Tuesday, 02 February 2016 11:07

TV's "Chicago Med" Turns To Akron Doctor For Help

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Dr. Bruce Cohen at Akron Children's Hospital says he doesn't watch much TV.

But tonight, his knowledge plays a role on the TV show "Chicago Med".

Producers of the medical drama needed some information on mitochondrial disease, and Dr. Cohen is a recognized expert on the topic...so, they gave him a call.

Cohen tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol that show producers asked him some "open ended" questions in a 30 minute phone conversation, but he doesn't know anything about the script or how the episode will turn out.

Dr. Cohen says microcondria is crucial in cells that drive the entire human body's functions, and says mitochondrial disease can show up as early as 3 months after a baby is born, to someone in their 60s.

You can see what TV learned from Dr. Cohen tonight at 9 on NBC (WKYC Channel 3 locally).

Thursday, 28 January 2016 18:05

Black Keys Guests At 2016 Rock Hall Inductions

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They haven't been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - yet - but a popular Akron band will help bring in new Rock Hall inductees this year.

Akron's Black Keys will help induct the 2016 Rock Hall class in April along with Rob Thomas and Lars Ulrich of Metallica. Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, N.W.A. and Steve Miller will go into the Rock Hall this year.

Todd Mesek with the Rock Hall tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol that the Black Keys are influenced musically, like other current bands, by Rock Hall of Famers.

Though there are often performances involving Rock Hall guests, Mesek says things aren't set yet for this year.

The induction will be in New York on April 8th, and will be aired later that month on HBO.

Monday, 25 January 2016 14:32

AUDIO: UA Group Stuck 20 Hours In Blizzard 2016

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Andrew Kustec was determined to march in Washington DC's "March for Life" with the "Students for Life" group from the University of Akron.

He didn't expect to be stuck on a bus in a blizzard.

Kustec says that the group's bus left DC soon after the march, but that wasn't enough.

"We hit heavy snow at about 3 or 4 (PM) in Washington, started getting on the highway," Kustec tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "and the clearing equipment just isn't there for the area."

But greater problems were ahead of them on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

After getting off in the Breezewood area for dinner, Kustec says the bus got back on and headed towards Ohio...but got stuck 30 minutes down the road.

He said there was enough water and snacks to go around all night, and there was even a celebration of Mass for those stuck on the roadway.

20 hours later, the group was back on the way to Akron.

Thursday, 21 January 2016 16:52

AUDIO: Summit Sheriff Ambush Training Shaped By Events

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Events like the killing of a Knox County police officer are shaping officer training in this area.

The Summit County Sheriff's Department is holding ambush training sessions this week.

"The guys out here (at the training session) got together and started reading about nationwide incidents", Sheriff Steve Barry tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "and felt it was definitely necessary to put our people through scenario based training, and they've done a terrific job".

Sheriff Barry says deputies are being trained in scenarios shaped by other incidents, like the Knox County officer killing.

He says he's been through incidents himself, like when he thought a fellow officer was calling out to him...and it turned out to be a suspect who jumped him.

Deputies here say it's not just about making sure they're aware of the situation around them, but it's also about helping keep the public safe.


Kent State University history associate professor Julio Pino has been under investigation for alleged ties to ISIS for the last year and a half, according to a report from student publication The Kent Stater.

An FBI agent told the paper there is no direct threat to the university, and KSU spokesman Eric Mansfield said the university is cooperating with the investigation. No charges have been filed.

Pino denied any wrongdoing or ties to ISIS in a video recorded by KentWired.com.

This is not the first time Pino has been in the headlines. He drew criticism in 2014 for a letter on History News Network blaming "academic friends of Israel" for the murder of over 1,400 Palestinian children. In 2011, Pino shouted "death to Israel" during a presentation on the Kent Campus by former Israeli diplomat Ishmael Khaldi, leading then-university president Lester Lefton to call the outburst "an embarassment to our university."

UPDATE: Kent State university Beverly Warren has issued an official statement to the KSU community in response:


Dear Members of the Kent State Community,

Many of you have heard unsettling news overnight that the FBI has been on our Kent Campus investigating a serious matter. We are cooperating with the FBI, and we have been assured that there is no indication of a threat to campus. As this is an ongoing investigation, it is not prudent to speak further about the case.

We continue to find Julio Pino's comments reprehensible and counter to our core values of civil discourse and respect. As a university, we do not defend his views, and he does not speak on behalf of Kent State or members of our community.

Campus safety continues to be our top priority at Kent State, and we remain committed to providing a safe learning environment for our community.

Beverly Warren
Kent State University

Monday, 11 January 2016 21:48

AUDIO: What's The Future For Chapel Hill?

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Archie the Snowman still stands tall in the Chapel Hill food court, but the mall is melting around him.

Last week, Macy's announced it would close its Chapel Hill location after nearly five decades in business under several now-extinct nameplates. Reports then emerged Friday that Old Navy, Aeropostale, and Express would also be shuttered over the next few weeks.

Sue Walton of Crain's Akron Business believes the future is bleak for Chapel Hill. Anchor stores such as Macy's serve as the big draw for malls, Walton says, and Sears and JCPenney tend to be lesser draws than Macy's. Walton also believes online shopping and low-price stores such as TJ Maxx have hurt business at malls nationwide.

While another Akron-area mall appears to be headed for decline, a retail trend that has yet to rise in Akron is the lifestyle center, which incorporates retail with residences and office space. Walton says centers like Crocker Park and Legacy Village represent shoppers' desire for a destination experience that is new and fresh.

What was the last message you sent to or received from the people you love? The answer may be an eye opener.

15-year-old Emily Trunko of Copley created a Tumblr page dedicated to those last messages. "The Last Message Received" features reader-submitted screenshots of the last messages they received from loved ones who died as well as ex-friends and significant others. Since launching in November, the site has gone viral, garnering attention from national news outlets including The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and Huffington Post. Trunko has also inked a deal for a book based on the site.

Emily talked to The Jasen Sokol Show about her site:


Monday, 04 January 2016 19:06

AUDIO: Trying To Make Sense Of Browns Moves

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What is Jimmy Haslam thinking?

That's the question on the minds of Browns fans today in the wake of the expected firings of Browns head coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer and the unexpected promotion of general counsel Sashi Brown to Executive Vice President of Football Operations with final say over the 53-man roster.

Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald and The Morning Journal and Ty Schalter of Bleacher Report both joined The Jasen Sokol Show to try to explain the promotion and the decision to hire a head coach before a general manager.

Thursday, 17 December 2015 15:49

Sommerville: Rolling Acres Revamp Should Bring Jobs

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Outgoing Akron city planning director Marco Sommerville isn't leaving City Hall next year.

He'll fill a new role as Deputy Mayor for Intergovermental Affairs, and serve as a senior advisor to new mayor Dan Horrigan. He says Horrigan "likes to listen more than he likes to talk".

One issue that'll be on the city's plate is the long-vacated Rolling Acres Mall, no matter if it's finally sold, or goes back to the city.

Whatever happens, Sommerville says the main priority for the former mall is to bring in new jobs.

"We in the city are landlocked as far as land, there's not a lot of land left in the city of Akron," Sommerville tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "And if we could have that land to develop it for jobs, that would be priority number one."

Sommerville says he'd like to see light industrial space or office space at the former mall site.

But he says the city will have to work with the owners of space once taken by the mall's former department stores. Those buildings won't be directly involved in any sale or sheriff's sale of the main part of mall itself.

Jason Segedy is getting ready to make the move from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) to the cabinet of incoming Akron mayor Dan Horrigan.

Akron's new planning director has put forth a lot of ideas before being hired for Horrigan's cabinet.

Segedy says that those ideas helped him to get hired, but he's practical as well.

"They want someone in the cabinet that can kind of 'dream big', and I like to think that I'm a doer as well," Segedy tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "So, I try to do the pragmatic part of it too."

Segedy says he wants to bring people who come back to the area after leaving, back to Akron itself.

"We do get a lot of people who 'bounce back' to the area, that grow up here, move somewhere for a while and come back," Segedy says. "And I'd like to see the city do more to try to get them to maybe choose Akron over another community the region."

Segedy says he wants to help regrow Akron's shrinking population, and says he wants to end the "rust belt" population loss narrative.

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