Ryan Lang

Ryan Lang

Update: 

A report from the Record Courier is that two students, one from the Ravenna School District and another from a nearby district, are in custody in connection to Friday morning's lockdown at Ravenna High School. 

Superintendent Dennis Honkala confirmed to the paper that there were no guns involved in the lockdown, adding that a Ravenna High School student saw an unspecified threat that was posted to Snap Chat Thursday night, and first thing Friday morning, reported that threat to the school resource officer. That officer then tracked down the student that allegedly made the threat and found that student with the student from the other district. 

Earlier: 

The lockdown at Ravenna High School has been lifted, and all students and staff are reported safe. 

Earlier Friday morning, around 8:30 a.m. the school was placed on lockdown due to an unspecified threat. Several law enforcement officers responded to the school, including Ravenna Police, Portage County Sheriff's deputies, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Kent Police and Kent State University Police. Students were reported beeing seen leaving the school around 10 a.m. as parents were outside of the school waiting for their children. 

WKYC-TV spoke with several students and parents regarding the situation. 

There are unconfirmed reports that students from another school were on the Ravenna High School campus and placed under arrest after threats of a shooting at the school. Law enforcement, as of noon Friday, had not yet confirmed that. 

Below is an update posted to the Ravenna Schools Facebook page just before 11 a.m. Friday morning: 

All clear, Ravenna High School is out of lock down.

The Ravenna Police Department has finished clearing the Ravenna High School building.

During this morning’s situation, no one was injured. Everyone was safe.

The school day will now proceed as usual.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

We would like to thank the Ravenna Police Department and everyone who supports our community and schools.

#RavenPride

-- 

Ravenna High School was placed on lockdown earlier Friday morning after an incident, though the details are unclear. 

See the message that was posted to the Ravenna School District's Facebook page from Superintendent of Ravenna Schools Dennis Honkala below: 

As some of you may be aware, this morning there was a situation at Ravenna High School that required us to lean on our training and conduct a lockdown for students and staff.

No one was injured. No one is in danger.

The police are in the process of clearing the building. As soon as we are able, we will send out an All Call with an update as well as update everyone here on Facebook.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Friday, 09 November 2018 09:39

Veterans Day Deals Around Akron

A lot of discounts and deals for Veterans, Active Duty Military, and their families this Veterans Day Weekend, including free admission to the Akron Zoo today through Monday. At the zoo, all military personnel and veterans get in free while their family get 50 percent off admission.

In Canton, Vets and Military can enjoy free admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame now through the END of November!

See the full list of local deals now at Ohio.com

Thursday, 08 November 2018 11:16

Fire Closes Green Daycare Center

Green Fire Chief Jeffrey Funai tells the Akron Beacon Journal that the fire at the Kids Country Daycare on Town Park Boulevard started in a bathroom in the gym, and then spread to the roof.

With five fire companies responding, firefighters had the clames out within 10 minutes.

The daycare posted to social media that no kids were in the building at the time, but that they'll be closed the rest of the week, and that parents should make alternate child care plans.

 

Untitled

 

The cause is still under investigation.

Wednesday, 07 November 2018 06:16

Summit County Local Race Results

Below are the results of local, Summit County races, per the Summit County Board of Elections: 

#2 Nordonia Hills CSD Tax Levy (Add)
Current Expenses 6.98 Mills Ongoing
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 32 OF 32 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      8,061   52.34         2,582         5,479
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      7,340   47.66         1,980         5,360

#3 Norton CSD Income Tax w/ Property Tax Reduction
.5% Tax on Income, 1.9 to 0.0 Mills on Prop Tax Ongoing
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 16 OF 16 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE ISSUE .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,042   52.00           694         2,348
 AGAINST THE ISSUE.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,808   48.00           610         2,198

#4 Tallmadge CSD Tax Levy (Add)
Current Expenses 7.4 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 17 OF 17 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      4,539   54.96         1,157         3,382
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,720   45.04           857         2,863

#5 Manchester LSD Tax Levy (Ren)
Current Expenses 6.9 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 8 OF 8 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,607   68.86           601         2,006
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,179   31.14           299           880

#6 Woodridge LSD Tax Levy (Add)
Emergency 8.19 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 23 OF 23 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      4,378   52.90         1,296         3,082
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,898   47.10         1,300         2,598

#7 Stark County District Library Tax Levy (Add)
2.2 Mills 8yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 1 OF 1 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .          0                     0             0
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .          0                     0             0

#8 Summit County Tax Levy (Ren & Incr) 3.25 Mills 6yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 420 OF 420 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    122,627   60.06        37,347        85,280
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .     81,541   39.94        22,350        59,191

#9 Akron Charter Amendment Move Municipal Primary to May
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 137 OF 137 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     33,757   61.43        11,695        22,062
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     21,195   38.57         6,912        14,283

#11 Akron 8-J Local Option
Papa Gyros 105 LLC Sunday Sales
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 1 OF 1 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        419   71.75           168           251
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        165   28.25            89            76

#12 Cuy Falls Charter Amendment
Move Municipal Primary to May
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 40 OF 40 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     16,438   85.19         4,191        12,247
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,858   14.81           482         2,376

#13 Green Charter Amendment
Move Municipal Primary to May
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 20 OF 20 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      6,343   62.52         1,959         4,384
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,802   37.48           852         2,950

#14 Green Charter Amendment Article VI Law Director
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 20 OF 20 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      5,537   50.13         1,316         4,221
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      5,508   49.87         1,668         3,840

#15 Green 4-A Local Option
Latino Bar & Grill LLC Sunday Sales
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 1 OF 1 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        384   70.33           117           267
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        162   29.67            65            97

#16 Macedonia Charter Amendment
Section 3.03 Tie Votes in Council
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 12 OF 12 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,283   59.06         1,017         2,266
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,276   40.94           619         1,657

#17 Macedonia Charter Amendment
Section 4.13 Reduce Pay for Misconduct
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 12 OF 12 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      4,050   72.92         1,166         2,884
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,504   27.08           474         1,030

#18 Macedonia Charter Amendment
Section 10.01 Planning and Zoning Commission
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 12 OF 12 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,956   53.72           867         2,089
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,547   46.28           759         1,788

#19 Macedonia Charter Amendment
Change Appointment or Removal Process of City Employees
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 12 OF 12 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,863   53.41           806         2,057
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,497   46.59           783         1,714

#20 Macedonia Income Tax
.25% Increase on Fire, Police, Service Dept. Ongoing
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 12 OF 12 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE INCOME TAX  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,209   54.94           981         2,228
 AGAINST THE INCOME TAX .  .  .  .  .  .      2,632   45.06           709         1,923

#21 Norton Charter Amendment Section 2.04 Vacancy
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 11 OF 11 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,121   65.79           793         2,328
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,623   34.21           233         1,390

#22 Norton Charter Amendment Section 2.09 Compensation
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 11 OF 11 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,715   58.00           500         2,215
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,966   42.00           512         1,454

#23 Norton Charter Amendment Section 3.06 Vacancies
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 11 OF 11 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,833   62.03           731         2,102
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,734   37.97           263         1,471

#24 Norton Charter Amendment
Section 3.08 Compensation and Reimbursements
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 11 OF 11 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,449   53.12           461         1,988
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,161   46.88           543         1,618

#25 Norton Charter Amendment
Section 5.02 Department of Finance and Finances
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 11 OF 11 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,142   67.67           789         2,353
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,501   32.33           216         1,285

#26 Norton Charter Amendment
Section 5.03 Board of Control
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 11 OF 11 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,198   68.54           814         2,384
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,468   31.46           199         1,269

#27 Stow Charter Amendment
Section 21.08 Term Limits for Elected Officials
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 27 OF 27 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     11,994   82.39         3,135         8,859
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,563   17.61           718         1,845

#28 Stow 1-B Local Option
Meijer Stores Limited Partnership Sunday Sales
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 1 OF 1 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        359   72.82           105           254
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        134   27.18            50            84

#29 Tallmadge Charter Amendment
Move Municipal Primary to May
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 16 OF 16 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      5,104   67.72         1,412         3,692
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,433   32.28           489         1,944

#30 Twinsburg Zoning Amendment Ordinance 64-2018
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      4,233   54.58         1,532         2,701
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,522   45.42         1,025         2,497

#31 Twinsburg Charter Amendment Article III
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      5,214   68.43         1,863         3,351
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,406   31.57           672         1,734

#32 Twinsburg Charter Amendment Article IV
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      5,349   69.46         1,867         3,482
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,352   30.54           683         1,669

#33 Twinsburg Charter Amendment Section 6.02
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      4,719   61.95         1,536         3,183
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,898   38.05           980         1,918

#34 Twinsburg Charter Amendment Article VII
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,778   50.96         1,252         2,526
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,636   49.04         1,227         2,409

#35 Twinsburg Charter Amendment
Move Municipal Primary to August
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      4,899   64.68         1,638         3,261
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,675   35.32           873         1,802

#36 Twinsburg Charter Amendment Section 9.03
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 15 OF 15 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      5,855   75.77         2,045         3,810
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,872   24.23           531         1,341

#37 Boston Hts Vill Tax Levy (Ren)
Fire Apparatus, Appliances, Buildings .5 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 1 OF 1 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        482   68.18           136           346
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .        225   31.82            57           168

#38 Mogadore Vill Muni Income Tax .25% Increase, Ongoing
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 2 OF 2 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 AGAINST THE INCOME TAX .  .  .  .  .  .        586   54.21           112           474
 FOR THE INCOME TAX  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        495   45.79            69           426

#39 Mogadore Vill Charter Amendment Section 18.01
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 2 OF 2 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        653   63.46           109           544
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        376   36.54            64           312

#40 Bath Twp Tax Levy (Ren)
Park System and Facilities .75 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 8 OF 8 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,823   71.02         1,312         2,511
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,560   28.98           490         1,070

#41 Copley Twp Tax Levy (Replacmnt & Incr)
3.5 Mills 3yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 12 OF 12 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      4,917   63.50         1,741         3,176
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,826   36.50           915         1,911

#42 Coventry Twp Tax Levy (Add) .5 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 8 OF 8 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,034   50.75           483         1,551
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,974   49.25           482         1,492

#43 Northfield Ctr Twp Tax Levy (Ren & Incr)
General Construction of Roads 2.78 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 5 OF 5 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,810   64.53           527         1,283
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .        995   35.47           313           682

#44 Richfield Twp Zoning Amendment
Article IV, Section 420
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 2 OF 2 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 NO.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        995   69.39           334           661
 YES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        439   30.61           208           231

#45 Sagamore Hills Twp Tax Levy (Add)
General Construction of Roads 1 Mill, Ongoing
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 10 OF 10 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      3,468   64.76         1,154         2,314
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      1,887   35.24           564         1,323

#46 Springfield Twp Tax Levy (Ren & Incr)
General Construction of Roads 1.5 Mills 5yrs
Vote for not more than  1
    (WITH 10 OF 10 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
 FOR THE TAX LEVY .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,630   53.53           640         1,990
 AGAINST THE TAX LEVY.  .  .  .  .  .  .      2,283   46.47           497         1,786
Tuesday, 06 November 2018 05:26

Missing Adult Alert Youngstown

A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Youngstown Police Department statewide.

Information as of: November 5, 2018 at 8:38 PM

Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On November 5, 2018 at 5:00 PM, Ms. Thomas left her residence on foot and failed to return.

The incident took place in Mahoning County, OH on East Midlothian in the city of Youngstown 44502.

The adult's name is Sara Thomas and the individual is missing. The adult is a Black female, age 73, is 5'4" tall, weighs 230 lbs, and has white hair and brown eyes. Ms. Thomas suffers from Dementia and diabetes, she is without her medication. She was last seen wearing a white beanie hat, with a black coat, white sweater, blue jeans and blue and white tennis shoes. 

Call or dial 911 if you see the adult. You can also call 1-866-693-9171 or 911 to be transferred directly to the investigating law enforcement agency or to hear the alert information.

To view photographs, visit the Endangered Missing Adult Alert website. 

Monday, 05 November 2018 11:39

More Changes at the Top at Akron Children's

More changes at the top for Akron Children's Hospital Monday morning, just a few days after President Bill Considine stepped down, and Grace Wakulchik moved into the President and CEO role.

The hospital announced Monday that James Brazeal was named Vice President of research administration in the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute, after only joining the hospital October 29th, before which he was with Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania.

See the full press release below: 

(CHILDREN'S) AKRON, Ohio (Nov. 5, 2018) ­ -­- James Brazeal has been named Akron Children’s Hospital’s vice president of research administration in the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute. He joined the hospital Oct. 29.

In the newly created position, Brazeal is responsible for ensuring that the institute’s research facilities and scientific operations efficiently support investigators and their scientific pursuits. Brazeal, who reports to Chief Research Officer Dr. Michael Kelly, will also work with Kelly to establish strategic goals for the Research Institute.

“With projected growth in the scope and number of research studies at Akron Children’s, we needed someone with James’ experience to provide administrative direction as we grow,” Kelly said. “James has the administrative expertise necessary to lead change initiatives necessary to build and maintain a world class research institute. He will be a terrific asset to our team.”

Before joining Akron Children’s, Brazeal served as chief administrative officer for research for Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Brazeal was the executive director of technology development, transfer and commercialization for Geisinger. He also previously was the director of technology commercialization at The University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he also worked as a licensing and business development associate.

He graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in biology and holds a juris doctor from The University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Brazeal lives in Copley with his wife, Mary, and two sons.

The Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute is the catalyst for research and innovation at Akron Children's Hospital, northeast Ohio's largest pediatric healthcare provider. It facilitates industry sponsored clinical studies and supports investigator-initiated research programs across a broad spectrum of research subjects and medical disciplines, and is working to build a research community that transforms pediatric care and improves health outcomes through disease prevention and the development of better, safer therapies. The Research Institute also offers educational opportunities for students, fellows and faculty, and is advancing collaborative research and educational partnerships by providing access to the highest quality equipment, latest techniques and expert professional mentorship.

The 17 year old Wadsworth boy was charged with stranging his 98 year old neighbor, Margaret Douglas, has been found guilty of multiple felony charges, including aggravated murder, in connection with her death.

Gavon Ramsay changed his not guilty plea to "no contest". He was suupposed to go on trial, Monday, where cell phone evidence was going to be presented. According to reports, Ramsay's mother gave detectives permission to access the cell phone that she shared with her son. On that phone were pictures of Douglas' dead body. 

Instead, he'll be sentenced on January 3rd, for killing Douglas, and hiding her body inside her home on Portage Street.

 

Friday, 02 November 2018 11:34

Richland County Boy Scout Official Arrested

Thomas Close of Richland County has been arrested on production of child pornography charges after he secretly recorded young boys changing in and out of their swimming trunks.

The press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office out of Cleveland claims Close, who is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, recorded the videos at the YMCA in Sandusky, at the Firelands Scout Reservation in Wakeman, and inside the bathroom of a home investigators believe to be Close's.

The U.S. Attorney's report states that Close is affiliated with Boy Scout Troop 406 out of Shelby, though it doesn't specify in what capacity.

See the full press release below: 

(U.S. Attorney) A Richland County man affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America was arrested and charged in federal court with production of child pornography after he surreptitiously recorded children changing.

Thomas Close, 39, of Shelby, was charged with sexual exploitation of children and receiving and distributing child pornogrpahy. The investigation is ongoing.

According to an affidavit filed in the case:

Homeland Security Investigations agents received information from the Cyber Crimes Center regarding videos taken of minor boys changing before or after swimming at the YMCA in Sandusky.

A review of several videos revealed they were recorded at the YMCA facility in Sandusky, which sometimes rented its pool to the Boy Scouts, inside teepees used at the Firelands Scout Reservation in Wakeman, as well as inside the bathroom of a home that appeared to have a swimming pool.

Investigators met with Boy Scouts of America officials in Cleveland, whose area includes seven counties. Due to the fact that all of the photos appear to revolve around changing before or after swimming, Boy Scout officials alerted investigators to an incident report from June documenting an occurrence at the Firelands Scout Reservation they felt could be related. The report was made by a den leader regarding a Boy Scouts of America staff member named Thomas Close, also known as “Aqua Joe,” according to the affidavit.

Close is associated with Boy Scout Troop 406 and has a pool in his back yard.

HSI investigators went to Close’s home on Nov. 1. Upon viewing his bathroom, they realized it is the same bathroom depicted in one of the videos. Close admitted to making the videos and said he created videos between 2011 and the summer of 2018, according to the affidavit.

He also admitted to downloading child pornography and said he had approximately five terabytes of child pornography on his computer, according to the affidavit.

“This case was solved because of good investigative work but also because a parent who was trained to look for signs of suspicious activity raised their concerns to Scout leadership,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “We all have an obligation to be aware of what is taking place around us and let authorities know when there are concerns.”

“This individual is accused of violating his position of trust with the Boy Scouts and as a teacher to exploit and take advantage of young people under his supervision," said Steve Francis, special agent in charge of HSI for Michigan and Ohio. "The exploitation of children is reprehensible, and HSI has highly skilled and dedicated special agents to investigate child exploitation crimes to ensure that we identify and arrest perpetrators while protecting our most vulnerable population, our children."

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than maximum. 

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Shelby Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol M. Skutnik.

A charge is only an allegation and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anyone with knowledge of the man’s unsupervised contact with children should contact HSI at 216-749-9602.

Thursday, 01 November 2018 09:04

Babysitter Arrested, Charged with Rape

The Summit County Sheriff's Office says they've charged Sage Smerk, 18, with rape, after he admitted to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl he was babysitting.

The mother of the victim came home October 28th to find her daughter and 2-year-old son alone in the house, where Smerk was supposed to be watching them. She called Smerk, he admitted to the assault, and she then called the Sheriff's Office. After a short pursuit, during which Smerk pulled out an airsoft pistol and fired it out his window, Smerk was apprehended.

He's charged with felony rape, but facing more charges pending the investigation.

See the full press release from the Summit County Sheriff's Office below. 

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On October 28, 2018, a mother came home and found that her 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son had been left alone for two hours by the 18 year old babysitter. The mother called the babysitter, identified as 18 year old Sage Smerk and inquired as to why he left the children unattended. Smerk indicated that he had sexually assault the 5 year old female. The mother immediately called the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and reported the incident. Summit County Sheriff’s Deputies located Smerk’s vehicle on Mayfair Road and they attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Smerk failed to stop and subsequently fled toward North Canton. During the pursuit, Smerk fired an air pistol out the window of his vehicle at the patrol deputies and ran several intersections before he was apprehended without incident on Maple Street in North Canton.

Smerk was charged with Rape (F-1) and Failure to Obey an Order of a Police Officer (F-3). Additional charges are pending the outcome of the investigation. \

A major announcement from Akron Children's Hospital Wednesday, as Bill Considine, long-time CEO says he is stepping down, effective Thursday, and that hospital president Grace Wakulchick is taking over.

Considine, who's been at the helm for nearly 40 years, named CEO at the age of 32, will now move into the CEO Emeritus role through January, 2020.

See the full press release from Akron Children's Hospital below: 

Grace Wakulchik assumes the title of president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital, effective today (Thursday), as William H. Considine becomes CEO Emeritus. Wakulchik has been president of the enterprise since July 2017.

Considine, who has served at the helm of Akron Children’s for nearly 40 years, is one of the longest-serving hospital chief executives in the nation, and during his tenure, the hospital has grown into a nationally-known and respected independent, integrated pediatric health system.

“As president and CEO, Grace Wakulchik assumes full responsibility for the operations of the hospital enterprise,” said John Orr, chairman of the Akron Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, in an announcement to employees. “During her 26 years at Akron Children’s, Grace has held various leadership roles, and was named president last year. We are extremely fortunate that we have someone so well prepared to take on this role. Grace has both a clinical and business background, which will serve the hospital well. She has enormous credibility with the Children’s family, and embodies the hospital’s culture, heritage, mission and family-centered care.”

In his new role as CEO Emeritus, Considine will focus his attention throughout 2019 on child advocacy, in particular, continuing his work with state and federal lawmakers to establish stable and equitable funding for children’s hospitals through Medicaid and other programs. He will retire from his role as CEO Emeritus on Jan. 1, 2020.

Four decades of growth 
When Considine, at age 32, was named president and CEO in 1979, Akron Children’s had an annual operating budget of $35 million, 900 employees and the geographic footprint of one hospital building at the corner of Bowery and Exchange streets in downtown Akron.

Today, Akron Children’s has a budget of $1.8 billion, more than 6,000 employees, two hospital campuses (Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley in Boardman celebrates 10 years this December), and 60-plus locations, including a network of 28 primary care offices, four urgent care centers, affiliations with 30 school districts and dozens of special care nurseries and pediatric specialty care clinics throughout Northern Ohio. The clinical staff provides care in more than one million patient encounters annually.

Three regional health centers are under construction, and the Considine Professional Building, which has been undergoing an $84 million addition, opened in October. This follows the Kay Jewelers Pavilion, which opened in 2015, in reshaping the downtown Akron campus.

This growth – coupled with enviable financial stability – has continued during a climate when other hospitals have closed their doors or merged. But Considine’s steady leadership and commitment to keeping Akron Children’s an independent, locally-governed children’s hospital has not only set it apart, it has become the key to its success.

Considine and Becky, his wife of 46 years have devoted countless hours to Akron organizations and civic causes. Hoping to make an impact on children not only now but in the future, they donated $1 million in 2009 to create the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute at Akron Children’s.

The Year Ahead
As Considine, 71, moves into his role as CEO Emeritus, he will continue to work with the Children’s Hospital Association and the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association on child advocacy. Events at Akron Children’s throughout 2019 will celebrate his four decades of service, including a child advocacy conference in June and a gala celebration in October at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.

New Leadership
Wakulchik, 62, began her career as a registered nurse. In addition to receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Case Western Reserve University, Wakulchik earned a MBA from Kent State University and completed the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Program  in Management for Nurse Executives at the Wharton School and Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

As chief operating officer, she oversaw the construction of Akron’s Children’s $200 million Kay Jewelers Pavilion, featuring a new emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient surgery center. Using Integrated Lean Project Delivery, the building was complete two months ahead of schedule and $60 million under budget.

She guided the installation of Akron Children’s electronic medical record transformation and MyChart patient portal with an investment of $47 million in 2012. She has also played key roles in initiatives to improve patient access, guide regional growth and help the organization achieve the highly-respected designation as a Magnet facility from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

According to Orr, the Board of Directors has worked diligently with Considine in developing a seamless transition plan throughout the past three years.

“This plan will build on the hospital’s enormous growth and success and maintains our special workplace culture and focus on family-centered care,” said Orr. “The board is very pleased with the manner in which everyone is embracing the transition. Bill Considine and his wife, Becky, have given their all to Akron Children’s and this community. Words will never capture our admiration for his leadership and service. This transition is a testament to his values and belief in the Akron Children’s mission. He and Grace have seamlessly realigned responsibilities and the hospital’s momentum has not missed a beat.”

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