Wednesday, 21 June 2017 09:44

Pope Meets Hall Of Famers

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Here's something you normally don't see at a football game: lots of guys wearing black and white around a guy who's wearing an all-white robe and cap.

Seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame including Franco Harris, Ronnie Lott and Floyd Little met with Pope Francis at the Vatican today. The Pope even blessed their Gold Jackets; Hall of Fame officials invited the Pope to visit Canton in 2020 during the Hall's Centennial Celebration.

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(Pro Football HOF) Led by seven Gold Jackets – CURTIS MARTIN, CHRIS DOLEMAN, FRANCO HARRIS, JIM TAYLOR, RONNIE LOTT, FLOYD LITTLE and 2017 Enshrinee JERRY JONES – along with Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees Chairman Randy Hunt, and trip organizers Hall of Fame Board Member Stephen Schott and Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl A. Anderson, Pope Francis greeted and addressed this historic occasion at 8:57 a.m. local time at the Vatican today.

"I am pleased to greet you, the members and directors of the American Pro Football Hall of Fame and welcome you to the Vatican. Teamwork, fair play and the pursuit of personal excellence are the values — in the religious sense, we can say virtues that have guided your commitment, on and off the field" said the Pope, the first ever Pontiff from South America and the first ever Jesuit Pontiff. "These values meet the needs of our brothers and sisters and combat the exaggerated individualism, indifference and injustice that hold us back from living as one human family".

His Holiness then personally greeted and blessed the Gold Jackets, their wives, Hall of Fame board members and their wives, Hall staff members, as well as dignitaries from the Knights of Columbus.

Hunt offered the Pontiff the Hall's support of a worldwide conference on sports and invited His Holiness to attend the Centennial Celebration in Canton, Ohio on September 17, 2020.

Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman hasn't been charged in the New Years Eve assault that took place in the lobby of his downtown Cleveland condo, but a probable cause affidavit filed with the indictment Tuesday says Coleman likely took part in the attack. 

The indictment filed in Cuyahoga County charges Coleman's brother, Jonathan, and Jared Floyd, both residents of Dallas, Texas, with felonious assault. They're alleged to have attacked Adam Sapp of Mayfield Heights, leaving him with a ruptured ear drum, a concussion, and several bruises.

Sapp says he doesn't remember the Browns second-year receiver attacking him, but the Prosecutor's Office says the investigation is ongoing. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 12:15

Armed Suspect Shot by Akron Police Officers

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Just before 5 p.m. Monday, Akron Police attempted to pull over a Kia on Chittenden Street in Akron after they noticed the driver make several traffic violations. The driver refused to pull over and continued onto McKinley Street, eventually pulling into a driveway. Then, the driver fled on foot through backyards. 

Officers chased the suspect on foot and noticed he was carrying a gun. During the chase, officers repeatedly told the man to drop the weapon. He did not and continued to run.

Eventually, the suspect was cornered by police in a driveway in the 600 block of Roscoe Avenue. Again, officers commanded the man to drop his weapon. He did not and an officer fired one shot, striking the suspect in the torso. 

The suspect, identified as Delon J. McGill of Akron, was secured in handcuffs and taken to Akron City Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.  

The officer involved in the shooting, a four year veteran of the department, has been placed on paid administrative leave, per departmental procedure. McGill has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon and weapons under disability. He is still in the hospital under observation. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 08:04

NOVFTF Gets A Two-Fer

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The U.S. Marshal's office reporting a two-fer on this Tuesday. Among the fugitives corraled was a Garfield heights man wanted for attempted murder and rape, tracked down to a home on Prange Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls where 38-year old John Eskridge was found hiding in a bedroom. Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force members also picked up 23-year old Damon Chapman; he was wanted in connection with a Cleveland gas station murder in April.

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(US Marshal) Yesterday afternoon and into the evening, members of the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Damon Chapman, 23 and John Eskridge, 38. Chapman was wanted for homicide by the Cleveland Police Department and Eskridge was wanted by the Garfield Heights Police Department for aggravated assault, domestic violence, and gross sexual imposition. He is also wanted by the Adult Parole Authority for parole violations, with an underlying offense of attempted murder and rape. Eskridge has also failed to report his change of address with the
Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department for his requirements to register as a sex offender causing a warrant to be issued for his arrest.

It is alleged that on April 9th, Chapman shot and killed a man walking out of a gas station in Cleveland’s Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood. Members of the task force gathered information that Chapman was staying at a home near the 2100 block of E. 85th St. in Cleveland. Task force officers made entry into the home and located Chapman hiding in the attic. Chapman was transported to the Cleveland Police Department.

Eskridge allegedly violently assaulted his girlfriend and two of her teenage children and attempted to sexually assault one as well. These crimes occurred on January 10th, 2017. Eskridge was featured as the Fugitive of the Week at the end of February and though several tips came in the task force was unable to locate Eskridge. After four months, hard work and perseverance paid off. Task force members discovered that Eskridge was staying at a residence around the 3400 block of Prange Ave. in Cuyahoga Falls.

Officers entered the home and found Eskridge hiding in an upstairs bedroom. Eskridge was transported to the Cuyahoga Co. Jail. U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said, “We were two for two tonight. Anytime you take a murderer and a rapist off the street is a great night for law enforcement and a great night for the community."

Monday, 19 June 2017 11:51

Man Orders Pizza to Home, Robs Delivery Driver

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Just before 7 p.m. Sunday, Stow Police were called about the robbery of a pizza driver. 

According to the report, the driver arrived at a home on Hibbard Drive and said a man came at him with a large kitchen knife, demanding all his money. After he took the money, the suspect hopped in the driver's Hyundai Sonata and took off. 

The suspect was later identified as 45-year-old Matthew Robert Guzik (pictured) of Stow. Police caught up with him the next day, Monday, in Sagamore Hills.

The report indicates that Guzik used a fake name when placing the pizza order, but had the food delivered to his home. The driver told police that Guzik said he was robbing him because of marital problems and that he was "feeling very angry."

Guzik was being held in Summit County Jail and due for arraignment Monday. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017 11:20

Huntington Bank Adding Akron Jobs

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Columbus-based Huntington Bank is adding more jobs to the footprint it took over with the addition of the former First Merit Bank. The addition of 100 more jobs to the already-existing Akron workforce of 1,100 will bring to 1,200 the Huntington employment based around the company's downtown headquarters off Cascade Plaza. The announcement was made by Huntington CEO Steve Steinour, local regional President Nick Browning and Mayor Dan Horrigan and includes more details of the package the City is using to not only help spur more investment by Huntington, but also to help improve the infrastructure around the bank. That includes improvements to Cascade Plaza and continued support by Huntington of it's operations center and work on the Cascade Hotel project, 

The State of Ohio is also kicking in $225,000 to be used for employee training. Hiring is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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(Huntington Bank) Huntington Bank today renewed its commitment to Akron announcing plans for workforce employment of 1,200 by the end of 2017 and a path to sustained and new local employment through 2022. 

Akron’s Mayor, Daniel Horrigan joined Huntington’s CEO, Steve Steinour, and Akron Regional President, Nick Browning, today at Huntington’s downtown office complex at Cascade Plaza for the company’s announcement of its local employment plans. As part of the merger with FirstMerit in 2016, Huntington committed to prioritize sustained levels of Akron employment. In doing so, Huntington has retained a current Akron workforce of more than 1,100 employees, will increase overall employment within the city to 1,200 by the end of the year, and is incentivized to continue employment expansion in Akron.

“From day one, the city of Akron provided a warm welcome to Huntington. We couldn’t succeed here without the community’s trust and support, and we’re proud to meet our commitment to grow jobs in Akron,” said Steinour. “The Mayor, the city and JobsOhio are outstanding partners who helped us deliver job growth in an important operations hub for Huntington. As we continue to grow, we remain committed to finding meaningful ways to demonstrate our passion for helping people and making lives better in Northeast Ohio.” 

“Today marks a key milestone in our partnership with Huntington. With this agreement, Huntington has proven its commitment to the ongoing stability and economic success of the Akron community, and has demonstrated that Akron plays a key role in its future,” Mayor Horrigan said of the announcement. “By growing jobs here, Huntington will support our citywide goals of increasing our population and ensuring robust employment opportunities for our residents. I thank Huntington for being a valued corporate citizen and look forward to working together toward our shared growth and success.”

As further support for Huntington’s employment growth in Akron, JobsOhio is also providing $225,000 in grant funding in support of new employee training and onboarding costs. “Huntington had many options on where to place a new regional headquarters, and Huntington chose Akron,” said Valentina Isakina, JobsOhio managing director for financial services. “This commitment demonstrates the growing recognition of the talent quality in Northeast Ohio, and JobsOhio is pleased to support another project that helps grow this talent in the state.”  

Building improvements 

As part of the agreement, Huntington and the city have undertaken and plan many improvements to Cascade Plaza and its buildings complex. The city will replace and upgrade Cascade Plaza parking deck lighting and improve directional parking signage. The city also will restore Cascade Plaza’s back stairs overlooking Quaker Street as part of overall restoration plans for Cascade Plaza Hotel, which also may include construction of an access road from Bowery Street to the hotel. 

Huntington has invested more than $5 million in completed or ongoing improvements at its operations center at 295 FirstMerit Circle, 3 Cascade Plaza and Huntington Tower. Improvements include temporary call center expansion at 3 Cascade Plaza and long-term call center expansion at 295 FirstMerit Circle. Huntington also installed building signage atop Huntington Tower and on 3 Cascade Plaza in May. 

”Partnering with local government, supporting a robust and talented local workforce and maintaining vibrant buildings where we our colleagues and customers live and work are among the many ways Huntington invests in our local Akron community,” said Browning.  

 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 09:24

KSU Freshman Dies After Football Practice

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The Kent State community is mourning the loss of a freshman football player who died after practice Tuesday morning.

Tyler Heintz, 19, was transported to a local hospital after morning conditioning drills at Dix Stadium. There's no word on what symptoms he had, and the cause of death is still being investigated.

Late Tuesday evening, KSU released a statement: 

"Today, the Kent State University family mourns the tragic loss of one of our student-athletes, freshman football player Tyler Heintz. Tyler was transported to a local hospital by paramedics this morning following football conditioning drills at Dix Stadium. The cause of death is not yet known.Tyler was from Kenton, Ohio, and planned to study marketing and entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration. Tyler was recruited as a rising star on our offensive line. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Tyler’s family and friends, as well as Coach Haynes and the team, our athletics staff and our student-athletes."

Tyler attended Kenton High School and many of his friends and classmates took to social media to express their condolences and their praise for Tyler, saying that he was a hard worker.

Tuesday was just his second practice with Kent State Football after being highly recruited out of Kenton for the KSU offensive line. 

In 2014, Kent State University football player Jason Bitsko died of natural causes just a few days before their season opener. 

 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 11:48

Suspect Linked to N. Canton, N. Royalton Murders

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Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier held a press conference regarding the double-homicide Monday in North Canton. 

Rogell John II and his wife, Roberta, were found dead inside their home on Mount Pleasant Street NW Monday afternoon around 4:20. Their son found them and call 911. Deputies responded and they were both dead on the scene. 

Since that time, detectives with the Stark County Sheriff's Office determined that their suspect was 45-year-old George C. Brinkman of Brunswick. Sheriff Maier said, in his press conference, that Brinkman has been watching the Johns' home while they were away on vacation. Whether he was staying in the home or just checking in, and for how long, have not been determined yet, according to the Sheriff. 

On Tuesday, a warrant was issued for two counts of murder for Brinkman. 

Prior to the warrants being issued, Brinkman was the subject of a police standoff outside a Brunswick home on Valley Forge Drive. It started around 9 Monday night and lasted through the early morning hours Tuesday. It ended, without incident, and with Brinkman in handcuffs. 

During the press conference Tuesday, Sheriff Maier said that his office received a call from North Royalton Police on Sunday afternoon regarding Brinkman. At that point, North Royalton PD had established Brinkman as a person of interest in connection to the triple-homicide on Ridge Road near Wallings Road over the weekend. Suzanne Taylor and her daughters, 21-year-old Taylor Pifer and 18-year-old Kylie Pifer, were found dead inside that home on Ridge Rd. Saturday, but weren't found until the next day. Sheriff Maier says that North Royalton PD called his office because it was reported to them that Brinkman had sometimes stayed at a home in Stark County.

While charges have been filed out of Stark County, it appears no charges have been filed in North Royalton as of Tuesday afternoon, though Brinkman is being held in North Royalton Jail.

Stick with WAKR.net for details.  

 

 

GasBuddy.com is out with their weekly survey of local stations in the Akron area. Their report shows that the price at the pump has fallen 8.2 cents since this time last week. 

The current average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Akron is $2.16. Akron still well below the national average which is $2.33 per gallon. 

See the full weekly report from Gas Buddy below: 

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(GasBuddy.com) Average retail gasoline prices in Akron have fallen 8.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.16/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 372 gas outlets in Akron. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.33/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Akron during the past week, prices yesterday were 53.6 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 0.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has decreased 0.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 5.8 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on June 12 in Akron have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.69/g in 2016, $2.85/g in 2015, $3.83/g in 2014, $3.85/g in 2013 and $3.71/g in 2012.

Areas near Akron and their current gas price climate:
Cleveland- $2.20/g, down 5.8 cents per gallon from last week's $2.26/g.
Pittsburgh- $2.61/g, down 2.9 cents per gallon from last week's $2.64/g.
Ohio- $2.22/g, down 9.8 cents per gallon from last week's $2.32/g.

"While the national average fell 5 cents per gallon in the last week, the bigger story is that 47 states saw average gas prices move lower in the last week, so this isn't just a here and there trend, it's almost everywhere," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

"Oil prices remain near 6-month lows as fundamentals remain weak- supply remains high even in light of production cuts from OPEC while demand has been mild, not remarkable. Today's national average price for gasoline is the lowest for mid-June since 2005- not an easy record to attain. By all measures, gasoline prices this year have been exactly what most motorists seem to love- stable and cheap, two words that rarely have been synonymous with gas prices over the last decade. While many motorists are lured in to that false sense of security, smart motorists continue to shop around and find the best deal as the gas price spread between stations hits record levels, providing enough savings to pay for a snack or food item inside the station," DeHaan said.

Monday, 12 June 2017 11:59

Warrant Issued for Akron Murder Suspect

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Akron Police Detectives have issued a murder warrant for Malik Shabazz Baldwin, 22, of Fairbanks Place in Akron, in connection to the shooting death of LeMichael Stevenson, 24. 

Back on June 7, 2017, Stevenson was sitting on his front porch in the 800 block of Sumner Street in Akron. Shortly after 9 p.m., shots were fired outside the home and Stevenson was hit several times. He was transported to Akron City Hospital in a private vehicle; he later died at the hospital. 

Detectives believe it was Baldwin who fired those shots and issued the warrant for his arrest. He's listed as 5'10", 190 lbs. Baldwin is said to be armed and dangerous. 

Anyone who knows where Baldwin might be is asked to call Akron Police at 330-375-2490, the U.S. Marshals Service at 866-4-WANTED, or the Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS. Tips can be made anonymously as well by texting TIPSCO at 274637. 

 

 

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