Tony Mazur

Tony Mazur

After a shockingly brief appearance in the postseason, the 2018 Cleveland Indians are fired up and ready for the regular season to begin.

Bob DiBiasio, VP with the Indians, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to preview the opening day roster. One of the questions on the team has been Michael Brantley, and though he will start the year on the disabled list, Bobby D says the veteran outfielder has not experienced any setbacks. Other topics of discussion are the continued strength of the pitching staff and retaining Mike Napoli in the organization.

The Indians take on the Seattle Mariners Thursday night for the regular season opener. Progressive Field opens up eight days later on April 6th, when the Tribe takes on the Kansas City Royals.

This week's 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week is Garrett Mellon from Archbishop Hoban High School.

Garrett is a member of the Knights' lacrosse team. Hoban's season is already underway, and they are looking forward to a very competitive year.

Garrett settled on lacrosse as his full-time sport just one year ago, after years of playing football and basketball. But it wasn't the first time he picked up a lacrosse stick, as he has been dabbling in the sport since he was six.

The family atmosphere at Hoban has been attractive to Garrett. He says the support is great across the board, whether it is in the classroom or on the athletic fields.

Garrett hopes to attend The Ohio State University and play lacrosse in the future.

It is only Wednesday, but there have already been a number of tragic stories. However, both have been contained as of Wednesday morning.

Tim Dimoff, the president and CEO of SACS Security Consulting, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the events that occurred in Austin, Texas and Great Mills, Maryland. In the Austin case, Dimoff talks about how the suspect’s cell phone and other devices left somewhat of a paper trail that led the authorities to him. As for the Maryland school shooting, Dimoff talks about how the resource officer neutralized the threat and took down the shooter, leaving the shooter as the lone fatality.

As of this morning, just before this interview was aired, the Austin suspect was identified as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.

Children in the future will know what it was like to be a Toys ‘R’ Us kid. But it is not just the toy stores that are being affected.

Jonathan Walsh, consumer reporter at WEWS/News 5 in Cleveland, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the change in shopping habits. Walsh believes today's consumer is very concerned with convenience shopping, which does not bode well for the traditional brick-and-mortar stores such as Toys ‘R’ Us, Claire’s, and Sam’s Club, which are either closing some or all of their facilities in the near future. He says those stores failed to embrace the online shopping boom, and their downfalls are evident.

Shopping habits are changing across the board, not just in retail. Walsh mentions the trend in “curbside” grocery shopping, where employees of the store pick out items on a list made ahead of time. Even stores like Target and Walmart have introduced groceries into their facilities for the consumer’s convenience.

This week, our 1590 WAKR Female Student Athlete of the Week is Lexi Shultz, a senior softball player from Ellet High School.

Lexi has been interested in softball from an early age and grew to love the sport.

“I've been playing ever since I was in T-ball, since I was six years old, and I've just loved it ever since then.”

Shultz is a two-sport athlete at Ellet, playing both volleyball and softball, garnering honors in both sports as a 1st team all city softball player and a 2nd team selection in volleyball.

She says working with her coaches, including head coach Chuck Shuman and her Ellet teammates has been a great experience.

“Our goal is to not only win the city championship, but to go further in the districts as well,” she said.

Aside from the team goals, she said the mark of a successful season would be the ladies coming together as one and working hard on and away from the diamond.

“I think if we're all working hard, working together, and putting in as much effort as we can, I think we'll be successful.”

After graduation, Lexi plans on attending the University of Akron, where she is already taking classes, and majoring in exercise science.

We wish Lexi the best in all of her future endeavors.

The trees of Issue 4 are beginning to bear fruit. One of those fruits is a new fire station in Middlebury.

Akron mayor Dan Horrigan joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about replacing fire station #2 over on East Market Street. Horrigan has stressed the monies from Issue 4 will be split into thirds, and fire is one of those categories. The other two are police and streets, and more than 54 miles of road will be resurfaced this year.

The mayor also talked about the Hamburger Festival hiatus. Due to the construction downtown, Horrigan believes the Hamburger Festival would have had a difficult time operating, though other events at Lock 3 should not be affected.

The All-American Soap Box Derby continues to spread its name and purpose across the globe. A few months back it was Australia. Now China is getting into the mix.

Mark Gerberich, the president and CEO of the AASBD, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about the derby heading east. Gerberich believes it is a great opportunity for the derby to head to Australia, China, and beyond, from both a brand-building and education standpoint. In China, the goal is for students to experience a taste of American culture, and, down the road, they hope Chinese students will come through Akron for summer camps.

The 81st FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby will be from July 15th-21st at Derby Downs, next door to the Rubber Bowl and Akron-Fulton Airport.

Over the last decade, the push to revitalize some of Akron’s non-downtown neighborhoods is beginning to pay dividends. One such neighborhood is Highland Square, which appears to be the model for other areas.

Planning director Jason Segedy joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the success of Highland Square. Segedy believes the mix of housing and retail has been the key for Highland Square, along with the Bohemian, artistic vibe the area gives off. It is one of the few areas where the old houses remain in solid condition, and is a model of stable property value.

Other neighborhoods have been undergoing facelifts, and some could look very different over the course of a decade. West Hill, which is down the street from Highland Square, could see a revitalization soon, as could Kenmore, North Hill, and what was once the Innerbelt.

Zach Larue from Manchester High School is the male 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week.

Zach is a member of the Panthers wrestling team, and has recently made a run to states, finishing fourth in his weight class as a junior.

Zach weighhs in a 126 pounds, and he understands the work one must put in to compete at this level, even if it means early or late practices.

"I just want to win states," Zach says. "That's all I think about when I'm training."

Zach loves being apart of the team for Manchester, which coached by Josh Cintron. "We don't have a ton of guys on the team, but we are all very close."

Being only a junior, Zach has an eye on Cleveland State University for college.

Wadsworth senior Sophia Fortner is the female 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week for March 16th-23rd.

Sophia is the point guard for the Grizzlies’ basketball team, who, at the time of this writing and recording, were headed to Columbus for the state tournament. An ACL injury hurt not only Sophia’s season last year, but the team’s as well, but they have bounced back in a big way.

"We’re a young team,” says Sophia. “But we’ve grown a lot, so it’s been an exciting season."

During her sophomore year, Sophia traveled with the team to states the first time, with the Grizzlies coming back to Wadsworth with a title. She looks to have that happen again in her final season.

“[It was] definitely a great experience to have gone there before and get a feel for the atmosphere,” Sophia says of her first trip to states. "The experience is very rewarding."

In addition to her point guard duties, Sophia is very active at school. She is a member of the National Honor Society and student council, and even works inside the athletic office.

Sophia has enjoyed her time at Wadsworth. "It’s amazing,” she says of the support the students and teams receive. "I’m so blessed to be a part of this school and community."

In the fall, Sophia will head westward to the University of Toledo, where she will play for the Rockets basketball team. She plans to major in exercise science.

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