Some say that a pending "no confidence" vote against University of Akron President Dr. Scott Scarborough scheduled for Thursday could be seen as a call by the university's faculty senate for a new regime.
UA faculty senate chairman Bill Rich explains the process.
"The senators will have the opportunity to debate the motion, and ultimately to vote it up or down," Rich tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "unless perhaps for some reason the senate decides to postpone consideration. But I think it's likely that there will be an up or down vote on Thursday.
Rich says he has no vote in the process, unless the results are tied...he'd cast the tiebreaking vote.
Hans-Joerg Tiede is with the national office of the American Association of University Professors.
"I think that's how votes of no confidence usually are framed," Tiede tells WAKR.net, "that the body believes it would be in the best interest of the institution for the person to resign their position."
If the resolution is passed by the UA Faculty Senate Thursday, Rich says he'll transmit it to the board of trustees for any possible future action.
(Earlier coverage) The University of Akron's Faculty Senate is planning a "no confidence" vote Thursday over the administration of UA president Scott Scarborough.
The draft resolution lists a number of complaints familiar to those who have been following Scarborough's time at the university, including budget cuts, changes in UA institutions like EJ Thomas Hall, along with declining enrollment and donations....and cuts to "key services".
It also says Scarborough hasn't gotten input from faculty in a number of key changes.
The vote resolution is far from the first time that faculty members have expressed concerns about Scarborough's leadership.
The cuts and changes were designed to address what Scarborough eventually called a "$60 million" budget problem.
Public outcry was heard over a nearly $1 million dollar renovation of the university president's home, including much attention being paid to an over-$500 olive jar for that home.
Scarborough has repeatedly gotten support from the UA Board of Trustees.
A complaint about drug overdoses at Rootstown High School has resulted in three arrests by the Portage County Drug Task Force.
Sheriff David Doak says 19 year-old Tarren Lowell was arrested at his home in Rootstown, and that 18 year-old Madison Schlagel of Ravenna and 18 year-old Jasen Sadler of Rootstown were arrested Tuesday at Rootstown High School.
Sheriff Doak says the Portage County Drug Task Force served a search warrant at Lowell's home and found a large amount of money, an assault rifle, marijuana and shipping boxes.
Lowell faces felony charges of drug trafficking near a school and felony charges of possession of criminal tools.
Schlagel and Sadler each face two felony counts of corrupting another with drugs. The task force says it's trying to locate the source of "several pounds" of marijuana from California.
(Portage County Sheriff's Office, news release) Sheriff David W. Doak reported that the Portage County Drug Task Force on February 1, 2016, arrested and booked into the Portage County Jail, Tarren R. Lowell, 19 years of age who resides at 3969 S.R 44, Rootstown, Ohio. On February 2, 2016 the Drug Task Force also arrested Madison Schlagel, 18 years of age who resides at 4792 Muzzy Avenue, Ravenna, Ohio 44266 and Jason L. Sadler, 18 years of age, who resides at 3825 Cook Road, Rootstown, Ohio 44272, for violations of state narcotic laws.
The Portage County Drug Task Force initiated an investigation approximately 3 weeks ago following a complaint from Rootstown High School referencing two overdoses which occurred at the school. On February 1, 2016, the Task Force served a Search Warrant at 3969 S.R. 44, Rootstown, Ohio where a large amount of U. S. Currency, Assault Rifle, marijuana and shipping boxes were seized. Tarren Lowell was taken into custody and charged with Trafficking in Drugs in the vicinity of a school, a felony of the 4th degree and Possession of Criminal Tools, a felony of the 5th degree.
On February 2, 2016 the Portage County Drug Task Force made the arrest Madison Schlagel and Jason Sadler at Rootstown High School, charging them each with two counts of corrupting another with drugs, a felony of the second degree. Task Force investigation is ongoing in attempts to locate the source of several pounds of marijuana from California.
The Portage County Drug Task Force is comprised of members from the Portage County Sheriff's Office, Portage County Prosecutor's Office, Cities of Aurora, Kent, Ravenna and Streetsboro and the Village of Hiram, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S Department of Homeland Security and Ohio BCI & I.
Two employees of the Ohio Attorney General's Office have resigned, after a reported incident involving Macedonia police.
The AG's Office says that resignation happened after a review of the incident, and that the employees were in "leadership positions" - and were being investigated over allegations that their personal conduct affected their abilities to manage.
NewsChannel 5 reports that there were two employees involved, a female law enforcement training officer and a male special agent, both who had worked for the AG's office for many years.
Few details are available about what started the internal review.
(Ohio Attorney General's Office, release to WEWS NewsChannel 5) The Ohio Attorney General's Office learned of a recent incident involving two employees and Macedonia Police. In the course of the Attorney General's Office initiating a review of that incident, the two employees resigned earlier today.
The two employees were formerly in leadership positions in their respective sections. In July 2015, the two employees were confronted by the Attorney General's Office with allegations that their personal conduct affected their management abilities. In response, the employees requested voluntary demotions. Our Human Resources Section did not receive a formal complaint regarding this previous behavior, nor did the allegations claim that the conduct occurred on Attorney General's Office property or on office time.
On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com
The City of Akron Blue Ribbon panel report is now being studied by Mayor Dan Horrigan.
The panel spent the last three months studying the city's government to make suggestions for where Horrigan should start as mayor.
Tim Ochsenhirt was chairman of the Blue Ribbon Panel. He says it all starts with the city's financial picture when trying to determine what can be done next.
"To recognize the position we're in now, and to try to determine how they can best, absent a tax increase, that's always an easy way," Ochsenhirt tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "how we might accomplish better financial management of our funds and assets and resources right now."
Ochsenhirt says to fund suggested improvements, it takes money. But a tax increase is not on the table.
"There are) ways to try to increase revenue by closing a few doors that are open, and taking some new ideas, maybe having less subsidies on behalf of the city of Akron," Ochsenhirt says.
Council member at large Linda Omobien was the only city council member on the panel. She talks about the city's financial challenges.
"The financial staff have done a pretty good job of managing our financial situation," Omobien tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "but we really need to look at ways to start saving revenue, using our assets to try to find more revenue to come into the city."
Omobien also says a tax increase is not the answer.
One of the top executives with the Browns released a statement today on Johnny Manziel...and it could be the beginning of the end for Johnny's career in Cleveland, with his release apparently likely next month according to numerous reports.
Executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown says they've "been clear about expectations" for all players both "on and off the field."
He goes on to say that "Johnny's involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation" of the organization.
There is still no official word on what will happen to Johnny, but Brown says that his status with the team "will be addressed when permitted by league rules."
(Cleveland Browns, news release) Statement from Cleveland Browns EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown on Johnny Manziel
"We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time."
A 27-year-old Akron woman got a wake up call she didn't expect when a trio of men allegedly broke into apartment and fired a number of shots early Tuesday morning.
Police say two men confronted the woman after kicking in the door while a third man waited outside the Chester Avenue apartment. Another man was waiting outside the Chester Avenue apartment.
The suspects allegedly confronted two other people who live at the apartment. One suspect fired shots into the ceiling, but police say no one was hurt.
The trio fled the scene with cell phones, a purse, and clothing.
No arrests have been made.
Akron police are looking for the person who shot and robbed a pizza delivery driver Monday night.
Police say a 59-year-old driver for Papa John's was delivering a pizza in the 700 block of Crane Walk when he was confronted by a man with a gun around 10 p.m.
According to Akron police, the victim was shot in the back twice. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. His injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Only a vague description of the suspect was released.
This week's Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force Fugitive of the Week is a man with Akron ties.
The task force says Wesley Tucker is wanted on charges linked to a conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute them.
Tucker is wanted on charges involving over 8 pounds of crystal meth last November.
A picture and description of him is on WAKR.net.
The task force says Tucker has a last known address in the 600 block of West Exchange Street in Akron.
(Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, news release) The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward for information which would lead to the capture of fugitive Wesley Tucker.
Tucker is wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service, the Akron Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspectors Service for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamines.
In November 2015 Tucker conspired to possess over 8 pounds of crystal meth. Tucker is a 39 year old black male standing approximately 6'01" and weighing 200 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.
Tucker's last known address was in the 600 block of West Exchange St. in Akron.
If you have any information in reference to Wesley Tucker, please contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4-WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to 847411 (tip411) Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.
Akron's mayoral cabinet members and the rest of his staff have a new assignment: read his Blue Ribbon Task Force's report.
Mayor Dan Horrigan said moments after task force chair Tim Ochsenhirt handed it to him that he had not seen it yet. Ochsenhirt gave a preview, saying that some of the main themes include suggestions to lessen subsidies to things like Akron Fulton Airport and two city-owned golf courses, monetizing some assets and how to move forward on the combine sewer project.
"We found Akron to be very positive," said Ochsenhirt. "I think it's positive in what it's done over the years, positive in its citizens and we had a lot of citizen input."
Lessening subsidies and monetizing assets - does that mean getting rid of the airport or the golf courses? Not exactly.
"The city needs to look, general speaking, how to utilize those assets and how it might be able to turn those assets into liquidity for the city, not necessarily for operating costs but for future investment for the city," said task force member Brian Nelsen.
He refers to the city as being "asset rich" and does not rule out selling or leasing as one part of a strategy.
Ochsenhirt says the city should partner with Summit Metro Parks regarding the golf courses. He says the airport is a valuable asset but one that needs nurturing in an area that also needs nurturing to make it more successful and reduce the amount of money the city needs to spend on it each years.
Another suggestion is for the city to seek conservation easements around reservoirs it owns, part of about 19,000 acres in Portage and Geauga counties.
"It would also provide dollars for the city and potentially be of value in the CSO issue because we would be permanently improving upstream the quality of the water," said Tom Chema, a task force member.
Horrigan says the report likely contains information that prompts him how to approach some problems, rather than offering specific solutions.
"A lot of these are suggestions," said Horrigan. "What we need to do is get in there as a staff, an administration and a city is start to pick some of these things apart and figure out how to implement something like that."
Horrigan says some of the ideas may already be in discussion or implementation. He also says it's possible that additional groups will be put together to come up with action plans on some of the suggestions.
Some of the other items in the report include moving Akron Municipal Court, taking better advantage of existing economic development resources, creating better leadership & planning in each of the city's neighborhoods.
Akron's new planning director has a goal of increasing the city's population to a number close to when the population was at its peak in the 1960s. Jason Segedy says he hopes to see Akron's population grow to 250,000 by 2050.
The latest numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that number stands at just under 198,000 (197,859).
It's an ambitious goal, but Segedy believes it's possible.
"Do you get job here, first, or do you make the city a better place to live?" said Segedy. "I think the answer to that is 'both.' We need to do both at the same time."
Segedy said it's also not necessarily all about recruiting people to Akron -- but it start with the millions of people who are already in Northeast Ohio.
"There are a lot of people in Northeast Ohio that might choose to make the city of Akron their home if we can make it a compelling place to live, so I want to start with that."
Segedy said increasing the population begins with building new housing, rehabilitating existing buildings, and encouraging entrepreneurship and commercial redevelopment.
Click here to read more from Jason Segedy's blog.
Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is in trouble once again.
The former first-round quarterback is being investigated by police in Texas for an altercation between him and his ex-girlfriend.
The Fort Worth Police Department responded to a call around 2 a.m. Saturday, after receiving a phone call about a "possible assault," the Beacon journal reports. The police did not find the person who called, but did talk to a 23-year-old woman on the scene, who said she was the person involved in the altercation with Manziel.
The newspaper reports, Manziel has not been arrested, but the Fort Worth Police Department is "actively working" with Dallas police "to determine if a criminal offense occured."
The woman also told Fort Worth officers that she was concerned about Manziel's "well-being".
Although charges have not been filed, Manziel could face discipline from the NFL.
A Browns spokesman said the team had no comment.
This is the second time in the last few months Manziel has been implicated in a domestic altercation.
Manziel and Colleen Crowley were questioned by Avon police on October 12th after they were seen on the side of the road arguing. It was later known that they were fighting in the car, where Crowley accused Manziel of hitting her and pushing her head against the car window.
No arrests were made, and the NFL announced on Nov. 17 it wouldn't discipline Manziel under its personal-conduct policy after launching an investigation in which the league questioned Manziel and Crowley finding insufficient evidence.
An Akron man was sentenced to seven years in prison for selling heroin to a woman who died from taking it.
Trevon Thomas, 20, of Sumner Street, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and with aggravated trafficking in drugs--both felonies--in his role for the death of Carissa Ewing, 28.
He pled guilty to the charges.
On November 2014, Ewing, was found unresponsive in her home by her mother. It was determined that heroin and fentanyl was in her system.
Investigators contacted Thomas acting as Ewing wanting more drugs and arrested Thomas when he arrived.
Area high school basketball scores from Friday, January 29:
Brecksville 54, Nordonia 39
Canton McKinley 68, GlenOak 55
Copley 86, Tallmadge 71
Coventry 61, Streetsboro 59
Firestone 90, Ellet 73
Garfield 74, East 65
Highland 52, Aurora 47
Hudson 68, Cuyahoga Falls 44
Kenmore 76, Buchtel 74 (overtime)
Kent Roosevelt 62, Revere 48
Lake 55, Jackson 39
Mogadore 56, Southeast 45
Hoover 49, Green 45
North Royalton 45, Wadsworth 31
Norton 93, Ravenna 60
Springfield 61, Cloverleaf 48
St. Thomas Aquinas 63, Garfield Heights Trinity 55
Stow 61, Twinsburg 32
Walsh Jesuit 55, Archbishop Hoban 48
Woodridge 65, Field 58
With hundreds of Summit County absentee ballots not counted last election due to missing postmarks, Ohio's Secretary of State is changing some guidelines he says will help ensure mailed ballots are counted, even without a postmark.
Secretary of State Jon Husted's directive includes recommended changes for local boards of elections, including using intelligent bar codes and scanning codes as an alternative way to determine a ballot's eligibility.
An instruction booklet will also be included in all absentee ballot applications, and Husted has also recommended that ballots fit into letter size envelopes to increase the likelihood of postmarking.
The Secretary of State's office also says it'll make additional bar code readers available to local election boards that can't afford their own readers.
Nearly 900 absentee ballots were not counted in last November's election due to the lack of a postmark.
(Ohio Secretary of State's office, news release) Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today issued Directive 2016-03, instructing election officials in Ohio to implement new procedures in order to improve Ohio's system of absentee voting.
"When a ballot is cast by an eligible voter who followed all of the rules, their vote should count," Secretary Husted said.
Ohio law allows a voted absentee ballot to arrive via U.S. mail after the polls have closed, so long as it is postmarked to indicate it was cast and mailed before Election Day. Ohio is one of only 12 states with a system for counting late-arriving ballots, further solidifying the Buckeye State's position as a leader in absentee voting and ballot access.
For nearly a decade, this system has been carried out in Ohio with few issues. However, during the 2015 General Election, there was a noteworthy rise in the number of absentee ballots received by the boards of elections after Election Day that did not contain a postmark. Those ballots were thus unable to be counted per Ohio law.
"Election officials in Ohio are faced with the responsibility of fixing a problem they don't control, but that can't be an excuse for inaction," added Secretary Husted. "Since the 2015 General Election, my office has aggressively pursued answers from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to improve the system. As a result our policies and their practices will be better than they've been in the past."
Secretary Husted instructed the boards of elections to follow USPS recommendations including working with local post office officials in order to redesign their courtesy reply envelopes to contain both the official USPS Election Mail logo and the unique Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) in order to increase the electronic visibility of the absentee ballot in the mail stream.
The Secretary of State's Office has developed a mail insert that will be included with every absentee ballot during the 2016 elections. This insert will give specific instructions so voters can take steps to ensure their ballot is either received by the board of elections prior to Election Day or is at least given a legally-acceptable postmark to ensure the ballot can be counted.
On the advice of the USPS, Secretary Husted has also recommended boards of elections resize their absentee ballots in order to fit into a letter-size envelope (up to 6 1/8 inches in height by 11 ½ inches wide and ¼ inch thick), which will increase the likelihood of postmarking in most cases.
"As election officials, we are doing all we can do to make sure it is easy to vote and hard to cheat," Secretary Husted said. "But we need the voters' help. Please do not procrastinate in requesting and casting your absentee ballot and utilize the resources that we have available to you online to make your voting experience hassle-free."
The USPS commonly affixes a fluorescent barcode to envelopes as they are processed. Secretary Husted has instructed boards of elections to use this identification tag as an alternate way of determining a ballot's eligibility in the absence of a traditional postmark. The Secretary of State's Office will make additional barcode readers available to boards who are unable to purchase their own equipment. This should lead to more legally cast ballots being counted.
"This policy is consistent with the spirit of the law and common sense dictates that we should use technology to count every ballot we can," concluded Secretary Husted.
Absentee voting by mail for the March Presidential Primary Election begins for all Ohio voters on February 17, 2016. The Secretary of State's website contains a number of resources to help with casting your ballot including finding your polling location, viewing your sample ballot, requesting an absentee ballot by mail and tracking your ballot once you've returned it to the board of elections. Visit MyOhioVote.com/VoterToolkit for more information.