Two days after the shootings in Alexandria, Virginia on GOP members practicing baseball, Washington D.C. is still shaken from the impact. The charity baseball game was always a way for both parties to come together, but this time even more so.

Congressman Jim Renacci joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch, which calls for the parties to begin working together. In his six-and-a-half years in congress, Renacci believes the political rhetoric is out of control, saying the bipartisan measures rarely get reported. He stresses the importance of the parties working together on bigger issues such as solving the debt.

The Ohio congressman was at a bipartisan breakfast when the shootings occurred, and he discussed his relationship with House Whip Steve Scalise and his fellow Republicans on the baseball field.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Thursday, 15 June 2017 08:57

AUDIO: Sen. Brown On Alexandria Shootings

On Wednesday, GOP members of Congress were shot at on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, which caused a few injuries, including wounds to House Whip Steve Scalise. The Republicans were practicing for a charity baseball game at Nationals Park, with the Democrats warming up at a field a few miles away.

It was decided the game will go on. Current US senator and former member of the Democrat baseball team, Sherrod Brown, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the shooting. Brown wants something to be done about the violence in the country, and hopes President Trump can be “more of a healer and not a divider” in times like these.

As far as the charity baseball game goes, Brown says the game must go on, believing a cancellation of it would “look cowardly."

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News out of Washington over the last week has been divisive and partisan, and politicians from both sides have not been shy to weigh in.

One of those politicians is Ohio senator Sherrod Brown, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show on Thursday. As for the recent firing of FBI director James Comey, Brown questions the timing of Comey’s firing, calling it “troubling.” Brown also believes it's “pretty clear" about the ties between President Trump and Russia.

Commenting on the new healthcare bill, the Ohio senator says he has “no idea” what will happen as time goes on, but will “fight like hell” to oppose the bill. He also shared his thoughts on NAFTA and the airline industry.

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The second phase of repealing and replacing Obamacare was rolled out last week, and this time around, the new bill helped unite more Republicans.

Congressman Jim Renacci joined the Ray Horner Morning Show, guest-hosted by Tony Mazur, to talk about his support of the bill. Renacci spoke of the importance of the new bill, and attempted to clear up any confusion over pre-existing conditions.

In addition to healthcare, Rep. Renacci also touched on President Trump’s first 100 days in office, the election in France, and the race for Ohio governor, which he is a part of.

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Easter Sunday went from a celebratory holiday to a local and national tragedy, where millions saw the death of Robert Godwin on Facebook.

One of the talking points were what Facebook could have done to avoid a situation like this, or if it could have been avoided at all. Mark Welfley from Welfley Technologies in Fairlawn joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the dangers that can come from apps such as Facebook or Snapchat.

Welfley shared some tips on how to ensure better online safety for kids and teens. One of those tips is to go to the Settings tab and turn off the location. Another is to guide teens on proper Internet behavior, such as controlling one’s emotions and cyber bullying.

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The Front Street project in downtown Cuyahoga Falls is ready to start, and has been met with great fanfare.

The mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, Don Walters, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the project, which passed unanimously on Monday night. The soon-to-be-former pedestrian mall will be torn up and replaced with a brand new street, park benches, and streetlights, with the underground utilities to be replaced first.

Walters says the project will begin very soon, with plans already being drawn up. His main goal is to protect the businesses already there, and the timeline is to have everything completed by 2018.

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Tuesday, 28 March 2017 06:57

AUDIO: Dambrot Leaving Akron For Duquesne

After 305 wins and four trips to the NCAA Tournament in 13 years, Keith Dambrot is heading eastbound on Interstate 76. Dambrot, the now-former head coach of the Akron Zips, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his decision to guide the Duquesne Dukes. Duquesne is familiar territory for Dambrot, as his father played there and his mother is from the Pittsburgh area. According to Dambrot, leaving the University of Akron was “the toughest decision I’ve ever made in my life, to be perfectly frank about it.” He said he was not looking around for other jobs, but the timing was right to try to turn another program around. It will be a seven-year, $7 million contract for the 58-year-old Dambrot.

Dambrot is 59 and says he doesn't want to be coaching into his 70s or 80s, and looks at the rebuilding of the Duquesne program as a great opportunity. "The timing was right and I would take one more fling to turn another program around," Dambrot said.

LISTEN to the full Dambrot interview with WAKR's Ray Horner below.

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Some studies published the Akron Beacon Journal showed some surprising statistics about the area as far as population and median income. As is the case in many Rust Belt towns, city leaders are always looking for ways of bringing residents into the area. Akron mayor Dan Horrigan joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what he and his associates plan to do. Horrigan looks at the residents like they are customers, and what would the customers what they want out of their city. The most important aspects of a city, according to the mayor, are job growth, safe neighborhoods, and a strong downtown. As far as the neighborhoods go, Horrigan says city planners are looking at what areas are ready and what needs to be built up. He also puts a lot of value in a city’s strengths and landmarks, such as the Goodyear area and near the hospitals.

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President Trump’s overhaul of the Affordable Care Act has been met with loud scrutiny, especially here in our backyard.

Senator Sherrod Brown joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what he and fellow senator Rob Portman have on their plates. Brown and Portman, along with Governor Kasich, teamed up to combat what is colloquially known as “Trumpcare.” Brown believes the new healthcare plan will benefit the 2% while taking insurance away from 20 million people.

The Ohio senators have also teamed up with Bob Dole to go over trade policies that affect Ohioans.

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Wednesday, 01 March 2017 09:26

AUDIO: Terry Francona Sits Down With Ray

Since he’s been with the Indians, Terry Francona has seen nothing but success: two playoff appearances, two Manager of the Year awards, and four-straight winning seasons. As the 2017 season gets ramped up, he’s looking to extend all of those accolades.

Tito sat down with Ray Horner during Wahoo Week in Goodyear, Arizona, to not only talk about the current team, but also a little about him. Many years ago, Francona played with the Montreal Expos, and an injury to his knee paved the way for Tim “Rock” Raines to have a hall-of-fame career.

Horner and Francona also discussed other aspects of the game that have changed through expanded analytics, as well as the up-and-coming prospects in the organization, like Yandy Diaz.

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A small part of Governor John Kasich’s proposed budget is for teachers to shadow inside the job sector. Not surprisingly, this was met with a bit of controversy, especially since it appeared to be buried deep in the budget.

Becky Higgins, a former teacher at Copley-Fairlawn and now the president of the Ohio Education Association, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to share her thoughts. The shadowing in the job sector would be a requirement to renew teachers’ licenses, and Higgins echoed the inquisitive thoughts of her fellow educators.

The OEA president also touched on trade schools and the future of cursive.

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 09:56

AUDIO: John Michael Previews Cavs Second Half

The Cleveland Cavaliers are at the halfway point in the season. Technically, they are more than halfway, but now that the all-star break is over, the team is focused on getting healthy for the playoffs.

John Michael, the play-by-play voice of the Cavaliers, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the bumps in the road and the silver linings. Those bumps have come from injuries, first to JR Smith and now to Kevin Love. As far as Smith, Michael believes he is still a ways away from returning to the lineup.

The silver linings, according to Michael, are the additions of Kyle Korver and Derrick Williams, who have stabilized the rotation. Still, the Cavs may make some type of signing, with a veteran backup point guard being a top need.

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President Trump is actively filling out his cabinet, though he is encountering a few roadblocks from the political opposition.

Congressman Jim Renacci joined the Ray Horner Morning Show for his monthly visit, and he spoke about the “unique and different” cabinet the president is putting together. He wishes the Democrats could give the president a chance to succeed by getting the members on board as soon as possible, rather than delaying matters.

Rep. Renacci also touched on education, specifically about student loan debt and Betsy DeVos, the newly-confirmed Education Secretary. The Ohio congressman also spoke about the Congressional Review Act, which is an act that congressional leaders put forth to overturn certain bills pushed by an outgoing president at the end of his term.

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Downtown Cuyahoga Falls is getting itself a facelift, and they are doing so rapidly.

Mayor Don Walters called into the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the changes to the downtown, which are set to be completed sometime in 2018 and cost between $11-$13 million. The major project for Walters is increased retail development, since the previous model of foot traffic has not gone as planned.

According to the mayor, in order for the new retail to flourish, the section of Front Street must re-open. Walters stresses “visibility and accessibility” as far as retail development goes.

Speaking of retail, Walters believes a potential tweaking or closing of Chapel Hill Mall (which is in Akron city limits) would not affect the Howe Avenue corridor too much.

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Friday, 03 February 2017 09:46

AUDIO: Rep. Tim Ryan on TPP, Trump

Two weeks removed from President Donald Trump’s inauguration, and he has been as busy as any new president has ever been. He has had his supporters, but definitely seen a share of detractors.

Congressman Tim Ryan does not necessarily align politically with the new administration, but will admit if he agrees with a particular issue. One of those issues is withdrawing from TPP, and feeling a bilateral trade agreement is the preferred option.

However, Rep. Ryan feels President Trump has made Americans less stable in his two weeks in office. Ryan is against the refugee ban, and does not agree with irritation allies such as Mexico and Australia.

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 09:12

AUDIO: Coach Sam Rutigliano To Appear In Akron

Remember the glory days of the Cleveland Browns, when their late-game heroics would nearly give their fans heart palpitations, hence the nickname “The Kardiac Kids”? The brains behind those exciting teams called into the Ray Horner Morning Show on Thursday.

Coach Sam Rutigliano has maintained a residence in Northeast Ohio, more than thirty years after his dismissal from the Browns, but continues to care about this area. On Sunday before the ‘Big Game’, he will be appearing at the Branded Saloon in Akron at 6 PM to watch contest between the Patriots and Falcons. Proceeds from the auction will go to Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation.

The former Browns coach talked to Ray about growing up in Brooklyn, New York, moving on to Liberty University, and just how good of a quarterback Tom Brady is and where he ranks among the all-time greats.

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In the last few days, a whirlwind of controversy has surrounded President Trump’s executive order to put a temporary blockade on refugees from entering the country. However, a number of American communities have pushed back, and a few of those are in the state of Ohio.

The greater Akron area happens to be one of those communities, and Summit County Executive Ilene Shaprio joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss it in detail. Shapiro is highly against this executive order, believing Summit County is a “welcoming community” and the people here and everywhere “should not live in fear.”

Shapiro urges the administration takes a hard look at the executive order, not just in the emotional sense, but as far as the economic impact. She says Summit County has embraced immigrants from all over, and that "broad statements” and rhetoric could and would have downstream effects both locally and nationally.

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Friday, 27 January 2017 10:21

AUDIO: Rep. Renacci On Trump, TPP

Week one of the Trump Administration is in the books, and his pen has used a lot of ink.

Congressman Jim Renacci was in attendance for the January 20th inauguration, and he joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to recap the week that was. Renacci commented on Trump’s executive orders and bills being signed, saying it was “exciting” to see the new president accomplish this much this soon.

Rep. Renacci, also a businessman-turned-politician, touched on TPP, saying he has been frustrated with America’s tax codes and trade agreements over the years. He also talked about bipartisan leadership, the Alaskan pipeline, and the proposed wall on the Mexican border.

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Norton High School Girls Basketball sophomore Kelsey Hosey is the 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week for January 27th-February 3rd.

The sophomore has been an important player in the teams outstanding 12-3 start.

"She is a real good player and choice, such a talented young player," said Norton head Coach Brian Miller.

"I feel right at home, even though I am an underclassman," said Hosey.

Kelsey had 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals in the Panthers recent win over Field and came back with 19 points and 9 rebounds in a win on the road against Cloverleaf.

Kelsey's older sister had a storied career at Norton and Hosey said watching and learning from her sister has helped make her a better player.

"She helped me so much, on and off the court, how to listen and how to lead," said Hosey.

Kelsey is a three sport performer for the Panthers as she is a middle hitter on the Girls Volleyball team as well as a runner in the 40, 800 and 4 x 4 in track. On the basketball team she plays three positions and is a two year starter as a sophomore.

Kelsey is still a few years away from college but she hopes to get into a field where she can help those in need. She is already giving back by being a youth basketball coach in Norton.

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:14

AUDIO: Mayor Horrigan On City Budget, ACA

A full year has gone by since Dan Horrigan took over as the mayor of Akron, and it is time to look at the budget into 2017.

Horrigan called into the Ray Horner Morning Show to touch on the two sections of the budget, and the subsequent cuts with it, totaling up to around $75 million over the last five years.

The mayor also discussed the Republicans’ repealing of the Affordable Care Act and the effect it can and will have locally. Other topics included the water and sewer supply and the future of Chapel Hill Mall.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 09:43

Summa CEO Faces Tough Questions

As soon as the calendar turned to 2017, controversy has surrounded the offices of Akron’s Summa Health System. From firings to walkouts to calls for resignation, plenty of questions are on the table.

Dr. Thomas Malone, President and CEO of Summa, faced those tough questions Wednesday on the Ray Horner Morning Show. Dr. Malone addressed the calls for his dismissal, which came a day after he sent an apology memo to his staff.

As for the contract dispute, Dr. Malone initially believed the matter would be resolved and contracts would have been extended, but he believes he needed to protect the hospital.

In other controversial news, though not as grandiose, Malone reacted to a 2015 photo of him smoking a cigar, which has gone viral. Summa instituted a nicotine-free policy for new hires some years back.

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Thursday, 05 January 2017 08:23

AUDIO: Southwest Pulls Out At CAK

In 2014, Southwest Airlines came on through Akron-Canton Airport with great fanfare, but it’s stay was a little more than a layover. Come June, Southwest will no longer be taking off at the airport.

Rick McQueen, president and CEO of the Akron-Canton Airport, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to speak of the loss of the airline. McQueen said Southwest had already been cutting back its services in 2016, and was both shocked but not surprised by the announcement.

As Southwest slowly cut down on their services at the airport, CAK will see a sizable bump with Spirit Airlines, another low-cost airline with flights headed to warm-weather destinations in Florida and South Carolina.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 08:37

AUDIO: Dambrot Becomes Zips Winningest Coach

The winningest coach in Akron hoops made some time with 1590 WAKR.

Keith Dambrot took home win number 11 on the season on Tuesday night, which happened to be victory number 289 at Akron, and he joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the journey. That journey includes recruiting and trying to compete in the parity-filled Mid-American Conference. Though he remains humble, Dambrot does feel honored to be included in the elite group of coaches and players who have made their way through the program over the years.

Dambrot joined the Zips as an assistant coach in 2001, and was named head coach in 2004. He began his head coaching career in 1984 with Tiffin, and most notably coached LeBron James at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

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These ain’t your father’s Cleveland Indians anymore.

After making it to Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, the Indians have upped the ante and signed slugger Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year deal. Tribe broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus talked about this signing with the Ray Horner Morning Show, believing a deal like this “makes sense.”

"There’s a need to go for it, and this certainly gives them that extra boost to take that next step,” said Rosenhaus. The former Blue Jay slugger will most likely play DH, with Carlos Santana moving over to first base full-time. Rosenhaus also talked about his consistency, with Encarnacion having the second-most home runs in the last five seasons.

Will a signing of this magnitude help the attendance? Rosenhaus believes so, not just from the Encarnacion addition, but the long playoff run. He feels the organization senses the momentum will continue, and may see another bump in season ticket sales during the offseason.

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Wednesday, 21 December 2016 08:14

AUDIO: Wrapping Up 2016 With Local Mayors

As the year winds down, Ray Horner catches up with the mayors across the region and how their cities and townships fared.

Ray caught up with the mayors of Stow, Tallmadge, Wadsworth, and Barberton, and later on Cuyahoga Falls and Akron, on how 2016 was and what is to come in 2017.

Sara Kline - Stow

David Kline - Tallmadge

Robin Laubaugh - Wadsworth

Bill Judge - Barberton

Don Walters - Cuyahoga Falls

Dan Horrigan - Akron

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Thursday, 08 December 2016 10:35

AUDIO: Huntington Bank CEO On FirstMerit Merger

After being around the area since 1845, FirstMerit Bank is no more. Huntington Bancshares announced it would acquire FirstMerit, with branches officially being converted to Huntington by early 2017. So what does this all mean?

Stephen Steinour, president and CEO of Huntington, spoke with Ray Horner before his appearance at the Akron Roundtable. Steinour assured the listeners and customers that while both Huntington and FirstMerit were “doing well,” he believes the merger will make the company even stronger. He says both banks had very similar history and cultures, and the plans are to continue that tradition.

The Huntington CEO insists the company will “make a profound and lasting difference” in Akron, as they will invest $2 million a year for the next decade into the community.

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The money is flying around Major League Baseball, and some big-named players are changing zip codes. But will the Indians make any moves? Do they need to?

Paul Hoynes, the long-time Tribe beat writer for the Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about what the team is, or isn’t, doing at the MLB Winter Meetings. Hoynsie believes Cleveland’s top priorities are getting that middle-of-the-order bat and adding to the outfield depth.

Reports are the Indians have inquired about Toronto sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, but it’s more realistic that the Tribe could re-sign Mike Napoli.

According to Hoynes, the Indians are a peculiar position as far as the outfield goes. The team will measure the progress of Michael Brantley’s shoulder, and will most likely play the waiting game with Bradley Zimmer.

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In 2016, the eyes of the sports world were on Northeast Ohio. From basketball to hockey, to baseball to mixed martial arts, the titles and accolades poured all over the region.

Here in Akron, the RubberDucks took home the Eastern League championship, and their manager, Dave Wallace, was named Minor League Manager of the Year. Wally called into the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the Ducks’ journey towards their title, as well as the manager’s job at a level such as Double-A. He went into specifics about how to manage a team with players being called up to higher levels at different times and how the coaching staff can adjust.

Wallace has been the manager of the RubberDucks since their current incarnation in 2014, and has been with the Indians’ organization as both a player and coach since 2002.

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Highland High School freshman sensation tennis player Elizabeth Hadler is the WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week for November 18th-25th.

Elizabeth was the Suburban League Most Valuable Player as only a freshman compiling an impressive 24-4 recording leading the Hornets to the league title.

"I was hoping to have a big year, but this was just great," said Hadler.

Hadler is heavily involved in her school. She is a member of Student Council and is a key contributor to the Highland girls basketball team.

"I started playing tennis at a young age and quickly fell in love with sport," said Hadler.

Elizabeth spends valuable time at her church in volunteer role as well as being a youth tennis instructor.

"As a player, I am a mixture of a player that will return everything, but when need be I like to charge and be aggressive at the net," said Hadler.

Hadler currently carries an impressive GPA and will take her studies and tennis game onto college after her days as a Hornet Netter.

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A week has passed since Donald Trump became president-elect of the United States, and the transition period has begun. The transition isn’t just the changing of the guard in the executive branch, but the GOP takeover in the Senate and House.

Senator Sherrod Brown joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to share his thoughts on the election. Being a Democrat, Brown has reservations for Trump’s cabinet, which includes right-wing media magnate Steve Bannon, but says he will help the transition in any way he can. However, he is not in favor of building walls or deporting immigrants and Muslims.

Senator Brown’s name, as well as Rep. Tim Ryan’s, has been floating around in terms of fresh leadership in the Democrat Party. Though he is flattered, Brown says his focus is not on a leadership position, but on Ohio, and wants to lead on issues such as trade and Medicaid.

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It was a magical run for the Cleveland Indians, a team very few, if any, predicted to go to the World Series. It may not have finished the way many had hoped, especially after a 3-1 lead, but Tribe fans everywhere are proud of their baseball team.

Bob DiBiasio, Senior VP with the Tribe, made his way to Akron to recap the postseason that was, as well as how the team will look in 2017. “Bobby D” recapped the financial aspects of the Indians’ postseason run, which proved to be quite lucrative for the players. Due to these backloaded contracts, a plethora of players will be receiving raises going into next season.

So what’s next? DiBiasio says the team is looking to keep Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli at a reasonable price, as well as others in terms of additions and subtractions. He says the team appears “set” on paper, but a big question mark is the health of Michael Brantley, but the team feels good the Indians excelled without their MVP candidate.

As of this writing, spring training kicks off 94 days from now.

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Tuesday, 08 November 2016 08:53

AUDIO: APS Superintendent Faces The Community

In the continuing saga of the Akron Public Schools shakeup, members of the community have a long list of questions. Former mayor Don Plusquellic had one of those lists.

David James, the superintendent of APS, reiterated his thoughts on the consolidation on the Ray Horner Morning Show. James maintains his initial thoughts in that schools like Kenmore and Garfield cannot continue to operate if they’re less than half capacity.

The state of Ohio will foot the bill for 59% of the new CLC, and James says they will do their best to maintain the history and legacy of Kenmore and Garfield schools. In terms of the new site, the superintendent believes the issue is finding vacant land at a low price, if not free.

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Wednesday, 02 November 2016 08:43

UA President Settles Into Official Role

Matthew Wilson had his interim title dropped a couple weeks ago and became the permanent president of the University of Akron, and he has hit the ground running.

Wilson joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what is on his plate, which includes the recent $3 million endowment from the Knight Foundation for polymer science and engineering. It is the largest singe endowment in school history.

The UA president acknowledges the challenges he has ahead, which includes a sizable loss in enrollment over the last few years. But Wilson is confident that the issues can be solved, especially with the school’s 150th anniversary around the corner.

Wilson took over as interim president when Scott Scarborough stepped down. He came to the university in 2014, and was enticed due to how much the community truly cares about the school.

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Fans and pundits have compared the scrappy, resilient 2016 Cleveland Indians to the last time they were in the Fall Classic, 1997. But what some may not realize was how powerful the 1954 Indians were, even though they were swept by the New York Giants.

Hal Naragon was a catcher for the Indians from 1951-1959, and was a member of the 1954 Tribe. He joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about what he sees in today’s Indians that reminded him of his own team. He was a witness to Willie Mays’s catch at the Polo Grounds, though he still maintains Larry Doby made a better grab in a regular season contest.

Naragon did eventually win a World Series ring, though it was in 1968 with the Detroit Tigers as a bullpen coach. The 88-year-old is a graduate of Barberton High School and still calls Barberton home.

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All eyes, at least in the sports world, will be on Cleveland, Ohio tomorrow night. Game One of the 2016 World Series just so happens to fall on the night of the Cavaliers receiving their championship rings.

Terry Pluto, long-time sportswriter for the Akron Beacon Journal and now with the Plain Dealer, stopped in studio on the Ray Horner Morning Show. Terry spoke at length about how the Indians got to this point, from the moment the team hired Terry Francona to the day before the 2016 World Series. Pluto went into detail about Francona’s involvement in shaping the team, from the power bats to the analytical number crunchers.

Pluto has a new book out, his thirtieth, called The Comeback: LeBron, The Cavs & Cleveland. It is available in stores and on Amazon.

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Thursday, 13 October 2016 08:57

AUDIO: Terry Pluto On Francona, ALCS

The first ALCS in nine years for the Indians is set to kick off Friday, and this time, the Tribe has the home field advantage.

Terry Pluto, author and long-time columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal and now the Plain Dealer, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about this run from Terry Francona’s Indians. Pluto discussed Tito’s managerial style and how the players have come to embrace it. Though Francona may not show it publicly, Pluto believes beating his former team in the ALDS was huge.

Onto the ALCS, Pluto calls the Blue Jays a “strange” team, in that not many believed Toronto would get this far. The Plain Dealer writer said the strength of the Blue Jays was not necessarily their power hitting, but their pitching, which had a lower ERA than the Indians.

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The rumors of potential mergers in the Akron Public School district have swirled for some time, and now the news has been confirmed. Most notably, Garfield and Kenmore High Schools will join as one in the near future. David James, superintendent of Akron Public Schools, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss this particular merger. James and city council president Marilyn Keith have previously discussed plans for a brand new CLC, and the tenants would be the schools with a diminished population. At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, Kenmore High School is at 33% capacity. According to James, the project will cost $58 million, and 59% of it will be paid for by the state. Team meetings on where to build the new CLC will begin in 2017, as the plan is to find a site equal distance between Kenmore and Garfield.

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The spotlight on Northeast Ohio in 2016 has shined brightly, but the growth in the area began its uptick a few years before.

Gregg Mervis, president and CEO of the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about these numbers. Specifically, Mervis says the increase in tourism has increased 12.4 percent between 2013 and 2015. The double-digit growth number really surprised and humbled the optimistic Mervis.

Where are these visitors spending their money on in Summit County? First, you factor in the 70 new hotels, then look at the events and staple locations in the area, such as the Bridgestone Invitational and Stan Hywet.

"There is a growing vibe and an authentic spirit…within the community,” says Mervis.

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It is no secret that Akron’s population has dwindled in recent decades. With a decreased population comes decreased enrollment in schools. The question that needs to be asked: can Akron keep all these high schools in business?

One of those schools is Kenmore, and there has been word it may merge with another school, as the building is less than half capacity. There has been pushback, however, and Matt Lance is leading an effort to save his alma mater.

Matt joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the Change.org petition to raise awareness of their effort to keep Kenmore afloat.

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Dr. Brian Harte has been with the Cleveland Clinic since 2004, and now he’ll make his way down south to Akron.

Dr. Harte joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the announcement of him being named president of Akron General, effective September 26th. Dr. Harte says he looks forward to getting to know the residency at the hospital, and plans to dive head-first into the community.

"The partnership with Cleveland Clinic has been fantastic,” says Dr. Harte about Akron General.

As far as the world of medicine goes, Dr. Harte sees the near future will include more attention to wellness and outpatient care for chronic conditions. He believes clinics will have a much different feel to them than the last 5-10 years.

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The Akron RubberDucks have once again qualified for the playoffs, winning their division for the ninth time in franchise history.

Ken Babby, the owner of the RubberDucks, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his club’s perseverance. Babby gives a lot of credit to manager Dave Wallace, who had to grind through the season as his best players were called up to a higher league. The Ducks’ owner was proud of how the team played, especially down the stretch, as they were victorious in 20 of their last 25 contests.

The RubberDucks are the top seed in the playoffs, and will take on the Altoona Curve this Wednesday for two games before returning home to Canal Park.

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After 22 years at the Akron Beacon Journal, Rich Heldenfels is calling it a career. And on his 65th birthday, no less.

Heldenfels has been a pop culture writer at the Beacon since 1994, and he joined the Ray Horner Morning Show on his final day on the job. Heldenfels talked about his arrival into Akron by way of Schenectady, New York, and was thrust into work head-first during the OJ Simpson saga in ’94.

The long-time Beacon writer says some of his favorite memories were meeting local celebrities who went national, such as Steve Harvey Drew Carey, and LeBron James, and walking around the set of 25 Hill at Derby Downs.

Heldenfels will still teach at the University of Akron, but now that his wife has also retired, he felt this was a good time to step away from the paper.

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Over the weekend, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the headlines over his refusal to stand up during the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Kaepernick stood by his comments, believing America and its flag and anthem have promoted institutional racism.

Eddie Sipplen, a local attorney and former mayoral candidate, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss Kaepernick’s decision from a different standpoint. Sipplen respects his right to sit out the National Anthem, believing his decision can open up honest dialogue. He feels that both blacks and whites should have this conversation on race relations.

Sipplen believes an honest dialogue can help Americans get away from the methodology and get to the message as to why Kaepernick is making this political point. The key points in the conversation, according to Sipplen, are about classism and white folks’ perception of blacks, no matter the social and economic backgrounds.

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It is day five of the Rubber City Radio Group’s spotlight on the heroin epidemic, and today, we look to what we as a community can do next. Summit County sheriff Steve Barry joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to inform what his office is doing to stop the heroin outbreak. Sheriff Barry says the county is putting teams together to gather as much information as possible to educate the public about opiates and the subsequent addiction. Why is it so bad in Akron? He believes our location nationally, as well as a lower economic state, are large factors. What can the people do? Barry urges the public to read the signs and call their local law enforcement agency if they come across suspicious activity. By doing so, officers can arrest the local traffickers, then working their way up to the suppliers.

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It is day four of the Rubber City Radio Group’s platform on the heroin epidemic in the area. The spotlight today is on the treatment of opiate addiction and the various in the area who are there to assist. Summa Health System’s Dr. Alan Shein, MD of Addiction Medicine Services, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the treatment program an addict will undergo. First off, Dr. Shein touched on how and why a person would make the jump from prescription drugs that include opiates to heroin, which would not only quell the pain, but to illicit a euphoria. The program at Summa is designed to help the victims get off heroin dependency and assist with the withdrawal symptoms. Though the detoxification process is an uncomfortable one, the medical staff will prescribe medication to the patients, which will help flush the opiates out of the body. The timeline is about four to five days, then the patient will transition to the next level of care.

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The announcement came down last week that Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom would be shutting down after Labor Day. Wildwater Kingdom has been in existence since 2005, not long after SeaWorld vacated the premises.

Was this a surprise? Not to Ann Womer Benjamin, the mayor of Aurora. Womer Benjamin joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what is ahead with that property as far as development. She said Aurora is working in conjunction with Bainbridge and Cedar Fair on developing the surrounding area into a mix of retail and housing. Though Wildwater Kingdom was a good source of revenue, Aurora will not take much of a tax hit, as most waterpark jobs tend to be seasonal.

The Aurora mayor mentioned she was more upset with SeaWorld and Geauga Lake closing, which closed its doors in 2000 and 2007, respectively. However, she feels the prime real estate can be “redeveloped into something fantastic.”

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In our continuing coverage of the heroin crisis in Summit County, we showcase some of the facilities in the area dedicated to helping those find the path to recovery. The Interval Brotherhood Home, or IBH, is a drug and alcohol recovery center located on S. Main Street near the Portage Lakes. The recovery center has been in operation since 1970, and Joe Rifici, an associate clinical director, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what IBH does. Rifici spoke in depth about the recovery program, which helps patients find their spiritual side. Since 2009, when he joined IBH, Rifici says victims of heroin abuse has increased exponentially, mainly in the last year. He notices patients come from every background come through the doors, no matter the race or economic upbringing.

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Terry Pluto is an award-winning sportswriter and columnist with the Plain Dealer, and is known across the region for his thoughts and analysis of the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians. But what may not widely known is his work with prison inmates and addicts in their paths to recovery. Pluto joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss his experience in dealing with struggling or recovering addicts, specifically heroin. In the decades he has been meeting with these victims, Pluto has seen the growth of heroin in these communities, no matter the racial or socioeconomic background. He believes heroin is deadlier than crack cocaine.

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In Akron and across the region, it has been a rather toasty summer. The only thing that has been burnt more than folks’ skin is the grass in their yards. Well, except down at Canal Park.

Chis Walsh, the head groundskeeper for the RubberDucks, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to gloss over how to manicure a professional baseball field. Walsh was named the Field Manager of the Year in the Eastern League, a high honor, especially with Canal Park hosting the league’s all-star game back in July.

Walsh, a Kent State graduate, explained the type of maintenance one has to tend to on a diamond, including fertilizing and moisturizing the infield, and how to appease the superstitious players.

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This week, the Rubber City Radio Group is putting the spotlight on the heroin epidemic that is not only affecting the Akron area, but across the country. Barberton, a once-bustling area that has fallen on hard times, is one of the communities hit hard by the heroin outbreak. Barberrton City Schools Superintendent Patti Cleary joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what the Barberton community is doing to educate families of this drug epidemic.

Cleary believes most students understand the risks of heroin, but further education on drug use and its affects will continue to be put in place.

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