Wednesday, 02 August 2017 11:19

AUDIO Akron's Parseghian Dead At 94

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His 1973 Sugar Bowl win with Notre Dame stands as the first consensus national title -- with his mother by his side.

Akron native Ara Parseghian was a legend; a graduate of Akron South, went to the University of Akron before joining the Navy in World War II. Came out of the Navy to play for the Browns under Paul Brown in 1948 and 1949 before a hip injury ended his playing days. He also coached Miami, Northwestern and of course the ,Fighting Irish.

Ara Parseghian -- dead at 94.

Former Notre Dame and University of Akron head football coach Gerry Faust joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about Ara's passing and what he meant to coaching.

(Photo credit University of Notre Dame)


WAKR's Aaron Coleman contributed to this story.

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(Notre Dame) Legendary coach Ara Parseghian, who guided the University of Notre Dame's 1966 and 1973 national championship football teams and is a member of the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame, died at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday (Aug. 2) at his home in Granger, Indiana, the University's president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced. He was 94.

"Notre Dame mourns the loss of a legendary football coach, a beloved member of the Notre Dame family and good man – Ara Parseghian," Father Jenkins said. "Among his many accomplishments, we will remember him above all as a teacher, leader and mentor who brought out the very best in his players, on and off the field.

"He continued to demonstrate that leadership by raising millions of research dollars seeking a cure for the terrible disease that took the lives of three of his grandchildren. Whenever we asked for Ara's help at Notre Dame, he was there.

"My prayers are with Katie, his family and many friends as we mourn his passing and celebrate a life that was so well lived."

Arrangements are pending.

Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980, Parseghian led the Irish to a 95-17-4 record (.836) over his 11 seasons in South Bend, highlighted by the 1966 and 1973 teams that finished 9-0-1 and 11-0-0, respectively, and claimed Notre Dame's eighth and ninth consensus national championships.

"As a student, I enjoyed the thrill of being on campus for Ara's last three years as head coach, including the 1973 championship, and saw firsthand the profound impact that he had on my classmates who played for him," said Jack Swarbrick, vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics. "When I returned many years later as athletics director, Ara was unfailingly generous with his time, and his counsel proved to be invaluable."

Parseghian retired from coaching after the 1974 season and entered broadcasting. He worked as a color commentator with ABC Sports from 1975-81 and served as college football analyst for CBS Sports through the 1988 season.

In 1994, Parseghian, along with his son Michael and daughter-in-law Cindy, started the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation to fund the study of Niemann-Pick Type C Disease (NPC) in hopes of moving toward a cure. The foundation has raised more than $45 million to combat the disease, which claimed three of Parseghian's grandchildren, Michael and Cindy's children, Michael, Marcia and Christa.

Earlier this year, Vtesse Inc. announced the full enrollment of patients for a clinical trial of VTS-270, a drug candidate that was developed through research supported by the foundation.
Numerous other studies have been funded to identify the molecular mechanisms behind NPC disease, develop new models, identify novel techniques to better understand NPC and support young investigators researching the disease.

NPC is a genetic pediatric neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive deterioration of the nervous system, usually in school-age children. By interfering with children's ability to metabolize cholesterol, NPC causes large amounts of the substance to accumulate in the liver, spleen and brain, leading to a series of ultimately fatal neurological problems.

Building on a partnership the University formed with the foundation in 2010, the University established the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund in May 2016 and moved the administrative functions and granting process of the foundation from Tucson, Arizona, to Notre Dame.

The fund supports a competitive granting process, promotes fundraising efforts to support NPC research, raises awareness for the disease, manages communications and oversees an annual research conference in which researchers from around the world collaboratively share their findings.

"When I first started out, I wanted a silver bullet," Parseghian told the South Bend Tribune last year. "I wanted that cure that could help the children immediately. But research doesn't work that way. You've got to go step by step by step.

"But the monies that we've been able to raise and funnel into research have been very beneficial. We know a lot about it. When we first started, we knew very little about Niemann-Pick. We didn't even have a diagnostic test to tell it was Niemann-Pick, so we've come a long way. It was a paragraph or two in the med books. We've brought a lot of information about the disease out to the public and the people who have the misfortune of having their children diagnosed with this."

In his autobiography "God, Country, Notre Dame," the late University President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., related the importance he and his executive vice president, Rev. Edmund P. "Ned" Joyce, C.S.C., placed on luring Parseghian to Notre Dame from Northwestern University after the 1963 season:

"Ara called Father Joyce, whom he knew well ... (and) told (him) that he had decided to leave Northwestern and was considering several offers. Would Notre Dame be interested in him? Would we!

"Parseghian had agreed to meet us on neutral ground, which turned out to be a Chicago motel at 9:30 at night. I won't soon forget that night. Ned and I drove some 80 miles in a blinding snowstorm to keep that appointment. And it was worth it."

Father Hesburgh's successor, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., conferred an honorary degree on Parseghian at Notre Dame's 1997 University Commencement Ceremony. In his autobiography, Father Malloy wrote:

"Ara Parseghian ... combined the best qualities of all the great Notre Dame football coaches. He was great at adapting his strategy to the talents of his athletes, he was a master strategist in preparing for games and an excellent recruiter, and he represented the best of Notre Dame."

"I was enrolled in seminary at the time when he was hired as head football coach, and I went over to his opening press conference because I was all excited about him coming.

"I was so delighted that we could recognize him (with an honorary degree), not only for his legendary status as a coach but also because he has spent a lot of time fighting Niemann-Pick disease."

As the Notre Dame coach from 1964-74, nine of Parseghian's 11 teams finished the year ranked in the top 10 of the final Associated Press poll, and on 40 occasions during that period Irish players received first-team All-America recognition. He coached eight NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients, 17 Academic All-Americans and five eventual winners of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

The 1966 season marked the third year under Parseghian, who nearly guided the Irish to the national title in his debut season (9-1-0) in 1964. Notre Dame's domination on both sides of the ball was born out in the numbers – including a dozen players who collected All-America honors. The Irish outscored their opponents by an eye-popping 362-38 margin, finishing as the nation's top-scoring team (36.2 points per game) while allowing just 3.8 points per game (second-best in the nation). Notre Dame shut out six of its 10 opponents, including 10th-ranked Oklahoma and 10th-rated USC.

The balanced offense (391.5 yards per game/third in the nation) included passing and rushing attacks that both ranked among the national top 20, with the defense yielding an average of just 187.6 yards per game (fourth-best in the nation).

Linebacker Jim Lynch – a unanimous All-America selection – led a defensive unit that also included All-America safety Tom Schoen and three All-Americans across the defensive line: end Alan Page (a consensus pick) and the tackle tandem of Pete Duranko and Kevin Hardy.

The '66 offense actually produced more All-Americans (seven) than the Irish defensive unit (five), led by unanimous All-America halfback Nick Eddy. The team's tailback, Larry Conjar, also was tabbed for All-America honors, as was the "fling-and-cling" passing combination of quarterback Terry Hanratty and receiver Jim Seymour, center George Goeddeke, tackle Paul Seiler and guard Tom Regner.

Hanratty and Seymour formed what remains one of the top passer-receiver combinations in Notre Dame history. Hanratty finished sixth in the 1966 Heisman Trophy balloting, three spots behind his teammate Eddy, while Seymour had eight touchdown catches (despite playing just seven games) and set a Notre Dame record by averaging 123.1 receiving yards per game.
In addition to their on-the-field honors, both Lynch and Regner were named Academic All-Americans.

Parseghian and the Irish would follow up the '66 national title with an 8-2 mark in 1967, 7-2-1 in '68 and 8-2-1 in '69. Notre Dame barely missed out on a national title in 1970. The Irish entered their regular season finale at USC with a 9-0 mark and No. 2 national ranking, but the Trojans upended Notre Dame, 38-28. The Irish earned just their second bowl appearance in modern time and defeated top-ranked Texas in the '71 Cotton Bowl, 24-11, which stopped the nation's longest winning streak at 30 games. The dominant postseason effort was not enough as Notre Dame ended the season ranked No. 2 and Parseghian's second national title would have to wait.

The 1972 season closed with lopsided losses to USC and Nebraska, and Parseghian and his staff would have to replace 13 starters from that team, not counting Dave Casper who started at offensive tackle in '72 and was the starting tight end in '73, and Mike Townsend, who started at cornerback in '72 before starting at safety in '73.

Many figured Notre Dame was a year away. Once again, Parseghian proved them wrong.

Four backs who gained more than 300 yards apiece led the balanced Irish attack: fullback Wayne Bullock (752), halfback Art Best (700), halfback Eric Penick (586) and quarterback Tom Clements (360). It was one of the fastest backfields Notre Dame had ever assembled, as Penick had 9.5 speed in the 100-yard dash, while Best checked in at 9.7.

The Irish were ranked in the eighth spot with wins over Northwestern, Purdue, Michigan State, Rice and Army, setting the stage for what everyone considered to be Notre Dame's first real test of the year.

As was the case on the road to Parseghian's first national championship in '66, the game against USC was a pivotal moment in the 1973 title campaign. Notre Dame was also full of memories of the previous season's clash, which saw running back Anthony Davis romp for six touchdowns in a 45-23 Trojan win.

The sixth-ranked Trojans visited South Bend for the annual matchup, but No. 8 Notre Dame set the tone early when defensive back Luther Bradley knocked Lynn Swann's helmet off on the first play. Later, Penick raced for an 85-yard touchdown, helping the Fighting Irish to a 23-14 victory. The triumph ended USC's 23-game unbeaten string and Notre Dame jumped to fifth in the polls.

The Irish cruised through the remainder of their schedule, defeating Navy, Pittsburgh, Air Force and Miami to complete Parseghian's first perfect regular season.
The stage was set for a Sugar Bowl matchup between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Notre Dame.

On New Year's Eve 1973, the battle of unbeaten teams was a back-and-forth contest for much of the game, and came down to the final few minutes of regulation when Notre Dame's Bob Thomas kicked a go-ahead field goal with 4:26 to play. But the Crimson Tide pinned the Irish near their own end zone on their next possession, and it looked as though Notre Dame might have to punt, giving Alabama a chance at a game-winning field goal of its own. That was, at least, until third down when Clements connected with Robin Weber on a long pass that sealed a 24-23 Irish victory.

In addition to the 1973 Sugar Bowl win, Parseghian and his Irish posted victories in the 1971 Cotton Bowl and the 1975 Orange Bowl (again over unbeaten Alabama), which proved to be his final game on the Notre Dame sidelines.

Born May 21, 1923, in Akron, Ohio, Parseghian was married to the former Kathleen "Katie" Davis. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in 1949 and 1954 from Miami (Ohio) University. He is survived by Katie, two children – Kristan Parseghian Humbert and her husband, James Humbert; Michael Parseghian, the secretary/treasurer of the research foundation and member of the University's College of Science Advisory Council, and his wife, Cindy, president of the foundation and a Notre Dame Trustee; son-in-law James Burke; and six grandchildren. His daughter Karan Burke and three grandchildren preceded him in death.

Parseghian played football and graduated from Akron South High School in 1942, and enrolled at the University of Akron later that fall, but withdrew to serve the U.S. Navy for two years during World War II. He was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Academy in 1944, where he continued his football career as a member of its football team, which was coached by the legendary NFL Hall of Famer Paul Brown.

After his term of service, Parseghian continued his education and athletic career at Miami University, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He was not only drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 13th round (109th overall) of the 1947 NFL Draft, but also was selected in 1948 by the Cleveland Browns in the 25th round (177th overall) of the rival All-America Football Conference draft. He would ultimately play halfback for the Browns (coached by Brown, Parseghian's coach at Great Lakes) in 1948 and 1949. Cleveland won the league championship both of those years, but a hip injury ended Parseghian's playing career.

He returned to Miami in 1950 as an assistant coach under Woody Hayes and was named head coach in 1951 following Hayes' departure to Ohio State. Parseghian's five Miami teams combined for a 39-6-1 record (.859), including a 32-3-1 mark over his final four campaigns, and won a pair of Mid-American Conference championships (1954 and 1955).

Miami University President Gregory Crawford, the former Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science at Notre Dame and a significant supporter of the Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, presented Parseghian with the President's Medal last fall.

Parseghian moved on to Northwestern in 1956 and coached the Wildcats for eight years. He compiled a 36-35-1 (.507) mark and helped turn a perennial loser into a consistent contender in the national polls. He even led Northwestern to a No. 1 national ranking following a 35-6 victory over Notre Dame on Oct. 27, 1962. That victory capped off a remarkable run of success for Parseghian-coached teams versus the Irish. He went 4-0 against Notre Dame, with the victories occurring in consecutive years from 1959-62. That remains tied for the best winning percentage of any coach who faced the Irish at least four times in his career since the start of the 20th century.

Parseghian turned his attention to Notre Dame and its rebuilding efforts in 1964. The Irish program had not recorded a winning record in the five previous seasons and many experts figured the program would never return to its gloried past.

He wasted no time in dispelling that myth.

Parseghian, who ranks third in school history for career victories behind Lou Holtz and Knute Rockne, guided the '64 Irish squad to a 9-1 record and McArthur Bowl Trophy from the National Football Foundation. He was chosen the national college coach of the year by the Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers of America, Washington Touchdown Club, Columbus Touchdown Club, Football News and New York Daily News.

During his years as coach, awards came to his student-athletes as well. Gaining All-America acclaim from his 1964 squad were quarterback John Huarte – the Heisman Trophy winner – split end Jack Snow and linebacker Jim Carroll.

Huarte's Heisman is one of the best examples of Parseghian's ability to recognize previously untapped talent. Despite missing much of the 1962 season due to injury and playing sparingly as a junior the next year, Huarte was named by Parseghian as the starting quarterback in 1964. In leading the Irish to a 9-1 record, he ranked third nationally in total offense with 2,069 yards and set 12 school records. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

From the '65 squad, guard Dick Arrington and safety Nick Rassas were cited on most All-America first teams, while in 1967 Hardy and Schoen added their names to the list of consensus All-Americans produced by Parseghian.

The 1968 Irish yielded tackle George Kunz, Hanratty and Seymour. The '69 team had Mike McCoy, Bob Olson, Jim Reilly and Larry DiNardo, while the 1970 squad had DiNardo, Gatewood, Clarence Ellis, Joe Theismann and Walt Patulski.

Patulski, Ellis and Mike Kadish earned All-American honors in 1971, while tackle Greg Marx earned the honor in 1972.

Wednesday, 02 August 2017 05:19

Akron Couple Sentenced For Human Trafficking

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Two operators of the Royal Buffet and Grill in the Chapel Hill retail area will be going to prison -- Zhou Quiang Zou for 18 months after which he'll be deported and his wife, Xin Hsu who got nine months in prison then nine months house arrest for harboring and putting undocumented workers on the job.

The couple also failed to full pay taxes on cash business -- at least $1.5 million prosecutors charged.

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(Northern Ohio US Attorney) Two people who operated an Akron restaurant were sentenced to prison for harboring and hiring undocumented workers, law enforcement officials said.

Zhou Qiang Zou, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, to be followed by deportation. Xin Hsu was sentenced to nine months incarceration followed by nine months of house arrest. They are married and live in Akron. Both are 35 years old.

They were among the operators of the Royal Buffet and Grill restaurant in the Chapel Hill area of Akron. Hsu, Zou and others conspired to harbor and harbored at least 10 undocumented workers for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. The conspiracy included employing the undocumented workers at the Royal Buffet and Grill, where they worked for below minimum wage or only for tips, according to court documents.

Hsu, Zou and others also failed to report and pay taxes on cash receipts for nearly a decade, resulting in a tax loss of at least $1.5 million.

The defendants also housed the undocumented workers at one of their residences on Annapolis Avenue in Akron and transported them to and from the Royal Buffet and Grill as part of the conspiracy. Hsu, Zou and others housed as many as 14 undocumented workers at one time inside a single-family house, according to court documents.

"These defendants violated immigration and tax laws, taking advantage of their workers and the taxpayers," said Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja.

"Employers have a legal responsibility to hire and maintain an authorized workforce. Those who circumvent our immigration system will be held accountable," said Steve Francis, Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI's Detroit office.

"Individuals who corruptly violate the law to further their business interests and intentionally evade paying their fair share of taxes undermine public confidence in our tax system and unfairly disadvantage businesses that play by the rules," said Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. "As these defendants have discovered, operating outside the law and failing to pay taxes have severe consequences."

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Teresa Riley and Robert J. Patton following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations.

Monday, 31 July 2017 05:19

Uniontown Police Sgt. David White Goes Home

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Uniontown Police Sgt. David White is home after more than three weeks at Summa Akron City Hospital after being shot four times in the line of duty.

On Sunday, July 9th, 2017, Sgt. White and another Uniontown Officer responded to a domestic violence call on Lela Avenue. The suspect, Ryan Probst, opened fire on Sgt. White and his partner, striking White four times. Officers returned fire, killing Probst on the scene. Sgt. White was rushed to Akron City Hospital where over the course of the next few days he underwent multiple surgeries.

After weeks of recovery and rehabilitation, White was discharged from Akron City.

Alongside his wife, Sgt. White entered the lobby of the Critical Care building at Akron City, welcomed by a host of fellow officers, friends, family, Akron City staff, and the media. A round of applause welcome Sgt. White as he sat at the table to give a prepared statement.

Sgt. White, 59, thanked his family, his department, and the charity and thoughtfulness of local churches, banks, and strangers, both local and from across the nation.

Sitting next to Dr. Joshua Nash of Akron City, Sgt. White boasted the care he received from the minute he was taken through the doors of the Emergency Department to that very moment. "Everyone here has been superb, all the way down to the janitorial service... I can't say enough for them." Sgt. White added, "If it wasn't for God, and if it wasn't for Summa, I wouldn't be here."

Asked whether he'd thought about returning to work, Sgt. White responded, "I haven't thought about getting back to work. My doctors said I'm probably 8 months to a year away from that... There are a lot more immediate things I have thought about aside from going to work." As for the first thing he'll do now that he's returning home, Sgt. White said he'll pet his dog.

Monday, 31 July 2017 05:19

Summit Triangle Building Named for Russ Pry

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One year since his passing, former Summit County Executive Russ Pry has been honored by current County Executive Ilene Shapiro and his other former colleagues.

On Monday, the Triangle Building at 1180 S. Main St. in downtown Akron was rededicated as the Russell M. Pry Building.

"We are proud to honor our late friend and County Executive in dedicating this building in his name," Shapiro said in front of a packed room.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan talked about Pry's commitment to the people of the community, and to his fellow public servants. "There's not enough of an honor you can do (for Pry)," Horrigan said.

Congressmen Tim Ryan and Jim Renacci reinforced Pry's insistance on working across party lines to do what was right and what was needed for the people of Summit County. They both added that Pry was committed to making his fellow politicians better public servants.

After a battle with colon cancer and complications following surgery in June of last year, Pry passed away July 31, 2016, at the age of 58. He was in his 9th year as County Executive. 

Monday, 31 July 2017 05:19

Zoo Mourns Roscoe

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Akron Zoo fans and family are mourning the loss of one of their own, a sleek Snow Leopard who took to the Zoo and his mate and helped keep the species alive.

Roscoe was a 14-year old male snow leopard; he was put to sleep by Zoo personnel after discovery of a fast-growing cancer of his lower jaw. He and his mate Shanti brought seven cubs into the world, three of whom remain in Akron. Snow leopards are an endangered species, but the Akron Zoo says it was able to freeze some of Roscoe's sperm so it can be used for species diversity for years to come through artificial insemination.

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(Akron Zoo) The Akron Zoo is sad to announce that Roscoe, a 14-year old male snow leopard, was humanely euthanized on July 26 after being diagnosed with a fast growing cancer that severely affected the bone in his lower jaw. The median life expectancy of a snow leopard is 14 years old.

Roscoe has been at the Akron Zoo since 2004 and has sired seven cubs during his time in Akron, three of which are still in Akron.

Within the last two weeks keepers observed a change in appetite and behavior in Roscoe and the vet staff at the zoo performed an exam, which led to the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, bone cancer in Roscoe's jaw. His appetite and activity began to rapidly decrease and the decision was made to humanely euthanize Roscoe. His annual preventive medicine exam last summer showed no signs of the cancer.

Snow leopards are an endangered species and the zoo participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), which includes a total of 167 snow leopards. Participation in the program has led to three successful litters with Roscoe and the zoo's female snow leopard Shanti. Two cubs were born in 2012 & 2014 and three cubs were born in 2016 and are still at the Akron Zoo. The other four cubs are at other AZA accredited zoos in the U.S.

In 2010 and 2012 the Akron Zoo worked with researchers to freeze Roscoe's sperm to potentially use in the future for artificial insemination. With the advances in veterinary medicine, Roscoe's legacy could continue for many generations and help to prevent the extinction of snow leopards.

"Roscoe has been a beloved member of our family since he arrived from San Antonio. He will be missed by all of us. I want to thank our professional animal care staff who cared for him attentively every day, and our veterinary care staff who so diligently treated him during his illness to ensure his welfare," commented Doug Piekarz, Akron Zoo president & CEO. "According to the Snow Leopard Trust at least one Snow Leopard is killed each day in the wild. With only a few thousand left on Earth we recognize the importance of the work we are doing to ensure the Snow Leopards survival. Roscoe will continue to play a critical role with his genetics preserved to help create a more genetically diverse future generation of snow leopards."

Roscoe, was born May 18, 2003 at the San Antonio Zoo and came to the Akron Zoo December 15, 2004.

"Roscoe will be missed deeply by the zoo staff, volunteers and community," added Dr. Kim Cook, Akron Zoo director of animal health & conservation. "He was a laid back cat with a great bond with Shanti. In fact they were able to be together at all times, which is rare for snow leopards, which are typically solitary animals."


Friday, 28 July 2017 08:02

Goodyear's First Half Not As Good

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Goodyear reporting the market is tightening with net income for the first half of the year of $313 million dollars on sales of $7.4 billion, down two percent from $386 million the first half of 2016. Overall tire volumes were down seven percent. CEO Richard Kramer says there's a weakening in the original equipment and consumer replacement tire markets despite overall strength in the industry, notably lower gasoline prices.

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(Goodyear Tire and Rubber) Goodyear Reports Second Quarter, First Half 2017 Results

- Second quarter results in line with guidance
- Goodyear net income of $147 million for second quarter, $313 million for first half
- Segment operating income of $361 million for second quarter, $746 million for first half
- Germany plant closure complete, $45 million in annual savings expected
- Company updates 2017 segment operating income guidance

AKRON, Ohio, July 28, 2017 – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today reported results for the second quarter and first half of 2017. "Our second quarter results reflect the impact of volatile raw material costs and an increasingly challenging competitive environment, particularly in the United States and Europe," said Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer. "In addition to higher raw material costs, we have seen a weakening in OE and consumer replacement demand across many of our key markets during the first half, despite strong underlying industry fundamentals," he said.

"The combination of these factors has led to a highly unusual first half environment, particularly given the favorable trends in miles driven, gasoline prices and unemployment that are generally supportive of our industry," Kramer added. "In light of the challenging global marketplace in the first half of 2017, we have lowered our segment operating income expectations for the remainder of the year," he said. "Despite the near-term challenges, I am no less optimistic about our ability to drive our strategic priorities against the favorable industry megatrends." Goodyear's second quarter 2017 sales were $3.7 billion, down from $3.9 billion a year ago, with the decrease largely attributable to lower tire unit volume, partially offset by improved price/mix.

Tire unit volumes totaled 37.4 million, down 10 percent from 2016, primarily in Europe, Middle East and Africa and the Americas. Replacement tire shipments were down 11 percent. Original equipment unit volume was down 8 percent. Goodyear's second quarter 2017 net income was $147 million (58 cents per share), down from $202 million (75 cents per share) in the year-ago quarter. Second quarter 2017 adjusted net income was $177 million (70 cents per share), down from $314 million ($1.16 per share) in 2016. Per share amounts are diluted.

The company reported second quarter segment operating income of $361 million in 2017, down from $531 million a year ago. The decrease reflects higher raw material costs and the impact of lower volume, which were partially offset by improved price/mix and cost savings.

Year-to-Date Results

Goodyear's sales for the first six months of 2017 were $7.4 billion, down 2 percent from the 2016 period, reflecting lower tire unit volume, partially offset by improved price/mix. Tire unit volumes totaled 77.4 million, down 7 percent from 2016. Replacement tire shipments were down 6 percent, reflecting increased competition. Original equipment unit volume was down 8 percent, driven by lower auto production.

Goodyear's year-to-date net income of $313 million ($1.23 per share) is down from $386 million ($1.43 per share) in 2016's first half. All per share amounts are diluted.

The company reported first half segment operating income of $746 million in 2017, down from $950 million a year ago. The decrease was driven by higher raw material costs and the impact of lower volume, partially offset by improved price/mix and cost savings.

Thursday, 27 July 2017 05:19

More Charges Against Suspected Akron Arsonist

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Akron Police and Fire Investigators say the man accused of setting the fire that killed a family of 7 in their home on Fultz Street in Akron back in May is suspected in two other fires, one that claimed more victims. 

Stanley Ford, 58, of Hillcrest Street, was originally charged in the May 15, 2017, fire that killed 7 members of the Boggs/Huggins family, including 5 children. In that case, Ford is charged with 1 count of aggravated arson and 7 counts of aggravated murder. On Thursday, the Deputy Chief Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Margaret Scott announced the additional aggravated arson, aggravated murder, and more charges Thursday. The additional charges are connected to another house fire on Fultz Street, just a few doors down from the May fire, that left an Akron couple dead, and a car fire. There were no injuries as a result of the car fire. In total, Ford is facing 22 counts of aggravated murder, 2 counts of aggravated arson, 1 additional count of arson, and several more charges. "Never before in Summit County history has a suspect been charged with the murders of 9 people," Scott said. 

"This is the worst crime... in the history of this city," Akron Police Chief James Nice said during the press conference, adding that he was at the scene of both house fires and witnessed the tragic nature of the crimes, calling them "horrific." 

Ford remains in Summit County Jail, awaiting his next court appearance, Wednesday, August 2nd. 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 12:00

Phillips Dead at 10:43

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24 years after Ronald Phillips beat and raped his then-girlfriend's three year old daughter Sheila Marie Evans to death -- 24 years later -- Ronald Phillips is dead, his last words asking for forgiveness.
The official time of death was 10:43 a.m. The start time of the execution was briefly delayed so Phillips could meet with his brother William, who arrived at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville this morning.
During his last statement, Phillips asked the Evans family for forgiveness for what he had done, and said Sheila Marie did not deserve what he did to her but was with the Lord. He also thanked his family and attorneys for their support and efforts.
WAKR's Ryan Lang was a witness to the execution. He reported no apparent distress from Phillips during the insertion of the needle, his final statement or when the mixture of three drugs began flowing into his body. 
Renee Mundell, the half-sister of Sheila Marie, told reporters afterwards the execution was "too easy" on Phillips given the nature of his rape and the murder. She also noted family members would have a memorial service at the Vaughn Cemetery in Lake Milton, where Sheila is buried, at 3:00 p.m. to remember her with a balloon release and prayers. 
Defense lawyers and death penalty advocates argued the process was unproven and could still cause distress for the inmate, leading to cruel and unusual punishment, after executions three years ago left some inmates gasping for more than 25 minutes. Phillips' brother and prayer counselors present for Phillips made no statements to the media following the execution.
(9:38p story correction for name of Evans half-sister)
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(Attorneys for Phillips) Statement of Timothy F. Sweeney and Lisa M. Lagos, attorneys for Ronald Phillips, on his execution today:
"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Evans family for their loss. And to the Phillips family for theirs.
Ron Phillips committed an unspeakable crime when he was 19 years old, and was himself the product of a home filled with abuse and neglect. But the grown man who woke up this morning at age 43, ready to face his punishment, did not in any way resemble that troubled and broken teen. He had grown to be a good man, who was thoughtful, caring, compassionate, remorseful, and reflective. He tried every day to atone for his shameful role in Sheila’s death. In the past years, Ron has studied for and earned his certification to be a minister, and was preparing his first sermon. It was entitled “My People.”
Ron’s case suggests we should thoughtfully reconsider our laws that permit the harshest punishment for those who committed their crimes as teenagers, especially the irrevocable punishment of death.  
We’ll end by saying that another thing Ron was regretful about today is that he would be unable to give that first sermon he’d been preparing. Having witnessed his execution this morning, and admiring the way he has carried himself these last months and years, we believe he did give that sermon, and it was a powerful one that serves as a testament of how to face death with dignity and courage and, above all, that no one is beyond redemption."
– Timothy F. Sweeney and Lisa M. Lagos, attorneys for Ronald Phillips, July 26, 2017
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 05:19

City Prosecutor Join Digital Age

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Akron's City Prosecutor's office is moving out from the dark ages into the digital era. The partnership with the Summit County Prosecutor's Office means city prosecutors will be able to use electronic case filing for the first time -- eveything up to this point was still pen and paper. Municipal Courts across the county have long used electronic filing.

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(City of Akron) The Akron City Prosecutor's Office is preparing to improve the efficiency and consistency of its case management system by partnering with the County of Summit and surrounding communities to implement case management software, enabling the use of electronic case files for the first time.

Currently, the City of Akron Prosecutor's Office utilizes an outdated case management system that relies entirely on physical paper files. This inefficient system creates substantial storage issues and results in unnecessary work in copying, moving, and organizing tens of thousands of active files.

"The goal of this agreement is to bring our system into the digital age, in the most costeffective way possible," Mayor Horrigan said. "This new software will improve our responsiveness to the attorneys, judges, and others who need access to these criminal case files to ensure the effective administration of justice."

"By cooperating together with the County and other communities, we are able to defer the costs of this case management system and acquire this valuable software at a fraction of the cost," Mayor Horrigan continued. "I would like to thank the leadership of Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Tallmadge and Summit County for combining resources to purchase a universal case management system that will improve prosecutorial efficiencies system-wide." Monday, Akron City Council authorized the Intergovernmental Agreement with Summit County and neighboring jurisdictions for the shared purchase, implementation and use of MATRIX case management software. The secure system will allow defense attorneys and other authorized personnel access to court records in compliance with the law. The new system will enhance public confidence in the integrity of case files by eliminating manual processes and creating a record of when evidence is provided and reviewed in the course of a criminal prosecution.

"This software will allow for better management of criminal caseloads, it will reduce staff time spent on time-consuming administrative tasks like copying, and allow us to automate and integrate internal process as cases move through the system," Chief Akron Prosecutor Gertrude Wilms said. Recognizing the benefits and need for a comprehensive case management software system, Summit County engaged in a review of various case management systems and determined that the MATRIX Case Management system was the best combination of functionality and value.

"We are very pleased to soon begin using the MATRIX case management system which replaces our current outdated and obsolete system that was first installed 20 years ago," Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said. "MATRIX will make tracking information about cases much easier for our prosecutors, staff, and victims, and make the office more efficient. I would like to thank the City and County for their efforts in making this happen."

During the Akron City Council committee discussion, it was reported that Cuyahoga County experienced a cost savings of over $6 million within the first 9 months of switching to the MATRIX case management system, while also reducing the time it took cases to move through the system.

Akron killer Ronald Phillips is in Lucasville - kept with just a wall and corridor between his cell in the Death House there and the Death Chamber where he's scheduled to recieve a lethal drug cocktail tomorrow.

Phillips, on Death Row for 24 years, is scheduled to die by injection for the 1993 rape and murder of three year old Sheila Marie Evans, the daughter of his then-girlfriend.

Phillips arrived shortly after ten this morning; while his "special meal request" is subject to change, WAKR's Ryan Lang reports he asked for a large cheese, bell pepper and mushroom pizza; strawberry cheesecake; a two-liter bottle of Pepsi; a 10 ounce bottle of grape juice and a piece of unleavened bread.

The U.S. Supreme Court has a bid before it for a stay of execution from critics who are contesting the three-drug mix used for lethal injection as a "humane" form that will minimize pain and suffering for Phillips. Critics are also asking Ohio Governor John Kasich to intervene, citing the drug cocktail isn't proven.

Barring any delays or stay orders from the Court or the Governor, Phillips will be receive the injection tomorrow morning after 10:00.

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