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

The LeBron James Homecoming event is officially a sell out.

City officials say the free tickets to the August 8th event at InfoCision Stadium sold out "within hours". The tickets became available starting at 10 AM this (Monday) morning via Ticketmaster.

There is an effort to make "a small amount" of additional tickets available, with details released later.


(City of Akron - news release) - Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets to the community event marking LeBron James' return to his hometown, all available tickets sold out within hours of their release.

The City, The LeBron James Family Foundation, and The University of Akron are working to make a small amount of additional tickets available. More details will be released when available.

The City of Akron wants to thank everyone for its enthusiastic support for what is sure to be a memorable event!

Want to give LeBron a proper Akron welcome home without aggravating his Bath Township neighbors? Thank you for your consideration; there's a time, place and now how to get tickets for the Welcome Home LeBron celebration at Infocision Stadium Friday, August 8th.

Tickets are free but only available through Ticketmaster starting Monday morning. The City's LeBronFest begins after 7:00 and includes recognition of James' charitable efforts in the region through the LeBron James Family Foundation.


(Previous ANN coverage) (City of Akron) The City of Akron will join with the LeBron James Family Foundation in welcoming LeBron James back to his hometown team at a free public event Friday, August 8, at 7:15pm at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field on The University of Akron's campus.

Admission is free, but every person planning to attend must have a ticket, obtainable only through Ticketmaster, beginning at 10:00am, Monday, July 28. Go to Ticketmaster HERE  for tickets.

""LeBron has always remained dedicated to Akron and his Wheels for Education kids. Our entire community is happy to celebrate with him and welcome him back to his hometown, Akron, Ohio," said Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic. "We plan to do that in a big way by celebrating those aspects of our community that LeBron himself values most." Mayor Plusquellic also said that the event has received strong community support from Akron General, the City's lead sponsor for the event, as well as Bridgestone Americas, Inc., FirstEnergy Corp., Summa Health System, GoJo, Akron Children's Hospital, and FirstMerit Bank, all of whom have made contributions to support the August 8 event.

The August 8 event will focus on LeBron's positive impact on his hometown. For many children and families in Akron, LeBron has had a daily presence in their lives through his "Wheels for Education" program and the "I Promise" campaign, which has reached more than 800 Akron Public school children and their families.

The evening is being shared with LeBron's 3rd annual Family Reunion for nearly 2,500 of his WFE kids and families, who will occupy Summa Field. In addition to LeBron and a recitation of his "I Promise" pledge, there will be special performances by local community groups and remarks by notable individuals who have been a part of LeBron's journey. The event will celebrate LeBron's return to his hometown, and more importantly, the many kids and families in Akron that have been positively impacted by his philanthropic efforts.

Individuals who plan to attend must have a valid ticket to enter. Gates to InfoCision Stadium will open at 6:15pm. Parking is available in lots surrounding The University of Akron's campus.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014 20:22

UPDATE Missing North Canton Woman Found

Update 11:30 am: North Canton police say a missing 77-year-old woman was "alive and responsive" in the water along the West Branch of the Nimishillen Creek this morning. A firefighter found a shoe in the creek -- which led crews to Arlene Gimigliano about 125 feet downstream. The Plain Township Fire Department along with the Stark County Sheriff's office responded to assist at the scene of the rescue. Gimigliano was taken to Aultman Hospital for an evaluation regarding possible hypothermia and other health and safety concerns.

Update 8:50 am: North Canton police say Arlene Gimigliano was located this morning around 8:23 am and is being transported to a hospital for evaluation. Police say she "appears to be ok."


Previous Coverage: 

A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the North Canton Police Department for Stark County.

(North Canton PD) Information as of: July 22, 2014 at 8:08 PM

Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On July 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM, Ms. Gimigliano left her residence and has not returned.

The incident took place in Stark County, OH on Irondale Circle Northeast in the city of North Canton.

The adult's name is Arlene Gimigliano and the individual is missing. The adult is a White female, age 77, is 5' 5" tall, weighs 125 lbs., has blonde hair, and has brown eyes. Ms. Gimigliano was last seen wearing a long sleeve sweater and dark blue shorts. Ms. Gimigliano suffers from Dementia and Sundowners Syndrome.

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



Friday, 18 July 2014 13:51

LeBron's Welcome Home Set For August 8

Mark the calendar now: Infocision Stadium is likely to be nuts August 8th if the hype leading up to and coming out of "Decision II" is any indication.

While LeBron James is already home, filming a television commercial Thursday at his St. Vincent St. Mary High School alma mater, this will be the "official" welcome home rally promised by Akron city officials after he announced he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The open to the public community rally is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. following a day of activities celebrating the Foundation's third annual I PROMISE Family Reunion and Wheels for Education program with a pre-school year welcome for Akron area third graders and those "graduates" continuing to middle school and the I PROMISE network.

Of course, LeBron's no stranger to Infocision Stadium; he's attended plenty of games there as well as other events. And he won't need directions to get around construction on South Florida roads either; it's good to be home!

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(LeBron James Family Foundation) The LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) is taking its commitment to its hometown to a whole new level this summer with a busy week of events planned for the first week of August. Driven by LeBron’s commitment to creating lasting change in Akron, local businesses are coming together to help LeBron, his Foundation, and Nicole Curtis from HGTV’s Rehab Addict, to renovate the home and yard of one of its Wheels for Education (WFE) students in LJFF’s first ever PROMISE Project. Through this 

project, nine other WFE students will also have their yards re-landscaped with the help of local Akron businesses and volunteers. 
The week will kick off with the yard renovations and will culminate with LeBron revealing the renovated home to the student and her family. 
In the midst of the PROMISE Project, the LeBron James Family Foundation will also celebrate its WFE students and their families in the third annual I PROMISE Family Reunion. The event will welcome a brand new class of third graders with live performances, bikes, helmets and uniform shirts for the upcoming school year – which they will receive at the completion of the Foundation’s required learning enrichment camp – and some words of encouragement from LeBron. The event also celebrates WFE’s first class of 
third graders, the class of 2021, as they graduate to middle school and join LeBron’s Akron I PROMISE network. 
Following the presentation portion of the I PROMISE Family Reunion, the doors to InfoCision Stadium will be opened to the public for a special presentation from the City of Akron welcoming LeBron James home in a community-wide celebration. 
7:15pm – 9:00pm EST Welcome Home LeBron Community Rally
Doors will open to the public for this portion of the event. 
WHERE: The University of Akron – InfoCision Stadium
302 E Buchtel Avenue, Akron OH 44325
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:41

WGC: Photo With The Champ

Consider this the upgrade to beat all upgrades: you're on the green when the WGC Bridgestone Invitational 2014 Champion is crowned, right in the winner's photo. There can be only one champ, and there will be only one spectator with a chance of paying for the privilege of standing in for the photo op.

It's just one of the perks the WGC Bridgestone Invitational is offering with more fan-friendly events and a broader fan experience for followers of the world's best golfers prowling the manicured grounds of Firestone Country Club's South Course when the Tournament begins Wednesday, July 30th with practice rounds. Most aren't free and quanities are limited, but the WGC Bridgestone Invitational is expanding ticket purchases and displays using mobile technology. Food trucks and music are also included in this year's event, something new fans of golf tournaments of past years won't recognize from the days when cellphones weren't even allowed on the course and the concept of bands playing and mobile food trucks would have never been considered.

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(World Golf Championships) World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational officials announced several new enhancements for fans when the event returns to Akron, Ohio, on July 30-August 3 at Firestone Country Club.

The Bridgestone Invitational will be the first golf event to offer #FANPERKS, which are fan enhancement experiences that go above and beyond just attending a golf event and take fans behind-the-scenes to give them VIP access never before offered. In addition, fans can now purchase tickets, enter the event and transfer tickets to friends via their smartphone for an added convenience. #FANPERKS will be offered using mobile technology from Experience (expapp.com).

To access #FANPERKS, fans will need to download the most current PGA TOUR app (ios 2.5) and, for an enhanced experience, ensure push notifications are turned on (select #FANPERKS from the main menu). While at the Bridgestone Invitational, via push notifications and Bluetooth, fans will receive pings to notify them of the latest and greatest experiences available while on site.

Fans will have access to a variety of behind-the-scenes experiences, limited access and other perks, including the following:

Tuesday only: Bridgestone Golf Experience

Tour of the official Bridgestone Golf equipment van on-site
Behind-the-scenes look at how technicians adjust the clubs of the TOUR pros each week
Custom-made Bridgestone Golf driver
Three packages available

Wednesday only: Ambassador of Golf Package

VIP seating at the Ambassador of Golf Ceremony (2014 recipient: Johnny Miller)
VIP access to cocktail party and reception at Firestone Country Club immediately following the ceremony
10 packages available

Saturday or Sunday only: Honorary Observer Twosome

Choose between Saturday or Sunday (only one package available per day)
Access for two to walk inside the ropes for 18 holes
Includes commemorative Bridgestone Invitational polo shirt for each participant
Deadline to purchase Saturday packages is Friday of tournament week at 8 p.m. The deadline to purchase Sunday packages is Saturday at 8 p.m.

Saturday or Sunday only: 18th Hole VIP Ticket

Reserved seating for one at the Clubhouse for lunch with an open bar
Includes reserved seating in the Skybox on the 18th hole with inclusive drinks all day and light appetizers in the afternoon
Five packages available per day (Saturday or Sunday)

Sunday only: Photo with the champion

Be a part of closing ceremony by getting your picture taken with the newly crowned 2014 Bridgestone Invitational winner during the official photo call
Includes a commemorative, framed photo that will be mailed to the purchaser
Only one package available

All week: Clubhouse Foursome with South Firestone Country Club Golf

Four weekly Clubhouse badges with access to the 16th hole Championship Club – an upgraded venue with a sports-bar setting and live television coverage of all of the action with prime views of the best hole at Firestone
One valet parking pass to the Bridgestone Invitational
Foursome for golf at Firestone Country Club South Course at a mutually agreeable date after August 4, including cart fees. Applicable fees apply and times are restricted.
Four packages available

All week: Front-Row Access

Front-row, special reserved section at the driving range and No. 1 tee for optimal viewing
10 packages available

All week: Championship Club Upgrade

The Bridgestone Invitational now offers Mobile Entry for grounds ticket buyers at this year's tournament. The service, offered by Ticketmaster, allows guests to purchase tickets at PGATOUR.COM/tickets, ticketmaster.com or the Ticketmaster mobile site and enter the event via their smartphone. The new method allows for a completely mobile purchase and entry experience, providing fans an easy and efficient entry to the Bridgestone Invitational.

With the mobile option, fans have the ability to view/bookmark their ticket prior to the event and save the ticket on their phone to make it available at any time. Once at the event entrance, fans will simply display the ticket barcode on their smartphone and have it scanned for entry.

In addition, daily grounds ticket buyers have the ability to transfer their tickets to friends and family via email. In a partnership with Ticketmaster, Ticket Transfer is a new service that enhances the fan's purchase experience and creates an easy way for fans to share tickets with friends. This service is available to fans on both their desktop and mobile devices.

The tournament recently announced several new fan enhancements including concerts after play on Friday and Saturday of tournament week as well as local favorite restaurants Swenson's and Strickland's serving food this year. Additionally, fans will receive happy hour prices during the Music After Play concert series Friday and Saturday with $5 Heineken USA beer options from 6-8 p.m. in the tournament's Fan Zone.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:11

John Wise Dies In Custody

The Massillon man who made national headlines for an in-hospital mercy killing dies -- behind bars.

68-year old John Wise and wife of 45 years, Barbara, had a pact: neither would allow the other to suffer. On August 4, 2012, Wise says he acted out of love when he shot her to death as she lay in Akron General's ICU and appeared to be in pain. But doctors say she could have recovered after suffering a cerebral aneurysm. He went with a gun, to meet the promise to each other. He said she was in pain, and that's why he told doctors to leave and shot her, even planning to kill himself but the pistol jammed.

Ohio does not recognize mercy killing as a defense but the case struck a strong chord with then public, including prosecutors who agreed to a reduced sentence of six years in prison but even with that reduced sentence his attorney, Paul Adamson of Akron, said he would not likely survive in prison.

Wise was taken to the OSU Medical Center Monday afternoon from the Ohio Department of Corrections Medical Facility near Columbus; he died around 3:30 in the afternoon. State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Jo Ellen Culp says the death appears to be of natural causes but a further investigation will determine a specific cause of death.

A domestic disturbance call turned fatal in Alliance Saturday evening in Alliance. The Stark County Sheriff's Department reports police responding to a call at 3085 Ridgehill Avenue NE arrived along with Alliance police officers at the home when resident Douglas Litman pointed a handgun at a deputy and "attempted to shoot him."

Litman reportedly retreated inside after the deputy shot at the suspect and a few moments later police heard a single gunshot. They found Litman in the basement suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to Alliance Community Hospital where he died.

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(Stark County Sheriff's Department) Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier reports an investigation of a domestic disturbance and subsequent shooting at 3085 Ridgehill Ave. N.E. Alliance, Ohio on Saturday July 12, 2014.

The Stark County Sheriff's Office was notified by the Alliance Police Department of an ongoing domestic disturbance that occurred at 3085 Ridgehill Ave. N.E. that had concluded prior to the complaint being received. Deputies responded to the scene and arrived at 11:01 PM where they were assisted by officers from the Alliance Police Department.

As Officers approached the residence to investigate the domestic incident the suspect, Douglas E. Litman, who resides at the same address, pointed a handgun at a responding deputy and attempted to shoot him. The Deputy shot at the suspect who then immediately retreated into the residence. Moments later, officers heard a single gunshot from inside the home and upon further investigation, they discovered the suspect had retreated to the basement where he was injured from what appeared to be a self inflicted gunshot wound.

The suspect was transported to Alliance Community Hospital by Stark Ambulance and he later succumbed from his injury.

The incident remains under investigation by the Stark County Sheriff's Office and the Stark County Coroner with the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification

Friday, 11 July 2014 12:52


Say whatever you want about four years ago; there's joy across northeast Ohio today with the Return of the King on the lunch menu.

In an essay penned for Sports Illustrated, Akron's own LeBron James annnouned he would be taking his talent to the north coast this time, leaving Miami behind with mixed emotions and gratitute (along with a pair of championship rings) and return to his hometown of Akron and to work as a Cleveland Cavalier.

"It's where I walked. It's where I ran.  It's where I cried. It's where I bled," James noted in a deeply personal message and noting he'd learned lessons from "The Decision" in 2010 when he left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. The pull to return to Akron took more than just an examination of winning championships; it also took conversations with wife Savannah, expecting their third child, and his mother Gloria with the sting of the reaction four years ago to "The Decision" still open. In particular, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert's scathing letter blasting James' move and the burning of his jersey and vitriolic response from critics left scars.

James says he's met with Gilbert, face to face, man to man, and worked the issue out. "We've talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I've made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?," James writes in the Sports Illustrated article. 

READ the entire post by LeBron James on Sports Illustrated

The 2014 decision follows nine days of speculation, rumours, talk show fodder and analysis from the most plugged-in reporters and those miles apart, all citing "sources" but nobody talking with James until the Sports Illustrated announcement took the form of the disasterous interview with Jim Gray on ESPN four years ago. 

"Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I'd obviously do things differently, but I'd still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man," James said.

No promise of a championship but most observers say just getting James back on the roster with Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varajeo puts the team in place as a playoff contender. James also said he's looking forward to playing with another NBA first-round draft pick from this year, Andrew Wiggins, and helping his teammates grow. 



Wednesday, 09 July 2014 09:46

Akron Judge Slapped With Reprimand

The Ohio Supreme Court is slapping Akron Municipal Court Judge Joy Malek Oldfield with a public reprimand stemming from a 2012 incident where she and a public defender were found in a car in the early-morning hours by police, who arrested the defender after refusing a field sobriety test.

It wasn't the incident that drew the ire of the Court but Oldfield's decision to continue hearing more than 50 cases handled by the lawyer, public defender Catherine Loya.

The court declined to adopt a reprimand for Oldfield telling arrested officers she was a judge, although Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said she would have supported a reprimand on that charge too.

The 5-2 decision for the public reprimand came on on two violations of judicial conduct rules for continuing to hear cases despite her involvement in Loya's arrest. The court eventually removed Loya from Oldfield's court but only after public criticism. The judicial conduct violations centered on Oldfield's failure to conduct herself to promote public confidence in the judiciary and avoid the appearance of impropriety.

In addition, the Court reprimanded Oldfield for engaging in conduct that was "detrimental" to the judicial process.

The majority of justices decided not to pursue the complaint against Oldfield that she advanced personal interest in her actions, finding her prior record clean of any complaints or violations and cooperation with the disciplinary process worked in her favor. A disciplinary committee recommended against a sanction but the Disciplinary Counsel argued in favor.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, herself a veteran of Akron and Summit County's judicial system, sided with the Disciplinary Counsel opposing dismissal of the count relating to advancing other interests.

“During the arrest, Officer Garner asked a ‘yes or no’ question — whether Judge Oldfield was a lawyer. Judge Oldfield testified that she responded, ‘Yeah, actually, I’ve been an attorney for some time and now I’m a judge.’ Judge Oldfield acknowledged that she could have responded truthfully in a number of alternative ways, including by offering simply that she was licensed to practice law. The specific mention of her judgeship in response was not solicited or required, nor should it have been offered. Indeed, it served only one purpose: to make sure that the officer knew that she was a judge.”O'Connor noted in particular Oldfield continued to "insert" herself into the judicial process as Loya was being booked.

“I find that the evidence as a whole establishes that a reasonable person would believe that Judge Oldfield abused the prestige of her office to advance her and Loya’s interests,” she concluded. 

MORE from the Ohio Supreme Court decision


Tuesday, 10 June 2014 12:29

Medina Couple Make Most-Wanted List

A Medina County man makes the most wanted list for Randolph Valure, who skipped bond and sentencing for rape, attempted abduction and burglary convictions stemming from a 2012 case. The Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force thinks Valure may be accompanied by a woman also wanted by local police for failing to appear for a court appearance and domestic violence. 
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(Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force) The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward for information which would lead to the capture of fugitive Randolph Valure.
Valure is wanted by the U.S. Marshals, the Medina Co. Sheriff, the Seville Police, and the Wadsworth Police.  Valure is wanted for failing to appear and for violating the terms of his bond.  A warrant was issued for Valure when he failed to show up for his sentencing.  Valure was on bond stemming from a conviction for rape, attempted abduction and burglary in 2012.


Valure is a 45 year old white male standing approximately 6’01” and weighing 210 pounds.  He has brown hair and brown eyes.  Valure is believed to be in the company of Eva Spath.  Spath may be assisting Valure in hiding from the authorities.  Spath is also wanted by the Medina Co. Sheriff and the Wadsworth Police for failing to appear and domestic violence.  Spath is a 32 year old white female standing approximately 5’03” and weighing 160 pounds.  She has black hair and hazel eyes.  
 If you have any information in reference to Randolph Valure, please contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or Text keyword WANTED and tip to 847411 (tip411) Tipsters can remain anonymous and reward money is available.

Summit County is coming up empty-handed over attempts to get federal or state help cleaning up after the May 12th storms that left basements flooded and homes damaged.

County Executive Russ Pry says both the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management agencies notified the county there would be no individual assistance funding after reviewing assessment reports.

"It is unfortunate that we have been advised that State and Federal funds will not be made available to residents who have been devastated by the flooding. However, despite not receiving disaster assistance from the State or Federal level, other programs may be available to some residents," said Pry. 

Pry says other local programs still offer help for property owners who suffered damages from the heavy rain and subsequent flooding, including funds aimed at low to moderate income individuals to replace furnaces, hot water tanks or electrical panels. The catch is the money cannot be used to reimburse homeowners for expenses already paid.

Real estate tax relief for storm victims, sewer bill relief and state programs offering loans to homeowners and business owners can also help.