Summit County foreclosed on the Rubber Bowl this week, saying stadium ownership group Team1 Marketing owes nearly $200,000 in back taxes. But one of the partners of Team1 says his group has a plan to not only pay off the back taxes, but bring music festivals to the decaying facility.
Sean Mason would like to see the city assume ownership of the property and lease it back to Team1. That would allow the city to more easily change the property's zoning. Mason says it would also prompt an investor to come on board to assist with the renovation of the stadium, which has gone largely unused since The University of Akron left for Infocision Stadium after the 2008 football season.
Mason joined Jasen to discuss his plan and address the concern held by some that the plan is unfeasible.
Ohio State Highway Patrol in Summit County stopped a Ford F-150 back on March 22nd for a "marked lane violation."
When the truck was pulled over, a drug-sniffing dog alerted troopers to possible drugs in the vehicle. Upon searching the truck, troopers found more than 1,400 Ecstacy pills, worth about $32,000.
Andreas Key, 32, and 33-year-old Gregory Gray, both who are from Pennsylvania, were arrested on felony possession and drug trafficking charges.
They've been booked in Summit County Jail.
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.
Matthew Uhr, 42, has been extradited to Summit County from Shreveport, Louisiana after being arrested for failing to pay more than $33,000 in back child support.
Back in February, 2012, a Summit County Grand Jury indicted Uhr on charges of non-support and a warrant was issued for him after he was a no-show in court.
The Summit County Child Support Enforecement Agency tracked Uhr down in Sherveport after learning that his mother lived there.
Upon his arrest, the mother of Uhr's child received $15,000. Uhr still owes more than $18,500 and is currently in Summit County Jail.
Since its inception three years ago, the iC.A.R.E. student mentoring program has been a partner with Akron Public Schools, providing in-school mentoring to students grades K through 12.
On Thursday, the United Way announced that iC.A.R.E. is officially one of their programs now, offering an expansion of services in the Akron Public Schools system and more mentors for students.
Jonathan Greer, director of the iC.A.R.E. program with the United Way of Summit County says it's a perfect partnership, and "it's awesome to see how our agency is really expanding and doing impactful work within the Akron Public Schools district."
Greer says they're looking to have more than 1000 students, and in turn mentors, involved in the program this year. iC.A.R.E. prides itself on being a one-on-one student to mentor program, so the "more the merrier," Greer says.
For more information on how you can be a mentor in the iC.A.R.E. program, visit www.uwsummit.org/mentor. You can also read more in the official press release below:
iC.A.R.E in-school mentoring becomes United Way program
AKRON, Ohio – – United Way of Summit County has welcomed a new member into its family of community impact programs and initiatives. Created in 2013, the iC.A.R.E Mentoring program provides Akron Public School students in grades K-12 with nurturing and supportive role models.
Unlike other mentoring programs, which generally involve activities outside of school hours, iC.A.R.E works within the school system, coordinating with administrators to ensure that students can spend time with their mentors without taking time away from their academic work.
Since beginning in Summit County three years ago, iC.A.R.E has grown significantly, now serving nearly 300 students with a roster of more than 200 mentors. Volunteer mentors spend one hour per week with each mentee, helping children and young adults excel academically, build confidence and acquire the skills needed to face difficult life challenges.
“It’s a great source of stability for students,” says Jonathan Greer, director of iC.A.R.E Mentoring for United Way. “More than a third of Akron public school students change schools each year, but mentors follow their mentees from school to school.” Indeed, the results are often striking – absenteeism rates for students who are mentored through in-school programs have been shown to decrease by nearly 50 percent.
“It’s simple: kids go to school more when they have a mentor,” adds Greer. “It makes a huge difference when they can spend time with an adult who isn’t a disciplinarian, just a friend.”
It seems as though students agree. The program boasts a retention rate of above 90 percent.
For United Way, the acquisition of iC.A.R.E provides another opportunity to expand its impact in the local community. With the increase in recognition and resources that comes with being a United Way program, the organization hopes to have more than 1000 students involved in iC.A.R.E Mentoring this school year.
United Way has recruited a team of ten AmeriCorps VISTAs to help coordinate volunteer efforts and expand the program. The organization hopes to attract further funding for the program in the future through nontraditional sources such as grants.
Further, United Way will take advantage of its large network of corporate partners whose employees could serve as mentors in the program. Just as with other United Way engagement opportunities, volunteers can gain the satisfaction of helping to improve their communities. Corporations who encourage their employees to participate as mentors can also enjoy the benefits of greater employee satisfaction and a more upbeat and motivated workforce.
Ultimately, the addition of iC.A.R.E to its roster of programs will help United Way continue to advance its mission to improve education across the local community. With more than a quarter of Akron public school students not graduating high school , investments in programs like iC.A.R.E, which help students succeed in school, can make an enormous difference in the lives of children and young people.
“iC.A.R.E is a natural fit for us,” says Jim Mullen, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Summit County. “It will allow us to drive volunteer engagement – consistent with our increased focus on engaging our partners in the work we do – and it will create a measurable impact in the lives of students and families in this community.”
“This program is a great investment in the future of this city,” he adds.
"The difference in our school climate, our students and their performance is marked and measurable," said Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James, in talking about iC.A.R.E's influence on grades, attendance and discipline. "We have actually been working with mentoring programs for several years now, and Jonathan's approach is working at APS."
About United Way of Summit County
United Way of Summit County advances the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on Education, Income and Health because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We train a spotlight on critical issues, engage with private and public sector leaders and coordinate agendas with partners to leverage Collective Impact. We invite everyone to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. When we work together in common purpose, we LIVE UNITED. For more information about United Way of Summit County visit uwsummit.org.
The Tallmadge City School District is hoping voters say YES on two bond issues on the upcoming ballot to make changes to its buildings and athletic facilities.
Issue 43 is a 3.86 mill bond issue that would consolidate the district's primary, elementary and middle schools into two buildings, a K-5 building and a 6-8 building on the middle school campus.
Issue 44 is a 0.9 mill bond issue that would relocate the high school athletic facilities to its current campus.
"The way we see it, it's just a completion of that original vision when we built that high school is that eventually we would get all the high school athletic facilities over the high school," said Superintendent Jeff Ferguson.
Ferguson said the reason for splitting the issues was to remain transparent.
"The board of education though it was very important to be transparent, so they didn't want any confusion when you look at one number and then say 'how much is the athletics going to cost," said Ferguson.
After receiving a tip back on August 17th from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Summit County Sheriff's Detective Bureau launched an investigation into the alleged downloading in child pornography in Coventry Township.
Throughout their investigation, detectives found that Craig J. Provence, 67, had knowingly downloaded inappropriate images and other materials that exploited children. A warrant was issued and the Sheriff's Office executed a search of a residence at Alma Avenue. They seized a computer, CDs and other electronic storage media from the home and placed Provence under arrest.
He is currently in Summit County Jail, charged with two counts of Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor, both felonies. Investigators say additional charges could be handed down pending the outcome of the complete investigation.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office is investigating a vandalism of the former Northfield Center/Sagamore Hills Fire District Substation, located at 50 W. Aurora Road.
They were alerted to the incident, that they say occured over the weekend, on Monday when staff entered the building and saw the damage. According to the press release, thousands of dollars in damage was done to equipment that is stored in the building and the building itself. Inspector Bill Holland with the Sheriff's Office says the vandal or vandals broke in, wrote profanity on pieces of equipment and other items in the building, and caused damage to the building. Furthermore, Holland says, the suspect(s) doused beds, carpeting, and 14 pieces of turnout gear in urine.
The Sheriff's Office is asking that anyone with information ont he incident call the Detective Bureau at 330-643-2131.
A serious accident along I-77 started with a high-speed chase between Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers and a suspect vehicle.
According to the State Highway Patrol, a Trooper attempted to pull over a newer model Chevy Camaro around 1:45 a.m. Thursday along I-77 Northbound near the Akron-Canton Airport. The Trooper said when he turned on his lights, signalling the driver to pull over, the driver continued and sped up. That's when the pursuit started.
The driver then attempted to exit the highway at the I-77 North exit to Massillon Road., lost control, and struck a light pole and a traffic box. The car was totaled and the driver was ejected from the vehicle.
The car came to a rest on the west side of Massillon Road with the driver lying in the middle of the street alongside glass and other debris from the vehicle.
He was transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries. The ramp to Massillon Road was closed for several hours following the incident, but as of 10:35 a.m. has re-opened.
The Jasen Sokol Show traveled to Summit County Public Health Wednesday for a forum on the heroin and opioid addiction problem in Greater Akron. The discussion ranged from treatment and recovery options to the new drug disposal pouches available at Acme Fresh Market locations to the stories of family members who lost loved ones to heroin. If you missed any of the interviews, hear them in the player below.
On Wednesday, as part of International Overdose Awareness Day, Summit County Public Health hosted a press conference to announce the donation of 40,000 "pill pouches" to Summit County for people to dispose of their unused medications, primarily opiates. Summit County Community Partnership Executive Director Darryl Brake hosted the event, and explained that while Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals is based out of Missouri, one phone call was all it took to get the company to recognize the seriousness of the opiate addiction problem in Summit County and donate the bags.
At the press conference, Kevin Webb, Director of Advocacy Relations for Mallinckrodt, explained that the prescription disposal bags would be available beginning Wednesday locally. As part of their efforts to help the situation locally, Acme Fresh Markets is making the bags available, at no charge, at all 16 of their locations throughout the area.
Brake says if the bags are used as intended and filled to capacity, more than 1.3 million prescription pills will be disposed of properly, and taken off the streets and out of the hands of those who can easily misuse them.
Hear more from Kevin Webb from Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and Summit County ADM Board Executive Director Jerry Craig. They discuss the new disposable pill pouches and the seriousness of the opioid addiction problem here locally:
As we continue to define the heroin problem, officials recognize that it has become an epidemic across the nation, and especially in the Akron area.
The following is from the Summit County Public Health Population Health Vital Statistics Report: From January 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016, emergency rooms serving Summit County residents have treated an estimated total of 1,019 drug overdoses.* Since the beginning of 2016, cases per day remained relatively low, averaging 3 per day from January 1 - July 4 (Figure 1a). However, beginning in the second week of July, overdoses began rising rapidly from 3 per day to 14 per day through the remainder of July. After reaching 10 cases for the fi rst time on June 26, the number of drug overdoses ended up hitting double-digits on 21 of the 31 days in July, reaching a high of 25 on July 27th. All told, there were 395 estimated overdoses in July 2016, which matched the total number of overdoses seen between March 1 and June 30; a span of 122 days.
We spoke with Dr. Doug Smith with the Summit County ADM Board about what is causing, in part, the surge in heroin-related overdoses here in Summit County:
"If you were his friend, you were his friend for life," said Carol Deszo, judge in Summit County Domestic Relations Court.
An estimated one-thousand people filled the John S. Knight Center to celebrate the life and legacy of Summit County Executive Russ Pry who passed away at the age of 58 after battling colon cancer.
While Pry's passing was recognized as a great loss, the focus was on the legacy Pry left behind in the county and beyond. Congressman Tim Ryan was the first to deliver a eulogy, describing Pry as a gentle man with "no ego" and a passion to serve the community and make a difference.
Those involved in the service included Phil Montgomery, Congressman Tim Ryan, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Former Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Summit County Domestic Relations Court Judge Carol Dezso and personal friend Mike Cassetty.
Carla Davis with Akron-Summit County Library, accompanied by pianist Tatsuya Nagashima performed "Amazing Grace" to begin the service and ended with a performance of "Over the Rainbow."
The Summit County Sheriff's Office says they've arrested five teenagers, between the ages of 16 and 19, in connection to Tuesday morning's arson fire that destroyed the Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse at Boettler Park.
It happened between 4 and 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. In addition to the fire at the schoolhouse, that was first built in 1885 and restored in 2002, investigators noticed other acts of vandalism throughout the park. They say a bathroom had been broken into on the grounds and significant damage was done inside. Also, the teens threw trash cans onto the rooftops of other buildings throughout the park.
On Thursday morning, the Sheriff's Office released that they've arrested a 16-year-old male from Springfield Township, a 16-year-old female from Springfield Township, another 16-year-old male from Akron, 18-year-old Brandyn McCroskey, and 19-year-old Matthew R. Swan, both of Springfield Township. All five are charged with fifth-degree felony breaking and entering, fifth-degree felony vandalism, and fourth-degree felony arson. Swan and McCroskey were booked into the Summit County Jail while the juveniles were transported to the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center.
Sheriff Steve Barry says he is pleased with the expedient and thorough investigation, which led to the identification and arrest of all suspects involved. City of Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer also releasing a statement: “Thank you to the Summit County Sheriff, Green’s Fire Division and the Ohio State Fire Marshal for their quick work in finding the individuals who caused this irreparable damage to our beloved historical schoolhouse."
See more on the story from WAKR.net.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office released a statement Monday morning regarding their pursuit of restitution for consumers who purchased generators from RHI Incorporated and never recieved them.
A lawsuit that has been filed claims that Marc J. Ryder, owner of RHI Incorporated, violated Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitaiton Sales Act in various counties, including Summit.
Below is the full press release:
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit seeking restitution from a seller accused of failing to deliver generators sold to Ohio consumers.
The lawsuit accuses Marc J. Ryder, doing business as RHI Incorporated, of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act.
Ryder sold generators to consumers of multiple Ohio counties, including Franklin, Summit, Muskingum, and Delaware, in some cases at home and garden shows or similar events. In the past two years, 10 consumers filed complaints against RHI, generally saying that they paid thousands of dollars for a generator they still had not received months after the sale. Two of the 10 complaints remain unresolved.
“Our goal is to protect consumers,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We’re seeking reimbursement for consumers who have lost money and an end to any violations of Ohio’s consumer protection laws.”
Filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court , the Attorney General’s lawsuit accuses Ryder of failing to deliver products or services within the required eight-week time frame, failing to register a business name, and failing to give consumers proper notice of their right to cancel under Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act. The Attorney General seeks an end to any violations of these laws, consumer damages, and civil penalties.
Attorney General DeWine encouraged consumers to be cautious when making large purchases from vendors. Tips to avoid problems include:
A copy of the lawsuit is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Voters will be deciding on a few local issues in Summit County during Tuesday's special election.
There are a couple of income tax levies on the ballot in New Franklin and Macedonia. In Manchester, school officials have placed an 8.3 mill bond issue on the ballot to help with the district's building project and there's also another half-mill maintenance levy.
Renewal levies are set up for Springfield local schools and Springfield Township. Voters will also be deciding whether to add two mills to an existing levy in Northfield Center Township.
For a complete list and more information, click here.
After recently announcing that he was diagnosed with colon cancer, Summit County Executive Russ Pry underwent successful surgery to remove a tumor.
Pry's Chief of Staff announced on Friday that Tuesday's surgery at Cleveland Clinic Akron General went well and Pry is recovering. He added that the cancer had not spread beyond his colon and had not reached an advanced stage. Pry will take the next 6 weeks to recover and is expected to return to work August 1st, when Summit County Council returns from their summer recess.
Pry, 58, was diagnosed with colon cancer after a routine exam. He is using his diagnosis to stress the importance of continuing routine check-ups and exams.
Summit County Executive Russ Pry has been diagnosed with cancer following a routine colonoscopy.
A news release states that a CT scan "indicates the tumor has not spread beyond his colon and is not Stage 4."
Pry is scheduled for Laparoscopic surgery Tuesday, June 14. The recovery period is expected to last over the next six weeks and Pry is scheduled to return to work on Aug. 1.
"I would like to encourage those who are due for a colonoscopy to do it now, early detection is extremely important," Pry stated in a news release. "I am grateful for my doctors and for the exceptional medical care - we are lucky to have outstanding hospitals and medical professionals in our County."
Chief of Staff Jason Dodson will take over the day-to-day operations for the time being.
It's not the first time Habitat for Humanity of Summit County has handed the keys to a new home to a family, but this one offers the organization a different perspective.
"This is our first refugee settlement family that was referred to us by the International Institute [of Akron] to apply for the program," said President and CEO Rochelle Sibbio.
Staff members, volunteers and sponsors filled the Hollibaugh Avenue home Thursday morning to join the dedication ceremony where Sibbio handed out the key to the new home to C Mawia, his wife, and three children. The family came to America from Burma (also known as Myanmar) in 2009.
"I left my home, but right now God give it to me, again," said Mawia. "A new house."
More than 100 volunteers contributed over 2,000 hours to build the home for the family of five.
"Them having a chance to bring their family members here to show them what they have done, the American Dream, they're now able to have a part of that.
Sibbio said the organization is currently working with five refugee families.
In Summit County, Habitat for Humanity has built 198 homes in its 30 year history.
We could learn more next week about plans for Stark State College to establish a presence in Akron.
Stark State, along with leaders from Akron, Summit County and others, plan an announcement on Thursday morning in Akron.
A news release describes "Stark State College Akron" as "a new education and workforce training center" with few other details.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Summit County Executive Russ Pry will be there, along with Stark State president Dr. Para Jones.
Stark State recently received $6 million in state funding towards an Akron initiative.
Stark State already has a Summit County presence, with a branch in Barberton.
Saturday's the day you can get rid of all of your unused, unwanted and expired prescription medication -- safely. Drug Take Back Day is this weekend where a list of local agencies will be setting up collection sites across the area.
"They think they're doing a good thing," said Darryl Brake, executive director of Summit County Community Partnership. "They've got excess medicine, they're going to hold it in the medicine cabinet in case they need it later, but that's how it gets stolen and diverted out in the streets."
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) puts the event together to help prevent substance abuse and addiction .
"The foundation of prevention is reducing access and so the more we can promote those boxes - and a lot of them are getting a lot of use - the better off we're able to address prevention by getting those drugs off the streets," said Brake.
Akron Police Det. Pat Leonard said if you miss the event this Saturday, there are still drop boxes that are available 24/7 in several location throughout the county.
The event will be set up between 10a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The service is free and no questions will be asked.
You can find the nearest collection site on www.dea.gov.
A new report out shows that Ohio's food insecurity rate hasn't changed much.
The latest Map the Meal Gap report by Feeding America took a look at the number of Ohioans who are struggling to afford food. The state's rate in 2014 stands at 16.8 percent, which is down just one-tenth of a percent from 2013.
In Summit County, the food insecurity rate stands at 16.2 -- where more than 87-thousand people don’t always have access to safe and nutritious food. According to the Akron-Canton Foodbank, more than 22 pecent of children in Summit County are food insecure.
The most food insecure county in the state is Athens County at just under 20 percent.
Ohio's food insecurity rate is about one percent above the national average.
Summit County health officials say a local resident came back to Summit County with the Zika virus, after having traveled to a country where the Zika virus is present.
But medical director Dr. Margo Erme says there's no health risk from the case in Summit County.
"The person is not infectious to anyone in Summit County," Dr. Erme tells WAKR.net, "and the primary transmission is mosquito borne...and at the time the person was ill, there were no mosquitos."
Summit County Public Health is not releasing the victim's name, gender or travel location, citing privacy concerns.
But Dr. Erme does say pregnancy wasn't a factor in this case.
She also says there's been no known local sighting of the mosquito that primarily carries the Zika virus.
Dr. Erme says those who have to travel to areas linked to the Zika virus need to take precautions, and even locally, steps should be taken to protect against all mosquito borne illnesses, such as West Nile Virus.
(Summit County Public Health Department, news release) Summit County Public Health (SCPH) was notified by the Ohio Department of Health that a Summit County resident that traveled to a Zika Virus Disease infected country in late February has tested positive for Zika Virus Disease. Pregnancy is not an issue with the infected individual and since Zika Virus Disease is spread primarily by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the individual is not infectious. "This local case is not a threat to the public health of Summit County residents," stated Dr. Marguerite Erme, Medical Director, SCPH. The illness was mild, hospitalization was not required, and the individual is currently symptom free. To protect privacy, SCPH will not be releasing any additional details regarding the infected individual.
The most commonly seen symptoms of the Zika Virus Disease include fever, joint pain, rash or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. About 80% of infected individuals have no Zika Virus Disease symptoms at all and hospitalizations and deaths are very rare. Symptoms are usually mild and appear two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. "The primary mosquito that carries the Zika Virus Disease, the Aedes aegypti, has not been seen in Summit County based on mosquito surveillance conducted by SCPH," according to SCPH Environmental Health Director, Bob Hasenyager.
Zika Virus Disease can also be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her child during pregnancy or at time of birth. The most serious complications linked to Zika Virus Disease are Microcephaly and other types of birth defects and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition that attacks the immune system and can cause paralysis. Zika Virus Disease in rare cases has also been transmitted sexually from male to female. Since there is neither a vaccine nor medications available to prevent Zika Virus Disease infection, pregnant women and women who may become pregnant should take recommended precautions:
If you are pregnant, postpone travel to the countries where Zika Virus Disease transmission is ongoing.
If your male sexual partner has traveled to, or lives in an area with, active Zika Virus Disease transmission, condoms should be used for the duration of the pregnancy. Discuss your male partner's potential exposures and history of Zika-like illness with your doctor.
If you are trying to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before you travel about your plans to become pregnant and the risk associated with Zika Virus Disease.
If you are pregnant or may become pregnant and must travel to one of these areas, talk to your doctor first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
If you are not pregnant, but your male partner lives in or has traveled to a country with Zika Virus Disease, consider using condoms.
Individuals who have traveled, or plan to travel, to areas where Zika Virus Disease transmission is ongoing could be at risk for exposure. For the most up to date list of Zika Virus Disease infected countries please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. The positive case in Summit County is one of nine positive cases in Ohio and one of 346 positive cases nationally; all cases of Zika Virus Disease reported in the United States have been travel related.
Summit County residents should take precautions to protect against all mosquito borne illnesses as the weather gets warmer and people are spending more time outside during peak mosquito hours.
Wear long sleeves and long pants when mosquitoes are most active.
Use an EPA-approved repellent on skin and clothes.
Stay in places with air conditioning or use screens on the windows or doors to keep mosquitoes out.
Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.
For more information on Zika Virus Disease please visit www.scphoh.org.
Summit County Executive Russ Pry has banned all official county government travel to North Carolina in response to the state's controversial "Bathroom Bill."
North Carolina House Bill 2 includes provisions that require people to use the public restroom that corresponds with their biological sex and that supercede non-discrimination laws passed by municipalities. Opponents of the bill, including Pry, contend the bill discriminates against the LGBT community.
Pry joined The Jasen Sokol Show to explain his decision:
The State of the County is getting strong, healthy and getting better says the top elected administrative official in Summit County. That includes Summit County's ranking as the most efficient of the six largest counties in Ohio for per-capita cost of government and low sales tax rate.
So says Summit County Executive Russ Pry in his annual address delivered today/Thursday at a sold-out John S. Knight Center. These "State Of..." speeches usually center on achievements, and Pry's address was no different.
Pry highlighted a budget that was still $80 million dollars less than levels before the start of the 2008 recession but reported the economy was showing improvements despite a significant drop in state funding. Pry noted building plans and fees were up 50% since merging Akron's building department with the County and credited online applications for keeping development business a 24/7 process. He told the audience during their question and answer period there had been no ongoing discussions relating to construction of a new arena downtown.
The Summit County Executive -- running for re-election in November against former County Council member Bill Roemer -- also touted consolidation into new offices in the Firestone Tire complex, savings through new IT initiatives upgrading the County's computer programs, closer partnerships with local governments on public services and programs and programs to develop stronger mentoring and workforce development programs.
Pry also lauded efforts to move ahead with needed upgrades to the County's emergency radio system used by public safety first responders and said the new system would go online in 2017. He also highlighted investments in sewer system projects in the southwest portion of Summit County, especially the impact helping with development in the Barberton, New Franklin and Clinton areas.
Pry's address was broadcast live on 1590 WAKR. The text of the full speech is included as a .PDF at the attachment field in this story.
UPDATE The missing kayaker in Ravenna has been identified as 20-year-old Luke Collins, of Medina, Newschannel5 reports.
Collins and another man went missing Saturday when their kayaks capsized at the West Branch State Park in Ravenna.
A fisherman rescued the unidentified man. Crews searched for Collins until 1 a.m. Sunday, resuming at 8 a.m, where he was found dead Sunday morning.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports, officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are looking into what caused the accident.
The Portage and Summit County dive teams, along with, the Kent and Paris Township fire departments assisted in the search. The Portage County Sheriff's Department is also investigating.
The body of a kayaker who went missing Saturday was found Sunday evening in Ravenna.
The unidentified man, who was in his 20s, was kayaking at West Branch State Park with another man, in his 20s, when their kayaks took on water. One of the men was rescued by a fisherman.
Crews searched for the missing man until 1 a.m. Sunday, resuming at 8 a.m.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports, officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are looking into what caused the accident.
The University of Akron hosted area high school students on Friday, as they competed in the 16th Annual Bridge Building Competition.
Students put their engineering skills on display for local engineering consulting firms to judge the aesthetics, or looks, of their bridge and the amount of weight it can hold.
Alan Brubaker, Summit County Engineer, and 16 engineering consulting firms co-sponsored the annual event.
Brubaker said the event has got bigger every year with this year being the biggest.
"Whenever you have a good program that the student advisers feel that is beneficial to the students, it's going to continue to grow."
The students were given three hours to build their bridge The teams built their bridges out of balsa wood and then went their imagination.
Andrew McDonald, a sophomore from Hudson high school, and his teammates took home the first place trophy in their first year competing.
"Coming out here and just seeing our philosophy and design work, it's a very satisfying and just fulfilling experience," McDonald said.
When asked about some of the best parts about the competition, Sam Phillips, senior from Green and Portage Lakes Center, said it was really cool to see students from other schools and to see some of the differences in their bridge designs.
"Meeting new kids from like Hudson, Springfield and another class of schools that you don't really get to see people from and to see what they're thinking and what's they're out-take on this whole perception of building a bridge out of balsa wood."
Students who participated in the event were eligible to receive more than $4,000, as part of the Miniature Bridge Building Competition Scholarship.
Hudson high school won a prize of $100 and two Springfield high school teams brought home a prize of $70 and $50 each for second and third place finishes.
The Portage Lakes Center won the aesthetics award for the best bridge design. Cuyahoga Falls finished in second place.
Summit County Sheriff's deputies say they have arrested a Coventry Township man who is believed to be involved in at least a dozen break-ins in Summit County.
Joshua Collmar, 36, was arrested after a month long investigation and two incidents where he fled from authorities. On February 11th, deputies say Collmar tried to strike a cruiser when he was caught in a stolen vehicle with stolen property inside after a break-in in Green. Less than a week later, Collmar was pulled over in another stolen car with several car keys from a local dealership.
Several items were recovered including hand tools, power tools, a U-Haul moving truck full of stolen property, and a 2016 Winnebago camper.
Collmar has been charged with breaking and entering and receiving stolen property. He was booked into the Summit County Jail.
An apparent suicide has been reported at the Summit County Jail.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office reports 63-year-old inmate Wayne K. Jordan was found unresponsive in his cell Friday afternoon.
A deputy and medical staff attempted to resuscitate him. The Akron Fire Department responded to the jail.Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials say Jordan showed no signs of being suicidal when he was medically screened by the jail staff. The incident remains under investigation.
On October 2nd, Jordan was charged with rape and gross sexual imposition and booked into the Summit County Jail.
Last weekend's bitter cold temperatures and icy lakes left Summit County Sheriff's deputies with a rescue mission Friday night.
Deputies responded to a report of a man drowning in the "Iron Channel", located in the east reservoir of Portage Lakes in Coventry Township, late Friday night when temperatures were hovering around 15 degrees and the wind blowing at approximately 20 miles per hour.
Sheriff's Inspector Bill Holland said a pair of good samaritans tried to help rescue the 24-year-old man before deputies arrived, but they were unsuccessful and ended up partially in the water. A deputy helped to pull up the two good samaritans and was assisted by another resident to rescue the unresponsive 24-year-old.
The deputy and resident provided first aid to the victim until Coventry EMS arrived on scene.
The victim and one of the rescuers were taken to Barberton Citizens' Hospital for treatment. Both are expected to make full recoveries.
Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of an explosion that killed a family of four Monday night in Northfield.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office reports the bodies of two adults and two children were recovered by first responders when they arrived on scene to the home on Skyhaven Road around 9 p.m.
Fire Chief Frank Risko tells NewsChannel 5 that a mother, father and two girls, ages 8 and 12, died instantly inside the home.
The cause of the fire is not known, but officials do not believe it was a gas explosion.
Additional counselors will be available today at the Nordonia School District.
Half a dozen residents at a local correctional facility was taken to the hospital after suspected drug overdoses late Tuesday night. Oriana House officials say two men at the Summit County Community Based Correctional Facility (CBCF) were treated and released, but four men are still being evaluated. Officials report the residents' symptoms indicate that the drug involved in the overdoses were linked to synthetic marijuana, also known as K2. But officials note that the chemical make-up of K2 constantly changes -- making it difficult to test.
Officials say as a result of the incidents, Oriana House staff members have "restricted the movement of all the clients at the Summit County CBCF, allowing residents to leave only for approved employment and medical appointments."
Full searches will be conducted in the facilities and
enhanced pat downs" are being implemented as well.
In a news release, Executive Vice President Bernie Rochford stated:
"We constantly monitor our clients and our facilities to take every effort to keep drugs out of our programs. But like many jails and prisons that have recently reported overdoses, Oriana House is a community based program and is not immune to drugs getting into our facilities."
Local authorities are investigating the incidents.
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH 312 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015 .DENSE FOG WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA OVERNIGHT. SOME FREEZING IS POSSIBLE ON UNTREATED SURFACES. VISIBILITIES AT TIMES WILL BE NEAR ZERO. OHZ021>023-032-033-051500- /O.EXA.KCLE.ZF.Y.0001.000000T0000Z-151205T1500Z/ SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-STARK-MAHONING- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...AKRON...RAVENNA...WARREN...CANTON... YOUNGSTOWN 312 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015 ...FREEZING FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CLEVELAND HAS ISSUED A FREEZING FOG ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING. * TIMING...DENSE FOG WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE AREA OVERNIGHT AND BEGIN TO DISSIPATE SATURDAY MORNING. * VISIBILITY...WIDESPREAD BELOW A QUARTER MILE AND NEAR ZERO IN SOME LOCATIONS. * IMPACTS...VISIBILITIES WILL BE A QUARTER OF A MILE OR LESS AT TIMES. THESE POOR VISIBILITIES WILL RESULT IN HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS. TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING MAY ALLOW FOR SOME SLICK SPOTS TO DEVELOP ON ROADS AND SIDEWALKS...ESPECIALLY ON ELEVATED SURFACES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A DENSE FOG ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN DENSE FOG WILL SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCE VISIBILITIES... TYPICALLY TO LESS THAN A QUARTER OF A MILE... RESULTING IN HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS IN SOME AREAS. MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE CAUTION AND SLOW DOWN... AS OBJECTS ON AND NEAR ROADWAYS WILL BE SEEN ONLY AT CLOSE RANGE. && $$
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH 352 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015 OHZ003-006>010-017>023-027>033-036>038-047-060900- LUCAS-WOOD-OTTAWA-SANDUSKY-ERIE OH-LORAIN-HANCOCK-SENECA-HURON- MEDINA-SUMMIT-PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-WYANDOT-CRAWFORD-RICHLAND-ASHLAND- WAYNE-STARK-MAHONING-MARION-MORROW-HOLMES-KNOX- 352 AM EST SAT DEC 5 2015 ...FREEZING FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST THIS MORNING... THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTH CENTRAL OHIO...NORTHEAST OHIO AND NORTHWEST OHIO. .DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT. PLEASE LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR GO TO WEATHER.GOV ON THE INTERNET FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOLLOWING HAZARDS. FREEZING FOG ADVISORY. .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME. .SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT... SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.
Finding an empty animal shelter is rare, but it is possible. Just ask officials with Summit County Animal Control. The 6th Annual Summit County Adopt-A-Thon over the weekend found a home for every single animal at the shelter.
"We put all of the animals, dogs and cats, up for adoption for $10," said Animal Control Manager Christine Fatheree. "It was a great turnout. We adopted out 93 animals."
Over the past six years, the event has helped to place 809 animals in new homes.
"This is our sixth year doing it and we've never emptied out the facility," said Fatheree. "We've never been able to get every single animal a home."
While the event was a success, Fatheree said everyday brings a new challenge. The shelter has already picked up about 30 animals. Fatheree says the shelter brings in more than a dozen animals everyday.
On the web: https://co.summitoh.net.
The shooting death of a 27-year-old man over the weekend in Green is under investigation.
The Summit County Medical Examiner reports the man, identified as Corey S. Seibel of Green, was shot at his home in the 2700 block of Long Road around 11 o'clock Sunday night.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office reports Seibel suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene about an hour and a half later.
Details related to a possible suspect or motive were not released.
A Stow couple has waited 31 years for this day.
"It's like I won the lottery," said 66-year-old John Marshall.
Marshall couldn't hold back the tears while explaining the meaning behind getting a marriage license to legally tie the knot with his partner, 65-year-old James Neilsen.
"It's just like all of your life you've been denied something that you know in you heart is right," said Marshall. "And finally the door swings open."
First male couple in Summit County to apply for a marriage license... pic.twitter.com/mM5Tq5sKjR— Amani Abraham (@AmaniAbraham) June 26, 2015
According to the Summit County Probate Court, Marshall and Neilsen were the first male couple to recieve their marriage license in Summit County.
Marshall called it a historic day -- breaking down barriers and giving same-sex couples equal rights.
Within a two hour period, four couples applied for a marriage license Friday afternoon.