Longtime Akron City Councilman Mike Williams attended his final meeting Monday night after serving 28-years on city council.

Williams had to choose between running for mayor and running for re-election for his at-large seat.

But he wouldn't change a thing -- including his decision to run for mayor.

"The only regrets you have in life are the things you didn't try and that you didn't go for," said Williams. "It was very important to me. It's something that I always wanted to do.

Williams said he's still not sure what's in store for the future, but he plans to stay active in the community.

"This community has been wonderful to my family and it our obligation to give back, and it's the same thing I've taught my children."

The other members leaving council this year include Jack Hefner, DeAndre Forney and Jim Hurley who lost his seat in the primary.


Published in Local
Friday, 11 December 2015 11:10

Zak Husein: A Life By Example

It's been more than three days since the shooting death of 21-year-old Zakaeria (Zak) Husein who was shot in the chest during a robbery at his brother's pizza shop in Akron.

Family and friends have used social media as an outlet to share stories and remember the University of Akron student as a kind individual who was devoted to his faith as a Muslim.

It was clear to see the impact he had on friends and family members. Hundreds attended a prayer service for Zak at the Islamic Center of Akron and Kent this week and his Facebook page is flooded with with messages, describing the young man as a thoughtful, kind, accepting and genuine individual who had a bright future ahead.

"Zak is one of, if not the, nicest guys I have ever met," said Amal Almahd, Zak's cousin and president of the Muslim Student Association at the University of Akron.

But in the midst of many positive comments, one specific remark stood out to Zak's cousin and Muslim Student Association (MSA) President Amal Almahd. She said the comment, attached to a picture of Zak, referenced the young man as a Muslim "waiting to be radicalized."

"It just hurt me so much to see that the person went and even took his picture to make such a hateful comment."

While the comment was hurtful, Almahd believes the memories shared of Zak's life has been able to counteract the verbal attacks targeting Muslims.

"Through Zak's actions, I think everyone could see that whatever hateful comments, or whatever Donald Trump and anyone is saying, is completely wrong," said Almahd. "If anything, he (Zak) really was the best example of a Muslim."

Zak was studying international business at UA and was an active member of MSA. He was shot and killed during a robbery at Premium New York Style Pizza on Glenwood Avenue Monday night.

Akron police released surveillance video of the robbery to help track down the gunman who was wearing all black and a mask. Husein can clearly be seen handing over the money to the robbery suspect. Originally , the suspect was described as a black male, but police later confirmed that they were not ruling out the possibility that the suspect was a woman.

Zak's family has offered a $50,000 reward for anyone with information that would lead to the conviction of the person responsible in the fatal shooting.

More than $3,000 has been raised in a GoFundMe account that has been set up to help Zak's family pay for funeral expenses.

Previous Coverage: 

VIDEO 21-Year-Old Shot, Killed In Akron



Published in Local
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 11:52

UPDATE VIDEO 21-Year-Old Shot, Killed In Akron

Updated 1:34 p.m. Police say the gunman pictured in the surveillance video below appears to be one of the two people who robbed two Family Dollar stores on Saturday night by pistol-whipping employees.

They say one suspect could be a female.

Akron CrimeStoppers is offering a reward in the crimes.

NewsChannel 5 reports that Husein's family is offering a $50,000 reward in addition to a reward offered by Akron CrimeStoppers.

(Previous coverage) The shooting death of a 21-year-old at an Akron pizza shop is under investigation.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports the man was shot at Premium New York Style Pizza on East Glenwood shortly before 11 p.m. Monday night. He is identified as Zakareia Husein, 21, from Springfield Township. He suffered a fatal wound to the chest.

Updated 11:50 a.m. Akron police released surveillance video of the robbery as the gunman, clad in black with a mask covering his face, approached the cash register demanding money. Husein can clearly be seen handing over the money. The video does not include the shooting.

Police have also released surveillance video of the Family Dollar robbery on East Tallmadge Avenue on Saturday night, and the Family Dollar robbery a half hour later on South Main Street.

Husein was taken to Akron City Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Police are asking for the public's help identifying the gunman.


Published in Local

The director of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study is leaving his position to become the city's new planning director.

Akron Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan announced that Jason Segedy, director of AMATS for the past seven years, will take over the new position in January.

Current AMATS planning administrator Curtis Baker will replace Segedy as interim director on January 4th.


(AMATS - News Release) - After seven years as director of the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS), Jason Segedy will be leaving this position in January. Akron Mayor-elect Daniel Horrigan announced today that Segedy will be the city's new planning director.

Segedy became AMATS director in 2008 and has been with the agency since 1998. During his tenure as agency director, AMATS focused its efforts on increasing funding for road and bridge preservation, pursuing "Complete Streets" planning principles, and advocating better urban design to focus more on people than cars.

"Although it is never easy to leave a job one loves, the knowledge that our region - by working together - has been making great and steady progress towards becoming a better connected, cohesive and equitable place, makes it easier to say 'goodbye' to our wonderful organization and its members," Segedy said.

Curtis Baker, current AMATS planning administrator, will replace Segedy as interim director beginning Jan. 4. Baker has been with AMATS for over nine years and holds a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership from Miami University and a master's of city and regional planning from The Ohio State University

Published in Local
Saturday, 05 December 2015 11:33

Man Shot, Killed in Akron

Akron police are investigating the shooting death of a man on the city's west side Friday night.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office reports a man was shot at a home on Storer Avenue and was pronounced dead at the scene around 8:30 p.m.

Further details and the victim's identity have not been released.


Published in Local
Friday, 20 November 2015 11:27

Ice Skating Rink At Lock 3 Opens

The ice skating rink at Lock 3 opens today (Friday) -- a week before the official grand opening of this year's winter lineup in Downtown Akron. 

New to the winter lineup this year is an indoor/outdoor skating rink, sponsored by the University of Akron, with a polymer surface for beginners 14 and under. 

That will open next Friday, November 27, along with many of the traditional events schedule, including the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Festival. 

Below is a list of events/activities scheduled this year, provided by Lock 3:

THE ICE RINK: The Lock 3 ice rink opens Friday, November 20, 2015 through Presidents Day, February 15, 2016. Admission to the ice rink is free to everyone. Skates can be rented for $3. Skate rental closes 1⁄2 hour before rink closes.

ZIPPY'S LITTLE ROO RINK: Presented by The University of Akron, Ohio's Polytechnic University. The 28' x 48' rink designed for beginner skaters, age 14 and under, is an all weather, indoor/outdoor synthetic skating surface and is one of our newest attractions to Lock 3! Zippy's Little Roo Rink will operate during the same hours as the Ice Rink.

AKRON CHILDREN'S MUSEUM POP-UP SITE: Explore the emerging Akron Children's Museum Pop-Up Site, presented by PNC at Lock 3 this winter! Families can explore, create, build, and move through our interactive exhibits designed to inspire the imagination. Admission is $3.Open Wednesday-Saturday 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday 11 am –5 pm. Check Akronkids.org for more information.

POLAR PUTT-PUTT: 9 holes of indoor putt-putt golf that winds through festive holiday decor. Fun for all ages. $3 for 9 holes.

THE HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING FESTIVAL: On Friday November 27th at 7 p.m. the City of Akron and Downtown Akron Partnership will light up the night sky over Lock 3. The half hour program hosted by WONE's Jeff Kinzbach will feature North East Ohio native, The Voice's Jacob Rummel and end with the lighting of spectacular displays throughout Lock 3 & a must see pyrotechnics show. It is also tradition for guests to stay after the show and ice skate into the night.

THE WELCOME SANTA PARADE: Saturday November 28th at 11am. This annual family tradition features over 75 units including marching bands, floats, costumed characters, dance groups and area organizations. The parade will end with Santa coming to town! Santa will stop at the main stage for the end of the parade entertainment and then come to Lock 3 to meet everyone. All Lock 3 attractions will be open.

REINDEER RUN: Enjoy 150 feet of downhill fun on our all-season polymer coated slide designed for children 14 and under. Adults may accompany children on the slide. Only sleds provided by Lock 3 may be used and are rented for $3 for 30 minutes. The number of sleds available each half-hour will be limited to ensure maximum fun. Purchase wristband and time slot at Skate Rental Desk.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 12, 13, 19 and 20 from 9:30-11am. Breakfast is $10 and includes pancakes with lots of yummy toppings, sausage, hot chocolate and orange juice. A ticket to ride the Magical Train, access to the Akron Children's Museum Pop-Up location, and your choice of a skate rental, Reindeer Run wristband, or a game of polar putt-putt. Bring your camera for plenty of photos with Santa! Reservations recommended by calling Lock 3 at 330-375-2877.

COUNTOWN TO FIRST NIGHT: A celebration in diversity and the largest community visual arts display in Northeast Ohio is Lock 3's "Countdown to First Night," featuring 40, hand-painted banners from schools, churches, community centers, ethnic organizations and civic groups - each one illustrating an expression of the winter holiday season. Lock 3 unveils a new banner on the State Street Parking Deck façade each evening, between Nov. 27 and First Night.

THE MAGICAL TRAIN: Enjoy a drive through Lock 3 on this trackless train that holds both adults and children. Fare is $3 for adults and children.

THE VINTAGE ONEIL'S WINDOW DISPLAYS: The famous classic department store animated window displays that Akronites remember from the 1960's through the 1980's will be displayed in the windows of the O'neil's and Polsky buildings on Main St. Displays include The 3 Little Pigs, The Wizard of Oz, 3 Men in a Tub, Alice In Wonderland, The Cabbage Patch Kids, Raggedy Ann and more.

CRAFT IN SANTA'S WORKSHOP: December 3, 10, 17 from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Santa's Workshop (located inside Polar Putt Putt). Children 3-12 years old. FREE. Looking for a fun evening out with the kiddies? Join Santa and his helpers making crafts inside Santa's workshop! Lots of fun craft projects to choose from. You make it and then take it home with you! Enjoy photo opportunities with Santa and complimentary cookies and punch. Lots of holiday fun!

CRAFTY MART PRESENTS COTTAGE MART: For the first time, Crafty Mart is hosting a holiday pop-up market with a curated collection of our area's finest artists and makers in the outdoor wooden cottages. Enjoy ice skating, the new Children's Museum space, have a cup of hot chocolate, and stroll through the outdoor marketplace. Do your holiday gift shopping for locally-made items by small business makers for one weekend only. Saturday December 5th 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, December 6th 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

AKRON2AKRON HOLIDAY WALKING TOUR: Join us for the Akron2Akron Downtown Christmas History Walking Tour and After Party on Saturday December 12th. The Walking Tour starts at 4pm and is free to the public and is led by Joanna Wilson the author of The Story of Archie the Talking Snowman and Akron's History of Christmas Attractions.

FIRST LOCK 3 JINGLE BELL BASH: To benefit Ronald McDonald House of Akron. December 12th at 6pm inside Lock 3. Admission is $10 and each party goer will receive 2 tickets to a raffle, one drink ticket, and food. There will be coffee, hot chocolate, Thirsty Dog's Christmas Ale, soda, holiday cookies and hor d'oeuvres available. Guests will also have free access to ice skate and play putt putt golf during the event.

SPECIAL EVENTS: Need something to make your winter weekends a little warmer? Stay tuned to the website for more events and activities throughout January and February.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE: The concession stand at Lock 3 offers chili, soups and other hot items to warm skating and sledding enthusiasts. Akron's own Thirsty Dog brews are offered, including Lock 3 Lager. Coca Cola soft drinks and hot chocolate are also available.

Published in Local
Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:43

Arrest Made In Shooting Death Of 19-Year-Old

Akron police say they have made an arrest in connection with the shooting death of an Akron man over the weekend.

On early Sunday morning, Jaleel Jovon Woods, 19, of Endicott Drive was found with a gunshot wound to the head near Cordova and Courtland avenues.

Detectives arrested Jovonte A. Veal, 21, of Copley Road and charged him with murder. He was taken into custody Wednesday night and booked into the Summit County Jail.

Published in Local
Thursday, 19 November 2015 12:27

UPDATE Man Found Shot To Death In Parked Car

Akron police have launched their third homicide investigation in four days.

The latest fatal shooting was reported on Edward Avenue, where the body of 29-year-old Devon M. Anderson of Caddo Avenue in Akron was found in a car parked in a driveway.

He had been shot several times.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy, and says Anderson died of a gunshot wound to the torso, a homicide.

Akron police are investigating what happened.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 08:06

Man Shot, Killed At Akron Adult Club

Akron police are investigating the second homicide in as many days reported at an adult club in Akron overnight.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Officer reports a 32-year-old man was found shot following an altercations inside the Adult Entertainment Club on East Archwood Avenue shortly after midnight.

Further details and the victim's identity have not been released.

On early Sunday morning, a 19-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound to the head on Cordova Avenue. Authorities haven't released a possible motive or suspect in the shooting. 

Published in Local

On the one year anniversary of Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner's death, his father is moving forward with a new project to support local law enforcement officers across Summit County.

Winebrenner has announced the launch of Project Blue Light, JW1301, which is part of a nationwide effort to honor service members in the community.

"I think this blue light would tell those officers out there at night time, and the people driving around, that 'there's a supporter of peace keepers,'" said Winebrenner. "... this blue light represents anybody who's other in the service industry and even our military people."

Winebrenner said the bulbs will be available at local venues across the area, including at the Barberton Police Department where some officers will make a personally delivery to those who request a blue light for their home.

Donations are being accepted and will be used to purchase additional blue lights to be distributed around the area. 

Updates and more information can be found on the Justin Winebrenner Memorial Page on Facebook.


Published in Local

Rob Winebrenner, father of slain Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner, said he has forgiven the man who took his son away from him.

"I said I can forgive him so I can move on. I wish it didn't happen that night. I wish he would gone home and stayed home, but what happened happened; I can't change that."

Family and friends of Justin Winebrenner paid tribute to the man they all knew on the eve of the 1-year anniversary of his death at Barberton High School on Sunday.

Rob Winebrenner said on a day they will release balloons into the air in his son's honor would not be a sad day, but a day to reflect on the amount of good Justin did for a number of people.

"Inside, yes, we're sad. We are mad, but I think on the outside it's more of remembering him and moving on and looking forward and seeing the things he did left behind in peoples minds."

Kenan Ivery killed Justin Winebrenner on November 16th 2015 at Papa Don's Pub, after they got into an argument that led to Ivery being kicked out of the bar.

Ivery was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Winebrenner.

Joel Green, a childhood friend of Justin's, said he will always remember his smile and will always remember him as a caring person. Green said he knows Winebrenner was there with them Sunday.

"We know he is looking down today," Green said. "We couldn't have more beautiful weather today and I think if Justin was standing here today, he would smile."

Ohio Representative Greta Johnson was in attendance and played a big part in naming a portion of the highway along US Route 224 after Winebrenner. Johnson said Winebrenner died helping others.

"Justin was a helper and he died doing what helpers do."

She said riding on the highway named after Justin gives her a daily reminder of the man he was and what it means to be a helper as an elected official.

"I carry him with me and all helpers in the job that I do. His highway sign welcomes me home from every trip everyday to Columbus."

Scott Snyder, founder of the non-profit organization Hero's Rock, presented Justin Winebrenner's daughter Charlee the "CrimeDawg" Rocker that is a replica of the car Winebrener drove as an Akron police officer.

"We created the crime dog for Charlee [Justin Winebrenner's daughter] to reflect Justin's service to his community and who he was."

Snyder and his wife Trish founded Hero's Rock after they learned about a soldier being killed in Afghanistan, a week after learning he was going to be a father.

From pulling a person from a burning car to buying a four-wheeler for a young boy who had his stolen, Snyder said Justin gave his life for others.

"A policeman's motto is to protect and serve. Justin lived by these words on and off the job."

Over 50-100 balloons were let off into the air and many people clapped in celebration, before heading to Green Diamond Grille to watch the Cleveland Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rob Winebrenner said it is a great show of support to see how many people came out to honor his son. He told the crowd before leaving it's because of them he is able to go on.

"Its because of you, each of you. I am able to stand tall."

Published in Local

While the investigation continues into the deadly Akron plane crash that took the lives of all nine people on board, the American Red Cross is actively offering their support to the 11 families who were affected by the damage left behind.

"We provided initial assistance to those families. Right now, we're waiting to see what kind of services they need, if any, as follow-up," said Spokesman Jim McIntyre with the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region.

The local chapter of the Red Cross will also be assisting the families with a recovery plan.

"We'll refer them to whatever appropriate agencies they need. We are also going to assist them with a recovery plan if they need that and we also have mental health services available if those are needed."

At the crash site on Mogadore Road, the Red Cross is also on scene to provide food, water and coffee to first responders and investigators.

Published in Local
Thursday, 12 November 2015 11:37

Wind Advisory In Effect

There's a wind advisory today for several Northeast Ohio communities, including Summit, Stark, Portage and Medina counties. The National Weather Service reports wind gusts could hit up to 55 miles per hour. The advisory is in effect until 10 tonight.

"As far as this time of year, this is what we call the storm season for the Great Lakes region," said Meteorologist Kirk Lombardy with NWS in Cleveland.

The wind strength could have the power to knock down tree limbs and power lines.

"Also, anything that's not tied down or secured could become airborne or blown away from your yard."

According to Lombardy, this is a typical November storm for the Great Lakes region.

"Typically we see storms that travel through the Great Lakes and cause some very strong wind events. Look at the event of the Edmund Fitzgerald that occurred on November 10."

In 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald ship sank during a storm in Lake Superior, killing 29 people on Nov. 10.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:56

UPDATE No Survivors In Akron Plane Crash

Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed Tuesday night that there were no survivors after a small plane crashed into an apartment building near Mogadore and Skelton roads.

While the identities and number of victims haven't been released, the plane's owner confirmed that there were nine people onboard the 10-passenger plane -- two pilots and seven passengers -- when it took off from Florida. Officials said the plane was reportedly flying from Dayton area to the Akron Fulton Airport. But it is not clear yet if those passengers were on the plane with the pilot and co-pilot when it crashed in Akron.

A flight school at Fulton Airport posted on Facebook that the plane was on approach to the airport, and was a Hawker 800 model.

Officials say no one was in the apartment at the time of the crash.

The investigation continues today with a news conference scheduled at noon.


UPDATE 6:26 PM 11/10/15: Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol have confirmed that there were no survivors in the plane crash. There were nine people onboard the small plane.

UPDATE 5:50 PM 11/10/15: The owner of a private jet that crashed into a small apartment building on Mogadore and Skelton Roads this/Tuesday afternoon is now saying that there were 9 people on the jet - two pilots and seven passengers - and none of those aboard are believed to have survived the fiery crash.

The Beacon Journal reports that the plane's owner, Augusto Lewkowicz, isn't releasing the victim's names pending family notification.

NewsChannel 5 also cites Akron police sources as confirming nine people were on board the plane. It is not yet officially known if all those aboard were on the plane when it crashed in Akron.


(Previous coverage) A small plane has crashed into an apartment building on Mogadore Road, and there are apparently some deaths.

NewsChannel 5 reports, quoting police sources, that two people have died in the crash into the apartment building on Mogadore Road and Skelton, not far from Akron-Fulton Airport in the Ellet area of Akron.

The TV station reports that everyone in the apartment building has been accounted for, and there are no injuries in the building. And the fire is now reportedly out.

A flight school at Fulton has posted on Facebook that the plane was on approach to the airport, and was a Hawker 800 model.


We are sad to report that a Hawker 800 has just crashed on short final at Akron Fulton. We are deeply saddened for the...

Posted by American Winds Flight Academy on Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Power is out for many in the area.

FirstEnergy reports that about 66-hundred customers are out in Summit County, almost all of them in Akron itself. Witnesses say the plane clipped power lines on the way to crashing.

Published in Local
Friday, 06 November 2015 10:29

Prade Hearing Wraps Up

The latest court hearing to determine whether former Akron police Captain Doug Prade will get a new trial has concluded.

Defense experts were testifying in court about the DNA found on the lab coat of Prade's ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade.

The hearing is similar to one held in 2012 that led to Prade being exonerated. That decision was eventually reversed. Judge Christine Croce decided to hold another hearing instead of relying on transcripts.

Judge Croce has asked for written closing arguments to be filed with the court in four weeks. She will then determine whether Prade gets a new trial.

Previous Coverage: 

Prade Hearing Over, Written Decision Comes Later

Court To Hear Arguments For New Murder Trial

Prade's New Trial Request "Under Advisement"

Court Turns Down Latest Prade Appeal

Date Set For Prade Murder New Trial Hearing

Prade New Trial Order Sent Back To Summit County Court

UPDATE Prade Ordered Back Behind Bars


Published in Local
Thursday, 05 November 2015 12:32

Akron RubberDucks Win Larry MacPhail Award

The Akron RubberDucks are celebrating news that the team is the recipient of the 50th annual Larry MacPhail Award, which is given to a minor league baseball team that has demonstrated unique and creative promotional efforts.

The team was recognized for their innovative promotions and theme nights that helped to bring in more than 340-thousand fans to Canal Park in 2015.

The RubberDucks will pick up the award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Dec. 6 in Nashville, Tennessee.


(Minor League Baseball - News Release) ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball announced today that the Akron RubberDucks are the recipients of the 50th annual Larry MacPhail Award, symbolizing the top promotional effort in Minor League Baseball. The award has been presented since 1966 and is named after Hall of Famer Leland Stanford "Larry" MacPhail, Sr., who introduced innovations such as night baseball, airplane travel, pension plans and batting helmets. The Akron RubberDucks will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Using innovative promotions and theme nights to attract and engage fans, the Akron RubberDucks welcomed 340,916 fans through the gates of Canal Park during the 2015 season. The RubberDucks used a variety of theme nights, in-game promotions and giveaways, specialty foods and fireworks shows to average more than 5,000 fans per game.

"On behalf of the RubberDucks organization, we are humbled and ecstatic to be recognized as the top promotional team in all of Minor League Baseball," said Jim Pfander, Akron RubberDucks general manager. "It is a tremendous honor to receive this prestigious award that is so well-known throughout Minor League Baseball. The credit belongs to our owner, Ken Babby, with his vision of creating an unparalleled fan experience for affordable, family entertainment in Northeast Ohio, as well as the entire front office staff in Akron. Our staff's tireless efforts to bring Canal Park to life not only during 71 home games, but throughout the calendar year, are second to none."

"The RubberDucks promotions are unique in that they not only increase attendance at Canal Park, but benefit the Akron community as well," said president & chief executive officer of Minor League Baseball, Pat O'Conner. "Their promotions are innovative and entertaining, and are in large part the reason they won this award. Congratulations to the Akron RubberDucks, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I commend them on an outstanding season."

In addition to a strong promotional calendar, the Akron RubberDucks announced FirstEnergy as the first-ever presenting sponsor in franchise history. The sponsorship included many activation pieces and a co-branded logo. The co-branded logo was featured on the sleeves of staff shirts and the 2015 starting lineups were "powered by FirstEnergy." The July 3 fireworks show was the largest activation piece of the sponsorship, drawing 8,258 fans.

"We are thrilled to bring this award to Akron for the first time and for a sixth time overall for the Eastern League in the 50-year history of this award," added Pfander. "Larry MacPhail was an incredible innovator who cared deeply about promoting baseball and making games memorable experiences for fans of all ages. To be associated with an award that bears his name is itself an honor."

Published in Local

Akron's Mayor-elect Dan Horrigan used his first press conference this morning, following his election win Tuesday, to announce details related to a new advisory board that will look into the city's financial and economic health.

"It's just not looking at things that are wrong, but also looking at things that are right and improving them," said Horrigan .

Horrigan announced that the city of Akron will be forming the Blue Ribbon Task Force, which will be led by Tim Ochsenhirt, a retired managing partner at Roetzel & Andress.

"We're going to look at the finances of the city. We're going to look at the operations of the city and some of the opportunities and risks that the city may face," said Ochsenhirt.

The task force will be comprised of several local leaders, including Dan Colantone, president and CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber and David James, superintendent of Akron Public Schools.

According to Horrigan, the task force has been asked to focus on the following areas:

· City finances

· City operations

· Personnel and human resource management

· Economic and neighborhood development

· Risk management

· Charter changes

The budget for the task force has been set at $300,000 to pay for consultant fees and the force itself, but details on the breakdown have not been released.

The task force is expected to present their findings to Akron City Council in February.


Published in Local
Monday, 02 November 2015 07:53

DAP Helps Shop Open In Akron

It's not easy for a business to simply pop-up on the streets of Akron, but that's exactly what one dry cleaning shop did with the help of Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP).

"A lot of people say that people don't wear suits and they don't get dressed up as much anymore, but there is one place they are getting dressed up and it's downtown Akron," said Blaise Meeker, co-owner of Pressed For Success.

DAP launched a program this year to help businesses fill empty storefronts in downtown Akron. That program helped Pressed for Success to open on South Main Street, accross from Lock 3. DAP is assisting the owners with a six-month lease of an empty storefront on Main Street.

"We're always looking for ways to activate downtown and bring more businesses into downtown, so we received a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to activate storefronts," said Kimberly Beckett with DAP. "So find ways to bring more retail business into downtown Akron."

Pressed for Success co-owners Blaise and Colin Meeker didn't hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity.

"We hope that they've given us a strong foundation to build off of and last for the next 20 years," said Colin Meeker, co-owner of Pressed for Success.

The store opens Monday, Nov. 2. The owners plan to open another pop-up store that will feature items from Akron-area artists and designers.



Published in Local
A program once available in Summit County two years ago is making a comeback at Akron General Health System to help victims of sexual assaults. Trained nurses with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program will be available beginning Sunday to address the growing issue of sexual assaults in the area.
The PATH Center and Program was developed with the hospital's OBGYN and emergency departments.
The program's medical director, Dr. Jennifer Savitski, said the nurses go through 40 hours of base training, as well as clinical training to help sexual assault victims. 
"The nurses also have been trained on the neurobiology of trauma and how that may affect a patient's response to the sexual assault or domestic violence that they may have experienced," said Savitski.
Savitski explained the importance of gathering evidence in order to strengthen the ability to prosecute the person responsible for the crime. 
Dr. Tim Stover, Akron General president and CEO, said he didn't hesitate to support the program's launch at the hospital. Stover's daughter was a victim a domestic violence. 
"I remember, now, why I said 'yes' to this need, because it has to get done," said Stover. "That's all there is to it." 
Akron General has also designated space for program in the main hospital's Emergency Department, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017. The center will include office space, a separate waiting area and exam room, and a private shower for patients to use.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office handed out more than $51 million to over 300 crime victim support agencies, including nearly $229,000 for the new SANE program at Akron General.
Published in Local

The man convicted in the fatal shooting of Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner was officially sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus an additional 65 years, Wednesday morning.

Judge Alison McCarty followed the jury's recommendation last week to sentence Kenan Ivery, 36, to life in prison over execution.

"You will never again walk among us as a free man," said McCarty.

Justin Winebrenner's father, Rob Winebrenner, was the first of many family members and friends to give a victim impact statement before Ivery's sentencing.

"Finally, I want you to know as a parent, I am content standing here as a proud father of a hero that is no longer with us, knowing the last good deed that Justin did as a police officer is getting you off the streets forever."

Ivery shot and killed Winebrenner during a fight at Papa Don's Pub last November and also wounded four others. Ivery claimed it was self-defense when he pulled the trigger. He walked back into the bar with a gun after he was asked to leave.

Previous Coverage:

UPDATE Jury Recommends Life In Prison Without Parole

Kenan Ivery's Mother Begs For Mercy In Court

UPDATE Kenan Ivery Found Guilty of Aggravated Murder

Ivery Claims Self-Defense In Murder Trial

AUDIO Chief Nice Remembers Fallen Officer

Published in Local
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 10:50

APD Investigating Monday Shootings

Police are looking into two separate shootings that happened in Akron Monday.

The first shooting was reported outside a house in the 1800 block of 2nd Street SW around 9:30 a.m. A 28-year-old told police he was involved in an altercation and was shot in the arm and leg. He was taken to Akron General Medical Center where his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

The suspect allegedly fled in light blue or gray Chrysler minivan. Only a vague description of the shooting suspect was released and no description was given for the person driving the getaway van.

The second shooting happened near a home in the 200 block of Grand Avenue. Three men asked of another trio of men walking past their house to walk across the street so their "dog would not attack them," according to police. That's when one man pulled out a gun and fired several shots. No one was hurt, but the bullets struck two homes. Only a vague description of the suspects were released.

Published in Local
Monday, 26 October 2015 08:59

Canton Man Shot, Killed In Akron

Akron police and the Summit County Medical Examiner's office are investigating the shooting death of a 27-year-old Canton man over the weekend. 
The medical examiner said Joshua Curtis was reportedly involved in an altercation in a parking lot on Romig Road. He was pronounced dead at Akron General Medical Center at 5:50 a.m.
An autopsy is scheduled for today. Further details were not released. 
Published in Local
Saturday, 24 October 2015 08:11

High School Football Scores

HIgh School Football Scores - Friday, Oct. 23

Archbishop Hoban 49 - Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 10

Buchtel 55 - North 8

Canton McKinley 28 - Green 27

Carrollton 27, Canton South 16

Copley 56 - Kent Roosevelt 35

Coventry 47 - Springfield 21

Ellet 26 - Firestone 7

Euclid 35 - Medina 27

Fairless 47 - CVCA 20

Field 35 - Cloverleaf 13

GlenOak 42 - North Canton Hoover 17

Highland 24 - Barberton 12

Hudson 30 - Wadsworth 6

Lake 14 - Canton Central Catholic 7

Manchester 28 - Tuslaw 20

Mentor 20 - Brunswick 10

Mogadore 55 - Waterloo 0

Nordonia 49 - Twinsburg 21

North Royalton 37 - Cuyahoga Falls 0

Perry 35 - Jackson 0

St. Vincent-St. Mary 56 - Massillon 31

Streetsboro 21 - Ravenna 9

Stow 37 - Brecksville 28

Tallmadge 34 - Revere 19

Woodridge 45 - Norton 7


Saturday at 2 PM: East vs. Garfield at Buchtel


Published in Local
Friday, 23 October 2015 08:24

Fatal Crash Under Investigation

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office and Akron police are investigating a crash that left one person dead in Akron Thursday afternoon.

The Medical Examiner's office reports the crash happened at the intersection of Russell and East Avenue around 4 p.m.

The vehicle reportedly crossed the intersection at East Avenue and went airborne, crossed over the center lane and struck a vehicle, utility pole, and then another vehicle.

The driver was ejected from the car and was later pronounced dead at the scene. The identity of the victim has yet to be released. 

Published in Local
Thursday, 15 October 2015 12:42

APD: Boys, Woman Robbed Akron Man At Gunpoint

Akron police arrested three juveniles and a 24-year-old Akron woman for allegedly robbing a man at gunpoint around midnight Wednesday.

A 36-year-old man told police he was walking with his girlfriend and three young boys near 7th Street SW when one of the juveniles pulled out a gun. The boy told the man to empty his pockets, but the victim says he didn't have anything to give them. The boy fired a shot from the gun and was joined by another juvenile who pulled out a knife and threatened the man.

Police arrested the three boys and 24-year-old Rita M. Chupp of Manchester Road.

They were charged with aggravated robbery and curfew violations . Chupp was booked into the Summit County Jail and the juveniles were placed in the custody of the Summit County Juvenile Court.

Officers recovered a handgun that was reportedly used in the robbery.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 13:32

UA Protesters: "Akron Is Scarred"

Ode to an Antique Olive Jar:

"O Olive Jar! You are empty while I am sad. 

I cannot afford to fill thee with expensive imported olives."

The poem, written by University of Akron graduate and retired educator Wendy Duke, was intended to symbolize the feeling of disgust that many are attaching to an $556 decorative olive jar recently purchased for the university-owned presidential residence.

Duke and dozens of others waited nearly two hours outside the doors of room 339 inside the Student Union. UA Board of Trustees were scheduled to meet in a public session around 9 a.m. The nearly two-hour wait was plenty of time for protesters to voice their opinions and express their concerns surrounding UA's recent budget cuts, including the elimination of 213 jobs. 

28-year veteran English professor Antonia Forster made it very clear why she showed up.

"Generalized rage about the way the university is being destroyed by this attitude that money is the only thing that matters," said Forster.

People like Forster are mad about the elimination of staff and proposed reconfiguration of the UA Press, EJ Thomas Hall and the hiring of an inexperienced company to provide success coaches to students.

"The faculty is being treated like morons and lied to all the time and each time one lie gets pointed out, they come up with another one," said Forster. "There's a pattern of getting rid of all the people who know how to do things and replacing them with cheap people who don't know what they're doing."

Kristie Kern and her 10-year-old son, Kenton, were also in attendance outside the board of trustees meeting, using their violins as a way to express their concerns and present a symbolic message to represent the changes and job cuts at EJ Thomas Hall. Kern's husband, Kevin, is a UA history professor and also a member of the UA Press board.

"We, most especially, are upset about the situation with EJ Thomas Hall," said Kern. "This is why we brought our violins, my son and I, to represent the loss of performance opportunities at EJ Thomas."

Olive Protest2 Amani

But much of the attention was placed on the support offered for president Scott Scarborough, drawing snickers from people who were hoping to hear the opposite.While it was business as usual inside room 339 as UA board of trustees.

"We believe Dr. Scott Scarborough has appropriately and effectively addressed the issues presented to him," said Pavloff, who was then interrupted by the crowd's laughter. reconvened following an executive session Wednesday morning, Scarborough and Board Chairman Jonathon Pavloff did admit to making mistakes -- saying the administration could have done a better job delivering the message.

The board of trustees did not hear or answer questions from the public.

Previous Coverage:

Olive Jar Discussion Continues

Scott Scarborough: Unplugged

Eliminate UA Football: Not So Simple

UA President's House Repairs Cost More Than It's Worth

UA Planning To Cut Jobs, Baseball Program



Published in Local
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 06:32

UA Defends Decision To Hire Trust Navigator

The University of Akron is defending its decision to hire an outside company to provide student success coaches in the midst of a projected $60 million shortfall. Associate Vice President of Student Success Stacey Moore was part of the committee that recommended approving an $843,000 contract with Trust Navigator, a company with no prior experience working with a success coaching program. 

campus archesTrust Navigator was picked over InsideTrack, a nationally recognized program with around 15 years of experience. UA officials were impressed with InsideTrack's record, but the univeristy wanted to team up with a local program that would provide on-campus resources. Despite Trust Navigator's lack of student coaching experience, the university was interested with the company's goals -- including hiring UA graduates and working directly with students on campus. Moore said there's already research that proves direct and consistent contact with students improves retention. And that's what she said Trust Navigator is offering.

"We're not flying blind on Trust Navigator, even though they don't have a proven track record in higher education," Moore said. "It is attractive to us that they're hiring our own graduates, recent alumni. That means they're contributing to our student success after graduation."

Moore said tackling a program, like the one offered by Trust Navigator, on their own would require more money, more time and create a larger, more permanent risk.

"Keep in mind that this is a pilot [program], so we also want the ability to watch it, judge if it's successful and if it's not, then we can move outside of our contract pretty quickly, in a way that would not be as easy if we hired a whole set of people internally," said Moore. 

Moore estimates that it would have cost UA about $1.3 million, possibly more, to launch the program on their own. While InsideTrack would have cost the university around $1.66 million, Moore said one of the major disadvantages with the program would be the lack of on-campus coaching to provide face-to-face communication with students.

As for Trust Navigator's lack of prior experience in higher education, Moore continued to reiterate the fact that the university has the ability to terminate the contract at any time if they're not happy with the service. That's something Moore said wouldn't be easy if they hired their own staff. 

The program doesn't replace the role of advisors or counselors at the university. Moore said it's a service that adds a more personal coaching method that students can utilize both in and out of the classroom.

Moore admits that the committee didn't take a look at Trust Navigator's website before picking the company to launch the program at the university, but she says they focused on the responses to the request for proposal that was released in late June. Despite the university's recent budget cuts, including eliminating 213 jobs, Moore believes the process of making investments remains crucial.

"As challenging as it is, and we are certainly living the challenge of difficult fiscal times, if you fail to invest in anything, then I don't know how you move forward."

UA plans to take the lead on the project and oversee how Trust Navigator coaches are trained before meeting with students. 

Previous Coverage: 

InsideTrack: "We Had 8 Business Days To Respond"

REPORT: Trust Navigator Questions Building

Who -- Or What -- Is Trust Navigator?

UA Trustees Agree To Cut Jobs, Rescind Course Fee



Published in Local

Fashion can be used as a way to express yourself. For Neighbors Apparel, it's a chance to become the neighbor of a refugee living in Akron.

Tessa Reeves wanted to do more with her fashion degree from Kent State University. She wanted to make a difference in the community -- and that's exactly what she's doing.

Reeves teamed up with the non-profit group Urban Vision to help create employment for refugees in the North Hill area and to bring cultures together with fashion.

"What I don't want to do is create pity. We're not doing this because 'Oh, they need us," said Reeves. "We're doing this to celebrate the fact that we have these survivors living alongside us as neighbors."

women s pocket tee grande

Neighbors Apparel focuses on bringing two cultures together by blending traditional fabric with American design. 

"One thing our people really like is our Ohio Tee," said Reeves. "Basically, we take the fabric from Thailand and we cut out a shape of Ohio and then paste it on a t-shirt. That's my favorite product because I think it tells our story the best." 

Among those working at Neighbors Apparel: Head seamstress Ka Naw, a Karen refugee woman from Burma, and Chandra Rai, a Bhutanese refugee.

"There's lots of people who want to come to America, but they don't get a chance to be here due to economic problems," said Rai. "We are lucky that we get a chance to be here in America and I'm happy to be here." 

In about six months, five local retailers have picked up the clothing/accessory line -- including the Market Path at Highland Square and the NOTO Boutique in Downtown Akron. Reeves hopes it's just the beginning.

Source: Neighbors Apparel

Published in Local
Thursday, 08 January 2015 13:08

Coming Attractions Bridal Shop Closing

The bridal shop that as at the center of the Ebola scare in the Akron area has decided to close its doors for good. Coming Attractions Bridal Shop is closing in May after not being able to recover from their financial loss following Amber Vinson's visit.

Coming Attractions employee Kayla Litz talked to WAKR's Jasen Sokol about the news.

"You know, people say 'Oh you got your dress from the Ebola store,'" Litz said. "It's a bad stigma that just hasn't seemed to go away."

Coming Attractions posted the news on their Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

No word on whether or not Coming Attractions will move somewhere else for a fresh start.

Published in Local
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