Monday, 27 February 2017 12:12

OH Report: 126 Non-Citizen Voters Since 2011

A new report released Monday shows since Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted took office in 2011, 821 non-citizen voters have been identified in Ohio, and 126 of them have actually voted in elections. 

Eighty-two of these non-citizen voters cast ballots in one election alone. 

Husted said that those who have illegally cast ballots in elections have been or will be referred to law enforcement. As for those who are illegally registered, but haven't voted, they will be notified and given 30 days to cancel their registrations or face penalties under the state law. 

Husted reinforced that voter fraud in the state is rare. There are nearly 7.9 million registered voters in Ohio, with roughly 5.6 million of them casting ballots in the last election. 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 12:42

Nearly 1 Million Absentee Requests In Ohio

The office of Secretary of State Jon Husted says nearly one million absentee ballot requests have been sent in to his office as of last Friday, just over a month before the November election. 

In a press release, Husted says approximately 957,260 absentee ballot requests have been sent in. That's over 35,000 more requests than the same time before the 2012 election. 

Husted's office confirms that of those absentee requests, 14,832 are from active military or overseas voters whose ballot request forms were sent out Saturday, September 24. 

As a reminder, all completed absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than the day before the election, which is Tuesday, November 8, 2016, and received by the office of the Secretary of State for Ohio within 10 days of Election Day in order to be counted. 

 

Published in Local

A new long-term partnership between the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron-based Signet Jewelers is set to provide more mentoring opportunities for Akron Public School students.

Michele Campbell, executive director of LJFF, said the partnership allows for Signet employees to train and become one-on-one mentors for 3rd-8th grade students.

"We have 1,129 students and we need more mentors," said Campbell. "With Signet right in our backyard and committed to our program and committed to this community, it's going to allow us to have more mentors , one-on-one, with our children."

Several students joined Campbell, APS Superintendent David James and Signet officials for the announcement at Litchfield Middle School Friday morning. It's safe to say that Jayden Shippe, 13, is enjoying his time spent with the LJFF.

"I love this program," said Shippe. "I love the fun trips , the mentors and how we get to go to Cedar Point every year ad I love how they're giving us a scholarship to [The University of Akron.]"

Shippe said the mentoring program has been beneficial and helped him succeed in the classroom. 13-year-old Mikhaila Bonds said it's more than just helping with work in the classrooms.

"We just talk," said Bond. "They're like a counselor."

Campbell said volunteers will work directly with United Way of Summit County's iC.A.R.E Mentoring program, to offer training.

Published in Local

Just days after attending a rally focusing on the heroin epidemic in Akron, a local woman found herself more than a thousand miles away getting treatment for her addiction.

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Tonia Wright's 21-year-old daughter Kylie found herself in need of help -- struggling with addition shortly after the birth of her child in 2013.

"She liked the high of the pain pills and the opiates and it eventually led to heroin," said Tonia. "We had no idea."

It wasn't until Tonia recieved a phone from her daughter in April of 2015 that she realized her daughter was in trouble. Kylie was found sweating and vomiting and later admitted to her mother that she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

Tonia has been by her daughter's side looking for help and dealing with the often long wait periods to get into an inpatient treatment center in the area.

"They would put her in a five-day detox but after the five-day detox, they would put her back on the streets on a waiting list for rehab. We'll guess what? She started using again."

But it was guidance and advice from those at a heroin rally at Lock 3 in mid-August that led Kylie to find immediate help.

"She called me at 10:15 Monday morning. At 5:30 Monday evening, Kylie was on a plane," said Tonia. "That all came from the rally."

Kylie found out her health insurance would allow her to seek help at a treatment center in Florida. She was accepted and immediately told to head out on the next flight to begin her recovery treatment. That was less than a week after attending the rally.

Wright is now sharing her experience to help others and to spread the message on other resources that are available in Summit County and beyond. She helped to launch the "Akron Epidemic News" Facebook page to update the community on resources and news across the area.

"There are so many treatment plans that I was completely unaware of that nobody ever brought to my table and it's there. You just have to find it."

Published in Local
Thursday, 15 September 2016 11:35

Police ID Student Struck, Killed By School Bus

The 16-year-old student who was struck and killed by a school bus Wednesday afternoon in Norton has officially been identified.

The Norton Police Department has identified the Norton High School teen as Kyle Richmond, 16, of Barberton. The accident happened in the 3100 block Greenwich Road. Police said Richmond fell from a skate board and was hit by the school bus. Authorities said he suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Norton Police Department released this statement: "The entire city of Norton is devastated by this loss and expresses its support to the victim's family and entire student body and faculty within the Norton school system."

Published in Local
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 10:11

Ohio Good Samaritan Law In Effect

Ohio House Bill 110, the "911 Good Samaritan Law," was signed by Governor John Kasich back in June and takes effect Tuesday. 

The law offers immunity from prosecution to anyone who is trying to report a drug overdose, whether it be for themselves or someone else, and is actively seeking help. It covers people who are calling 911, trying to report to police or to a medical facility up to two times. The third time, the law states, would leave the person reporting the overdose open to being charged with drug offenses. 

The Good Samaritan Law is one of several efforts being made in Ohio to curb drug addiction and overdoses that have spiked over the first half of 2016, especially over the past few months. 

Read more about the law here

Published in Local
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 09:13

Akron Puts Hold On Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana passed as state law and officially went effective on September 8th of this year. While the state still has a lot of work to do as far as securing approval for licenses to prescribe marijuana as medication and permits for dispensaries, the city of Akron says it needs more time to get the law straight. 

On Monday night, Akron City Council approved a year-long moratorium on the state Medical Marijuana law. Councilman Jeff Fusco says the timetable is flexible, but the council believes more time is needed to see how Akron will take part in the statewide law. Fusco says the moratorium will give the city a chance to figure out "what's best for Akron in terms of the grow operations, processing, (and) dispensing of medical marijuana" within the city. 

Hear the entire interview from the Ray Horner Morning Show by clicking the player below: 

 

Published in Local

You'll have to reschedule plans if you were planning on going to the Bow Wow Dog Beach in Stow.

The park's website says it's closed through Thursday, Sept. 8 due to water quality issues.

Recent monitoring reportedly showed "bacterial levels trending upward." The beach is closed so crews can treat the water.

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(City of Stow) We routinely conduct monitoring of the lake water at Bow Wow Beach. The monitoring is to check up on water quality and to let us know whenever bacteria or algal toxin levels present a potential health risk to those using the facility.

Recent monitoring showed bacterial levels trending upward. As a precautionary measure, we have closed the beach and will continue to treat the water.

We will continue to monitor the lake water on a regular basis, and any time results show that bacteria and/or algal toxins are trending upward, the park will be closed as a precautionary measure.

Recent Improvements
Significant improvements to the park were made that will help the park endure the high attendance that is experienced on a daily basis; the erosion control project at the east bank of the lake helps to stabilize that area, and the addition of 500 tons of brand new, clean sand is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also contributes to restoration of the beach. Let's keep it clean!

Published in Local
Thursday, 01 September 2016 12:21

Akron Marijuana Deal Turns Into Robbery

A marijuana deal in West Akron turned into a robbery Wednesday afternoon.

Akron police say two females agreed to meet a man they met on Facebook to sell him small amount of marijuana in a parking in the 2000 block of West Market Street. When the man showed up, he allegedly reached into the female's car and grabbed a Crown Royal bag containing the marijuana and about $10 in cash. The man fled, but the females followed the man until he pulled over near Braewick Circle and Sand Run Road.

Police say the man allegedly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the direction of the females. They drove away and called police.

APD identified the suspect as Dylante Richardson, 20, of Akron. He's been charged with aggravated robbery and booked into the Summit County Jail.

Published in Local

More than 600 animals have been rescued by the PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron since the beginning of July. Among the most recent rescues are 56 purebred miniature Schnauzers.

The dogs were raised by a breeder who no longer could care for them. Instead of selling the animals, the breeder decided to surrender the Schnauzers to the humane society in order to find a proper home.

While some of the dogs are available for adoption, officials said "others need additional medical care before they are ready for their forever homes."

"Although we are so very full right now, we knew we had to help these Miniature Schnauzers embark on their new lives," said president and CEO Diane Johnson in a news release. "We are relying on the community members to open their hearts and homes over the next few weeks for these Schnauzers and all the other animals currently in our care. Please consider adopting or donating to help us in this lifesaving work of caring for these rescued animals."

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(PAWSibilities®, Humane Society of Greater Akron) PAWSibilities®, Humane Society of Greater Akron (PHSGA) has rescued over 600 animals since the beginning of July. Among the most recent rescues are 56 purebred Miniature Schnauzers, raised by a breeder who became unable to continue caring for them. Rather than sell these full-bred dogs, he chose to surrender them to the PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron to ensure that they receive proper care and are placed in loving homes.

These hypoallergenic dogs range in age from one year to fourteen years are a variety of colors, including white, black, salt and pepper as well as black and silver. Some Schnauzers are available for adoption today, while others need additional medical care before they are ready for their forever homes. Each Schnauzers' adoption fee includes one free seminar on socialization by a certified trainer. Prior to adoption each dog will be spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, de-flead, de-wormed and microchipped as well as behaviorally accessed to ensure the best placement in their forever homes. At this time, PHSGA is looking for big-hearted adopters with low traffic, adult only homes willing to invest the time and understanding into these shy "diamonds in the ruff".

President/CEO Diane Johnson says, "Although we are so very full right now, we knew we had to help these Miniature Schnauzers embark on their new lives. We are relying on the community members to open their hearts and homes over the next few weeks for these Schnauzers and all the other animals currently in our care. Please consider adopting or donating to help us in this lifesaving work of caring for these rescued animals."

PHSGA is in immediate need of community support and funds to help care for the Schnauzers and the hundreds of other animals waiting for forever homes. Monetary donations help us provide critical care, shelter, food and vet services for these animals and all the others in our care. Donations are desperately needed and can be made securely at summithumane.org or can be mailed to 7996 Darrow Road in Twinsburg, OH 44087.

Published in Local
Friday, 26 August 2016 10:27

Day Five: Getting Heroin Off The Streets

When it comes to the heroin epidemic, there are a number of different ways treatment organizations, law enforcement and city leaders are working to tackle the issue. The court system is no different.

"The only way to get these very dangerous and deadly drugs off the streets is to lock up the supplier," said Margaret Scott, deputy chief of the criminal division at the Summit County Prosecutor's Office.

So far this year, 11 people have been charged with manslaughter in connection with heroin overdose deaths in the area.

"These drug dealers, they know exactly what they're doing," said Scott. "They are selling these drugs to people who they know physically have an addiction, and have to have it and feel they have to have it, they're taking their money and they know that it's likely that they will die."

READ Akron Police Chief Adds New Heroin Unit

"Within the past three years, we started to see an increase in actually charging the trafficker with a homicide, and hopefully getting them locked up for a long enough time to keep the product off the streets."

Scott said there are also court programs in place to help connect those battling an addiction with local treatment centers.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:28

Police: Reported Abduction "Never Occurred"

Jackson Township Police say an investigation revealed that an abduction and assault that was reported at Stark State College in July never happened.

On July 14, police say a woman reported that she was taken from a parking lot and driven to the Akron area where she had been assaulted. Following an investigation, authorities determined that the incident never occurred.

The Stark County Prosecutor's Office is expected to review the case for possible criminal charges for filing a false police report.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 18:28

Woman Sentenced For Severely Burning Child

A 27-year-old Akron woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for severely burning her young child.

Monique Smith pled guilty to child endangering and felonious assault after her two-year-old suffered first and second degree burns in July of 2015. Investigators said the burns were "consistent with someone being held in 124 degree water" for several minutes.

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(Summit County Prosecutor's Office) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall Jones sentenced Monique Smith, 27, of Laffer Avenue in Akron, to five years in prison for severely burning her young child.

On May 25, 2016, Smith pled guilty to the following charges:

Child Endangering – a felony of the 2nd degree
Felonious Assault – a felony of the 2nd degree

In July of 2015, Smith's two-and-a-half year old daughter was brought to Akron Children's Hospital where she was treated for first and second degree burns to her buttocks and feet. Because of her injuries, the toddler spent nearly a week in the hospital. Investigators determined the burns were consistent with someone being held in 124 degree water for between five and ten minutes.

Published in Local
Friday, 26 August 2016 07:00

Day Five: AUDIO APD To Carry Narcan

There are steps being taken to address some of the community concerns surrounding the heroin epidemic in Akron. The Akron Police Department has started training officers on using Narcan to help save the lives of those who may have overdosed.

"We want to do everything we can to save lives," said Akron Police Chief James Nice. "So the next step is to put in into the police cruisers. In case the cruiser does get there before EMS, we're given every opportunity to save a life."

Nice said it's not often that police officers arrive on scene of an overdose before EMS, but he still believes it's important to have officers equipped with the drug to offer help.

At this point, Nice said carrying Narcan does not come with a cost for the department. The first shipment of the supply will come from the hospitals and the Summit County Health Department. Nice said grants are expected to help pay for additional supplies when needed.

Nice expects Narcan to be in every police cruiser beginning this Friday.

 

Published in Local

It's hard to define just one issue when it comes to the heroin epidemic in Akron. But for Raynard Packard, it's an issue that he faces on the front doorstep of his recovery institute everyday.

"A woman overdosed here," said Packard as he pointed outside the front door of the Packard Institute in West Akron. "Her car came to to a rolling stop in the middle of the street here and she overdosed. The paramedics pulled up and said 'Oh, she's just number 20 today.'"

Right outside the institute sits a sign with the amount of overdoses so far this year. For Packard, it's a daily reminder of the problem that continues to surface in Akron and surrounding communities.

"For us to be effective, in times of true need, we need to continue to be able to provide those different levels of care."

The institute doesn't have the resources to help everyone struggling with an addiction, but the Packard said he has been able to work with more than a thousand people searching for a way out of the heroin cycle.

"I don't mean a 28-day program," said Packard. "I do mean a sustainable, meaningful, tribal system of care."

Packard said he has come across too many people who have lost their lives while waiting for a bed at a treatment facility. Packard hopes additional funding will be made available to open new facilities and educate kids and adults on addiction.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 05:00

Day Three: Overdose Help Inside Hospitals

You don't have to look far to see the impact the heroin epidemic has had on local hospitals.

Dr. Scott Wilber, chair of emergency medicine at Summa Health System, says they had to move some of the hospital's supply of naloxone to the entrance area -- because time is everything and they may need to administer the drug in a car to save a person's life.

But there are still questions as to what happens after the patient is revived from the anti-heroin drug.

Dr. Wilber said the hospital system works with the ADM Board to provide counselors to discuss treatment options that are available in the community, but Wilber does note that the waiting lists are still there.

"We do find that some patients want immediate treatment for their addiction. However, because of the limited resources we have and the long waits, that's generally not feasible ," said Wilber. "We generally have to put people on waiting lists in order to get them addiction treatment."

While the hospital works with the ADM Board to offer treatment options to overdose victims, some refuse the help.

Wilber said the amount of heroin overdose victims the hospital has treated has increased significantly over the past month.

"We also saw that beginning in July, the potency of the heroin that was being used in Akron increased significantly and we've seen that continue. We have seen some slight decrease since then, but really it is significantly higher than it was earlier this year."

 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 14:14

Tallmadge Man Charged With Attempted Murder

A 21-year-old Tallmadge man has been arrested on two counts of attempted murder after police say he was involved in a shooting outside his apartment.

According to police, there was an ongoing dispute with a group of people outside of Saxon Village Apartments where Quashane Varner Jr., allegedly opened fire and shot two people before fleeing in a vehicle.

The incident happened on May 22 and left two people injured. One person was shot in the lower back and another in the leg. Both have since recovered from their injuries.

On Monday night, Akron police caught up to Varner who was allegedly found in a stolen vehicle.
He was booked into the Summit County Jail.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 05:00

Day Two: Families Need Support, Too

Ask family and friends of the those who have a loved one struggling with addiction and you'll find that the issue impacts them too.

Tonda DeRae of Carrollton is the founder of Holly's Song of Hope, an organization, named after her daughter who passed away from a heroin overdose three years ago, aimed at helping families in need of support.

"When I lost Holly, there really wasn't anything out there for me," said DeRae. "That's that made me go after that first.

Click here to read Holly's story.

holly

"They're like 'Look, my parents tried this and it didn't work at all' or 'they tried that and that really sunk in,'" said DeRae. "So it really helps. It's a real good balance of peer to peer support."DeRae launched an online support group where family and friends can reach out for help, ask questions and hear directly from those in recovery.

More than 1,400 people have joined the online support group on Facebook.

DeRae has worked with Senator Rob Portman to raise awareness on the need for help in Ohio and across the country when it comes to resources for those struggling with a heroin addiction. She's been an outspoken supporter of Portman's Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), designed to pay for education, treatment and recovery programs to prevent drug abuse.

Published in Local

"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."

  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Published in Local

Heroin continues to dominate the topic of discussions in Akron after hundreds of overdoses were reported in the area over the past month.

In the past two years, Adam Hayes of Akron says he has lost over 30 friends to heroin. Hayes hopes to be part of the solution to the heroin epidemic and raise awareness in the community. That's why he's helping to organize an "Call to Action" event in downtown Akron Tuesday night.

"I got involved because of all the friends I have lost and also because want to do something positive and be a positive role model for my son and my daughter," said Hayes.

Hayes hopes the event will not only raises awareness, but also focus on the ways to create more space at treatment facilities and provide training on administering the drug naloxone save the lives of heroin overdose victims. Hayes was inspired by Billy Pfaff, of Massachusetts, who is the founder of the non-profit anti-heroin organization Heroin is Killing My Town.

Pfaff posted a video on Facebook stating that the city of Akron is the hardest hit area that he has come across and that he would travel to the Rubber City to raise awareness. The video has been shared more than 9,000 times and has more than 280,000 views.

Hayes said he contacted Pfaff to organize Tuesday night's event on South Main Street near Lock 3 at 7 p.m. The event will be followed by a candlelight vigil. 

Published in Local
Tuesday, 02 August 2016 13:33

Colleges Invest In Manufacturing Education

Local colleges are showcasing some of the manufacturing opportunities that have opened for the schools after receiving grant money from the state to help better train students for the workforce. Chancellor John Carey with the Ohio Department of Higher Education stopped by the University of Akron to hear directly from those who have benefited from the grant.

Chad Soukup, a junior at Kent State University, says he will be one of the first students at KSU to work with the schools 3D printer.

"It's one thing to get book knowledge, but then when you actually get the hands-on knowledge you get to see what it's really like," said Soukup. "So you get to see both sides of it."

The RAPIDS grant has helped colleges purchase equipment, like 3D printers, to help better train students for real world experience in manufacturing.

"It's something that was developed from the Governor talking to businesses, " said Carey. The businesses were saying that the students were not being trained on the right equipment."

Purchasing new equipment became a financial challenge for colleges. Instead of getting new equipment, universities would use the "leftover" or older equipment that was no longer being used by companies. But that proved to become a challenge because the students were not getting trained with up-to-date technology in the manufacturing field.

UA, KSU, Stark State College and other local universities have been able to use the money to further advance the education programs in its manufacturing departments.

Published in Local
Monday, 01 August 2016 11:41

Voters To Decide On Local Issues Tuesday

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. 

 

Published in Local

The Former Ohio Governor spoke to the Ohio Delegation Thursday morning, ahead of the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He touched on the race for the White House, Donald Trump, and the "all-important" Senate race in Ohio.

 

Published in Local
Thursday, 21 July 2016 21:39

RNC Delegate: "I Want To Move Here"

The Republican National Convention is over, but the impact Northeast Ohio has had on at least one out-of-state delegate is enough to make him want to move here.

"I love it," said Efraim Manglona Atalig, mayor of Rota in the Northern Mariana Islands. "I was thinking, like, I wish I could move here."

Atalig's explanation is quite simple.

"I felt welcome and the people are friendly."

The delegates of the Northern Mariana Islands spent the week in the Akron-area. Atalig said he was able to explore the city and visit some of Northeast Ohio's most popular attractions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"It was awesome."

Atalig said that it was the friendly environment that surprised him and left him wanting more.

"The people, at least in the establishments that I visited, the cashiers and the waitresses, they're very very friendly, and that struck me."

Published in Local
Sometimes you need to a good laugh to get through some of life's most challenging moments. 
 
For those at Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," this year's presidential race has appeared to resemble a circus, which is why a "Convention Sideshow" seemed like the perfect fit for an event ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
 

What's inside The Daily Show Convention Sideshow? #DailyShow #RNCinCLE

Posted by 1590 WAKR on Sunday, July 17, 2016
 
"To get through it, you almost have to laugh," said Steven Kyman of Beachwood.
 
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" is preparing for a week of filming in Cleveland before they head to Philadelphia to cover the Democratic National Convention. 
 
Regardless of party affiliation, the free event held at the Red Space on Superior Avenue was created to offer a social, interactive event to add comedic relief to the political atmosphere. 
 
The event includes a "Run For The Border" digital game, a "Yuuuge Wall" that was filled with political artwork completed by Cleveland-based artists, and a whack-a-mole inspired game that allowed people to tackle some hot button issues on the campaign trail.
 
The event will run through Monday, July 18 from noon-5 p.m.
Published in Local
Thursday, 14 July 2016 08:44

Search Continues For Missing Teen

Crews are searching for a teen who disappeared while swimming in the Portage Lakes Wednesday afternoon.

Summit County Sheriff's deputies say an 18-year-old woman reported that her and her boyfriend had been swimming off of a boat in the Portage Lakes between the Akron Yacht Club and the Sandy Beach Marina in Coventry Township.

She called 9-1-1 to report that the boat began to drift and he was unable to swim back to the boat. The woman told officials that she tried to rescue him, but she was unable to locate him.

The Coventry Fire Department and the Summit County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Unit are currently trying to locate the 18-year-old.

Published in Local
Saturday, 09 July 2016 07:39

Kent Man Killed In 4-Car Crash

A four-car crash left one person dead and several others injured in Ravenna Friday afternoon. 
 
Troopers with the State Highway Patrol reports Curtis W. Williams, 67, of Kent, was not wearing a seat belt when he collided, head-on, with a vehicle after passing several cars while in the left turn only lane on SR 59. Williams' car struck the vehicle of Todd Fields, 47, of Akron, and then also struck two other vehicles.
 
Williams was pronounced dead on the scene. Police say Fields and two other were injured, but did not go to a hospital. Sarah Lavrich, 30, of Ravenna, was also driving one of the vehicles that was hit in the crash. Her one-year-old child was in the car with her. Both were taken to the hospital, but their injuries are not known.
 
The crash remains under investigation. 
Published in Local
Thursday, 07 July 2016 13:10

Local Officer's Video Goes Viral

A local police officer's video reaction to the recent police shooting in Louisiana is going viral.

Warrensville Heights police officer Nakia Jones expressed her outrage and frustration in a 7-minute video, calling on officers with racist views -- who took an oath to serve and protect -- to take off their uniforms.

In the video, Jones also pleads for the youth to put the guns down and stop the deadly violence hitting local communities.

The video has received more than 3 million views.

Published in Local
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 10:59

Green Central Park Opens Saturday

Exactly one year since its groundbreaking, Central Park in the city of Green will officially open to the public this weekend. 

Members of the media were given a tour of the more than 8-acre park, nestled in the heart of the city near the city's administration building, before it opens to the public this Saturday, July 9. 
 
The park includes a one-mile asphalt trail, a splash pad, an amphitheater for concerts, an outdoor plaza for markets and community events, and a seasonal ice-skating rink. 
 
City officials said a new community center has been added near the amphitheater to help with the high demand at the John Torok Community Center on Massillon Road, across from new park's location. The pricing structure to rent the facilities is set to be different from the current prices at the Torok center. The facility will not be available available before August 1, but resident will be able to submit reservations beginning July 11. 
 
Foods trucks will be available every Tuesday during the Farmers Market schedule beginning July 12 through Sept. 27.
 
 
Published in Local

Disaster relief efforts are still underway for those affected by West Virginia's flooding that left 23 people dead and damaged more than a thousand homes.

Here in Summit County, Heather Anderson is spending her Fourth of July weekend collecting donations in Lakemore. Anderson, who was born in West Virginia, says her grandparents had lost everything in floods in the 1950s.

"It just touched my heart, knowing that they were grateful for the help they had received when they lost everything," said Anderson. "I thought, if I could in some small way just give back to the state that had helped by grandparents when they had lost everything as well."

Anderson said many local residents share a connection with those in West Virginia. She said many came to the Rubber City when shops were rising several decades ago.

"We have a community here that is hurting because they see their family members hurting as well."

Donations will be accepted through Monday at the Lakemore United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Items requested for donations include water, clothing and even pet care supplies.

"It's been very touching to see how many people truly want to help," said Anderson.

Click here for more information.

Published in Local
Monday, 20 June 2016 15:43

VIDEO Akron Welcomes LeBron Home

Two years ago, the city of Akron welcomed LeBron James back home. On Monday, the second homecoming came with a championship.

Hundreds of fans lined up along Crystal Lake Road near the home of the MVP -- and quickly surrounded his vehicle as the song "I'm Coming Home" blared through the speakers.

"That championship last night was for everyone here in Northeast Ohio," said LeBron as he briefly stepped outside to address the crowd.

It's been a long couple of days for the King -- so it was just a few words to express his emotions as he met with hundreds of fans chanting MVP.

"I'm so tired. I haven't slept at all. I'm going to take a long nap. But before that, I just always want you guys to remember that I'm just a kid from Akron, Ohio."

It was a message that left many of fans with goosebumps.

"It's very rare that you get someone from your hometown as exquisite as that," said Josh Dickey. "We get to be here and witness it first-hand, present day."

The memorable even left Josh and Erin Dickey considering naming their unborn child after the King.

"We'll have to make a game-time decision when the baby comes," said Erin.

 

Published in Local
Monday, 20 June 2016 00:38

LeBron, Cavs Bring Home NBA Title

"Just a kid from Akron." 

LeBron James will always be "a kid from Akron," but those who share his hometown feel differently. He's the kid from Akron who led his basketball team to an NBA title -- ending Cleveland's 52-year sports drought. 

Inside St. Vincent - St. Mary High School, hundreds of fans came out to watch LeBron and his teammates capture the NBA title inside the Lebron James Arena.

"I'm completely speechless. I love that he said he's bringing the trophy home," said Stacey Hentosz. 

Emotions were high inside the same court where LeBron made headlines as a young superstar. One man fell to his knees to reveal an emotional celebration following the win and LeBron being named Most Valuable Player. 

Willie McGee, SVSM athletic director and LeBron's former high school teammate, said it was only fitting to hold a watch party at LeBron's alma mater. McGee said LeBron has given back a lot to the community and it was the community's turn to offer support.  

Published in Local
Thursday, 16 June 2016 10:21

Ohio Prison System Enters New Dairy Deal

It does a body good, despite whether that body is incarcerated or not.

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has entered a contract with four Ohio dairy farms, worth $2.6 million, to provide roughly 1.3 million gallons of milk for inmates per year.

Prior to the deal, the Ohio prison system had their own farms that were maintained day-to-day by prisoners, but sold roughly 1,000 cows and closed those farms. The announcement was unexpected as a $9 million plan to improve prison farms was in its final stages. 

A spokesman for the prison system in Ohio says the farms were closed due to security concerns and because the practice of training and preparing inmates for farming jobs is outdated.

Published in Local
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 11:45

APS Offers Food Education To Families

Some local communities have faced the issue of poor access to fresh and affordable food. It's a problem the Akron Public School District is well aware of, which is why they have created a summer event to educate families on how to purchase and cook a fresh meal.

"We know that our community has a need for increasing the access to quality, fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable costs," said Carla Sibley, director of community relations.

The two-event, "From Fast to Fresh" program will give families a chance to visit local farmers markets and learn how to prepare healthy meals on a budget.

"We have food deserts in our community and we also know that many of our families suffer from illnesses and health conditions that are often times related to what they eat."

Sibley calls the program a link between a healthy lifestyle and quality education.

The first event will take place on Thursday, June 16 at the Akron Summit County Public Library in Highland Square. Families will take a tour of the Countryside Farmer's Market and Mustard Seed Market & Cafe.

Guest will also tour the newly opened Hattie's Food Hub on Douglas Street in Akron on July 14. 

More information can be found on the district's website at www.akronschools.com

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A fatal crash left one person dead and three others injured in Coventry Township early Wednesday morning.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office reports an SUV went off the right side of the roadway and struck the Swartz Road bridge on I-77 northbound.

A 74-year-old Elyria man, a passenger in the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and two passengers were taken to Akron area hospitals by the Coventry Fire Department. Deputies said the driver and one passenger were listed in critical condition.

The third passenger was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The crash is currently under investigation by the Summit County Sheriff's Crash Team.

Authorities say speed and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash at this point.

Published in Local
Monday, 13 June 2016 11:13

Russ Pry Battles Colon Cancer

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.

Published in Local
Friday, 10 June 2016 12:26

Cavs Fans Reporting Ticket Scams

After recent reports of fake tickets popping up for the NBA Finals game, Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine is warning fans to pay extra close attention.

Dewine said in most cases, people bought the tickets on Craigslist but didn't get anything in return. Some cases also included scammers who printed out counterfeit tickets.

The Attorney General's Office recomends fans to "be skeptical" when they come across an offer that appears to good to be true.

Published in Local

There's a new logo and brand strategy at Summa Health System to go along with recent plans to spend about $350 million on local facilities.

Summa President and CEO Thomas Malone says they decided on a new image for the health system to coincide with their plans to "transform the way healthcare is delivered" in the community.

No name change, but Summa officials say they will begin a new advertising campaign next week and will introduce new signage over the next several months.

Previous Coverage:

AUDIO: Dr. Thomas Malone Announces Summa Health Investment

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(Summa Health Press Release) – Summa Health revealed its new brand strategy and logo today to employees throughout the health system.

"Much positive change is occurring at Summa Health as we continue to transform the way healthcare is delivered in our community. In recent months, we've seen our accountable care organization recognized as a national leader, our nursing staff again achieve Magnet status, and, most recently, the announcement of our $350 million facilities plan," said Thomas A. Malone, MD, president and CEO of Summa Health. "Through the new brand, we are sending a clear message to the community and to our own employees that something special and unique is happening at Summa."

Summa Health will not change its name, due to its strong connection with the community. However, the new brand strategy is designed to support its strategic direction, and the new Summa Health logo – the most visible representation of the brand – symbolizes that change.

The new logo is powerful and dynamic, representing the unique coordinated continuum of care provided by Summa Health at each stage of life. The elements of the logo move together to illustrate the organization's forward momentum amid the changing landscape of healthcare. The individual pieces and vibrant colors represent the diversity of our employees and the communities we serve.

"The brand is more than a logo; it is what our patients and the community experience when they interact with Summa Health and our 9,000 employees," said Dr. Malone. "Our new brand represents a promise that we are ready to partner with you on your journey toward better total health."

Rob Whitehouse, senior vice president of Marketing and Community Relations, said it has been 15 years since Summa Health updated its brand. Over the past year, Summa Health has conducted studies and focus groups to better understand how the health system is perceived in the community. Building on those strengths and aligning with Summa Health's population health strategy, leadership developed a new brand strategy and a logo.

"There were many iterations," said Whitehouse. "But in the end, we found something that resonated strongly with our internal and external focus groups. They saw it as reflective of who we are, yet still aspirational – a sign of where we want to go in serving this community."

The brand change will occur gradually, beginning with a new and distinctive advertising campaign next week and the changing of marketing materials and websites. Over several months, new signage will begin appearing at all Summa Health locations.

Published in Local

It won't likely take effect this year, but it looks like Ohioans will be able to register to vote online starting next year.

A online voter registration bill by Copley Township Republican state senator Frank LaRose has passed both the state House and Senate, and differences in the bill are being worked out this week.

"Many states have had it for over a decade, it's more secure than the paper format," Sen. LaRose tells WAKR.net, "and of course, it doesn't replace the paper format. If you still want to use the 'dead tree' method to register to vote, you're free to do that."

LaRose says that he wanted online registration to take effect before this fall's elections, but the Senate is expected to accept the 2017 start date in the House version.

He says the bill should be on Gov. Kasich's desk by the end of the week, where it's expected that the governor will sign it.

Published in Local
Saturday, 21 May 2016 10:29

VIDEO Front Porch Cafe Offers Help, Hope

It's not your ordinary location for a local cafe. A look through the window on the top floor of the Front Porch Cafe on Grant Street -- and you'll find it's surrounding neighbors: the county jail, a correctional facility, and a rehabilitation center.

But when you take a closer look. It's clear to see the cafe's mission is to welcome people of all backgrounds to share a meal, connect and transform a life.

At this cafe, it's more than just about good food.

"The Front Porch Cafe is South Akron's hub for community connections. We do recovery meetings here, reentry meetings, and we also run a full fledge community cafe," said South Street Ministries executive director Joe Tucker. "We wanted a place for neighbors and people from a variety of backgrounds to come together."

When South Street Ministries launched the Front Porch Cafe back in 2011, they had a vision of creating jobs and training the unemployed and ex-offenders in the Akron area. While it's still part of their mission, the focus has transitioned into offering a place to create connections within the community, with a helping hand extended.

 

Published in Local

A fire reported at a Copley Township hotel early this morning left one person dead and another injured.

Copley firefighters and police were called out to Hawthorn Suites on Montrose West Avenue where an active fire was found and extinguished.

One person died at the scene and another person was taken to Akron General Hospital with serious burns. The names of the victims are being withheld pending family notification.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze. Further details were not released.

Published in Local

One person was arrested for OVI and just under a dozen others were arrested on other charges during Friday's sobriety checkpoints in Barberton.

The Summit County OVI Task Force reports one person was busted for OVI, but eight others were arrested for driving under suspension and another is facing a meth charge.

More than 400 vehicles passed through the checkpoints on 31st Street and Wooster Road.

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(Summit County OVI Task Force - News Release) On Friday May 20th 2016, the Summit County OVI Task Force conducted two sobriety checkpoints in the City of Barberton.

The first checkpoint was conducted at 98 31st Street:

262- Vehicles passed through the checkpoint in total

15- Vehicles were directed into the diversion area for further investigation or violations

01- Person was arrested for OVI

02- People were arrested for driving under suspension

02- Vehicles were impounded

The second checkpoint was conducted at 939 Wooster Road North:

149- Vehicles passed through the checkpoint in total

18- Vehicles were directed into the diversion area for further investigation or violations

06- People were arrested for driving under suspension

01- Person was arrested for misdemeanor possession of drugs

01- Person was arrested on a felony warrant

01- Person was arrested for felony possession of Methamphetamine

03- Vehicles were impounded

The BAC result for the sole individual who provided a breath sample was .096.

Published in Local

A bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Ohio has passed its first legislative step.

The bill passed the house this/Tuesday on a bi-partisan vote.

The bill would allow physicans to recommend medical marijuana to patients, but not supply it, and comes with a number of restrictions. A Medical Marijuana Commission would oversee regulations and licensing.

Rep. Kirk Schuring of Canton chaired the House's Medical Marijuana Task Force, which heard testimony on the issue.

Schuring says they heard a lot of testimony in favor of the use of alternatives like medical marijuana...he says House Bill 523 is the right framework to put it into law.

 

The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate.

The backers of a medical marijuana initiative they hope to put on the November ballot aren't impressed with the passage of House Bill 523.

The group Ohioans for Medical Marijuana calls the measure "narrow" and says it means "empty promises" for those who need medical marijuana.

The backers of a medical marijuana initiative they hope to put on the November ballot aren't impressed with the passage of House Bill 523.

The group Ohioans for Medical Marijuana calls the measure "narrow" and says it means "empty promises" for those who need medical marijuana...

Published in Local

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.

Published in Local

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. 

 

 

Published in Local
Saturday, 16 April 2016 11:53

Construction Around Akron

Folks driving I-76 East this weekend will be seeing plenty of orange construction barrels. 

On Saturday until about 2 p.m. the left lane is closed between the Kenmore Leg and the Central Interchange for sewer repairs.

Also on Saturday there will be lane restrictions on I-77 between US 224 and I-76 while crews work on overhead lighting repairs.

Construction crews are also working on I-76 East between Grant Street and Fuller Street through 6 a.m. Monday morning.

Traffic will be down to one lane wile crews work on bridge repairs.

Lastly the Arlington Street entrance ramp to I-76 East is closed through 6 a.m. Monday morning.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has a full list of on going construction projects and detours around Summit County.

Stay updated on the latest in Akron traffic by following us on Twitter @AkronTXWX

Published in Local
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:07

Akron, Cleveland Among Laziest Cities?

Just how lazy are you?

Well, it turns out Ohioans are among the laziest. That's according to career website Zippia.com.

Dayton is at the top of the list with Toledo following directly behind, and Cleveland and Akron coming in at sixth and seventh place.

The survey took a look at things like the shortest commute time, unemployment rates, fewest workers per household and the fewest adults with a college degree. Those were the only factors identified by the survey.

As with any list you may come across, there can be some variables that turn up missing -- like the percentage of those over the age of 65 in each city.

On the web: www.zippia.com

Published in Local
Friday, 01 April 2016 11:55

Clean Up Akron Month Kicks Off

Keep Akron Beautiful is celebrating 35 years of cleaning up the city and they're welcoming volunteers to get involved this month to transform local neighborhoods, streets and gardens.

"Last year, we had around 3,500 volunteers, and this is our 35th anniversary so we're really pushing to get even more volunteers this year," said Helen Douka.

The organization is also accepting registrations for their Community Pride and Litter and Illegal Dump Cleanup trailers -- which are filled with tools to help with projects around the city.

The 25 foot box trailers contain equipment and cleanup supplies for volunteer groups to transform local spots that are in need of a makeover.

You can pick any site in the city, but Douka is reminding volunteers that the fully equipped cleanup trailers are not for personal backyard renovations.

Click here for more information.

Published in Local

Some were feeling the "Bern" -- and others were feeling the bipartisan love.

"We're out here, just spreading the love," said University of Akron student Dawson Mancabelli. "Trying to find some bi-partisanship between Bernie Sanders fans and Republicans who don't like Trump."

Mancabelli, dressed in khaki shorts and a blue blazer, managed to bring people together by simply carrying a sign that read "Hug a Republican" outside of the Bernie Sanders rally at the Akron Civic Theatre Monday afternoon.

416ecc2c-ec76-4c39-87f7-88b4cd972f17Dawson said it's about respect and support -- no matter which side of the political line you're on.

"I don't know if our message is going change anybody's mind, but it's good to show common ground between people who disagree."

Hundreds of people lined up outside of the Akron Civic Theatre for a chance to catch Sanders in their hometown. Mitchell Smith of Doylestown is an undecided voter who was looking to secure 

his decision before Tuesday's primary.

Kelsey McArdle of Kent came out to learn more about the candidate."I'm probably going to vote for [Hilllary Clinton], but I'm going to give Bernie a chance here today."

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"Going into this election a couple of months ago, initially I thought Clinton would be who I vote for, but I've kind of aligned myself more with Bernie and his thoughts and ideas with his campaign," said McCardle.

Jordan Davis, 17, has already made up his mind -- and is supporting Sanders for the Democatic presidential nomination.

"I think he has more enthusiasm than [Clinton] does," said Davis.

Davis is able to vote tomorrow thanks to a judge's ruling that says 17-year-olds who will turn 18 by the general election can vote in Ohio's primary.

Published in Local

Local foodbanks are preparing to kick-off another Harvest for Hunger campaign -- already in its 25th year.

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers introduced the foodbank's 2020 plan that is aimed at providing access to food for everyone struggling with hunger in the region by 2025.

"I think that we should be able to have enough food to completely fill the hunger gap by 2025 if the community will rally around this new plan to meet that goal." said Flowers.

Flowers hopes the foodbank will break last year's record during the Harvest for Hunger campaign.

"Last year we distributed a record of 27.9 million pounds of food, " said Flowers. "That's well over 20 million meals that we help throughout the region."

Harvest for Hunger is the Foodbank’s largest fundraising initiative and is a collaborative effort of four Ohio food banks serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio including: the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning Valley and the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.

All of the proceeds collected from the Harvest for Hunger campaign will go directly toward feeding those in need around the area.

The local 2016 Harvest for Hunger goal is set at an ambitious $1,200,000 and 100,000 pounds of food.

According to the foodbank, the two major components of the Harvest for Hunger campaign are food & funds drives and Check Out Hunger. 1. Food & funds drives: Nearly 300 businesses, schools, community organizations and families are holding food & funds drives throughout the months of March and April. To register a food & funds drive, simply download a coordinator kit from the Foodbank’s website, akroncantonfoodbank.org/hfh.2. Check Out Hunger: Local retailers including Buehler’s Fresh Foods, Dave’s Supermarkets, Fishers Foods, Giant Eagle, Ace Hardware and Heinen’s Fine Foods participate in Check Out Hunger, which allows shoppers to scan coupons and make donations of $1, $5 or $10 at the checkout register

Click here for more information. 

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