Each month, Congressman Jim Renacci calls into the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss a slew of topics that occur locally, nationally, and internationally.

First, Rep. Renacci addressed the lewd “locker room” comments made by Donald Trump in 2005, calling the words “appalling.” However, he believes it was important for Trump to apologize, and this now gives the candidates a chance to focus on the issues and the direction of the country.

In addition to the election, Renacci mentioned the shape of our roads and bridges and how they will be paid off. He feels a long-term plan should be put in place to pay for the roads, rather than just borrowing money and forcing future generations to pay off the debt.

Friday, 07 October 2016 09:22

AUDIO: Summit County Tourism Sees 12.4% Growth

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The spotlight on Northeast Ohio in 2016 has shined brightly, but the growth in the area began its uptick a few years before.

Gregg Mervis, president and CEO of the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about these numbers. Specifically, Mervis says the increase in tourism has increased 12.4 percent between 2013 and 2015. The double-digit growth number really surprised and humbled the optimistic Mervis.

Where are these visitors spending their money on in Summit County? First, you factor in the 70 new hotels, then look at the events and staple locations in the area, such as the Bridgestone Invitational and Stan Hywet.

"There is a growing vibe and an authentic spirit…within the community,” says Mervis.

The proposals on what to do with Akron Public Schools’ consolidation continues, and six options are on the table being carefully reviewed. The state of Ohio will only fund one high school, which should have a capacity of over 1,000, and that would mean two of the smaller schools will have to be merged.

APS superintendent David James and treasurer Ryan Pendleton joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to recap Monday night’s meeting with Akron city council. James says the engineers are actively searching for property to build this new school, but due to high costs, the facility will most likely be constructed on APS property, specifically Garfield.

Pendleton says he feels excited about giving the Garfield and Kenmore areas new technology-rich facilities.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:55

AUDIO: Council President Discusses New CLC Proposals

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It is no secret that Akron’s population has dwindled in recent decades, and with that, the enrollment at local schools decreases. However, some of the facilities need a facelift, even if it means merging schools, which will raise many questions and proposals.

Marilyn Keith, president of Akron city council, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to go over the proposals of new development. Keith says the state of Ohio will partner with Akron Public Schools to build another CLC. The new building will have to have over 1,000 students, meaning it will most likely be a combination of two high schools. North, Garfield, and Kenmore are in need of new facilities, and many surmise Garfield and Kenmore may be the two schools to merge at the Garfield site.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 08:48

AUDIO: Grassroots Effort To Save Kenmore High School

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It is no secret that Akron’s population has dwindled in recent decades. With a decreased population comes decreased enrollment in schools. The question that needs to be asked: can Akron keep all these high schools in business?

One of those schools is Kenmore, and there has been word it may merge with another school, as the building is less than half capacity. There has been pushback, however, and Matt Lance is leading an effort to save his alma mater.

Matt joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the Change.org petition to raise awareness of their effort to keep Kenmore afloat.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 08:55

AUDIO: Mayor Horrigan on Downtown Development, Insurance

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Every so often, the mayor of Akron, Dan Horrigan, stops in the WAKR studios to discuss an array of topics throughout the city.

One of those topics, as mentioned on the Ray Horner Morning Show, was about the continued development in downtown Akron, which include Lock 3 and Lock 4. Mayor Horrigan took a trip to Philadelphia, and a plan is to model the civic commons after the City of Brotherly Love. The mayor mentioned he outsourced some opinions on what to do with the future of the Innerbelt to get an outside and fresh perspective.

Horrigan also talked about the initiative about retirees paying for insurance, which, as he admits, may not be the most popular moves by the city, but needed to be done.

Friday, 09 September 2016 09:04

AUDIO: Dr. Brian Harte Settles In At Akron General

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Dr. Brian Harte has been with the Cleveland Clinic since 2004, and now he’ll make his way down south to Akron.

Dr. Harte joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to discuss the announcement of him being named president of Akron General, effective September 26th. Dr. Harte says he looks forward to getting to know the residency at the hospital, and plans to dive head-first into the community.

"The partnership with Cleveland Clinic has been fantastic,” says Dr. Harte about Akron General.

As far as the world of medicine goes, Dr. Harte sees the near future will include more attention to wellness and outpatient care for chronic conditions. He believes clinics will have a much different feel to them than the last 5-10 years.

Thursday, 08 September 2016 07:58

AUDIO: Bill Tompkin Hopes To Keep His Hives

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The sight and the sound of bees can make the burliest of men shiver. That is why a new ordinance in the city of Cuyahoga Falls may put Bill Tompkin’s beekeeping hobby out to pasture.

Tompkin, a former firefighter, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his four beehives, and how long he may or may not hold be able to onto them. Tompkin believes this proposed ordinance is based off of “ignorance and fear,” and that most people who would walk by his property would never know about the hives.

Each of the four hives, according to Tompkin, can contain somewhere between 70 and 90,000 bees. WAKR has reached out to the city of Cuyahoga Falls, but as of this posting, we have yet to receive a response.

Tuesday, 06 September 2016 08:56

AUDIO: RubberDucks Owner Proud Of His Playoff Team

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The Akron RubberDucks have once again qualified for the playoffs, winning their division for the ninth time in franchise history.

Ken Babby, the owner of the RubberDucks, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his club’s perseverance. Babby gives a lot of credit to manager Dave Wallace, who had to grind through the season as his best players were called up to a higher league. The Ducks’ owner was proud of how the team played, especially down the stretch, as they were victorious in 20 of their last 25 contests.

The RubberDucks are the top seed in the playoffs, and will take on the Altoona Curve this Wednesday for two games before returning home to Canal Park.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 08:34

AUDIO: Rich Heldenfels Calls It A Career At The ABJ

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After 22 years at the Akron Beacon Journal, Rich Heldenfels is calling it a career. And on his 65th birthday, no less.

Heldenfels has been a pop culture writer at the Beacon since 1994, and he joined the Ray Horner Morning Show on his final day on the job. Heldenfels talked about his arrival into Akron by way of Schenectady, New York, and was thrust into work head-first during the OJ Simpson saga in ’94.

The long-time Beacon writer says some of his favorite memories were meeting local celebrities who went national, such as Steve Harvey Drew Carey, and LeBron James, and walking around the set of 25 Hill at Derby Downs.

Heldenfels will still teach at the University of Akron, but now that his wife has also retired, he felt this was a good time to step away from the paper.

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