Thursday, 22 December 2016 05:49

Phillips Execution Date Moved

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Ronald Phillips gets no mercy -- but he does get another month on Death Row. Governor Kasich reschedule the Akron killer's execution date after an indefinite stay from a federal court on Ohio's next three scheduled executions, including Phillips.

Kasich moved the date to February 15th but any execution would be determined by court appeals. Kasich agreed with the Ohio Parole Board against clemency for Phillips, who raped and killed his then-girlfriend's three old daughter in 1993.

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(Governor John Kasich) In response to a federal court order issued on Monday which indefinitely stayed three executions scheduled in 2017, today Governor John R. Kasich issued short delays for the scheduled executions of the first two inmates – Ronald Phillips and Raymond Tibbetts. Phillips was convicted in 1993 in Summit County for the rape and murder of a three-year-old girl, and Tibbetts was convicted in 1998 in Hamilton County for the murder of his wife and the couple's 67-year-old landlord. Additionally, Kasich denied Phillips' request for clemency.

"The State disagrees with the federal court's indefinite stay and has already filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Given the uncertainty created by the Court's order, however, this brief delay should provide the Court time to resolve any pending legal issues," said Emmalee Kalmbach, the governor's press secretary.

The actions announced today will delay Phillips' scheduled January 12 execution to February 15, 2017, and Tibbetts' from February 15 to April 12, 2017.

Agreeing with the Ohio Parole Board in denying clemency to Phillips, Gov. Kasich stated: "Given the extremely brutal nature of the offense committed against an innocent three-year-old child, I agree with the Ohio Parole Board's recommendation that clemency is not warranted in this case."

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:38

Akron Landlord Named In Lawsuit

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A $25 million federal lawsuit has been filed, claiming Akron landlord Joni Laidig failed to install smoke detectors in the home on E. Tallmadge Avenue that caught fire.

Four members of an Akron family, including two young children died in that fire in the early morning hours of December 3. Three of the four who died were named in the lawsuit that was filed on behalf of their estate. 

The lawsuit claims that 37-year-old Omar Riley and his two daughters, 9-year-old Shanice and 8-year-old Aniyla, all died "as a result of the lack of smoke detectors." 

Shirley Wallis, Riley's girlfriend, also died in the fire, but was not named in the lawsuit. Her 12-year-old daughter Shaniya Simpson was able to escape the fire alive. 

The investigation and now lawsuit are both ongoing. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:08

Mansfield Steps Away From Weathervane

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A very well-known figure in Akron's art and education circles is leaving one job for an "unspecified" change of pace. Weathervane Theater's Lisa Mansfield -- who also serves on Akron's school board -- is leaving the theater the end of the month. Mansfield tells WAKR she will be stepping down to take a position as Community Outreach Specialist with incoming Summit County Probate Judge Elinor Marsh Stormer. She says she will continue with her term on the Akron Public School Board through 2017. Mansfield's last day with Weathervane is effective Saturday, December 31st.

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(Weathervane Playhouse) After successfully co-leading Weathervane Playhouse for the past year and a half and serving at the Playhouse for more than 11 years, Lisa Mansfield is stepping down as Managing Director as of December 31, 2016.During her time at Weathervane, Mansfield worked in several capacitates including Patron Services Manager, Group Sales, Education Programs Coordinator, and then her current role as Managing Director. Mansfield served as Co-director with Artistic Director Melanie Pepe since 2015.

“Lisa has brought an energy and grace to Weathervane that has been very visible and much appreciated,” said Debbie Davis, President of the Board of Trustees. “Her community outreach activities have been invaluable. Her warmth and affability are irreplaceable. She promises that she will not be a stranger to Weathervane.”Under Mansfield’s leadership, the Playhouse has seen growth in subscriptions, ticket sales, and donations. She is proud of her efforts in creating strong community partnerships and tie-ins with productions such as involving the Red Cross for Dracula, hair donations for Wigs for Kids during Hair, and a canned food drive with the Akron Canton Regional Foodbank during A Christmas Carol.

“A new opportunity has been presented for me, and I feel called to accept the challenge. I hope to remain a champion for improving the lives of those in our community, just as I have been called to do in my various roles with Weathervane,” said Mansfield. Melanie Pepe will remain at the helm as Artistic Director and in management of the current and interim staff during the search for a new Managing Director. Mansfield will be beginning her role as Community Outreach Specialist for Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer in Summit County Probate Court early next year.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 12:45

Arrest Made In Palms Skill Robbery

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Summit County Sheriff's Office caught up with and arrested John Richmond, who they suspect is the man robbed the Palms Skill Games on South Arlington in Coventry Township a couple of weeks ago.

Surveillance video shows a man kick open the door around 5:20 on December 7th and brandish a semi-automatic handgun with a laser-sight.

Richmond, from Uniontown, is charged with Aggravated Robbery. Detectives have recovered the cash and the pistol used in the robbery. Richmond is in Summit County Jail.

See the full press release from the Summit County Sheriff's Office below: 

On December 7, 2016, at approximately 5:20 p.m., the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to an armed robbery at The Palms Skill Games, located at 2766 South Arlington Road in Coventry Township. A white male kicked open the front door and made entry into the business. The suspect was armed with a semiautomatic handgun equipped with a laser sight. The suspect ordered all the patrons inside to remain seated and he then ordered the cashier to give him cash or people would be killed. The Summit County Sheriff’s Detective Bureau conducted an investigation into the matter. Subsequently, the suspect in the investigation was identified as John E. Richmond, age 30 of Uniontown. On December 19, Richmond was arrested and charged with Aggravated Robbery (F-1). He was booked into the Summit County Jail. The stolen cash and the handgun used in the robbery were recovered by detectives. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 11:14

Kasich Signs Controversial Concealed Carry Law

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Ohio Governor John Kasich signed controversial Senate Bill 199 into law Monday night, lifting the current ban on carrying concealed weapons in public places like daycares, public areas of airports, and school safety zones.

The bill also gives colleges and universities the authority to allow weapons on their campuses. Private businesses can still ban weapons under the new law, which designates it as the choice of any private business. Still no concealed carry in police stations and courthouses.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 10:23

Canton ID Two Dead In Murder-Suicide

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Canton Police say it was a father and son who were killed in a murder-suicide that left North Canton Middle School closed Monday.

There were two crime scenes police investigated, forcing the school closure; one at a home on Harmon Street Southwest where the father, later identified as Ronald G. Milliken, was found with multiple gunshot wounds. The 18-year-old son, Devin P Milliken, was found outside a city park restroom on Hillcrest Avenue Southwest, not far from the home.

Stark County Coroner conducting an official autopsy.

Monday, 19 December 2016 10:27

Deputies ID Suspects In Green Church Theft

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Summit County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspects who they say entered the Queen of Heaven Church in the City of Green on December 8, and stole a woman's purse while she was in line for Communion. 

The 79-year-old victim says she left her purse unattended in the pew, but the Sheriff's Office says the theft was captured on surveillance camera. The two suspects, identified as Raymond B. Jarvis, 53, and Michelle L. Wells, 38, went to local Acme and Dollar General stores and used the woman's stolen credit cards to but more than $1,000 worth of items.

Michelle Wells 1


It is reportedly not the first church theft the two suspects have been a part of. According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, similar thefts have been reported and they've been named the suspects. One of the reported incidents happened at a church in Iowa.

Warrants have been issued for both Jarvis and Wells. Anyone with information is asked to call the Summit County Sheriff's Office at 330-643-8637. 

Monday, 19 December 2016 09:12

Akron Man Charged In Mother's Death

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Akron Police have charged 47-year-old Derrick Williams with murder in connection to his mother's death. 

Last Thursday police were called to the home of 78-year-old Alaine Williams, where she was found unresponsive by her daugther. In the 911 call, her daughter said it was her brother Derrick that killed their mother. An investigation and autopsy revealed that Alaine died of blunt-force trauma to the head. 

Police caught up with Derrick Williams over the weekend, reportedly at the home in Akron. He has been booked in Summit County Jail. 

Monday, 19 December 2016 07:24

North Canton PD Probes Two Dead

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North Canton police are investigating what appears to be two dead in a home on Harmon Street -- what could be a murder-suicide. Police found a 49-year old man dead inside the house in the 500 block of Harmon Street SW and about an hour later another man, 18-years old, at a nearby park off Hillcrest Avenue SW from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

North Canton schools have closed the nearby middle school because of it but all other schools are open today.

The school district noted on it's Facebook page "The North Canton Middle School will be CLOSED TODAY (12/19/16) due to police activity and crime scene in the area. There are street closures in the area but there is no involvement concerning the middle school. All other buildings and programs in the district will be open today."

Officials were quick to say they don't believe the shootings had anything to do with the nearby middle school, which is closed strictly because of the investigation. Police were called to the home around 1:30 this morning after reports of gunshots heard by neighbors.

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(North Canton PD) On Monday, December 19, 2016 at approximately 1:30 am the North Canton Police Department received a call from a resident in the 500 block of Harmon St. SW. Police and North Canton Fire Department medics responded to the residence for an unresponsive 49 year old male who was found to have suffered several gunshot wounds.

Police officers conducted an immediate search of the home and surrounding area for another person possibly involved with the incident in the residence. At approximately 2:50 am officers found a second person, an 18 year old male, outside a City park restroom in the 300 block of Hillcrest Ave. SW. That person appeared to have suffered from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigator Rick Walters from Stark County Coroner Dr. Murthy’s Office and Crime Scene Investigators form the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI&I) responded to assist with the investigation of the two crime scenes. North Canton City School Superintendent’s Office was contacted with the request to cancel only classes at the North Canton Middle School due to the proximity of the nearby crime scene and the amount of time it will take to keep the area secured from the public.

No names of the victims are being released at this time in order to make family notifications of the deaths. 

Friday, 16 December 2016 11:27

Life In Prison For Akron Woman

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Kerieda Beavers, 22, of Ericsson Avenue in Akron has been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of her boyfriend. Beavers, who will not be eligible for parole for 18 years, was sentenced Friday in Summit County Common Pleas Court by visiting Judge H.F. Inderlied. 

On January 9, 2016, Beavers and her boyfriend Tevael Parker got into an argument. Beavers, according to court documents, shot Parker in the head killing him. Parker was 22-years-old. Beavers said she and Parker were together for three years before the shooting. She was convicted by a Summit County jury back on November 23, 2016. 

In a statement released Friday, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said, "I am pleased my office was able to secure justice for this victim and his family. I will continue to aggressively prosecute gun violence in our community."