Sunday, 15 November 2015 20:33

Family, Friends Pay Tribute to Justin Winebrenner

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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."

Saturday, 14 November 2015 09:29

Uniontown House Fire Kills One

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A woman is dead, her daughter and a Uniontown police officer injured after an early morning blaze today on Cleveland Avenue North near State Route 619. Officer Joshua Pirogowicz scaled to a balcony near a window where the victim was reportedly waiting for help, but the Canton Repository reports he was unable to get through a door and the heat and smoke inside was too much to get inside.

The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. When police and fire arrived, the daughter was in the driveway shouting for help for her mother, who was still in the house on the second floor but near a window.

The daughter of the victim and Pirogowicz were taken to the hospital. There was no word on the condition of the woman but Pirogowicz reportedly suffered smoke inhalation and burns to the throat. 

The woman's name has not been released; an autopsy from the Stark County Coroner is scheduled. Two family pets, a dog and a cat, were also killed in the fire. 

Fire departments from nearby Hartville, Green, Greenville and Lakemore also responded with mutual aid.

Saturday, 14 November 2015 06:33

Auerbach, Band Safe In Paris

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The world still processing the Paris attacks, including Akron.

Akron native and Black Keys band member Dan Auerbach's latest project, "The Arcs," played in Paris last night on their European tour. Family and friends say all are OK and were on their way out of Paris following their show at the Le Trianon theater. The band is on European Tour before returning home; they play the Akron Civic Theater December 8th.

The American "Eagles Death Metal" band playing in the theater where 100 hostages were murdered were also reported safe, extracted from the scene by police and security. 

AT least 127 people were killed in the attacks at different locations in Paris; most were among the 100 killed in the theater where they were being held hostage. The eight attackers are also dead, seven reportedly by blowing themselves up with suicide vests. ISIS is claiming responsibility.

Thursday, 12 November 2015 17:21

NTSB: Engines Removed In Akron Plane Crash

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The National Transportation Safety Board has provided another update into that jet crash into an Ellet apartment building that killed 9 people aboard.

NTSB vice-chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr says that significant parts of the Hawker jet have been taken away for examination.

"Both engines have been removed for further inspection off-site," she told reporters at an Akron news conference on Thursday. "and we're still searching for the digital engine computers to retrieve the engine data parameters."

Those engines are headed for Honeywell for further examination.

The cockpit voice recorder was damaged outside, though the tape inside was not damaged.

Still, the NTSB says that there were 30 minutes of "poor quality" audio from the flight crew.

"On the recording, the crew discussed the localizer approach procedures to runway 2-5 at Akron Fulton International," Dinh-Zarr said. "The crew also discussed weather conditions as being wind from 240 degrees at 8 knots, 1 1/2 miles visibility and 600 feet overcast."

Though fire consumed the main body of the plane, Dinh-Zarr says the plane was intact before impact, and they're examining the four corners of the plane...and looking for airplane parts in the wreckage.

The NTSB will have no more on-site briefings here, and will be in Akron the next couple of days.

An Akron man has been charged by the U.S. Government that he supported the ISIL group on social media, including posting a graphic with claimed personal information and addresses of military members.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 25 year-old Terrence J. McNeil of Akron appeared in U.S. District Court on one count of solicitation of a crime of violence.

The charge comes from what the U.S. Attorney General's Office calls McNeil "disseminating ISIL's violent rhetoric" on social media.

The criminal complaint against McNeil says he reposted a graphic with that rhetoric and - quote - "detailed U.S. military personnel information" which "explicitly called for the killing of U.S. service members", with threatening graphics on the site Tumblr.

(U.S. Attorney's Office, news release) An Akron, Ohio, man was arrested today on federal charges that he solicited the murder of members of the U.S. military.

Terrence J. McNeil, 25, appeared in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Ohio after being charged with one count of solicitation of a crime of violence.

The charge was announced by Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio and Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI's Cleveland Division.

"According to the allegations in the complaint, Terrence McNeil solicited the murder of members of our military by disseminating ISIL's violent rhetoric, circulating detailed U.S. military personnel information, and explicitly calling for the killing of American service members in their homes and communities," said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. "ISIL and its followers continue to use social media in an attempt to incite violence around the world, including in the United States. The National Security Division's highest priority is counterterrorism and we will use all of our tools to disrupt threats and acts of violence against our military members and their families."

"As this nation honors our veterans, we must make clear that we will not tolerate threats of violence against our service members," said U.S. Attorney Dettelbach. "This defendant is charged with urging harm to our men and women in uniform and will now answer for those threats."

"While we aggressively defend First Amendment rights, the individual arrested went far beyond free speech by reposting names and addresses of 100 U.S. service members, all with the intent to have them killed," said Special Agent in Charge Anthony. "We will remain vigilant in our efforts to stop those who wish to support these despicable acts."

According to an affidavit filed in the case:

McNeil professed his support on social media on numerous occasions for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

On or about Sept. 24, 2015, using a Tumblr account, McNeil reblogged a file with the banner "Islamic State Hacking Division," followed by "Target: United States Military" and "Leak: Addresses of 100 U.S. Military Personnel."

The file type is a .gif file, which allows multiple still images to be looped in one file, with a timed delay between each image. The text of the first file reads "O Brothers in America, know that the jihad against the crusaders is not limited to the lands of the Khilafah, it is a world-wide jihad and their war is not just a war against the Islamic State, it is a war against Islam...Know that it is wajib (translated to "necessary") for you to kill these kuffar! and now we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses, all you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for? Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe..."

The file then loops several dozen photographs, purportedly of U.S. military personnel, along with their respective name, address and military branch.

The final image looped is a picture of a handgun and a knife with text that reads "...and kill them wherever you find them..."

A charge is not evidence of guilt. It is the government's burden to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and a defendant is presumed innocent until that time.

The case is being investigated by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Cleveland. This case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Ohio and the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section.

Thursday, 12 November 2015 13:02

ODOT Ready For Snow

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"Be ready, it's coming."

Those words from Ohio Department of Transportation's Justin Chesnic in reference to snow, ice, sleet or any combination that makes driving challenging.

District 4, which includes Summit, Portage and Stark counties held its annual readiness event this morning to make sure all the trucks and equipment are in good working order.

"We get our drivers and mechanics together to go over some of the do's and don'ts of plowing," said Chesnic. "It's just kind of a refresher because they haven't done it in awhile."

He says plowing and spreading salt are more complicated than most people realize because every storm is different.

"You have different wind speeds, different material coming down wether it's a  straight snow, more of a slushy snow or freezing rain," said Chesnic. There's a lot of different techniques you can do. You have to treat the roadways differently based on what the temperature is outside, how the wind is blowing, etc."

Chesnic says the trucks are maintained throughout the year so it was no surprise that all 25 trucks in this area passed the inspection.

Thursday, 12 November 2015 12:37

Red Cross Assisting Families Affected By Plane Crash

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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.

Thursday, 12 November 2015 11:37

Wind Advisory In Effect

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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.

Canton paramedics say four children and one adult were hospitalized with what are being called "minor injuries" after a school bus crash.

NewsChannel 5 reports that the school bus and a pickup truck crashed at the intersection of 27th Street and Fletcher Avenue on Canton's Northeast side on Wednesday afternoon.

The school bus reportedly was transporting students from the "Our Lady of Peace" school in Canton.

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On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com

It's now official: nine dead from yesterday's jet crash on approach to Akron Fulton Airport.

Lt. Bill Haymaker of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said all of the victims were on the jet's manifest from Ft. Lauderdale to Dayton, then Akron. Officials said not all of the victims may be from Florida and notification of family is underway, with no names released.

The company is Pebb Enterprises, of Boca Raton, Florida. They posted the following on their website: Our hearts are broken this morning with the news of the tragic accident that took the lives of two principals and five employees of Pebb Enterprises. We are shocked and deeply saddened for the families, colleagues and friends of those who perished. Our first priority is to give our fullest support to the family members and loved ones of our co-workers. We ask for the media's understanding and cooperation at this time of unimaginable loss and mourning and are not responding to media requests at this time.

Haymaker confirmed that up to 12 families were impacted when the jet crashed into the four-unit apartment building on Mogadore Road; while no one was inside the building and adjacent apartments and homes were also damages. The American Red Cross provided relief for 11 families in the short-term.

Click here to view the entire press conference on Periscope.

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) now has a full team in Akron.

NTSB vice-chairman Bella Dinn-Zarr - heading up the team here - told an afternoon press conference on Wednesday that the cockpit voice recorder has been recovered.

Dinn-Zarr said that a number of factors will be considered as they look into the crash...including flight controls, engines, weather, air traffic control and operations.

She called weather a "key factor" that will be investigated, along with surveillance video from a nearby business that shows the plane's approach.

Dinn-Zarr says they looked at the ground after seeing a surveillance video showing the aircraft flowing at a low altitude and banking left, finding evidence that the left wing hit the ground first.

There will be no determination issued by the NTSB while it is here the next four to five days.

Meanwhile, more residents in the immediate neighborhood are coming forward with video and testimony as the jet came down. In an interview with WAKR's Amani Abraham, Seth Yergin, 23, of Akron, said he heard the explosion and went outside to see what happened; there was already the apartment building "completely on fire...there was nothing I could do."

"It's kind of surreal," Yergin said. "It's pretty scary. It's strange to think the slightest thing, it could have been us."

NOTE: Video captured by Seth Yergin is at the bottom of this story.

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