Wednesday, 20 September 2017 18:21

AUDIO Bret Treier Talking Akron Marathon Course

It's right around the corner, and with the forecast calling for some steamy weather, the Akron Marathon will be ready to roll on Saturday.

Akron Marathon Course Committee Co-Chairman and Board member Bret Treier joined Sam and Brad in studio to talk about this year's race including some of the changes coming to the course due to construction. 

"The thing we're most excited about this year is we're going back to Firestone Park," Treier said. "We had the race there traditionally, a couple years ago we did to not go down south to Firestone Park due to heavy construction on Brown and Main both."

 The race is in it's 15th year, and is sponsored by Akron Children's Hospital and FirstEnergy.

For more information on Saturday's race, click here. 

 

Published in Sam and Brad

A fire in an electrical vault underneat the Everett Building located at 39 E. Market Street in downtown Akron lead to about 220 FirstEnergy customers sitting without power for about an hour Monday morning. 

According to Akron Fire Department, the fire started just before 7:30 Monday morning. As Akron Fire crews responded, FirstEnergy was called to the building to shut off power. Due to heavy smoke, Mark Durbin with FirstEnergy says crews could not access the vault to shut off power. They were forced to de-energize the nearest substation, which in turn shut off power to roughly 220 downtown FirstEnergy customers, Durbin says. 

As of 10:30 a.m., power to those most all of those customers had been restored. Durbin said power at the Everett Building and two nearby buildings was still affected at that time. 

Akron Fire was still on the scene as of 11:30 a.m., Monday, and power to the Everett Building had not yet been restored. 

Meanwhile, Akron Municipal Court offices closed their operations for the remainder of the day, Monday, as of 10 a.m. In a press release, Akron Municipal Court advised anyone with scheduled court business call the office on Tuesday for rescheduling instructions. 

Stay with WAKR.net for updates on this story. 

Published in Local
Friday, 07 October 2016 17:48

FirstEnergy Crews Heading To Florida

Crews from Akron-based FirstEnergy are helping with power restoration in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. 390 crew members from Ohio Edison and eight other FirstEnergy utilities are arriving in Florida on Saturday, along with support staff from Akron. They'll help in restoring power to hundreds of thousands of Florida residents who have lost it after Matthew slammed Florida.

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HurricaneStaging FirstEnergy(FirstEnergy, news release) As part of its long-standing tradition of assisting other electric companies during large-scale power outages, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities have sent 390 linemen, damage assessors, forestry crews and support personnel to Lake City, Florida, to help Florida Power & Light with restoration efforts following Hurricane Matthew. Crews began leaving for Florida on Thursday, with all expected to arrive at the Lake City staging area by Saturday.

Current forecasts call for Hurricane Matthew to make landfall in Florida today
before moving up the coast through Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of customers have already lost power, and personnel will be deployed to the most damaged areas when it's safe to do so after the storm moves through.

Nine of FirstEnergy's utilities are part of the mutual assistance effort, which includes crews from Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company (CEI) and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Penelec, West Penn Power and Met-Ed in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; Potomac Edison in West Virginia and Maryland; and Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey. Support personnel from FirstEnergy's corporate offices also are included in the company's contingent.

"FirstEnergy employees are committed to assisting what is likely to be a massive power restoration effort in Florida," said Steven Strah, senior vice president and president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "While it's not expected that Hurricane Matthew will impact any FirstEnergy service territories, we have carefully assessed conditions and are confident we have the personnel in place to maintain reliable operations for our customers."

FirstEnergy is a member of multiple electric utility mutual-assistance groups that work cooperatively to restore service to customers when a natural disaster causes large-scale power outages. Mutual assistance allows utilities to pool their resources to help restore power to customers faster. In the past, FirstEnergy and its employees have been honored by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) with its "Emergency Assistance Award" for the mutual assistance the company has provided during winter and summer storms.

Published in Local
Saturday, 16 July 2016 20:41

2016 Soap Box Derby Crowns Champs

While Cleveland welcomes the world to the North Coast for the 2016 Republican National Committee, Akron bid goodbye to the world's top soap box racers as the 79th FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby drew to a close.

Among local racers, Emily Harmon of Stow placed fourth in the Rally Masters division, while fifth place was taken by North Canton's Stephanie Gest. 

There was some controversy in the Local Masters Race, as the first-place finisher's car was disqualified after a review found the front mounting plate had been drilled, a violation of the rules. That moved the next round of finishers up one slot.

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(All-American Soap Box Derby) World champions were crowned Saturday at the 79th running of the FirstEnergy All­-American Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs Track. Champions were crowned in the Local, Rally, Ultimate Speed, National Super Kids Divisions and Mayor's Cup Race. The champions are as follows:

Local Stock
1 ­ Joseph Kratochvil, Piedmont Area, VA
2 ­ Cole Heavner, Morganton, NC
3 ­ Robbie Welp, Indianapolis, IN
4 ­ Ruth Taddeo, Ocala, FL
5 ­ Ryan Jameson, Greater Washington, DC
6 ­ Alejandro Vidal, Pottstown, PA
7 ­ Taylor Peterson, Arlington, MA
8 ­ Xavier Thomas, Sheyenne Valley, ND
9 ­ Alex Marchacos New Hampshire, NH
 
Local Super Stock
1 ­ Mallory Bruen, Northern Maine, ME
2 ­ Melody Castner, Mahoning Valley, OH
3 ­ Ashton Stevenson, Chattanooga Area, TN
4 ­ George Amadeo II, New Brunswick, NJ
5 ­ Veronica Stagnaro, Silicon Valley, CA
6 ­ Chassidy Oatman, Lima, OH
7 ­ Madison Trumpold, Bristol, CT
8 ­ Celina Murty, Rochester West, NY
9 ­ Steven Stolz, Greater Houston, TX
 
Local Masters
1 ­ Kathryn Lindsey, Winter Park, FL
2 ­ Sarah Watson, Erie, PA
3 ­ Jayleen Ingram, Colorado Springs, CO
4 ­ Victoria Dun, Columbus, OH
5 ­ Sara Rokosz, Northwest Indiana, IN
6 ­ Rachel Packard, Greater Chicago, IL
7 ­ Brooke Strand, Danbury, CT
8 ­ Savannah Fitzgerald, Mahoning Valley, OH
 
Rally Stock
1 ­ Karlye Murphy, Hilton NY
2 ­ Malena Shipley, Brookhaven GA
3 ­ Julia Irving, Lexington MA
4 ­ Brooklyn Van Gruensven, Suamico WI
5 ­ Jason Packard, Woodstock IL
6 ­ Kelsey Van Waart, Gretna NE
7 ­ Caden Pollard, Preston MD
8 ­ Hanna Harper, Poca WV
9 ­ Nathen Christian, Bowling Green KY
 
Rally Super Stock
1 ­ Peyton Van Gruensven, Menasha WI
2 ­ Henry Paul, Carmel IN
3 ­ Charles Sinche, West Hartford CT
4 ­ Benjamin Ruffell, Webster NY
5 ­ Remington Schimonitz, Ogallala NE
6 ­ Cayce Bledsoe, Hopkinsville KY
7 ­ Ian Jameson, Hollywood MD
8 ­ Chance Peck, St. Albans WV
9 ­ Nevaeh Cadman, Green Bay WI
 
Rally Masters
1 ­ Peyton Strand, New Milford CT
2 ­ Cooper Campbell, Westfield IN
3 ­ Aaron Leonard, Utica KY
4 ­ Emily Harmon Stow OH
5 ­ Stephanie Getz, North Canton OH
6 ­ Brooke Turner, West Seneca NY
7 ­ Jacob Green, Lancaster OH
8 ­ Sydney Fascetta, Dover NH
9 ­ Brandi Byers, Tallahassee, Fla. Ultimate Speed
1 ­ Kristi Murphy, Concord Township OH
2 ­ Allison Bates, University Heights OH
 
National Super Kids Classic
1 ­ Shawna Hutcheson, Lyons, GA
2 ­ Collin Caldwell, LeSage, WV
 
Mayor's Cup Race, presented by Accenture
1 ­ Kelly Speeg, Wife of Hall of Fame Inductee Bill Speeg
2 ­ Jeff Zimmer, Fallsway Equipment Company
3 ­ Brian Frerichs, Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems
 
The car that won the Local Masters Division of the FirstEnergy All­American Soap Box Derby on Saturday was disqualified. After the post­race inspection by the Derby’s Racing Commission it was determined that the front axle mounting plate was drilled, which violated 3.00(d) of the Masters Car Build Plans. The second through ninth place finishers have now been elevated by one spot. Kathryn Lindsey of Winter Park, Fla. is the Local Masters Champion. 
 
Published in Local
All eyes will be on Northeast Ohio in the coming months, from the Bridgestone Invitation to the Pro Football Hall of Fame game and induction ceremonies, to the NBA Finals. But it is the Republican National Convention that has been of most concern.

Who is going to provide the power for the influx of people? Will it be enough? John Skory, the regional president of FirstEnergy's Illuminating Company, answered these questions on the Ray Horner Morning Show. Skory brought up how the Illuminating Company has been doing numerous studies since Cleveland was named the home of this year's RNC, and they are prepared for any issues in case they come along.

The RNC will be coming through Cleveland from July 18-21st.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
The Public Utilities Commission has approved a new rate plan for FirstEnergy and American Electric Power, turning aside an aggressive ad campaign from critics that the so-called "electric security plan" was a bailout. The vote was unanimous but did include some modification to reduce chances of larger rate hikes.
 
Reaction to FirstEnergy's plan is coming from those in favor of it and against it.

In a statement, Akron mayor Dan Horrigan says the plan is both "good for Ohio and good for Akron", saying it balances interests of customers, economic development and the environment" and provides "eight years of stability"

The Sierra Club of Ohio is not a fan, again calling the order a "bailout". They say the PUCO "failed Ohioans" by - quote - "forcing them to subsidize aging, costly coal and nuclear plants, while guaranteeing profits for FirstEnergy's shareholders."

 
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(PUCO) The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted with modifications stipulations to the electric security plan (ESP) for FirstEnergy’s Ohio distribution utilities. The Commission order modifies the stipulation to limit bill increases. The ESP also promotes a modernized grid and continued customer shopping for electricity. The plan will ultimately determine the standard service offer (SSO) from June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2024.
 
“The Commission order strikes the highly challenging balance between consumers’ interests in cost-effective electric service and the vested interests of other diverse stakeholders,” said Chairman Andre T. Porter. “Today’s opinion and order affirms Ohio’s commitment to encourage a modernized grid and retail competition.”
 
The Commission’s opinion and order includes the approval of the Retail Rate Stability (RRS) rider which is intended to stabilize retail rates in FirstEnergy’s service territory. The Commission has incorporated additional safeguards for consumers through enhanced PUCO oversight including regular audits and monitoring of rider RRS. In order to protect customers against price fluctuations and provide additional rate stability, the Commission has modified the stipulations to limit average customer bills. Included in the Commission’s decision, the utilities’ base distribution rates will remain frozen for the eight-year term of the ESP. 
 
The Commission, through today’s opinion and order, reinforces retail competition in Ohio for customers, competitive suppliers and businesses through innovative technologies and complementary safeguards. The Commission directs FirstEnergy to submit a grid modernization plan to the PUCO. Advanced technologies will reinforce Ohio’s energy infrastructure, enable customer engagement through data sharing with competitive suppliers, help utilities better respond to service issues, promote energy efficiency and encourage innovation in the competitive marketplace.
 
Additional value for Ohio’s consumers and businesses is highlighted in this order through contributions to low-income and economic development programs including a funding commitment from FirstEnergy for energy conservation and job retention programs and the continuation of the automaker credit.
 
FirstEnergy has established a goal of a 90 percent carbon emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2045 and over 800,000 megawatt hours of annual energy savings through a restart of energy efficiency and peak demand reduction programs. Additionally, FirstEnergy has committed to submit a plan to procure at least 100 megawatts of renewable resources.
 
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(FirstEnergy, news release) FirstEnergy Corp.'s (NYSE: FE) Ohio utilities today announced that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved, with certain modifications, Powering Ohio's Progress, their proposed Electric Security Plan (ESP). The approved plan is the result of a comprehensive settlement reflecting the diverse interests and concerns of 17 signatories, including the PUCO Staff and parties that represent residential, low-income, commercial and industrial customers, as well as competitive energy suppliers, schools and organized labor.

The plan will establish electric service for customers of FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison – over an eight-year period from June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2024. It outlines a series of steps to help safeguard customers against rising energy prices in future years, preserve key power plants that serve Ohio customers, reinstate energy efficiency programs, evaluate smart grid technologies, and includes a goal to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by at least 90 percent below 2005 levels by 2045. The Commission also added certain additional customer protections.

The plan outlines a new retail rate stability provision related to a proposed eight-
year Purchased Power Agreement (PPA) with the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, the W.H. Sammis Plant in Stratton, Ohio, and a portion of the output of Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) units in Gallipolis, Ohio, and Madison, Ind.

This arrangement will keep a diverse set of fuel sources available to generate electricity, rather than risking more plant closures that put our region at risk of higher energy prices in the years ahead.

"Today's decision will help protect our customers against rising electric prices
and volatility in the years ahead, while helping to preserve vital baseload power plants that serve Ohio customers and provide thousands of family-sustaining jobs in the state," said Charles E. Jones, FirstEnergy President and Chief Executive Officer. "The plan will also extend FirstEnergy's longstanding support for the customers and communities we are privileged to serve in Ohio, through a comprehensive settlement reached between our utilities and a broad array of stakeholders."

FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities expect to file new rates with the PUCO by May 2,
following the completion of a competitive auction process to buy electric generation
supply for their non-shopping customers. FirstEnergy expects that the vast majority of its Ohio utility customers will see lower total bills after these auctions. Over the eight-year term, the arrangement is projected to generate hundreds of millions in customer savings as retail power prices increase over time.

FirstEnergy's plan also establishes a goal to reduce companywide CO2 emissions
by at least 90 percent below 2005 levels by 2045. This is among the most aggressive targets in the utility industry, representing a potential reduction of more than 80 million tons of CO2 emissions. A carbon reduction report will be filed by November 1, 2016 highlighting a strategy to promote fuel diversification and carbon reduction, recognizing that energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, and other advanced resources may be part of the strategy.

FirstEnergy also will contribute more than $102 million over the life of the plan to
help low-income customers pay their electric bills, as well as provide energy efficiency and economic development funding for low-income customers and communities.

Published in Local
On Wednesday, the John S. Knight Center will house the 109th Annual Meeting with the Greater Akron Chamber. At that meeting, the twelfth recipient of the H. Peter Burg Award will be honored.

That recipient is Anthony "Tony" Alexander, the former Executive Chairman, President, and CEO of FirstEnergy Corp. Tony stopped by the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss his relationship with Peter Burg, and what he envisions for Akron as a whole, as well as the university.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER
The University of Akron has had some public relations difficulties of late, but a group of local business leaders are looking to help their image.

Chuck Jones, the CEO of FirstEnergy, stopped in the WAKR studios with UA president Scott Scarborough to discuss their efforts to come together to help the university and the community. Jones joins executives from FirstMerit, GOJO, Goodyear, and other area companies to address these issues and tackle the criticism and PR problems surrounding UA.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER