Tuesday, 12 January 2016 17:16

Victims IDed, Northfield House Explosion Probe Starts

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The two adult victims in Monday night's house explosion have been identified.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's office says 43 year-old Jeffrey Mather and 43 year-old Cynthia Mather died in the explosion and fire at the house on Skyhaven Drive.

Two children who also died in the fire, believed to be their own, have not yet been positively identified.

Additional counselors were made available at Northfield Elementary School.

The investigation into the house explosion that killed the family of four people in Northfield Monday night is being headed up by the Summit County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office.

It's a joint investigation, says inspector Bill Holland with the sheriff's office, which couldn't even start until Tuesday morning.

"We weren't able to approach the scene due to the heat, and the environment surrounding the fire," Holland tells WAKR.net, "so we are full into the investigation at this point."

Holland says the probe into the fire is wide open at this point.

"Right now, we're looking at every possible angle of into the cause of the fire," Holland says. "We're not ruling anything out at this point, we just want to make sure that a thorough investigation is completed."

He says it's too early to tell if the explosion was caused naturally, or because of any foul play.

Fire officials at the scene said they did not believe it was a gas explosion. Holland says he isn't able to talk about that in this early stage of the investigation.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 16:30

Akron Man Gets Life For Murder, Rape

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Brock Tipping won't be getting out of jail anytime soon for murdering one woman and raping another.

Tipping was sentenced to life in prison in Summit County Common Pleas Court, and will be eligible for parole after 18 years, in the two cases - the murder of Crystal Palm and the rape of another woman.

Palm's relatives and the rape victim confronted Tipping in court.

Palm died in a fire in November 2014 on East Emerling Avenue, and was found stabbed to death.

DNA from that scene ended up connecting Tipping to a rape which happened that past October.

(Summit County Prosecutor's Office, news release) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall-Jones sentenced Brock Tipping, 32, of Sanford Avenue in Akron, to Life in Prison. Tipping is eligible for parole after serving 18 years of his sentence.

On November 23, 2015, Tipping pled guilty to the following charges:

Murder – a special felony
Rape – a felony of the first degree

On November 15, 2014, crews responded to reports of a fire at a home on East Emerling Avenue in Akron. When firefighters arrived, they found the victim, 33-year-old Crystal Palm, dead. After quickly extinguishing the fire, crews determined Palm had been stabbed to death. The Summit County Medical Examiner found Palm had been stabbed eight times around the head and neck.

While investigating the murder, authorities tested DNA found at the scene. That led investigators to connect Tipping to a rape which occurred about one month earlier, on October 19, 2014.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 16:28

Hairstylist Robbed In Akron

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Akron police are looking for the man who robbed a hairstylist at an East Waterloo Road salon.

The hairstylist reported that the man pulled out a small, silver revolver after he entered the Famous Hair salon at just after noon on Monday.

She said he demanded money, and would shoot her if she didn't comply. She did hand over some money, and police say he fled the store.

Police describe the robber as "a white male, 25 – 35 years old, 6'0" – 6'-02", 180 lbs., with black hair, and was wearing a black hat, black pea coat, blue jeans and white shoes."

 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 12:22

AUDIO: Knight Cities Challenge Includes 10 Akron Finalists

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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.

 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 12:15

Family Of Four Killed In Northfield House Explosion

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Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of an explosion that killed a family of four Monday night in Northfield.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office reports the bodies of two adults and two children were recovered by first responders when they arrived on scene to the home on Skyhaven Road around 9 p.m.

Fire Chief Frank Risko tells NewsChannel 5 that a mother, father and two girls, ages 8 and 12, died instantly inside the home. 

The cause of the fire is not known, but officials do not believe it was a gas explosion.

Additional counselors will be available today at the Nordonia School District.

Dear Nordonia Families,As you have undoubtedly heard, a Nordonia family suffered a horrible tragedy last night. A...

Posted by Nordonia Schools on Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Monday, 11 January 2016 17:42

Bond Set at $5 Million For Alleged K9 Killer

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The man accused of killing a Canton police dog during a burglary will be held behind bars after he gets out of the hospital.

Bond was set at 5-million dollars for 22 year-old Kelontre Barefield, who faces charges now including aggravated burglarly and assaulting or harrasing a police dog, along with other felonious assault and weapons charges.

Canton police say that list may not be the final list of charges.

K-9 Jethro responded with human officers to a burglary call at a Harrison Avenue SW store.

Police say Barefield shot Jethro three times, before officers returned fire.

Barefield is in Aultman Hospital in guarded condition.

Monday, 11 January 2016 16:09

AUDIO: Jethro Donations Pour In

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The death of Jethro the K-9 is tugging at the heart - and the wallet for hundreds.

More than $24,000 had been raised in Jethro's honor in a GoFundMe account by late Monday afternoon...a far cry from the 10-thousand that the organizer was hoping for.

The money will be used for bulletproof vests for Canton police dogs, plus Jethro's vet bills, and money for pet-sized oxygen masks for fire departments all over Stark County.

Another fundraiser in K9 Jethro's honor involves the sale of shirts commemorating the "end of watch" for the Canton police dog.

Liberty Tactical in Wooster is selling a $20 Jethro T-shirt that will fully benefit the Canton Police K9 Association.

Jason Crawford of Liberty Tactical says police dogs are well trained, and regarded as an officer just like human officers are, and are a real asset to their human officer.

Crawford says he works with a number of police departments, and says Jethro's death in the line of duty hit him "pretty hard".

Monday, 11 January 2016 15:48

Here Comes The Snow Again

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The National Weather Service says get ready for the snow.

There's a Winter Weather Advisory now up for most of Northeast Ohio, including the Akron/Canton area, from 3 AM until noon on Tuesday.

The NWS says one to two inches of snow by daybreak - the heaviest snow during the morning commute - will combine with 20 to 30 mile per hour winds to reduce visibilities and make driving potentionally hazardous.

That also means ODOT is in action.

The state department of transportation says it'll have 20 trucks each out in Stark and Summit Counties, and 16 in Portage County, starting on Tuesday morning.

Roads haven't yet been pretreated, due to residual salt on the roads after Sunday's storm.

But during the upcoming storm, ODOT says its crews will be using "salt and various liquids" meant to make the salt work better in colder temperatures.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
344 PM EST MON JAN 11 2016

...THE COLD AND THE SNOW CONTINUE...

.A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL MOVE ACROSS THE CENTRAL LAKES TUESDAY
DRAGGING ANOTHER COLD FRONT ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA.

OHZ003-006>011-017>023-027>033-036>038-047-120445-
/O.NEW.KCLE.WW.Y.0001.160112T0800Z-160112T1700Z/
LUCAS-WOOD-OTTAWA-SANDUSKY-ERIE OH-LORAIN-CUYAHOGA-HANCOCK-SENECA-
HURON-MEDINA-SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-WYANDOT-CRAWFORD-RICHLAND-
ASHLAND-WAYNE-STARK-MAHONING-MARION-MORROW-HOLMES-KNOX-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...TOLEDO...BOWLING GREEN...PORT CLINTON...
FREMONT...SANDUSKY...LORAIN...CLEVELAND...FINDLAY...TIFFIN...
NORWALK...MEDINA...AKRON...RAVENNA...WARREN...UPPER SANDUSKY...
CAREY...BUCYRUS...MANSFIELD...ASHLAND...WOOSTER...CANTON...
YOUNGSTOWN...MARION...MOUNT GILEAD...MILLERSBURG...MOUNT VERNON
344 PM EST MON JAN 11 2016

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO NOON EST
TUESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CLEVELAND HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT
FROM 3 AM TO NOON EST TUESDAY.

* TIMING...SNOW WILL DEVELOP OVERNIGHT...WITH 1 TO 2 INCHES OF
  SNOW EXPECTED BY DAYBREAK. SOME OF THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED
  TO OCCUR DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE.

* MAIN IMPACT...SNOW COMBINED WITH WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WILL
  PRODUCE BLOWING SNOW WHICH WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES AND CREATE
  HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS.

* WINDS...WEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS 30 MPH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THE COMBINATION OF SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS
DRIVING CONDITIONS FOR THE MORNING COMMUTE TUESDAY. STAY TUNED TO
NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR FURTHER DETAILS OR UPDATES.

(ODOT District 4, news release) ODOT District 4 is ready for the winter weather in Portage, Stark and Summit counties starting Tuesday morning. Crews have not pre-treated the roads with salt due to residual salt left on the roads from yesterday's storm. During the storm, crews will be using salt and various liquids to coat the salt to increase its efficiency during colder temperatures. Please see the below specific information on how many trucks will be plowing in each county.

Portage County – 16 trucks
Stark County – 20 trucks
Summit County- 20 trucks

Everyone can 'KNO B4 U GO' by checking ODOT's website www.Ohgo.com for up-to-date road and weather conditions, along with traffic speeds and traffic cameras.
And our best advice...In Ice and Snow, Take it Slow! & Don't Crowd the Plows

(ODOT District 4, news release) ODOT District 4 is ready for the winter weather in Portage, Stark and Summit counties starting Tuesday morning. Crews have not pre-treated the roads with salt due to residual salt left on the roads from yesterday's storm. During the storm, crews will be using salt and various liquids to coat the salt to increase its efficiency during colder temperatures. Please see the below specific information on how many trucks will be plowing in each county.

Portage County – 16 trucks
Stark County – 20 trucks
Summit County- 20 trucks

Everyone can 'KNO B4 U GO' by checking ODOT's website www.Ohgo.com for up-to-date road and weather conditions, along with traffic speeds and traffic cameras.
And our best advice...In Ice and Snow, Take it Slow! & Don't Crowd the Plows

Monday, 11 January 2016 12:45

Haven of Rest Issues "Code Zero" Alert

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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.

Monday, 11 January 2016 12:39

Gas Prices Drop In Akron

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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.

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