Investigators say that drugs and alcohol played a factor in a deadly two-car crash in Plain Township early Wednesday morning. 

According to the report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Michael D. Elsass, 26, of North Canton, drove through a red light at a high rate of speed around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. He struck a Chrysler Town and Country, driven by Lawrence E. Dobbins. After the collision, Elsass's Chevy Malibu ran off the side of Cleveland Avenue and into a a group of trees along the roadway. 

When Highway Patrol and EMS arrived on the scene, Elsass was pronounced dead on the scene. Neith Dobbins nor his passenger, Lynda Dobbins, were injured in the accident. 

Highway Patrol investigators from the Canton Post believe that drugs and alcohol played a factor in the deadly crash. The investigation is ongoing. 

Published in Local

Adam Boylen of North Lawrence Township has been charged with four counts of violating the Clean Water Act after dumping wastewater in Tuscarawas River tributaries.

The U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Ohio, Carole Rendon, said in a statement, "(Boylen) willingly dumped wastewater into streams, fouling the water and killing aquatic life."

At the time, Boylen was employed by an Ohio-based trucking company and was tasked with disposing of wastewater properly. He didn't and was caught. Now the case is headed to federal court. 

Below is the full release. 

--

A grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging a North Lawrence man with violating the Clean Water Act by dumping wastewater into tributaries of the Tuscarawas River, said Carole S. Rendon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Adam D. Boylen, 45, was indicted on four counts of violating the Clean Water Act by making unpermitted discharges.

“This defendant willingly dumped wastewater into streams, fouling the water and killing aquatic life,” Rendon said. “He put his convenience ahead of the public’s welfare. We remain committed to protecting our environment, and this defendant will now be held accountable for his actions.”

“Protecting our water is critical, both for the health and safety of our citizens and our wildlife,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “We will continue to assist in this case and others like it to protect Ohio.”

“Our environmental laws help keep illegal waste out of local waterways and protect clean water and public health,” said John Gauthier, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Ohio. “The illegal discharge in this case killed a substantial number of fish and caused serious damage to critical wildlife habitat. Today’s indictment is the direct result of the strong working relationship that EPA has built with our law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local levels.”

Boylen was a driver employed by an Ohio-based trucking company. Boylen’s job was to load wastewater generated from corporate facilities into a tanker truck and to drive the wastewater to a designated facility located in Pennsylvania for proper disposal. The wastewater contained surfactants capable of killing vegetation and fish, according to court documents.

Instead of delivering the wastewater to Pennsylvania, Boylen drove the tanker truck to remote locations in Tuscarawas County and central-eastern Ohio and emptied the wastewater containing surfactants into waters of the United States, according to court documents.

Boylen is charged with dumping the wastewater into two different tributaries of the Tuscarawas River, a wetland adjacent to the Tuscarawas River, and the Beach City Reservoir, on numerous occasions between April 18 and May 4, 2016.

White foam flowed down tributaries and streams as a result of Boylen’s actions. In one instance, the foam traveled four miles downstream from the location where the tanker truck was emptied. Vegetation was killed at all the locations. Approximately 709 fish were killed in one of the tributaries, and collectively, approximately 3,231 minnows, crayfish, frogs, and tadpoles were killed, according to court documents.

If convicted, the sentence in this case will be determined by the court after consideration of the federal sentencing guidelines which depend upon a number of factors unique to each case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses and the unique characteristics of the violations. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benedict S. Gullo and Brad J. Beeson. The case was investigated by the United States and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Stark County Sheriff’s Offices, the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Offices, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 12:59

Ohio Workers Comp. Safety Grants

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation announced Wednesday that 41 employers in Ohio will share more than $942,000 in federal safety grant money.

The cash infusion will be dedicated to purchasing or upgrading equipment designed to reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illness. The money was designated to these companies because of their ongoing commitment to worker safety.

The employers operate in 28 Ohio counties, including Stark, Wayne, and Portage Counties.

--

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison today announced 41 employers will share more than $942,000 in grants to purchase equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.

“BWC commits $15 million to the safety grant program each year to partner with businesses that make safety a part of their plans to thrive and grow,” said Morrison. “By investing in workplace safety, they’ll have fewer injuries and a more stable workforce.”

The Safety Intervention Grants were approved in December. The recipient employers operate in 28 counties around the state, including:

Allen County
Guernsey County
Preble County
Auglaize County
Hamilton County
Richland County
Brown County
Holmes County
Sandusky County
Clark County
Jackson County
Scioto County
Clinton County
Knox County
Seneca County
Cuyahoga County
Lorain County
Stark County
Fairfield County
Lucas County
Van Wert County
Franklin County
Mahoning County
Wayne County
Greene County
Montgomery County
Wood County
Portage County
 
 
Published in Local
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 09:35

Arrest Made In Fatal Stark Co. Hit-Skip

The Stark County Sheriff's Office reporting they have arrested Joseph Matthew Wilds, 23, in connection to last week's fatal hit-and-run accident along State Route 62 near Middlebrach Avenue. 

The hit-and-run happened Tuesday, October 4th, around 10 p.m. When police and EMS arrived on the scene, they found 60-year-old Dennis Slaton unresponsive. Shortly after he was prounounced dead. 

On Monday night, Stark County Sheriff's Deputies made a routine stop of a Mercury Grand Marquis that was driving left-of-center. When deputies approached the vehicle they noticed damage to the hood and the passenger-side mirror. Wilds admitted to his involvement in the hit-and-run and was later booked into Stark County Jail. He was cited for crossing the center line and also charged with hit-and-run and failure to stop after an accident. 

 

Published in Local
Friday, 07 October 2016 11:32

Wadsworth, Glenoak High Schools Locked Down

Update: As of 11:30 a.m. Friday the lockdown at Glenoak High School had been lifted. There is no official word on any arrests or any other information regarding the nature or seriousness of the threats written on the walls of the bathrooms. The Sheriff's Office has determined, however, that students and staff are safe to resume normal operations. 

--

Friday morning Wadsworth Police were alerted by someone who claimed to be a student at Wadsworth High School that there was an intruder on the school's campus. The school was placed on lockdown for more than an hour as the Wadsworth Police responded and investigated. 

It wasn't long before police determined that the threat was not credible and there was no intruder on campus. As a follow up, all of the buildings on campus were checked over and the lockdown was lifted just after 10:30 a.m. 

In an unrelated incident, Glenoak High School was also placed on lockdown Friday morning in response to threats that were written on the walls of a "couple" of bathrooms on campus. 

Plain Local Schools Treasurer Kathy Jordan tells WAKR.net that the Stark County Sheriff's Office was called immediately to investigate the nature of those threats, though she said she could not go into any further details while the investigation was ongoing. 

"No child is in danger, no one's been hurt, but we did go into lockdown," Jordan said, as a precaution. She went on to say that people often hear the term "lockdown" and fear the worst, but that is a standard procedure as the safety of all of their students is the number one priority. 

As of 11 a.m. Friday, the Stark County Sheriff's Office was still investigating the written threats, but again, there was no real concern regarding the safety of the students at Glenoak High School. 

Stay with 1590 WAKR and WAKR.net for more updates on this story. 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 12:09

Sheriff Investigating Fatal Stark Co. Hit-Skip

Update: Investigators have identified the victim of the fatal hit-skip as 60-year-old Dennis Slaton of Canton. 

--

The Stark County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident in Plain Township. 

According to the report, a man's body was found along State Route 62 at Middlebranch Avenue NE in Plain Township around 10 p.m. Tuesday. When Sheriff's Deputies arrived he was confirmed dead on the scene. 

Witnesses say the vehicle that struck the man is a 2011 or 2012 Hyundai Sonata, though the color of the vehicle is unknown. Police say it likely has damage to the front passenger-side bumper and passenger-side mirror. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Stark County Sheriff's Office at 330-430-3800. 

Published in Local
Thursday, 04 August 2016 01:13

Trump In Stark

Donald Trump will reportedly be in Stark County on Monday, though his appearance won't be a public rally or event.

The Repository reports that Jane and Tim Timken will host what's being called "an evening reception" with Trump, reportedly at a Jackson Township country club.

The reception with Trump won't be cheap - tickets will start at $2700 per person, and run as high as $50,000 per couple.

---

On the Web: Canton Repository, www.cantonrep.com

Published in Local

One of Ohio's delegates, Ruby Gilliam, is 93-years-young, and hails from Minerva, Ohio.

A World War II veteran, she is attending her 8th consecutive convention, and was tapped to say the Pledge of Allegiance, to kick things off on the opening day of the Democratic National Convention.

"When I say the Pledge of Allegiance, I'm saying it to all of our fallen comrades", Ruby tells reporters.

Out of more than 4,000 delegates, she's the oldest attending the convention.

And she admits she's a little nervous to say the pledge... which is why she got help from the youngest delegate; a 17-year-old from Maine.

Ruby has a message for her friends who couldn't make the trip from Minerva to Philadelphia for the 2016 DNC..."wish you were here, I'm having a great time, we're going to nominate Hillary Clinton, who's going to be the next president of the United States."

Below is the interview Ruby did with our own Joe Irizarry from the DNC in Philadelphia: 

 

Published in Local

The merger of Huntington Bank with Akron-based FirstMerit won't include 11 branches in Stark County.

The U.S. Department of Justice says those FirstMerit branches - along with two more in Ashtabula County - will be sold off as part of the pending approval of Huntington's $3.4 billion purchase of FirstMerit.

Huntington says it'll announce a buyer for those 13 branches after all the federal approvals of that sale are done.

The list of affected branches is linked below.

The overall deal is expected to be completed by the end of September.

-----

(U.S. Department of Justice, news release) The Department of Justice announced today that Huntington Bancshares Incorporated and FirstMerit Corporation have agreed to sell 13 branches in Northeast Ohio, with approximately $737.8 million in deposits, to resolve antitrust concerns that arose from Huntington's planned acquisition of FirstMerit. As a result of the acquisition, Huntington will become the largest bank in Ohio based on deposits.

Under their agreement with the department, the companies have agreed to divest two branches in Ashtabula County and 11 branches in Stark County, Ohio. The divested assets will include the deposits and loans associated with the divested branches. The companies have also agreed to suspend existing, and not to enter into new, non-compete agreements with their branch managers and loan officers located in Ashtabula County and Stark County, Ohio, for a period of 180 days following the consummation of their merger. Further, the companies have agreed to sell or lease branches closed within two years of the consummation of the merger in Ashtabula County or Stark County, Ohio, to FDIC-insured depository institutions offering deposit and credit services to small businesses.

"Families and small businesses rely on banks in their communities to keep their money safe and provide them credit for important purchases and investments," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. "Today's settlement protects banking customers in Ashtabula County and the Greater Canton area by ensuring that they continue to have access to competitively priced banking products."

The proposed merger is subject to the final approval of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The department said that it will advise the Federal Reserve Board that it will not challenge the merger provided that: the parties divest the branch offices, associated loans and deposits and the entire customer relationships associated with the divestiture branches; the parties commit to the Federal Reserve Board that they will comply with the agreement with the department; and the parties' commitments to the department are included as a condition to any order the Federal Reserve Board enters allowing the transaction.

Huntington is the holding company of The Huntington National Bank, Columbus, Ohio, with approximately $73 billion in assets. Huntington operates more than 750 branches and 1,500 ATMs in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Huntington specializes in full-service commercial, small business, and consumer banking services, as well as services ranging from mortgage banking to equipment leasing.

FirstMerit is the holding company of FirstMerit Bank, N.A., Akron, Ohio, with approximately $26.1 billion in assets. With about 370 branches and 400 ATMs in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, FirstMerit provides a large range of banking and other financial services to consumers and businesses.

Published in Local

Stark County Sheriff's Office has issued a Missing Adult Alert for 65-year-old Charles Frederick Wrenz. 

Mr. Wrenz walked out of his home on Winona St. NE in Alliance around 10:30 Thursday night and has not been seen since. 

He is described as a white male, about 5' 7", with brown hair and green eyes. There was no description of the clothes that he was wearing. 

Mr. Wrenz suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. If you see him, you are asked to call 911 immediately. 

Published in News
Saturday, 14 May 2016 09:51

UPDATE New Stark County Bear Sighting

A black bear that has been seen wandering around Stark County the past few days has been seen again.

The bear was first spotted in Jackson Township Thursday afternoon, and reportedly popped up again later that night in North Canton.

North Canton police say the bear was spotted again eating bird seed from a backyard feeder in the 100 block of Far View Drive early Saturday morning.

Two wildlife officers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources arrived on scene to track the bear's movements, but lost sight of it around 4:30 AM.

Late Thursday night, North Canton police say they received calls from residents saying they saw the bear in their yard near Arrowhead Golf Course.

North Canton Police Chief Stephen Wilder tells WAKR.net it's rare to see a bear in North Canton.

"We've had cougar sightings, we've had coyote sightings, and a few other animals...but in my years of working at the police department, over 30 some years, I haven't had a bear sighting", he says.

Chief Wilder says if anyone sees the bear, they should stay away from it, and just let it roam...and call law enforcement, who will contact wildlife officials.

"Since the bear's been non-aggressive, I'm under the understanding that it's still recommended that no intervention occur with the bear. We're trying to let it move its course wherever it going to go", he says.

The ODNR plans to try to get the bear to move east out of the county to a more favorable habitat.

Published in Local
Saturday, 20 February 2016 08:21

Two Dead After Car Crash In Stark County

A Friday night car crash left two people dead in Stark County.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to a single car accident on State Route 619 east of McCallum Avenue in Lexington Township.

They say the vehicle was traveling eastbound on Route 619 at a high speed, when the driver lost control and drove off the road, striking a utility pole and several trees.

24 year-old Leland Wright and 28 year-old Aubrie Wright, both from Atwater, were ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene. 

The accident is Stark County's fourth and fifth fatality this year. The crash remains under investigation.

Published in Local

Update 2:51 p.m. Law enforcement has captured a man who is accused of fatally shooting his wife at a nursing home in Canton near Meyers Lake.

Stark County Sheriff George Maier says 37-year-old Dragan Sekulic was apprehended on 77 Southbound near Cambridge.

Sekulic is charged with shooting his estranged wife Celjka Sekulic in the parking lot of Astoria Nursing Home on 12th Street NW.

Maier says that Dragan Sekulic had dropped off a rental car at the Akron-Canton Airport, switching to the car that was pulled over by the state trooper near Cambridge.

(Earlier coverage) Deputies with the Stark County Sheriff's Office are searching for a man who is accused of fatally shooting his wife at a nursing home in Canton near Meyers Lake.

Officials confirm that Celjka Sekulic, 37, was shot in the parking lot of Astoria Nursing Home on 12th Street NW.

The suspect has been identified as Dragan Sekulic, 37, the estranged husband of the victim. He fled and was last seen in a white 2016 GMC Terrain with a Kentucky license plate 714VBC. The suspect is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Stark COunty Sheriff's Office at (330) 430-3800 or the anonymous tip line at (330) 451-3937.

 

 

***STARK COUNTY SHERIFF GEORGE T. MAIER MEDIA RELEASE***

Posted by Stark County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Published in Local
Saturday, 05 December 2015 06:35

UPDATE Freezing Fog Advisory Issued

UPDATE 9:45a - The Freezing Fog Advisory has been extended. The advisory is in effect until noon. 
 
----
 
The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Fog Advisory for Summit, Stark, Portage, and Trumbull counties until 10 a.m. 
 
NWS reports the combination of dense fog and colder temperatures may cause some slick spots on the roads and sidewalks. 
 
The dense fog may also reduce visibility by less than a quarter mile while driving. 
 

Freezing Fog Advisory

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
312 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015

.DENSE FOG WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA OVERNIGHT. SOME FREEZING
IS POSSIBLE ON UNTREATED SURFACES. VISIBILITIES AT TIMES WILL BE
NEAR ZERO.

OHZ021>023-032-033-051500-
/O.EXA.KCLE.ZF.Y.0001.000000T0000Z-151205T1500Z/
SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-STARK-MAHONING-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...AKRON...RAVENNA...WARREN...CANTON...
YOUNGSTOWN
312 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015

...FREEZING FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CLEVELAND HAS ISSUED A FREEZING
FOG ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING.

* TIMING...DENSE FOG WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA OVERNIGHT AND
  BEGIN TO DISSIPATE SATURDAY MORNING.

* VISIBILITY...WIDESPREAD BELOW A QUARTER MILE AND NEAR ZERO IN
  SOME LOCATIONS.

* IMPACTS...VISIBILITIES WILL BE A QUARTER OF A MILE OR LESS AT
  TIMES. THESE POOR VISIBILITIES WILL RESULT IN HAZARDOUS TRAVEL
  CONDITIONS. TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING MAY ALLOW FOR SOME
  SLICK SPOTS TO DEVELOP ON ROADS AND SIDEWALKS...ESPECIALLY ON
  ELEVATED SURFACES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A DENSE FOG ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN DENSE FOG WILL SUBSTANTIALLY
REDUCE VISIBILITIES... TYPICALLY TO LESS THAN A QUARTER OF A
MILE... RESULTING IN HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS IN SOME AREAS.
MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE CAUTION AND SLOW DOWN... AS OBJECTS
ON AND NEAR ROADWAYS WILL BE SEEN ONLY AT CLOSE RANGE.

&&

$$



Hazardous Weather Outlook

HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
352 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015

OHZ003-006>010-017>023-027>033-036>038-047-060900-
LUCAS-WOOD-OTTAWA-SANDUSKY-ERIE OH-LORAIN-HANCOCK-SENECA-HURON-
MEDINA-SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-WYANDOT-CRAWFORD-RICHLAND-ASHLAND-
WAYNE-STARK-MAHONING-MARION-MORROW-HOLMES-KNOX-
352 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015

...FREEZING FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING...

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTH CENTRAL
OHIO...NORTHEAST OHIO AND NORTHWEST OHIO.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

PLEASE LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR GO TO WEATHER.GOV ON THE
INTERNET FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOLLOWING HAZARDS.

   FREEZING FOG ADVISORY.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.

 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 18:05

AUDIO CCC, Perry Looking For State Titles

Two teams from the "PTO" will be making their way down to Columbus to compete for a state championship, bring pride to their respective schools, and to Stark County.

The Perry Panthers led by Keith Wakefield and the Crusaders of Central Catholic coached by Jeff Lindesmith are focused and ready to compete for the final time this season, and both coaches know that they will need maximum effort from their kids if they are to bring it home.

Coach Wakefield joined Sam to talk about the win over Hudson, and as they prepare for Cincinnati LaSalle, who will be their opponent in the Division II State Championship Friday night at 8 p.m.

"We knew it would be a fight," Wakefield said, speaking of Hudson. "We knew we had to be physical,  and limit big plays."

As far as LaSalle, Wakefield knows there's a lot of talent on that side of the ball, and it's going to come down to the trenches.

"It comes down to, can our guys block their guys," he said. "They're real big up front, and their kids defensively aren't as big, but their quick."

 

 Canton Central Catholic, meanwhile will be taking on Coldwater in the Division V State Title contest, and Jeff Lindesmith says that it's a unique experience to play them once more this year after playing them in 2014. 

"This group has been such an interesting group, and it's been great to see them get better each week," he said.

Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 23 November 2015 11:53

Stark County Heroin Deaths Rise

For every life that was lost to heroin in Stark County this year, a cross has been placed in front of the county's sheriff's department.

Stark County Sheriff's deputies are hoping the image raises awareness and encourages others to speak up after the number of deaths in the area has significantly increased.

"It's a community problem and we need to address it as a community," said Major C.J. Stantz with the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

So far this year, 34 people have died from a heroin overdose -- an increase from 23 deaths reported during the same period last year.

Officials have placed a message board outside the Stark County Sheriff's Office with an anonymous tip line to help prevent another fatal overdose from happening.

Published in Local
Saturday, 07 November 2015 08:14

Fatal Car Accident In Stark County

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal car accident that happened in Stark County Saturday morning.

30-year old Danielle Johns of Tuscarawas was driving southbound on State Route 21 in Bethlehem Township around 1:40 AM. Officers say she lost control of her car and went off the roadway. She then struck a tree, a fence, and then another tree. Johns was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt while driving. It's not yet known if alcohol was involved in the crash.

Published in Local