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.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 15:18

AUDIO: GOP Debate Recap

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In what was considered by many to be among the most substantive debates of the year, the nine highest polling Republican candidates for President squared off in Las Vegas with homeland security and the war on terror as the main focus. John Green from the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at The University of Akron talks about his winners and losers and whether the race will change in the wake of the debate.

While all nine candidates got in their talking points on how to keep America safe, not all of them were true. Washington Post fact checker Michelle Lee ran down some of the most requested fact checks. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 17:56

AUDIO: GOP Debate Preview

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The last Republican presidential debate of 2015 is tonight in Las Vegas with nine candidates set to be on the main stage for a debate that is expected to have a heavy focus on homeland security and fighting terrorism. Baldwin Wallace University political science professor Tom Sutton talks about what to expect from the candidates.


Wednesday, 18 November 2015 18:48

AUDIO: Local Reps Address Refugee Crisis

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One of the biggest debates in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris has been whether to accept refugees from Syria. The governors of 32 states have asked the federal government to not place Syrian refugees in their states, and there is speculation that Republicans in Congress may insert language into a key spending bill to block Syrian refugees from being accepted into the United States.

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) believes Ohio Gov. John Kasich made the right decision by calling for Syrians to not be placed in Ohio.

"We need to ensure those coming over have no ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations. We need to have a system in place, we need to be screening." Renacci said. "If we can't do that, we shouldn't just be allowing individuals to come in."

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) sees it differently. While he also wants to make sure terrorists don't enter the country, he says there are safeguards in place to ensure the wrong people don't come in.

"If we don't know something... or we don't know who exactly you are, you don't get in the country," Ryan said.

When asked about the "gaps" in the ability to vet Syrian refugees noted last month by FBI director James Comey, Ryan said a refugee whose information falls into one of those gaps would not gain entry into the United States.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill that would, among other changes, require FBI background checks for refugees. The Associated Press reports President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

Sunday, 15 November 2015 11:31

Football Playoff Venues - Week 13

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It's the third round of the high school football playoffs, and nine local teams have made it this far. Here's a look at who and where they will be playing in week 13:

Division I, Region 1 (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.)

#2 Stow-Munroe Falls vs. #3 Lewis Center Olentangy at Mansfield Senior HS

Division II, Region 3 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#5 Hudson vs. #3 Mayfield at Solon HS

Division II, Region 5 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#1 Perry vs. #3 Worthington Kilbourne at Mount Vernon HS

Division III, Region 7 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#1 Archbishop Hoban vs. #2 St. Vincent-St. Mary at The University of Akron InfoCision Stadium Summa Field

Division IV, Region 11 (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.)

#5 Youngstown Ursuline vs. #3 Crestwood at Ravenna HS

Division V, Region 15 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#1 Columbiana Crestview vs. #3 Canton Central Catholic at Minerva HS

Division V, Region 16 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#1 Milan Edison vs. #6 Chippewa at Brunswick HS

Division VII, Region 23 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#1 Warren JFK vs. #2 Mogadore at Twinsburg HS





Wednesday, 11 November 2015 19:46

AUDIO: What's Next In The Plane Crash Investigation?

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Investigators descended on Ellet Tuesday in the wake of the plane crash that killed nine people aboard a Hawker H25 jet headed for Akron Fulton Airport.

Former FAA investigator Jeff Rich says the National Transportation Safety Board is conducting what is called the "field phase" of the investigation, which could take as long as a week. This first stage begins by making sure that all of the debris is at the crash site. Next, investigators will try to determine the physical characteristics of the plane, including the positions of the landing gear and ailerons.

Within 30 days, the NTSB must issue a preliminary report that includes some basic details about the plane and the crash.

Investigators can move the wreckage to another location once the Medical Examiner's Office has completed its work. Rich says that location could be as close as a hangar at Fulton Airport. 

Rich described the Hawker H25 as an older type of aircraft, but a sturdy one with no known major safety issues.


Jeff Rich analyzes the Ellet plane crash and talks about the next steps in the investigation

Sunday, 08 November 2015 14:18

Football Playoff Venues Announced

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Here's a look at who and where the remaining local high school football teams will play in the second round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association football playoffs.

Division I, Region 1 (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.)

#2 Stow-Munroe Falls vs. #7 Solon at InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field at The University of Akron

Division II, Region 3 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#8 Nordonia vs. #5 Hudson at Bedford Bearcat Stadium

Division II, Region 5 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#1 Perry vs. #5 Dresden Tri-Valley at Dover Crater Stadium

Division III, Region 7 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#1 Archbishop Hoban vs. #5 Louisville at Green Memorial Stadium

#2 St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. #6 West Geauga at Ravenna Portage Community Bank Stadium

Division IV, Region 11 (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.)

#1 Woodridge vs. #5 Youngstown Ursuline at Hudson Memorial Stadium

#7 Parma Hts. Holy Name vs #3 Crestwood at Nordonia Boliantz Stadium

Division V, Region 15 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#2 Sandy Valley vs. #3 Canton Central Catholic at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

Division V, Region 16 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#7 Rossford vs. #6 Chippewa at Huron Kalahari Field

Division VI, Region 19 (Saturday, 7:00 p.m.)

#7 Smithville vs. #6 Cuyahoga Heights at Medina Highland North Gateway Tire Field

Division VII, Region 23 (Friday, 7:30 p.m.)

#2 Mogadore vs #3 Norwalk St. Paul at Medina Ken Dukes Stadium

The rest of the statewide pairings can be found on the OHSAA website.





Thursday, 05 November 2015 17:27

UA Sex Assault Survey

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The University of Akron is sharing results of a survey about sexual assaults.

The survey of over 3,300 students says nearly seven percent of all students, and over 10 percent of female students, reported that they were forced to have sexual contact without consent. That includes time before they came to the university.

Mike Strong with UA's Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE) team says the goal is zero.

"We are working hard. Our goal is zero sexual assaults, zero dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, any of those related behaviors," Strong tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "We have a long way to go, but we're working hard to get there."

The survey also found that there should be more training so bystanders can intervene.

It also said male students need more education on sexual assault myths.

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