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.

Monday, 02 November 2015 18:20

AUDIO: Akron Mayoral Candidates Make Final Pitch

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In less than 24 hours, the polls will open for Akronites to elect their first new long-term mayor in nearly three decades. Republican candidate Eddie Sipplen and Democratic candidate Dan Horrigan talked to The Jasen Sokol Show about their experiences on the campaign trail, the sewer issue, and who they think is underrepresented in city government.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015 14:52

Meet the Candidates: Akron Municipal Court

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Dave Lombardi and Jon Oldham are running for the Akron Municipal Court bench currently occupied by Lombardi. Both candidates talked to Jasen about their qualifications and their ideas for the court.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 14:43

Meet the Candidates: Stow Muni Court Clerk

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The race for Stow Municipal Court clerks has been among the most hotly contested local races of the year. Democrat Diana Colavecchio, independent Kevin Coughlin, and Republican Don Robart all sat down with Jasen to talk about their ideas for the court and the highly negative tone of the campaign.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 17:43

Akron Independent Candidate Bill Melver Lays Out Vision

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The two major party candidates for Akron mayor squared off in a debate this week.

There's another candidate who wasn't there - Bill Melver, who is running as an independent in November against Democrat Dan Horrigan and Republican Eddie Sipplen.

Melver says he wants to help stem Akron's population loss by more promotion of the things Akron has to offer.

"Those who are contemplating moving out of the city," Melver tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol, "they are passing up a great opportunity to make a quality of life living right here in Akron."

He says current leaders do a "lackadasical" or poor job highlighting the city's strengths.

Melver points to his years working at GE under former CEO Jack Welch, and says asking what Welch would do would be a guide for him.

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