Friday, 11 March 2016 16:03

Bill Campaigning For Hillary In Akron

President Bill Clinton will be in Akron on Saturday to campaign for his wife Hillary, who's hoping to win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

The former president will appear at 4 PM at the Steel Workers Local 2 union shop on Kelly Avenue in Akron.

Tickets are not necessary, and doors will open at 3 PM.

President Clinton will be joined by local leaders including Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, County Executive Russ Pry and Congressman Tim Ryan.

Published in Local
Saturday, 05 March 2016 15:48

Akron Man Found Shot To Death In Driveway

Police are investigating the shooting death of an Akron man that happened Friday night.

The Akron Police Department says the shooting took place shortly before 11:00 p.m. in the 1200 block of Onondago Avenue.

The victim, who has yet to be identified, was a 26-year-old male, of Victory Street in Akron.

Police say the man was found with multiple gunshot wounds inside of his 1999 Chevy Malibu parked in the driveway.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

No suspect(s) have been identified.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy and the victim's name will be released when he is positively identified and when family notifications have been made.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the detective bureau at (330) 375-2490.

Published in Local

The University of Akron hosted area high school students on Friday, as they competed in the 16th Annual Bridge Building Competition.

Students put their engineering skills on display for local engineering consulting firms to judge the aesthetics, or looks, of their bridge and the amount of weight it can hold.

Alan Brubaker, Summit County Engineer, and 16 engineering consulting firms co-sponsored the annual event.

Brubaker said the event has got bigger every year with this year being the biggest.

"Whenever you have a good program that the student advisers feel that is beneficial to the students, it's going to continue to grow."

The students were given three hours to build their bridge The teams built their bridges out of balsa wood and then went their imagination.

Andrew McDonald, a sophomore from Hudson high school, and his teammates took home the first place trophy in their first year competing.

"Coming out here and just seeing our philosophy and design work, it's a very satisfying and just fulfilling experience," McDonald said.

When asked about some of the best parts about the competition, Sam Phillips, senior from Green and Portage Lakes Center, said it was really cool to see students from other schools and to see some of the differences in their bridge designs.

"Meeting new kids from like Hudson, Springfield and another class of schools that you don't really get to see people from and to see what they're thinking and what's they're out-take on this whole perception of building a bridge out of balsa wood."

Students who participated in the event were eligible to receive more than $4,000, as part of the Miniature Bridge Building Competition Scholarship.

Hudson high school won a prize of $100 and two Springfield high school teams brought home a prize of $70 and $50 each for second and third place finishes.

The Portage Lakes Center won the aesthetics award for the best bridge design. Cuyahoga Falls finished in second place.

Published in Local

A student was found with a gun at Ellet High School late Wednesday morning.

Akron police say that a school staffer discovered the concealed gun on a 17 year-old male student.

"He was confronted by both the Akron officer at the school there, and staff members," Capt. Dan Zampelli tells WAKR.net, "and the 17 year-old immediately put his hands up, and allowed the officer to retrieve the weapon which was on his person at the time."

Capt. Zampelli says the student had a loaded, 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, which has been confiscated.

He says the student faces felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a firearm into the school. The student was sent to the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center.

The school was placed on lockdown for about an extra 40 minutes as a precaution.

No one was hurt, and classes were not disrupted at Ellet High.

In an unrelated incident, Miller South was locked for about 3 minutes early this afternoon, because Akron police were searching for someone outside the school.

(Previous coverage) Akron Public School officials say a student was found with a gun at Ellet High School late Wednesday morning.

Not many details have been released, but officials say the school was locked and place on what admintrators call a "Safe School Watch" for about an hour around 10:35 a.m. after a tip from a staff member.

Police confronted the student within five minutes of the lockdown and recovered the weapon without incident.

 

Published in Local

The late Brenda Weems may be known to some as LeBron James' godmother -- but to her family and friends she was a caring woman who left behind a legacy that continues to touch the lives of those in the Akron community. 

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On Tuesday afternoon, she was also the reason so many came together to dedicate a new dialysis unit on White Pond Drive in her name. Weems was a longtime dialysis nurse with Fresenuis Medical Care. In April of 2006, Weems passed away at the age of 45 after her battle with cancer.

"To see that impact that she had on all of the people she came across, it's just unbelievable," said Weems' son Brandon. "It's a very emotional day."

Brandon was just one of dozens of family members who came out to the dedication ceremony to honor his mother's legacy. While some recognize Brenda Weems as LeBron's godmother, the ceremony helped to shine a light on Weems' unconditional love for taking care of the community. Weems was a registered nurse for over 20 years.

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"It's just the whole city of Akron," said Brandon. "Everywhere you go, if they know you're a Weems they immediately go to Brenda. She was just so big in the community. Her names rings everywhere."

Fresenius regional vice-president Jamie Stanos said you didn't have to look far to understand why Weems was adored by so many.

"She was the gold standard by which everybody measured themselves as a nurse and a technician," said Stanos.

 

Published in Local
Monday, 22 February 2016 11:18

Woman Pulled From Summit Lake

One person was pulled from Summit Lake this morning.

The Dive Rescue Team with the Akron Fire Department was called to a report of a body floating in Summit Lake around 8 a.m.

The woman was pulled from the water and taken to the hospital. No word on her condition.

Published in Local
Monday, 22 February 2016 10:35

Police Still Searching For Husein's Killer

It's been more than two months since a 21-year-old University of Akron student was shot and killed during a pizza shop robbery in early December. But despite having more than $50,000 in reward money on the table, police haven't had a solid lead to track down Zak Husein's killer.

"Usually the money is enticing to someone who has the information, but in this case it hasn't really brought us the lead that we need," said Capt. Dan Zampelli.

Husein's family offered a $50,000 reward for information that leads to Husein's killer -- in addition to several thousand dollars offered by Summit County Crimestoppers.

"There's always that one bit of information that will get us in the right direction. We believe it's solvable, it's just a matter of finding that right piece of information that takes us on that right road."

 

 

Husein was shot even after handing over the money without incident during a robbery at his brother's Premium New York Pizza store. It was captured on surveillance video, but the masked robber couldn't be identified.

Previous Coverage: 

Zak Husein: A Life By Example

VIDEO 21-Year-Old Shot, Killed In Akron

 

Published in Local

The man convicted in the fatal stabbing outside of Chapel Hill Mall has been sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 15 years.

Deandre Baskerville was found guilty of two murder counts in the death of Terrence Rogers in August 2015.

The two got into an argument at the mall, which then led to a fight where Baskerville stabbed Rogers in the neck. Rogers stumbled back into the mall where he collapsed and died.

Previous Coverage: 

Man Found Guilty In Chapel Hill Area Stabbing Death

Stabbing Murder Suspect Arraigned In Summit County

Published in Local
Monday, 15 February 2016 06:42

Three Women Injured In Akron Car Crash

Three women were injured in a wreck after the car they were in crashed into a telephone pole in Akron late Sunday morning.

Fire officials say the car hit a pole and street sign in the 500-block of Cuyahoga Street shortly before 11:30 a.m.

At least one person may have been ejected from the car. All three women were taken to the hospital for treatment but their conditions are not known.

Fire officials say there was a dog in the car at the time of the crash, but there's no word on the whether the dog was injured.

Published in Local
Monday, 15 February 2016 06:37

UPDATE APD Looking For Homicide Suspect

A murder warrant has been issued for a 31-year-old man --- accused of fatally shooting a man at a house party on early Valentine's Day morning.

Police say Antoine C. Bennett should be considered armed and dangerous. His last known address was on East 97th Street in Cleveland.

Police say shots were fired at the party on North Howard Street after a fight. They say the 25 year-old victim was found inside the house shot in the chest died later at Akron City Hospital.

Another man, 25 year-old Malcolm Washington of Baird Street, flagged down police nearby and said he was shot in the foot.

The man killed hasn't yet been identified. An autopsy will be conducted by the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office.

Akron police are providing a description of Bennett, and ask for help finding him:

"Bennett is a black male, 5'10", 245 lbs. with black medium length hair, a beard and moustache. He should be considered armed and dangerous."

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

(Earlier coverage) A house party led to a fatal shooting in Akron on Valentine's Day.

Police tell NewsChannel 5 that they're looking for the person who shot and killed a man at a North Howard Street home around 2 a.m.

A 25-year-old flagged down police to let them know what happened and said he was also shot in the foot.

A warrant has been issued for 31-year-old Antoine C. Bennett. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Published in Local
Sunday, 14 February 2016 19:26

Couples Say "I Do" on Valentine's Day

On a day that symbolizes love, couples in Akron cemented their love by saying "I do" and marrying their significant other.

Fifteen couples exchanged vows on Valentine's Day downtown at the main branch of the Summit County Akron Public Library with Judge Annalisa Williams, of the Akron Municipal Court, presiding over the ceremonies.

Denise Norwood, 58, married her boyfriend, Jermaine, 43, of 10 years, alongside her daughter, Kalaille, 35, who also married her boyfriend, Anthony Bussey, 37. She said this is a day she will always remember.

"We will never forget it. We know Valentine's Day, that's our day, special."

Asked about what it means to get married next to her daughter, she says, "It's different, but it's a joyful thing. Because she got married with her mother and her mother got married with her daughter. It's just a joyous thing."

Mrs. Bussey said getting married was an amazing feeling. She said the fact that it was with her mom is something that will stick with her forever.

"It's an experience. I think it was a wonderful feeling. It's a memorable feeling. We'll have stories to tell down the line to the family."

Mr. and Mrs. Norwood met at Akron Baptist Church about 10 years ago. Mr. Norwood says it's kind of funny to get married on Valentine's Day, but also says it's something he will never forget.

"It's hilarious because it's going to be something that you always remember because it's a day that comes every year," Norwood said. "So, you know when that day comes, you'll know it's that special day we got married on. So, you'll never forget Valentine's Day."

Jerome Spragling tied the knot with his girlfriend of 3 years, Saleema. He said he's blessed to be able to marry her on Valentine's Day.

"I'm happy. It's very important to me as well as my wife," Spragling tells WAKR. "This is what she wanted and I'm very fortunate to give it to her on this day. I'm grateful."

Spragling said this is the day they will start their new life together, a moment, he said is very special to him.

"One of the greatest memories for me is the leap we made today," Spragling said. "Because this is the direction we both wanted to take and we're here and we are going to move forward together as one."

Patricia Williams, Chief Bailiff at Akron Municipal Court, has been involved with Valentine's Day weddings for over 20 years. She said seeing the faces of people after they get married is something that brings her an abundance of joy.

"To see that special look in their eye when they come out, it fills my heart."

Williams said it's nothing new to see people want to get married on Valentine's Day. She said it's a large number people that want to get married on the day.

"A lot of times people have set this date--waited from year to year--to get married on this day. I think that's something that's going to be lasting because they waited for this special day to do this on."

Since Valentine's Day was on Sunday, the weddings weren't able to be done at the courthouse because of they would have had to hire security, Williams said. She said the library was more than happy to allow them to conduct the ceremonies there.

Published in Local
Thursday, 11 February 2016 09:49

UPDATE TB Case Reported At North HS

UPDATE: Summit County health officials have now confirmed a case of tuberculosis in Summit County -- specifically at the North High School community. The county's department of health is currently investigating, but they have not released details related to whether the victim is a student, teacher or staff member.

Officials say they'll be notifying potentially exposed contacts directly about the need for screening and intervention.

County health officials say that hundreds of people in Summit County carry a tuberculosis germ, but that it does not develop into tuberculosis disease in most cases.

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(Summit County Health Department, news release) The TB case that was reported earlier today as suspect in a member of the North High School community has now been confirmed. Due to privacy and HIPAA laws regulating the use of Protected Health Information (PHI), the individual will not be identified.

Summit County Public Health is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify contacts most at risk of exposure to TB. SCPH will be notifying potentially exposed contacts directly about the need for screening and intervention. Identified individuals will be notified via mail within the next week.

Summit County Public Health will be staffing a TB information-line starting February 11, 2016 at 8:00 am. The TB information-line number is 330-926-5795. For additional information, please visit the Summit County Public Health website at www.scph.org.

(Summit County Health Department), news release) Akron, Ohio. Summit County Public Health is currently investigating a suspected case of tuberculosis in a member of the North High School community. Due to privacy and HIPAA laws regulating the use of Protected Health Information (PHI), the individual will not be identified. Summit County Public Health (SCPH) is conducting a thorough investigation of this incident to identify all potentially exposed individuals and provide guidance and evaluation as necessary.

Tuberculosis Disease (TB) is an uncommon and potentially serious illness that usually involves the lungs. In some cases, people with TB can spread the disease to others. TB is spread through the air by close prolonged contact when a person coughs, speaks, laughs, or sings. It is NOT spread by casual contact, for example, passing someone in the hallway, standing next to someone in the store, using the same bathroom, or contact with surfaces.

Almost all cases of TB are curable with proper treatment and medication.
Active cases of TB disease are uncommon after initial exposure. While TB is
contagious, it is not very easy for the disease to spread from person to person.

Therefore, there is minimal risk to the greater Summit County public. Summit County Public Health is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify contacts most at risk of exposure to TB.

SCPH will be notifying potentially exposed contacts directly about the need for screening and intervention. Identified individuals will be notified via mail.

Summit County Public Health will be staffing a TB information-line starting February 11, 2016 at 8:00 am. The TB information-line number is 330-926-5795. For additional information, please visit the Summit County Public Health website at www.scph.org

Published in Local

20 slides, 20 seconds each. That's all the presenters at Pecha Kucha Night Akron will get to make their point.

1590 WAKR's Jasen Sokol will lead off the slate of presenters Friday night at the Akron Civic Theatre. The topics will include everything from science and law to art and risk taking. Jasen talked to organizers Annal Vyas and Heather Roszczyk about what to expect at the event.

To get your FREE tickets to Pecha Kucha Akron, click here.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 09:50

Shooting Victim Under Police Guard At Hospital

Akron police say a man who suffered a gunshot wound while driving was placed under police guard at a local hospital. Police say it turns out JuJuan Weems, 23, of Akron had a warrant out for gross sexual imposition and sexual battery.

Capt. Dan Zampelli says it took some time to find the shooting victim after a shooting was reported at West South Street and Princeton Avenue.

"They did speak to neighbors in the area who indicated that a male had been driving a car, the car stopped abruptly, a male got out and went into a local market," said Zampelli.

Police say Weems went to the hospital and was treated for a gunshot wound to the chest. He's under police guard until he's released and booked into the Summit County Jail.

Details related to the possible shooting suspect were not released.

Published in Local

A 27-year-old Akron woman got a wake up call she didn't expect when a trio of men allegedly broke into apartment and fired a number of shots early Tuesday morning.

Police say two men confronted the woman after kicking in the door while a third man waited outside the Chester Avenue apartment. Another man was waiting outside the Chester Avenue apartment.

The suspects allegedly confronted two other people who live at the apartment. One suspect fired shots into the ceiling, but police say no one was hurt.

The trio fled the scene with cell phones, a purse, and clothing.

No arrests have been made.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 11:40

Pizza Delivery Driver Shot In Akron

Akron police are looking for the person who shot and robbed a pizza delivery driver Monday night.

Police say a 59-year-old driver for Papa John's was delivering a pizza in the 700 block of Crane Walk when he was confronted by a man with a gun around 10 p.m.

According to Akron police, the victim was shot in the back twice. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

Only a vague description of the suspect was released.

Published in Local
Monday, 01 February 2016 16:42

"Fugitive Of The Week" From Akron

This week's Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force Fugitive of the Week is a man with Akron ties.

The task force says Wesley Tucker is wanted on charges linked to a conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute them.

Tucker is wanted on charges involving over 8 pounds of crystal meth last November.

A picture and description of him is on WAKR.net.

The task force says Tucker has a last known address in the 600 block of West Exchange Street in Akron.

(Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, news release) The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward for information which would lead to the capture of fugitive Wesley Tucker.

Tucker is wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Akron Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspectors Service for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamines.

In November 2015 Tucker conspired to possess over 8 pounds of crystal meth. Tucker is a 39 year old black male standing approximately 6'01" and weighing 200 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Tucker's last known address was in the 600 block of West Exchange St. in Akron.

If you have any information in reference to Wesley Tucker, please contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-­866­-4-WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to 847411 (tip411) Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.

Published in Local

Akron's new planning director has a goal of increasing the city's population to a number close to when the population was at its peak in the 1960s. Jason Segedy says he hopes to see Akron's population grow to 250,000 by 2050.

The latest numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that number stands at just under 198,000 (197,859).

It's an ambitious goal, but Segedy believes it's possible.

"Do you get job here, first, or do you make the city a better place to live?" said Segedy. "I think the answer to that is 'both.' We need to do both at the same time."

Segedy said it's also not necessarily all about recruiting people to Akron -- but it start with the millions of people who are already in Northeast Ohio.

"There are a lot of people in Northeast Ohio that might choose to make the city of Akron their home if we can make it a compelling place to live, so I want to start with that."

Segedy said increasing the population begins with building new housing, rehabilitating existing buildings, and encouraging entrepreneurship and commercial redevelopment.

Click here to read more from Jason Segedy's blog.

Published in Local
Thursday, 28 January 2016 14:37

VIDEO Students Honor Fallen Astronaut

You don't have to travel far to see the legacy left behind by astronaut Judith Resnik who was killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion 30 years ago.

Every student at Resnik CLC learns a special song that honors the school's namesake, leaving some parents and teachers in tears. 

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Resnik and six others were killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. Students spent the afternoon remembering Resnik's childhood in Akron and her love for math and science, which eventually led to her path to become an engineer and astronaut.

5th grader Seth Singer believes Resnik would be proud to see students honoring her legacy.

"I think she would say that she would be glad to be here and that she would be very grateful because she was always kind and had a big heart."

Resnik is honored every year at the school with teachers building lesson plans around the astronaut -- who continues to inspire kids to reach for the stars.

"We learned a lot about space and about her, so I think she would be very proud," said Singer.

The presentation ended with students singing the Judy Resnik song -- written by APS Music Teacher Kim Shama-Hanna.

 

Published in Local
News broke late Monday night that FirstMerit Bank will soon merge with Huntington, though not for another six months. The headquarters for FirstMerit Corporation is located in downtown Akron, and, after the merger with Columbus’s Huntington, it will create the largest bank in the state of Ohio.

This came as a shock to many local residents and even politicians, where many jobs and branches will soon be affected. Summit County executive Russ Pry and Akron mayor Dan Horrigan called into the Ray Horner Morning Show to share their thoughts on FirstMerit’s history in Akron and their commitment to the community, as well as what Huntington has in store going forward.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 12:23

Huntington To Buy FirstMerit

We're learning more about Huntington Bancshares acquisition of Akron-based FirstMerit.

In a Tuesday morning media conference call, the top executives at FirstMerit and Huntington gave a little more insight as to what happens next in the $3.4 billion deal that's expected to receive the final approval later this year.

FirstMerit CEO Paul Greig says the driving force for the move was in the best interest of shareholders.

"That was the driving motivation to enter into this partnership, but I want to stress that there is nothing Akron could've done to change the course of this action or Summit County," said Greig.

Officials said branch employees will be offered a job, but details as to how many branches may close or what will happen to those working at FirstMerit's headquarters in Akron has yet to be released.

"Our objective is to do it right," said Huntington Bank CEO Steve Steinour. "There are notices that will be provided to customers, either 60 or 90 days, before any branch consolidations occur."

There area about 1,200 FirstMerit employees, including those at the bank's headquarters in Akron. Huntington's headquarters are based in Columbus.

Published in Local

There are a few changes coming to Akron's west side -- including a pair of new buildings. Akron City Council President Marilyn Keith said a new drive-thru Starbucks is set to open at the corner of West Market Street and Pershing Avenue.

"Right across from Ken Stewarts, where China Gourmet is, that property has been bought and it will be turned into a Starbucks," said Keith.

There's another Starbucks located about half a mile away near Sand Run Road, but the coffee chain has yet to announce if it will relocate to the new location.

A developer has also knocked down the old smoke shop at the corner of Frank Blvd. and West Market St., but details as to what will go into that area has not been released.

"The developers have chosen not to share with me what's going in there. They also haven't pulled any permits, so I am not sure exactly what's going in there."

When the drive-thru Taco Bell restaurant was built at the corner of Frank Boulevard and West Market Street in Akron last year, there was controversy as to whether it would increase traffic issues in the area. Since it's opening, the city only received two complaints.

"I think it has established that we are rebranding ourselves in the neighborhood," said Keith.

 

Published in Local

The Knight Foundation has selected more than 150 finalists in the second annual Knight Cities Challenge -- including 10 ideas submitted in the Akron area. The national challenge is focused on picking some of the best ideas that would make cities more successful.

"One of the reasons theses ideas were selected, along with the rest across the country, is they're relatively short term," said Akron program director Kyle Kutuchief. "They can be completed within 18 months, so I think the community will be seeing these projects in the year ahead."

The winners will be announced this spring and will receive a share of $5 million.

"I get to focus on Akron, but we're always looking at what other cities are doing for inspiration, said Kutuchief. "But we are thrilled with the 10 that won locally and I'm hoping to assist as many of them as possible and actually getting funding."

Here are the 10 ideas that were selected in Akron this year:

#Route10: Akron's Better Bus Stop Project by 8 80 Cities (submitted by Alyssa Bird): Encouraging new conversations about transit and life in the city of Akron with a daylong event that invites civic leaders to experience newly animated bus stops along Route 10, featuring entertainment and new amenities.

Coffee/Drink/Dance (submitted by Annal Vyas): Creating a new website that pairs residents who don't know one another to attend events and meet for conversations that help break down barriers between people from across the city.

Middlebury House by Akron Honey Co. (submitted by: Brent Wesley): Developing the Akron Honey Co.'s apiary in the historic Middlebury neighborhood into a community space for recreation, education and other activities that help residents connect with each other and other areas of the city.

Cuyahoga Explore-a-Foot (submitted by Brian Davis): Encouraging visitors to explore remote regions of Cuyahoga Valley National Park by providing services and amenities, such as help with travel arrangements and baggage transport, that make it more accessible.

Akron Shorts by The Devil Strip (submitted by Chris Horne): Strengthening civic engagement by installing stations around the city that would dispense art, stories, trivia, games and more, and encourage the public to share their own creations with fellow residents.

Akron Innerbelt Bike Park (submitted by Jonathan Morschl): Providing new life for an abandoned section of highway by creating a "bicycle park" that promotes cycling, encourages new riders and attracts cyclists from throughout the region and nation.

Invite Akron by Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park (submitted by Jen McAnlis-Harvey): Encouraging use of the area's premier public space, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, by inviting residents from every walk of life, and especially those who don't regularly visit the park, to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial with free transportation and events.

Developing Community Blue Zones: Keys to Longer, Healthier Lives by Akron General Health System/Akron General Foundation (submitted by Laura Jo Hawk): Exploring how to create successful "Blue Zones" in Akron, areas that promote healthful living conditions and options, such as developing walking trails, shedding stress and eliminating food deserts.

One Lake One Community by #KenmoreUnited (submitted by Nolan James): Bringing together residents from different sides of Summit Lake who don't traditionally interact through a meal and celebration that encourages use of the lake as a shared resource.

Akron Tread Lightly (submitted by Shane Wynn): Encouraging biking throughout the city with a campaign that emphasizes the variety of experiences and amenities that are available by exploring the urban core on two wheels.

 

Published in Local
Monday, 11 January 2016 12:45

Haven of Rest Issues "Code Zero" Alert

The wind chill is pushing temperatures below zero in the Akron area -- prompting a local shelter to issue a "Code Zero" alert.

Haven of Rest has issued a "Code Zero" Alert to remind those in need that the shelter is open 24/7. The shelter will be open for guests looking for a place to get warm -- and for those interested in a meal or simply a hot cup of coffee.

Since the start of the New Year, Haven of Rest Ministries has noticed an increase in the amount of people seeking shelter -- and that number is expected to climb with temperatures in the teens and the wind chill forcing that number below zero.

Click here for more information.

Published in Local
Monday, 11 January 2016 12:39

Gas Prices Drop In Akron

Gas prices continue to fall as the new year moves forward. In the past week, gas prices have dropped more than a nickel in the past week in the Akron area, bringing the average price of a gallon of gas to $1.86, according to GasBuddy.com.

And it appears drivers will enjoy the benefits for months to come.

"By and large, at the end of the year, if you were to add up your receipts you'll find that you'll be spending about 10 to 12 cents less a gallon than you were last year." said Senior Petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.

DeHaan said prices in 2016 are expected to stay under $3 per gallon -- with the exception of areas in the West Coast. Even with possible refinery issues and the switch to "winter-blend," DeHaan doesn't expect the average price of gas to reach above $3.

Published in Local

Half a dozen residents at a local correctional facility was taken to the hospital after suspected drug overdoses late Tuesday night. Oriana House officials say two men at the Summit County Community Based Correctional Facility (CBCF) were treated and released, but four men are still being evaluated. Officials report the residents' symptoms indicate that the drug involved in the overdoses were linked to synthetic marijuana, also known as K2. But officials note that the chemical make-up of K2 constantly changes -- making it difficult to test.

Officials say as a result of the incidents, Oriana House staff members have "restricted the movement of all the clients at the Summit County CBCF, allowing residents to leave only for approved employment and medical appointments."

Full searches will be conducted in the facilities and
enhanced pat downs" are being implemented as well.

In a news release, Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford stated:

"We constantly monitor our clients and our facilities to take every effort to keep drugs out of our programs. But like many jails and prisons that have recently reported overdoses, Oriana House is a community based program and is not immune to drugs getting into our facilities."

Local authorities are investigating the incidents.

Published in Local

There's a new president of Akron City Council, but it's not a name many expected. Ward 8's Marilyn Keith was named council's new leader by a 7-6 vote.

"Sometime we have to do things that aren't always comfortable, so I realized that now is the time that I have to step up to the plate and do something that I hadn't intended to do," said Keith.

Council was divided between Bob Hoch and Linda Omobien for council president, but it was Keith who then stepped forward as a new candidate.

There have been past conflicts between council members and the administration. Keith says she'll make an effort to address issues immediately, but also notes that it doesn't mean that conflict disappears.

"I can't guarantee that it won't happen, but I can guarantee that I won't add to it, nor will I, in any way, support it."

Keith said healthy communication and working together are her top priorities as she moves into the new position.

There was a potential conflict that was brought up during the meeting. Keith's husband is council clerk Bob Keith. Council president supervises the clerk's position, which could become a problem, but a possible solution would be to hand over the responsibility to someone else.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 11:28

Project Blue Light Shines

Project Blue Light is moving closer to reaching its goal in Summit County to distribute 10,000 blue lights in honor of service members in the community.

Rob Winebrenner, the father of fallen Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner, launched the project in November.

"We have more people that want the bulbs, than we have bulbs," said Winebrenner.

More than 3,000 light bulbs have been handed out across Summit County since the launch of the project in November. Winebrenner said it's not hard to see the community's support.

"As you drive around Barberton, it's amazing. There's a lot of [blue lights] in the Akron area. I've shipped them off to Warren and other states."

Winebrenner doesn't have any plans to stop -- even after his goal is reached.

"It's been working out very well. Enough to keep it going and keep us ordering our next thousand."

A benefit will be held at the Funny Stop Comedy Club in Cuyahoga Falls Wednesday night. The proceeds will go to Project Blue Light.

Previous Coverage: 

Father Of Fallen Akron Cop Launches Blue Light Project

 

Published in Local

The Akron-Summit County Library is offering a new online service to access books, movies, and music. The library has teamed up with Hoopla, described as a Netflix-like online service, to offer users 24/7 online and mobile access to the library.

"We do intend to do a lot more with digital to make library accessible," said Collection Development Coordinator Val Sherman. "No matter where you are, we'll be there for you."

There's a checkout limit for library card holders -- just 10 items per month, but there are no fines since the items automatically return after the checkout period has ended.

"You can have a video for about three days and it'll just automatically return. You won't have to worry about fines."

The Akron-Summit County Library is just one of dozens in Ohio that have partnered with the new digital service.

Published in Local

An employee at Our Lady of the Elms in Akron is facing a sexual battery charge after he was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports Jeffrey Peterson, 28, was fired from his job as an IT coordinator at the private, all-girls Catholic school after school officials learned of the accusations and reported it to Akron police.

Peterson is being held in the Summit County Jail and has a court appearance scheduled on Monday.

On the web: www.cleveland.com

Published in Local

Akron Public Schools are looking into allegations that a Firestone High teacher had an improper relationship with a female student.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the unnamed teacher was placed on paid leave a few weeks ago.

Firestone staff and APS administrators are working with legal counsel to look into the matter, though there's no word yet how it came to the attention of Firestone staff.

There's also no word on the length of the alleged improper relationship or the age of the student.

The allegation could be presented at the Akron school board's next meeting next month.

On the web: www.ohio.com

Published in Local
Monday, 21 December 2015 10:35

Winter Season Off To Warm, Rainy Start

The winter season officially begins tonight, but the freezing temperatures and snowflakes are nowhere in sight.

"If you like mild temperatures and lots of rain, you're going to like the forecast, " said Meteorologist Richard Lewelling with the Weather Channel.

Temperatures are expected to reach near the 60s on Wednesday and stay above average through the rest of the year.

"In fact, the coolest temperature I see, anywhere in the next 16 days, is a 40 degree low at night," said Lewelling. "So, pretty much, everyday between now and the end of the year we're going to be looking at 40s, 50s and even 60s in the forecast."

Lewelling predicts record-breaking temperatures across the country as the year comes to a close.

"We're going to see a lot of records fall by the wayside. I think you have to go way back in the record books to some of the strongest El Ninos to actually see weather like this, anywhere in the country. In fact, there's really nothing that compares to it."

 

Published in Local

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas.

They came by the truck loads, hundreds of bikes delivered by Elves & More put a mile-wide smile on parents and kids faces in Akron on Sunday, just a week a before the holiday.

"Yes, I'm excited because I haven't had a bike in a longtime," Treymaine Lucas said.

Lucas received a bike from LeBron James, as part of the 'I Promise' program, but was stolen when he left it outside on the porch of their house.

Brandy Moore, his mother, said her son was very upset about what happened. She has three kids and was not able to buy her son another one. She said this event made things a lot easier, especially with her Christmas shopping.

"[This event] helps me out a lot because I can't afford to buy three bikes," Moore said. "Being that they were able to give my kids bikes, it's going to be their Christmas presents now."

Elves & More delivered 1,600 bikes total to kids and families in Akron, Canton and Springfield on Sunday.

Moore said she think it's "wonderful" what the people from Elves & More did because it will help a lot of families.

"I think it's nice. I think it's wonderful. It's a nice Christmas gift for all of these kids. Some kids aren't going to get nothing else for Christmas."

Tim House, Co-Founder of Elves and More, said it started about ten years ago when they decided to giveaway bikes for Christmas to kids who needed them most.

"Many of these parents and grandparents that are raising their granddaughter and grandsons or parents that are raising their own children; they're struggling right now and Christmas time puts another stress on them. They have no idea how they're going to buy a gift, so we supply that gift for them."

House said it's the smile on the kids faces year after year that makes this all worth it.

"If you see a kid on an Elves & More bike with a backpack, you know, you just say to your self, she's on her way to a library, she's on her way to school, she's on one of our bikes. There's nothing you can say bad about that."

House said he's lucky to have the amount of people that volunteers each year.

"We are very fortunate in volunteer base," House said. "Last week we put together 1,600 biclycles in about four hours. We had a little over 400 volunteers show up, put the bikes together and clean the warehouse."

One of the many volunteers who helped deliver bicycles at the Akron site was Walter Holtz. Holtz, who works for XPO Logistics as an operations manager in the Alliance and Youngstown area, said it feels good to deliver the bikes and see the kids reactions.

"It's really nice to see the faces and the expressions on kids faces when we give back," Holtz said. "Everybody likes to receive but at the same time there's that special feeling you get every time when you give to someone else...it's an indescribable feeling."

Elves & More does not fund-raise and try to receive grants and donations from corporations to fund the giveaways, House said. He said they're bank account is really low right now after getting the bikes, but in the end, he said, "it's all worth it."

Published in Local

Longtime Akron City Councilman Mike Williams attended his final meeting Monday night after serving 28-years on city council.

Williams had to choose between running for mayor and running for re-election for his at-large seat.

But he wouldn't change a thing -- including his decision to run for mayor.

"The only regrets you have in life are the things you didn't try and that you didn't go for," said Williams. "It was very important to me. It's something that I always wanted to do.

Williams said he's still not sure what's in store for the future, but he plans to stay active in the community.

"This community has been wonderful to my family and it our obligation to give back, and it's the same thing I've taught my children."

The other members leaving council this year include Jack Hefner, DeAndre Forney and Jim Hurley who lost his seat in the primary.

 

Published in Local
Friday, 11 December 2015 11:10

Zak Husein: A Life By Example

It's been more than three days since the shooting death of 21-year-old Zakaeria (Zak) Husein who was shot in the chest during a robbery at his brother's pizza shop in Akron.

Family and friends have used social media as an outlet to share stories and remember the University of Akron student as a kind individual who was devoted to his faith as a Muslim.

It was clear to see the impact he had on friends and family members. Hundreds attended a prayer service for Zak at the Islamic Center of Akron and Kent this week and his Facebook page is flooded with with messages, describing the young man as a thoughtful, kind, accepting and genuine individual who had a bright future ahead.

"Zak is one of, if not the, nicest guys I have ever met," said Amal Almahd, Zak's cousin and president of the Muslim Student Association at the University of Akron.

But in the midst of many positive comments, one specific remark stood out to Zak's cousin and Muslim Student Association (MSA) President Amal Almahd. She said the comment, attached to a picture of Zak, referenced the young man as a Muslim "waiting to be radicalized."

"It just hurt me so much to see that the person went and even took his picture to make such a hateful comment."

While the comment was hurtful, Almahd believes the memories shared of Zak's life has been able to counteract the verbal attacks targeting Muslims.

"Through Zak's actions, I think everyone could see that whatever hateful comments, or whatever Donald Trump and anyone is saying, is completely wrong," said Almahd. "If anything, he (Zak) really was the best example of a Muslim."

Zak was studying international business at UA and was an active member of MSA. He was shot and killed during a robbery at Premium New York Style Pizza on Glenwood Avenue Monday night.

Akron police released surveillance video of the robbery to help track down the gunman who was wearing all black and a mask. Husein can clearly be seen handing over the money to the robbery suspect. Originally , the suspect was described as a black male, but police later confirmed that they were not ruling out the possibility that the suspect was a woman.

Zak's family has offered a $50,000 reward for anyone with information that would lead to the conviction of the person responsible in the fatal shooting.

More than $3,000 has been raised in a GoFundMe account that has been set up to help Zak's family pay for funeral expenses.

Previous Coverage: 

VIDEO 21-Year-Old Shot, Killed In Akron

 

 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 11:52

UPDATE VIDEO 21-Year-Old Shot, Killed In Akron

Updated 1:34 p.m. Police say the gunman pictured in the surveillance video below appears to be one of the two people who robbed two Family Dollar stores on Saturday night by pistol-whipping employees.

They say one suspect could be a female.

Akron CrimeStoppers is offering a reward in the crimes.

NewsChannel 5 reports that Husein's family is offering a $50,000 reward in addition to a reward offered by Akron CrimeStoppers.

(Previous coverage) The shooting death of a 21-year-old at an Akron pizza shop is under investigation.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports the man was shot at Premium New York Style Pizza on East Glenwood shortly before 11 p.m. Monday night. He is identified as Zakareia Husein, 21, from Springfield Township. He suffered a fatal wound to the chest.

Updated 11:50 a.m. Akron police released surveillance video of the robbery as the gunman, clad in black with a mask covering his face, approached the cash register demanding money. Husein can clearly be seen handing over the money. The video does not include the shooting.

Police have also released surveillance video of the Family Dollar robbery on East Tallmadge Avenue on Saturday night, and the Family Dollar robbery a half hour later on South Main Street.

Husein was taken to Akron City Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Police are asking for the public's help identifying the gunman.

 

Published in Local

The director of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study is leaving his position to become the city's new planning director.

Akron Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan announced that Jason Segedy, director of AMATS for the past seven years, will take over the new position in January.

Current AMATS planning administrator Curtis Baker will replace Segedy as interim director on January 4th.

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(AMATS - News Release) - After seven years as director of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), Jason Segedy will be leaving this position in January. Akron Mayor-elect Daniel Horrigan announced today that Segedy will be the city's new planning director.

Segedy became AMATS director in 2008 and has been with the agency since 1998. During his tenure as agency director, AMATS focused its efforts on increasing funding for road and bridge preservation, pursuing "Complete Streets" planning principles, and advocating better urban design to focus more on people than cars.

"Although it is never easy to leave a job one loves, the knowledge that our region - by working together - has been making great and steady progress towards becoming a better connected, cohesive and equitable place, makes it easier to say 'goodbye' to our wonderful organization and its members," Segedy said.

Curtis Baker, current AMATS planning administrator, will replace Segedy as interim director beginning Jan. 4. Baker has been with AMATS for over nine years and holds a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership from Miami University and a master's of city and regional planning from The Ohio State University

Published in Local
Saturday, 05 December 2015 11:33

Man Shot, Killed in Akron

Akron police are investigating the shooting death of a man on the city's west side Friday night.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports a man was shot at a home on Storer Avenue and was pronounced dead at the scene around 8:30 p.m.

Further details and the victim's identity have not been released.

 

Published in Local
Friday, 20 November 2015 11:27

Ice Skating Rink At Lock 3 Opens

The ice skating rink at Lock 3 opens today (Friday) -- a week before the official grand opening of this year's winter lineup in Downtown Akron. 

New to the winter lineup this year is an indoor/outdoor skating rink, sponsored by the University of Akron, with a polymer surface for beginners 14 and under. 

That will open next Friday, November 27, along with many of the traditional events schedule, including the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Festival. 

Below is a list of events/activities scheduled this year, provided by Lock 3:

THE ICE RINK: The Lock 3 ice rink opens Friday, November 20, 2015 through Presidents Day, February 15, 2016. Admission to the ice rink is free to everyone. Skates can be rented for $3. Skate rental closes 1⁄2 hour before rink closes.

ZIPPY'S LITTLE ROO RINK: Presented by The University of Akron, Ohio's Polytechnic University. The 28' x 48' rink designed for beginner skaters, age 14 and under, is an all weather, indoor/outdoor synthetic skating surface and is one of our newest attractions to Lock 3! Zippy's Little Roo Rink will operate during the same hours as the Ice Rink.

AKRON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM POP-UP SITE: Explore the emerging Akron Children's Museum Pop-Up Site, presented by PNC at Lock 3 this winter! Families can explore, create, build, and move through our interactive exhibits designed to inspire the imagination. Admission is $3.Open Wednesday-Saturday 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday 11 am –5 pm. Check Akronkids.org for more information.

POLAR PUTT-PUTT: 9 holes of indoor putt-putt golf that winds through festive holiday decor. Fun for all ages. $3 for 9 holes.

THE HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL: On Friday November 27th at 7 p.m. the City of Akron and Downtown Akron Partnership will light up the night sky over Lock 3. The half hour program hosted by WONE's Jeff Kinzbach will feature North East Ohio native, The Voice's Jacob Rummel and end with the lighting of spectacular displays throughout Lock 3 & a must see pyrotechnics show. It is also tradition for guests to stay after the show and ice skate into the night.

THE WELCOME SANTA PARADE: Saturday November 28th at 11am. This annual family tradition features over 75 units including marching bands, floats, costumed characters, dance groups and area organizations. The parade will end with Santa coming to town! Santa will stop at the main stage for the end of the parade entertainment and then come to Lock 3 to meet everyone. All Lock 3 attractions will be open.

REINDEER RUN: Enjoy 150 feet of downhill fun on our all-season polymer coated slide designed for children 14 and under. Adults may accompany children on the slide. Only sleds provided by Lock 3 may be used and are rented for $3 for 30 minutes. The number of sleds available each half-hour will be limited to ensure maximum fun. Purchase wristband and time slot at Skate Rental Desk.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 12, 13, 19 and 20 from 9:30-11am. Breakfast is $10 and includes pancakes with lots of yummy toppings, sausage, hot chocolate and orange juice. A ticket to ride the Magical Train, access to the Akron Children's Museum Pop-Up location, and your choice of a skate rental, Reindeer Run wristband, or a game of polar putt-putt. Bring your camera for plenty of photos with Santa! Reservations recommended by calling Lock 3 at 330-375-2877.

COUNTOWN TO FIRST NIGHT: A celebration in diversity and the largest community visual arts display in Northeast Ohio is Lock 3's "Countdown to First Night," featuring 40, hand-painted banners from schools, churches, community centers, ethnic organizations and civic groups - each one illustrating an expression of the winter holiday season. Lock 3 unveils a new banner on the State Street Parking Deck façade each evening, between Nov. 27 and First Night.

THE MAGICAL TRAIN: Enjoy a drive through Lock 3 on this trackless train that holds both adults and children. Fare is $3 for adults and children.

THE VINTAGE ONEIL'S WINDOW DISPLAYS: The famous classic department store animated window displays that Akronites remember from the 1960's through the 1980's will be displayed in the windows of the O'neil's and Polsky buildings on Main St. Displays include The 3 Little Pigs, The Wizard of Oz, 3 Men in a Tub, Alice In Wonderland, The Cabbage Patch Kids, Raggedy Ann and more.

CRAFT IN SANTA'S WORKSHOP: December 3, 10, 17 from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Santa's Workshop (located inside Polar Putt Putt). Children 3-12 years old. FREE. Looking for a fun evening out with the kiddies? Join Santa and his helpers making crafts inside Santa's workshop! Lots of fun craft projects to choose from. You make it and then take it home with you! Enjoy photo opportunities with Santa and complimentary cookies and punch. Lots of holiday fun!

CRAFTY MART PRESENTS COTTAGE MART: For the first time, Crafty Mart is hosting a holiday pop-up market with a curated collection of our area's finest artists and makers in the outdoor wooden cottages. Enjoy ice skating, the new Children's Museum space, have a cup of hot chocolate, and stroll through the outdoor marketplace. Do your holiday gift shopping for locally-made items by small business makers for one weekend only. Saturday December 5th 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, December 6th 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

AKRON2AKRON HOLIDAY WALKING TOUR: Join us for the Akron2Akron Downtown Christmas History Walking Tour and After Party on Saturday December 12th. The Walking Tour starts at 4pm and is free to the public and is led by Joanna Wilson the author of The Story of Archie the Talking Snowman and Akron's History of Christmas Attractions.

FIRST LOCK 3 JINGLE BELL BASH: To benefit Ronald McDonald House of Akron. December 12th at 6pm inside Lock 3. Admission is $10 and each party goer will receive 2 tickets to a raffle, one drink ticket, and food. There will be coffee, hot chocolate, Thirsty Dog's Christmas Ale, soda, holiday cookies and hor d'oeuvres available. Guests will also have free access to ice skate and play putt putt golf during the event.

SPECIAL EVENTS: Need something to make your winter weekends a little warmer? Stay tuned to the website for more events and activities throughout January and February.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE: The concession stand at Lock 3 offers chili, soups and other hot items to warm skating and sledding enthusiasts. Akron's own Thirsty Dog brews are offered, including Lock 3 Lager. Coca Cola soft drinks and hot chocolate are also available.

Published in Local
Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:43

Arrest Made In Shooting Death Of 19-Year-Old

Akron police say they have made an arrest in connection with the shooting death of an Akron man over the weekend.

On early Sunday morning, Jaleel Jovon Woods, 19, of Endicott Drive was found with a gunshot wound to the head near Cordova and Courtland avenues.

Detectives arrested Jovonte A. Veal, 21, of Copley Road and charged him with murder. He was taken into custody Wednesday night and booked into the Summit County Jail.

Published in Local
Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:27

UPDATE Man Found Shot To Death In Parked Car

Akron police have launched their third homicide investigation in four days.

The latest fatal shooting was reported on Edward Avenue, where the body of 29-year-old Devon M. Anderson of Caddo Avenue in Akron was found in a car parked in a driveway.

He had been shot several times.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy, and says Anderson died of a gunshot wound to the torso, a homicide.

Akron police are investigating what happened.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 08:06

Man Shot, Killed At Akron Adult Club

Akron police are investigating the second homicide in as many days reported at an adult club in Akron overnight.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Officer reports a 32-year-old man was found shot following an altercations inside the Adult Entertainment Club on East Archwood Avenue shortly after midnight.

Further details and the victim's identity have not been released.

On early Sunday morning, a 19-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound to the head on Cordova Avenue. Authorities haven't released a possible motive or suspect in the shooting. 

Published in Local

On the one year anniversary of Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner's death, his father is moving forward with a new project to support local law enforcement officers across Summit County.

Winebrenner has announced the launch of Project Blue Light, JW1301, which is part of a nationwide effort to honor service members in the community.

"I think this blue light would tell those officers out there at night time, and the people driving around, that 'there's a supporter of peace keepers,'" said Winebrenner. "... this blue light represents anybody who's other in the service industry and even our military people."

Winebrenner said the bulbs will be available at local venues across the area, including at the Barberton Police Department where some officers will make a personally delivery to those who request a blue light for their home.

Donations are being accepted and will be used to purchase additional blue lights to be distributed around the area. 

Updates and more information can be found on the Justin Winebrenner Memorial Page on Facebook.

 

Published in Local

Rob Winebrenner, father of slain Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner, said he has forgiven the man who took his son away from him.

"I said I can forgive him so I can move on. I wish it didn't happen that night. I wish he would gone home and stayed home, but what happened happened; I can't change that."

Family and friends of Justin Winebrenner paid tribute to the man they all knew on the eve of the 1-year anniversary of his death at Barberton High School on Sunday.

Rob Winebrenner said on a day they will release balloons into the air in his son's honor would not be a sad day, but a day to reflect on the amount of good Justin did for a number of people.

"Inside, yes, we're sad. We are mad, but I think on the outside it's more of remembering him and moving on and looking forward and seeing the things he did left behind in peoples minds."

Kenan Ivery killed Justin Winebrenner on November 16th 2015 at Papa Don's Pub, after they got into an argument that led to Ivery being kicked out of the bar.

Ivery was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Winebrenner.

Joel Green, a childhood friend of Justin's, said he will always remember his smile and will always remember him as a caring person. Green said he knows Winebrenner was there with them Sunday.

"We know he is looking down today," Green said. "We couldn't have more beautiful weather today and I think if Justin was standing here today, he would smile."

Ohio Representative Greta Johnson was in attendance and played a big part in naming a portion of the highway along US Route 224 after Winebrenner. Johnson said Winebrenner died helping others.

"Justin was a helper and he died doing what helpers do."

She said riding on the highway named after Justin gives her a daily reminder of the man he was and what it means to be a helper as an elected official.

"I carry him with me and all helpers in the job that I do. His highway sign welcomes me home from every trip everyday to Columbus."

Scott Snyder, founder of the non-profit organization Hero's Rock, presented Justin Winebrenner's daughter Charlee the "CrimeDawg" Rocker that is a replica of the car Winebrener drove as an Akron police officer.

"We created the crime dog for Charlee [Justin Winebrenner's daughter] to reflect Justin's service to his community and who he was."

Snyder and his wife Trish founded Hero's Rock after they learned about a soldier being killed in Afghanistan, a week after learning he was going to be a father.

From pulling a person from a burning car to buying a four-wheeler for a young boy who had his stolen, Snyder said Justin gave his life for others.

"A policeman's motto is to protect and serve. Justin lived by these words on and off the job."

Over 50-100 balloons were let off into the air and many people clapped in celebration, before heading to Green Diamond Grille to watch the Cleveland Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rob Winebrenner said it is a great show of support to see how many people came out to honor his son. He told the crowd before leaving it's because of them he is able to go on.

"Its because of you, each of you. I am able to stand tall."

Published in Local

While the investigation continues into the deadly Akron plane crash that took the lives of all nine people on board, the American Red Cross is actively offering their support to the 11 families who were affected by the damage left behind.

"We provided initial assistance to those families. Right now, we're waiting to see what kind of services they need, if any, as follow-up," said Spokesman Jim McIntyre with the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region.

The local chapter of the Red Cross will also be assisting the families with a recovery plan.

"We'll refer them to whatever appropriate agencies they need. We are also going to assist them with a recovery plan if they need that and we also have mental health services available if those are needed."

At the crash site on Mogadore Road, the Red Cross is also on scene to provide food, water and coffee to first responders and investigators.

Published in Local
Thursday, 12 November 2015 11:37

Wind Advisory In Effect

There's a wind advisory today for several Northeast Ohio communities, including Summit, Stark, Portage and Medina counties. The National Weather Service reports wind gusts could hit up to 55 miles per hour. The advisory is in effect until 10 tonight.

"As far as this time of year, this is what we call the storm season for the Great Lakes region," said Meteorologist Kirk Lombardy with NWS in Cleveland.

The wind strength could have the power to knock down tree limbs and power lines.

"Also, anything that's not tied down or secured could become airborne or blown away from your yard."

According to Lombardy, this is a typical November storm for the Great Lakes region.

"Typically we see storms that travel through the Great Lakes and cause some very strong wind events. Look at the event of the Edmund Fitzgerald that occurred on November 10."

In 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald ship sank during a storm in Lake Superior, killing 29 people on Nov. 10.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:56

UPDATE No Survivors In Akron Plane Crash

Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed Tuesday night that there were no survivors after a small plane crashed into an apartment building near Mogadore and Skelton roads.

While the identities and number of victims haven't been released, the plane's owner confirmed that there were nine people onboard the 10-passenger plane -- two pilots and seven passengers -- when it took off from Florida. Officials said the plane was reportedly flying from Dayton area to the Akron Fulton Airport. But it is not clear yet if those passengers were on the plane with the pilot and co-pilot when it crashed in Akron.

A flight school at Fulton Airport posted on Facebook that the plane was on approach to the airport, and was a Hawker 800 model.

Officials say no one was in the apartment at the time of the crash.

The investigation continues today with a news conference scheduled at noon.

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UPDATE 6:26 PM 11/10/15: Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol have confirmed that there were no survivors in the plane crash. There were nine people onboard the small plane.

UPDATE 5:50 PM 11/10/15: The owner of a private jet that crashed into a small apartment building on Mogadore and Skelton Roads this/Tuesday afternoon is now saying that there were 9 people on the jet - two pilots and seven passengers - and none of those aboard are believed to have survived the fiery crash.

The Beacon Journal reports that the plane's owner, Augusto Lewkowicz, isn't releasing the victim's names pending family notification.

NewsChannel 5 also cites Akron police sources as confirming nine people were on board the plane. It is not yet officially known if all those aboard were on the plane when it crashed in Akron.

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(Previous coverage) A small plane has crashed into an apartment building on Mogadore Road, and there are apparently some deaths.

NewsChannel 5 reports, quoting police sources, that two people have died in the crash into the apartment building on Mogadore Road and Skelton, not far from Akron-Fulton Airport in the Ellet area of Akron.

The TV station reports that everyone in the apartment building has been accounted for, and there are no injuries in the building. And the fire is now reportedly out.

A flight school at Fulton has posted on Facebook that the plane was on approach to the airport, and was a Hawker 800 model.

 

We are sad to report that a Hawker 800 has just crashed on short final at Akron Fulton. We are deeply saddened for the...

Posted by American Winds Flight Academy on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

 

Power is out for many in the area.

FirstEnergy reports that about 66-hundred customers are out in Summit County, almost all of them in Akron itself. Witnesses say the plane clipped power lines on the way to crashing.

Published in Local
Friday, 06 November 2015 10:29

Prade Hearing Wraps Up

The latest court hearing to determine whether former Akron police Captain Doug Prade will get a new trial has concluded.

Defense experts were testifying in court about the DNA found on the lab coat of Prade's ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade.

The hearing is similar to one held in 2012 that led to Prade being exonerated. That decision was eventually reversed. Judge Christine Croce decided to hold another hearing instead of relying on transcripts.

Judge Croce has asked for written closing arguments to be filed with the court in four weeks. She will then determine whether Prade gets a new trial.

Previous Coverage: 

Prade Hearing Over, Written Decision Comes Later

Court To Hear Arguments For New Murder Trial

Prade's New Trial Request "Under Advisement"

Court Turns Down Latest Prade Appeal

Date Set For Prade Murder New Trial Hearing

Prade New Trial Order Sent Back To Summit County Court

UPDATE Prade Ordered Back Behind Bars

 

Published in Local
Thursday, 05 November 2015 12:32

Akron RubberDucks Win Larry MacPhail Award

The Akron RubberDucks are celebrating news that the team is the recipient of the 50th annual Larry MacPhail Award, which is given to a minor league baseball team that has demonstrated unique and creative promotional efforts.

The team was recognized for their innovative promotions and theme nights that helped to bring in more than 340-thousand fans to Canal Park in 2015.

The RubberDucks will pick up the award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Dec. 6 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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(Minor League Baseball - News Release) ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball announced today that the Akron RubberDucks are the recipients of the 50th annual Larry MacPhail Award, symbolizing the top promotional effort in Minor League Baseball. The award has been presented since 1966 and is named after Hall of Famer Leland Stanford "Larry" MacPhail, Sr., who introduced innovations such as night baseball, airplane travel, pension plans and batting helmets. The Akron RubberDucks will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Using innovative promotions and theme nights to attract and engage fans, the Akron RubberDucks welcomed 340,916 fans through the gates of Canal Park during the 2015 season. The RubberDucks used a variety of theme nights, in-game promotions and giveaways, specialty foods and fireworks shows to average more than 5,000 fans per game.

"On behalf of the RubberDucks organization, we are humbled and ecstatic to be recognized as the top promotional team in all of Minor League Baseball," said Jim Pfander, Akron RubberDucks general manager. "It is a tremendous honor to receive this prestigious award that is so well-known throughout Minor League Baseball. The credit belongs to our owner, Ken Babby, with his vision of creating an unparalleled fan experience for affordable, family entertainment in Northeast Ohio, as well as the entire front office staff in Akron. Our staff's tireless efforts to bring Canal Park to life not only during 71 home games, but throughout the calendar year, are second to none."

"The RubberDucks promotions are unique in that they not only increase attendance at Canal Park, but benefit the Akron community as well," said president & chief executive officer of Minor League Baseball, Pat O'Conner. "Their promotions are innovative and entertaining, and are in large part the reason they won this award. Congratulations to the Akron RubberDucks, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I commend them on an outstanding season."

In addition to a strong promotional calendar, the Akron RubberDucks announced FirstEnergy as the first-ever presenting sponsor in franchise history. The sponsorship included many activation pieces and a co-branded logo. The co-branded logo was featured on the sleeves of staff shirts and the 2015 starting lineups were "powered by FirstEnergy." The July 3 fireworks show was the largest activation piece of the sponsorship, drawing 8,258 fans.

"We are thrilled to bring this award to Akron for the first time and for a sixth time overall for the Eastern League in the 50-year history of this award," added Pfander. "Larry MacPhail was an incredible innovator who cared deeply about promoting baseball and making games memorable experiences for fans of all ages. To be associated with an award that bears his name is itself an honor."

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Akron's Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan used his first press conference this morning, following his election win Tuesday, to announce details related to a new advisory board that will look into the city's financial and economic health.

"It's just not looking at things that are wrong, but also looking at things that are right and improving them," said Horrigan .

Horrigan announced that the city of Akron will be forming the Blue Ribbon Task Force, which will be led by Tim Ochsenhirt, a retired managing partner at Roetzel & Andress.

"We're going to look at the finances of the city. We're going to look at the operations of the city and some of the opportunities and risks that the city may face," said Ochsenhirt.

The task force will be comprised of several local leaders, including Dan Colantone, president and CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber and David James, superintendent of Akron Public Schools.

According to Horrigan, the task force has been asked to focus on the following areas:

· City finances

· City operations

· Personnel and human resource management

· Economic and neighborhood development

· Risk management

· Charter changes

The budget for the task force has been set at $300,000 to pay for consultant fees and the force itself, but details on the breakdown have not been released.

The task force is expected to present their findings to Akron City Council in February.

 

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