Some studies published the Akron Beacon Journal showed some surprising statistics about the area as far as population and median income. As is the case in many Rust Belt towns, city leaders are always looking for ways of bringing residents into the area. Akron mayor Dan Horrigan joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what he and his associates plan to do. Horrigan looks at the residents like they are customers, and what would the customers what they want out of their city. The most important aspects of a city, according to the mayor, are job growth, safe neighborhoods, and a strong downtown. As far as the neighborhoods go, Horrigan says city planners are looking at what areas are ready and what needs to be built up. He also puts a lot of value in a city’s strengths and landmarks, such as the Goodyear area and near the hospitals.
The rumors of potential mergers in the Akron Public School district have swirled for some time, and now the news has been confirmed. Most notably, Garfield and Kenmore High Schools will join as one in the near future. David James, superintendent of Akron Public Schools, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss this particular merger. James and city council president Marilyn Keith have previously discussed plans for a brand new CLC, and the tenants would be the schools with a diminished population. At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, Kenmore High School is at 33% capacity. According to James, the project will cost $58 million, and 59% of it will be paid for by the state. Team meetings on where to build the new CLC will begin in 2017, as the plan is to find a site equal distance between Kenmore and Garfield.
It is day five of the Rubber City Radio Group’s spotlight on the heroin epidemic, and today, we look to what we as a community can do next. Summit County sheriff Steve Barry joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to inform what his office is doing to stop the heroin outbreak. Sheriff Barry says the county is putting teams together to gather as much information as possible to educate the public about opiates and the subsequent addiction. Why is it so bad in Akron? He believes our location nationally, as well as a lower economic state, are large factors. What can the people do? Barry urges the public to read the signs and call their local law enforcement agency if they come across suspicious activity. By doing so, officers can arrest the local traffickers, then working their way up to the suppliers.
It is day four of the Rubber City Radio Group’s platform on the heroin epidemic in the area. The spotlight today is on the treatment of opiate addiction and the various in the area who are there to assist. Summa Health System’s Dr. Alan Shein, MD of Addiction Medicine Services, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the treatment program an addict will undergo. First off, Dr. Shein touched on how and why a person would make the jump from prescription drugs that include opiates to heroin, which would not only quell the pain, but to illicit a euphoria. The program at Summa is designed to help the victims get off heroin dependency and assist with the withdrawal symptoms. Though the detoxification process is an uncomfortable one, the medical staff will prescribe medication to the patients, which will help flush the opiates out of the body. The timeline is about four to five days, then the patient will transition to the next level of care.
In our continuing coverage of the heroin crisis in Summit County, we showcase some of the facilities in the area dedicated to helping those find the path to recovery. The Interval Brotherhood Home, or IBH, is a drug and alcohol recovery center located on S. Main Street near the Portage Lakes. The recovery center has been in operation since 1970, and Joe Rifici, an associate clinical director, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what IBH does. Rifici spoke in depth about the recovery program, which helps patients find their spiritual side. Since 2009, when he joined IBH, Rifici says victims of heroin abuse has increased exponentially, mainly in the last year. He notices patients come from every background come through the doors, no matter the race or economic upbringing.
Terry Pluto is an award-winning sportswriter and columnist with the Plain Dealer, and is known across the region for his thoughts and analysis of the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians. But what may not widely known is his work with prison inmates and addicts in their paths to recovery. Pluto joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss his experience in dealing with struggling or recovering addicts, specifically heroin. In the decades he has been meeting with these victims, Pluto has seen the growth of heroin in these communities, no matter the racial or socioeconomic background. He believes heroin is deadlier than crack cocaine.
This week, the Rubber City Radio Group is putting the spotlight on the heroin epidemic that is not only affecting the Akron area, but across the country. Barberton, a once-bustling area that has fallen on hard times, is one of the communities hit hard by the heroin outbreak. Barberrton City Schools Superintendent Patti Cleary joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss what the Barberton community is doing to educate families of this drug epidemic.
Cleary believes most students understand the risks of heroin, but further education on drug use and its affects will continue to be put in place.