Monday, 04 May 2020 09:09

Ray Horner Podcast - 5/4/2020

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:17 - Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, and while the on-campus commemoration events were canceled due to COVID-19, virtual events will take place. Dr. Mindy Farmer from Kent State University discussed the events of that day and how today’s students are learning the background and context.

9:09 - Speaking of colleges, the larger schools are facing their own hurdles, but what about the small schools. Hiram College is one of those smaller schools, and president Dr. Lori Varlotta discussed how they’re adjusting, from distance learning to enrollment, as well as their overall budget.

17:19 - All facets of education have changed during this lockdown, from the students to teachers to administrative staff. That includes the high school guidance counselors, who are typically busy with college entrance exams, SAT/ACT testing, among other points of interest. Brian Caperones from North High School went over the challenges he has on his plate.

(Akron Zoo) Akron Zoo volunteers and staff have stepped up to sew masks from kits developed by the zoo’s veterinary team.

Using a medical mask pattern from the University of Florida, volunteers are making masks with up to N99 level filtration using Halyard H600 surgical sterilization wrap material. These masks can be sterilized for reuse.

When the zoo put the call out to its staff and volunteers, several dozen people wanted to use their skills to help make masks. The Akron Zoo’s goal is to make several thousand masks.

A portion of the masks will be donated to the Summit County Health Department and other community partners. The remainder of the masks will be used for zoo staff and to restock the zoo’s emergency stockpile. The zoo donated approx. 1,400 N95 masks from its emergency stockpile to Summit County Emergency Management Agency several weeks ago.

The Akron Zoo is closed until further notice. The zoo will make updates on its website and social media. For more information, visit or call 330- 375-2550.   

Friday, 01 May 2020 08:54

Ray Horner Podcast - 5/1/2020 Part 1

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:17 - With Ohio’s Stay At Home order extended to May 29th, many families have not been able to see their relatives both young and old, and some individuals have passed away these last two months without visitors. Dr. Toni Bisconti from the University of Akron talked about managing grief and making time for loved ones while keeping their social distance. She urges the listeners to make use of FaceTime and Zoom, or to grab a fold-out chair and have a chat in the driveway.

11:10 - As listeners continue to get educated on COVID-19, from transmission to treatment, it’s important to go over the basics of prevention and social distancing. Enter Dr. Donald Dumford from Cleveland Clinic-Akron General.

17:03 - Since the movie theaters are still closed, Scott Wynn shared his streaming tips and broke down the latest news in entertainment.

20:18 - Costco is a major company who’s issued a mandate for everyone, from employees to customers, to wear masks inside their store. Ray talks about his experience.

Friday, 01 May 2020 08:38

Ray Horner Podcast - 5/1/2020 Part 2

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:17 - The days of sitting in waiting rooms may be things of the past. Dr. Rob McGregor is the medical director from Akron Children’s Hospital discussed the changes at ACH’s facilities, from mask wearing to waiting in one’s car until the appointment time, to being screened before entering and changes in the maternity ward.

6:57 - Every industry in Ohio has been impacted by COVID-19 and the lockdown, but the strain has definitely been put on the farmers. Ty Higgins is with the Ohio Farm Bureau, and he answered questions that many have had on farm production in the state. Higgins discussed the pressure on the processing plants, the meat shortage that is becoming a reality, and the economic hit this is having on farmers everywhere.

17:33 - Another industry hit hard are the airlines. And not just the airline companies themselves, but the airports both large and small. On the smaller scale, Akron-Canton Airport has taken it on the chin, but they continue to stay creative and meeting guidelines to ensure safety, according to CAK president Ren Camacho.

Will baseball have a season this year? And if so, can they get at least 100 games in and make people happy? That is all up in the air.

To tide of the baseball fans in the audience, Bob Ethington from the Akron-Summit County Public Library has some book recommendations for those who miss the days of The Babe, The Mick, and even Yogi Berra and Jackie Robinson.

Friday, 01 May 2020 07:29

This Week in Tech with Jeanne Destro-5-1-20 Featured

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Mobile phone COVID-19 tracking, and augmented reality images commemorating the 50th anniversary of the May 4, 1970 shootings Kent State University.

Thursday, 30 April 2020 08:52

Ray Horner Podcast - 4/30/2020 Part 1

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The topic that took over much of the press briefings this week in Ohio was the subject of masks. Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. governor Jon Husted clarified that wearing masks is suggested for customers and it’s up to businesses whether to enforce it or not.

5:49 - Each week, Akron mayor Dan Horrigan joins the Ray Horner Morning Show to go over what’s on his plate during the Coronavirus and the lockdown. First up, the mayor talked about some city workers going back to work starting Monday the 4th, then he gives an economic look and if dollars will come into the city.

15:37 - One thing is certain is that the face of education will be changing, from the college level down to pre-schools and daycares. Norton superintendent Dana Addis has also been a teacher and coach, and he looked at education from inside the classroom to the courts and playing fields, and how they will have to adjust and adapt.

Thursday, 30 April 2020 08:49

Ray Horner Podcast - 4/30/2020 Part 2

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:17 - If you’re looking for good news with our economy, Dr. Sucharita Ghosh from the University of Akron will not brighten your day. Dr. Ghosh talked about the economic hit the Coronavirus lockdown has had and if there is a possibility the economy can climb back to respectability this year or in the future.

7:57 - The Bridgestone Senior Players tournament will go on, just not on the date it was supposed to be. Don Padgett, the executive director of the tournament, talked about moving the event back five weeks into August, and how they are communicating with the powers that be to maintain safety and social distancing.

11:54 - Scott Callahan is a recognizable name in the area, especially after his years of coaching basketball at Hoban. He’s also a teacher at Wadsworth High School, and he gave an inside look at what it’s like to teach during this pandemic and not being able to see his students in person.

18:09 - Coronavirus or not, fans just aren’t flocking to Ken State and Akron football games. Could these football programs be on the chopping block?

(City of Akron) As the City of Akron moves forward into the next phase of the response to the COVID-19 crisis and prepares for recovery, the City will be transitioning toward modified business operations and services within our community. 

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine’s administration issued the Responsible RestartOhio Plan, a modification of the Stay at Home Order, in which additional business operations, including office work and manufacturing will be permitted to resume, under strict guidelines that include physical distancing, regular cleaning, and health screenings.  Face coverings will be strongly encouraged among the general public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Pursuant to this order, and the ongoing state of emergency, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan will be implementing the following changes in this next phase of the City’s response to COVID-19.

City Workforce Updates:

The City will be implementing limited employee remobilization based on the most urgent needs and the safety of employees and the public. On May 4th, the City will be returning approximately 135 employees, who were previously on temporary emergency leave, to work. The number of employees remaining on temporary emergency leave is approximately 319.  The majority of returning workers are being brought back to work in the areas of: neighborhood code enforcement, highway and street maintenance, utilities maintenance, billing and tax collection, cleaning/maintenance of city buildings, parks, and property, and small business assistance and recovery efforts.  Some workers will continue to work remotely, when possible.

The City is working to appropriately distance employees and provide appropriate PPE, disinfectant for workspaces, hand sanitizer, etc. Personal face coverings will be required for all employees when occupying common or public spaces in City buildings (e.g. elevators, lobbies, meeting rooms, restrooms, etc.)  

Recreation and Parks Updates: 

As a reminder, the City has not issued any general statement or order regarding privately-hosted or privately-organized events within the City. Organizers of such events should continue to monitor and follow Ohio Department of Health and Summit County Public Health guidelines related to public gatherings.   On April 22, the City of Akron announced that it will not host or hold City-sponsored events with an expected attendance of 250+ during the spring or summer of 2020 (through 9/7/2020), including Lock 3 concerts and festivals. Please read the entire release here, and contact organizations directly with any question about privately-organized events.

City parks remain open for socially distanced recreation.  In accordance with the ongoing order from the State of Ohio, playgrounds and courts remain closed. City Golf courses (Good Park and Mud Run) will be reopening for limited operations starting May 1, 2020. Social distancing will be mandatory and additional health/safety precautions have been implemented. Details are available at (and attached here).

The City continues to evaluate ways to safely open and operate community centers, pools, and summer camps, subject to public health guidelines. The current expected open date for these facilities is June 1. Regrettably, the City is adding to the list of events that will be postponed until 2021.  The Summer Concert Series in neighborhood parks and the Heinz Poll festival are two cherished Akron summer event series that will not be moving forward in 2020, due to ongoing concerns about the ability to appropriately protect individuals, while preserving the unique entertainment experience of these particular events. 

However, the City is still working to creatively plan free neighborhood recreation opportunities that will enable social distancing, including July 4th neighborhood-based fireworks shows.

Budget Task Force  Update: 

Based on internal economic analysis, in the coming months the City of Akron expects a 20% to 35% drop in the revenue used to support core city services. Unfortunately, to date, federal CARES Act  funding has not been made available to sustain core City services, which  is placing unprecedented pressure on strained municipal budgets. The City’s Finance team is working with departments to identify savings, while awaiting more detailed income tax revenue data that will enable Mayor Horrigan and City leadership to better project the immediate impact of COVID-19 on City finances. Mayor Horrigan’s administration is maintaining an open line of communication with union leaders regarding the impact budget constraints and lost revenue will have on our City workforce. 

“One thing we know for certain is that difficult decisions lie ahead,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said.  “It is likely that there will be additional modifications in City services in 2020, and that some programs or projects will be delayed.  We are incredibly appreciative of the unified response and ongoing dedication of our workers and residents during this extraordinary time.” 

Additional Public Reminders/Notices: 

  • Bulk pick-up services remain paused for the safety and health of City workers.  Residents are encouraged to place all household trash into their carts for curbside pick-up. If residents can wait to dispose of bulk items, they are encouraged to do so; however, if emergency needs arise residents can contact private trash haulers, as is the standard practice in many communities.
  • Keep Akron Beautiful will begin picking up litter on May 5, 2020, focusing first on City of Akron expressways, roadsides, and complaints. They will have modified processes to keep their employees and the public safe, while helping to keep our community clean.
  • The City is working to hold City boards and commission meetings, as needed, using videoconference/teleconference and livestreaming technology.  Please visit to see if and when any virtual public meetings are scheduled and announced.
  • The City is reminding customers that water and sewer charges still apply and that all charges for usage must be paid in full.  Starting May 1, any unpaid balances on utility bills will incur normal penalties and interest.  Customers struggling to make payments due to loss of income or other circumstances should contact (330) 375-2554 as soon as possible to avoid future disconnection.  Mayor Horrigan continues to work with state and federal partners to find a solution to Akron’s unaffordable water/sewer bills—a long-term challenge which has been aggravated by the current economic crisis. Mayor Horrigan continues to urge those lawmakers to implement changes that will give Akron ratepayers the relief they need and deserve.
  • As a reminder, public access to City buildings remains extremely limited, but customer service staff members are available to assist over the phone or online. Please visit or contact 3-1-1 for more information about how to make payments, submit information, or contact City personnel over the phone or online. 
  • The City of Akron is strongly urging residents to wear facial coverings when out in public. Wearing a facial covering will help prevent further spread of the virus.

For assistance with local resources including food, shelter, and clothing please dial 2-1-1. For information on financial assistance for businesses, SBA loans, unemployment, and more please visit the Greater Akron Chamber's COVID-19 resource guide at

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 11:06

Ray Horner Podcast - 4/29/2020

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:17 - Everyone has to make changes going forward, COVID-19 or not, when it comes to the spread of germs and disease. It's being done at the essential workplaces, especially in grocery stores, but most notably in hospitals. Dr. Cliff Deveny is the president and CEO of Summa Health, and he forecasted the future of healthcare and how Summa will adjust and keep their patients safe. He also touched on the wearing of masks and the now-delayed merger with Beaumont.

11:56 - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio's primary elections were postponed nearly 40 days. Dr. David Beer, professor of political science at Malone University, talked about Joe Biden and the Democratic support behind him.

18:33 - The city of Akron canceled their downtown events for the summer, as did Cuyahoga Falls. Mayor Don Walters went over the economic impact this will have in his city, and how they are helping the small businesses in town.

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