Saturday, 28 July 2012 09:47

Mobile Meth Lab Found Stuffed In Backpack

A mobile meth lab was discovered at a Medina apartment complex Friday.

According to the Medina Police Department's Facebook page, the Medina County Drug Task Force found a 2-liter bottle with a foamy liquid inside the meth lab backpack at Liberty Square Apartments, in the 200 block of Abbeyville Road.

The task force says its uncovered 12 similar set-ups so far in 2012, compared to just three last year.

Police say the items are very unstable, and according to those that have been trained, can result in a fireball 50 feet wide. The task force has the equipment and training to safely neutralize the chemicals involved.

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Saturday, 28 July 2012 08:18

Several Arrested At OVI Checkpoint

A Summit County OVI checkpoint netted 10 arrests Friday night.

The Summit County OVI Task Force says 231 vehicles passed through the checkpoint at 250 West Market Street in Akron.

Seven people were arrested for driving under a license suspension.

Three were picked up for having an open container with an alcoholic beverage in their cars.

Additional citations included an illegal u-turn and failure to use seatbelts.

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Thursday, 26 July 2012 05:47

Heat Advisory, Utilities Brace For Storms

Another toasty dose of temperatures means the high heat could also trigger severe storms.

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Thursday from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Long exposure to the warm temperatures could cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, especially for those who are young or elderly.

FirstEnergy Spokesman Mark Durbin says all of its 10 utilities are on "high alert" and prepared to respond and repair any possible electrical damage that may occur.

Forecasters predict winds gusting as high as 60 miles per hour in some regions as a storm system moves through.

Click here to check on current outages in the Northeast Ohio region.

Follow for the latest weather related updates.

A Cuyahoga Falls man is accused of trying to sell phony desinger handbags that prosecutors say looked almost like the real thing.

Ronald Jason Azar, 34, is charged with trafficking in counterfeit merchandise in the U.S. District Court of Cleveland, according to the Beacon Journal.

Federal prosecutors say he "intentially" tried to sell off more than 100 bags with labels including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Marc Jacobs and Gucci.

If the purses were genuine, authorities estimate they'd be worth more cash than you could fit in your Coach wallet at $184,000.

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Charges against the accused gunman in the shooting the took the life of an innocent young Akron girl are dismissed.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says the lone witness is keeping his lips sealed-- refusing to testify citing threats to his family.

Prosecutor Walsh announced Friday that charges against 26-year-old Vernon Singleton in the shooting death of 11-year old Carmella Holly have been dismissed with the option to refile them at a later date.

“There is no statute of limitation on murder, and my office is hopeful that someone will come forward and be willing to testify,” Walsh added. “Because we dismissed without prejudice, we can refile the charges if witnesses will cooperate in the future.”

Singleton was facing charges including murder and felonious assault.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh by Akron NewsNow

“There are people in Akron who know exactly what happened the night Carmella Holley was murdered, but they refuse to stand up for an 11-year-old girl and her devastated family,” Walsh said, in a press release.

 “Yes, it is scary to sit in that witness box. And yes, it is easier to swear you saw and know nothing. But someone has to be brave enough to ignore the no-snitching culture and help us seek justice for Carmella Holley and every other victim of “witness-less” crime if we want to end the violence in Akron.”

Holley was killed when a stray bullet struck her while she was watching television in her family apartment at Keys Place in Akron.

Prosecutors say Singleton and 19-year old Terrance Roane, both of Akron, were shooting at each other on the street outside the Holley family apartment when the child was killed.

Roane still faces a list of charges including felonious assault, discharging a firearm, tampering with evidence and carrying a concealed weapon.

Follow for further updates on this story.

Thursday, 19 July 2012 12:34

Ohio Home Sales Jump in June

More homes moved off the market during the month of June compared to the same time in 2011.

Ohio Association of Realtors posted an increase for new and existing home sales at 10.6-percent last month.

The organization says 52,896 homes were sold to new owners during the first six months of 2012, compared to the 2011 mark of 46,914 homes.

Ohio Realtors remains confident, but notes that home ownership may not come as easy in the coming months as the economcy could hold back buyers.

"We fully understand that there will be challenges and setbacks in our economic recovery efforts in the coming months, but are certain that the desire to achieve the American Dream of homeownership remains strong throughout Ohio," Robert U. Miller said, association president, in a press release.

The average sale price for a home so far this year: $131,000, up from about $125,000 in 2011.

Press Release:

Home sales activity throughout Ohio increased 10.6 percent in June, helping the marketplace record its 12th consecutive monthly sales gain, according to the statistics provided by the state’s Multiple Listing Services.

Sales of new and existing homes posted a 12.8 percent increase during the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago, reaching 52,896 sales versus the 2011 mark of 46,914.

“We’ve reached a significant milestone in our long journey toward recovery of the housing marketplace throughout Ohio, as sales activity has achieved 12 straight months of gains for the first time since December 2004 through November 2005,” said Robert U. Miller, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS®. “It’s apparent that we’ve begun to overcome the challenges stemming from the economic collapse of 2008 and have made strides in building a solid foundation for having a sustainable, growing marketplace going forward.

“Ohio’s REALTORS® remain extremely confident about our market – as interest rates remain at historic lows, prices have begun to trend upward, inventories are declining, sellers are increasingly realistic in their pricing expectations and consumers understand that long-term, owning a home is a tremendous investment.”

Not only have sales levels during the first six months exceeded the pace of a year ago, the average sales price (January through June) throughout Ohio this year is up 4 percent, reaching $131,004 versus the 2011 mark of $125,706.

Total dollar volume this year is nearly $7 billion, a 17.5 percent increase from last year’s six-month mark of $5.9 billion.

Miller noted that a recent survey of the state’s real estate professionals suggests the industry remains cautiously optimistic about the market’s outlook in the coming months. The OAR Housing Market Confidence Index, a recently created measurement of the perception Ohio REALTORS® have of the marketplace, offers the following highlights of the July 2012 report:

86 percent of REALTORS® describe the current housing market in their area as moderate to strong; a significant increase from the 57 percent mark the profession posted during the month a year ago. This month’s REALTOR® Current Market Index measurement reached 50, a 21 point improvement from the July 2011 score of 29.
87 percent of the respondents have moderate to strong expectations for their market in the next six months; a 26 percent increase from the July 2011 level of 61 percent. This month’s REALTOR® Future Market Index reached 50, an 18 point increase from the July 2011 Index of 32.

91 percent of REALTORS® believe home prices over the next year will remain stable and could even post gains; a 17 percent jump from the findings in July 2011. The REALTOR® Price Index for REALTORS®’ expectations for the next year reached 61, a 19 point increase than the mark recorded during the month a year ago (42).

“The attitude within the real estate profession has come a long way in a relatively short period of time,” Miller noted. “We are significantly more confident and optimistic about the housing market’s prospects – both in the near-term and for the balance of the year. Our year-over-year increases in our Confidence Index findings are a clear signal that the profession is encouraged that we’re headed in the right direction.

“We fully understand that there will be challenges and setbacks in our economic recovery efforts in the coming months, but are certain that the desire to achieve the American Dream of homeownership remains strong throughout Ohio.”

Sales in June reached 11,246, a 10.6 percent increase from the 10,165 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The month’s average sales price of $150,174 is a 5.6 percent increase from the June 2011 mark of $141,793.

Total dollar volume in June nearly reached $1.7 billion, a 17.2 percent increase from the $1.4 billion mark posted a year ago.

Data provided to OAR by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops. The Ohio Association of REALTORS®, with 26,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.

To view a market by market analysis of sales activity throughout Ohio and local contact information, click on the link below.

A. Schulman has secured a new spot for a new headquarters in Fairlawn.

The global plastics supplier will relocate to the corner of South Cleveland-Massillon Road and Ridgewood Road.

The company has apparently outgrown its current building is off of West Market Street.

Fairlawn-Bath Patch reports Fairlawn City Council approved the land deal at its meeting Monday night.

A. Schulman will lease 4.6 acres of land for $560,000 from Landridge Development LLC and plans to open a new one-story facility by spring of 2013.

On the web:

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 07:08

KSU Faculty Labor Deal In Works

A new contract could end the almost year-long negotiations between Kent State University's faculty union and the university administration.

KSU Spokeswoman Emily Vincent tells the Beacon Journal that the proposed labor deal is in the ratification process. The agreement would run through August of 2014 and as it stands now, would include pay raises for all faculty. Details on the new contract are limited.

According to a survey by Ohio State University, the annual salary for a fulltime professor at Kent State averages $106,444. The average annual salary for a fulltime professor at the University of Akron is lower, at $96,253.

Top 5 Ohio Professor Annual Salaries (2010-2011)

Ohio State: $131,548

Wright State: $109,755

Kent State: $106,444

Toledo: $105,813

Cincinnati: $105,513

Click here to see the full list.


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Monday, 16 July 2012 12:01

Portage County Painkiller Crackdown

A drug trafficking suspect is taken into custody after a month-long investigation into the sale of prescription pain medication.

On Friday, the Portage County Drug Task Force arrested Daniel S. Campbell, 22, of Ravenna Township, on charges of drug trafficking, a felony of the 4th degree. Campbell could face additional charges, as more evidence has been submitted to the Portage County Grand Jury.

Authorities had been tracking the sale of painkillers throughout Ravenna Township, Ravenna and Streetsboro before the arrest.

This isn't Campbell's first run-in with the law. He's currently on probation in Portage County in connection with an attempted robbery conviction

Bond was set at $1.5 million Friday for the Rittman man accused of murdering the mother of his child and leaving her body in a car.

Chad Cobb is charged in the aggravated murder of 25-year old Ashley Biggs.

During the early morning hours of June 21, Biggs had failed to return from her pizza delivery call off of Turkeyfoot Road in Akron.

When authorities traced the pizza delievery worker's whereabouts, they discovered blood near the location she was last called to. Her body was later found that morning inside a car, in a Wayne County corn field.

Biggs and Cobb were the parents of a 6-year-old daughter and were involved in a contentious custody dispute in court, according to police.

Previous Coverage:

Body Of Missing Woman Found