Akron Children's Hospital's mission isn't just to serve over 800,000 patients a year.

The hospital also needs to train pediatricians and specialists, and part of the recently passed federal budget will help keep that going.

The year-end spending bill includes $295 million for training nationwide. That's $30 million more than last year.

The money amount for the coming year is estimated to be at around $3.5 million to $5.5 million for Akron Children's Hospital.

Children's president and CEO Bill Considine says that the money won't fund all training, but will help make their program "top notch".

"We are always looking for support, so we can turn out the specialists that serve about 90 percent of the country," Considine tells WAKR.net. "Yet, we have not received federal dollars, so that's why this line item is so important to us."

Considine says about 20 years ago, Children's, which doesn't get Medicare money since it treates children, got a small fraction of the training funding those other hospitals received.

Friday, 18 December 2015 12:31

Akron Firefighters Deliver Coats To Students

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To say that Akron firefighters were busy Friday morning is an understatement.

After battling an early morning house fire, firefighters made a quick turnaround to head over to an elementary school -- delivering hundreds of coats, hats and gloves to students.

Hundreds of students lined up in the cafeteria at McEbright CLC to make sure their new coat fit just right. Each coat was personalized with the students' name -- hats and gloves included.

Firefighter Matt Coleman organized this year's Operation Warm event.

"It gives all of us firemen a perspective on the meaning of Christmas and getting to come out and touch the community in a different way," said Coleman.

Click the image below to view additional photos from the Operation Warm event.

Operation Warm at McEbright CLC in Akron

But before some firefighters could prepare for Friday's coat delivery, they were busy battling a house fire on Marvin Avenue in Highland Square.

"Four of these guys pulled a guy out a building and save him around 7:45 this morning. They went back, took a shower and now they're here handing out coats."

Just hours before, half of the firefighters at the event were battling a house fire on Marvin Avenue in Highland Square around 6 a.m. The blaze left one man with first and second degree burns. The man was found about eleven minutes after fire crews arrived had to be rescued. At least one other person escaped without help.

Mike Kranek was one of the firefighters who responded to the morning blaze, but he wanted to make he didn't miss out on this year's Operation Warm event.

"Some of these kids probably don't have much of a Christmas so if we can do a little something to make they're day better, that's what it's all about," said Kranek.

It was a morning filled with emotions for Kranek and his fellow firefighters.

"You're going a 100 miles a minute going to the fire, and then you deal with the fire and you're exhausted," said Kranek. "And then you go home to take an shower and you get rejuvenated because you know this is important."

 

 

Thursday, 17 December 2015 16:49

Horrigan To Take Mayoral Oath On New Years Day

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Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan will take the oath of office on New Year's Day in downtown Akron.

The city says Horrigan will become Akron's 62nd Mayor in a public ceremony January 1st at 10 AM at Greystone Hall, on South High Street.

The ceremony is expected to take about 30 to 40 minutes. Though it's open to the public, the city says seating is limited.

(City of Akron, news release) The City of Akron will be hosting the ceremony administering the inaugural oath of office to Mayor-elect Daniel Horrigan on New Year's Day. Horrigan will be sworn in as the 62nd Mayor of Akron on January 1, 2016 at 10:00 am at Greystone Hall, located at 103 South High Street in Downtown Akron. A brief reception will be held immediately following the 30-40 minute ceremony. This event is open to the public, however seating is limited.

Rep. Tim Ryan was one of just 77 Democrats backing the "Tax Extenders Bill", which passed the House Thursday.

"Because I believe it's going to be very good for small businesses in our community...to help them grow, reinvest back into their company," Rep. Ryan told reporters in a conference call on Thursday, "and it's also going to be good for families, whether you're sending someone to college or you need the child tax credit."

The Northeast Ohio congress member said the tax cut package should have been "revenue neutral" - it should have paid for itself.

But he said the benefits the tax cuts provide was more important for him.

The tax cut bill was overwhelmingly supported by House Republicans. House Democratic leaders were opposed.

Up next - the spending bill part of the end of year budget.

Thursday, 17 December 2015 11:43

25-Year-Old Killed In Officer-Involved Shooting

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An investigation is underway in a fatal officer-involved shooting in Kent early Thursday morning. Kent police say officers responded to a disturbance call shortly before 4 a.m. at a Virginia Avenue home.

NewsChannel 5 reports the cousin of 25-year-old Douglas Yon told police dispatchers that Yon refused to leave the house and was armed with a machete. She also reported that Yon was going to run toward officers and "make them shoot."

Kent police say four officers responded on scene. Police say Yon "engaged officers, wielding a machete." Officers fired an unknown amount of shots at the man. An ambulance was called in to administer first-aid, but Yon was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities did not release the names of the officers involved or how many officers fired their weapons.

The Portage County Sheriff's Office is conducting an independent investigation and BCI is assisting with the collection of evidence.

The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

On the web: www.newsnet5.com

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 12:37

Canal Park To Get Makeover

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For the first time since Canal Park opened nearly 20 years ago, the field will be getting a complete makeover. The renovations include removing the existing turf, improving the drainage and irrigation infrastructure , and reconstructing the bullpens, mounds, and batter's boxes.

Officials with the RubberDucks say the renovations are needed, especially ahead of the Eastern League All-Star Game in 2016. Akron will host the All-Star Game and festivities July 12-13. The season opens for the RubberDucks on Thursday, April 7 with the home opener scheduled on Thursday, April 14.

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(Akron RubberDucks - Press Release) The Akron RubberDucks and the City of Akron Mayor Jeff Fusco announced today Canal Park is undergoing a complete field renovation in time for the 2016 All-Star Season. It is the first complete field renovation since Canal Park's construction in 1996 and opening in 1997, and the renovation includes the first resurfacing of the playing field since 2007.

"We are thrilled to partner with Mayor Fusco and the City of Akron to provide a new playing surface and much-needed improvements to the drainage and irrigation infrastructure," said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. "I know our players and the Cleveland Indians player development team will enjoy a new, improved playing surface for 2016 and beyond."

The tearing out and installation work is being performed by local Seville-based AG Design, and Tuckahoe Turf from Hammonton, New Jersey, will be installing its Tuckahoe Big Roll sod, which is 100 percent Kentucky Blue Grass. The renovation began November 11, and the new turf is expected to be laid in place by the end of the week.

The complete field renovation includes:
· Removal of the existing turf and organic layer to reduce percolation issues

· Installation of a new Rain Bird Irrigation System

· 400 tons of root zone sand and 50 tons of infield material will be added and graded

· 100 tons of warning-track material will be added and be graded

· Reconstruction of bullpens, mounds, and batter's boxes

· ACO Drains will be added to the warning track for improved field drainage

· Playing field will be graded and prepared for new sod

"With the upcoming Eastern League All-Star Game, now is the perfect time to install a new irrigation system and add additional drainage," said head groundskeeper Chris Walsh, who will oversee the project. "The Kentucky Blue Grass field should take root over the winter and be ready for Opening Night and the All-Star Game."

"We've made a number of improvements to Canal Park over the past few years, but this one is a re-investment in the facility that players, coaches, and on-field personnel will enjoy for a long time," said Pfander.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2016 season will be the franchise's 20th since moving to Akron and third since becoming the RubberDucks. Akron will host the Eastern League All-Star Game and festivities July 12-13, and the season opens Thursday, April 7 with the Home Opener at Canal Park on Thursday, April 14 vs. Bowie Baysox at 6:35 p.m.

Fans can secure season tickets, flex plans, or arrange a group outing by contacting the Akron RubberDucks ticketing department at 330-253-5151 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about the team, please visit the RubberDucks' website, www.akronrubberducks.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks, Twitter feed @AkronRubberDuck, and Instagram at @akronrubberducks.

Thursday, 17 December 2015 07:00

Indians, 1590 WAKR Announce Affiliate Renewal

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One of the longest-running sports-broadcast affiliations in sports will have another five years of bringing baseball to Akron. The Cleveland Indians and 1590 WAKR have agreed to a new, five year contract keeping the Tribe on Akron's station for news, talk and sports.  

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(WAKR, Cleveland Indians) 1590 WAKR and the Cleveland Indians have inked a new, five-year contract that extends the love affair between the team and the Akron station, one of the longest-serving radio affiliates along the Indians Radio Network line.

"Nothing says spring, summer and hopefully autumn in Northeast Ohio better than Indians baseball," said 1590 WAKR President and General Manager Thom Mandel. "Our heritage as a key affiliate for the Tribe continues through this decade, and we are proud to continue our support of the Cleveland Indians on the station greater Akron relies on for Indians baseball."

"The Cleveland Indians are very excited to extend our successful partnership with Rubber City Radio Group," said Cleveland Indians Sr. Director of Communications Curtis Danburg. "We are fortunate 1590 WAKR continues to be Akron's radio home of the Tribe in 2016 and beyond."

WAKR will begin the season with most spring training games live beginning March 1, 2016 with Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus calling play-by-play. WAKR also carries "Tribe Talk" through the year and "Indians Hot Stove Report" during the off-season to help keep fans in the loop for all things Indians baseball.

1590 WAKR began broadcasting on October 15, 1940 and for much of the station's history has served as the affiliate for Indians baseball. WAKR also serves as the Akron affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Ohio State football and men's basketball, and also simulcasts select Cleveland Browns programs and games in conjunction with 97.5 WONE when available.

1590 WAKR and WAKR.net are owned by the Rubber City Radio Group.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 07:57

Court Program Gets Certified

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A special program in Summit County Common Pleas Court now has state certification through 2018.

The "Turning Point" program is a 12-month intensive program aimed at lessening the effects of drug use on crime.

Judge Thomas Teodosio says reducing that impact will not only help offenders. He says it is being "smart on crime", and will save money for the justice system.

"Studies have shown (alternate programs) reduce that rate of recidivism," Judge Teodosio tells WAKR.net, "It's a lot less expensive to the community to treat these people through a specialty docket as opposed to putting them in prison, and the cost associated with that."

Judge Teodosio says the program is more important than ever due to the rising use of heroin in Summit County, which contributes to rising crime rates.

Those in "Turning Point" have to make it to a graduation ceremony.

Judge Teodosio says it's great to see lives turned around, and family reunited.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 18:33

Akron Man Gets 15 Years For Raping 12-Year Old Girl

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An Akron man will spend 15 years behind bars for raping a 12-year old girl.

33-year old Brandon Harrison of Marcy Street pleaded guilty to rape and other charges in an unrelated case, including having weapons under disability, failure to comply with a court order, and non-support of dependents.

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Teodosio immediately sentenced Harrison to an 11 year prison term for the rape charge and another four years for the other charges.

Harrison was also labeled a Tier III sex offender.  

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(Summit County Prosecutor's Office, news release) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Brandon Harrison, 33, of Marcy Street in Akron, pled guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl.

Harrison pled guilty to the following charge:

Rape of a Person Under the Age of 13 – a felony of the first degree

Harrison also pled guilty to the following charges in an unrelated case:

Having a Weapon Under Disability – a felony of the third degree

Failure to Comply with a Court Order – a felony of the third degree

Non-Support of Dependents – a felony of the fourth degree

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Teodosio immediately sentenced Harrison to a total of 15 years in prison; 11 years for the rape charge and four years for the other charges. Harrison was also designated a Tier III sex offender, meaning he will have to register with the local sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life.

“Brandon Harrison took advantage of a young girl. I’m glad to know the community is safer with him spending a significant amount of time behind bars,” said Prosecutor Walsh.

A Cuyahoga Falls man gets an eight year prison sentence for admitting to molesting a 10 year-old girl.

The Summit County Prosecutor's Office says that 40 year-old William Ensminger was sentenced in Summit County Common Pleas Court Tuesday, after pleading guilty to three counts of gross sexual imposition.

Judge Lynne Callahan also ordered Ensminger to report as a Tier II sex offender after he gets out of prison.

The girl and her mother attended the hearing.

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(Summit County Prosecutor's Office, news release) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Lynne Callahan sentenced William Ensminger, 40, of Front Street in Cuyahoga Falls, to eight years in prison.

On December 11, 2015, Ensminger pled guilty to the following charges:

Three Counts of Gross Sexual Imposition involving a Minor Under 13 – felonies of the third degree

In March of 2015, Ensminger sexually assaulted the girl at his Cuyahoga Falls home.

Avery II, the Summit County Prosecutor's Office facility dog, stood with the victim as her victim impact statement was read in court.

The Summit County Prosecutor's Office received Avery II in August of 2013 from Canine Companions for Independence. Avery is a highly trained four-year-old Labrador/Retriever mix facility dog, whose primary job is providing emotional support to adults with developmental disabilities and children who are victims of crime. Since 2013, Avery II has been involved in 82 cases in Summit County.

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