Kent State University has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit involving the denial of a an emotional support dog for someone with a psychological disability in student housing.
The U.S. Department of Justice says Kent State will pay a 145 thousand dollar settlement to two former students, along with a fair housing group, and the U.S. government.
The Justice Department says KSU will also adopt a new housing policy allowing support animals for students who need them for theraputic reasons.
Kent State officials say the consent decree "speaks for itself" and had no further comment.
(U.S. Department of Justice, news release) The Justice Department announced today that Kent State University (KSU) has agreed to pay $145,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit alleging that the university had maintained a policy of not allowing students with psychological disabilities to keep emotional support animals in university-operated student housing. Under the settlement agreement, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, KSU will:
• pay $100,000 to two former students who sought and were denied a reasonable accommodation to keep an emotional support dog in their university-operated apartment;
• pay $30,000 to a fair housing organization that advocated on behalf of the students;
• pay $15,000 to the United States; and
• adopt a housing policy that will allow persons with psychological disabilities to keep animals with them in university housing when such animals provide necessary therapeutic benefits to such students and allowing the animal would not fundamentally alter the nature of the housing.
"This settlement shows the department's continued and strong commitment to ensuring that students in university housing are afforded the protections of the Fair Housing Act," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. "Those protections include accommodations for students with disabilities who need assistance animals in order to have an equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits of university housing."
"Kent State University is to be commended for reaching an agreement that will benefit its students," said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio. "This agreement will help many people who are working hard to earn their fair share of the American dream."
The proposed settlement would resolve a lawsuit filed by the department in 2014. In that lawsuit, the department alleged that KSU violated the Fair Housing Act when, in 2010, it denied a request to allow a student with a psychological disability and her husband to keep an emotional support dog in their university-operated student apartment. The students, along with the Fair Housing Advocates Association in Akron, Ohio, filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD investigated the complaint, determined that KSU had violated the Fair Housing Act and referred the matter to the department. Under the proposed settlement, KSU has agreed to change its policy to accommodate similar requests going forward.
"Providers of on-campus housing have the same obligation to comply with the Fair Housing Act as other housing providers," said Gustavo Velasquez, HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "Today's settlement reinforces the ongoing commitment of HUD and the Justice Department to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are granted the accommodations they need to perform daily life functions."
He was supposed to be in Berea Sunday for concussion treatment, but was a no-show.
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(Cleveland Browns) The Cleveland Browns night relieved General Manager Ray Farmer and Head Coach Mike Pettine of their duties.
Farmer joined the organization in March of 2013 as the Assistant General Manager and was promoted to General Manager in February of 2014.
Pettine was named the 15th full-time head coach of the Browns on January 23, 2013. In two full seasons with the team, he compiled at 10-22 record.
Owner Jimmy Haslam released the following statement:
"We greatly appreciate Ray’s and Mike’s dedication and hard work while with the Cleveland Browns. We’ve made this decision because we don’t believe our football team was positioned well for the future. We are all disappointed with where we are and we take full responsibility. We will approach the search for our next football coach and executives to lead our football operations with a clear vision regarding what we need to do to build a successful organization. We will be methodical in looking for strong, smart leaders with high character who are relentlessly driven to improve our football team, willing to look at every resource possible to improve, and who embrace collaboration to ultimately make the best decisions for the Cleveland Browns. We are fully committed to bringing our fans the winning organization they so clearly deserve.”
A small turn-signal violation turned into a big crime bust in Alliance late Friday.
The traffic stop on S.Liberty Ave. at Waugh St. last night of Alliance man Kyle Adams turned sour, after police found marijuana. But that wasn't it.
Police also found a ski mask, gloves and a pry bar in the car and Adams admitted to committing several burglaries in the Columbiana and Washington Township areas.
When the police went to his home, they found stolen guns, tools and hunting equipment.
The stop also led to his accomplice Brandon Haines, where police also found stolen guns.
The two will face felony charges for Receiving Stolen Property in Alliance and will likely face additional charges in Columbiana County and Washington Township.
Ohio Residents unexpectedly are experiencing warmer weather in the months of November and December, but the people at Boston Mills Brandywine are thanking mother nature for the recent drop in temperatures.
Boston Mills Brandywine product manager Ricky McMullen said with the recent cold front; crews have been able to get to work.
"We've made really good progress with the temperatures. We've counted some high humidity. We've been able to work through it and put down some good amount of snow."
McMullen said with the recent cold temperatures, this coming week's warm weather won't affect the business's plan to open soon.
"With the amount of snow that we've been able to produce and what the forecast looks like we are going to be able to produce over the next couple of days, once we get open, we should be able to stay open with the amount of snow that we've created."
McMullen said because of the warmer temperatures the business has had a hard time staying open, opening for only one day. He said customers have still been supportive.
"People were actually pretty positive even though it didn't look like it was going to stick around very long."
Boston Mills Brandywine will make an announcement in a couple of days on when they'll be open, McMullen said.
Once again, Ohio finds itself at the forefront of national politics and a key battleground state for the 2016 Presidential race. Because Ohio is rich in delegates and an opportunity to use the diverse state to hone a political message, 30 media organizations across the state are banding together to share stories and features with the hope of encourage more honest and civil debate and to keep Ohio's issues directly in front of the campaigns.
Rubber City Radio Group, which owns 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX, is part of a 30-member coalition agreeing to share, with attribution, stories and features involving substantive issues throughout the state. The list includes the Ohio Newspaper Association, Ohio Association of Broadcasters, and local media outlets such as the Akron Beacon Journal, Canton Repository and Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Two local universities are also part of the group. The University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics is conducting polling on behalf of the effort and Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication are also involved.
The first story appearing on outlets throughout the state today stems from a poll and focus group conducted for the Akron Beacon Journal as part of it's ongoing Civility Project in conjunction with The Jefferson Foundation. The poll measures voter feeling on the election process and the roll mass media plays in stimulating public debate.
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(Dennis Hetzel, Executive Director, Ohio Newspaper Association) Memo from Ohio news media to the public: Message received.
You deserve better, more meaningful coverage of presidential elections. That's a particularly urgent challenge for Ohio's media outlets since the Buckeye State will again occupy the main stage in 2016.
With that in mind, representatives of more than 30 Ohio media outlets and organizations met Dec. 16 in Columbus and shared concerns that too much political coverage has devolved into reporting on the campaigns while the interests of citizens disappear in the discussion.
That problem is acute in Ohio, a key swing state where campaigns often spend more money than in any other state. The public gets pummeled by advertising, telephone calls, e-blasts, mailings, staged events and too much shallow reporting. Negative advertising -- often filled with half-truths at best -- bombards the airwaves, discouraging and annoying citizens.
Scant time remains to present the voices of Ohioans or push candidates to address relevant issues in meaningful detail.
If citizens turn to news media for informed coverage, they see journalists facing more challenges than ever, including diminished resources to deliver the kind of coverage that speaks to Ohio's 11 million people across several distinctly different regions.
So, the question we addressed at our meeting was this: Can Ohio's news media collaborate intelligently to provide better coverage so that people have a sense that they're being heard?
Citizens direct anger and frustration at all involved – the politicians, their consultants and the media. They feel marginalized, ignored, stereotyped and treated like they're stupid. That was clear during a remarkable October retreat hosted by the National Institute for Civil Discourse that involved elected officials, journalists and citizens. NICD has identified Ohio as particularly fertile territory for changing the way people talk about tough issues during divisive political campaigns.
The meeting grew out of a civility project in Akron in 2012 that explored the reasons citizens are so angered and frustrated – particularly in Ohio during national election cycles. In that project, the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, the Akron Beacon Journal, the Jefferson Center and the Akron faith community used polling, focus groups and forums to isolate the causes, much of which pointed back to media, negative advertising and politicians.
That led to the Columbus meeting. Here is a list of what the group hopes to accomplish:
• Polling on the issues instead of the horse race that asks Ohioans to help set the agenda for coverage
• Sharing interviews of people across the state and collaborating on stories that bring the issues most important to Ohio citizens to life.
• Collaborating with national media on projects exploring negative advertising, how and where it is created and how it affects Ohioans.
• Coordinated engagement projects with young people that encourage them to think about and express themselves on major issues.
• Providing news organizations with excellent background so reporters can ask better, tougher, more insightful questions to the candidates as they parachute into Ohio for campaign stops that otherwise would provide nearly meaningless sound bites.
There is much work to be done, but the goal is clear: By working together and working smarter, Ohio's media outlets can do a much better job of helping Ohio citizens decide who will be the next president of the United States.
Newspaper participants at the Dec. 16 meeting coordinated by the Ohio Newspaper Association and who expressed interest in the collaborative were The Dispatch; Akron Beacon Journal; Cincinnati Enquirer; The Blade of Toledo; Dayton Daily News; The Repository of Canton and Gatehouse Media; Gannett's Media Network of Central Ohio representing several dailies; Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky; The Lima News; The Daily Times & Community Commons of Portsmouth; The Courier of Jefferson; Ohio Valley Publishing of Gallipolis; The Courier of Findlay; and The Clyde Enterprise.
Broadcast participants included the Ohio Association of Broadcasters; Rubber City Radio Group WAKR/WONE-FM/WQMX Akron; WCMH-TV Columbus; WFIN/WKXA/WBUK Findlay; ABC6/Fox 28, Columbus; North American Broadcasting, Columbus; WOSU public media; and WBNS 10TV, Columbus.
The Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication also was represented.
For politicians who want to win, polls can hold valuable information. But some of the latest polling on politics shows a trend any politician would do well to fear: we are simply fed up with how far down the process seems to have fallen.
The Rubber City Radio Group is part of a statewide consortium of media outlets including the Akron Beacon Journal, Canton Repository, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio Public Radio and Television, the Ohio Newspapers Association, Ohio Association of Broadcasters and other organizations forging a rare alliance in a bid to focus attention on issues facing Ohio voters leading up to the 2016 Presidential primary and general elections. 1590 WAKR and WAKR.net is owned by Rubber City Radio Group.
As part of the coaltion, we've agreed to directly share, with attribution, stories and features on substantive issues regarding the political process and specifically those issues important to Ohio voters focused on the Presidential contests. Such partnerships are not unusual; WAKR and the Beacon Journal, for example, collaborated on a series of video interviews of local County Council candidates in the past and have also worked together on forums and town hall-style meetings.
This is the first of a series of reports planned throughout the year, and features poll results from a survey from the University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. The Beacon Journal has been at the forefront of an effort to encourage more civility in public discourse in conjunction with The Jefferson Foundation
(Akron Beacon Journal) As she realized what she had in her hands, Andrea Barnes' eyes lit up like she was holding toxicity.
"It's not that Glenn Beck," she said of the author's name on the book.
But, as she turned to the inside jacket cover and saw a portrait of the polarizing, conservative radio and talk show host, she knew otherwise.
"Oh," she said.
Barnes, 44, likens Beck to Rush Limbaugh, another divisive commentator.
"Anger. Everybody is so angry. I guess that leads into fear," she said, referring to the rise of unconventional presidential candidates who rally worried voters by identifying and denigrating a perceived enemy. Preferring that opposing views be respected and not indiscriminately rejected, Barnes took a few minutes to reflect on the state of politics then slipped the book back on a shelf at the Cuyahoga Falls Public Library. "If we're going to solve any problems, we have to have civil discourse and be tolerant of others," Barnes said, feeling better to have released some of her own frustration.
Call it fear. Call it anger. Call it discontent.
As Americans grow unusually interested in a presidential election that is a year away, they come to the party with an unusually high level of disgust, according to a recent poll by the Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron. Asked in November to rank their satisfaction with American politics on a scale of one (utter disgust) to 10 (complete satisfaction), 24 percent of Ohioans picked the number one.
Only 1 percent picked the highest satisfaction rating of 10.
It was that lopsided.
The poll on political approval found a majority of Ohioans are disgusted, to some degree. What's acutely noticeable is that the response rate for those with absolute disgust (that bottom rating of one) has tripled since 2008.
Is Trump a sign?
The results leave Bliss director John Green contemplating whether Donald Trump is the man of the hour or a sign of the times. His provocations seem to boost his ratings, but for which reason? "It could very well be that when we look back, we'll say, 'well, Trump was a very unique person'," Green said. "But, when I look at it I see that whatever uniqueness he may have in his background, he does sort of capture a lot of the trends in media and the decline of civility and the rise of an adversarial culture that many of us have been talking about for a couple decades."
"And that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Bliss surveyed 600 registered Ohio voters after the November election to find that 57 percent give American politics a negative score, up sharply from 22 percent in 2008. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error. When the poll was done in 2008, the economy had not yet fallen off the cliff and a nation weary of war was watching exciting presidential campaigns begin to solidify. War hero and elder statesman Sen. John McCain had locked up the Republican nomination and Democrats were weighing two historic candidates: An African American and a woman.
Green noted a groundswell of "hope and change" from both parties at that time.
Could it get worse?
There's much debate about the effects of negative advertising on the emotions of voters, but campaigns increasingly attack opponents because they believe it works. Research shows that campaign advertising hit an all-time high in the 2012 race, and negative ads accounted for more than 60 percent of the air time, also an all-time high. Already in Ohio, a powerful swing state in presidential elections, negative ads have been aired on prime-time television against Hillary Clinton a half year before the Ohio Primary Election and a year before the general.
The question is, does that kind of activity give rise to more angst among voters?
In Ohio, according to an analysis of the Bliss poll, voters most dissatisfied with American politics are more likely to be among these groups: young; white; men; without advanced college degrees; residents of southeast Ohio; regularly attend church; or are more concerned with terrorism, immigration and abortion than the economy or climate change. National polling by the Pew Research Center suggests Republican candidates (reinforced by debates that have broken records for cable viewers) are hitting a sweet spot with angry voters by pounding issues such as national security.
But playing to disgruntled voters has the added effect of souring others.
"The problem is you have so many big issues facing the country in terms of the economy and social issues, but everybody is hung up on the idea of Muslim terrorism and whether we should allow Syrian refugees into the country," said Brian Baker, a 29-year-old chef in Cuyahoga Falls.
Baker rates his satisfaction in American politics a miserable two out of 10 partly because candidates dwell on issues that don't appeal to his more liberal leanings. More importantly, though, he said the issues are blown out of proportion. "They're nice things to talk about but they don't really affect us greatly," said Baker, whose never voted in a presidential election when American troops weren't fighting terrorism.
Baker wouldn't be upset if Gov. John Kasich's message of compassionate conservatism prevailed. But Kasich, too, has called for a pause on some immigration amid fears of terrorism, a move Baker can't condone.
The young man prefers candidates who address starvation, homelessness or even Planned Parenthood. All, he said, are more manageable than the thoughts of a fanatic who might want to sneak in and hurt America.
In whom can we trust
General disapproval of politics is hurting legacy candidates. Disgusted voters prefer private-sector, anti-establishment newcomers who are believed to be better at understanding ordinary people (even more so than being honest), the UA poll found.
"It is disturbing because it suggests the levels of distrust are so high that voters are unwilling to trust anybody very much," Green said. "They just want someone who is outside the system."
With unemployment rates approaching pre-recession levels, disgusted voters have shifted their attention away from the economy and toward more controversial issues, among them abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration and national security.
The Ohio data mirror a national shift, with the spotlight apparently guided by an angry hand and a souring public opinion of the federal government.
An ongoing survey by the Pew Research Center shows Americans now hold the lowest opinion of the federal government's ability to thwart terrorism since 9/11. Yet, Americans most often say Uncle Sam's top job is keeping them safe. And on immigration, they say the feds do worst. The research also indicates Americans consider the GOP better suited to deal with terrorism and immigration, the only two issues Republican respondents told Pew they would like the federal government more involved in.
Hope and despair
Millennials, ages 18 to 34, are simultaneously the most satisfied, disgusted, opinionated and indifferent voters represented in the Bliss poll.
The youngest (ages 18 to 24) were the most likely to take a neutral position on politics in the poll. The older portion — idealistic, fresh out of college or launching a career — flowed to opposite ends of the spectrum with the highest rates of satisfaction (20.3 percent) and dissatisfaction (62.3 percent), and the lowest neutrality.
With age, the level of dissatisfaction waned. Ohio voters in every older generation consistently moved toward a neutral position on satisfaction. Baby boomers, the second largest generation behind millennials, voiced less disapproval than all but the youngest first- or second-time voters.
Research shows millennials vote less often than prior generations. They're also distrustful of government and the least likely to affiliate with conventional political parties. Couple these suspicions with gridlock in Congress and fighting on the campaign trail and what you get, Green says, is "a recipe for a great deal of dissatisfaction."
The Browns-Steelers game to close out the 2015 season has plenty riding on the line: for the Steelers, it's still playoff hopes. For the Browns, it's hopes of the top draft pick and the fate of the front office.
Apparently fans are picking up on this; either Browns fans still want to show the colors, or Steelers fans are taking advantage of ticket availability to cheer on their team in what used to be hostile territory.
In weeks past thousands of tickets -- upwards of four-thousand were online for the San Francisco game --were still available on StubHub.com, some for as low as under $9 apiece. Not so for the season-ender, as the ticket resale website is offering tickets for the Sunday matchup has a litte over one-thousand tickets and prices closer to face value of $50 apiece.
On the official NFL Ticket Exchange site, there are more than 2,200 tickets still available at similar prices.
Given the growth of support for Pittsburgh in northeast Ohio and the fan base only 112 miles away, it's not surprising Steelers Nation is looking to score a ticket here for what used to be a fierce rivalry. These days instead of fights and insults, the Steelers-Browns contests usually draw sympathetic smiles and hangdog responses.
The 1:00 kickoff will be simulcast in Akron on 97.5 WONE and 1590 WAKR. Both stations are owned by Rubber City Radio Group, which also owns WAKR.net.
New Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan wasted little time reinforcing the tone he'll set at Akron City Hall -- even though the swearing-in ceremony was a formality, given he'd been mayor since midnight.
Akron's fourth mayor this year, following the tumult of the resignation of long-term Mayor Don Plusquellic, short-term Mayor Garry Moneypenny and interim service from Mayor Jeff Fusco asked all the members of his extended family to stand in a standing-room only Greystone Hall. Row upon row stood. Also among those in attendance was former Councilman Mike Williams, whom Horrigan defeated in the Democratic primary. The two are long-time friends dating back to their mutual service on City Council.
Comparisons to Plusquellic will be inevitable; he was not spotted in the room. But the tone of this swearing-in ceremony stood in marked contrast to other official political moments of the past 28 years with an upbeat vibe in the room, rather than a defensiveness or defiance that marked some of the former long-standing mayor's events.
Minutes earlier his daughter, Cassidy Horrigan, had thanked her father for setting an example for her and her siblings, even making her run extra drills as a basketball coach -- something she joked she was just saying. Longtime friend Pat D'Andrea painted a picture of a man who leads with others, a theme echoed by Fusco and Summit County Judge Tom Teodosio, who administered the public oath of office.
Fusco joked he'd "been waiting a long time" for this New Year's Day, a nod toward the circumstances of his elevation from Council President so soon after Moneypenny took office.
Perhaps a sign of his value of team building was the recognition he asked the audience to bestow on the workers at Greystone Hall, who only hours earlier were using the same space as a command center for Akron's 20th FirstNight celebration. He thanked his family, all candidates both supportive and opposing for working toward public service, and recognized City Council members, department heads and other government officials in the room.
"This is the first day of a new year, and a new day for Akron," Horrigan said, promising to work toward "an economy that is sufficiently inclusive." He noted other historic challenges in moving from an agricultural economy to a manufacturing economy and the uncertainty of Akron during war. "Akron is at a crossroads. You have to ask yourself every single day are we comfortable to simply manage a population decline and it's impact, or are we prepared to make that commitment today, right here, you and I, that we believe Akron's poised to innovate and grow."
"We must see unprecendented partnerships," Horrigan noted in his nearly nine-minute remarks following his oath. "As we innovate and grow, we push ourselves to build a vibrant community, but having the strength to build a "city of inclusion" where a rising tide raises all ships.
Horrigan did show humor in his closing remarks, noting it wasn't true he'd timed the 10:00 ceremony so attendees could get back home in time to watch Ohio State play in the Fiesta Bowl. As any person proud of their Irish roots would attest, Horrigan noted he'd planned the timetime to coincide with the 1:00 kickoff of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who face the Buckeyes.
Horrigan told WAKR.net he'd been getting plenty of advice since his election in November, "...whether it's sewers, economic development, vibrancy of downtown, vibrancy of neighborhoods...to me they're all connected and I think we all have to try and tackle them at once. There's not a priority list but it's like a huge meal, that you just start knocking out a little bit at a time."
The U.S. Marshal is carrying over 10 of the "most wanted" fugitives from 2015 who weren't nabbed through the work of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.
The list includes violent felons wanted on a host of charges, including the shooting of a three-year old, individuals charged with murder, child pornography, aggravated robbery, assault and various weapon and drug charges.
The list, including photographs, can be viewed by clicking on the attached .pdf file at the bottom of this story.
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(US Marshal) The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward for information which would lead to the capture of 10 of the remaining fugitives from 2015.
During 2015 the United States Marshals Service, Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force has brought 45 fugitives into custody through the Fugitive of the Week program. These arrests have been a direct result of the partnership with the local media and the help and support from the community. With 3 days left in 2015 the NOVFTF has 10 individuals that have been profiled but have not yet been captured, and we need the public's help to cross these fugitives off our list.
RODERICK RODGERS: wanted since June for aggravated robbery. Rodgers is 27 years old, stands 5'10" and weighs 170 pounds.
DONNELL LINDSEY: wanted since September for the shooting death of 3 year old Major Howard. Lindsey is 22 years old, stands 6'00" and weighs 170 pounds. There is a $5,000 reward for information directly leading to the arrest of Donnell Lindsey.
RAMADII PARKER: wanted since 2006, profiled by the NOVFTF in November for felonious assault, distribution of drugs and weapons violations. Parker is 37 years old, stands 5'08" and weighs 215 pounds.
OWEN NEWLAND: wanted since October for distribution of child pornography. Newland is 29 years old, stands 6'04" and weighs 190 pounds.
MALCOLM THOMAS: wanted since August for domestic violence and unlawful restraint. Thomas is 27 years old, stands 5'10" and weighs 190 pounds.
SAVONTE HUFFMAN: wanted since December for a shooting death, where the victim was killed in front of his 5 year old child. Huffman is 21 years old, stands 5'04" and weighs 105 pounds.
THOMAS SCOTT: wanted, along with his brother Christopher Scott, for distribution of cocaine and heroin. Scott is 31 years old and stands 5'08" and weighs 150 pounds.
ROCCO PANDOLI: wanted since October for aiding and abetting in a homicide, which took place in West Virginia. Pandoli is 27 years old, stands 5'09" and weighs 200 pounds.
ROBERT YANCEY: wanted since October for aggravated burglary where he assaulted a young woman. Yancey is 55 years old, stands 6'02" and weighs 180 pounds.
CHRISTOPHER SCOTT: wanted, along with his brother Thomas Scott, for distribution of cocaine and heroin. Scott is 33 years old, stands 5'06" and weighs 155 pounds.
If you have any information in reference to ANY of these fugitives, please contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 18664WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to 847411 (tip411) Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.
No injuries were reported but a pair of fires this morning at an Akron landmark sent heavy smoke wafting across West Akron on the last day of the year.
The first blaze was reported just after 1:30 this morning and firefighters quickly put out the flames originating in the kitchen of the historic Women's City Club of Akron at West Exchange and Portage Path. More smoke was reported just before daybreak and fire crews again responded, this time with heavy smoke billowing from the attic of the building used for community programs and meetings.
The Akron Women's City Club was established in 1923 as "...a place where women could meet to discuss subjects of interest, hold seminars for education, promote charitable events, and serve as a social center and meeting place for women of Akron."
No cause of either fire was immediately available.
Holiday travel means the battle against distracted driving goes into high gear. The Ohio Turnpike has gotten thousands to take a pledge to drive cell-phone free, and they could win a gas gift card.
Lt. William Wiertz with the Ohio State Highway Patrol says of all the distractions behind the wheel, using cell phones for talking or texting tops the list.
"Just my daily commute to work is about an hour drive, and I see it all the time, where people are not paying attention to what's in front of them," Lt. Wiertz tells WAKR.net, "They're either texting, or talking on their phone, or looking on their phone." Lt. Wiertz says he's seen others eat or read while driving.He says that it's not that the rate of distracted driving increases during the holidays, but the holiday traffic means it's more likely.
The Ohio Turnpike is also continues their long-standing program of offering free coffee to late-night drivers on this New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. 24-hour service plazas will provide one free cup of coffee to those looking for a caffeine jolt starting at 10:00 tonight and running through 7:00 Friday morning.
In addition, for the 33rd year Rubber City Radio Group's "LifeRide" program. "LifeRide" across greater Akron can get you home from holiday parties safely. Call 330-376-RIDE for a free cab ride home starting at five and ending at three in the morning.
It's now official from the Browns - quarterback Johnny Manziel has been diagnosed with a concussion, which puts him in the NFL's concussion protocol.
Coach Mike Pettine says Manziel reported concussion-like symptoms this morning.
Further details -- like when he was injured -- were not released, though the team says Manziel took "a couple of hard hits" in Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pettine says if Johnny is out on Sunday, which now appears likely after a concussion diagnosis, Austin Davis would step up.
(Cleveland Browns, news release) Johnny Manziel was placed in the league's concussion protocol Wednesday afternoon, setting the stage for Austin Davis to likely make his second start of the season Sunday against the Steelers.
Manziel, who took a couple of hard hits in the Browns' loss last week at Kansas City, complained of concussion-like symptoms when he arrived at the Browns facility in Berea on Wednesday and underwent tests. He did not practice, as Davis led the first-team offense during the early portion that was open to reporters.
Davis has appeared in two games, starting one since he signed with the Browns in September. He's 32-of-48 for 307 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Browns lost, 37-3, in his start earlier this month against the Bengals.
Project Blue Light is moving closer to reaching its goal in Summit County to distribute 10,000 blue lights in honor of service members in the community.
Rob Winebrenner, the father of fallen Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner, launched the project in November.
"We have more people that want the bulbs, than we have bulbs," said Winebrenner.
More than 3,000 light bulbs have been handed out across Summit County since the launch of the project in November. Winebrenner said it's not hard to see the community's support.
"As you drive around Barberton, it's amazing. There's a lot of [blue lights] in the Akron area. I've shipped them off to Warren and other states."
Winebrenner doesn't have any plans to stop -- even after his goal is reached.
"It's been working out very well. Enough to keep it going and keep us ordering our next thousand."
A benefit will be held at the Funny Stop Comedy Club in Cuyahoga Falls Wednesday night. The proceeds will go to Project Blue Light.
While the decision to not indict police officers in the fatal shooting of 12 year-old Tamir Rice has stirred up intense emotions, protests remained peaceful....but the volume was definitely up.
That was the case at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland, where dozens gathered Tuesday afternoon, making their message heard, then marching around downtown Cleveland during the Tuesday afternoon rush hour.
Chants included "McGinty's got to go", referring to Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty, and calls for "indicting killer cops."
While the decision has stirred up intense emotions, protests remained peaceful. It's something Judi Hill, president of the Akron branch of the NAACP, says is important when trying to seek justice.
"We need to talk to one another about what we see in the community," Hill tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol on the WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show. "so that those of us in leadership positions can do a better job of working with the police department, so that those kind of issues stop here in Akron, Ohio."
Hill says it's also important to think before posting hurtful words on social media.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson spoke to the media a second time on Tuesday about the case.
He says they will now begin the administrative review of the officers.
Mayor Jackson says many who are upset with the grand jury's decision believe that there's a lack of fairness and lack of justice.
But he says he wants the city to undergo "due process", not just a process that would lead to a foregone conclusion.