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."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Questions on whether Akron should keep and maintain Fulton Municipal Airport arising again in the wake of the worst air disaster in the history of Summit County.
Akron city council's Bob Hoch represents Ward 6, which covers much of the area around the airport and the Ellet neighborhood. He says he's thankful nobody on the ground was hurt or killed, and his thoughts and prayers went to those aboard the jet, but comments from residents is a fairly routine topic.
"When you live in Ellet, you see and hear air traffic day and night. It becomes commonplace to see and hear these small planes, jets, helicopters and blimps. Normally, you don't react, you don't pay a whole lot of attention to them," Hoch says.
Hoch noted the future of Fulton Airport came up during the most recent mayoral debates.
"All those points have to be scrutinized," Hoch said. "How much is that airport costing the city of Akron and the residents of Akron now, and is it a necessary piece in our community and do we need to keep it there?"
Mayor Jeff Fusco counters Fulton is "...an economic driver, if you will. There's corporate and recreational use and it's heavily looked at by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) on what we can and cannot do. It's regulated heavily by the federal government." He said the airport does "quite a bit" to keep the airport safe.
"there's airports like this all around the country," Fusco said, with operations handled by pilots.
The airport also serves as a refueling center for medical emergency helicopters.
At 150 years old -- give or take a few years -- one of Akron's oldest residents is about to come down. A White Ash tree at the corner of West Exchange and Elmdale had served as a rallying cry for the neighborhood over a decade ago when safety concerns put it in jeopardy, but it was a tiny bug that ended up undoing the long history of the Akron landmark. The City says it'll start taking the tree down today after damage from the Emerald Ash borer proved too extensive to keep the massive tree up. It's just too much of a public safety hazard with limbs extending to the sidewalk but also well into the street. Detours will be posted through construction.
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(City of Akron) The large White Ash located on the southwest corner of Elmdale Avenue and West Exchange Street is scheduled to be removed on Thursday, November 12, 2015 for safety reasons. The tree has suffered significant damage created by the Emerald Ash Borer.
In 2002, the tree was scheduled to be removed for the installation of a new curb ramp. The outcry from concerned residents resulted in the tree being saved, and alternative methods being used to construct the curb ramp. Since then, the City has performed annual inspections of the tree and remediated any hazards or defects as they appeared.
The infestation began with the insect coming into Michigan in pallets from China. The Ohio Department of Agriculture reports that it was first detected in Ohio near Toledo in 2003, then moving into nearly all other parts of the state including our area. Because the Emerald Ash Borer is now established throughout most of the state there are no longer quarantine regulations in place within Ohio, although they still recommend caution when moving firewood. Ohio has a reported 3.8 billion ash trees.
In 2012, the first signs of the Emerald Ash Borer were detected in the upper canopy of the Elmdale ash tree. Jon Malish, a Landscape Technician with the City, has watched the progression of this insect as it has spread throughout the City. "The borer is devastating our Ash trees. They tunnel galleries just under the bark and cut off the supply routes for water and nutrients to flow from the roots to the leaves. When this happens, the tree begins to die," Jon Malish said.
This has happened to tens of thousands of White Ash trees in Ohio, including over 500 White Ash trees in Akron rights-of-way alone. Unfortunately, the White Ash on Elmdale has met the same fate.
The City's Director of Public Service, John Moore, said "The safety of pedestrians, residents, and the traveling public are our primary concern. The tree could come down during a storm, during heavy wind, or under its own weight or the weight of snow. The tree has dead limbs as thick as 24 inches hanging over West Exchange. No one in Akron wants to see this beautiful old tree taken down, but as it stands today, the tree poses a serious risk to the public. We have no choice."
But, while the tree may be ending its watch on the corner of Elmdale and West Exchange, it will live on through the collaboration between the City and local artists. When informed that the tree had to be removed, Mayor Fusco came up with the idea to use the City's Summer Arts Experience program to create a lasting tribute to the tree.
"After the experts concluded that the tree had to come down, I decided we had to find a way to preserve and celebrate its history" said Mayor Jeff Fusco. "Through the Summer Arts Experience, a local artist, with the help of Akron youth, will create an historical timeline of Akron by using the growth rings from the cross sections of the tree trunk."
Jon Malish estimates that the tree is 125-150 years old and an extraordinary 60+ inches in diameter at its base. "When you think about the historical events that occurred during the lifetime of this tree, it is truly remarkable. We need to celebrate and respect this natural historical wonder, as we safely remove it from the neighborhood." The City's hope is that these art installations will be displayed at various locations throughout the City. The City will also be preserving the stump for possible use as a "permanent chair" or bench for pedestrians. During removal, the tree will be cut into log-length sections and preserved and stored for future use in these types of projects.
"I also invite and encourage any Akron citizens wanting to make creative use of this tree to submit proposals for other uses of the logs as carvings, benches, or other art." Mayor Fusco said. The City would be willing to collaborate with residents in seeking out funding sources for projects.
The owners of the abutting property at 1492 W. Exchange recently submitted a proposal for funding to the Knight Arts Challenge for a potential project involving the tree and are awaiting a decision. "Regrettably, we are losing this beautiful tree which has watched over many generations of Akronites, but have been impressed with Mayor Fusco's ingenuity and cooperation to preserve its memory for our community," stated homeowner Megan Moreland. "My family and I look forward to playing a role in the development of the artwork that will tell the story of our dear ash and welcome our neighbors into the process so its passing will be given purpose."
The City will close Elmdale Avenue from Malden Street to West Exchange Street. Detour signs will be posted. The detour route will be west on West Exchange, south on South Hawkins to Mull Circle.
Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed Tuesday night that there were no survivors after a small plane crashed into an apartment building near Mogadore and Skelton roads.
While the identities and number of victims haven't been released, the plane's owner confirmed that there were nine people onboard the 10-passenger plane -- two pilots and seven passengers -- when it took off from Florida. Officials said the plane was reportedly flying from Dayton area to the Akron Fulton Airport. But it is not clear yet if those passengers were on the plane with the pilot and co-pilot when it crashed in Akron.
A flight school at Fulton Airport posted on Facebook that the plane was on approach to the airport, and was a Hawker 800 model.
Officials say no one was in the apartment at the time of the crash.
The investigation continues today with a news conference scheduled at noon.
UPDATE 6:26 PM 11/10/15: Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol have confirmed that there were no survivors in the plane crash. There were nine people onboard the small plane.
UPDATE 5:50 PM 11/10/15: The owner of a private jet that crashed into a small apartment building on Mogadore and Skelton Roads this/Tuesday afternoon is now saying that there were 9 people on the jet - two pilots and seven passengers - and none of those aboard are believed to have survived the fiery crash.
The Beacon Journal reports that the plane's owner, Augusto Lewkowicz, isn't releasing the victim's names pending family notification.
NewsChannel 5 also cites Akron police sources as confirming nine people were on board the plane. It is not yet officially known if all those aboard were on the plane when it crashed in Akron.
(Previous coverage) A small plane has crashed into an apartment building on Mogadore Road, and there are apparently some deaths.
NewsChannel 5 reports, quoting police sources, that two people have died in the crash into the apartment building on Mogadore Road and Skelton, not far from Akron-Fulton Airport in the Ellet area of Akron.
The TV station reports that everyone in the apartment building has been accounted for, and there are no injuries in the building. And the fire is now reportedly out.
A flight school at Fulton has posted on Facebook that the plane was on approach to the airport, and was a Hawker 800 model.
Power is out for many in the area.
FirstEnergy reports that about 66-hundred customers are out in Summit County, almost all of them in Akron itself. Witnesses say the plane clipped power lines on the way to crashing.
Finding an empty animal shelter is rare, but it is possible. Just ask officials with Summit County Animal Control. The 6th Annual Summit County Adopt-A-Thon over the weekend found a home for every single animal at the shelter.
"We put all of the animals, dogs and cats, up for adoption for $10," said Animal Control Manager Christine Fatheree. "It was a great turnout. We adopted out 93 animals."
Over the past six years, the event has helped to place 809 animals in new homes.
"This is our sixth year doing it and we've never emptied out the facility," said Fatheree. "We've never been able to get every single animal a home."
While the event was a success, Fatheree said everyday brings a new challenge. The shelter has already picked up about 30 animals. Fatheree says the shelter brings in more than a dozen animals everyday.
On the web: https://co.summitoh.net.