Edward L. Esposito

Edward L. Esposito

Edward "Ed" Esposito is vice-president, information media for the Rubber City Radio Group. He oversees news and public affairs programs for www.AkronNewsNow.com, 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation; a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation and a former president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He's also served as a member of the Akron Press Club , Kent State University Student Media Advisory Board, Ohio Open Government Coalition, Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He's lectured on broadcasting and journalism for the University of Missouri in China, as well as across the country for RTDNA and RTDNF. You can reach Ed through the newsroom at 330-864-6397 or by email eesposito@rcrg.net

Monday, 25 November 2013 06:43

Zips Soccer Frozen In Milwaukee

Forget the Frozen Tundra; try the frozen-hard pitch. The Zips men's soccer squad ended it's run for another national championship with a 1-0 overtime loss to Marquette in a game marked more by a rock-hard field and freezing temperatures in Milwaukee. The winning goal game in the first overtime period with just 23 seconds left. "Both teams had to adapt through it and, unfortunately, a slip on the field hurt us in the moment, and they capitalized," said Akron head coach Jared Embick.

The Zips end the season 17-4-1 while Marquette. at 13-5-2 but ranked with the number nine seed, advances with it's first NCAA Tournament win in their history.

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(GoZips.com) The University of Akron men's soccer team saw its NCAA Tournament run come to an end in the second round with a 1-0 defeat to No. 9-seed Marquette in freezing temperatures and a rock-hard playing surface at Valley Fields Sunday night.

After a scoreless regulation, the Golden Eagles (13-5-2) bagged the Golden Goal in the first overtime period with just 23 seconds left. Coco Navarro, who got free when an Akron defender slipped and fell to the ground, finished a long cross from Adam Lysak to give Marquette its first NCAA Tournament win in program history.

"It was disappointing for two teams who like to play soccer to have their game decided by the conditions of the field," said UA head coach Jared Embick. "But give Marquette credit. They found a way to make a play."

"Both teams had to hit long balls in the channels to decide the game. It's not what you want. Both teams had to adapt through it and unfortunately, a slip on the field hurt us in the moment, and (Marquette) capitalized."

It was a startling conclusion for the Zips (17-4-1), who nearly won the match in regulation when Zac Portillos banged a liner off the right post in the 76th minute. Then, just five minutes into overtime, Akron thought it had won a penalty kick opportunity when Reinaldo Brenes appeared to be tackled from behind in the box but no call came.

With temperatures that hovered in the low 20s and wind that made it feel much colder, players on both sides struggled to get solid footing on the frozen pitch and the pace of play suffered as a result.

After being out-shot 10-5 in the first half, UA settled in after the break and had the better of play but couldn't cash in. Third-year sophomore Jake Fenlason turned in another commendable performance with nine saves – the most by an Akron goalkeeper all season – in a losing effort.

Much of the action took place in the middle third of the field in the first half.

The Zips had their best chance of the half in the 34th minute when Eric Stevenson chipped a ball over a Marquette defender for Brenes, who was streaking down the left side of the field. Brenes took a quick touch to avoid the MU goalkeeper, who had come off his line, but couldn't quite get control of it as his shot hit the side netting.

Fenlason had to make three saves in the opening period as the Zips dealt with a number of dangerous crosses by the Golden Eagles. MU's best look came in the 27th minute when a cross found C. Nortey with space in the midde of the box but hooked it wide of the left post.

In all, the Golden Eagles, who captured their first Big East Tournament Championship last weekend, out-shot the Zips 19-15. With the win, Marquette advances to play at No. 8-seed Virginia in the third round of the NCAA Tournament next Sunday (Dec. 1).

Zips Notebook: Sunday was just Akron's second loss during the run of play in its last 16 NCAA Tournament matches (10-2-4), dating back to the 2009 season ... It was also just the fourth time UA had been shutout in 2013 ... Senior Robbie Derschang was helped off the field with a leg injury in the second half and did not return

Sunday, 24 November 2013 15:09

Pairings: SVSM, Highland & Manchester

The pairings are out for the state high school football semifinals following the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Fans of the Fighting Irish and Panthers better find cheap gas before the holiday because they'll be heading south, while the Hornets will be on a short flight to Parma.

Next Friday's action with 7:30 kickoffs include the pair of local undefeated teams. St. Vincent-St. Mary will take on Columbus Marion-Franklin in New Philadelphia while Highland takes on fellow northeast Ohio semifinalist Glenville at Byers Field.

On Saturday, Manchester travels south on I-71 to face Columbus Bishop Hartley with a 7:00 kickoff in Mansfield.

InfoCision Stadium hosts what is likely to attract most Cleveland football fans; St. Ed's v Mentor Saturday night.

 

(OHSAA) The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Sunday the pairings and host sites for the football state semifinals. Divisions II, III, IV and VI will play on Friday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m., while Divisions I, V and VII will play on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.

 
In Divisions II through VII, the state semifinal pairings are determined mainly by geography. In Division I, since there are two regions with 16 qualifiers, the pairings are determined by the brackets through the first four rounds.
 
Playoff pairings follow the regional bracket format as determined by the final computer ratings released Sunday, Nov. 3. A total of 224 schools qualified for the postseason out of the 714 that played football this season (31.4 percent). First round games were played at the home site of the higher seed, or the site of the higher seed’s choosing. Neutral sites for all other rounds are determined by the OHSAA.
 
Beginning this season, there are seven divisions in the football playoffs. The largest 72 schools are in Division I, which is divided into two regions. The top 16 teams in both Division I regions have qualified for the playoffs. There are approximately 108 schools each in Divisions II through VII, which are each divided into four regions. The top eight teams in each region in those divisions have qualified for the playoffs.
 
2013 OHSAA Football Playoffs – Fourth Round Pairings
Pairings are shown with regional seeds and won-lost records
State championship games will be played Dec. 5-7 at Canton Fawcett Stadium and Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Exact dates and times for game assignments are TBA.
 
Division I Regional Finals (State Semifinals)
Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
Home Team Listed First. Div. I state championship game is Sat., Dec. 7 (time TBA)
Region 1
1 Lakewood St. Edward (11-1) vs. 2 Mentor (12-1) at University of Akron InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field
Region 2
1 Hilliard Davidson (13-0) vs. 2 Cin. Archbishop Moeller (12-1) at Dayton Welcome Stadium
 
Division II State Semifinals
Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29
Home Teams Listed First. Div. II state championship game is either Thursday, Dec. 5 or Friday, Dec. 6 (time TBA)
1 Cle. Glenville (12-1) vs. 1 Medina Highland (13-0) at Parma Byers Field
3 Zanesville (13-0) vs. 1 Loveland (13-0) at Columbus St. Francis DeSales Alumni Stadium
 
Division III State Semifinals
Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29
Home Teams Listed First. Div. III state championship game is either Thurs., Dec. 5 or Friday, Dec. 6 (time TBA)
1 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (13-0) vs. 2 Cols. Marion-Franklin (12-1) at New Philadelphia Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium
2 Clyde (12-1) vs. 7 Trotwood-Madison (10-2) at Lima Stadium
 
Division IV State Semifinals
Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29
Home Teams Listed First. Div. IV state championship game is either Thursday, Dec. 5 or Friday, Dec. 6 (time TBA)
3 Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (9-4) vs. 8 Steubenville (9-4) at Canton Fawcett Stadium
2 Kenton (13-0) vs. 2 Clarksville Clinton-Massie (12-1) at Dayton Welcome Stadium
 
Division V State Semifinals
Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
Home Teams Listed First. Div. V state championship game is Sat., Dec. 7 (time TBA)
1 Akron Manchester (11-2) vs. 1 Cols. Bishop Hartley (12-1) at Mansfield Arlin Field
5 Coldwater (11-2) vs. 1 West Jefferson (12-1) at Piqua Alexander Stadium – Purk Field
 
Division VI State Semifinals
Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29
Home Teams Listed First. Div. VI state championship game is either Thursday, Dec. 5 or Friday, Dec. 6 (time TBA)
1 Kirtland (13-0) vs. 2 Cols. Bishop Ready (12-1) at Mansfield Arlin Field
5 Haviland Wayne Trace (12-1) vs. 4 Mechanicsburg (11-2) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field
 
Division VII State Semifinals
Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
Home Teams Listed First. Div. VII state championship game is Sat., Dec. 7 (time TBA)
1 Berlin Center Western Reserve (13-0) vs. 1 Glouster Trimble (13-0) at St. Clairsville Red Devil Stadium
3 Maria Stein Marion Local (13-0) vs. 8 Delphos St. John’s (9-4) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field
 
Sunday, 24 November 2013 08:33

Zips Move To Round 2 Today

(University of Akron Athletics) The University of Akron men's soccer team will play at No. 9-seed Marquette tonight in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Zips and the Big East Champion Golden Eagles will kick off at 6 p.m. ET at Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis. 
 
The winner will advance to take on the winner of the No. 8-seed Virginia vs. St. John's match on Dec. 1 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
 
Match #22: Akron Zips (17-3-1) at No. 9 Marquette Golden Eagles (12-5-2)
Date/Time: Nov. 24, 2013  •  6:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Valley Fields  •  Milwaukee, Wis.
Match Notes: NCAA Tournament Second Round - Akron at Marquette (PDF)
Television: None  •  Radio: None
Live Stats: GoMarquette.com  •  Video Stream: GoMarquette.com (Free)
 
Akron At The NCAA Tournament
 
• The Zips are making their 28th all-time appearance in the NCAA postseason where they have posted a record of 10-1-4 (.800) since 2009. UA's lone defeat during the run of play came by way of a 1-0 result at Charlotte in the third round of the 2011 tournament.
• Akron is one of just eight Division I programs to qualify for the 48-team national tournament in each of the past seven seasons. Only Connecticut, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, South Florida, UCLA and Virginia can share that claim.
• The Zips have advanced to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament in each of the past five years. After playing Creighton to a 1-all draw after regulation in the third round a year ago, the Bluejays ended UA's season in a 5-4 penalty-kick shoot out.
• Akron captured the school's first team national championship in any sport in 2010 with a 1-0 victory over top-seeded Louisville. The historic victory came one year after UA fell in penalties (3-2) to Virginia in the national final.
 
The Road To Philly
 
• UA advanced to Sunday's game after knocking off 2012 defending champion Indiana 3-2 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
• Akron jumped on top with three early goals before holding off an inspired IU rally that saw the Big Ten Champions pull to within one in the 53rd minute.
• Senior striker and Hermann Trophy Watch List honoree Reinaldo Brenes paced the Zips attack with his first multiple-goal performance of the fall and third-year sophomore Jake Fenlason made seven saves in just his third career start in goal.
• Brenes opened the scoring in just the match's seventh minute, then completed the brace with the game-winning goal in minute 48. The native of Costa Rica may have notched his second career hat trick after his shot late in the first half appeared to break the plane of the goal line. But the referee ruled otherwise as a Hoosiers' defender came swooping in to clear the shot off the line with a bicycle kick.
• Senior midfielder and Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Aodhan Quinn also stayed red hot with a goal and an assist. Quinn has scored a goal in each of the Zips' last three matches.
• Despite the Zips' offensive onslaught, the match's outcome may have been very different had it not been for a trio of spectacular saves by Fenlason. Fenlason came off his line to smother a dangerous 1v1 opportunity on an IU breakaway in the 19th minute then turned away rapid-fire shots early in the second half as IU's Femi Hollinger-Janzen had a go from just inside the 18 and teammate Tommy Thompson redirected the rebound from close range.
 
About Akron
 
• Winners of the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles, the Zips are unbeaten in their last 11 matches (10-0-1) and have been defeated just once (14-1-1) since Sept. 15.
• With a healthy roster and players peaking at the right time, the UA attack has been among the hottest in the country. After scoring 15 goals through the first 14 matches of the season, Akron has scored 18 times in its past seven contests alone.
• While goals had been coming at a premium for the Zips early this season, tremendous individual play has not. In fact, six different Akron players have bagged a brace in 2013, including a pair of two-goal performances by Eric Stevenson, who willed UA to a 2-1, double-overtime victory against San Diego State on Sept. 6 and fueled a 3-0 rout of West Virginia in the MAC Tournament semifinals last weekend.
• Following Reinaldo Brenes' two-goal performance against IU last Thursday night, a different Akron player has recorded a brace in each of the Zips' last three matches (Stevenson vs. West Virginia on Nov. 15 and Zac Portillos vs. Western Michigan on Nov. 17). Furthermore, five different UA players have posted two-goal games in the last six contests, including Robbie Derschang at Michigan on Oct. 30 and Aodhan Quinn vs. Penn State on Nov. 6.
• Akron true freshman Adam Najem has been a key to the Zips offensive revival. Since Oct. 9, the midfielder has scored four goals and handed out seven assists in 11 contests. Furthermore, two of his goals have been game winners and three of his assists have led to game-winning goals during that time.
• Najem's team-leading total of nine assists rank him 12th nationally among all Division I players and second among all Division I freshmen (Boston College's Zeiko Lewis has 11). Moreover, it matches the highest assist total by an Akron freshman since Anthony Ampaipitakwong notched nine as a first-year player in 2007.   
• UA has displayed a flair for dramatics in 2013 with seven of its wins coming on game-winning goals after the 75th minute of play. Moreover, following Derschang's game winner at WMU on Nov. 9, the Zips improved to 4-1-1 in overtime games.
• Quinn became the ninth consecutive Akron player to be named MAC Player of the Year in 2013. The California-native and son of former U.S. Men's National Team star Brian Quinn joins an elite group of UA stars to earn the honor, including Scott Caldwell (2012), Darren Mattocks (2011), Darlington Nagbe (2010), Teal Bunbury (2009), Steve Zakuani (2008), Cory Sipos (2007), Sinisa Ubiparipovic (2006) and Ross McKenzie (2005).
• Akron's possession-style attack has provided opposing teams very few scoring chances this season. As a unit, the Zips are ranked 13th in the nation with a goals-against-average (GAA) of 0.67.
 
About Marquette
 
• Champions of the Big East Tournament, the Golden Eagles, who shared the regular-season crown with Georgetown, were awarded the No. 9 seed and a first-round bye during Monday's NCAA Selection Show.
• Marquette defeated Providence 3-2 to win the first Big East Tournament championship in program history last weekend at PPL Park, the site of the 2013 College Cup.
• MU, which was the No. 7 seed nationally in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, is 0-2 all-time at the Big Dance. The Golden Eagles suffered a 1-0 defeat to Northwestern in the second round at Valley Fields in 2012 and were defeated by Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green in the first round of the 1997 tourney.
• Marquette was 2-1 versus nationally-ranked opponents during the regular season, posting victories in back-to-back matches against No. 21 Butler (3-2, 2OT) and No. 7 Creighton (1-0) in early October. After playing No. 9 Georgetown to a scoreless draw in regulation, MU fell by way of a Golden Goal in the first overtime period later that month. All three matches were played at Valley Fields where the Golden Eagles posted a record of 5-2-1.
• MU went 2-1-1 against shared Akron opponents this fall; defeating Bowling Green (3-0) and Michigan (1-0), losing to Michigan State (2-0), and drawing St. John's (0-0).
• The Golden Eagles are led in scoring by sophomore forward C. Nortey, who has scored nine goals – including five game winners – in 19 matches. Junior goalkeeper Charlie Lyon, who shared goalkeeper of the year honors with Georgetown's Tomas Gomez, has logged every minute in net for MU and owns a GAA of 0.86.
 
Marquette Series Notes
 
• Sunday's game will represent the 13th meeting between the Zips and Golden Eagles. Akron is unbeaten against Marquette through the first 12 matches, posting an all-time series record of 8-0-4 (.833) dating back to the 1980 season.
• The two teams played each other on a fairly regular basis throughout the 1980s and 90s but have not faced off since the 1998 campaign. UA, which is 4-0-1 at Marquette all-time, and MU have never met in the postseason.
Sunday, 24 November 2013 03:33

UPDATE Missing Stark Man Found Out Of State

UPDATE 4:50 PM 11/24/13: The missing adult alert for 83 year-old Donald Myers of North Canton has been cancelled.

The Stark County Sheriff's Office says Myers was found unharmed at an out of state location.

-----

A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Stark County Sheriff's Office statewide. Information as of: November 23, 2013 at 10:27 PM:
 
Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On November 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM, Mr. Myers left his residence.
 
The incident took place in Stark County, OH on State Street NE in the city of North Canton.
 
The adult's name is Donald Myers and the individual is missing. The adult is a White male, age 83, is 5' 10" tall, weighs 148 lbs., has gray hair, and has brown eyes. Mr. Myers suffers from medical issues.
 
The vehicle involved is a blue 2006 Dodge Dakota with OH plate number FOH8989. 
 
Call or dial 911 if you see the adult or the vehicle. You can also call 1-866-693-9171 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 at: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Law-Enforcement/Local-Law-Enforcement/Missing-Adult-Alert
Sunday, 24 November 2013 03:33

Stark Issues Missing Person Alert

A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Stark County Sheriff's Office statewide. Information as of: November 23, 2013 at 10:27 PM:
 
Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On November 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM, Mr. Myers left his residence.
 
The incident took place in Stark County, OH on State Street NE in the city of North Canton.
 
The adult's name is Donald Myers and the individual is missing. The adult is a White male, age 83, is 5' 10" tall, weighs 148 lbs., has gray hair, and has brown eyes. Mr. Myers suffers from medical issues.
 
The vehicle involved is a blue 2006 Dodge Dakota with OH plate number FOH8989. 
 
Call or dial 911 if you see the adult or the vehicle. You can also call 1-866-693-9171 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 at: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Law-Enforcement/Local-Law-Enforcement/Missing-Adult-Alert
Friday, 22 November 2013 07:29

Stick-Up Couple Busted In Springfield

Springfield police have a pair of alleged thieving lovebirds in custody after an armed robbert at the Mash Oil station on South Arlington Road.
 
Cops say 30-year old Melissa Sue Smith  wore a ski mask and pointed an "Airsoft" pistol at the clerk and demdned money, then took off in a blue van driven by her husband, 29-year old William Smith the fourth. Cops found the gun, ski mask and money in the car when they caught up with them.
 
Both are in the Summit County Jail -- not sharing the same cell, however.
 
- - -
 
(Springfield PD) At Approximately 8:20 p.m., officers responded to the Mash Oil gas station located at 2279 S. Arlington Rd. for an armed robbery report. The clerk of the gas station stated that an individual entered the station wearing a ski mask and brandishing a hand gun. The suspect then pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded money. The suspect fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money, in a blue mini-van being driven by another individual.
 
The suspect’s vehicle was traffic stopped a short time later by a Summit County Deputy Sheriff. Further investigation discovered an “Airsoft” pistol, ski mask, and the stolen money in the vehicle.
 
Detectives concluded, that 30 year old Melissa Sue Smith entered the store, and her husband, 29 year old William F. Smith IV, drove the vehicle. Both subjects have been charged with Aggravated Robbery and are currently being held in the Summit County Jail.
 
Friday, 22 November 2013 05:56

Zips Rock Hoosiers, Advance To Round 2

The University of Akron men's soccer team took an early step toward another national championship by beating the defending champ 3-2 in a Cub Cadet Field thriller. The Zips opened up a dominating lead then held off the Hoosiers to advance to Sunday's game at Marquette.
 
- - -
 
(University of Akron Athletics) The University of Akron men's soccer team scored a trio of goals in the first 48 minutes and then held on for a thrilling 3-2 victory over Indiana in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
 
With the win, the Zips (17-3-1) advance to play at No. 9-seed Marquette in the second round of the men's soccer championships Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.
 
Senior striker Reinaldo Brenes led the UA attack with a pair of goals and third-year sophomore goalkeeper Jake Fenlason made seven saves – including three of the spectacular variety – in an entertaining 90 minutes of soccer that featured open play by both sides.
 
It was just the third career start for Fenlason who made his collegiate debut against West Virginia in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament last weekend.
 
The Zips were also paced by senior Aodhan Quinn, who stayed red hot – adding a goal and an assist. The MAC Player of the Year has now scored a goal in each of his last three matches.
 
Akron flew out of the gates with a pair of goals in the first half. Brenes was the first to strike, taking Adam Najem's long pass from midfield and firing a low liner across the goal from the near right flank past Hoosiers' goalkeeper Colin Webb in just the seventh minute.
 
Quinn doubled up the Zips' advantage in the 24th minute. Following a volley in front of the IU net, Quinn played a loose ball down to his feet, then slipped it inside the right post for his fifth goal in as many matches.
 
Although Akron dominated the scoreboard in the first half, it didn't come without some dangerous moments from an Indiana side that was just as relentless on the attack throughout the match.
 
Minutes after Brenes gave UA a 1-0 lead, IU nearly got the goal back when Tommy Thompson got loose on a breakaway with only Fenlason to beat in the 19th minute. But the young keeper was up to the task, making the stop to keep the Hoosiers off the board.
 
UA added to its lead early in the second half when Brenes took a cross from Quinn and slotted Webb from straight on and it appeared as though the rout was on. But Indiana scored a pair of restart goals within two minutes of each other to cut the Zips' lead to one.
 
Dylan Lax was first to break through for IU, scoring on a Patrick Doody corner kick in the 52th minute. Doody then served up another goal for the Hoosiers, this time connecting with Jacob Bushue in the 53rd minute.
 
Even before Indiana got on the scoreboard, the game nearly changed with rapid-fire shots just one minute following Brenes' second goal of the game. IU's Femi Hollinger-Janzen initiated the sequence by firing a rocket from just inside the 18 that Fenlason punched away.
 
Thompson was there for the rebound however and redirected it towards the goal but Fenlason was there to turn IU away again in a highlight-reel worthy sequence.
 
Zips Notebook: Brenes is the fifth different UA player to record a multiple-goal performance in the Zips' last six matches, following Robbie Derschang (vs. Michigan), Quinn (vs. Penn State), Eric Stevenson (vs. West Virginia) and Zac Portillos (vs. Western Michigan) ... Akron earned the victory despite being out-shot 23-17 for the match and 14-4 in the second half ... it was just the second time all season the Zips had been out-shot ... the Zips are 4-0-1 versus Indiana in their last five meetings ... UA has now ended Indiana's postseason run in two of the last four years. Akron defeated IU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2010 ... the Zips improved to 4-0-1 against teams from the Big Ten Conference in 2013.

 

Thursday, 21 November 2013 14:23

Bowden Feels the Zippy Love

The Terry Bowden era of Akron football has paid off for the Zips; then again, taking a program that could barely break through winning only one game a season wasn't exactly a high jump. But taking a program that finished 1-11 two years in a row to a 4-7 record was enough to land Terry Bowden a two-year contract extension.
 
The announcement was made in a release from University President Luis Proenza and Athletics Director Tom Wistrcill today and locks Bowden in through the 2018 season.
 
- - -
 
(University of Akron Athletics) University of Akron football head coach Terry Bowden has received a two-year contract extension, President Dr. Luis M. Proenza and Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill announced on Thursday. The extension, which is pending approval by the UA Board of Trustees, will keep Bowden at the helm of the program through the 2018 season.
 
Bowden, currently in his second year as coach of the Zips, has led Akron to a 4-7 overall record and a 3-4 mark against Mid-American Conference teams this season, with one game remaining on Nov. 29 versus Toledo. It is the program's highest overall win total since 2008, when it went 5-7 (3-5 MAC), and comes after facing what the NCAA lists as the nation's 41st toughest schedule to date.
 
Nine of the Zips' opponents this season competed in a bowl game at the end of the 2012 season, including six of eight conference foes. The Zips lost by a combined 11 points to nationally-ranked Michigan (28-24 on Sept. 14) and Northern Illinois (27-20 on Oct. 12), and two opponents, NIU and Central Florida, are listed in the top 25 of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.
 
Akron heads into the season finale next Friday against Toledo having won two-straight and three of its last four outings. Included in that stretch is a 16-7 victory over neighborhood rival Kent State on Nov. 2 to regain possession of the coveted wooden Wagon Wheel trophy for the first time since 2009. Five student-athletes have earned MAC Player-of-the-Week recognition this season.
 
"I couldn't be more pleased with the progress we've made," Bowden said. "I'm proud of the dedication of the players and staff, who have never given up and are starting to see the rewards of their hard work. This contract extension is a product of their efforts and I appreciate the continued dedication the University has made to Zips Football. That dedication of resources was apparent when I interviewed for this position and helps with every aspect of our program."
 
Named Akron's 27th all-time head coach in December 2011, he is the seventh person to hold the position since 1960 and inherited a team that posted 1-11 records in both 2010 and 2011. Bowden's 2012 Zips squad finished 1-11 as well, but scored a school-record and MAC season-high 30 passing touchdowns, and finished the year ranked first in the MAC and 16th nationally in passing (312.8 ypg), and sixth in the league and 45th in the country in total offense (427.2 ypg). The program was listed near the bottom of those statistical categories during the two years prior.
 
Other highlights of the 2012 season include redshirt freshman kicker Robert Stein being one of 38 student-athletes named to the Academic All-MAC Team. Additionally, 11 Zips earned academic honorable mention from the league and senior receiver Marquelo Suel was named to the All-MAC Team.
 
"We are excited about what Coach Bowden has done with the program over the last two years," Wistrcill said. "This extension is a reward for that performance and the belief that we have in him and his staff. There has been a great attitude change within the team and I also know the Zips community is pleased with the progress being made."
 
Bowden, who served as a studio analyst and color commentator with ABC Sports' college football for 10 years, was the head coach at Auburn from 1993-98 and spent the three seasons prior to coming to Akron at Division II North Alabama. He led UNA to a 29-9 record and three-consecutive playoff appearances.
Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:04

The Owls Have It For 2014 First Night

Akron artist Dave Szalay can say "yeah, I built that" when people get a look at the 2014 First Night Akron artwork. Dave Szalay works a day job as assistant professor at the University of Akron. He says the use of an owl to represent the spirit of Akron's New Year's Eve celebration came from his wife, Krista, and represents "...insight, wisdom and protection."
 
The admission buttons go on sale to the public at locations around Akron on November 29.
 
- - -
 
(Downtown Akron Partnership) Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) is pleased to announce the First Night Akron 2014 artwork that thousands of revelers will wear as their admission button on New Year's Eve. The button artist, who was selected by a committee of previous button artists, is Dave Szalay.
 
Dave Szalay is an accomplished graphic designer and illustrator from Akron, Ohio. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design, a Master of Communications from The University of Akron and a Master of Fine Arts in Illustration from The University of Hartford. He has worked professionally in visual communications for the past 28 years. His illustration technique involves advanced digital painting and drawing yet is reminiscent of vintage 1950s advertising and picture book art. Szalay is an assistant professor at The University of Akron, Myers School of Art where he teaches various graphic design and illustration courses.
 
The winning idea was one of three unique concepts Szalay submitted to the committee. His wife, Krista, actually suggested the owl as the subject of his third concept.
 
"The owl ended up being a great character to represent the spirit of a nighttime New Year celebration in Akron. Owls are nocturnal and associated with insight, wisdom and protection," he said. "Winter is prime time for spotting owls and Northeast Ohio is one of the best places in the country to do so. Anyone who sees an owl in the wild is pretty lucky because they are stealthy."
 
"I hope that spotting this year's First Night owl brings everyone good luck for the coming year," he said.
 
First Night Akron 2014 is a celebration of Downtown Akron
Now in its 18th year, First Night Akron is a New Year's Eve celebration unlike any other. This family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts includes 10 venues with more than 80 experiences featuring music, dance, theater, interactive art and projects for all ages. On Tuesday, Dec. 31, from 6 p.m. - midnight, enjoy entertainment and fun throughout Downtown Akron at an accessible, inviting admission price of $10. Children under 10 are admitted free when accompanied by a button-wearing adult.
 
Admission buttons are on sale now at www.firstnightakron.org. Beginning Friday, Nov. 29, buttons will be available at Acme Fresh Markets, participating FirstMerit Bank branches, the Akron Beacon Journal customer service desk, Akron Civic Theatre box office (across the street from the Civic on the first floor of the Ohio Building), Angel Falls Coffee in Highland Square, Carolyn's Cupboard in Wadsworth, Gasoline Alley in Bath, The Library Shop on Main, Lock 3 and NOTO boutique. Buttons may also be purchased at the DAP office in Greystone Hall (103 S. High St, 4th floor). On the evening of Dec. 31, admission buttons will only be available at Acme Fresh Markets until 8 p.m. and at the Akron Civic Theatre and The Library Shop on Main in Downtown Akron. First Night buttons provide admission to all event sites and free METRO bus rides to each venue.
 
Discover PNC's Grow Up Great at the Shoppes at Akron Centre
This child oriented venue highlights PNC's Grow Up Great efforts through the art of imaginative play. Hear "The Untold Story of the Three Little Pigs" with The Illusion Factory and role play with interactive workshops. Enjoy a scene from Rubber City Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Add your square to the YMCA Peace Quilt. Race a Pinewood Derby car with FirstEnergy All Soap Box Derby, build and play with Step2 and Box Creations, add some zing to your First Night attire with Pat Catan's Mask Making, Braids and Beads and Get Painted. This venue is open from 6-9 p.m. 
 
Hall of Resolution at the John S. Knight Center
It's New Year's Eve and you haven't even thought about a New Year's resolution? Not to worry; the Hall of Resolution will provide the support for those who have a resolution in mind or who need guidance, support and ideas. Whether it's to lose weight, learn a new skill, get organized or just explore the possibilities of a life changing goal, you'll find something to meet your needs.
 
Fabulous FirstMerit Fireworks
FirstMerit Foundation has supported First Night Akron since the beginning, bringing in the New Year with a bang. Enjoy the Akron Children's Hospital Kids Countdown Show with ZOBAPAGO at 8:15 p.m. Join the crowd at 9 p.m. at the Mainstage on Main Street for the FirstMerit Fireworks Show. Meet up on Main Street at 11 p.m.for the Team Studio Akron Ice Carving Speed Competition, Ohio Burn Unit and Pick Up Stix. At 11:45 p.m. join chorus master, Jennifer Mekel Jones and members of Gospel Meets Symphony with local personalities in a celebration of our community voices featuring lead vocals by Zach. Then enjoy the FirstMerit Fireworks Show at midnight and welcome 2014.
 
First Night Weddings and Renewals
Welcome the New Year by exchanging wedding vows on the grand staircase of the historic Akron Civic Theatre. The first 30 couples to register will receive a special gift provided by C.L. Davis Jewelers. Couples interested in getting married or renewing marriage vows may register at www.firstnightakron.org/wedding. Applicants must pre-register by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
 
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 14:06

Fired Truckers Get Whistleblower Windfall

A pair of Ohio truck drivers will share in more than $300,000 awarded as part of a lawsuit resolution filed against a defunct North Canton-based trucking company and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The drivers were fired by Star Air, Inc. after they were stopped by police in West Virginia for various violations including operating without proper information, hauling an excessive load and driving without a logbook. Both would not drive until the issues were resolved by the company, which terminated their employment. Both filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) charging the company was guilty of discrimination for their activities protected by federal regulations and they should be treated as whistleblowers.

Star Air's owner, Robert Custer, later set up another company called Akron Reserve Ammunition, Inc. He'll be the one writing the check with payments stretched out over a three year period..

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(OHSA) Under terms of a consent judgment, a now defunct North Canton, Ohio-based company, Star Air Inc., and owner Robert R. Custer, will pay two Ohio truck drivers $302,000 to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor for terminating two of the company’s drivers in violation of the 1982 Surface Transportation Assistance Act’s whistleblower provisions. Akron Reserve Ammunition Inc., was also named a defendant in the lawsuit because the department alleges that the company, which is owned by Custer, is the successor to Star Air.

“These drivers were fired for trying to protect themselves and the driving public,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “No truck driver should be forced to drive while tired, sick or in violation of truck weight or hours-of-service requirements. OSHA will continue to defend America’s truck drivers against unscrupulous employers who unlawfully retaliate against drivers who assert their right to drive safely.”

The drivers were dismissed after one was stopped by West Virginia State Police and cited for: hauling an excess load without a commercial driver’s license, operating an overweight trailer and driving without a logbook. The commercial vehicle also did not have the name of the company, its home base or its U.S. Department of Transportation number displayed. The driver who was cited informed another driver, who was also operating without the proper information displayed, and they refused to continue driving until these issues were resolved. Consequently, both were terminated.

Both drivers filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration alleging that Star Air had discriminated against them in retaliation for activities protected by the STAA, and a Labor Department administrative law judge issued the order for reinstatement and back wages. Under automatic review provisions, the judge’s decision then was referred to and upheld by the Administrative Review Board, which issues final decisions for the secretary of labor in cases arising under a wide range of worker protection laws.

The companies and Custer will pay the $302,000 agreed upon amount over a three-year period. If any party defaults on payments, the court can order the payment of the entire amount awarded in the judgment, which is $685,785.22. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, in Akron made the ruling. The department is represented by its Regional Office of the Solicitor in Cleveland.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the STAA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, health-care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.

Under the various whistleblower provisions enacted by Congress, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor for an investigation by OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program. More information is available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.