The addition of girls to Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts was controversial when it was announced, and the controversy erupted again when it was announced last week that the Boy Scouting program for middle and high-school aged children would change its name to "Scouts BSA" starting in 2019.

The Great Trail Council, which oversees Boy Scout programs in Greater Akron and Greater Youngstown, will begin accepting girls into the Cub Scout program on June 1. Girls will be allowed into what is now known as the Boy Scouts next year. Scout Executive/CEO Pat Scherer joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about how they plan to keep boys and girls separate in the program and discuss whether the council is ready to have girls join the ranks. 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Friday, 13 April 2018 13:46

Area Runners Prepare for Boston Marathon

Several hundred runners from Ohio will be among the more than 30,000 taking part in this year's Boston Marathon. Jasen talked to second time Boston runner Scott Hinkle of Loudonville and first time Boston entrant Lindsey Beachy of Glenmont about what it takes to qualify for the big race, getting the official word from Boston, and their experience in getting ready to run one of the most famous races in the world.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Friday, 06 April 2018 14:23

Indians, Fans Ready For Opening Day

The Cleveland Indians are getting ready for their Opening Day game against the Kansas City Royals  at the corner of Carneige and Ontario

 Communications Coordinator Curtis Danburg spoke with Jasen Sokol, Sam Bourquin, and Brad Russell about the promotions schedule and his views on Opening Day.

Chef Todd Brazile stopped by as well to talk about the latest ballpark food coming to Progressive Field this season.

 

Former Indians pitcher Chad Ogea also joined the program talking about his memories of Opening Day and his thoughts on the current Indians ballclub.

 

U.S. Senator and lifelong Tribe fan Sherrod Brown also spoke with the gentlemen in Booth 6 to talk about his memories of Opening Day and his thoughts on this year's team.

 

Voice of the Tribe Tom Hamilton spoke with the fellas as well about some of his favorite Opening Day memories.

 

Tribe writer Zack Meisel spoke as well about the team's start and the return of Michael Brantley to the lineup.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 04 April 2018 16:43

AUDIO: Drug Bust Nets 140 Pounds Of Meth

In what is believed to be the largest meth bust in Ohio history, authorities confiscated 140 pounds of methamphetamines last month from a warehouse in Boston Heights.

Three men, including one from Cleveland and two from Mexico, are in custody facing charges of conspiracy to posess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Keith Martin, Assistant Special Agent In Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration, talked to Jasen about the bust, a recent large heroin bust on Route 8, their connections to Mexican drug cartels, and how the drugs continue to flow into our area.

 

Published in Local

"Slow down to go faster."

As a fan of auto racing, I've heard that phrase a lot. Don't be so aggressive on certain parts of the race track and your lap times will actually get faster. It turns out the same is true in running.

Over the last couple of weeks, Akron Marathon race director Brian Polen has been slowly adding more running to the run/walks in my training program. At first, I was running as fast as I could for the one minute at a time. Needless to say, "fast as I could" wasn't so fast by the end. For the first mile or so I felt fine, but after that I would notice my running pace falling off. By about the 1.5 mile marker, my walking pace was completely gone as well. As the two mile mark approached, I wasn't sure how I was going to get to the end of the workout.

It took a few times running myself into the ground to realize that I had better back off my pace a bit so I could make it as far as I was supposed to go. But once I did, not only did I feel better but I saw noticeable improvement in my overall pace.

Lt. Dan wasn't lying

In the film Forrest Gump, Lt. Dan reminds Forrest and Bubba about the importance of socks. He was talking about the Vietnam War, of course, but I've found that socks really do make a big difference in running too. When I was trying on shoes at Vertical Runner of Wooster, I couldn't get anything to fit right and not slide around too much until I had on compression socks. There are a bunch of different brands, but the best ones are designed to help people avoid blisters and wick away moisture. The ones I bought cost around $15 per pair, but it was worth it. 

Better with friends

In talking to people about my plan to run the Akron Half Marathon, I frequently hear things like "how can you run for that long by yourself? won't it get boring?"

I can't answer that question yet, but I can tell you it's a lot more fun when you get to run with other people. I did my longest workout yet (3.5 miles) with Brian Polen and Lauren Toole from the Marathon staff. Being able to talk with people during the run helped me forget how much work was ahead of me, and I actually felt better than I had at the end of most of my runs in spite of the distance.

Not too late to start

If you still want to get involved with this year's Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series but haven't started training yet, that's okay! This is week one of the Blue Line Beginners program for 2018, and the workouts consist only of 15-20 minute walks, run/walks, or runs. The group will be meeting Saturday at 8:00 a.m. at Botzum Trailhead, 2928 Riverview Road, Akron, for their weekly group run. Members of the Akron Marathon staff are usually in attendance, and there are frequent guest speakers to address various topics related to running.

Follow Jasen's journey on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Strava. For more information or to register for the races, go to www.akronmarathon.org.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Friday, 30 March 2018 12:16

AUDIO: 1590 WAKR Opioid Roundtable

Did you miss 1590 WAKR's Opioid Roundtable? If so, you missed a great conversation featuring some of the people who are making a difference on the opioid epidemic in our area, including:

  • Travis Bornstein - Hope Is Alive
  • Denny Wilson - FI Community Housing
  • Greg McNeil - Founder, Cover 2 Resource
  • Deborah Foster-Koch - Executive Director IBH
  • Jerry Craig - Summit County ADM Board
  • Raynard Packard - Packard Institute
  • Darryl Brake - Summit County Community Partnership
  • Kelly MacMullin - Summa Health
  • Barberton Police Chief Vincent Morber
  • Elliot Kolkovich - Summit County Prosecutor’s Office

You can hear the entire roundtable, plus bonus interviews from the Jasen Sokol Show, in the playlist below.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 17:45

AUDIO: Blue Line Beginners Set For Year Two

It started as a Beacon Journal project, became a year-round organization, and is now ready to welcome its next batch of running newbies.

Blue Line Beginners will hold its first meeting of 2018 for new members on Saturday, March 31 at 11:00 a.m. at the Main Branch of the Akron Summit County Public Library in Downtown Akron. The organization, founded by Beacon Journal reporter Paula Schleis, aims to take people who have never run a race before and train them to run the races of the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. 

Schleis and Akron Marathon Race Director Brian Polen joined Jasen to talk about the program and how just about anyone can get involved.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol

I'm well into my second week of training for the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. While I'm nowhere near ready to hit the Blue Line yet, I've already made a few observations:

  • The right pair of shoes helps. Brian Polen, the race director for the Akron Marathon and my running coach, brought me to his store to get fitted for a proper pair of running shoes. At Vertical Runner of Wooster, Brian was able to watch how I walk and recommend shoes that would correct my stride. That said, if you have a pair of athletic shoes already you have all you need to get started. Which brings me to my next point...
  • Just get moving. I had to tell myself that a few times this week. To say the weather this week was less than ideal is an understatement. I've only had one workout so far that didn't involve snow or ice. It's been in the 30s or lower for most of the last week. But if you wear a few layers, the cold isn't so bad. I figure I'll be missing this weather when it's 90 degrees in August.
  • Start slow. Slow and steady might not win the race, but I'm just trying to get to the finish line so I'm fine with that! I have yet to do a workout that actually involves running. Instead, Brian has me doing brisk walks at increasing distances. Despite that, my pace is still getting quicker each time out.
  • We're lucky to be in Akron. I live halfway up a pretty steep hill, so my options for places to run close to home that don't involve a ridiculous climb are a bit limited. Luckily we have the Towpath Trail, the jogging trail in the Sand Run Metro Park, and a bunch of other great places to run in Akron that are not only less hilly, but also absolutely beautiful.

We're less than 200 days away from the Akron Marathon, but that doesn't mean it's too late to get started on your own Blue Line journey! One of the cool things about the Akron Marathon Race Series is that they have different distances at different races throughout the summer, so if a half marathon or a relay leg seems too daunting you can start with something as short as a 1 mile and work your way up from there.

The week ahead: Two more brisk walks at longer distances... hopefully with less snow!

Follow Jasen's journey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Strava. For more information or to register for the races, go to www.akronmarathon.org.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 14 March 2018 14:49

AUDIO: After #Enough Walkout, What's Next?

Thousands of students across the country walked out of their classrooms Wednesday morning to call for a variety of school safety measures in the wake of the deadly shooting in Parkland, Fla. last month. Now that the children have spoken, what will the adults do?

Lisa Mansfield, member of the Akron School Board, joined Jasen to share her thoughts on the walkout she attended at Firestone CLC and talk about what the board is doing to address school security:

Jasen also sat down with Rosie Craig from the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and Dean Rieck of the Buckeye Firearms Association to talk about what they think should and should not be done to avoid another school shooting.

Published in Jasen Sokol

For the last three years, I've been the announcer for several of the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series events. It's become something I look forward to every year, but there has always been one thing about it that has been awkward for me:

I've never actually run a race.

Not a marathon, not a half marathon, not even a 5k. But that's about to change.

Brian Polen, the race director for the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, told me after last year's Goodyear Half Marathon and 10k that he wanted to see me run some races this year. I've never been one to jump at the opportunity to work out, but for some reason I said I would. When the weather began to warm up, Brian decided it was time for me to begin my training.

Over the next six months, I'll be preparing to run the National Interstate 8k in June, the Goodyear 10k in August, and the FirstEnergy Akron Half Marathon in September. I'll still be announcing the June and August races and covering the marathon for 1590 WAKR in September, so I'll be running each course about a week before the actual race. Brian has put together a complete training plan for me, and I'll be visiting Vertical Runner of Wooster (which is owned by Brian and his wife Tammy) soon to get all the gear I need to put the plan into action.

I'll be documenting this journey through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Strava, and here on WAKR.net, and I'd love for you to join me! While you may have an idea of what a runner looks like, I've learned that there really is no one type of runner. People of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels challenge the Blue Line each year and achieve their goals. I'll be taking part in this year's Blue Line Beginners program, and I hope I'll get to call your name when you cross the finish line this summer.

For more information or to register for the races, go to www.akronmarathon.org.

Brian Polen joined The Jasen Sokol Show on Monday to talk about turning Jasen into a runner

Published in Jasen Sokol

Since the school shooting Wednesday in Parkland, Fla. that claimed the lives of 17 people, many people are searching for a solution to the problem of gun violence. But the political debate over mass shootings is often approached with cynicism after years of gridlock on the issue.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, a Republican candidate for Governor, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined Jasen on Monday to give their ideas on how to reduce the chances of a school shooting happening again.

Published in Jasen Sokol

It's been a week of turmoil in professional fastpitch softball. The future of the Akron Racers has been questioned after the removal of General Manager Joey Arrietta and reports that majority owner Craig Stout has partnered with a Chinese group to bring in a group of players from China to fill a significant portion of the team's roster.

On Thursday, the Beacon Journal reported that the team will become the Cleveland Comets under new general manager Stephen Dunn. NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf said in an interview Thursday there was "nothing (she) could do to validate that rumor."

The shakeup has also extended to Texas, where the Scrap Yard Dawgs announced they would not play in National Pro Fastpitch this season. They were later formally dismissed from NPF.

Kempf joined the Jasen Sokol Show for an in-depth discussion of the future of pro softball in Akron:

Published in Jasen Sokol

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.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Friday, 19 January 2018 12:32

Kucinich Picks Samples as Running Mate

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich has picked Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples as his running mate.
 
The two will face a crowded field in the May primary, including former federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director, Richard Cordray and his running mate, former Ohio Congresswoman Betty Sutton, Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O'Neil, whose running mate is Chantelle E. Lewis of East Cleveland, former State Rep. Connie Pillich and running mate Marion Mayor Scott Schertzer, and State Senator Joe Schiavoni, and his running mate, Stephanie Dodd.
 
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who had previously announced she was running for Governor, dropped out of the race last week, pledging her support to Richard Cordray.
 
Kucinich is well-known statewide as a result of his high-profile years as Mayor of Cleveland, as well as his time in Congress from 1997-2003. He also ran for President in 2004 and 2008.
 
Samples has represented Ward 5 on Akron City Council since 2013. 
 
Kucinich and Samples joined The Jasen Sokol Show for their first radio interview after the announcement:

Editor's note: A previous version omitted the names of Connie Pillich and Scott Schertzer.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 14:24

AUDIO: Tony Mansolino Named RubberDucks Manager

There's a new head Duck in Akron.

The Cleveland Indians named Tony Mansolino the new manager of the Akron RubberDucks in an announcment released Wednesday. Mansolino, who served as the RubberDucks' hitting coach in 2015, has spent the last two seasons managing Indians single-A affiliate Lake County (2016) and advanced-A Lynchburg (2017).

Mansolino joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about the move and what to expect from the RubberDucks this season.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:42

AUDIO Husted/Helle Discuss Voter Suit

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted appeared on the Jasen Sokol Show Thursday to talk about being named in a lawsuit regarding the trimming of voters from the rolls.

Oak Harbor Mayor Joe Helle, who was removed from the voter rolls, also spoke about the issue with Jasen.

 

For more information on this ongoing story, click here. 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Saturday, 06 January 2018 14:01

PHOTOS: Fans Protest Browns at 0-16 Parade

The bitter cold Cleveland weather didn't deter several thousand disgruntled Browns fans from converging outside FirstEnergy Stadium to show their displeasure with the 2017 season at the Perfect Season Parade 2.0.

Cleveland Police estimated the crowd at 2,500 to 3,200 people with no arrests made. Dozens of trucks and party buses normally seen at pregame tailgate parties participated in the parade. Organized by Browns fan Chris McNeil, better known by his Twitter handle @Reflog_18, the event also raised funds and collected canned goods for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Check out some of the best floats and signs from the Perfect Season Parade:

 

#PerfectSeasonParade

A post shared by Jasen Sokol (@jasensokol) on

Browns players Emmanuel Ogbah and Danny Shelton took to Twitter to criticize the parade attendees.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Monday, 11 December 2017 15:09

AUDIO: Downtown Akron Plan Unveiled

The City of Akron and the Downtown Akron Partnership have unveiled their Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan. It's a comprehensive plan to overhaul Downtown Akron, with the addition of street-level retail, business, residences, and infrastructure designed to connect the current hotspots of Downtown while maintaining the historic character of the neighborhood. 

Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy and Downtown Akron Partnership President and CEO Suzie Graham joined Jasen for an in-depth look at the plan and to talk about how long it may take for the ideas to come to fruition.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 17:38

AUDIO: Falls Pols Sound Off On Controversial Hire

A Beacon Journal report about the hiring of Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters' 2013 campaign manager to a job her supervisor says she isn't qualified for.

Parks and Recreation Assistant Superintendent Megan Moreland collects a $90,000 annual salary, and it's reported that her benefits package pushes her total compensation to nearly $130,000. But according to the Beacon Journal, Parks and Recretation Director Ed Stewart says he didn't want to hire her and that she isn't qualified for the job.

Cuyahoga Falls City Councilmen Adam Miller and Vic Palotta discussed their concerns on The Jasen Sokol Show on Tuesday. Walters joined the show Wednesday to respond.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Monday, 06 November 2017 15:40

AUDIO Foodbank CEO Responds To ABJ Column

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank CEO Dan Flowers joined Monday's edition of The Jasen Sokol Show to respond to a column by Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com columnist Bob Dyer about policies at the Foodbank that some may find controversial.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Saturday, 04 November 2017 12:26

AUDIO: Know Your Ballot

Election Day is Tuesday, and while it hasn't garnered as much attention as a presidential or midterm year, there are still many important races on Akron area ballots this year. The Jasen Sokol Show has talked to many of the key candidates and representatives from the hotly contested ballot issues over the last few weeks. If you missed any of the interviews, you can find them below.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 16:32

AUDIO: Zips Football Off To Hot MAC Start

It took a bit longer than the Zips would have liked, but Akron beat Western Michigan 14-13 on Sunday to improve to 3-0 in MAC play. The game was delayed from Saturday after rain flooded Western Michigan's stadium. The win leaves Akron just two wins away from bowl eligibility with six games to play.

Akron head coach Terry Bowden joined Jasen to talk about the game, the challenges involved with a postponed game, and this week's game against Toledo at the Glass Bowl.

Published in Jasen Sokol

A couple from Akron was among the thousands at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500.

Angella Rose was listening to country artist Jason Aldean's performance when she heard rapid fire gunshots ring out. She and her husband first took cover by laying down on the bleachers before fleeing the festival area. Both escaped unhurt, and Angella posted videos of the scene to her Facebook page.

Rose joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about her experience.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:44

AUDIO: Talking To The Akron Marathon Champions

It was a hot morning Saturday for the 15th running of the Akron Marathon, but four runners beat the heat and their competition to emerge victorious.

Marathon winners Blair Teal and Emma McCarron and half marathon winners Kevin Castille and Liz Weiler talked to Jasen after breaking the tape.

Jasen also talked to men's marathon runner up and Akron native Verrelle Wyatt, whose hometown pride was on display as he wore a "just a runner from Akron" t-shirt on the course and screamed "Akron!" as he crossed the finish line.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 12:55

AUDIO: Tribe GM Mike Chernoff Joins Jasen

It's been an incredible ride for the Indians this year, and one of the architects of it all joined Jasen live from Progressive Field Wednesday.

Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff joined Jasen to talk about the Tribe's winning streak, the acquisition of Jay Bruce, and the timetable for injured players Andrew Miller, Jason Kipnis, and Michael Brantley.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 12:45

AUDIO: Jasen Talks To Indians Drummer John Adams

For more than 40 years, Indians fans have heard the beat of John Adams' bass drum at nearly every Indians game.

Adams first drummed at an Indians game on August 24, 1973 at the old Municipal Stadium. He joined the Jasen Sokol Show ahead of the Indians' run at a 21st consecutive victory to talk about the Tribe's remarkable run and share some of his stories of four decades in the Cleveland bleachers.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is technically the home track for NASCAR Xfinity Series driver and Hinckley native Matt Tifft. But until just a few weeks ago, he had never even seen the place.

Tifft, who will drive the #19 Akron Community Foundation Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in Saturday's Mid-Ohio Challenge, said he played the video game iRacing.com and will race in a Trans Am race to learn the track. He missed last year's race while undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. 

Now back on the track and running his first full Xfinity Series season, Tifft is currently seventh in the championship standings. He plans to work with the Akron Community Foundation to help build awareness for brain tumor research.

Tifft joined Jasen to talk about Saturday's race, his partnership with the Akron Community Foundation, his recovery from the brain tumor, and racing against drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 17:30

AUDIO: Tom Patton Launches Bid For Congress

The race to replace Rep. Jim Renacci in Congress is heating up.

State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) announced he's entering the race for the Republican nomination for the 16th Congressional District. Patton currently serves as Majority Whip in the General Assembly. He also served in the State Senate from 2008-2016. He'll face State Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) in the GOP primary.

Patton joined Jasen to talk about why he's running and share his ideas on health care and the economy.

Published in Jasen Sokol

Sen. Rob Portman was seen as one of the Senators whose vote was in play during the Senate's debate over health care. He ultimately voted yes on the so-called "skinny repeal" bill that failed to pass, and still believes the health care bill known as Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced. He joined Jasen on Tuesday to talk about where Congress goes next on health care. He also talked about a bill he proposed that would allow websites such as Backpage.com to be held liable in cases of human trafficking that involve their websites.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The Senate's failure to pass a health care bill last week left people wondering what will happen to the health care system in America. Will the health care bill commonly known as Obamacare be repealed and replaced with something else? Will it merely be changed? Will Republicans and Democrats be able to work in a bipartisan fashion to improve health care?

Rep. Jim Renacci stopped by The Jasen Sokol Show on Monday to answer those questions, talk about why Republicans couldn't get a bill passed, and talk about what Congress will focus on next.

Published in Jasen Sokol

"Race car drivers aren't athletes."

I hear that one all the time. I know better because I've been a race fan my whole life. And I'm almost certain none of the people who say it have ever been in a race car at speed before.

Thursday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, I had that opportunity.

Thanks to the Pirelli World Challenge and K-PAX Racing, I was able to get in the passenger seat of a McLaren GT two seater with pro driver Bryan Sellers at the wheel as part of the runup to the series' two races at Mid-Ohio this weekend. It was one wild ride.

Sellers says the car gets up to about 160 mph in the high speed portions of the Mid-Ohio road course. But you don't really feel the speed until you're under braking. The rapid deceleration ahead of the corners slams you forward into your seatbelt and really makes you appreciate just how fast you were going.

We only took one lap but I got out of the car exhausted and drenched in sweat, the G-forces and heat taking their toll in less than two minutes. It was an experience I'll never forget.

Check out video of Jasen's ride and an interview with driver Bryan Sellers:

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:41

AUDIO: Jay Brophy Reacts To New CTE Study

A new study of the brains of more than 200 former football players finds almost all of them show signs of the brain disease known as CTE.

The study, led by Boston University neuroscientist Dr. Ann McKee, doesn't confirm that CTE is common among football players. But the percentage of brains studied that had CTE went up with the level of play.

1590 WAKR football analyst Jay Brophy, who played at the University of Miami and with the Miami Dolphins, joined Jasen to talk about the study, what football teams and leagues are doing to combat brain injury, and what high school teams should be doing to protect young players.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The All American Soap Box Derby is this Saturday at Derby Downs. But it isn't all American. 

Two champs from New Zealand will join competitors from Canada and Japan among the more than 350 racers taking to the hill. Maddie Pester will compete in the Masters division, while Kaythi Finn will race in the Super Stock class.

Pester, Finn, 2016 International Division champion Sam Pester, and New Zealand team member Caitlin Pester joined Soap Box Derby President and CEO Mark Gerberich on The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about making it to Akron, what they're looking forward to doing off the track, and how they're preparing for the big race.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 19 July 2017 17:26

AUDIO: Tim Ryan Talks Health Care

Now that the Republican health care bill has died in the Senate, many are wondering if GOP congressmen will reach across the aisle to try to get a bill passed and whether Democrats will work with them. Jasen talked to Rep. Tim Ryan Wednesday about what parts of health care reform he would be willing to work on with Republicans and what can be done to reduce the sticker price of health care.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The Senate health care bill fizzled out Monday after two more senators announced they wouldn't support it, bringing the total to four and leaving Republicans with less than 50 senators who would vote yes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then announced that he would put forward a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act after a two year transition period.

Rep. Jim Renacci joined Jasen Tuesday to give his thoughts on the health care bill, why he will support a repeal bill in the House, and what should be done to fix the health care system.

Published in Jasen Sokol

It hasn't exactly been a secret that Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is planning a run for Governor. But she officially launched her campaign Friday in a City Club Forum in Cleveland. She joined Jasen on Monday to talk about the campaign and her ideas on the opiate crisis, jobs, and education.

Published in Jasen Sokol

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.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 16:31

AUDIO: APS Board Members Talk Layoffs

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.

Published in Jasen Sokol

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.

Published in Jasen Sokol

Greg McNeil from Cover2 Resources hopes test strips that detect fentanyl in heroin will soon be as available as Narcan and needle exchanges.

Inspired by a similar program in New York City, McNeil is working with the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County to implement a pilot program in the Cleveland area. The strips, which cost around $1, only detect fentanyl but a similar strip to detect carfentanil is in the works.

McNeil joined Jasen to talk about the program.

Published in Jasen Sokol

There is no shortage of ideas about what to do with the land opened up by the removal of part of Akron's Innerbelt. An event held this weekend at Kent State University helped to work through some of those ideas.

A design charette, defined by Merriam-Webster as "the intense final effort made by architectural students to complete their solutions to a given architectural problem in an allotted time or the period in which such an effort is made," drew architects, designers, and community stakeholders to work on concepts for the soon vacant plot of land. Architect Craig Thompson said he hopes to have similar gatherings in Akron neighborhoods soon to gauge how the community wants the land used.

Thompson joined Jasen to discuss what the charette participants came up with.

Published in Jasen Sokol

We're more than five months away from Election Day, but one ballot issue is already gaining attention and filling up the airwaves.

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act would require the state to pay no more than what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for prescription drugs. It would affect state agencies that purchase prescription drugs including Medicaid, the Department of Health, retirement plans, prisons, and workers compensation.

Dennis Willard, spokesman for Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices, joined Jasen to speak in favor of the ballot issue while Dale Butland of Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue presented the opposition.

Published in Jasen Sokol

There's another local candidate in the race for Secretary of State.

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) announced her candidacy earlier this week. She joined The Jasen Sokol Show on Friday to talk about her decision to run and the changes she plans to make if she's elected. 

Published in Jasen Sokol

The large field of contenders for Governor got larger Monday with the announcement that Nan Whaley will run for the office.

Whaley, who has served as Mayor of Dayton since 2014, joined Jasen on Tuesday to talk about why she decided to run, some of the issues she'll run on, and how she plans to set herself apart from an already crowded field of candidates.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The 2018 gubernatorial race is heating up as another Republican contender has entered the race.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced his candidacy late Saturday night with a video posted to his social media accounts. On Monday, he joined Jasen to talk about his decision to run for Governor and some of the issues he'll run on.

Published in Jasen Sokol

It's the first Saturday in May, and that means it's time for the Run for the Roses. 20 horses will go to the post at what is expected to be a rainy Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Classic Empire is the favorite at 4-1, but the possibility of a sloppy track has the experts looking for a mudder.

Rich Ruda, track handicapper for JACK Thistledown Racino, and Max Barton, executive director of the Canton Museum of Art and a longtime owner of racehorses, joined Jasen to share their picks and how they'll play the Derby.

Published in Jasen Sokol

Maurice Clarett knows what it's like to be on the inside. He's using that experience to try to reform the system.

Clarett, who helped Ohio State to the 2002 BCS National Championship while a running back for the Buckeyes, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for robbery and concealed weapons charges in 2006. After he was released early in 2010, he became a motivational speaker and is working with substance abuse recovery organizations in his native Youngstown.

On Wednesday, Clarett will return to Columbus for an event sponsored by the U.S. Justice Action Network in support of two criminal justice reform initiatives. Senate Bill 66 would widen eligibility for substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration, while an element of Gov. John Kasich's state budget proposal would allow for more funding to house nonviolent, first-time offenders in community-based facilities instead of prison. 

Clarett joined Jasen to talk about changes he would like to see made in the criminal justice system.

Published in Jasen Sokol

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.

Published in Jasen Sokol

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.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The University of Akron formally introduced John Groce as its new Head Basketball Coach Thursday. Groce, who previously served as Head Coach at Illinois and Ohio, inherits a team that won 27 games in 2016-17 under Keith Dambrot before he left for Duquesne.

Groce joined Jasen shortly after his introduction to talk about his plans for Zips Basketball.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Page 1 of 3