Edward L. Esposito

Edward L. Esposito

Edward "Ed" Esposito is vice-president, information media for the Rubber City Radio Group. He oversees news and public affairs programs for www.AkronNewsNow.com, 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation; a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation and a former president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He's also served as a member of the Akron Press Club , Kent State University Student Media Advisory Board, Ohio Open Government Coalition, Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He's lectured on broadcasting and journalism for the University of Missouri in China, as well as across the country for RTDNA and RTDNF. You can reach Ed through the newsroom at 330-864-6397 or by email eesposito@rcrg.net

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 06:12

Stolen Dirt Bike Leads to Death

A Streetsborog man is charged with manslaughter after a shooting over a dirty dirt-bike deal gone horribly wrong in Akron. 63 year old William Knight set up a meeting to buy a bike back after it had been stolen from his son-in-law; it quickly turned into a fight and Knight reportedly shot to death 24-year old Keith Johnson as Johnson was trying to flee on the dirt bike.  Knight says he was protecting his family. He was booked into the Summit County Jail.

What may make this even more heartbreaking is the victims of the dirt bike theft called police asking for help getting their stolen property back. APD Lt. Rick Edwards told News5 such calls aren't handled as the highest priority, so the family pursued recovery on their own.

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(Akron PD)  Shortly before 8:00pm Monday, officers responded to a shooting in the 700 block of Danmead Avenue. When officers arrived, they found a 24 year old male lying in the street with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene.

On February 4, 2016, a 40 year old male from Annapolis Avenue in Akron reported a Yamaha dirt bike stolen from his unlocked garage. The male then noticed his dirt bike for sale on a social media site. The male made several attempts through social media to contact the person attempting to sell the Yamaha dirt bike. After several attempts, the male was finally able to meet up last night on Danmead Avenue.

The male took his 63 year old father-in-law and his wife. The male got into a verbal altercation with the 24 year old male trying to sell the dirt bike. The argument was over the dirt bike being stolen, and who owns the dirt bike. During the altercation, the 40 year old male grabbed onto the dirt bike. The 24 year old male tried to flee the area on the dirt bike and started to drive right for the 40 year old male. The father-in-law then pulled out a handgun and shot the 24 year old male on the dirt bike.

Detectives arrested the father-in-law, William M. Knight, 63, of Lady Catherine Street in Streetsboro, Ohio. Knight was charged with involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault and booked into the Summit County Jail.




Monday, 20 March 2017 16:51

Falls PD Looks For Missing Woman

UPDATE Cuyahoga Falls police report Weygandt was found last night.

Cuyahoga Falls police are hoping the public will help them find a missing 75-year old Cuyahoga Falls woman missing since this morning. Police report Juanita Weygandt was last seen in Pinebrook Trail; she suffers from dementia. Weygandt was last seen in a 2016 white Hyundai Elantra with license plante number GRC 3330. Anyone spotting the vehicle or Weygandt can dial 9-1-1 and direct police to the sighting.

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(Ohio Missing Adult Alert System) A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department statewide.

Information as of: March 20, 2017 at 4:42 PM

Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On March 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM, Ms. Weygandt left her residence and failed to return.

The incident took place in Summit County, OH On Pinebrook Trail in the city of Cuyahoga Falls.

The adult's name is Juanita Weygandt and the individual is missing. The adult is a White female, age 75, is 5'06" tall, weighs 148lbs, and has brown hair and blue eyes. Ms. Weygandt suffers from Dementia.

The vehicle involved is a white 2016 Hyundai Elantra with OH plate number GRC3330. 

Call or dial 911 if you see the adult or the vehicle. You can also call 1-866-693-9171 or 911 to be transferred directly to the investigating law enforcement agency or to hear the alert information.

Barberton municipal court Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger will be moving over to Summit County Common Pleas Court in April, filling the vacancy left as Judge Tom Teodosio now serves on the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals.

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(Governor's Office) Today Governor John R. Kasich announced the appointment of Jill Flagg Lanzinger of Barberton (Summit Co.) to serve as a judge on the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, General Division. Lanzinger will assume office on April 3, 2017. She must run in November 2018 to retain the seat for the full term commencing May 17, 2019. Lanzinger is replacing Judge Thomas A. Teodosio who has been elected to Ohio's Ninth District Court of Appeals.

Lanzinger received her bachelor's degree from Heidelberg University and her law degree from University of Akron. She currently serves as a municipal judge presiding over the Barberton Municipal Drug Court. She is a member of the Akron Bar Association, the City of Green Opiate Task Force and a board member of the Portage Lakes Advisory Council.

Thursday, 09 March 2017 12:06

AUDIO How Power Restoration Works

When a weather event such as the "Winds-day" storms sweep across the area and knock out power by the thousands, exactly what goes into the process FirstEnergy, like other electric utilities, use to restore service?

FirstEnergy spokesman Mark Durbin says it starts with the obvious "9-1-1 calls" with immediate safety concerns posed by live wires falling from utility poles. A complicating factor is crews don't always know before they are dispatched whether the downed lines are for electricity, cable television, telephone or fiber optic use but either way restoring service starts with cleaning up downed lines. Then the utility works with local agencies such as police and fire to safely reopen streets which may have been closed due to downed lines. 

Getting service restored to critical organizations comes next: that list includes hospitals, nursing homes and critical care facilities along with police, fire and emergency responders. Then the condition of the electric grid is analyzed to determine where the quickest work can more efficiently restored to the greatest number of customers. Durbin says residential customers with health devices can also call the utility and be placed on a database list, although those customers are best advised to have some form of power backup such as a generator to make sure critical service is uninterrupted.

Then the utility focuses on service impacting smaller numbers of outages, such as the one or two houses immediately impacted by falling trees. And it's the trees that pose the biggest issue on the restoration landscape; Durbin notes that while much of the charm and beauty of northeast Ohio is found in the woodlands we all enjoy, those same tree-shrouded walkways and streets are a liability not only when lines are taken down by fallen limbs but also in allowing for quicker response by utility crews needing to move equipment in and out of storm-ravaged areas to attack the outage.



Monday, 06 March 2017 08:38

Security Guard Shot, Killed At Bar

An Akron bar security guard is dead, two men in custody but charged with obstructing justice. The call came in from the Game 7 Bar and Grille on South Arlington around nine Saturday night.

No ID on the guard, who was shot in the hip and died at City Hospital. 19-year old Thomas Dunn III and 21-year old Anthony Cox are due to be arraigned on the obstruction charges later today.

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(APD) Shortly after 9:00pm last night, a 33 year old male, working as a security guard, was shot outside the Game 7 Bar and Grille, located at 627 South Arlington Street. The security guard was standing near the front, westside door, when the suspect(s) fired a shot from the southwest corner of the nightclub striking the victim in the hip. The victim was transported to Akron City Hospital where he later died.

The victim's name is being withheld pending positive identification and family notifications. The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy.

Two males, Thomas Dunn III, 19, of Longview Street and Anthony Cox, 21, of Edmeyer Court both of Akron, were charged with obstructing justice and booked into the Summit County Jail. No suspect(s) have been positively identified in the shooting and no charges have been filed.

Around 2:30am on January 28, 2017, detectives are continuing to investigate the shooting death of D'Cortez Taylor, 23, of Manchester Road. Taylor was found shot to death inside of his vehicle in the parking lot of the Game 7 Bar and Grille, located at 627 South Arlington Street. No suspect(s) have been identified or charged in Taylor's death.

Friday, 03 March 2017 09:05

B&E Leads To Drug Bust

Summit County deputies came away from a call on a breaking and entering with a bigger haul than they expected in Coventry Township.

Deputies arrested the homeowner, 29-year old Charles Kalail of Kingsley Avenue, after reports a neighbor and suspected thief were in a chase and the suspect fired a couple shots.

When police arrived at the home, they did a search for a second suspect who may have remained in the house after the homeowner returned as deputies were securing the area around the home. They didn't find the second person, but they did find bags of marijuana and secured a search warrant. Deputies say they found even more drugs including Xanax and other drug paraphernalia, along with three firearms.

Kalail remains in the Summit County Jail on drug charges.

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 (Summit Sheriff) On March 1, 2017, at approximately 7:45 p.m., the Summit County Sheriff's Office responded to a burglary in progress on Kingsley Avenue in Coventry Township. The reporting party notified the Sheriff's Office of a male suspect forcing entry into his neighbor's house. The suspect had removed an air conditioning unit and broke a window as he attempted to gain entry into the residence.

The reporting party confronted the suspect at the window and the suspect fled on foot. The reporting party gave chase until the suspect turned and fired two rounds from a handgun. The suspect continued to flee in an unknown vehicle.

The homeowner, identified as Charles Kalail, arrived at his residence as deputies were securing the area. The residence was checked for evidence of the burglary and the possibility of a second suspect inside the house. No suspects were located inside the house.

However, deputies located multiple packages of Marijuana in plain view. The marijuana was packaged and ready for sale and shipment. A search warrant was obtained and the residence was searched for additional evidence. The search warrant was executed and additional packages of Marijuana, Xanax, drug paraphernalia, cash and three firearms were recovered.

Charles Kalail age 29 of Coventry Township was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Drugs-Marijuana (F-5). He was booked into the Summit County Jail. Additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation.

Thursday, 16 February 2017 09:39

Tallmadge Company Takes Huge Hit

A Tallmadge company that provides health services owes more than $951 thousand dollars in reimbursements for overpayments of state Medicaid payments, including interest.

State auditors reports G. S. Burton Development was overpaid $895 thousand dollars between 2012 and 2014, at a time when the company received nearly $1.3 million dollars in payments for transportation and home care services.

Auditors also reported some services were performed for ineligible employees, iincluding two drivers who either didn't have a current license or were under license suspension.

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(State Auditor) Examinations of four northeast Ohio Medicaid providers identified more than $1 million in overpayments this week, according to reports released by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

Auditors uncovered much of that amount at G.S. Burton Development, LLP in Summit County, where they calculated $895,617 in overpayments stemming from 860 service errors that occurred from 2012 through 2014.

During that time, the provider received nearly $1.3 million in reimbursements from the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) for 22,357 services, mostly non-medical transportation and homemaker/personal care aide services.

Auditors determined 283 services were provided by 11 employees who were ineligible during the entire period and 17 employees who were temporarily ineligible. Reasons for those determinations included a lack of criminal background checks and drug tests, missing personnel files, no first aid and/or CPR certification, and failure to complete required annual training hours.

“These requirements are pure commonsense,” Auditor Yost said. “It’s disturbing to know that some Ohioans risk being in the care of individuals who lack basic but essential medical training and who haven’t even been properly vetted for the job."

”Additionally, two drivers went periods of time without having a valid driver’s license, one temporarily had a suspended license and another driver had a driving record with six points,“Yost said.

These standards are in place to protect people and are not optional,” Yost said.

Auditors discovered 297 errors in the provider’s service documentation, including 177 instances where the units billed exceeded those documented and 86 services with no supporting documentation. With the current amount of interest, the provider owes ODM $951,525.

Thursday, 26 January 2017 14:35

Phillips Execution On Hold - Again

Once again, Akron's Ronald Phillips breathes easier because a judge has stepped in to halt his last breath.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Merz ruled Ohio's plans to use a new three-drug cocktail to deliver the lethal injection that would kill Phillips is unconstitutional, a victory for opponents of capital punishment who've successfully out-maneuvered states where lethal injection is the form of execution by denying access to lethal drugs previously used because pharmaceutical and chemical companies won't sell them for the purposes of executions.

Phillips has been on Death Row for over a generation for raping his then-girlfriend's three year old daughter; Sheila Marie Evans died weeks later from the severe injuries. He had been scheduled for execution in the Death Chamber at the Ohio Correctional Insitution in Lucasville in January, but appeals put that schedule on hold until a scheduled February 15th date. Now that schedule is also on hold.

Ironically, the ruling by Judge Merz came almost to the day of the anniversday of the death of Evans on January 18, 1993.

Lawyers for Phillips and two other inmates argued before Merz that the use of a sedative, midazolam, couldn't meet a U.S. Supreme Court threshold of not causing "serious harm." Merz also barred the use of the two other drugs, rocuronium bromide and potassium chloride, ruling the State was not consistent in his offerings in the past on the new lethal cocktail as an alternative. The first two chemicals sedate and paralyze the inmate, while the potassium chloride stops the heart. 

Thursday, 26 January 2017 09:04

Portage Cops Seek Drive-Thru Thief

UPDATE Portage County law enforcement now say they have an ID on the suspect.


Previous: Apparently "drive thru" doesn't mean 24/7. Portage County deputies are looking for a man thought to be 40 to 50 years old who forced his way into Mike's Drive Thru in Deerfield Township; the same individual may have also broken into a Sebring convenience store a day later. Video images taken from that robbery show him as a white male, balding and wearing glasses wearing a sweatshirt with "Timberland" on the front. A photo taken from the heist at Mike's Drive Thru is displayed above.


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(Portage County Sheriff) Portage County Sheriff David W. Doak is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying a subject who is a person of interest in a recent Breaking and Entering incident that had occurred in Portage County on January 13, 2017.  During the early morning hours of this date, forced entry was made to Mike’s Drive Thru located at 9458 SR 224 in Deerfield Township. 


On January 14, 2017 a subject was observed at a convenience store in Sebring, Ohio in possession of some of the items taken during the Breaking and Entering.  The subject is described as a white male, wearing glasses.  He is seen wearing a white sweatshirt that has the word TIMBERLAND on the front.  This subject has a goatee and is partially balding.  He is approximately 40 to 50 years of age. 


This subject was seen to be driving a full size Chevy SUV, maroon in color. Anyone with information as to the identity of this subject is urged to contact the Portage County Sheriff’s Office at 330-296-5100

Thursday, 26 January 2017 08:51

Stow Arrest Fugitive For Fentanyl Deaths

A 28 year old Akron man wanted in connection with the deaths of two women  last June, has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter and drug trafficking.

Vernell Lavon Curry was arrested by officers from the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, who have been looking for him since 22 year old Abigail Hackett, and 25 year old Sara White--both from Stow--were found dead in his apartment from overdosing on fentanyl.

He's being held now in the Summit county jail.


(Stow PD/Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force) Force, located and arrested Vernell Lavon Curry, age 28, of Akron, Ohio, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and drug trafficking in connection with the June, 2016, deaths of two Stow women. The investigation by the Stow Police Department began on June 21, 2016, when Abigail Hackett, age 22, and Sara White, age 25, were found deceasedin Hackett’s apartment. At that time, indications were present that the women had died within moments of each other from a suspected drug overdose. On October 24, 2016,the Medical Examiner for Summit County released their Report of Investigation for both victims. The cause of death for both women was listed as acute fentanyl toxicity. ATM receipts helped to develop a timeline of victim activities leading up to their deaths.

Further investigation developed a suspect who was eventually identified as Vernell L.Curry and charges were authorized.Curry was arrested, booked at the Stow Police Department, and transported to Summit County Jail.

Charges: Involuntary Manslaughter, O.R.C., 2903.04(A), felony of the first degree, x2;
Drug Trafficking, O.R.C., 2925.03(A) (2), felony of the fifth degree.
Arrested: Vernell Lavon Curry
280 Grand Ave.
Akron Ohio 44302
DOB: 03/21/1988

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