. 

 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 11:30

Craigslist Sale Turns Into Robbery

Akron Police say a 22-year-old man was robbed of his ID, Social Security card, and $5,000 when a would-be Craigslist sale went awry Monday morning. 

According to the report, the man showed up with cash to a home in the 1500 block of Fairfax Road around 8:30 Monday morning, looking to buy a Harley Davidson Dyna motorcycle he'd seen advertised on Craigslist.com. He was met outside of the home by the purported seller who went by the name "Arwil." The suspect and the victim walked around the side of the home where three other men were waiting, one of whom had a gun. The suspect with the gun then pointed it at the victim and demanded the cash. The suspects fled the scene. 

"Arwil" is described as a black male between 20 and 25-years-old, between 5'10" and 5'11", weighing approximately 130 pounds, with short black hair and a goatee. He was wearing a white T-shirt and black, red, and blue Chicago Bulls shorts. Another suspect, who police say goes by the name "Young Driel," is described as a black male between 20 and 25-years-old, about 5'09" and roughly 200 pounds. The two remaining suspects are said to have been in their early to mid 30

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Akron Police Department. 

Published in Local
Monday, 26 September 2016 11:46

Akron Gas Prices Continue To Fall

Gas prices in Akron, and across the state, continue on their downward trend over the past couple of weeks, falling to a statewide average of $2.08 per gallon of regular unleaded, according to GasBuddy.com. In Akron, the average fell about 4.5 cents to an average of $2.03 per gallon of regular unleaded as of Sunday night, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 372 gas stations in Akron. 

Nationally, gas prices have fallen .7 cents over the past week, averaging $2.20 per gallon. 

One year ago, gas prices in Akron were 11.4 cents higher and one month ago were 14.6 cents per gallon higher. According to GasBuddy.com, the national average has decreased one center per gallon during the last month and is currently 8.4 cents lower per gallon than this day one year ago. 

Published in Local
Saturday, 24 September 2016 02:44

Ohioans Win As Records Fall At Akron Marathon

Nearly 13,000 runners laced up their shoes for this year's Akron Marathon, and local runners dominated the winner's list in both the full and half marathon.

Tony Migliozzi of North Canton broke the tape in the marathon in 2 hours, 21, minutes, and 40 seconds, a new record for the current version of the course. Migliozzi, the reigning world 50k champion, is the first American male to win the Akron Marathon.

In the women's division, Becki Spellman of Hilliard won in 2:51:33. The win was Spellman's second of the year in the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, as she won the Goodyear Half Marathon in August.

Ohioans also took home top honors in the half marathon. Canton's Ryan Kienzle and Dayton's Maura Lemon won the men's and women's divisions in 1:08:02 and 1:18:25 respectively. It was Kienzle's second win in Akron.

It was a record-setting day not just for Migliozzi, but for two other athletes who challenged the Blue Line. Ron Legg of Beach City set the U.S. record for the men's 20k in the 70-74 year old age bracket with a time of 1:26:27. The previous record had stood since 1980.

Helen McWilliams set a Guiness World Record for the fastest marathon while dressed as a chef in 4:54:49 while also raising several thousand dollars for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. In addition to wearing the traditional chef's jacket, pants and hat, McWilliams also had to carry a six-pound pot for the entire 26.2 miles.

The usual thousands of spectators and well-wishers along the course were joined for the first time this year by 24 Akron Children's Hospital patients in 13 new "hero zones" added to the course as part of the marathon's new partnership with the hospital. In addition, Meb Keflezighi, the winner of the 2014 Boston Maraton, 2009 New York City Marathon, and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, was on hand to congratulate runners at the finish line.

Top Finishers

Men's Marathon
1st: Tony Migliozzi, North Canton, 2:21:40
2nd: Blair Teal, Charlotte, N.C., 2:23:43
3rd: Israel Merkle, Akron, 2:23:02

Women's Marathon
1st: Becki Spellman, Hilliard, 2:51:33
2nd: Kayla Aluise, Youngstown, 3:01:03
3rd: Lauren Woolley, Pittsburgh, Pa., 3:05:28

Men's Half Marathon
1st: Ryan Kienzle, Canton, 1:08:02
2nd: Ryan Roush, Canfield, 1:08:09
3rd: Matt Lemon, Dayton, 1:09:56

Women's Half Marathon
1st: Maura Lemon, Dayton, 1:18:25
2nd: Ellie Hess, Chesterland, 1:20:01
3rd: Emma McCarron, Mansfield, 1:21:31

Masters Divison (40+) Winners
Men's Marathon: Francsesco Arato, Bolingbrook, Ill., 2:44:00
Women's Marathon: Teresa Ferguson, Akron, 3:11:17
Men's Half Marathon: Brad Prather, Roanoke, Ind., 1:17:34
Women's Half Marathon: Michelle Farr, Medina, 1:29:49

Relay Winners
Men's: The First Tee of Greater Akron Flyers
Women's: Cleveland Elite Development

Here are a few highlights from this year's marathon:  

Published in Local

A new long-term partnership between the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron-based Signet Jewelers is set to provide more mentoring opportunities for Akron Public School students.

Michele Campbell, executive director of LJFF, said the partnership allows for Signet employees to train and become one-on-one mentors for 3rd-8th grade students.

"We have 1,129 students and we need more mentors," said Campbell. "With Signet right in our backyard and committed to our program and committed to this community, it's going to allow us to have more mentors , one-on-one, with our children."

Several students joined Campbell, APS Superintendent David James and Signet officials for the announcement at Litchfield Middle School Friday morning. It's safe to say that Jayden Shippe, 13, is enjoying his time spent with the LJFF.

"I love this program," said Shippe. "I love the fun trips , the mentors and how we get to go to Cedar Point every year ad I love how they're giving us a scholarship to [The University of Akron.]"

Shippe said the mentoring program has been beneficial and helped him succeed in the classroom. 13-year-old Mikhaila Bonds said it's more than just helping with work in the classrooms.

"We just talk," said Bond. "They're like a counselor."

Campbell said volunteers will work directly with United Way of Summit County's iC.A.R.E Mentoring program, to offer training.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 11:58

Akron CSO Modifications To Save $30 Million

The city of Akron has announced that modifications to the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project are expected to save the city around $30 million.

"I'm pleased to report that yesterday the federal court entered the first amendment to Akron's orginal 2014 consent decrees, allowing for two major modifications." said Mayor Dan Horrigan outside of the Main Outfall Sewer Cap on Riverview Road.

The location of Wednesday morning's press conference is the center of the first modification in the CSO plan. Horrigan said the first modification to the plan would eliminate the need to build a "parallel interceptor sewer"on Riverview Road. That modification alone is expected to save the city $30 million. Horrigan says the city has been able to save around $57 million on the CSO project this year.

Horrigan said the modifications to the plan are expected to help bring down the costs to rate payers, but details on when rate payers would see the decrease were not released.

Previous Coverage: 

Akron: EPA Approves Three Alternative Sewer Projects

Rosie The Boring Machine To Get Started

 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 11:02

Allegiant Moving From CAK To CLE

Allegiant Air has announced that they are moving its services from Akron-Canton Airport to Cleveland Hopkins Airport beginning February of next year. 

The airline says the decision doubles the number of weekly routes out of Northeast Ohio.

Any customers who purchased tickets for flights leaving out of Akron-Canton Airport next year can be re-accommodated from Cleveland Hopkins or receive a full refund.

CAK released this statement following the announcement: 

"We were informed by Allegiant Air that despite great performance at Akron-Canton Airport they will cease service at CAK on February 15, 2017.

Although we hate to lose any airline service, we do not anticipate a significant impact from this announcement as customers have many other exceptional vacation destination options from CAK.

Customers can still very easily and affordably fly to Florida and Myrtle Beach nonstop from CAK aboard Spirit Airlines. Customers looking for great fares, exceptional service and easy connections can also fly American, Delta, Southwest or United from CAK.

Despite this reduction in service, CAK capacity (number of available seats daily) is anticipated to be an increase in the second quarter of 2017 (after service ends) over this year. Customers with Allegiant Air reservations after February 15 should contact the airline directly at www.allegiantair.com or call 1-702-505-8888."

Published in Local
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 05:41

Fugitive Of The Week Believed To Be In Akron

The U.S. Marshal's Northeast Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force says their Fugitive of the Week is hiding out in Akron. 

Davon Irvine, 22, is charged with aggravated robbery and felonious assault in connection to an incident in a Pontiac Street home on December of 2015. According to police, Irvine and another man entered the home with two women. While the women distracted two brothers that lived in the home, Irvine and his accomplice zip-tied them, pistol whipped them, and then took off with more than $1,000 cash and a cell phone. 

A warrant was issued for Irvine back on January 3, 2016, and he's been on the run since the incident. 

Irvine is no stranger to the law. He was released from prison last year after serving time for shooting a man in the face during an argument inside a home on East Avenue in Akron three years ago. 

U.S. Marshals believe Irvine is hiding out in the Akron area, and have narrowed their search to the 1100 block of Copley Avenue. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron Police or the U.S. Marshal's office. 

Published in Local
Monday, 19 September 2016 11:08

APD Officer Shoots Suspect Holding Rifle

UPDATE: Police have identified the victim of the police-involved shooting at 61-year-old Philip B. Hasan who lived at the apartments located at 1000 Florida Avenue. The autopsy revealed that Hasan died of a gunshot wound to the chest. 

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Akron Police say an officer shot and killed a suspect who refused officers' orders to not reach for a rifle. 

The incident happened Sunday afternoon around 3:30 when police were called to an apartement parking lot along Florida Avenue in Akron. The inital call was regarding an altercation between a 61-year-old man and another resident of the apartment complex. The victim called police saying the suspect clammed his arm in a car door during the altercation.

When police arrived on the scene, the suspect was walking toward a van parked in the lot. Officers ordered him to stop when they saw him reaching for a rifle that was stashed in the van. The man refused and that's when one of the two responding officers opened fire, hitting the man with several shots in the torso. The man, who's name has not been released, was transported to Cleveland Clinic Akron General where he later died.

The officer who fired his weapon has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is protocol for the department while the investigation is ongoing. No officers were injured during the incident. 

Published in Local

Just days after attending a rally focusing on the heroin epidemic in Akron, a local woman found herself more than a thousand miles away getting treatment for her addiction.

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Tonia Wright's 21-year-old daughter Kylie found herself in need of help -- struggling with addition shortly after the birth of her child in 2013.

"She liked the high of the pain pills and the opiates and it eventually led to heroin," said Tonia. "We had no idea."

It wasn't until Tonia recieved a phone from her daughter in April of 2015 that she realized her daughter was in trouble. Kylie was found sweating and vomiting and later admitted to her mother that she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Tonia has been by her daughter's side looking for help and dealing with the often long wait periods to get into an inpatient treatment center in the area.

"They would put her in a five-day detox but after the five-day detox, they would put her back on the streets on a waiting list for rehab. We'll guess what? She started using again."

But it was guidance and advice from those at a heroin rally at Lock 3 in mid-August that led Kylie to find immediate help.

"She called me at 10:15 Monday morning. At 5:30 Monday evening, Kylie was on a plane," said Tonia. "That all came from the rally."

Kylie found out her health insurance would allow her to seek help at a treatment center in Florida. She was accepted and immediately told to head out on the next flight to begin her recovery treatment. That was less than a week after attending the rally.

Wright is now sharing her experience to help others and to spread the message on other resources that are available in Summit County and beyond. She helped to launch the "Akron Epidemic News" Facebook page to update the community on resources and news across the area.

"There are so many treatment plans that I was completely unaware of that nobody ever brought to my table and it's there. You just have to find it."

Published in Local
Thursday, 15 September 2016 12:39

Ohio School Report Cards Released

The results are in.

The Ohio Department of Education has released this year's school report cards -- grading districts on six categories including performance, achievement and progress.

The Akron Public School District's report card included four Fs and two Ds. The district received a failing grade in the categories of achievement, progress, gap closing, and graduation rate. The district was given a D for the categories under K-3 literacy and prepared for success.

Click here for more details and a searchable database.

Meanwhile, area school districts are taking issue with the new report card.

The Akron Area School Superintendent's Association, in a statement signed by 22 superintendents, calls the 2016 Report Card "seriously flawed", and points out changes in the way data was compiled and released.

The Akron Public School district is among the area school districts trying to deal with how the measurements behind Ohio's school report cards change year to year.

Assistant superintendent Ellen McWilliams-Woods says it's basically comparing apples to oranges between years.

"There's no way you can look at that report card and determine whether a school is getting better or getting worse, or how their students are performing," McWilliams tells WAKR.net.

McWilliams-Woods says that for the past few years, APS has used the locally controlled, nationally measured "MAP" testing standard as a yardstick for its performance.

"As we've tracked over the four years that we've used the assessment," McWilliams-Woods says, "we've seen big jumps in student achievement."

She says that there has been, by the MAP testing, "dramatic improvements" in subjects such as reading and math over that time, and growth of over a year or more in a year's time.

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(Akron Area School Superintendent's Association) The following statement is being released by the Akron Area School Superintendent's Association representing member districts from across Summit, Portage and Medina counties, serving a wide variety of communities with long histories of excellence in education. Our primary concern as educators is to ensure our students' academic growth, while preparing them for college and careers. As such, we respectfully bring the following matter to your attention.

In the next day or so, the Ohio Department of Education will release the 2016 Report Card. The entire purpose of this document is to help identify strengths and weaknesses of each district¡¦s educational program. However, as we explain below, this report card is seriously flawed and is not reflective of the quality of education being provided to our students. As such, we urge you to view the results of our individual report cards in the proper context. The following are just a few examples of this report card's flawed nature:

* The new Prepared for Success measure looks at students over a two year period. In late June, the state made a change in how the data was to be reported; districts were not permitted to update data derived from the first year of the period. As a result, improvements made by districts that added additional college courses are not considered or included in the score

* The Achievement metric shares how well students perform on state tests. The state has expanded testing on federal requirements, adding nine additional tests in all content areas, and has changed test types three times in as many years. While teaching and learning standards have remained constant in our districts, the assessment requirements have repeatedly changed making it very difficult to make comparisons and improve instruction.

* The K-3 Literacy Rate compares the results of a student¡'s preliminary reading assessment to their proficiency on the Grade 3 test. This new test, however, now incorporates reading and writing. As such, this measure is flawed in that it calculates a rate based on a reading score to a reading AND writing score. As a result of this flawed comparison, the calculated score does not reflect actual literacy attainment.

We, as responsible school leaders, welcome accountability and transparency and recognize that Ohio¡¦s accountability system is in transition. However, it is difficult to utilize a report card that is a constantly changing document, made up of flawed components. This report card does not consistently measure how local school districts are actually performing.

It is important that as superintendents, we notify community members about these flaws so residents know the facts before they arrive at conclusions based upon faulty information. We want to assure our communities that our districts work hard each day to provide the best possible educational experience for our students.

Sincerely,
Walter Davis, Woodridge Local Schools
Patti Cleary, Barberton City Schools
Ben Moore, Portage Lake Career Center
Chuck Sincere, Springfield Local Schools
Brian Poe, Copley-Fairlawn City Schools
Joe Clark, Nordonia Hills City Schools
Mary Jane Stanchina, Six District Educational Compact
Jeff Ferguson, Tallmadge City Schools
Todd Nichols, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools
Tom Bratten, Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools
Joseph Iacano, Summit Educational Service Center
Andrew Hill, Wadsworth City Schools
Phillip Herman, Hudson City Schools
Matt Montgomery, Revere Local Schools
Dave Heflinger, Field Local Schools
Rusty Chaboudy, Coventry Local Schools
Christina Dinklocker, Mogadore Local Schools
Jeff Miller, Green Local Schools
Kathryn Powers, Twinsburg City Schools
David James, Akron Public Schools
David Dunn, Norton City Schools
Jim Robinson, Manchester Local Schools

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(Ohio School Boards Association, news release) Today's release of the Ohio Department of Education state report cards iscausing concern in school districts across the state because many of this year's scores are lower than in prior years. Even though schools are seeing local improvement on many fronts, the results were not unexpected since students are being judged against new, higher state standards.

OSBA supports accountability and welcomes the opportunity to learn how students are progressing and where improvement is needed. At the same time, there are concerns about 2016 being the third year in a row with different tests and varying standards. Districts need adequate time to properly prepare for such transitions.

School board members and administrators have expressed legitimate concerns about the report card methodology and measures. They're also concerned that the report card tells only part of the story.

"To truly gauge progress, it's important to take a holistic look at student and district achievement," said OSBA President Eric K. Germann, a school board member at Lincolnview Local Schools and Vantage Career Center in Van Wert County. "The report card is just one component. Many other factors, including job, college and militaryplacement, scholarships awarded, the arts and community service must be part of the overall picture of student success."

The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act provides a welcome opportunity for the Ohio Department of Education and state legislature to review and reconsider report cardsand measures. OSBA looks forward to working with them to ensure that assessment is fair, equitable and consistent and reporting is clear and concise.

The association also urges the education department to reach out to local school boards tohelp them better interpret and use the results to improve student achievement and help their communities better understand the report cards. OSBA stands ready to support the department in that effort and will work with local boards to increase their understanding ofthe data and share that knowledge with their communities.

In its 61st year, the Ohio School Boards Association leads the way to educational excellence by serving Ohio's public school board members and the diverse districts they represent through superior service, unwavering advocacy and creative solutions.

Published in Local
Every so often, the mayor of Akron, Dan Horrigan, stops in the WAKR studios to discuss an array of topics throughout the city.

One of those topics, as mentioned on the Ray Horner Morning Show, was about the continued development in downtown Akron, which include Lock 3 and Lock 4. Mayor Horrigan took a trip to Philadelphia, and a plan is to model the civic commons after the City of Brotherly Love. The mayor mentioned he outsourced some opinions on what to do with the future of the Innerbelt to get an outside and fresh perspective.

Horrigan also talked about the initiative about retirees paying for insurance, which, as he admits, may not be the most popular moves by the city, but needed to be done.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 11:37

UPDATE Ellet High Reopens After Fire

Ellet High School will open again for students Wednesday.

Ellet High has been closed this week after cleanup crews spent the past few days clearing smoke and water damage from Saturday night's fire inside a construction classroom on the first floor.

Containment walls were built around areas directly affected by the fire, allowing students to return to classes in the rest of the building.

The investigation into what caused the fire continues.

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(Earlier coverage) Ellet High School remains closed Tuesday as clean-up crews continue to ready the school for students after Saturday night's fire inside a construction classroom on the first floor. 

Akron City Schools Communications Director Mark Williamson says it's a matter of safety for the students of Ellet. While the fire was mostly contained to that one classroom, smoke spread throughout the building and left a lingering smell which could be harmful to anyone occupying the building. Water damage is also a factor, as fire crews used their hoses to extinguish the blaze. Williamson says there is potential to continue clean-up efforts while students are back in the classrooms, containing certain affected areas with containment walls, but they want to be sure it's completely safe before doing so. 

They expect to have the clean-up wrapped up soon, but they're not rushing things at Ellet High. The investigation into what caused the fire, meanwhile, continues. Fire investigators have not designated the fire as accidental, nor as arson, as of Tuesday. 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 09:13

Akron Puts Hold On Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana passed as state law and officially went effective on September 8th of this year. While the state still has a lot of work to do as far as securing approval for licenses to prescribe marijuana as medication and permits for dispensaries, the city of Akron says it needs more time to get the law straight. 

On Monday night, Akron City Council approved a year-long moratorium on the state Medical Marijuana law. Councilman Jeff Fusco says the timetable is flexible, but the council believes more time is needed to see how Akron will take part in the statewide law. Fusco says the moratorium will give the city a chance to figure out "what's best for Akron in terms of the grow operations, processing, (and) dispensing of medical marijuana" within the city. 

Hear the entire interview from the Ray Horner Morning Show by clicking the player below: 

 

Published in Local
Monday, 12 September 2016 11:46

Fourth Pleads Guilty In Akron Teen Overdose

Guilty pleas across the board now for the four adults who's heroin habits helped kill a 16-year old ini a Green hotel room back in April. Andrew Frye died of an overdose watched by his mother Heather, grandmother Brenda and family friend Jessica Irons. Now 59-year old Donald Callahan pleads guilty to posession of heroin, the fatal dose. He was supposed to go on trial today. He'll be sentenced in October.
- - -

(Summit Prosecutor's Office) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Donald Callaghan, 59, of Neville Avenue in Akron, pled guilty to possession of heroin. Callaghan's girlfriend, 52-year-old Brenda Frye, sold heroin belonging to Callaghan to her daughter Heather. Heather Frye's 16-year-old son Andrew died after ingesting the heroin.

Callaghan pled guilty as indicted to the following charge:

Possession of Heroin – a felony of the 5th degree

On August 31, 2016, Brenda Frye, Heather Frye, and Jessica Irons all pled guilty to various charges, including involuntary manslaughter, in connection with the death of Andrew Frye.

On April 6, 2016, 16-year-old Andrew Frye was found dead at a hotel room in Green, Ohio. The Summit County Medical Examiner determined the teen died from injecting heroin. Investigators discovered Frye's mother Heather, her friend Jessica Irons, and Heather Frye's mother Brenda Frye (Andrew's Grandmother) were all in the hotel room prior to Andrew's death. As part of their investigation, Summit County Sheriff's Deputies discovered the heroin Andrew used was obtained by Brenda Frye from her boyfriend Donald Callaghan. Brenda sold the heroin to Andrew's mother Heather while Andrew was present.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Lynne Callahan is scheduled to sentence Callaghan on October 26, 2016 at 1pm.

story updated 1:34 p.m.

Published in Local
Friday, 09 September 2016 12:07

Akron Trio Facing Assault Charges

Akron police have arrested two women and issued warrants for another in connection with the assault of a 23-year-old woman at an apartment complex.

Police say the victim tried to get on the elevator at the apartment complex on Rentar Lane when she was attacked by three women Thursday around 3:30 p.m. Police say the three women spat on the victim, punched her in the face multiple times, hit her with a metal object and took the victim's cell phone. The victim suffered swelling to the head, bruising to both eyes and scrapes on her arms.

Officers and the building manager identified the suspects as Michelle M. Hardee, 21, Betty Long, 23, both of Rentar Lane, and Sierra D. Wiley, 19, of Eastlawn Street in Lorain.

Hardee has been charged with vandalism and assault . Wiley was also arrested and has been charged with assault . Warrants have been issued for Long for theft and felonious assault. Anyone with information on Long's whereabouts is asked to contact the Akron Police Department.

Published in Local
Thursday, 08 September 2016 19:09

AUDIO Stanley Jackson Breaks Down Zips & Badgers

Coming off a big win over LSU at Lambeau Field, the Wisconsin Badgers will play host to the University of Akron Zips at Camp Randall Stadium this Saturday.

Former Ohio State Buckeye quarterback and Big 10 football analyst Stanley Jackson joined the Brad Russell Show to talk about the matchup and also take a look at the rest of the Big 10 slate.

 

Stanley will be part of the broadcast team that day as the Badgers (1-0) take on the Zips (1-0) as they come off their home win over VMI last weekend at Infocision Stadium.

Published in Brad Russell
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 13:33

ITT Tech Closing, Including Akron

UPDATE 2:35 PM: The U.S. Secretary of Education's blog post is reprinted below.

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An embattled private career college is closing all locations, including one in the Akron area.

The parent company of ITT Tech earlier announced that no new students would be enrolled.

ITT blames federal sanctions that would have cost it 40% of federal student aid, and the potential loss of accreditation.

The University of Akron declined to enter a deal that it was negotiating with ITT near the end of former president Scott Scarborough's tenure.

In addition to the Fairlawn location, ITT also had campuses in Strongsville, Warrensville Heights and Youngstown.

Another private career college, Brown Mackie, will close its Akron location at the end of October.

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(ITT Tech, news release) Today, ITT Educational Services, Inc. released the following statement:

"It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service. With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected.

The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter. We reached this decision only after having exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution.

Effective today, the company has eliminated the positions of the overwhelming majority of our more than 8,000 employees. Our focus and priority with our remaining staff is on helping the tens of thousands of unexpectedly displaced students with their records and future educational options.

This action of our federal regulator to increase our surety requirement to 40 percent of our Title IV federal funding and place our schools under "Heightened Cash Monitoring Level 2," forced us to conclude that we can no longer continue to operate our ITT Tech campuses and provide our students with the quality education they expect and deserve.

For more than half a century, ITT Tech has helped hundreds of thousands of non-traditional and underserved students improve their lives through career-focused technical education. Thousands of employers have relied on our institutions for skilled workers in high-demand fields. We have been a mainstay in more than 130 communities that we served nationwide, as well as an engine of economic activity and a positive innovator in the higher-education sector.

This federal action will also disrupt the lives of thousands of hardworking ITT Tech employees and their families. More than 8,000 ITT Tech employees are now without a job – employees who exhibited the utmost dedication in serving our students.

We have always carefully managed expenses to align with our enrollments. We had no intention prior to the receipt of the most recent sanctions of closing down despite the challenging regulatory environment that now threatens all proprietary higher education. We have also always worked tirelessly to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and to uphold our ethic of continuous improvement. When we have received inquiries from regulators, we have always been responsive and cooperative. Despite our ongoing service to this nation's employers, local communities and underserved students, these federal actions will result in the closure of the ITT Technical Institutes without any opportunity to pursue our right to due process.

These unwarranted actions, taken without proving a single allegation, are a "lawless execution," as noted by a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal. We were not provided with a hearing or an appeal. Alternatives that we strongly believe would have better served students, employees, and taxpayers were rejected. The damage done to our students and employees, as well as to our shareholders and the American taxpayers, is irrevocable.

We believe the government's action was inappropriate and unconstitutional, however, with the ITT Technical Institutes ceasing operations, it will now likely rest on other parties to understand these reprehensible actions and to take action to attempt to prevent this from happening again."

SOURCE ITT Educational Services, Inc.

(Department of Education, blog post by Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.) Dear ITT student,

Today, ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT) announced that it is closing all of its ITT Technical Institute campuses. For most of the world, that news will be covered as a business story or a political one, but I know that for you it is deeply personal. You are probably wondering what this means for your future; how it is going to affect your finances and your ability to continue your education.

In recent years, ITT has increasingly been the subject of numerous state and federal investigations. In August, ITT's accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) determined that ITT "is not in compliance, and is unlikely to become in compliance with [ACICS] Accreditation Criteria." This came amid increasingly heightened financial oversight measures put in place by the Department over the past two years due to significant concerns about ITT's administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability, and ability to serve students.

The school's decisions have put its students and millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal student aid at risk. Last week, the Department of Education took oversight actions to prevent ITT from continuing to add to that risk. When we made that decision, we did not take it lightly. One possible outcome of oversight actions is that a school may choose to close rather than take corrective actions, which can cause disruption and disappointment for current students. Ultimately, we made a difficult choice to pursue additional oversight in order to protect you, other students, and taxpayers from potentially worse educational and financial damage in the future if ITT was allowed to continue operating without increased oversight and assurances to better serve students.

We are committed to helping you as you consider next steps. Most immediately, you have two basic options to choose between:

If you are currently or were recently enrolled at ITT, you may be eligible to have your federal student loans for your program at ITT discharged. Your federal loan debt will be wiped away and you will have the option of restarting your education somewhere new. We will post and update information about how to receive a discharge at our ITT announcements page.
If you wish to continue and complete your program at a different school – especially if you are close to graduating – you may be able to transfer your credits. It is important to note that transferring your credits may limit your ability to have your federal loans discharged. Closed school discharge may be an option if you enroll in a different program that does not accept your ITT credits.
Both of these options have pros and cons, depending on your unique circumstances, so it is important that you consider your specific situation carefully. You can find some information to start with at our ITT announcements page. The Department's Office of Federal Student Aid is ready to support you with resources and information, including through this website, and will be updating you with more information in the coming days and weeks.

Whatever you choose to do, do not give up on your education. Higher education remains the clearest path to economic opportunity and security. Restarting or continuing your education at a high-quality, reputable institution may feel like a setback today, but odds are it will pay off in the long run. There are people and tools – like our College Scorecard – out there to help you pick a program that gives you a real shot at success.

I am proud of your hard work and dedication, and we will do all we can to continue to provide information to you on your options.

Sincerely,

John B. King Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education

Published in Local
Monday, 05 September 2016 11:10

Brown Mackie Closing Akron Campus

Brown Mackie College's Akron campus, located 755 White Pond Drive in Akron, will close for good on October 31 of this year. The announcement coming after Brown Mackie's parent company, Education Management Corp., settled a class action lawsuit in 39 states. The lawsuit claimed the career-college was misleading students with the graduation rates they were providing new enrollees and the number of transferable credits they were telling students they'd acquire. Per the lawsuit, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based company is required to pay back roughly $10 million in student loans. 

A report says that the college issued a statement to current students saying that they would be able to transfer to the Jackson Township campus at 4300 Munson Street NW, but that has not been confirmed. 

The Brown Mackie announcement comes amid a tumultuous time for career-colleges, as ITT Technical Institute has announced that it will not be accepting new student enrollments at their campuses across the U.S. This after the U.S. Department of Education handed down a number of sanctions against the college. The basis for the majority of those sanctions were in that the college was accepting millions of dollars in federal grant money and loans while not providing adequate job-training for students. Furthermore, the school was told that it cannot accept enrollment from students who were planning on using federal financial aid. In 2015, ITT TEch. received an estimated $580 million in federal funding.

ITT Tech., has nine Ohio campuses, including one in Akron on W. Market St. 

Published in Local
Saturday, 03 September 2016 10:19

Goodyear Commercial Voiced By The Blimp

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is boasting a new commercial campaign that will run during games throughout the 2016 NCAA college football season. 

It's been dubbed "Blimpworthy" and features the voice OF the Goodyear Blimp. The commercial chronicles the storied 60-plus-year career of the Goodyear blimp, recapping some of college footballs most celebrated moments. 

Read more about the new ad campaign from Cleveland.com, and watch the commercial below: 

Published in Local
Thursday, 01 September 2016 17:32

AUDIO: Jasen Sokol Show Heroin Forum

The Jasen Sokol Show traveled to Summit County Public Health Wednesday for a forum on the heroin and opioid addiction problem in Greater Akron. The discussion ranged from treatment and recovery options to the new drug disposal pouches available at Acme Fresh Market locations to the stories of family members who lost loved ones to heroin. If you missed any of the interviews, hear them in the player below.

Published in Jasen Sokol
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