On this Wednesday edition of the Sam and Brad Show, the guys give their takes on the NFL expanding replay to review and challenge pass interference calls (00:21). They asked Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal for his take on the change as well (12:44). The guys also talked college basketball with ESPN's Dan Dakich (14:32) and Indians baseball with Zack Meisel of The Athletic (34:29).
I-71 South was closed for about six hours Sunday afternoon into the evening after a multi-vehicle crash involving a semi near Route 18 in Montville Township.
Reports are the accident started in the Northbound lanes of 71, when the driver of the semi truck swerved to the left and hit a Nissan Rogue. Both vehicles hit the guardrail, entered the median, and then the semi continued Northbound onto 71 South.
The driver of the semi is reportedly in stable condition at Metro Health in Cleveland. The driver of the Rogue, that ended up flipping onto its roof and coming to a stop in the southbound lanes, was taken to Medina Hospital and is in stable condition there. A third driver, who was heading 71 South and was hit by the Rogue that landed in the southbound lanes, is in Critical Condition at Akron City Hospital.
Read more from the Akron Beacon Journal.
Darren Townsend, 38, of Akron, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in persons, six counts of promoting prostitution, three counts of compelling prostitution, and one count of corrupting another with drugs. He was facing up to 38 years in prison if he were convicted on all of the charges he was facing, but after his guilty plea, was sentenced to 14 years by Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall Jones.
According to the Beacon Journal, Noah Munyer, Townsend's attorney told the paper, "He decided the risk of a jury verdict was too much."
Pearl Coffey, 35, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted trafficking in persons, compelling prostitution, and one count of corrupting another with drugs. She has not yet been sentenced.
One of the victims, who was 17-years-old at the time, told the court that Townsend would pick her up from high school and take to several different locations throughout Akron where she would have sex for money.
Watch your speed along Akron City streets in the coming months, as APD is starting to crack down on speeders.
The request is coming from Akron City Council, who will be working with the Police Department's Traffic Commander to decide which areas to target.
Akron Police Chief Ken Ball tells the Akron Beacon Journal that the department is adding three, four-hour patrols each weekday, to rotate between Akron's 10 wards. Typically, shifts will run late afternoon, which is a high-volume time around the city.
Akron Beacon Journal sportswriter George Thomas spoke with Sam and Brad to talk about the Akron Zips' 37-34 win over the Ohio Bobcats.
The Zips control their own destiny in the MAC East Division and if they win over rival Kent State, they will play in Detroit for the MAC Championship December 2nd.
In a memo sent to Summa Health employees Monday morning, interim President and CEO Dr. Cliff Deveny announced that the health system would be eliminating 300 positions and consolidating or otherwise eliminating some services going forward.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported earlier Monday that Dr. Deveny cited a $60 Million operating loss for 2017 as the reason for the layoffs and cuts in services. In that memo, Dr. Deveny says Summa will continue to reevaluate the company's ongoing capital needs, and that all new projects must be evaluated against their critical strategic goals. That said, Dr. Deveny acknowledged that the $350 Million West Tower project at the Summa main campus in Akron will continue as planned. During a ceremony in May, the company broke ground just last month on the new West Tower. Construction is scheduled to be finished by Spring of 2019.
Summa Health currently employs 8,000 people throughout the area, making it Akron's largest employer. Of the 300 jobs that will be eliminated, Dr. Deveny mentioned in his memo that about half of them are currently filled within the system.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan responded to the news, saying, "A successful, independently-owned Summa Health is key to the ongoing economic and physical wellbeing of our city and the region. Just as our community depends on the care and services Summa provides for its health and welfare; Summa cannot succeed without the support and trust of the community. I have pledged to continue to work with Dr. Deveny and the Summa leadership team to do everything necessary to ensure the organization remains a strong and independent pillar for years to come."
Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro also released a statement on the Summa layoffs, saying, "Summa has been an anchor in our community for 125 years, and during that time Summa has provided care at the highest level to hundreds of thousands of Summit County and Northeast Ohio residents. However, the current climate in the health care industry is leading many organizations to re-evaluate their financial and operational models and make difficult decisions to maintain quality care."
Sam and Brad caught up with Nate Ulrich from the Akron Beacon Journal to talk a little Browns OTA's on a Thursday afternoon.
Clint O'Connor, pop culture/movie writer for the Akron Beacon Journal spoke with Sam and Brad on a "Feel Good Friday" to discuss the blockbusters coming out to the big screen this summer and early fall.
For the full interview click here.
Zips' sports beat writer George Thomas from the Akron Beacon Journal spoke about the departure of former University of Akron head coach Keith Dambrot to coach the men's team at Duquesne.
Zips' beat writer George Thomas spoke with Sam Bourquin to discuss the Zips' season in 2016-17. Their season came to an end last night at the hands of UT Arlington.
Browns beat writer Nate Ulrich spoke with Sam and Brad on Monday to talk about the NFL Combine, free agency, and if they would take Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett #1 overall.
For the full interview, click here.
High School sports reporter Michael Beaven spoke with Sam and Brad Monday to preview the high school boys' basketball tournament across all divisions.
Some of the notable teams in the area include St. Vincent-St.Mary, Jackson, Hoban, and Copley.
For the full interview, click here.
Nate Ulrich, Browns beat reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about what free agent quarterback could possibly help the Browns moving forward.
For the full interview, click here.
Cavaliers beat writer Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal spoke with Sam and Brad Tuesday about the Cleveland Cavaliers, their matchup with the Jazz tonight in Salt Lake City, and the addition of Kyle Korver to the lineup.
For the full interview, click here.
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal discussed the Browns as they head into the offseason and try to rebound from a 1-15 season with WAKR's Brad Russell.
With Week 8 of the high school football season in the books and teams looking to sew up playoff spots in Week 9, the season has been rolling for a few of our area teams.
Michael Beaven, high school sports reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal spoke with Sam Bourquin Monday to talk about some of the top teams in the City Series, the Federal League, and some of the parochial schools in the area.
For the full interview with Michael Beaven, click here.
Nate Ulrich from the Akron Beacon Journal joined the Brad Russell Show Wednesday to talk about the Browns, rookie quarterback Cody Kessler, and some of the growing pains seen in this season thus far.
The Browns take on Washington this Sunday. You can catch the game on 97.5 WONE.
The Indians are ready to face the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field tonight to start a three-game series.
Ryan Lewis, Indians beat writer for the Akron Beacon Journal joined Brad Russell from Booth 4 at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario just ahead of tonight's game.
Tonight's pitching matchup will feature the Tribe's Corey Kluber going up against Jose Quintana of the White Sox. Lewis anticipates both of these pitchers making it tough on opposing hitters.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm and pregame starts at 6:37pm on 1590 WAKR. For the full interview with Ryan Lewis and Brad Russell, click right here.
The Browns are fully immersed in training camp up in Berea, and with Hue Jackson putting his imprint on the team, you can see a change in the attitude and the intensity on the practice field.
Nate Ulrich from the Akron Beacon Journal spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell live from Sluggers and Putters in Canal Fulton.
Nate said that Coach Jackson will name a starter at quarterback in relatively short time, and Robert Griffin III has become more consistent with time.
"He to continue to rise to the level of competition," Ulrich said. "He's been up and down, but he's made some plays and gotten a little bit better, but there's a lot that remains to be seen in terms of whether or not he's going to revive his career."
For the full interview of Nate and the guys, click here.
One of the topics that many Akron residents have been thinking about for the last few years is what will be the next use for the former Rolling Acres Mall site on the city's west side.
Akron Beacon Journal writer Rick Armon joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the possibility of the former mall being used as a sports complex to add the city of Akron to the ever-growing youth sports tournament industry.
Armon said that the decision regarding the land is one of the biggest that city leaders will be facing in the months to come, but it certainly won't be an easy one.
"I don't know that I see it going forward," Armon said. "There would be a lot of hoops to jump through."
According to Armon, developers came to Akron City Council with plans of developing the land for a multi-sport complex at the former mall site, which has been vacant since 2008.
For the full interview with Rick Armon and Sam Bourquin, click here.
The Zips have wrapped up spring practice, and coming off their bowl win against Utah State, the Akron football team is looking to build off of last year's success.
George Thomas, who covers the Zips for the Akron Beacon Journal joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the team's mindset and strengths after their strong spring.
Thomas said that the wide receivers looked strong, and it wasn't just Jerome Lane who stood out this spring.
"They looked very good," Thomas said. "I'm talking Austin Wolfe, I'm talking Michael Means, Jo Jo Natson, who stands about 5 foot 8, but if you give him daylight, he's gone."
There were some other bright spots including the defensive backfield and the offensive line, but one of the key takeaways was that incumbent starter Thomas Woodson must work on his accuracy in order for his playmakers to get the most out of their ability.
The Blue squad squeaked by the White squad 20-17 last Saturday at Infocision Stadium-Summa Field to wrap up spring practice.
The Cleveland Browns are making lots of moves, and with so many things in play, you want to know what's next.
Browns beat reporter Nate Ulrich from the Akron Beacon Journal joined the Sam Bourquin Show Tuesday to talk about the firing of Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer and if owner Jimmy Haslam will ever get it right.
"I think it was a good move to turn the page as far as the GM, but I'm not sure about Mike Pettine, he made tough decisions, but the defense was bad and losing 18 out of 21 was bad as well."
Fast forward to the moves made yesterday and today with Sashi Brown and Paul DePodesta joining the organization, it leaves a lot of people with a lot of questions.
"It's out of the box thinking," Ulrich said. "Can the Harvard guys work with the football guys and make this thing work?" "It'll be interesting to watch," he added.
For politicians who want to win, polls can hold valuable information. But some of the latest polling on politics shows a trend any politician would do well to fear: we are simply fed up with how far down the process seems to have fallen.
The Rubber City Radio Group is part of a statewide consortium of media outlets including the Akron Beacon Journal, Canton Repository, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio Public Radio and Television, the Ohio Newspapers Association, Ohio Association of Broadcasters and other organizations forging a rare alliance in a bid to focus attention on issues facing Ohio voters leading up to the 2016 Presidential primary and general elections. 1590 WAKR and WAKR.net is owned by Rubber City Radio Group.
As part of the coaltion, we've agreed to directly share, with attribution, stories and features on substantive issues regarding the political process and specifically those issues important to Ohio voters focused on the Presidential contests. Such partnerships are not unusual; WAKR and the Beacon Journal, for example, collaborated on a series of video interviews of local County Council candidates in the past and have also worked together on forums and town hall-style meetings.
This is the first of a series of reports planned throughout the year, and features poll results from a survey from the University of Akron's Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. The Beacon Journal has been at the forefront of an effort to encourage more civility in public discourse in conjunction with The Jefferson Foundation
(Akron Beacon Journal) As she realized what she had in her hands, Andrea Barnes' eyes lit up like she was holding toxicity.
"It's not that Glenn Beck," she said of the author's name on the book.
But, as she turned to the inside jacket cover and saw a portrait of the polarizing, conservative radio and talk show host, she knew otherwise.
"Oh," she said.
Barnes, 44, likens Beck to Rush Limbaugh, another divisive commentator.
"Anger. Everybody is so angry. I guess that leads into fear," she said, referring to the rise of unconventional presidential candidates who rally worried voters by identifying and denigrating a perceived enemy. Preferring that opposing views be respected and not indiscriminately rejected, Barnes took a few minutes to reflect on the state of politics then slipped the book back on a shelf at the Cuyahoga Falls Public Library. "If we're going to solve any problems, we have to have civil discourse and be tolerant of others," Barnes said, feeling better to have released some of her own frustration.
Call it fear. Call it anger. Call it discontent.
As Americans grow unusually interested in a presidential election that is a year away, they come to the party with an unusually high level of disgust, according to a recent poll by the Ray C. Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron. Asked in November to rank their satisfaction with American politics on a scale of one (utter disgust) to 10 (complete satisfaction), 24 percent of Ohioans picked the number one.
Only 1 percent picked the highest satisfaction rating of 10.
It was that lopsided.
The poll on political approval found a majority of Ohioans are disgusted, to some degree. What's acutely noticeable is that the response rate for those with absolute disgust (that bottom rating of one) has tripled since 2008.
Is Trump a sign?
The results leave Bliss director John Green contemplating whether Donald Trump is the man of the hour or a sign of the times. His provocations seem to boost his ratings, but for which reason? "It could very well be that when we look back, we'll say, 'well, Trump was a very unique person'," Green said. "But, when I look at it I see that whatever uniqueness he may have in his background, he does sort of capture a lot of the trends in media and the decline of civility and the rise of an adversarial culture that many of us have been talking about for a couple decades."
"And that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Bliss surveyed 600 registered Ohio voters after the November election to find that 57 percent give American politics a negative score, up sharply from 22 percent in 2008. The poll has a 4 percent margin of error. When the poll was done in 2008, the economy had not yet fallen off the cliff and a nation weary of war was watching exciting presidential campaigns begin to solidify. War hero and elder statesman Sen. John McCain had locked up the Republican nomination and Democrats were weighing two historic candidates: An African American and a woman.
Green noted a groundswell of "hope and change" from both parties at that time.
Could it get worse?
There's much debate about the effects of negative advertising on the emotions of voters, but campaigns increasingly attack opponents because they believe it works. Research shows that campaign advertising hit an all-time high in the 2012 race, and negative ads accounted for more than 60 percent of the air time, also an all-time high. Already in Ohio, a powerful swing state in presidential elections, negative ads have been aired on prime-time television against Hillary Clinton a half year before the Ohio Primary Election and a year before the general.
The question is, does that kind of activity give rise to more angst among voters?
In Ohio, according to an analysis of the Bliss poll, voters most dissatisfied with American politics are more likely to be among these groups: young; white; men; without advanced college degrees; residents of southeast Ohio; regularly attend church; or are more concerned with terrorism, immigration and abortion than the economy or climate change. National polling by the Pew Research Center suggests Republican candidates (reinforced by debates that have broken records for cable viewers) are hitting a sweet spot with angry voters by pounding issues such as national security.
But playing to disgruntled voters has the added effect of souring others.
"The problem is you have so many big issues facing the country in terms of the economy and social issues, but everybody is hung up on the idea of Muslim terrorism and whether we should allow Syrian refugees into the country," said Brian Baker, a 29-year-old chef in Cuyahoga Falls.
Baker rates his satisfaction in American politics a miserable two out of 10 partly because candidates dwell on issues that don't appeal to his more liberal leanings. More importantly, though, he said the issues are blown out of proportion. "They're nice things to talk about but they don't really affect us greatly," said Baker, whose never voted in a presidential election when American troops weren't fighting terrorism.
Baker wouldn't be upset if Gov. John Kasich's message of compassionate conservatism prevailed. But Kasich, too, has called for a pause on some immigration amid fears of terrorism, a move Baker can't condone.
The young man prefers candidates who address starvation, homelessness or even Planned Parenthood. All, he said, are more manageable than the thoughts of a fanatic who might want to sneak in and hurt America.
In whom can we trust
General disapproval of politics is hurting legacy candidates. Disgusted voters prefer private-sector, anti-establishment newcomers who are believed to be better at understanding ordinary people (even more so than being honest), the UA poll found.
"It is disturbing because it suggests the levels of distrust are so high that voters are unwilling to trust anybody very much," Green said. "They just want someone who is outside the system."
With unemployment rates approaching pre-recession levels, disgusted voters have shifted their attention away from the economy and toward more controversial issues, among them abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration and national security.
The Ohio data mirror a national shift, with the spotlight apparently guided by an angry hand and a souring public opinion of the federal government.
An ongoing survey by the Pew Research Center shows Americans now hold the lowest opinion of the federal government's ability to thwart terrorism since 9/11. Yet, Americans most often say Uncle Sam's top job is keeping them safe. And on immigration, they say the feds do worst. The research also indicates Americans consider the GOP better suited to deal with terrorism and immigration, the only two issues Republican respondents told Pew they would like the federal government more involved in.
Hope and despair
Millennials, ages 18 to 34, are simultaneously the most satisfied, disgusted, opinionated and indifferent voters represented in the Bliss poll.
The youngest (ages 18 to 24) were the most likely to take a neutral position on politics in the poll. The older portion — idealistic, fresh out of college or launching a career — flowed to opposite ends of the spectrum with the highest rates of satisfaction (20.3 percent) and dissatisfaction (62.3 percent), and the lowest neutrality.
With age, the level of dissatisfaction waned. Ohio voters in every older generation consistently moved toward a neutral position on satisfaction. Baby boomers, the second largest generation behind millennials, voiced less disapproval than all but the youngest first- or second-time voters.
Research shows millennials vote less often than prior generations. They're also distrustful of government and the least likely to affiliate with conventional political parties. Couple these suspicions with gridlock in Congress and fighting on the campaign trail and what you get, Green says, is "a recipe for a great deal of dissatisfaction."