Monday, 31 July 2017 05:19

Uniontown Police Sgt. David White Goes Home

Written by

Uniontown Police Sgt. David White is home after more than three weeks at Summa Akron City Hospital after being shot four times in the line of duty.

On Sunday, July 9th, 2017, Sgt. White and another Uniontown Officer responded to a domestic violence call on Lela Avenue. The suspect, Ryan Probst, opened fire on Sgt. White and his partner, striking White four times. Officers returned fire, killing Probst on the scene. Sgt. White was rushed to Akron City Hospital where over the course of the next few days he underwent multiple surgeries.

After weeks of recovery and rehabilitation, White was discharged from Akron City.

Alongside his wife, Sgt. White entered the lobby of the Critical Care building at Akron City, welcomed by a host of fellow officers, friends, family, Akron City staff, and the media. A round of applause welcome Sgt. White as he sat at the table to give a prepared statement.

Sgt. White, 59, thanked his family, his department, and the charity and thoughtfulness of local churches, banks, and strangers, both local and from across the nation.

Sitting next to Dr. Joshua Nash of Akron City, Sgt. White boasted the care he received from the minute he was taken through the doors of the Emergency Department to that very moment. "Everyone here has been superb, all the way down to the janitorial service... I can't say enough for them." Sgt. White added, "If it wasn't for God, and if it wasn't for Summa, I wouldn't be here."

Asked whether he'd thought about returning to work, Sgt. White responded, "I haven't thought about getting back to work. My doctors said I'm probably 8 months to a year away from that... There are a lot more immediate things I have thought about aside from going to work." As for the first thing he'll do now that he's returning home, Sgt. White said he'll pet his dog.

Monday, 31 July 2017 05:19

Summit Triangle Building Named for Russ Pry

Written by

One year since his passing, former Summit County Executive Russ Pry has been honored by current County Executive Ilene Shapiro and his other former colleagues.

On Monday, the Triangle Building at 1180 S. Main St. in downtown Akron was rededicated as the Russell M. Pry Building.

"We are proud to honor our late friend and County Executive in dedicating this building in his name," Shapiro said in front of a packed room.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan talked about Pry's commitment to the people of the community, and to his fellow public servants. "There's not enough of an honor you can do (for Pry)," Horrigan said.

Congressmen Tim Ryan and Jim Renacci reinforced Pry's insistance on working across party lines to do what was right and what was needed for the people of Summit County. They both added that Pry was committed to making his fellow politicians better public servants.

After a battle with colon cancer and complications following surgery in June of last year, Pry passed away July 31, 2016, at the age of 58. He was in his 9th year as County Executive. 

Monday, 31 July 2017 05:19

Zoo Mourns Roscoe

Written by

Akron Zoo fans and family are mourning the loss of one of their own, a sleek Snow Leopard who took to the Zoo and his mate and helped keep the species alive.

Roscoe was a 14-year old male snow leopard; he was put to sleep by Zoo personnel after discovery of a fast-growing cancer of his lower jaw. He and his mate Shanti brought seven cubs into the world, three of whom remain in Akron. Snow leopards are an endangered species, but the Akron Zoo says it was able to freeze some of Roscoe's sperm so it can be used for species diversity for years to come through artificial insemination.

- - - 

(Akron Zoo) The Akron Zoo is sad to announce that Roscoe, a 14-year old male snow leopard, was humanely euthanized on July 26 after being diagnosed with a fast growing cancer that severely affected the bone in his lower jaw. The median life expectancy of a snow leopard is 14 years old.

Roscoe has been at the Akron Zoo since 2004 and has sired seven cubs during his time in Akron, three of which are still in Akron.

Within the last two weeks keepers observed a change in appetite and behavior in Roscoe and the vet staff at the zoo performed an exam, which led to the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, bone cancer in Roscoe's jaw. His appetite and activity began to rapidly decrease and the decision was made to humanely euthanize Roscoe. His annual preventive medicine exam last summer showed no signs of the cancer.

Snow leopards are an endangered species and the zoo participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), which includes a total of 167 snow leopards. Participation in the program has led to three successful litters with Roscoe and the zoo's female snow leopard Shanti. Two cubs were born in 2012 & 2014 and three cubs were born in 2016 and are still at the Akron Zoo. The other four cubs are at other AZA accredited zoos in the U.S.

In 2010 and 2012 the Akron Zoo worked with researchers to freeze Roscoe's sperm to potentially use in the future for artificial insemination. With the advances in veterinary medicine, Roscoe's legacy could continue for many generations and help to prevent the extinction of snow leopards.

"Roscoe has been a beloved member of our family since he arrived from San Antonio. He will be missed by all of us. I want to thank our professional animal care staff who cared for him attentively every day, and our veterinary care staff who so diligently treated him during his illness to ensure his welfare," commented Doug Piekarz, Akron Zoo president & CEO. "According to the Snow Leopard Trust at least one Snow Leopard is killed each day in the wild. With only a few thousand left on Earth we recognize the importance of the work we are doing to ensure the Snow Leopards survival. Roscoe will continue to play a critical role with his genetics preserved to help create a more genetically diverse future generation of snow leopards."

Roscoe, was born May 18, 2003 at the San Antonio Zoo and came to the Akron Zoo December 15, 2004.

"Roscoe will be missed deeply by the zoo staff, volunteers and community," added Dr. Kim Cook, Akron Zoo director of animal health & conservation. "He was a laid back cat with a great bond with Shanti. In fact they were able to be together at all times, which is rare for snow leopards, which are typically solitary animals."

 

Friday, 28 July 2017 08:02

Goodyear's First Half Not As Good

Written by

Goodyear reporting the market is tightening with net income for the first half of the year of $313 million dollars on sales of $7.4 billion, down two percent from $386 million the first half of 2016. Overall tire volumes were down seven percent. CEO Richard Kramer says there's a weakening in the original equipment and consumer replacement tire markets despite overall strength in the industry, notably lower gasoline prices.

- - -

(Goodyear Tire and Rubber) Goodyear Reports Second Quarter, First Half 2017 Results

- Second quarter results in line with guidance
- Goodyear net income of $147 million for second quarter, $313 million for first half
- Segment operating income of $361 million for second quarter, $746 million for first half
- Germany plant closure complete, $45 million in annual savings expected
- Company updates 2017 segment operating income guidance

AKRON, Ohio, July 28, 2017 – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today reported results for the second quarter and first half of 2017. "Our second quarter results reflect the impact of volatile raw material costs and an increasingly challenging competitive environment, particularly in the United States and Europe," said Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer. "In addition to higher raw material costs, we have seen a weakening in OE and consumer replacement demand across many of our key markets during the first half, despite strong underlying industry fundamentals," he said.

"The combination of these factors has led to a highly unusual first half environment, particularly given the favorable trends in miles driven, gasoline prices and unemployment that are generally supportive of our industry," Kramer added. "In light of the challenging global marketplace in the first half of 2017, we have lowered our segment operating income expectations for the remainder of the year," he said. "Despite the near-term challenges, I am no less optimistic about our ability to drive our strategic priorities against the favorable industry megatrends." Goodyear's second quarter 2017 sales were $3.7 billion, down from $3.9 billion a year ago, with the decrease largely attributable to lower tire unit volume, partially offset by improved price/mix.

Tire unit volumes totaled 37.4 million, down 10 percent from 2016, primarily in Europe, Middle East and Africa and the Americas. Replacement tire shipments were down 11 percent. Original equipment unit volume was down 8 percent. Goodyear's second quarter 2017 net income was $147 million (58 cents per share), down from $202 million (75 cents per share) in the year-ago quarter. Second quarter 2017 adjusted net income was $177 million (70 cents per share), down from $314 million ($1.16 per share) in 2016. Per share amounts are diluted.

The company reported second quarter segment operating income of $361 million in 2017, down from $531 million a year ago. The decrease reflects higher raw material costs and the impact of lower volume, which were partially offset by improved price/mix and cost savings.

Year-to-Date Results

Goodyear's sales for the first six months of 2017 were $7.4 billion, down 2 percent from the 2016 period, reflecting lower tire unit volume, partially offset by improved price/mix. Tire unit volumes totaled 77.4 million, down 7 percent from 2016. Replacement tire shipments were down 6 percent, reflecting increased competition. Original equipment unit volume was down 8 percent, driven by lower auto production.

Goodyear's year-to-date net income of $313 million ($1.23 per share) is down from $386 million ($1.43 per share) in 2016's first half. All per share amounts are diluted.

The company reported first half segment operating income of $746 million in 2017, down from $950 million a year ago. The decrease was driven by higher raw material costs and the impact of lower volume, partially offset by improved price/mix and cost savings.

Thursday, 27 July 2017 05:19

More Charges Against Suspected Akron Arsonist

Written by

Akron Police and Fire Investigators say the man accused of setting the fire that killed a family of 7 in their home on Fultz Street in Akron back in May is suspected in two other fires, one that claimed more victims. 

Stanley Ford, 58, of Hillcrest Street, was originally charged in the May 15, 2017, fire that killed 7 members of the Boggs/Huggins family, including 5 children. In that case, Ford is charged with 1 count of aggravated arson and 7 counts of aggravated murder. On Thursday, the Deputy Chief Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Margaret Scott announced the additional aggravated arson, aggravated murder, and more charges Thursday. The additional charges are connected to another house fire on Fultz Street, just a few doors down from the May fire, that left an Akron couple dead, and a car fire. There were no injuries as a result of the car fire. In total, Ford is facing 22 counts of aggravated murder, 2 counts of aggravated arson, 1 additional count of arson, and several more charges. "Never before in Summit County history has a suspect been charged with the murders of 9 people," Scott said. 

"This is the worst crime... in the history of this city," Akron Police Chief James Nice said during the press conference, adding that he was at the scene of both house fires and witnessed the tragic nature of the crimes, calling them "horrific." 

Ford remains in Summit County Jail, awaiting his next court appearance, Wednesday, August 2nd. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 12:00

Phillips Dead at 10:43

Written by
24 years after Ronald Phillips beat and raped his then-girlfriend's three year old daughter Sheila Marie Evans to death -- 24 years later -- Ronald Phillips is dead, his last words asking for forgiveness.
 
The official time of death was 10:43 a.m. The start time of the execution was briefly delayed so Phillips could meet with his brother William, who arrived at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville this morning.
 
During his last statement, Phillips asked the Evans family for forgiveness for what he had done, and said Sheila Marie did not deserve what he did to her but was with the Lord. He also thanked his family and attorneys for their support and efforts.
 
WAKR's Ryan Lang was a witness to the execution. He reported no apparent distress from Phillips during the insertion of the needle, his final statement or when the mixture of three drugs began flowing into his body. 
 
Renee Mundell, the half-sister of Sheila Marie, told reporters afterwards the execution was "too easy" on Phillips given the nature of his rape and the murder. She also noted family members would have a memorial service at the Vaughn Cemetery in Lake Milton, where Sheila is buried, at 3:00 p.m. to remember her with a balloon release and prayers. 
 
Defense lawyers and death penalty advocates argued the process was unproven and could still cause distress for the inmate, leading to cruel and unusual punishment, after executions three years ago left some inmates gasping for more than 25 minutes. Phillips' brother and prayer counselors present for Phillips made no statements to the media following the execution.
 
(9:38p story correction for name of Evans half-sister)
 
- - -
 
(Attorneys for Phillips) Statement of Timothy F. Sweeney and Lisa M. Lagos, attorneys for Ronald Phillips, on his execution today:
 
"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Evans family for their loss. And to the Phillips family for theirs.
 
Ron Phillips committed an unspeakable crime when he was 19 years old, and was himself the product of a home filled with abuse and neglect. But the grown man who woke up this morning at age 43, ready to face his punishment, did not in any way resemble that troubled and broken teen. He had grown to be a good man, who was thoughtful, caring, compassionate, remorseful, and reflective. He tried every day to atone for his shameful role in Sheila’s death. In the past years, Ron has studied for and earned his certification to be a minister, and was preparing his first sermon. It was entitled “My People.”
 
Ron’s case suggests we should thoughtfully reconsider our laws that permit the harshest punishment for those who committed their crimes as teenagers, especially the irrevocable punishment of death.  
 
We’ll end by saying that another thing Ron was regretful about today is that he would be unable to give that first sermon he’d been preparing. Having witnessed his execution this morning, and admiring the way he has carried himself these last months and years, we believe he did give that sermon, and it was a powerful one that serves as a testament of how to face death with dignity and courage and, above all, that no one is beyond redemption."
 
– Timothy F. Sweeney and Lisa M. Lagos, attorneys for Ronald Phillips, July 26, 2017
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 05:19

City Prosecutor Join Digital Age

Written by

Akron's City Prosecutor's office is moving out from the dark ages into the digital era. The partnership with the Summit County Prosecutor's Office means city prosecutors will be able to use electronic case filing for the first time -- eveything up to this point was still pen and paper. Municipal Courts across the county have long used electronic filing.

- - -

(City of Akron) The Akron City Prosecutor's Office is preparing to improve the efficiency and consistency of its case management system by partnering with the County of Summit and surrounding communities to implement case management software, enabling the use of electronic case files for the first time.

Currently, the City of Akron Prosecutor's Office utilizes an outdated case management system that relies entirely on physical paper files. This inefficient system creates substantial storage issues and results in unnecessary work in copying, moving, and organizing tens of thousands of active files.

"The goal of this agreement is to bring our system into the digital age, in the most costeffective way possible," Mayor Horrigan said. "This new software will improve our responsiveness to the attorneys, judges, and others who need access to these criminal case files to ensure the effective administration of justice."

"By cooperating together with the County and other communities, we are able to defer the costs of this case management system and acquire this valuable software at a fraction of the cost," Mayor Horrigan continued. "I would like to thank the leadership of Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Tallmadge and Summit County for combining resources to purchase a universal case management system that will improve prosecutorial efficiencies system-wide." Monday, Akron City Council authorized the Intergovernmental Agreement with Summit County and neighboring jurisdictions for the shared purchase, implementation and use of MATRIX case management software. The secure system will allow defense attorneys and other authorized personnel access to court records in compliance with the law. The new system will enhance public confidence in the integrity of case files by eliminating manual processes and creating a record of when evidence is provided and reviewed in the course of a criminal prosecution.

"This software will allow for better management of criminal caseloads, it will reduce staff time spent on time-consuming administrative tasks like copying, and allow us to automate and integrate internal process as cases move through the system," Chief Akron Prosecutor Gertrude Wilms said. Recognizing the benefits and need for a comprehensive case management software system, Summit County engaged in a review of various case management systems and determined that the MATRIX Case Management system was the best combination of functionality and value.

"We are very pleased to soon begin using the MATRIX case management system which replaces our current outdated and obsolete system that was first installed 20 years ago," Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said. "MATRIX will make tracking information about cases much easier for our prosecutors, staff, and victims, and make the office more efficient. I would like to thank the City and County for their efforts in making this happen."

During the Akron City Council committee discussion, it was reported that Cuyahoga County experienced a cost savings of over $6 million within the first 9 months of switching to the MATRIX case management system, while also reducing the time it took cases to move through the system.

Akron killer Ronald Phillips is in Lucasville - kept with just a wall and corridor between his cell in the Death House there and the Death Chamber where he's scheduled to recieve a lethal drug cocktail tomorrow.

Phillips, on Death Row for 24 years, is scheduled to die by injection for the 1993 rape and murder of three year old Sheila Marie Evans, the daughter of his then-girlfriend.

Phillips arrived shortly after ten this morning; while his "special meal request" is subject to change, WAKR's Ryan Lang reports he asked for a large cheese, bell pepper and mushroom pizza; strawberry cheesecake; a two-liter bottle of Pepsi; a 10 ounce bottle of grape juice and a piece of unleavened bread.

The U.S. Supreme Court has a bid before it for a stay of execution from critics who are contesting the three-drug mix used for lethal injection as a "humane" form that will minimize pain and suffering for Phillips. Critics are also asking Ohio Governor John Kasich to intervene, citing the drug cocktail isn't proven.

Barring any delays or stay orders from the Court or the Governor, Phillips will be receive the injection tomorrow morning after 10:00.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 05:19

Goucher Named Marathon Ambassador

Written by

This year's Akron Marathon Ambassador is certainly no stranger to running -- the honor goes to marathon runner Kara Goucher, who's runningn career includes shattering records during her debut at the New York Marathon in 2008 and winning the first American medal in the World Outdoor Championships in 2007 following a championship run at the University of Colorado.

Goucher will be recognized in a special ceremony on the Thursday prior to this year's Akron Marathon, scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd through the streets of downtown Akron.

- - -

(Akron Marathon) Since 2008, the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation (AMCC) has celebrated the contributions of dedicated leaders in the sport with their Akron Marathon Ambassador Award. This year, AMCC will honor two-time Olympian, World Championship medalist, and World-Class marathoner Kara Goucher with the 2017 Akron Marathon Ambassador Award.

Goucher burst onto the running scene competing collegiately for the University of Colorado and was a three-time NCAA champion. In 2007, her bronze in the IAAF World Outdoor Championships was the first ever American medal won in the 10,000 meter distance. Later in 2007, Goucher increased her distance and not only won the Great North Run half marathon in Newcastle, England but recorded the women’s fastest-ever half marathon debut in the world. In 2008, Goucher turned in another history-making performance at the New York Marathon racing her way to the fastest marathon debut ever by an American woman, the fastest time ever by an American at the event, and the first time in 14 years that an American woman placed in the top three in New York. She has competed in two Olympics, competing for the United States in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter distances in 2008 and the marathon in 2012.

An inspirational mentor to many, she leads annual female running retreats and shares her know-how, tips and advice in her first book: “Kara Goucher's Running for Women: From First Steps to Marathons.”“Kara has left her mark on U.S. distance running during her exceptional career. Goucher’s name, and face, is one of the most recognized in the running world,” said Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation Trustee Dave Hunter. “Her enthusiasm for the sport and honest approach to competition truly embodies the spirit of the Akron Marathon and we are thrilled to honor her and have her with us for the 15th running of the Marathon.

”The tenth annual Ambassador Award will be presented at an invitation-only VIP Reception on Thursday, September 21 at Greystone Hall. The award, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions and lasting impacts to the sport of running has honored many iconic figures in the sport including Frank Shorter, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Kathrine Switzer, Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Hal Higdon, Craig Masback, Creigh Kelley, and most recently Meb Keflezighi in 2016.

The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon Health and Fitness Expo presented by Summa Health and SummaCare will be held at the John S. Knight Center on Friday, September 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The expo is free and open to the public and Goucher will be on hand to greet runners and sign autographs.The Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series hit the road with nearly 2,000 runners and walkers participating in the first of three summer races – the National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile on June 24. The series continues on August 12 with the Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k, and culminates with the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, and Team Relay on September 23. Registration for both events is available at AkronMarathon.org.

About Kara Goucher
Kara Goucher is a professional runner, inspirational mentor, proud mother and loving wife. She graduated from the University of Colorado with three Division I NCAA championships in cross-country, the 3000m and 5000m. She is a two-time Olympian, an American record holder, World Championships silver medalist, and one of the most accomplished female distance runners of all time. In addition to her professional resume, Kara is an inspiration to people everywhere. She is an advocate for clean sport and women’s rights, and she connects with organizations and non-profits that are making a positive impact. Her partners include Oiselle, Skechers Performance, nuun and Zensah.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 05:19

Hackney Brothers Run Comes To An End

Written by

Life on the lam for a pair of Akron brothers wound up being short and not-so-sweet; now both are behind bars.

The U.S. Marshal's officer reports 28-year old Christopher Hackney turned himself in to authorities without incident. His brother, 30-year old Spencer Hackney, was arrested in Huntington, West Virginia by members of the U.S. Marshal's office on warrants issued by the Northern Ohio Violent Fugutive Task Force after he tried to get away from officers and rammed his vehicle into two cars being driven by the Marshals Service.

The elder Hackney is awaiting extradition to Akron but may face additional charges in West Virginia.

Both men were wanted since an incident last Thursday on Amherst Drive in the Summit Lake neighborhood when shots were fired at a 19-year old man following an argument.

- - -

(U.S. Marshal's officer - arrest of Spencer Hackney) Yesterday evening, members of the United States Marshals Service in Huntington, West Virginia arrested Spencer
Hackney, 30.

Spencer and his brother Christopher Hackney have been wanted since Thursday evening by the Akron Police Department after they were both involved in a felonious assault shooting in the 700 block of Amherst St. in Akron. According to police, both brothers fired shots at the victim after a verbal altercation in the victim's driveway. Spencer and Christopher have been on the run since.

The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force developed information that Spencer Hackney was hiding out in the Huntington, West Virginia area with family members. Last night, Deputies were able to locate Hackney, when they attempted to stop him in a vehicle he fled from officers. As Hackney fled he smashed into 2 Marshals Service vehicles but was quickly apprehended.

Spencer Hackney is currently in custody in West Virginia awaiting extradition back to Akron. He may also face new charges in West Virginia in regards to the assault on law enforcement officers. U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said, "Quick action by members of the task force and U.S. Marshals Service in Ohio and West Virginia are what brought one of the two of these men to justice. We will not stop looking until the second suspect is arrested and brought to justice."

Page 3 of 101