Cities across the nation such as Barberton are on watch in terms of their federal funding with President Trump’s proposed budget for 2018. In the budget, the president is calling for a $2.7 billion reduction in spending, and city leaders wonder what services could be cut.

Bill Judge, the mayor of Barberton, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his trip to Washington DC and how his town could be affected. Judge traveled to DC to plead his case for more funding for Barberton, justifying how Barberton spends its federal grant money.

Judge says the trip to the nation’s capital was a positive one, though not without their questions. But he believes representatives from both sides of the aisle know the concerns of Barberton and will fight for its residents.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 11:17

Signet Expanding Barberton Facility

Fairlawn-based Signet-Jewelers announced Tuesday that they will be expanding their Barberton fulfillment center. 

In a statement, the company said they'll add another 56,000 square feet to the facility, expanding it to 134,000 square feet. 

"This expansion is vitally important to Signet's continued success and enables us to configure an ideal space to best meet the needs of our business and our Team," said Bryan Morgan, Signet Jewelers' chief operations officer in the press release. "It is an initiative that will further cultivate the growth of Signet as a Company nationwide, as well as in the Barberton area and the entire Greater Akron community."

The Barberton facility will add about 18 new jobs. 

Signet has made headlines for the wrong reasons recently, amid allegations of rampant sexual harassment throughout the company on an executive level. Following the allegations, which came to light late last year, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of stockholders who claim they were mislead on the severity of the harassment claims and told that their stock would not be adversely affected. 

It was. 

In 2015 the company was trading as high as $140.00 a share. Recently, shares for Signet stock have been traded as low as $70, Crain's Akron

Published in Local
Monday, 13 March 2017 11:21

Dominion Investing In Barberton Project

Dominion East Ohio customers in Barberton may be getting calls in the next few weeks from the company letting them know their gas may have to be turned off for a few hours, and inspections done of gas lines on their property.

That, because the company is starting a $1.84 mmillion dollar project, which will replace nearly 18 thousand feet of bare steel pipeline, with corrosion-resistant, plastic pipe. The project gets underway this week.

Read the press release from Dominion below:

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Dominion East Ohio is investing $1.84 million this summer in Barberton to replace 17,935 feet of bare steel pipeline -- with corrosion-resistant, medium-density plastic pipe. The work area includes East State and 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th streets, and Grace, Homewood, Grandview, Fairview, Taft, Wilson, Harding and Highland avenues. Construction is scheduled to begin March 13, with completion scheduled for July 1, weather permitting.

The pipelines slated for replacement were originally installed between 1926 and 1955. The project is part of Dominion East Ohio’s overall Pipeline Infrastructure Replacement program, launched in mid-2008. The $4 billion, 25-year project will involve the eventual replacement of more than 5,500 miles of the company’s 22,000-mile pipeline system.

During construction, the company or its contractors will need to turn off natural gas service to 308 customers for a short time, generally one to three hours, for replacing service lines. The service lines connect the Dominion main line to the customer’s home or business. As part of PIR, Dominion will assume responsibility for the service line, which formerly had been a customer responsibility.

The company will attempt to notify affected customers 24 to 48 hours prior to this to arrange access. The company may need to perform additional work at customers’ homes or businesses, at no charge, including:
· Inspecting and testing any interior service lines
· Verifying the reading on an inside meter
· Replacing the service line, which delivers natural gas from the main line to the gas meter
· Changing the gas meter

Dominion East Ohio personnel, or a qualified contractor working for Dominion East Ohio, will relight customer appliances once work is complete. If a problem is discovered with any of the house lines, which run from the gas meter to the natural gas appliances, it is the responsibility of the property owner to have the repairs made by a qualified plumber or contractor.

Once the work is complete, restoration will begin as soon as weather permits, including sidewalks, driveways and approaches. Typical yard restoration is limited to grading and seeding.

Dominion will post informational signs in the area where work is being performed. Further details will be available online at www.dom.com, keyword: Pipeline Replacement, and by calling Dominion, toll-free, at 1-800-362-7557, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Customer also may send questions by e-mail to Dominion’s Ohio Construction Support Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 26,400 megawatts of generation, 15,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,600 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 1 trillion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves more than 6 million utility and retail energy customers. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s website at www.dom.com.

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
Fans and pundits have compared the scrappy, resilient 2016 Cleveland Indians to the last time they were in the Fall Classic, 1997. But what some may not realize was how powerful the 1954 Indians were, even though they were swept by the New York Giants.

Hal Naragon was a catcher for the Indians from 1951-1959, and was a member of the 1954 Tribe. He joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about what he sees in today’s Indians that reminded him of his own team. He was a witness to Willie Mays’s catch at the Polo Grounds, though he still maintains Larry Doby made a better grab in a regular season contest.

Naragon did eventually win a World Series ring, though it was in 1968 with the Detroit Tigers as a bullpen coach. The 88-year-old is a graduate of Barberton High School and still calls Barberton home.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Monday, 22 August 2016 08:11

Top 15 High School Football Power Poll

Brought To You By Hiram College 
WEEK 4

 

 

 

 

 

 TEAMRECORDINFONEXT OPPONENT
1 Stow 4-0 QB Rice 5 TDs Wadsworth 
2 Canton Mck  4-0 Canton wins battle of Bulldogs over Green  N.C. Hoover 
3 STVM  4-0 Late TD run puts Irish over Mooney  Hoban 
4 Barberton 4-0 Barberton ontinues to impress 52-6 over Revere  Copley  
5 Highland 4-0 Hornets sting Kent Roosevelt 34-17 Revere
6 Wasdsworth 4-0 23 point 3rd Qt as Grizz pull past Nordonia Stow
7 Hudson 3-1  Kevin Callahan 204 yards rushing in win  Nordonia 
8 Jackson 3-1 Polar Bears pound Perry 38-7 Lake  
9 Tallmadge  3-1 Blue Devils fall for the 1st time 14-13 to Aurora  Dover
10 Hoban  3-1 Matt Salopek with 2 pick six  STVM
11 East 3-1 East with big win over Dover on the road 34-24 Kenmore Garfield 
12 Mogadore  3-1 Wildcats remain unbeaten with win over Elyria Catholic   Gilmour Academy 
13 Perry 3-1 Panthers fall to Jackson to open Fed league play  Walsh Jesuit
14 Covenrty  3-1 Comets soar in win over Cloverleaf 44-21 Field
15 Woodridge  3-1 Mason Lydic passes for 5 TDs  Streetsboro  

 

 

 

Published in WAKR

126 people are being laid off at Babcock & Wilcox's Summit County operations, and the company says you can blame lower coal generation.

B&W spokesman Ryan Cornell tells WAKR.net that the company will reduce its workforce by 113 people in Barberton and 13 people in Copley.

The layoffs affect nearly 13 percent of the Summit County B&W workforce.

And those reductions locally are a large part of the over 200 people being laid off throughout B&W's operations.

Cornell says that B&W is in the "energy technology business", and says the coal generation market will continue to drop, and that drop is happening faster than expected.

After the layoffs, B&W will employ 737 people in Barberton, and 120 people in Copley.

The city of Barberton says the layoff news came as a surprise, and said there was no indication of workforce reduction when city officials talked with B&W as recently as last week.

Barberton mayor Bill Judge says his office will do whatever it can to help families impacted by a job loss.

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(Babcock & Wilcox, news release) Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. (B&W) (NYSE:BW) today announced actions to proactively restructure its traditional power business in advance of a lower projection for U.S. coal generation and has updated guidance for 2016 to reflect:

* The net impact of the restructuring and decreased coal-related revenue in the second half of 2016.
* A charge to correct an engineering design error on a new build renewable energy plant in Europe. The resulting re-engineering, on-site rework and delivery delay will result in a $32 million pretax charge in the quarter and a full-year ($0.51) EPS impact.
* The shift of $38 million in 2016 expected revenue from a Canadian oil sands project that was delayed due to the impact of the Fort McMurray fires.

Revised earnings guidance for adjusted EPS is now $0.63 to $0.83, primarily due to the effects of the renewable energy project and the timing shift of the Canadian oil sands project. The restructuring savings largely offset the impact of expected lower coal-related revenue. Revenue guidance remains unchanged at $1.8 billion as the incremental revenue from the SPIG acquisition, which is anticipated to close early in Q3, is expected to approximately offset the other revenue impacts.

Traditional Power Business Restructuring

B&W is restructuring its traditional power business that serves coal-fired power generation to reduce overhead and improve efficiency in response to projections that coal utilization, particularly in the U.S., will decline faster than previously forecast. The new organizational structure includes a redesign of workflow for its North American-based coal power generation resources to provide an effective, flexible organization that can adapt to the changing market conditions.

As part of these changes, B&W will eliminate over 200 positions in North America immediately and undertake other cost-savings measures across the enterprise. The company also expects additional facility consolidations in the coming year.

Severance expenses and other costs over the next 12 months will be approximately $55 to $60 million, of which approximately $30 million are non-cash and include the write-down of B&W's one coal power plant and deferred tax assets related to the India manufacturing joint venture and various state net operating loss carryforwards. These savings are expected to allow the coal business to hold gross margins constant in the coming years despite the expected decline in volume.

B&W is consolidating aftermarket and global new build activities for coal-fired generation into one segment that will be led by Mark Low, Senior Vice President of the new Power segment. All renewable energy projects, including the B&W Vølund subsidiary, will be consolidated into another segment, led by Paul Scavuzzo, Senior Vice President of the new Renewable segment. This new structure will allow for a Power segment focus on efficiency and support for our traditional customer base while the Renewable segment focuses solely on renewable project execution and worldwide growth.

"We have reduced the size of our organization that supports the coal market by roughly 20% and restructured how we support this market," said E. James Ferland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These changes will allow us to continue to provide outstanding service to our customers and maintain solid profit margins in our power business despite an expected 15-20% reduction in U.S coal customers' demand for our parts and services by 2017 or 2018."

European Renewable Energy Project

During construction, B&W self-discovered a deficiency in the piping design of one of our renewable waste to energy projects. The correction requires engineering and then physical rework. B&W is working closely with our customer to minimize any delays and ensure the delivery of a high-quality facility that meets or exceeds all performance guarantees. "Our B&W Vølund subsidiary has completed 25 projects in the last ten years," said Ferland. "Of those projects, 23 out of 25 were profitable, and significant project improvements were achieved due to good execution. We believe this is an isolated issue and have performed reviews to ensure this piping design issue is not present in the other projects."

Overall Strategy

"B&W remains focused on executing our strategy," continued Ferland. "We are taking early action to ensure the coal-related business remains profitable in a challenging market while we grow our renewable energy business and diversify our portfolio through acquisition. We expect to close the SPIG acquisition early in the third quarter and continue to believe the revenue synergies for our combined businesses will provide significant upside. In addition, we plan to leverage our strong balance sheet and focus on diversification which we believe will provide increased value for our investors."

(City of Barberton, news release) Today, Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) announced a reduction in the workforce at their Barberton Location. Mayor Judge and his administration previously met with B&W's CEO and leadership team and more recently reached out to B&W just last week, yet there was no discussion related to workforce reduction. As with any workforce reduction, the impact to the local economy will be detrimental to the City budget and, most importantly, the employee and their household. As always, the City is dedicated in assisting local businesses in economic challenges. Mayor Judge's office is always open to any organization or individual seeking assistance or looking for an opportunity in our community. Mayor Judge stated, "I understand the difficulty created by any workforce reduction and my administration will reach out to B&W in order to offer assistance to affected employees. B&W continues to play an important role in our community and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them. Over the years, the City has faced similar challenges and I'm confident our continued efforts toward economic development will create positive impacts."

Published in Local

One person was arrested for OVI and just under a dozen others were arrested on other charges during Friday's sobriety checkpoints in Barberton.

The Summit County OVI Task Force reports one person was busted for OVI, but eight others were arrested for driving under suspension and another is facing a meth charge.

More than 400 vehicles passed through the checkpoints on 31st Street and Wooster Road.

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(Summit County OVI Task Force - News Release) On Friday May 20th 2016, the Summit County OVI Task Force conducted two sobriety checkpoints in the City of Barberton.

The first checkpoint was conducted at 98 31st Street:

262- Vehicles passed through the checkpoint in total

15- Vehicles were directed into the diversion area for further investigation or violations

01- Person was arrested for OVI

02- People were arrested for driving under suspension

02- Vehicles were impounded

The second checkpoint was conducted at 939 Wooster Road North:

149- Vehicles passed through the checkpoint in total

18- Vehicles were directed into the diversion area for further investigation or violations

06- People were arrested for driving under suspension

01- Person was arrested for misdemeanor possession of drugs

01- Person was arrested on a felony warrant

01- Person was arrested for felony possession of Methamphetamine

03- Vehicles were impounded

The BAC result for the sole individual who provided a breath sample was .096.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 16:56

UPDATE Barberton Boil Alert Lifted

Barberton officials say it's OK to use the water again, after a boil alert lasting a day and a half has been lifted.

All water use for Barberton water customers can return to normal, according to an alert sent by the city Thursday afternoon.

The Barberton and Norton schools were closed all day Wednesday and Thursday while a water main break was repaired, and the system was being returned to normal operation.

(Previous coverage) A big water main break in Barberton since overnight into Wednesday morning is still causing some problems.

Barberton water customers are still on a boil alert, as the repair of the broken 24 inch water main from the city's water treatment plant continues.

Mayor Bill Judge says that even after the break is fixed, they'll have to test the system.

"Once you pressurize the system, the potential for other issues after a break of this magnitude could arise," Judge tells WAKR.net, "so we're taking as many precautions as possible to make sure that the residents and businesses are safe."

Not only is the boil alert likely to be in effect until sometime Thursday afternoon, the Barberton and Norton school districts will also be closed again today.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:56

Grand Jury To Hear Cases In Teen's Death

The cases involving the mother and grandmother who are accused of supplying a deadly dose of heroin to a teenager are heading to the grand jury on Tuesday, April 19.

Mother Heather Frye and grandmother Brenda Frye are being charged with involuntary manslaughter, among other charges for the death of 16-year-old Andrew Frye who died of an apparent overdose in a Green Hotel room last week.

They appeared via video arraignment at a Barberton Municipal Court hearing on Wednesday.

Heather's sister Misty Frye told WAKR.net that it's all been a mistake.

"I don't think anything was intentionally done, we all know somebody is going to serve time out of this."

Like her mother and sister, Misty Frye also struggles with drug addiction but now says she is two years sober but it is hard to get clean without the right tools.

"If you dont have the tools you dont know no other way of life," Misty said. "I finally got those tool and I think they both need some rehab and need to sit down for a little bit."

In a related case, Judge David Fish reduced the bond of family friend Jessica Irons from $100,000 to $30,000 and ordered her to check into rehab.

Irons is being charged with drug possesion and tampering with evidence.

Published in Local
Thursday, 04 February 2016 09:26

UPDATE Driver Killed In SUV, Train Crash

The accident involving an SUV and a train in Barberton left one person dead this morning.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports the driver of the SUV drove around other vehicles and the lowered railroad crossing gate on West Waterloo Road near Wooster Road.

The SUV was then struck by the oncoming train.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

He's identified by Barberton Police and the Medical Examiner's Office as 51 year-old Anthony Nichols of Canton.

Police say the SUV he drove was behind two other cars at the crossing with the gate down, when he drove around those cars - trying to cross the tracks with the gate down.

Barberton police tell WAKR.net that West Waterloo Road opened again after being closed in the morning.

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
Saturday, 24 October 2015 10:30

Search Warrant Leads To 2 Arrests In Barberton

A pair of Barberton residents were arrested after police and the SWAT team conducted a search warrant at a 17th Street home Thursday afternoon.

Police said they found several stolen items from businesses and residences inside the home in the 200 block of 17th Street around 5 p.m.

Travis J. Cunningham, 30, of 8th Street, was arrested on a warrant for breaking and entering. Kenneth L. Tippel II, 30, of 17th Street, was arrested during a traffic stop on a warrant for receiving stolen property.

Additional charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

Published in Local