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

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.
 
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(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.
 
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(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.
 
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(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. 

Monday, 18 November 2013 09:28

Former UA Athlete Killed In Home Invasion

A man Cincinnati police identify as a member of the University of Akron track and field team earlier this year is dead after a home invasion.

The University of Akron says 19-year old Vincent Turnage was not enrolled at the University this fall.

Police in Springfield Township, Hamilton County say Turnage was shot and killed coming out of a basement door of his own home. Turnage was a sprinter for the Zips last winter, a second team All-MAC athlete who rain in a variety of positions including 60 meter, 200 meter individual and 4x100 relay team.

Turnage was a standout athlete at Mt. Healthy High School in the Cincinnati suburbs.

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(University of Akron Athletics bio) As a Freshman (2013): Indoor... ran a qualifying time of 6.95 in the 60-meters at the MAC Championships (Feb. 22) ... placed eighth in the final (7.09) ... finished second in the Blue Division of the 200m at the Akron Invitational (Feb. 2) with a time of 22.09 ... also ran the third leg of the 4x400 relay team that finished fourth with a collective time of 3:15.74 ... Outdoor... earned All-MAC Second Team honors after finishing runner-up in the 100m at the MAC Championships (May 11), clocking a time of 10.71 ... ran a season-best time of 10.66 to qualify for the finals ... also ran anchor on the Zips' 4x100 relay team that placed third with a collective time of 40.93 ... logged the Zips' fastest 200m time of the season, finishing in 22.20 at the Northeast Ohio Quad (Apr. 6). 

At Mt. Healthy HS: Advanced to the state meet in four events; 200m, 400m, 4x200 and 4x400 as a senior ... finished fourth at state in the 200m as a junior ... school record-holder in the 200m (21.48) and member of record-setting 4x200 (1:27.3) and 4x400 (3:19.3) relay teams ... also ran a top time of 48.8 in the 400m ... didn't start running track until his sophomore season ... also played basketball (four years) and football (three years).
 
Personal: Parents are Vince and LaShauna Turnage ... has three siblings; Shawn, Charles and Sierra.
 
PERSONAL RECORDS
Indoor Mark Date (Meet)
60m
6.95 Feb. 22, 2013 (MAC Championships)
200m 22.09 Feb. 2, 2013 (Akron Invitational)
 
Outdoor Mark Date (Meet)
100m 10.66 May 10, 2013 (MAC Championships)
200m 22.20 Apr. 6, 2013 (Northeast Ohio Quad)
Sunday, 17 November 2013 18:04

Zips Soccer Takes MAC Championship

The top-seeded University of Akron men's soccer team scored twice in the first 13 minutes and never looked back in a 4-1 rout of No. 2-seed Western Michigan to win its 10th Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
 
(University of Akron Athletics) For the second straight match, the Zips (16-3-1) established a season high for goals scored and saw one of its players find the back of the net more than once as Zac Portillos, who also assisted a goal, recorded his first career brace.
 
With the win, UA earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament and will make its seventh-consecutive appearance at the championships when the brackets are announced Monday at Noon. Zips Athletics will host an NCAA Men's Soccer Selection Show Watch Party at the Student Union starting at 11:30 a.m.
 
For their performances this weekend, Adam Najem, Portillos, Aodhan Quinn and Eric Stevenson were named to the All-MAC Tournament Team.
 
Akron, which defeated the Broncos 1-0 in Kalamazoo, Mich., to clinch the league's regular season title last weekend, was in complete control throughout the match and allowed WMU's goal long after many of its starters had been replaced.
 
Despite the lopsided score, it could have been much worse for Western Michigan (9-9-1) as the Zips had a pair of goals waved off for offsides and missed a penalty kick in the match's fourth minute. In addition to allowing all four Akron goals, Broncos' goalkeeper Chase Rau, who was one of three WMU representatives on the All-Tournament Team, recorded six saves.
 
UA, which out-shot WMU 11-0 in the first half, jumped on top early with a pair of goals coming just one minute and eight seconds apart.
 
Quinn recorded the first in the 12th minute when a ball played back by Reinaldo Brenes left him with space in front of the goal. The 2013 MAC Player of the Year made WMU pay with a rocket from 15 yards out that whistled into the back of the net.
 
Then in a flash, Portillos slipped a shot past Rau from a difficult angle – coming from the near right flank – to make it 2-0 at the 12:52 mark.
 
Akron pressed forward after halftime and Portillos sparked another Zips goal in the 50th minute when he let go of a blast from distance that was punched out by Rau. Continuing the play,  Brenes jumped on the rebound and slotted it home from straight on.
 
Portillos completed the brace in the 56th minute on another second-chance ball after Eric Stevenson's shot was saved.
 
Western Michigan recorded its first shot of the match at 65:34 when Oliver Mayer sent his attempt high over the crossbar.
 
Zips Notebook: After scoring 15 goals through the first 14 matches of the season, the Zips have now scored 15 in their last six contests alone ... UA has now won six straight games and is unbeaten in its last 10 (9-0-1) ... Portillos is the fifth different Akron player to record multiple goals in a game this fall (Robbie Derschang, Najem, Quinn and Stevenson are the others) ... UA is 10-0 when scoring two or more goals and 14-1-0 when scoring first this season.
 
2013 MAC All-Tournament Team
Adam Najem, Akron
Zac Portillos, Akron
Aidhan Quinn, Akron
Eric Stevenson, Akron
Jamie O'Grady, Hartwick
Matthew Robertson, Hartwick
Andy Bevin, West Virginia
Craig Stephens, West Virginia
Connor Furgason, Western Michigan
Oliver Mayer, Western Michigan
Chase Rau, Western Michigan
Saturday, 16 November 2013 07:24

UPDATE Akron Police Looking For Missing Man

Akron police have cancelled a day-long missing adult alert. Mr. Truitt was recovered safe by the Summit County Sheriff's Office.
A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Akron Police Department for Summit County.
 
(Akron Police Department ) Be on the lookout for a missing adult. On November 16, 2013 at 3:25 AM, Last seen on 11/15/13 between 2:30PM and 3:00PM.
 
The incident took place in Summit County, OH on Rosamond Ave. in the city of Akron.
 
The adult's name is Ronald Truitt and the individual is missing. The adult is a Black male, age 60, is 6'1" tall, weighs 155, has black hair, and has brown eyes. Mr. Truitt suffers from Alzheimers. He is on foot and was last seen wearing a light blue hoodie, a brown jacket, dark blue pants with black and tan boots.
Friday, 15 November 2013 17:00

Croce Named To Common Pleas Bench

Barberton Municipal Court Judge Christine Croce is moving on up to the Common Pleas division.

Croce was appointed to fill the unexpired term of retiring Judge Judy Hunter by Governor John Kasich. The appointment is effective the day before Thanksgiving and Croce will have to run for the full term in the November 2014 election.

In addition to her service on the Municipal Court bench in Barberton, Croce has also worked for Akron's law department, the Summit County Sheriff's Department, Summit County Prosecutor's Office. Other elected offices include Barberton Municipal Court Clerk, where she modernized the court's website to accept online payments, and Green City Council.

A Republican, Croce is a resident of Uniontown. She received her law degree from the University of Akron.

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(Governor's Office) Today Governor John R. Kasich announced the appointment of Christine L. Croce of Uniontown (Summit Co.) to serve as a judge on the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. Croce will assume office on November 27, 2013, and must run in November 2014 to retain the seat for the full term commencing February 10, 2015. Croce is replacing Judge Judy Hunter, who retired.

Croce received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Organizational Communications from the University of Akron, and earned her juris doctorate from the University of Akron School of Law. Since January 2012, she has served as judge for the Barberton Municipal Court.
 
Croce is a member of the Magic City Kiwanis and the Barberton Rotary, and was also a volunteer instructor for the Ohio Department of Corrections from 2001 to 2009.
Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:15

Ohio AG Sues Silver Lake Contractor

A Silver Lake contractor is one of two northeast Ohio home improvement businesses being sued by Attorney General Mike DeWine alleging shoddy work.

DeWine says Wayne Given, doing business as (dba) Basement Waterpoofing Systems and Mark Walker of Avon, dba All American Restoration, failed to deliver on promises to homeowners on a variety of home improvement projects.

In Given's case, the state says they received three complaints of shoddy basement waterproofing work costing nearly $13,000 in damages. 28 complaints were filed against Walker for a total of $135,000 in damages including roofing and room additions.

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(Attorney General's Office) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced lawsuits against two Northeast Ohio home improvement contractors. The lawsuits accuse Mark Walker of Avon, and his business, All American Restoration, and Wayne Given of Silver Lake, doing business as Basement Waterproofing Solutions, of failure to deliver and performing shoddy work.

“When consumers pay thousands of dollars for home improvement services they never receive as promised, there’s a problem,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We are committed to enforcing Ohio’s consumer protection laws and holding violators accountable.”

Mark Walker operated All American Restoration LLC at 33501 Lake Road in Avon Lake, Ohio. The business offered major home improvement services, including room additions and roofing projects, but consumers complained that the business failed to deliver. In 28 complaints, reported losses totaled $135,000.

Wayne Given operated Basement Waterproofing Solutions from his home in Silver Lake, Ohio, offering basement waterproofing services. Consumers complained that the business failed to deliver or did shoddy work. Reported losses totaled approximately $12,900 for three consumer complaints.

The lawsuits charge the businesses with violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. Counts include failure to deliver and performing substandard work. In both lawsuits, Attorney General DeWine is seeking restitution for consumers, injunctions to stop the businesses from further violations, civil penalties, and other costs.

Consumers should take the following steps to protect themselves in a home improvement transaction:

Get at least three written estimates from different contractors before selecting a contractor.

Ask the contractor to provide references of past customers, and check the references.

Make sure the contractor has the proper permits to perform the work.

Ask the contractor to show proof of licenses, insurance, and bonding. State law does not require home improvement contractors to be licensed, but many Ohio cities do.

Check with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau to determine if complaints are on file against the company.

Get everything in writing, including any verbal promises.

Do not provide full payment up front. Pay when work is finished or for portions of work as they are completed, for example, one-third in the beginning, one-third in the middle, and the final third upon satisfactory completion.

Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.

Thursday, 14 November 2013 11:56

Barnes Officially Takes CSB Post

Summit County Children's Services making it official with the t's crossed and i's dotted for Julie Barnes, who moves from Stark County to Summit County to head the agency. She will fill the shoes left by the retirement of John Saros, who is stepping aside at the end of the year. 

Barnes was selected as the finalist for the position after a nationwide search; she begins her new duties on the Monday before Christmas and will make $145,000 a year with a three-year contract with the social services agency. She leaves her job as Executive Director of the Stark County Jobs and Family Services agency, a post she held for the past five years. Barnes is no stranger to Summit County of CSB, having worked for Children's Services from 2002-2007. She has degrees from Hiram University and Kent State University.

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(Summit County Children's Services) Julie Barnes, M.Ed., LSW, Executive Director of Stark County Job and Family Services (SCJFS) was officially named the next Executive Director of Summit County Children Services (SCCS) at a special Board of Trustees meeting on November 14. Ms. Barnes succeeds John Saros who is retiring as SCCS Executive Director at the end of 2013 after leading the agency for more than six years.

The SCCS Board of Trustees' Search Committee recommended Ms. Barnes as its top finalist for the position in mid-October after a nationwide search that lasted several months, and introduced her to the community at a reception held at Children Services on October 30. She will officially begin her new duties on December 23, and her three-year contract calls for a salary of $145,000 per year.

At SCJFS, Ms. Barnes has led a triple-combined agency including Human Services, Child Support and Children Services with approximately 475 staff and an annual budget of approximately $50 million. Before becoming Executive Director there in June 2008, she had served as Deputy Director of Children Services from May 2007-May 2008.

Prior to joining SCJFS, Ms. Barnes served as Director of Foster Care and Adoption at Summit County Children Services from February 2002-May 2007. Ms. Barnes has also gained experience in the child welfare field through earlier positions at the Ohio Department of Job And Family Services and Geauga County Department of Job and Family Services. Ms. Barnes has a B.A. Degree in Psychology from Hiram College and a M.Ed. Degree in Higher Education from Kent State University.

"The Summit County Children Services Board of Trustees is pleased that Julie Barnes has agreed to become the agency's next Executive Director," said Board Chair Daniel L. Bell. "Under John Saros' leadership, our agency has delivered innovative programming and expanded community partnerships that have improved the lives of the children and families we serve. We are confident that Julie will build on the agency's recent successes by using her fresh perspective to ensure that we continue to provide quality services to those children and families in need."