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

Thursday, 16 October 2014 08:46

COMMENTARY #FactsNotFear Misleads

Voices you trust are pushing what amounts to a marketing campaign that sends a message: your fears over Ebola are unfounded. That's not quite the case. 

If you have a tornado in your area, you take cover -- even if the chances of getting hit by lightning are miniscule. If a visitor to your home has an illness, you would be foolish to not take the fact of infection into consideration, and plan the steps to protect you and your family. The odds are higher you'll be in some kind of car accident, or hit a deer on the way home tonight, than the odds you'll contract Ebola. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a healthy respect, including fear, of a virus we've been told is almost biblical in it's nature to kill.

To suggest otherwise instead suggests an arrogance that we don't know any better.

It goes without saying panic should be avoided. What we need isn't marketing slogans and hashtags telling us not to worry. What we need is to arrive at our own conclusions is information like a timeline of where, what, with whom and when Amber Vinson spent her days and nights over the weekend. We are grateful there are no Ebola cases to report in northeast Ohio but we'd like to keep it that way, and a hashtag slogan comes up short.

There used to be a saying during the Cold War: "Trust, but verify." More of that is in order and a good start is the Centers for Disease Control and other institutions regaining the trust of the public after some very obvious missteps. It would also be a welcome change for our media institutions to get back to reporting and leave the spin and marketing to the politicians and ad campaigners.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014 13:19

Ohio Joins Ebola Preparations

Ohio is jumping on the "Be Prepared for Ebola" wagon with an exercise and planning in case there's an infection reported here. The Ohio Department of Health is working with local providers, including hospitals and health departments. Part of that process includes designating the state's main lab as capable of testing for the Ebola virus, though confirmations would still be done through the CDC.

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(Ohio Department of Health) Building on preparations which began over the summer, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and state healthcare leaders conducted a tabletop exercise and planning seminar today at the State Emergency Operations Center to identify ways to improve Ohio’s Ebola preparedness at the local and state levels and coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Leaders from the Ohio Hospital Association, the Ohio State Medical Association, the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, and the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Medical Services participated in the day’s events, along with several other organizations, associations and state agencies.

“While Ebola does not pose an immediate risk to Ohio residents, out of an abundance of caution ODH is working with local health departments, healthcare providers and other state agencies to be prepared,” said ODH Director Richard Hodges. “We are also educating people who may travel to the Ebola outbreak areas of West Africa about what they can do to protect themselves and others.”

Since July, ODH has provided Ebola consultation and guidance to those on the frontline of healthcare in Ohio – hospitals, physicians, other healthcare professionals and local health departments. Guidance has covered such topics as recognizing Ebola symptoms, taking patient travel histories to identify travelers to and from West Africa, and how to treat possible Ebola patients while protecting other patients and staff.

“Ohio hospitals are committed to preparing to take care of a potential Ebola patient while protecting other patients and employees, and the Ohio Hospital Association will engage and support our members in these efforts,” said Mike Abrams, president and chief executive officer of the Ohio Hospital Association.

"The chief concern of Ohio physicians is to provide quality patient care and to assure we all live in healthier Ohio communities,” said Ohio State Medical Association executive director D. Brent Mulgrew. “The Ohio State Medical Association stands with healthcare leaders and providers across the state in preparing to keep Ohioans healthy and safe against the Ebola virus by sharing appropriate information and providing proper care, when necessary."

“Ohio’s health commissioners are already deeply involved in Ebola preparedness through the local health departments they lead. We support efforts to increase collaboration and coordination at the local and state levels to strengthen the state’s overall preparedness,” said Shelia Hiddleson, R.N., president of the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners board.

“Ohio’s emergency medical services providers are truly at the frontline and often are the first ones to treat an individual. We are committed to working with EMS providers, a vital segment of our healthcare system, as part of Ohio’s Ebola preparedness efforts,” said Carol Cunningham, M.D., state medical director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Medical Services.

In a related development, CDC has designated the ODH Lab as a bio-safety level 3 lab that is qualified to conduct initial Ebola testing. Confirmatory testing still is conducted by CDC.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola, or through items contaminated with the person’s blood or body fluids. Ebola is not spread through the air, food or water. For more information about Ebola, visit ODH’s website at www.odh.ohio.gov.

Friday, 10 October 2014 10:37

Arrest In Coventry Heroin Death

Summit County Deputies have made two arrests in connection with the death of a 23-year old Green man found dead of a heroin overdose. The body of Tyler Bornstein was reported by a resident in a vacant lot off Alfred Road in Coventry Township. The Medical Examiner determined Bornstein did not die at the site but was instead moved from another location. Police arrested an acquaintance who admitted the pair had purchased heroin from an Akron drug dealer and cooperated with police.

The testimony led to the arrest of Anton Pickett, 19, of Akron on charges including Involuntary Manslaughter and drug trafficking counts. Pickett and the other man are booked in the Summit County Jail.

(Summit County Sheriff's Department) On September 28, the body of a white male was discovered in a vacant lot on Alfred Road off of Arlington Road in Coventry Township by a local resident. The Summit County Sheriff's Office responded and the Summit County Sheriff's Crime Scene Unit processed the scene.

Drug paraphernalia was located near the body. The body was identified as Tyler Bornstein, age 23 of Green. The Summit County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau and the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that the death of Tyler Bornstein did not occur at the location in which the body was discovered. The preliminary results from the autopsy determined the cause of death to be an overdose of heroin. 

The investigation into the death of Tyler Bornstein led to the arrest of a 23 year old male who was with Tyler Bornstein at the time of his death. The two had purchased heroin from a dealer in the city of Akron prior to the Bornstein's death. The 23 year old male was charged with Tampering with Evidence (F-3) and Obstructing Justice (F-5). He was subsequently booked into the Summit County Jail. The arrestee cooperated with the investigation which led to the identification of the subject who sold the heroin to Tyler Bornstein moments before his death. 

The Summit County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau and the Summit County Drug Unit continued the investigation and identified Anton Pickett (age 19 of Akron) as the individual who supplied the heroin. The investigation revealed that the heroin sold by Anton Pickett contributed and/or caused the death of Tyler Bornstein. On October 9, 2014, arrest warrants were issued for Anton Pickett on charges of Involuntary Manslaughter (F-1), Corrupting Another with Drugs (F-2), and Trafficking in Drugs (F-5). On October 10, 2014, a search warrant was executed with the assistance of the Sheriff's Office Swat Unit at the residence of Anton Pickett in the city of Akron.

Pickett was taken into custody and booked into the Summit County Jail.


Thursday, 09 October 2014 13:43

Kulinski Stepping Down From United Way

The CEO of the United Way of Summit County is stepping down next spring. Bob Kulinski made the announcement today; he told the agency's Board of Director's earlier this year to begin the search process for a successor. Kulinski has been one of the local United Way's longest-serving executives, with 15 years at the helm. Overall, his service spans 40 years at various United Way chapters including Akron as well as in Connecticut, Virginia and North Carolina. The United Way fund drive earned more than $12.3 million dollars in pledges last year.

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(United Way of Summit County) United Way of Summit County announced that effective March 31, 2015 its president and CEO, Bob Kulinski, will retire. Kulinski’s retirement will come after 15 years of service to the organization.

Kulinski notified the United Way of Summit County board of directors of his decision earlier this year to ensure ample time to identify a successor. Citing organizational stability and the strength of the United Way staff and board leadership, Kulinski felt the timing was right to make this transition.

Under Kulinski’s direction, United Way of Summit County’s revenues have not only held steady through the past recession but have grown -- from $10.4 million in 2000 to $12.3 million in 2014.

The United Way of today is much different than the one Kulinski took over a decade and a half ago. During his tenure, Kulinski has been responsible for leading the evolution of United Way from exclusively a fundraising organization to become a powerful community catalyst, advancing a Collective Impact model of change. Collective Impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda. United Way has become a leader of the Collective Impact approach in Summit County.

Under Kulinski’s guidance, United Way has acted on opportunities to move the Summit County community forward through powerful collective effort. Collective Impact initiatives instituted and advanced during Kulinski’s leadership include:

· Bridges Summit County – Bridges Out of Poverty – With the goal of breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Summit County, United Way acts as community-connector, fiscal sponsor and grant-writer; provides a framework for advancing Bridges work throughout the community; ensures solid evaluation; and makes available facilities for the initiative.

· Summit County Reentry Network – Working collectively with more than 70 partner organizations to deliver counseling, housing assistance and employment services for felony ex-offenders, United Way in conjunction with Oriana House provides backbone support; offers strategic planning assistance, grant-writing and community connections; as well as funding support of programs that align with reentry objectives.

· Summit County Cradle to Career Initiative – Working in partnership with Summit Education Initiative, GAR Foundation, local schools and others to improve student success, United Way raises awareness; co-sponsors training seminars; and provides funding for educational programs that align with the collaboration’s six critical transition points along the education pipeline of student achievement.

“Under Bob’s leadership, United Way of Summit County has earned a tremendous reputation in our community,” said Bill Feth, president and CEO of AESCO Holdings, LLC and chairman of the Board for United Way of Summit County. “Collective Impact is a complex business. Bob has provided the direction to put all the pieces together to drive real change.”

“I am very proud of the exemplary work of our United Way and grateful for the opportunity to learn from so many community leaders, board members, partners, donors, and volunteers over the years. I have been inspired daily as I work with people who are passionate about helping others succeed,” said Kulinski.

Kulinski’s nearly 40-year career as a president and CEO within the United Way system includes heading United Way of Northwest Connecticut, Cape Fear Area United Way and United Way of Roanoke Valley prior to his current role with United Way of Summit County.

His past and current community and professional service includes the Social Services Advisory Board; Heart to Heart board chair; Project Grad board chair; Leadership Akron Class XVIII; Ohio United Way board vice chair; National President's Roundtable president; Literacy Volunteer tutor; volunteer Big Brother and numerous other civic and professional organizations. A search is underway for Kulinski’s successor. Nation-wide executive search firm Waverly Partners, LLC has been retained to oversee the process through the company’s Cleveland office.

“Bob has done a phenomenal job in leading this organization for the past 15 years. We are looking for the right person to take the organization to the next level of achievement,” said Christine Amer Mayer, president of the GAR Foundation and co-chair of the search committee. “We expect that a thoughtful leadership transition process will enable this community to build upon the organizational strengths Bob has delivered over time.”

Friday, 10 October 2014 05:00

Wingfoot One Drops Anchor At Fulton

Goodyear is providing plenty of advance warning: there will be nothing wrong with the new Wingfoot One airship enjoying an overnight stay tonight. The ground and air crew will be staging exercises Friday at the Akron Fulton Airport following it's regular schedule of flights and then tie down for the night at the airport rather than it's Wingfoot Lake airship hangar base. Wingfoot One will be making it's debut with long-range cross country trips later this year but the overnight stay will serve to shake out any issues before the airship goes on the road.

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(Goodyear Airship Operations) Goodyear's newest airship, Wingfoot One, will be making a short overnight stay at Akron Fulton Airport Friday evening Oct. 10, returning to its base at Wingfoot Lake on Saturday morning. Goodyear says It's a training exercise of sorts for their crew and pilots, an opportunity to break in the new ground support vehicles and equipment before any first long range cross country trips, likely to happen later this year. 

While the public will not have access to the airship's mooring area on Akron Fulton Airport property, they are always invited to visit Wingfoot Lake where they can park in the guest lot to view the airship when in operation. The hangar itself is not generally open to the public.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 12:32

Twinsburg's Procop Calls It A Term

The Mayor of Twinsburg is calling it quits at the end of her term. Katherine Procop has served as the city's top elected official since 1999. "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the wonderful residents of this city, but now it’s time for me to enter the next phase of my life," Procop said. She's been the longest-serving mayor of the city and broke the glass ceiling as the first woman elected to the office.

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(City of Twinsburg) Katherine Procop, mayor of the city of Twinsburg, recently announced that she will not seek re-election in 2015. Her current term will end in December 2015. Originally elected as the city’s mayor in 1999, Procop has served four terms spanning 16 years, as the city’s leader.“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the wonderful residents of this city, but now it’s time for me to enter the next phase of my life,” Procop said. “I am incredibly thankful to the many people that have helped me make this city the desirable community that it is today.”

When Procop took office in December 1999, she was the first woman to become mayor in Twinsburg. When she leaves office, she will have been the longest-serving, full-time mayor in Twinsburg’s history

.Under her leadership, Twinsburg has witnessed growth in population and economic development, even with the loss of the Chrysler Stamping Plant in 2010. Knowing that losing the plant would cost the city millions of dollars in revenue, Procop asked residents to approve a quarter-percent income tax increase in November 2009. She promised, if it was approved, the tax would be repealed once the city was in a sustainable financial position. In November 2013, keeping her promise, she and city council voted to put a repeal of the income tax on the ballot, which was approved by voters.

One of the biggest highlights in Procop’s mayoral career was finalizing the purchase of Liberty Park in April 2001. A process started by former Mayor James Karabec, the city bought 900 acres of land for $10.5 million for its park district to manage.

That land now features the Ledges Trail and will be the home of the Liberty Park Nature Center, in partnership with Summit Metro Parks.

During Procop’s tenure, the city saw growth of its medical corridor, including the Cleveland Clinic Family Health and Surgery Center and the expansion of University Hospitals. She also worked alongside Dean David Mohan of Kent State University-Geauga to build its state-of-the-art Twinsburg Academic Center.

“I owe so much to Twinsburg and the residents who placed their trust in me to lead this city into a bright future,” Procop said. “I want to thank the members of city council and the department heads I had the honor to serve alongside over the years. It took the efforts of many people to accomplish the things we have. I have been blessed to be in this position and when I leave office next year, I believe I will have left Twinsburg better off than when I began.”

Thursday, 09 October 2014 12:00

Train Victim Charged With OVI

An Akron woman is now charged with OVI for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol after her SUV was trapped on CSX train tracks in North Akron just after midnight Thursday. Akron police charged Shannon Garske, 41, with OVI and failure to control her vehicle after it became stuck on the tracks and was eventually hit by a southbound CSX train. Garske had driven about 500 feet on the tracks until her vehicle became mired in deep gravel and rails.

Police say the conductor tried to stop the train in time but it reportedly took two thousand feet before the train was able to come to a complete stop. Garske was transported to Akron City Hospital, where she was treated for non-threatening injuries.

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(APD) Officers from the Akron Police Department Traffic Bureau investigated an accident that occurred shortly after midnight last night on the CSX train tracks near the intersection of Upton Avenue and Easton Drive.

A 41 year old female, Shannon Garske, of Reed Avenue in Akron, drove her 2008 Saturn Vue eastbound on Upton Street from Easton Drive towards the dead end. At the dead end, she then drove on a gravel access path along the railway. Garske lost control and lodged her vehicle on the rails of the railroad tracks. A train traveling southbound on the tracks noticed the vehicle was stuck on the tracks with the head lights out.

The train conductor attempted to stop the train, but was unable to stop and the train struck Garske’s vehicle. Garske was transported to Akron City Hospital where she suffered non-life threatening injuries. Garske was charged with failure to control and OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol). Garske is scheduled for an arraignment hearing in Akron Municipal Court on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:00am.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:56

Goodbye Lockdown, Hello "Safe School"

Goodbye "Lockdown" -- hello, "Safe School." Akron schools making good on a name change for the status of local schools after concerns the word "lockdown" should only describe the worst of a school security nightmare.  "Safe School" will be the new term the district uses. It'll be up to local media and parents to see if "lockdown" goes the way of other more focused terms as well and the softer new language will be used. School spokesman Mark Williamson says it won't change any security protocols but is simply a word change to note the difference between an external threat such as a police action outside the school compared to a more serious threat inside the school building.
(APS) When it comes to school safety and security, Akron Public Schools has always used one term - lockdown - to describe its response to security threats whether they emerge outside or inside a building. 
Beginning today, the public will begin hearing and seeing the term Safe School mode to describe action taken when a security risk comes from the neighborhood around the school building. 
Mark Williamson, APS director of communications, said, "Safe School distinguishes to the media and the community the vast difference between what we do when a threat comes from outside, as opposed to from inside a school building." 
"The reality is," said Superintendent David W. James, "the vast majority of our measures to secure buildings due to an emergency are initiated by situations outside of our schools, in our neighborhoods, and not from within our learning centers. If there is trouble outside, we keep it outside. And we will now refer to that precautionary step as APS engaging its Safe School procedure." 
Denying school building access during police activity in neighborhoods ensures the schools do not become escape routes for fleeing criminals being pursued by police. Safe School mode is a preemptive way of ensuring student and staff safety. 
APS Director of Student Services and Security Dan Rambler says that, when it comes to a descriptive term, one size really does not fit all. "We had always used the broad term lockdown for the sake of simplicity," Rambler said. "But, in reality, lockdown is more accurate if the risk comes from within the building. That is when we lock all interior doors, prohibiting movement by students and staff, while denying access to the building by anyone outside of the school." 
Akron police officer and APS Chief Resource Officer Don Good is a veteran police officer. "Keeping students in locked classrooms - in what we call lockdown - limits their exposure to possible danger inside a school building. And prohibiting entry through exterior doors protects anyone else from either unwittingly walking in on the emergent situation or coming into a school to add to the already-existing threat," Officer Good said. 
"The reality is our buildings are always locked, and visitors must be 'buzzed' in. No one should simply walk in," said Akron School Board President Lisa Mansfield. "But when we engage Safe School procedure, when there is police activity in the neighborhood around a school, no one is allowed to enter. Students still move about the building freely, and learning is uninterrupted." 
Mansfield added that most times the students are not even aware that the building has been closed to visitors. "They might only learn of it if a parent is coming to take them to a doctor or dentist appointment and is temporarily denied access because we're in Safe School Mode." 
APS works closely with Akron police and all area law enforcement for daily security and on-going training to deal with crisis situations. They also work together to keep families of students informed whether the situation necessitates a lockdown or going into Safe School Mode.
Superintendent James said, "Using the term Safe School only changes the terminology so we may eliminate any confusion between that and a true lockdown. We continue to maintain the strictest of safety and security standards for our students and staff and provide regular updates to our training." 

A pianist who's electrified audiences worldwide visits Akron today thanks to the LeBron James Family Foundation. Lang Lang is a household name in China and Europe -- and likely Akron too after his fingers tinkle the ivories and he talks with students at Miller South. On top of his status as a piano prodigy add "superstar" along the lines of rockers with powerful performances on the keys. He's hit the big time -- playing with orchestras in London, Berlin, and Vienna. And now Miller South.

In a letter to parents, Akron Schools noted Lang has been described as a master of the piano and among "...the most exciting young keyboard talent" in the world.

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(Akron Public Schools) We have an exciting opportunity for your Wheels for Education/Akron I Promise Student broughtto you by LeBron James and his LeBron James Family Foundation for this Friday! Lang Lang, a Chinese concert pianist who has performed with leading orchestras in Europe, the United States and his native China, will now perform for your student.

Lang Lang has given recitals and concerts in many major cities and was the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and some top American orchestras. A Chicago Tribune music critic called him "the biggest, most exciting young keyboard talent I have encountered in many a year of attending piano recitals". Lang has been praised by musicians and critics around the world – the conductor Jahja Ling remarked, "Lang Lang is special
because of his total mastery of the piano... He has the flair and great communicative power."

It is often noted that Lang successfully straddles two worlds – classical prodigy and rock-like "superstar", a phenomenon summed up by The Times journalist Emma Pomfret, who wrote, "I can think of no other classical artist who has achieved
Lang Lang's broad appeal without dumbing down."

Date: Friday October 10
Time: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: Miller South School for Visual and Performing Arts: 1055 East Ave, Akron, OH 44307

Lang Lang has agreed to play for a period of time and the remaining time will be interactive with the students and time for Q&A.

Tuesday, 07 October 2014 07:10

Metro Parks Issues Poison Bug Advisory

Northeast Ohio loves it's caterpillar culture -- what's fall without Dick Goddard and the Wooly Bears? But Summit County Metro Parks says one particular species can raise more than hackles.

The Canadian-native Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar was spotted recently in the Hampton Hills area of the Metro Park and at least one visitor reports picking up the hairy critter left her with an itchy rash. The treatment is as simple as washing the effected area with soap and water and add a treatment of diluted ammonia or Calamine lotion as you would for poison ivy. Some exposure, though, may bring with it more swelling and redness in which case victims should seek a doctor's help.