The City of Akron is considering raising the age to legally purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
The following is a press release from the City of Akron:
When Mayor Horrigan appointed Tamiyka Rose as the City of Akron’s first Health Equity Ambassador last Spring, he tasked her with developing and spearheading new strategies to reduce the City’s unacceptable infant mortality rate. “I will never tolerate a scenario where Akron babies are more likely to die before their first birthday than babies born in other communities,” Mayor Horrigan said. “I hired Tamiyka to coordinate our efforts locally, and help turn the tide.”
“In looking at effective strategies to reduce infant mortality, smoking by young, expectant mothers was a key risk factor we needed to target,” Rose said of the initiative. “Looking at the data, it was clear that increasing the tobacco sales age to 21 could meaningfully reduce infant mortality rates and improve lifelong health outcomes for today’s youth.”
More than 290 cities and counties across 19 states have increased the age for tobacco sales to 21, a movement commonly referred to as “Tobacco 21”. Since 2015, 9 other Ohio cities, including Cleveland and Columbus, have passed similar laws.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Not only is it costly in terms of human life, it has a tremendous financial toll. According to health policy research, increasing the national sales age for tobacco to 21 could save society an estimated $212 billion over a 50-year period.
The Tobacco 21 strategy is proven to not just delay, but prevent, tobacco use in young people across their lifetimes. Military leaders are supportive of raising the tobacco age to 21 due to tobacco’s negative impact on military readiness (more info available here).
“Individuals who have never used tobacco by age 21 are unlikely to ever start smoking. While it is estimated to reduce retail sales by only 2%, increasing the smoking age to 21 can prevent approximately 90% of new smokers from ever starting the habit, by making it difficult to obtain during the years they are most susceptible to the addiction,” said Cory Kendrick
Summit County Public Health’s Director of Population Health.
And the link to infant mortality and premature birth is clear. “According to 2014 data, in Summit County, pregnant women under age 21 smoke at a rate that is 70% higher than their older counterparts,” Kendrick continued. “Nearly one in four pregnant women in Summit County age 18 to 21 smoked while pregnant. And pregnant women who smoke are more likely to experience the devastation of infant loss.”
Akron zip codes 44320, 44307 and 44306 have some of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, nearly double the national average. In 2016, 30 Akron babies died before their first birthday.
“If we are serious about giving Akron babies the best possible start to life, we must be willing to challenge structures and institutions that reinforce poor maternal health,” Tamiyka Rose said. “Tobacco use is a clear risk factor, and one we can do something about.”
Akron’s proposed Tobacco-21 legislation, co-sponsored by Councilwoman-at-large Linda Omobien, will be introduced to Akron City Council this afternoon. Representatives from Summit County Public Health, youth ambassadors, and physicians from Summa Health and Akron General/Cleveland Clinic will testify in support of the legislation.
“If you’re not willing to be part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” Rose concluded. “We’re hoping Akron will choose a healthier future for its next generation.”
A fact sheet with more information about the local Tobacco 21 initiative is available here.
U.S. Marshals have arrested Darnell Bitting, 31, of Akron, in connection to the shooting death of a young girl in the city last week.
According to reports, the shooting happened inside a home in the 900 block of Mercer Avenue, Friday night around 10:30. Police say it appears the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute at the home.
When police arrived, four children were inside a car with their grandmother. She told investigators that she and the children's mother arrived at the home to retrieve property from inside the house, but when no one answered the door, she says that the kids' mom broke out several windows. That's when a man came out of the house with a rifle and fired a shot that hit the car, and subsequently one of the children inside the car.
Janaya Swain, 4, was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
On Saturday afternoon, U.S. Marshals arrested Bitting inside a home in the 749 block of Corley Street. He's been charged with murder and having weapons under disability.
An Akron toddler who managed to get outside of the apartment she lived in at Willow Run Apartments on Doty Drive in Ellet Friday afternoon, and was later found by her mother, died at the hospital.
Officials identified the young girl as 2-year-old Wynter Parker. Her mother, who found her out on the porch, called 911 around 3:30 Friday afternoon. She was taken to Akron Children's Hospital where she later died. She told Akron Police that she wasn't sure how the young girl got outside.
The Summit County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy on Monday to determine the cause of death.
No charges have been filed.
Former Akron Fire Department Union Treasurer Joseph Ruhlin, 41, has pled guilty to embezzling nearly half-a-million dollars from the Union while he was in charge of the funds, according to a release from Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh's office.
Ruhlin, who was treasurer of the department's Union Local 330 from January of 2011 through March of 2017, admitted to stealing about $500,000 during his time in office.
When he was charged with Theft in Office, Ruhlin fled Akron to North Carolina. Authorities eventually caught up with him and he was extradited back to Summit County.
Ruhlin, who is charged with Theft in Office and Tampering with Records, both 3rd degree felonies, is due in Summit County Common Pleas Court on March 13, 2018 at 1 p.m. for a restitution hearing and is scheduled to me sentenced by Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Breaux immediately following.
It wasn't long after Akron Police circulated his photo that Deandre L. Garrett, 26, turned himself in, they say.
According to a police report, Garrett is alleged to have walked into the PNC Bank at 889 West Market Street last Friday just before 3 p.m., handed the teller a note demanding money, and walked out with cash. According to the report, Garrett made threats of a gun, but no gun was seen during the robbery.
During the alleged robbery a very clear photo of Garrett was snapped. He turned himself in Monday. He's facing multiple charges.
Akron and Warren will be the pilot cities for a new eBay program aimed at helping brick and mortar businesses expand via the e-commerce site.
The "Retail Revival" program will provide 20-40 Akron small businesses with resources and training to help them use eBay.
Business owners interested in applying for the program can apply through this link through February 9
Heather Roszczyk, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Advocate for the City of Akron, joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk more about the program and what it will mean for Akron.
Barberton Police and U.S. Marshals arrested an Akron man in connection to a weekend shooting in Barberton.
According to reports, police were called to the area of Wooster Road and Sylverster Road in Barberton Saturday night around 9 p.m. for a shooting. Police say it was two groups of people that gathered because of an argument over a woman, whose former boyfriend and current boyfriend were both involved.
During the altercation, someone opened fire, injuring three people; a 23-year-old man, a 48-year-old man, and a 28-year-old woman. All suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
After some tips, the Barberton Police and U.S. Marshals arrested Quawlin Mabry, 18, of Akron, in connection to the shooting.
The U.S. Attorney's Office out of Cleveland has released data from 2017 regarding gun indictments, and the report is showing a drastic jump in cases across Northern Ohio.
In 2017, 202 people across the northern part of the statewere indicted on gun charges. That is an increase from 105 the previous year, and the highest number of indictments since 2013 when there were 207.
Cleveland lead the way with 116, while Akron was a distant second place, logging 35 gun indictements over the year, followed by Youngstown (27) and Toledo (24).
The average sentence for a gun sentence in 2017 was 9 years in Northern Ohio, according to the Attorney's Office.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan has officially named Ken Ball the 16th Police Chief for the City of Akron's police department Wednesday.
Ball, who has been with Akron Police for 26 years, has been serving as interim chief since the abrupt resignation of former Police Chief James Nice back in August. Nice was asked to resign by Mayor Horrigan after allegations of professional misconduct and was said to be criminally involved with his nephew's car dealership in the city. Nice's attorney has denied any criminal wrongdoing.
During the press conference, Mayor Horrigan said that when deciding to promote within, he knew that he needed someone who understood that while the Akron Police Department is an outstanding law enforcement agency, wouldn't accept the status quo and would always be looking to move the department in a forward direction.
Of the appointment, Chief Ball said that he will approach the office with "quiet disconent," meaning he will not be the chief that is banging on doors, demanding change. Instead, Chief Ball says he will be someone who, "internally, not satisfied with where they're at," and always seeking improvement and to get better.
The initial term for Chief Ken Ball's office is four years.
A crash in Akron ended with an arrest for murder, according to Akron Police.
On Saturday morning, just after 7 a.m., Police and EMS responded to a single car crash into an abandoned building at 781 Grant Street. When they arrived, they found the 2007 Pontiac G6 had plowed into the side of the Grant Street building. The driver, 27-year-old Jelicia M. Wilder, was outside the vehicle, while her passenger, a 27-year-old male, was still in the car and had a stab wound to the neck.
The male was immediately transported to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital where he passed away shortly afterwords.
Wilder later told Akron Police investigators that she and the victim were fighting and she stabbed him in the neck. She was driving him to the hospital, traveling north on Grant trying to turn right onto East South Street, when she lost control of her car and crashed into the building. She was arrested and is charged with demostic violence charges and murder. She's been booked into the Summit County Jail.
The victim has not yet been identified, pending an autopsy from the Summit County Medical Examiner and family notification.
More than 9,000 runners from 46 states and 12 countries took to the Blue Line in unseasonably warm conditions Saturday for the 15th running of the Akron Marathon.
Blair Teal of Charlotte, North Carolina avenged his runner up finish in last year's marathon by winning in 2:23:39. Verrelle Wyatt of Akron came in second, just over a minute behind Teal.
In the women's marathon, Emma McCarron of Mansfield ran down eventual runner up Shawanna White in the closing miles to win in 2:52:29. McCarron's sister Grace finished third after the two ran together for much of the morning.
Experience beat youth in the men's half marathon, as 45 year old Kevin Castille of Baton Rouge, Louisiana won in 1:05:16, just over a minute ahead of Medina's Mick Iacofano.
Northeast Ohio runners swept the podium in the women's half marathon. Liz Weiler of Cleveland won in 1:20:09, less than a minute ahead of Beachwood's Amy Gannon. Marissa Baranauskas of Akron finished third.
The male, female, and mixed team relays were won by One 26.2 Sticker (2:54:58), Five Fast Femme Fatale Freak (3:07:46), and George's Farmer Boys and Girls (2:52:43), respectively.
Over the last two years, the Akron Marathon Race Series has raised nearly $900,000 for title sponsor Akron Children's Hospital.
1. Blair Teal, Charlotte, N.C., 2:23:39
2. Verrelle Wyatt, Akron, 2:24:57
3. Zachary Hoagland, Hatfield, Pa., 2:27:47
4. Brent Martin, Wooster, 2:28:11
5. Israel Merkle, Akron, 2:30:52
1. Emma McCarron, Mansfield, 2:52:29
2. Shawanna White, Columbia, S.C., 2:53:27
3. Grace McCarron, Mansfield, 2:54:11
4. Barbara Lorson, Orrville, 3:02:36
5. Jenny Robinson, Cuyahoga Falls, 3:07:23
Masters Men's Marathon
1. Dustin Sprague, Kettering, 2:43:05
2. Francesco Arato, Bolingbrook Ill., 2:48:15
3. Orinthal Striggles, Columbia S.C., 2:48:15
Masters Women's Marathon
1. Dolores Valencia, Chino Hills, Calif., 3:09:46
2. Kristy Kenna, Akron, 3:11:29
3. Teresa Ferguson, Akron, 3:11:46
Men's Half Marathon
1. Kevin Castille, Baton Rouge, La., 1:05:16
2. Mick Iacofano, Medina, 1:06:20
3. Ryan Roush, Canfield, 1:08:14
Women's Half Marathon
1. Liz Weiler, Cleveland, 1:20:09
2. Amy Gannon, Beachwood, 1:20:58
3. Marissa Baranauskas, Akron, 1:23:02
Masters Men's Half Marathon
1. Jason Lafave, Sanford, Mich., 1:15:08
2. Ken Richendollar, Maumee, 1:17:17
3. Mike Seymour, Akron, 1:19:10
Masters Women's Half Marathon
1. Beth Woodward, Orrville, 1:26:19
2. Brenda Hodge, York, Pa., 1:28:48
3. Michelle Farr, Medina, 1:29:22
(Akron Marathon) The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay celebrated its 15th year along the Blue Line today with a brand new route and warm temperatures. What started as a modest marathon with a field of 3,775 participants has thrived and grown over 300 percent in the last 15 years into a major, first-rate, and signature event within the city of Akron.
"The overall feeling of this race weekend is second to none – from the starting line to the Finisher Festival. The on-course atmosphere was very special this year, with entertainment throughout the course and loads of enthusiastic spectators alongside our Akron Children's hero patients and their families cheering on all the participants," said Shawn Lyden, executive vice president of Akron Children's. "This year more than 13,000 took to the streets during our three race weekends, experiencing the best of what this city has to offer. We couldn't be more proud to serve as the title beneficiary for this great series."
The festivities kicked off Thursday night with two-time Olympian and world champion, Kara Goucher being honored with the 2017 Akron Marathon Ambassador Award. More than 1,000 kids ages 12 and under joined in the fun on Friday night at the Kids 1-Mile Fun Run, presented by Signet Jewelers. After offering inspiration to the runners at the Health and Fitness Expo presented by Summa Health and SummaCare on Friday, Goucher joined the runners in Saturday's Half Marathon event, and earned cheers from the more than 100,000 race spectators there to rally their favorite runners toward the finish line.
"Fifteen years is no easy feat. Through many course and venue changes, adding distances along the way, and expansion into a race series, we are so proud to be hosting the 15th annual event. We are thrilled to report that 143,165 runners have run this event throughout the 15 years," said Steve Marks, founder and chairman of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation. "Although so much has happened and so much has changed over the years – it still seems like it wasn't too long ago that we were doing this for the first time. The continuity of the having an amazing city like Akron as a partner and having the support of many loyal sponsors through the years, along with one of the best race staffs out there, is a big part of our success."
Blair Teal of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Emma McCarron of Mansfield, found that success on Saturday morning and were the first to cross the finish line inside Canal Park Stadium for the marathon, with respective times of 2:23:39 and 2:52:29. While Kevin Castille of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Liz Weiler from Cleveland, took top places in the half marathon.
The runner-up in the men's marathon was Verrelle Wyatt of Akron, finishing with a time of 2:24:57, and Zachary Hoagland of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, crossing the line third at 2:27:47. Shawanna White of Columbia, South Carolina finished in second on the women's side with a time of 2:53:27, followed by Grace McCarron from Mansfield in 2:54:11.
Top men's half marathon finishers included Medina's Mick Iacofano and Ryan Roush from Canfield with equally fast times of 1:06:20 and 1:08:14. Beachwood's Amy Gannon took second in the women's half marathon finishing in 1:20:58, with Akron's own Marissa Baranauskas, crossing in third at 1:23:02.
The top finishers in the masters (40 years and older) marathon competition were, Dustin Sprague of Kettering and Dolores Valencia of Chino Hills, California, on the women's side. For the half marathon, the top masters were Jason Lafave of Sanford, Michigan and Beth Woodward of Orrville. (Complete winner information can be found at the end of release.)
The marathon relay didn't disappoint with fast times and wins turned in by Five Guys, One 26.2 Sticker for the five-person male team relay in 2:54:58, Five Fast Femme Fatale Freak was the top women's squad with a finishing time of 3:07:46. A time of 2:53:43 was clocked by the top mixed competition team – George's Farmer Boys and Girls.
For the third year, prize money was awarded to the top three men and women to finish the marathon who are Ohio residents. Those top winners were, Verrelle Wyatt, Akron and Emma McCarron of Mansfield.
"FirstEnergy is very proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Akron Marathon, a marquee event for our region that draws some of the world's top runners to compete just steps from our headquarters," said Charles Jones, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy Corp. "We have nearly 2,500 employees who live and work in the Akron area, many of whom volunteer or run in the Akron Marathon every year. This event showcases the city and we're pleased to be a part of it."
2017 served as the third year for the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. The National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile was held on June 24 and the Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k was run on August 12. More than 1,400 runners completed the series and participated in all three races this year.
"Fifteen years after the first race, our mission and focus remains the same: providing a world-class marathon and other events that promote health and fitness, stimulate the local economy, galvanize the community and benefit charitable organizations," said Anne Bitong, executive director of the Akron Marathon. "With more than 9,000 runners this weekend from 46 states and 12 countries, nearly $900,000 raised for Akron Children's Hospital during our two-year series partnership and the smiling faces from our volunteers, runners and the spectators today, I think it is safe to say it was another successful year for the Akron Marathon."
Richard Beasley, who was sentenced to death for the murders of three men he lured to a southern Ohio property through a Craigslist Ad for a job, is appealing his sentence to the Ohio Supreme Court. Beasley, who posted the ads from a room he rented in Akron, claims he didn't receive a fair trial because of the pre-trial publicity surrounding the case that made it impossible to select an impartial jury.
Death Sentence for One of Two Craigslist Killers Examined
Richard Beasley was accused in 2011 of using the classified advertising website Craigslist.org to list a job on a farm in southeastern Ohio to lure interested candidates and kill them for their belongings. His case and the trialof his co-defendant, a minor named Brogran Rafferty, attracted national attention. Rafferty was convicted first, in 2012, and sentenced to life in prison. In March of the next year, a jury convicted Beasley for the murders of three men, the attempted murder of another man, and robbery, kidnapping, theft, identity fraud, and weapons offenses. He was sentenced to death.
In State v. Beasley, his appeal directly to the Supreme Court, Beasley argues he didn’t receive a fair trial because a “maelstrom” of pretrial publicity made it impossible to select an impartial jury in Summit County. Representing the state, the Attorney General’s Office maintains that Beasley never presented evidence to the trial court to support this claim, and his case isn’t a rare or extreme one that justifies moving the trial to another location.
Among several other arguments, Beasley also challenges testimony from several witnesses about what the victims and others said to them. Noting his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him, he describes this testimony as hearsay and argues none should have been admitted at trial. The state responds that all the statements qualified as exceptions to the hearsay rule and were properly allowed by the court.
Executive Producer and Director of "The Akron Holy War" Anthony Fanelli spoke with Sam and Brad Thursday to talk about the premiere of the documentary on the high school football rivalry between the Knights and the Fighting Irish on the gridiron.
Fanelli, a 2002 Hoban graduate played in the rivalry and is currently living in California.
The documentary's premiere will take place at the Akron Civic Theatre on Sunday, September 17 at 7pm.
For more information, click here.
The official trailer for the film can be seen below.
UPDATE: The teenaged driver, charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and more in the fatal crash that took two other teens' lives back in July, made her first court appearance in Summit County Juvenile Court Thursday. Her attorney, on her behalf, entered a denial to the charges, the equivalent to a "not guilty" plea in adult court. She has been remanded to the custody of her parents until her next appearance in court on September 12th, at 10:30 a.m.
Akron attorney Adam VanHo, who is representing the girl, says she has never been in trouble with the law, adding that she is remorseful and is having a hard time dealing with the accident that claimed the life of her cousin and another young girl.
On Thursday, the Akron Police Department Traffic Reconstruction Unit has signed off on charges that have been filed against a 16-year-old Akron girl for her part in a fatal accident involving an Akron Fire truck.
According to the police report, the teenager drove through a red light at the intersection of West Exchange Street and South Rhodes Avenue in Akron on July 14th at 3:46 p.m. An Akron Fire truck that was traveling southbound through the intersection slammed into the teen's Chevy Trailblazer. Two girls, a 15-year-old from Akron and a 16-year-old from Tallmadge were killed in the accident.
The teen, whose name hasn't been released, is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular manslaughter, one count of running a red light, vehicular assault, operating a vehicle on a temporary permit without a licensed driver, and operating a vehicle with more than one juvenile passenger, according to Akron Police.
Following the accident, the girl was transported to the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center.
The smokestacks have been partially cut down at the B.F. Goodrich plant on South Main Street for safety reasons, but the remains of the stacks that were trimmed can now be purchased.
The decision to shorten the northern stack came after the City of Akron was told the cost to preserve it would be around $1 Million, in addition to the growing concern for area residents safety as deterioration was causing loose bricks to fall. Demolition took place earlier this year, knocking off nearly 100 feet from the north stack. The bricks from that demolition were preserved and are now available to buy for $50 apiece, limited to three bricks per person.
“While the partial removal of the northern stack was an unfortunate necessity, it creates a unique opportunity for individuals to own a piece of Akron’s rich industrial history,” Mayor Horrigan said in a press release Thursday.
The more than 350 racers who descended on Derby Downs this week for the FirstEnergy All American Soap Box Derby knew they would have to face one another. On Saturday, they also had to contend with Mother Nature.
Two torrential downpours forced rain delays that prompted the cancellation of the annual Mayor's Cup race for VIPs. But by the end of the day, seven new champions were crowned.
Only two Akron area racers cracked the top nine in their respective classes. Savannah Fitzgerald of Portage County finished seventh in the Local Super Stock division while Alexis Slack of Green was the seventh place finisher in the Rally Masters division.
Top finishers in each class:
1 - Cayson Hayes, Southeast Georgia
2 - Emilee Brand, Omaha, Neb.
3 - Logan Sennholtz-Linder, Greater Chicago, Ill.
4 - Ian Jameson, Greater Washington, DC
5 - Connor Bledsoe, Hopkinsville, Ky.
6 - Bryan Johnson, Erie, Pa.
7 - Aaron Eberly, DuBois, Pa.
8 - Allysa Goon, Tullahoma, Tenn.
9 - Halee Jo McDaniel, Owensboro, Ky.
Local Super Stock
1 - Brianna Roth, Liberty, N.Y.
2 - Zander Kokotajlo, Cincinnati, Ohio
3 - Zachary Miller, Culpeper, Va.
4 - Ruben Navarro, Beaumont, Texas
5 - Taylor Williams, Rochester, N.Y.
6 - Riley Joy, Cleveland Area, Ohio
7 - Savannah Fitzgerald, Portage County, Ohio
8 - Cody Ojeda, Silicon Valley, Calif.
9 - Andrew Ream, DuBois, Pa.
1 - Malena Shipley, North Georgia
2 - Ronan Johnson, Silicon Valley, Calif.
3 - Jacob Leonard, Owensboro, Ky.
4 - Owen Lynch, Omaha, Neb.
5 - Christian Fortner, Moss Point, Miss.
6 - Abigail Mills, Valparaiso, Ind.
7 - Samantha Uhler, DuBois, Pa.
8 - Faith Potter, Indianapolis, Ind.
9 - Nikolas Amussen, Fredericksburg, Va.
1 - Aidyn Driggers, Tarrytown, Ga.
2 - Lane Schlafke, Glasgow, Ky.
3 - Jamison Geisler, Palm City, Fla.
4 - Riley Gresko, Las Vegas, Nev.
5 - Sydnie Hill, Lancaster, Ohio
6 - Connor Magnuson, Loves Park, Ill.
7 - Dylan DenHaese, Port Byron, N.Y.
8 - Teagan Lynch, Omaha, Neb.
9 - Logan Dempsey, New Port Richey, Fla.
Rally Super Stock
1 - Celina Murty, Rochester, N.Y.
2 - Karlye Murphy, Hilton, N.Y.
3 - Ava Gamello, Schenectady, N.Y.
4 - Miranda Terry, Milton, W. Va.
5 - Jenna Wolfe, Conneaut, Ohio
6 - Audrey Rains, Hopkinsville, Ky.
7 - Dakota Thomas, Hurricane, W. Va.
8 - Tucker Copeland, Lyons, Ga.
9 - Ashton Stevenson, Hixson, Tenn.
1 - Marlon Wells, Indianapolis, Ind.
2 - Bryanna Plog, Omaha, Neb.
3 - Joshua Ostrander, Rantoul, Ill.
4 - Cameron Burdgick, Schenectady, N.Y.
5 - Matthew Williams, Geneva, Ill.
6 - Lukas Ramey, Hanson, Ky.
7 - Alexis Sklack, Green, Ohio
8 - Aiden Potter, Indianapolis, Ind.
9 - Ryan Chasse, Fremont, N.H.
National Super Kids Classic
1 - Haylee Rodgers, Athens, Tenn.
2 - Jacob Pritchett, Culpepper, Va.
Akron officials are making the case for the proposed 0.25 percent income tax increase that is expected to appear on the ballot later this year. The $16 million projected annual revenue increase will be earmarked for police, fire, and road improvements.
Chief Clarence Tucker of the Akron Fire Department joined Jasen to explain the dismal condition of several of his firehouses, discuss additional needs that could be fulfilled by the added tax revenue, and talk about what his department has done to be fiscally responsible.
The Akron Public Schools announced the elimination of 93 positions Monday, including 31 teachers and 35 tutors. Much of the blame for the layoffs was placed on the merger of Kenmore High School and Garfield High School.
Akron School Board President Patrick Bravo and School Board member Lisa Mansfield joined Jasen Tuesday to talk about what the layoffs will mean for students and whether some of the laid off staff members could still get jobs within the district.
Reaction came fast Thursday to Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan's proposal to raise the city income tax from 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. Akron City Council President Marilyn Keith (D-Ward 8), Budget Committe Chairman Mike Freeman (D-Ward 9), and Councilwoman Tara Mosley Samples (D-Ward 5) joined Jasen to give their thoughts on the plan and respond to concerns raised by the listeners.
Less than one week after a 19-month-old Akron boy overdosed on opioids in his home, and then eventually died as a result, Akron Police are investigating another child overdose.
The latest happened Tuesday night. Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards says officers responded to Akron Children's Hospital where the boy was taken by his mother. He was given NARCAN at the hospital and revived. Last check he was in stable condiiton at the hospital.
Lt. Edwards says the boy's mother told them she left her son with her 5-year-old and 7-year-old daughters outside for just a moment. When she came back outside, the mother noticed her son was stumbling and acting funny. It was when the boy started going in and out of consciousness that she drove him to Akron Children's ER.
No charges have been filed in the case, but while the investigation is ongoing, all three children have been placed in the custody of Summit County Children's Services. Lt. Edwards tells 1590 WAKR that this is a safety precaution as the investigation continues.
A local Akron City Schools teacher is standing up for Akron's own super hero, LeBron James, after his Los Angeles-area home was vandalized last week before the start of the NBA Finals in Oakland.
Jennifer Pennington, an English as a Second Language teacher at Jennings CLC says tells the Jasen Sokol Show that when she heard that someone had spray-painted a racial slur across the outer gate of LeBron's west coast home, she wanted to get the message out that this word shouldn't be used to describe LeBron or anyone for that matter.
"I just kept thinking about it and thinking about it," Pennington said, "and I thought I just want to do this; I want to put some signs up and I want to respond."
And respond she did, with homemade signs that read "Hero" and "Humanitarian" and "Role Model" and more. She pulled up to LeBron's Bath Township home, and with the OK of the security working the property, she put them up outside along the street.
There's been no response from LeBron, who is back home ahead of the NBA Finals Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday against the Warriors; but there's no doubt he's heard about it as Sports Illustrated was one of the first news outlets to run with the story.
The Cavs are down two games to none to the Warriors in the Finals. Game 3 tips off just after 9 p.m. Wednesday night on 1590 WAKR.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber is launching their inaugural Week of Volunteering in and around Akron.
Today through June 7th, the Akron-Tiremaker will deploy more than eleven hundred employees, retirees, and their families out into the community for various volunteer efforts. And it's not just happening in Akron; the company's sent a press release stating their locations in China and Brazil will join the volunteer effort.
Other local participating companies include Akron Children's hospital, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, and more.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Director of Community Engagement Alison White joined the Ray Horner Morning Show Wednesday to discuss the new campaign. Click the link below to hear the entire interview.
Read the full press release from Goodyear below:
- Tiremaker to deploy largest-ever number of associates to volunteer in the community
- Skills-based training offered to non-profit organizations
- Students to job shadow and learn presentation skills from Goodyear associates
AKRON, Ohio, May 30, 2017 – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is hosting a Week of Volunteering to inspire its associates to engage in creating a better future in their communities.
This first-time effort, happening June 1-7, 2017, involves more than 1,100 Goodyear associates, retirees and their loved ones who will provide an estimated 5,700 hours of volunteer service to Akron-area non-profit organizations. Company locations in Brazil and China will join the effort with volunteer activities in their local communities.
The Week of Volunteering builds on the company’s long-standing commitment to caring for communities where Goodyear operates. The company’s corporate responsibility platform – known as Goodyear Better Future - focuses on safe, smart and sustainable community engagement programs that engage associates and create positive community outcomes.
“Volunteerism and community engagement are part of Goodyear’s history and the foundation of our corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Richard J. Kramer, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “The Week of Volunteering represents a step to connect more of our associates with the community and to encourage them to contribute their time, skills and resources on behalf of Goodyear throughout the year.”
Through more than 60 projects, Goodyear volunteers will refurbish a camp for kids, stock community foodbanks, install smoke alarms and educate community members about road safety.
In addition to hands-on volunteer efforts that will have Goodyear associates rolling up their sleeves, the company also is offering skills-based volunteer programs where associates provide their professional skills and expertise to local non-profits. The skills-based training will include Goodyear associates providing IT consulting for non-profits, training middle school students on presentation skills, and engaging K-12 students in job shadowing activities. Non-profit representatives will also be invited to attend professional development workshops delivered by Goodyear experts in areas such as leadership development, career growth for employees and project management.
“This new Week of Volunteering and our growing emphasis on skills-based volunteerism make us excited for what’s ahead,” said Alison White, Goodyear’s director of community engagement. “We’re thrilled to empower our associates to provide their professional expertise to the community, in a way that can help make a sustained and impactful difference.”
Participating organizations in Goodyear’s Week of Volunteering include:
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs about 66,000 people and manufactures its products in 48 facilities in 21 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear’s corporate social responsibility efforts, visit www.goodyear.com/community
Akron Police are looking for 24-year-old Mark E. Clay of Akron and his accomplice on aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and abduction charges.
About 10 o'clock Wednesday morning, according to an Akron Police report, Clay and another man allegedly entered a home on Jason Avenue. The 62-year-old victim, and resident of the home, immediately recognized Clay; she said he's a friend of her son's. The other suspect was reportedly wearing a mask, and the victim was unable to identify him. During the home invasion, Clay and the other suspect allegedly attempted to tie up the victim, and ransacked the home, stealing her cell phone and then fled the house.
Afterwords, the victim walked to a neighbor's home and called police, identifying Clay (pictured). Anyone with information on Clay or the second suspect is asked to call the Akron Police Detective Bureau at 330-375-2490. Tipsters call also call the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-866-4- WANTED;or the Summit County Crimestoppers, Inc. at (330) 434-COPS. You can also text TIPSCO with your tips to 274637 (Crimes). Callers can remain anonymous. Callers can remain anonymous.
A group of tech, business, and design experts spent ten hours Saturday working on some of the pressing issues facing Akron.
By the end of the Hack N Akron hackathon, participants had developed branding for Akron neighborhoods including logos and websites, assembled an online booking system for rooms in Akron's community learning centers, and built an app that can search the city's land parcel data and break it down by usage.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan told the group of volunteers before they started their work that the city intends to utilize the group's work.
Courtney Gras, Executive Director of event organizer Launch League, joined Jasen to talk about what the group accomplished and what they plan to do in future hackathons.
The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force has named Kenneth Lindsey of Akron this week's Fugitive of the Week.
Lindsey is wanted in connection to a murder last week on Pine Knolls Drive. It happened Wednesday morning around 7 a.m. Police say it started as a verbal argument and then Lindsey allegedly shot the victim in the chest.
U.S. Marshals say Lindsey is likely hiding out in the Akron area. They're offering a reward for any information leading to Lindsey's arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to 847411 (tip411). Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.
On Monday, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan proposed legislation that would regulate any potential medical marijuana facilities, including dispensaries or grow houses, within the city limits.
The move is ahead the State of Ohio issuing licenses to businesses for cultivation, processing, testing, and despensing of medical marijuana.
In his proposed regulations, Mayor Horrigan outlines guidelines that restrict any medical marijuana facility operating within 500 feet of a school, church, library, playground, or park, and requires City Council to issue a special conditional use of medical marijuana business before it can operate in the city. The ordinance also implements a melti-step local licensing process and give cart blanche to Akron Police to inspect any medical marijuana facility at any time.
Back in September of 2016, one month after the State of Ohio passed medical marijuana statewide, Mayor Horrigan placed a one-year moratorium on the "issuance or processing of any license, building permit, certificate of occupancy, conditional use or other authorization that would enable the cultivation, processing, or dispensing of medical marijuana within the City of Akron."
A public hearing before Akron City Council regarding the proposed zoning regulation of medical marijuana factilities is scheduled for Monday, May 1.
In front of Akron's top brass, Bridgestone/Firestone executives, and the media, Bridgestone cut the ribbon on the new Akron Data Center Tuesday morning, unveiling a new, re-purposed national IT hub.
The building, located at the Bridgestone Firestone Tech Center on Main St. in Akron, has been there and operational since 1968. Bridgestone is celebrating 17,724 consecutive days of service from that data center, and say that now the center is capable of holding 3,000-times the amount of data from when the first servers were put in place.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan thanked Bridgestone for their commitment to Akron. Bridgestone Chief Information Officer Robert Olds said it was important to the company for this centralized data center, that will combine the operations of five data centers across the U.S. One-hundred and forty employees, in both IT and print, will work out of the data center or remotely through the data center. The environmentally-friendly cooling system was manufactured by Akron-based Air Enterprises, and utilizes outside air to cool the center 70% of the year. The only time mechanical cooling would be required is when the outside temperature reaches above 70 degrees.
With the state licensing process about to get underway for Ohio's medical marijuana facilities, the City of Akron is getting ready to implement rules of its own.
A package of rules unveiled Monday would keep medical marijuana facilities at least 500 feet from any Akron school, park, playground, library, or church. It would also require the facilities to receive approval from City Council to operate and would implement an annual licensing and fee structure.
Ellen Lander Nischt, Assistant Director of Law and spokesperson for the City of Akron, joined Jasen to talk about the proposal and explain that Akron is not trying to regulate the medical marijuana industry out of Akron.
(City of Akron) (Monday), Mayor Horrigan introduced legislation to Akron City Council that would heavily regulate potential medical marijuana facilities in the City of Akron, in anticipation of the State of Ohio’s issuance of licenses to businesses for cultivation, processing, testing, and dispensing of medical marijuana across the State. The proposed regulations would prevent facilities from locating in residential areas, or within 500 feet of a school, church, library, playground, or park, and require Council to issue a special conditional use to a medical marijuana business before it can operate in the City limits. Additionally, the ordinance would implement a multi-step local licensing process and allow the Akron Police to inspect any medical marijuana facility at any time.
In September of 2016, Mayor Horrigan introduced, and Akron City Council passed, a one-year moratorium on the “issuance or processing of any license, building permit, certificate of occupancy, conditional use or other authorization that would enable the cultivation, processing, or dispensing of medical marijuana within the City of Akron.” The moratorium was issued to enable the City to study and review the new Ohio medical marijuana law (H.B. 523) and other applicable zoning, business, and criminal laws and regulations. Today’s ordinance is the result of the City’s careful study of the new Ohio law, and decision to strictly regulate these businesses, should they seek to locate in Akron.
“The Ohio General Assembly established a system to allow Ohio residents to access medical marijuana, with their physician’s recommendation, to treat serious medical conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy,” Mayor Horrigan said. “Recognizing that medical marijuana will now be legal across Ohio, we felt it necessary to enact additional local restrictions that will limit where medical marijuana businesses can locate in Akron and give us greater control over licensing, regulating, and inspecting these facilities to make sure they are being operated in a legal, appropriate, and safe way. The goal of this ordinance is to allow patients to access legal medical treatment while ensuring that these facilities do not have any unwanted impact on our neighborhoods. We will continue to enforce existing criminal laws and will closely monitor the impact of this new law to safeguard the health, safety and vitality of the entire community.”
The City also created a two-page fact sheet outlining the new Ohio law and how it will impact Akron, available at https://goo.gl/Ck0GoJ. A public hearing before City Council regarding the proposed zoning regulation of medical marijuana facilities is scheduled for Monday, May 1, 2017.
Employees at the Greenstar Recycling Center on Exeter Road in Akron made a grisly discovery while sorting through recyclables: a dead body.
The body was found Thursday during the morning shift about 7:30 a.m. at Greenstar on a conveyor belt.
On Friday morning, the Summit County Medical Examiner came back with a positive ID on the body. He has been identified as 52-year-old David Moran of Akron. They are still working to determine the cause of death.
Summit County foreclosed on the Rubber Bowl this week, saying stadium ownership group Team1 Marketing owes nearly $200,000 in back taxes. But one of the partners of Team1 says his group has a plan to not only pay off the back taxes, but bring music festivals to the decaying facility.
Sean Mason would like to see the city assume ownership of the property and lease it back to Team1. That would allow the city to more easily change the property's zoning. Mason says it would also prompt an investor to come on board to assist with the renovation of the stadium, which has gone largely unused since The University of Akron left for Infocision Stadium after the 2008 football season.
Mason joined Jasen to discuss his plan and address the concern held by some that the plan is unfeasible.
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.
If you've been listening to Akron's leaders recently, you've probably heard the phrase "Welcoming City" quite a few times. Mayor Dan Horrigan's latest step toward that label extends the welcome to members of the LGBT community.
Horrigan and Councilman Rich Swirsky (D-Ward 1) proposed a city nondiscrimination ordinance Monday. If passed by City Council, the ordinance would ban discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, gender identity or expresson, sexual orientation, or military status. It would apply in the areas of housing, employment, public accomodations, and city contracts. Exceptions would be made for religious groups and the Akron Public Schools.
While state and federal law already outlaws discrimination against most of the groups covered by Akron's law, it does not include provisions for sexual orientation and gender identity.
Violations of the ordinance would be investigated by a new Civil Rights Commission made up of 5-7 people appointed by the mayor and confirmed by Council. The commission would have the power to penalize those who violate the ordinance.
Horrigan joined The Jasen Sokol Show Monday to discuss the proposed ordinance.
Akron Police are looking for help for a suspect they say punched and then shot a man he was arguing with Saturday morning.
It happened around 2 a.m. inside a home on West Crosier St. According to the police report, John R. Meeks, 28, was involved in an argument with the 41-year-old victim. It turned physical and Meeks allegedly punched the victim in the face. Then, police say, Meeks pulled out a handgun and shot the victim "several times" in the abdomen. Meeks then fled the season.
The victim was later transported to Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital with potential life-threatening injuries. There's been no update on the victim's status.
Meeks is charged with aggravated robbery and felonious assault. Anyone with information on his whereabouts are asked to not approach him and to call 911 immediately.
During his "State of the City" address today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan promised to do more with less, and to continue efforts to revitalize the city of despite continued economic challenges.
Horrigan pointed to action he's taken over the past year to reduce spending on city health care benefits, to increase collection of funds owed to the city, and to cut the cost of the city's massive sewer improvement project, as examples of progress.
He also pledged that support for basic city services such as police, fire, and road maintenance, will remain strong.
The State of the City event also included an appearance from Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, who presented a $50,000 check for a law school endowment to University of Akron President, Matthew Wilson.
The money will be used for scholarships, and was given to the University in honor of former County Executive, Russ Pry, who passed away last year.
The Summit County Medical Examiner has released the identity of the recycling worker who died on the job in Akron last week.
On February 22nd, Eric Russell, 24, reportedly became trapped inside a baler machine at Greenstar Recycling at 1535 Exeter Road in Akron.
It has been ruled an accident. An investigation into how it happened is ongoing.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Rodney Lee Hylton, 49, of Akron, in connection to the home explosion on Courtland Avenue at South Hawkins in Akron last week.
Hylton, who was renting the home on Courtland, is charged with Aggravated Arson and Arson, both felony counts, in the explosion and fire. Hylton was inside the Courtland home at the time of the explosion and has been in the hospital since.
The two counts are because the neighboring home on South Hawkins.
Stay with WAKR.net and 1590 WAKR as more details are revealed.
Billy Patterson, 19, of Akron plead guilty in Summit County Common Pleas Court Tuesday to breaking into his elderly neighbor's home and raping her.
The charges against Patterson were 1st degree felony Rape, Aggravated Burglary, also a first degree felony, and Felonious Assault in the second degree.
The incident in question occured back on September 24, 2016, in the middle of the night. Court documents show Patterson broke into the 71-year-old woman's home, hit her in the face multiple times, and choked here to near unconciousness. Then he proceeded to rape the victim, who she says she'd known for nearly 10 years.
Immediately after his guilty plea, Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Joy Malek Oldfield sentenced Patterson to 15 years in prison. He's also ordered to register as a sex offender with the local sheriff every 90 days after his release from prison.
The City of Akron is teaming up with the Salvation Army for another extension of their Community Table.
Summit Lake will play host to the latest effort to feed more Akron-area individuals and families that need help.
“This program demonstrates what is possible when we work together,” Mayor Horrigan said in a press release. “The City is investing significant energy and resources into lifting up the Summit Lake neighborhood, and we are happy to open our doors to host a hot lunch every day of the week at our Summit Lake Community Center. We thank the Salvation Army for their contribution to improving the lives of our residents and look forward to expanding this partnership to other community locations."
The Summit Lake meals will be offered Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In addition, the Salvation Army of the Akron area continues to offer daily meals at their Barberton and downtown locations.
Anyone looking for more information on the meals or volunteer opportunities can check SalvationArmyAkron.org for details.
It's already a busy week in Akron, as workers began demolition Monday of a portion of the Akron Innerbelt. The work means the intersection of MLK, N. Main, and Howard will be closed for six months. This means visitors to the Northside will have to detour to Summit St. and Furnace St. to access businesses like Luigi's and Jilly's Music Room.
At City Hall, city leaders unveiled their long-term housing plan. The key provision of the plan calls for a tax abatement for home construction.
Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy joined Jasen to address both projects and what they mean for Akronites.
Akron Police looking for the suspect in an attempted robbery of a Dollar Tree store on Vernon Odom Boulevard.
According to the police report the suspect walked in, approached a checkout counter, and demanded the clerk empty the cash register drawer. The clerk refused and the suspect fled with nothing.
The suspect is a black male, between 20 and 25-years-old, about 6 ft. tall, weighing between 160 and 180 pounds. He was wearing a cmouflage hoodie under a navy coat and blue jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to call Akron Police.
If you drive on Interstate 76/77 through Akron, you've seen Summit Lake. But did you know there is only one bench at the lake and it faces away from the lake?
The lack of amenities around Summit Lake could soon change thanks to the Knight Foundation and the Trust for Public Land. An environmental study is getting underway to find out what uses are possible for the lake. Kyle Kutuchief from the Knight Foundation and Matt Schmidt from the Trust for Public Land joined Jasen to talk about what's ahead.
A community meeting to discuss the future of Summit Lake will be held on January 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Summit Lake Community Center.
An Akron City Council committee took time this week to address issues at Oriana House, including a recent fatal overdose. Akron City Councilwoman Tara Mosley Samples and Oriana House Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford joined Jasen to discuss the concerns and how to improve recovery programs in Akron.
A new revision in Ohio state law made it possible for a vacant 92-year-old Akron bungalow to sell for $1 at a sheriff's sale last month.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the home is the first to sell for so little in Summit County since the passage of House Bill 390 last summer.
Under the new "fast-track foreclosure bill," vacant homes can now be sold for less than two-thirds their appraised value at public auctions in Ohio. The bill also decreases the time abandoned can be wrapped up in foreclosure lawsuits to as little as six months, in an effort to eliminate criminal activity or further deterioration.
The winner of the auction on that $1 Akron home was Citizen's Bank, reportedly unchallenged by any other bidder.
The City of Akron issuing a press release, saying it's OK if you have a little more trash than usual around the holidays. They expect residents to have more garbage than usual and say if boxes and excess wrapping paper is not included in the recycling bins they will still pick up the trash. They plan to accomodate the excess pick-up the week of January 3 through the 7th, 2017.
The city adds that if residents are disgarding their Christmas trees, that's OK too.
A reminder that the trash pick-up will be pushed back a day during the holiday week. Christmas is Sunday, December 25, 2016.
See the full press release below:
Akron, Ohio, December 21, 2016 – Effective Tuesday, January 3, 2017 and continuing through Saturday, January 7, the City of Akron Sanitation/Curb Service Division will be permitting residents to place extra trash or recycling, in the form of wrapping paper and boxes alongside their trash or recycling carts, on their normal collection day. "Each year we provide this extra service to our residents after the holidays, most of whom have additional items to discard or recycle,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. "This particular pickup is intended for extra holiday items, like wrappings and boxes, which we realize won't all fit in one or maybe even two trash carts." Following the holidays, the City will also collect residents' holiday trees left alongside trash carts on their normal collection day. As always, customers who wish to put out a larger volume of other household trash are asked to call Akron's 311 Call Center at 3-1- 1 or (330) 375-2311, to pre-schedule one of the three special large pickups allotted each household, each year. Please also note that, due to the holidays, curb service will be on a one-day delay for the next two weeks, with curb service resuming Tuesday through Saturday.
Akron Police have charged 47-year-old Derrick Williams with murder in connection to his mother's death.
Last Thursday police were called to the home of 78-year-old Alaine Williams, where she was found unresponsive by her daugther. In the 911 call, her daughter said it was her brother Derrick that killed their mother. An investigation and autopsy revealed that Alaine died of blunt-force trauma to the head.
Police caught up with Derrick Williams over the weekend, reportedly at the home in Akron. He has been booked in Summit County Jail.
Kerieda Beavers, 22, of Ericsson Avenue in Akron has been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of her boyfriend. Beavers, who will not be eligible for parole for 18 years, was sentenced Friday in Summit County Common Pleas Court by visiting Judge H.F. Inderlied.
On January 9, 2016, Beavers and her boyfriend Tevael Parker got into an argument. Beavers, according to court documents, shot Parker in the head killing him. Parker was 22-years-old. Beavers said she and Parker were together for three years before the shooting. She was convicted by a Summit County jury back on November 23, 2016.
In a statement released Friday, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said, "I am pleased my office was able to secure justice for this victim and his family. I will continue to aggressively prosecute gun violence in our community."