Friday, 13 January 2017 09:32

Akron Utility Wins High Response Marks

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Providing a helping hand during times of trouble doesn't go unrecognized. Akron-based FirstEnergy honored with the "Emergency Assistance Award" from an electric utility group for it's support of southern power systems following Hurricane Matthew last year. FirstEnergy sent hundreds of line workers to Florida and South Carolina last October to help restore power for more than a million customers. The local utility was also recognized for it's own efforts following storms in West Virginia caused power outages for customers of it's Mon Power subsidiary.

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(FirstEnergy) For the 11th consecutive year, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has earned recognition for its emergency response efforts from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a leading electric industry organization.

FirstEnergy was honored with the “Emergency Assistance Award” as a result of sending about 600 line workers, contractors and support personnel to assist Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy after Hurricane Matthew caused large-scale power outages along the East Coast. Over a 10-day period in early October last year, FirstEnergy personnel were part of an effort that helped restore electric service to 1.2 million Florida Power and Light customers in Florida and 157,000 Duke Energy customers in South Carolina.

FirstEnergy also earned the “Emergency Recovery Award” for restoration efforts of its own customers following severe thunderstorms and flooding that caused more than 70,000 Mon Power customers in West Virginia to lose power in late June of last year. More than 1,000 company line workers, contractors, damage assessors and support personnel were part of the restoration effort. Despite accessibility issues with flooded substations and multiple transmission structures being damaged in inaccessible mountain areas, FirstEnergy crews were able to restore more than 90 percent of the customers within four days.

“The tireless work of FirstEnergy’s crews to quickly and safely restore service to customers, and to lend assistance to neighboring electric companies, demonstrates the industry’s strong commitment to customer service,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “FirstEnergy’s dedicated crews who faced challenging conditions are greatly deserving of this recognition.”

“Receiving both awards is a special honor because it means our employees used their considerable skills in difficult work environments to benefit our own customers, and those of other utilities,” said Steven Strah, senior vice president of FirstEnergy and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. “What is most impressive is that the repairs were made with no accidents or injuries, which is a testament to our employees’ commitment to safety.”

EEI presents these awards to member companies to recognize extraordinary efforts to restore power or for assisting other electric companies after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions and other natural events. Winners are chosen by an independent panel of electric industry experts following an international nomination process. The awards were presented January 11, 2017, during the winter EEI Board of Directors and CEO meeting in Florida.

Summit County Health officials say there may have been exposure to TB at a hospital here in Akron. About 50 families are being notified by Akron Children's Hospital for potential exposure at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Summa Akron City Hospital from mid-November through mid-December of last year. The Summit County Health Department says NICU patients at Akron Children's Hospital were not at risk of exposure. Doctors want to reach out to those potentially exposed since tuberculosis can be more serious in children, and treat them with proactive antibiotics.

In a press conference at the Summit County Public Health building Friday morning, Dr. Margo Erme, Medical Director with the county, emphasized that there is no risk of infection to the public. Measures have been and continue to be taken among those who were exposed, but the general public shouldn't be concerned. The county has added a list of Frequently Asked Questions to their website here

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news release updated 10:02 a.m.

(Summit County Health) 

REVISED news release

(Summit County Health Department) Summit County Public Health has confirmed a case of pulmonary tuberculosis in a Summit County resident on Jan. 3, 2017. In the course of the tuberculosis (TB) investigation, Summit County Public Health works with the individual to identify persons who were potentially exposed and would benefit from evaluation and testing.

Before being diagnosed with TB disease, this individual visited the Akron Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit at Summa Akron City Hospital in mid-November through mid-December, 2016. Summit County Public Health shared this information with Summa-Akron City Hospital and Akron Children’s Hospital, which operates the neonatal intensive care unit.

Infants who were in the NICU at the Akron Children’s Hospital campus were not at risk of exposure.

The three organizations have worked collaboratively to identify approximately 50 families of infants who were patients in the unit during this time and may have been exposed to the disease. Akron Children’s has begun notifying these families directly.
“The risk for infection is low, but because TB can be more serious in young children we would like to evaluate these infants and begin them on a protective antibiotic,” said Dr. John Bower, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital. “We have set up a clinic and are providing this care at no cost to our patient families.” 

In the United States TB disease is an uncommon and potentially serious illness that usually involves the lungs but can affect other parts of the body. In rare cases, people with TB disease can spread the disease to others. TB is spread through the air by
close prolonged contact when a person coughs, speaks, laughs, or sings. It is not spread by casual contact or contact with surfaces.

Almost all cases of TB disease are curable with proper treatment and medication. Active cases of TB disease are uncommon, even after exposure. While TB is contagious, it is difficult for the disease to spread from person to person. Therefore, there is minimal risk to the greater public.

“Adult care givers, older children and other individuals who may have visited the unit only during this time period are also encouraged to have a TB test in 6 to 8 weeks to see if they have been infected,” said Dr. Margo Erme, medical director of the Summit  County Health Department. “This would be about 10 to 12 weeks after the last potential exposure which is the time for the body to develop its response to the TB bacteria. If testing is done earlier, the person would still need to return in 6-8 weeks to be retested. Testing can be done by their private physician or at Summit County Public Health by calling the Clinic Appointment Line, 330-375-2772.” 

Friday, 13 January 2017 05:12

West Thornton Victim ID'd

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The name of the 17 year old shot and killed on West Thornton Street Wednesday has been released -- and the Akron schools are mourning. Ernest Anderson, Jr. was killed, a 19-year old wounded after an argument.

The Summit County Medical Examiner reported Anderson died from gunshot wounds to the head and the torso.

Anderson was a student at East High School; the district released a video of Anderson working

Akron superintendent David James said ""we are deeply aggrieved by this tragic episode. Another student, another life filled with promise has been extinguished by violence. We are thinking of his family and the entire East CLC community." 



Thursday, 12 January 2017 11:51

New ADM Help Line To Fight Addiction

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The Summit County ADM Board is ramping up efforts to battle drug addiction and abuse in and around Summit County. 

Part of that effort is a new Addiction hotline they will be unveiling Tuesday, January 17th. The local number will be operational Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Any calls made after hours will go to the ADM Crisis Hotline that will remain operational. 

Dr. Jerry Craig, ADM Board Executive Director, says the new hotline is not exclusive to opioid addiction. "Irrespective of the problem, we want to make sure that people have access to the most available treatment options," Craig says, whether that's treatment for drug, alcohol, or even gambling addiction. 

The number to the new ADM Addiction Help Line is 330-940-1133. Again, the ADM Crisis Hotline will continue to operate 24/7, but specific calls to this new hotline will be expedited and triaged to the most current and available resources regardless of patient needs. 

See the full press release from the Summit County ADM Board below. 


ADM Addiction Help Line Opens Tuesday, 1.17.17

The ADM Addiction Help Line launches on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, as a new service to assist individuals who are looking to recover from an addiction to alcohol, drugs or gambling. Callers will be asked a few questions to assist the Help Line staff in determining which local treatment providers could meet their needs. They will be provided with information about treatment options available to them based on their individual circumstances. Once the caller knows their options, they can choose the local agency where they would like to begin treatment. The Addiction Help Line staff will then connect the caller to the selected treatment agency to make a warm hand-off and to schedule the initial appointment. The ADM Board is contracting with the Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. for this new service. The Help Line number is 330-940-1133 and the hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm. The ADM Crisis Center will continue to be available on a 24 /7 basis to provide detoxification and drop-in services and treatment readiness groups. “Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. is pleased to partner with ADM on an Addiction Help Line”, stated Malcolm J. Costa, President & CEO of Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. “Calling the addiction helpline may be an act of courage; sometimes taking strength to admit you have a problem,” stated Costa. “We recognize the importance of getting people the help they need in a timely manner when they are ready to start their recovery. The ADM Addiction Help Line will fast track making the connection between those seeking addiction services and local treatment providers. By calling the Help Line, those seeking addiction services will choose from the most available agencies and have the convenience of being connected to their selected provider to get the process started”, adds Jerry Craig, ADM Board Executive Director.  

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 11:50

Parents In Court, Charged With Daughter's Murder

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The parents of Ashley Zhao made their first appearance in Massillon Municipal Court Wednesday morning for arraignment. 

The charges listed by Judge Edward Elum were First Degree Murder and Felonious Assault for Mingming Chen, mother of Ashley, and Complicity to First Degree Murder and Complicity to Felonious Assault for Liang Zhou, the father of Ashley.

Both Chen and Zhou are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on the morning of January 19th. No pleas have been entered at this time, and both parents have been appointed separate public attorneys.

Click here for previous stories/information on this case. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 11:12

Former Green Little League President Charged

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Former City of Green Little League President Tim McCloud has been arrested, charged with theft and money laundering dating back to the time he held the office. 

According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, the president who took over when McCloud left his role noticed about $10,000 missing from an account linked to the little league program. Upon further investigation, Inspector Bill Holland with the Sheriff's Office says they found a total of $27,000 that was unaccounted for. That investigation lead right to McCloud, who had set up a new account while in office. That account combined league fees and donations with some of McCloud's personal funds. It was discovered that McCloud was using those funds for personal expenses. 

McCloud's been booked in Summit County Jail on two felony charges of Theft and Money Laundering. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 07:20

Akron Zoo Gets Curious

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The Akron Zoo is going big again with a new exhibit for 2017. "Curious Creatures" will feature what the Zoo calls some of the "world's strangest animals" starting this summer and replaces the Journey to the Reef exhibit in Komodo Kingdom. Among some of the animals: naked mole-rats, electric eels and insects who even garden.

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(Akron Zoo) 2017 will be a bizarre year at the Akron Zoo. The zoo is getting ready to introduce the community to some of the world's strangest animals when their new exhibit, Curious Creatures, opens on June 3, 2017. The exhibit will be located in Komodo Kingdom and replace Journey to the Reef, which closed in November last year.

The new exhibit will include animals that are uniquely different or have odd adaptations allowing guests to learn about some of the world's most "Curious Creatures." Some of the unique species that guests will be able to learn about in the new exhibit include naked mole-rats, leaf-cutter ants, electric eel, red-eyed tree frogs, walking batfish, chain dogfish, flashlight fish, mata mata turtles and more.

The new exhibit will keep a few species that were in Journey to the Reef, such as sea nettles, giant Pacific octopus and coral. In addition the zoo will also be showcasing some carnivorous plants such as Venus flytrap, pitcher plant, bladderwort and more. In total, Curious Creatures will include over 20 exhibits and several interactive areas like the learning lab, where guests can see marine and terrestrial invertebrates, a mood wall that simulates the helpful adaptation some animals have to blend in and change color and a strength tester where guests can compare their strength to that of the powerful mantis shrimp.

Guests will be able to view the strange behaviors of animals like the leaf-cutter ants who cut leaves with their jaw and carry them back to their nests where they grow fungus gardens, which the ants then eat. Guests will also learn about curious adaptions of animals like the naked mole-rat, which has no fur, just pink, wrinkly skin. These creatures live underground like moles and have small rat like tales, but are neither a mole nor a rat.

"Curious Creatures allows us to engage guests in an exploration of biodiversity unlike anything we have done before. By connecting our guests with animals they perhaps did not even know existed, we hope to encourage greater interest in the diversity of our natural world," said Doug Piekarz, president & CEO. "Our hope is Curious Creatures will spark the curiosity of every guest and inspire them to help these magnificent creatures as we continue to advance our mission to connect your life to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action."

Curious Creatures will be located in the exhibit hall in Komodo Kingdom Education Center. The exhibit hall is a space that changes exhibits every 3-4 years. Curious Creatures will be the fourth exhibit to occupy this space since Komodo Kingdom opened in 2005.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 17:36

UPDATE Missing Five Year Old Found Dead

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The search turned to grisly discovery as the body of five year old Ashley Zhao was found inside the restaurant her parents owned, and now a mother and father are charged with murder. Police say Mingming Chen struck her daughter several times in the head; she's charged with murder. Ashley's father Liang Zhou found his daughter with fluid coming her her mouth. He washed it off and tried to revive her using CPR. He's charged with complicity to commit assault. Both were booked into the Stark County Jail.

A day of searching ended with the hearbreaking discovery of the body of five year old Ashley Zhao in her family's restaurant.
Zhao was reported missing Monday night when her mother reported the little girl was gone; police acted on information the child exited the family restaurant on Portage Street, NW in Jackson Township sometime prior to 9:00 that evening and had left in an unknown direction. While the case wasn't declared an AMBER Alert lacking any information she had been abducted, authorities used foot searches, drone cameras for an aerial view and searches of neighboring businesses throughout the day in an effort to find the little girl.
The search escalated into a statewide Missing Child Alert around lunchtime and included state and federal officials.
The Jackson Township police department issued a news release revealing the body was discovered in the restaurant and had been "concealed", but further details have not been released.
Previous coverage:  Jackson PD Seeks 5-Year Old
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(Jackson Township Police Department) The Jackson Township Police Department was contacted on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 9:02 pm for a missing person report at 4924 Portage St, NW, Jackson Township. Upon arrival officers were informed of a five (5) year old female that was reported missing from the location by her parents.
Through their investigation it was determined that the child was found deceased and concealed inside the building. 
The Jackson Township Police Department with the assistance of the FBI and Ohio BCI in cooperation with the Stark County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate the death.
We would like to thank Jackson Township Detective Bureau, Jackson Township Fire Department, Canal Fulton Police Department, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio BCI, Canton SWAT Cooperative, US Marshall’s Task Force, Canton Police Department and Canal Fulton Fire Explorers for their assistance.
No further information will be released at this time. 
Tuesday, 10 January 2017 09:32

Ravenna PD Names Suspect, Victims

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Ravenna police have officially named a suspect and victims from a weekend shooting that left two dead and another person injured.

26-year old Javon Thomas of Akron is charged with murder; 20-year old Austin Tiller of Stow and 24-year old Brian Brack of Canton were found dead in an apartment on Woodgate Boulevard. A third shooting victim, 21-year old Destanny Dixon of Ravenna, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

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(Ravenna PD) On January 7th, 2017, Ravenna Police Department officers responded to the apartment building at 731 Woodgate Blvd in Ravenna for a reported shooting. When officers arrived on scene two persons were found deceased from gunshot wounds. A third person was injured, suffering non-life threatening gunshot wounds.

As a result of an argument between several persons inside one of the apartments at 731 Woodgate Blvd weapons were fired. The names of those involved can now be released as all next of kin notifications have been made.

The Ravenna Police Department has charged 26 year old Javon M Thomas of Akron, Ohio with Murder. Additional charges may follow pending Prosecutors review.

Deceased are 20 year old Austin J Tiller of Stow, Ohio and 24 year old Brian K Brack of Canton, Ohio. The injured person is 21 year old Destany Dixon of Ravenna, Ohio.

Ravenna Police Department Detectives are continuing their investigation. More details will be released when appropriate. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 06:48

Jackson PD Seeks 5-Year Old

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On this very inhospitable morning -- Jackson Township police are looking for a missing child who reportedly wandered away from her home. Five year old Ashley Zhao was last seen at a local business in the 49-hundred block of Portage Street NW. She's wearing a purple winter coat with gray leggings.

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(North Canton PD) The Jackson Township Police Department is investigating the disappearance of a five (5) year old female. The child was last seen in the 4900 block of Portage Street, NW, Jackson Township. It is believed she wandered out a back door of a business with unknown direction of travel. The child's name is Ashley Zhao, 5 years old, approximately 4" tall, 35-40 lbs, black hair, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a purple winter coat and gray leggings. If you have any information please contact the Jackson Township Police Department at 330-834-3960 or the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 330-834-3967.