Tuesday, 12 September 2017 12:13

APD Investigating a Fatal Tuesday Morning Shooting

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Update: The Summit County Coroner has identified the victim as 20-year-old Najae Monique Jeffries. She suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead on the scene. 

Police still have not named any suspects or provided any description. 

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Akron Police are investigating a fatal shooting in Channelwood Village. 

According to reports, the victim was shot and killed near the corner of West Thornton Street and Dunbar Avenue early Tuesday morning, around 2:45 a.m. 

Police have not released the name of the victim and aren't saying much about a suspect yet. 

Their investigation started near the intersection, but later moved to the Channelwood Village apartments. 

 

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 12:15

Life Sentence in UA Student's Kidnapping, Assault

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On Tuesday, Cedric Murphy, 60, of Akron, was sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a University of Akron student. 

Court documents show that in November of last year, Murphy offered a ride to the victim who was walking home from a night out with friends. The female victim agreed to the ride back to her dorm, but while she was inside Murphy's car, he assaulted her and refused to let her out. The victim eventually jumped from the moving car. She then ran home and called 911. 

A later investigation found DNA evidence on the victim that lead to Murphy's conviction in July, 2017. He was found guilty on first degree kidnapping, third degree abduction, and two counts of fourth gross sexual imposition. 

Murphy, sentenced by visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove in Summit County, is not eligible for parole until 10 years into his life sentence. 

Monday, 04 September 2017 08:43

One Dead, Stow Officer Injured

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Details are emerging from a fatal shooting in a parking lot behind Akron's Haven of Rest Ministries involving a Stow police officer and an unnamed suspect.

The suspect was killed, the officer was injured but treated and released from a local hospital.

In a news release from Stow police, the suspect was reportedly knocking on the door of a residence on Meadowbrook Boulevard at 10:46 p.m. Sunday night asking for cigarettes. He fled the area, but officers located him nearby and decided to transport him to the Haven of Rest Shelter.

While in the parking lot behind the shelter, police say the suspect became aggressive and the officer requested backup from Akron police; before they arrived, the officer called in "shots fired" on his radio.

The subject was taken to a local hospital where he died.

The incident is being investigated by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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(Stow PD) At 2246 hours on Sunday, 09/03/17, officers of the Stow Police Department responded to the area of Meadowbrook Boulevard to locate a male subject who had approached a residence, beat on the door, and, when the occupants answered, asked for cigarettes. He then fled the area.

The subject was located on an adjacent street and it was determined he would be transported to Haven of Rest in Akron, Ohio. Following the arrival in the parking lot of Haven of Rest, the officer requested back up from the Akron Police Department as the subject had become aggressive. Before they arrived, the officer reported shots had been fired and the subject was injured. The officer also was injured.

The subject, who will not be identified at this time pending notification of next of kin, succumbed to his wounds at an Akron hospital. The officer was treated for his injuries and released.

The incident occurred in Akron and will be investigated by Ohio BCI. All questions or inquiries should be referred to BCI.

Thursday, 31 August 2017 11:32

Streetsboro Man Competent for Akron Murder Trial

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William Knight, 64, of Streetsboro was ruled mentally competent to stand trial in the case of the shooting death of Akron man over the online sale of a dirt bike. 

According to court documents, Knight responded to an online ad for a dirt bike for sale that he says was stolen from his son-in-law a few months before. In March, Knight agreed to meet Johnson at a home on Danmead Avenue in Akron to buy the dirt bike, reportedly for $4,000. When the two met, Knight confronted Johnson and the two argued. A physical altercation ensued, and Knight pulled a gun, which he has a permit for, and opened fire, allegedly as Johnson tried to drive off on the dirt bike. 

Knight called 911, saying that he had no choice but to shoot Johnson, claiming self defense. He was arrested shortly after the shooting, and charged with murder and felonious assault. He's currently being held on $50,000 bond.

Initially, Knight's attorney entered a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity plea, but withdrew that plea after Wednesday's evaluation. Knight is due back in court for another status hearing in November and will meet with another psychologist in October. 

Johnson's family claims the shooting was racially motivated. Knight's family protested after he was charged in the shooting.

Thursday, 31 August 2017 07:52

Man Busted For Stolen ATV, Drugs, Guns and Cash

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A New Franklin man's arrest turned into a two-fer with drug and stolen property charges filed. Summit County deputies picked up 35-year old Timothy Williams after an address on Buddy Street and a nearby storage unit where they found stolen ATV's, tools, firearms, cash and several ouces of methamphetaime. The VIN numbers identifying the vehicles had been scrubbed clean. Williams was taken to the Summit County Jail.

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(Summit County Sheriff) On August 28, 2017, the Summit County Sheriff's Detective Bureau received information regarding the whereabouts of 3 stolen ATVs. The ATVs were located at a New Franklin residence. The VIN numbers had been obliterated. Additional information led to a search warrant at a residence on Buddy Street in New Franklin. During the search, several items were recovered including, but not limited to, tools, several ounces of methamphetamine, 7 firearms, and approximately $6,000 in cash.

Another search warrant was executed at a nearby storage unit. During the search, several items were recovered, including (2) 4X4 utility vehicles, (3) golf carts, and a trailer generator.

Timothy Williams, age 35, of New Franklin was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamines (F-1) and Receiving Stolen Property (F-5). He was transported to the Summit County Jail.

Anyone with information regarding the stolen property that was recovered should call the Summit County Sheriff's Detective Bureau at 330-643-5404.

Thursday, 31 August 2017 07:45

More Deaths From Opioids

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The latest numbers from the state are out on opioid overdose deaths in Ohio -- and increase of more than one thousand dead by drug OD from 2015 to 2016. Breaking it down by county, Summit County had 25.5 deaths per 100,000 population to lead the greater Akron area, followed by Portage, Stark, Wayne and Medina County in the teens. The worst in our ara was Trumbull County with 34.2 deaths per 100,000. The deadliest county in Ohio is Montgomery -- the Dayton area -- with 42.5 deaths per hundred thousand.

The deadliest drug mixture comes from Fentanyl-related overdoses, nearly two thirds of the total.

READ the entire report at the .pdf link at the bottom

Local Counties

Stark 16.0 per hundred thousand population

Wayne 15.0

Portage 17.1

Medina 13.8

Cuyahoga/Cleveland 23.4

Mahoning/Youngstown 25.1

Trumbull/Warren 34.2

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(Ohio Department of Health) Ohio's opioid epidemic continued to evolve in 2016 with stronger drugs driving an increase in unintentional overdose deaths, according to a new report released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). The report shows a sharp rise in overdose deaths involving the opioid fentanyl, the emergence of more deadly fentanyl-related drugs like carfentanil, and indications that cocaine is now being used with fentanyl and other opiates. The report also contains some promising news – the fewest prescription opioid overdose deaths since 2009.

"The continued increase in opioid-related deaths reaffirms that we still have much work to do, but Ohio is seeing important progress in reducing the number of prescription opioids available for abuse and prescription-related overdose deaths," said Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and interim medical director of ODH. "This progress is significant because prescription opioid abuse is frequently a gateway to heroin and fentanyl use later on."

Overdose deaths increased from 3,050 in 2015 to 4,050 last year, and fentanyl and related drugs were involved in 58.2 percent of them. By comparison, fentanyl was involved in 37.9 percent of overdose deaths in 2015, 19.9 percent in 2014, 4 percent in 2013 and 3.9 percent 2012. Illegally produced fentanyl can be hundreds of times stronger than heroin, and carfentanil and other related drugs can be even stronger.

With the emergence of carfentanil in 2016, the fentanyl-related drug was involved in 340 overdose deaths, most of them during the second half of the year. The number of cocaine-related overdose deaths increased from 685 in 2015 to 1,109 in 2016 – a 61.9 percent increase. Of cocaine-related overdose deaths, 80.2 percent also involved an opiate, and 55.8 percent involved fentanyl and related opiates in particular.

Of all unintentional drug overdose deaths, the percentage of prescription opioid-related deaths declined for the fifth straight year in 2016, and the number of such deaths declined 15.4 percent from 667 in 2015 to 564 in 2016, the fewest since 2009. Opioid prescribing in Ohio declined for a fourth consecutive year in 2016, according to the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Between 2012 and 2016, the total number of opioids dispensed to Ohio patients decreased by 162 million doses or 20.4 percent. There was a 78.2 percent decrease in the number of people engaged in the practice of "doctor shopping" for controlled substances since 2012.

This progress corresponds with efforts to reduce the prescription opioid supply available for diversion and abuse by stepping up law enforcement efforts, working with medical professionals to establish opioid prescribing guidelines, and empowering prescribers and pharmacists to prevent opioid abuse using Ohio's prescription drug monitoring system, the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS).

Ohio is investing about $1 billion each year to help communities battle the scourge of drug abuse and addiction at the local level, including significant funding to help address treatment, prevention and law enforcement.

those resources include:

-Helping communities purchase the life-saving drug naloxone
- Investing in specialized drug courts that link offenders with treatment
- Providing safe, stable housing to help drug-addicted Ohioans recover
- Increasing funding for individuals needing addiction and behavioral health treatment
- Enforcing Ohio's drug laws to prevent the illegal distribution of powerful synthetic opioids

Ohio's new two-year state budget includes an additional $170 million to support local and state efforts to combat opioid abuse and overdose deaths. At this year's State of the State Address, Gov. John R. Kasich asked the Third Frontier Commission to provide up to $20 million to help bring new scientific breakthroughs to the battle against drug abuse and addiction. The Third Frontier Commission approved this request in May and will announce the first funded projects in December.

The state also is surging resources into communities hardest hit by Ohio's opioid epidemic.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will receive up to $26 million a year during the next two years through the federal 21st Century Cures Act to help fight Ohio's opioid epidemic at the state and local levels. The funding will help support medication-assisted treatment; prevention; screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment; recovery supports; workforce devel­opment; and addressing secondary trauma among first responders (EMS personnel, firefighters, law enforcement, etc.).

ODH has been awarded a four-year federal grant totaling $6.6 million to combat prescription drug overdoses. ODH has awarded grants to 14 high-burden counties to implement comprehensive prescription drug overdose prevention programs focusing on coalition development, healthcare prescriber education and healthcare system changes for safer opioid prescribing practices, and increasing access to the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone.

In addition, members of the Governor's Opiate Action Team have met with local leaders in 20 Ohio communities that have the highest burden of drug overdoses to ensure that communities are mounting a coordinated response and taking advantage of the tools and resources that the state has made available. Promising local practices were identified during these visits and have helped inform the development of an updated Action Guide to Address Opioid Abuse as a resource for Ohio's communities.

Thursday, 31 August 2017 07:18

Nice Probe Goes Out of Town

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The investigations surrounding former Akron police chief James Nice will be handled by folks outside of Akron. Both Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan taking the steps for a special prosecutor and team of investigators from Cuyahoga County to take over the case.

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(Prosecutor Walsh / Mayor Horrigan) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh today requested the appointment of a special prosecutor from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley's Office to oversee the pending criminal matter concerning Joseph Nice and further evaluate any evidence that may be obtained in the investigation of former Akron Police Chief James Nice.

Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh stated that "a special prosecutor is requested when we have a realistic concern that there may be a conflict in handling a criminal case or investigation. Based on the working relationship between the prosecutor's office and the largest police department in the county, this appointment removes any concerns or appearances that could lead to questions of fairness or bias, either way, in the handling of either the Joseph Nice or former Chief Nice investigations and/or prosecutions."

In addition, pursuant to Section 58 of the Akron City Charter, Mayor Dan Horrigan today appointed special investigators from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office who will be authorized to investigate the allegations concerning former Akron Police Chief James Nice and will furnish information to the Special Prosecutor.

"I am committed to a full and complete investigation of these matters," said Mayor Dan Horrigan. "I believe it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority to appoint special investigators to ensure the special prosecutor has sufficient resources to execute a fair and timely examination of the facts. The residents of Akron, and the men and women of the Akron Police Department, deserve no less than that."

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 11:13

Goodyear Using Soybean Technology in Tires

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The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, always on the edge of innovation, is taking a brand new approach to tire technology with the help of the United Soybean Board. 

In a release sent Tuesday, Goodyear announced the first commercial use of a new soybean oil-based rubber compound that's helping enhance tire performance in several differnt weather conditions, including winter weather. The tread compound, created by a group of Goodyear scientists, uses soybean oil, which is naturally grown and harvested, cost-effective, and a renewable source, according to the company. Goodyear says they've found a new way to keep the rubber pliable in different weather conidtions, increasing grip to the roadway in varying conditions. 

“Goodyear’s legacy of innovation drives us to continue to apply new technology solutions, developing superior performing tires that meet consumer demands,” said Eric Mizner, Goodyear’s director of global materials science.

 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:27

Harvey Hits Local Gas Pumps

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Harvey made landfall in Texas a a category 4 hurricane last Friday, August 25th; the largest storm system to make landfall in the U.S. in more than a decade. In the process, Harvey destroyed or otherwise damaged refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, near Houston.

Patrick DeHaan, with GasBuddy.com, says that is going to affect the price at the pump in Akron and prices across the U.S., due to the trickle-down effect.

"This is such large event and there are so many refineries in Houston; you're talking about the energy capital of the U.S.," DeHaan told the Ray Horner Morning show Tuesday. He added that Harvey has tipped the supply and demand scale, with demand now outweighing supply, due to the damage to those refineries in the Gulf. DeHaan says that because of the amount of production at those affected refineries that has been temporarily thrown offline, we are seeing increases in our area and across the U.S. 

Below is the weekly release from GasBuddy.com detailing increases in Akron gas prices and including information on the impact Harvey will have: 

(GasBuddy.com) Average retail gasoline prices in Akron have risen 14.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.32/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 372 gas outlets in Akron. This compares with the national average that has increased 3.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.36/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Akron during the past week, prices yesterday were 16.3 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 8.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 6.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 14.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on August 27 in Akron have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.16/g in 2016, $2.53/g in 2015, $3.39/g in 2014, $3.54/g in 2013 and $3.75/g in 2012.

Areas near Akron and their current gas price climate:
Cleveland- $2.25/g, up 4.2 cents per gallon from last week's $2.21/g.
Pittsburgh- $2.60/g, flat  from last week's $2.61/g.
Ohio- $2.30/g, up 7.4 cents per gallon from last week's $2.23/g.

"Gas prices are up in many places and motorists should be gearing up for more in the coming weeks, thanks to Hurricane Harvey inundating significant refineries along the Texas coastline, leading to closures and tilting the delicate balance of supply and demand," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "Prices will likely rise nearly country wide heading into Labor Day, from rural towns in the Rockies to major cities in the Midwest and West Coast- nearly everyone will feel a bit of a pinch at the pump from Harvey. The impact could linger for several weeks or longer, depending on how long it takes Texas refiners to return to normal operations. In addition, the situation could worsen should more shutdowns or outages happen in the coming week as Harvey continues to drop feet of rain on already flooded Texas."

Monday, 28 August 2017 12:46

AUDIO Nice Resignation Over Criminal Matter

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Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan says it's a criminal investigation that led to his surprise call Sunday to Chief of Police James Nice to resign -- and not the death of a teenager Friday in the backseat of a police cruiser of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Nice delivered a terse 30 word resignation letter around 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Mayor Horrigan told reporters this afternoon he had been informed by police higher-ups that the Chief was part of an investigation involving his nephew, Joseph Nice of Uniontown, who is under indictment relating to his auto sales business. The case involved possible criminal misconduct by Nice, city officials said, including making derogatory comments and inappropriate conduct with city employees.

The City says it will turn the information over to the Summit County Prosecutor, but wouldn't provide more information or a timeline.

 

Joseph Nice of Uniontown was indicted for grand theft and forgery in March of this year. His criminal case is being heard by Judge Jason Wells in Summit County Common Pleas Court. The nephew Nice is also listed in numerous civil lawsuits in Summit County, including lawsuits alleging fraud and breach of contract for the sale of automobiles through Metro ACC Car Sales on Waterloo Road. 

Below is the statement released from the Office of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan regarding the resignation of former Chief James Nice: 

Akron, Ohio, August 28, 2017 – Mayor Horrigan formally asked for, and accepted, the resignation of City of Akron Police Chief James Nice effective Sunday, August 27th, 2017. Evidence of conduct unbecoming of an officer, inappropriate contact with a city employee and potential criminal misconduct led him to make this immediate decision. The City will be referring any and all information regarding potential criminal conduct to the County Prosecutor.

Mayor Horrigan stated, “These actions violate the mission, vision and values of the Akron Police Department and the City of Akron and they will not be tolerated. All of us who serve the public must hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. It is clear to me, that in this instance, Jim Nice’s conduct violated that standard, and he lost his ability to lead the department. I will not let anyone impugn the integrity and confidence of our City organization, and I will fiercely uphold that standard as long as I am Mayor of this City.”

Mayor added, “What is also clear to me, is that the men and women of the Akron Police Department acted appropriately and swiftly upon receiving information of misconduct. At every step of the way, investigators put what was right above all else. I have full faith and confidence in the department going forward.”

Mayor Horrigan appointed Major Kenneth Ball as acting Chief of the Akron Police Department, effective August 27th. Ball, an Akron resident, has more than 26 years of service to the Akron Police Department. He joined the Akron Police Department in 1991, was promoted to sergeant in 1997; lieutenant in 2000; captain in 2006; and major in March of 2015. He graduated from the Police Executive Leadership College in 2001, and from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 2013.

Mayor Horrigan will work closely with Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Charles Brown and Director of Human Resources Don Rice to select a permanent police chief, in accordance with the Charter of the City of Akron.

 

 

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