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, 05 August 2013 08:16

Four Popped On Theft Charges

Streetsboro PD putting a quartet of suspected thieves in lockup after finding them in a car loaded with stolen property.

Police say Timothy Porter, 18, of Streetsboro and three others tried to hide in a Chevy Cavalier when a caller on Dunlap Drive called to report suspicious activity. The others were a 17-year old boy from Ravenna and 17-year old and 15-year old girls from Streetsboro. All four face felony charges for receiving stolen property.

Police say they've been following a string of robberies since Independence Day with most of the thefts targeting GPS and other portable electronics from cars.

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(Streetsboro PD) On Sunday August 4th,  around 3:30 a.m. the Streetsboro Police Department received two phone calls from residents on Dunlap Dr and Kendall Ln. reporting suspicious activity in the neighborhood.  The caller on Dunlap reported seeing two people in his driveway.  A short time later, the caller on Kendall reported an unknown vehicle parked in his driveway.  Officers responded to the Kendall address and located a red Chevy Cavalier in the driveway with four individuals attempting to hide inside the vehicle. 

Upon investigating further, officers located several GPS units and other electronics inside the car that were linked to thefts from vehicles both from that night and from reported thefts on other nights.  The estimated value of the recovered property was approximately $1,760.  One of the individuals was an 18 year old male, Timothy Porter, of Streetsboro. 

The others involved were a 17 year old male of Ravenna, a 17 year old female of Streetsboro and a 15 year old female of Streetsboro.  All four were charged with Receiving Stolen Property, a fifth degree felony. 

Since July 6th, the Streetsboro Police Department has taken 13 reports of property being stolen from vehicles.  Most of those thefts involved GPS units or other electronics.  We would like to remind everyone to lock your vehicles when unattended and do not leave valuables inside.

It's no secret the PGA loves Firestone South. It's also no secret Bridgestone has a major commitment to the Akron area, with the Firestone Technical Center just one example. Now there's another.

"This sponsorship agreement reconfirms out commitment to golf fans worldwide, the PGA tour and the area of Akron," says Bridgestone Americas CEO Gary Garfield joining with corporate leaders and PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem making the announcement today. 

The deal includes a four-year extension, meaning a total of five years (including this year) for more of the world's best golfers planning their early August schedules around the fabled South Course just south of downtown Akron.

LINK HERE for the latest from the PGA Leaderboard scoring

LINK HERE for Round 4 Tee Times

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(WGC Bridgestone Invitational) PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, representing the International Federation of PGA Tours; Masaaki Tsuya, Bridgestone Global CEO and Chairman of the Board; and Gary Garfield, CEO and President, Bridgestone Americas, announced today that the International Federation of PGA Tours and Bridgestone have reached an agreement to extend Bridgestone’s title sponsorship of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club through 2018. Finchem, Tsuya and Garfield made the announcement during a press conference prior to the leaders teeing off for the final round of the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.
Bridgestone, a world leader in tire innovation and technology, first began sponsoring the Bridgestone Invitational in 2006, and the current title sponsorship agreement runs through 2014.  The Bridgestone Invitational is played at the famed Firestone Country Club’s South Course in Akron, Ohio. 
Bridgestone also extended its Official Marketing Partner relationship with the PGA TOUR through 2018 and will remain as the “Official Tire of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour.”  The agreement gives Bridgestone opportunities to introduce a distinguished consumer demographic to high-performance Bridgestone tire technology equal to that which they have come to know from its products on the golf course.

“Golf’s increasing global reach, as well as the international scope of the World Golf Championships align closely with Bridgestone’s long history in the sport and our position as the world’s largest manufacturer of tires and rubber products,” said Maasaki Tsuya, CEO, Bridgestone Corporation. “This sponsorship will further enhance the power of the Bridgestone brand and continue to provide additional worldwide channels for us to grow.”
“Bridgestone has been part of the PGA TOUR and World Golf Championships family since 2006, and we are so pleased to extend what has been such a successful partnership through 2018,” said Finchem.  “Coupled with their Official Marketing Partnership extension, Bridgestone represents one of the largest partners within the PGA TOUR family.  They utilize the PGA TOUR platform on a global scale, activating in impactful and innovative ways, not only in the United States but across Asia and most notably in Japan.  Of course, the Bridgestone Invitational, thanks to the leadership and commitment of Bridgestone, continues to showcase the very best in professional golf to the world.  It also brings tremendous economic and charitable impact to Northeast Ohio, aligning perfectly with Bridgestone’s commitment to the Northeast Ohio community, which has spanned generations and cannot be understated.”
“Our sponsorship of the Bridgestone Invitational is a tremendous vehicle to promote the Bridgestone brand. It also reconfirms our commitment to the PGA TOUR; worldwide golf fans; and our Akron-area neighbors,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and President, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. “As proud corporate citizens, we are thrilled with the impact the Bridgestone Invitational has in the region.
Saturday, 03 August 2013 22:21

VIDEO Tiger Stands Tall After Third Round

There's a reason Tiger Woods enjoys Firestone Country Club's South Course so much.

This year, it's actually 1,500,000 reasons plus eight.

The top purse looks like a lock for Woods, who's already staked claim to the title here seven times and looks to repeat as an octo-winner barring any major mishaps after a confident and consistent round extended his -13 lead at the start of Saturday's play into a commanding performance to hold at -15 under and a seven-stroke lead over the nearest challenger, Henrik Stinson. 

Players went out in threesomes Saturday on later tee times between 11:00 and 1:10 p.m. due to threatened storms in the morning that never really materialized. Overall, a half-inch of rain fell on the course overnight leaving greens moist enough that nearly every ball hitting them left marks. The sun and moderate winds through the afternoon, however, left the putting game faster as the day wore on and the course in great shape.

Even with a 68 round most would give their eye-teeth for, Woods says he was "just grinding it" to finish atop the leaderboard close to the lead he built after Friday's remarkable 61 score.

(Video PGA Tour)

Round 4 tee times for the leaders pair Woods and Stinson at 2:05 p.m. with Jason Dufner and Luke Donald ten minutes earlier. Gates open at 7:00 Sunday morning and the first golfers will tee off in pairs at 8:10 a.m. Sunday's forecast is expected to bring perfect temperatures for both players and spectators with sunny skies, winds out of the northwest around 10 miles per hour and an unseasonably-cool high of 72.

A reminder: The WGC Bridgestone Invitational now has marshals charged with enforcing strict cell-phone use restrictions when golfers are on the tees and approaching greens, as well as in the fairways making shots. Phones will be confiscated -- even if just used for texting or taking an illicit photo prohibited by the PGA. Owners are given claim checks to recover their property at the main gate, but not until the end of play. The phone enforcer teams can be spotted wearing neon lime-green caps.



Friday, 02 August 2013 15:50

Pitts Indicted For May, Putra Murders

An Akron teenager accused of murdering a high school friend and father of the friend has been indicted on murder and other related counts. Bryan May and his son, Jeremy Putra, were found stabbed to death in their Akron home by police answering an early morning call. Pitts was a high school classmate of Putra and reportedly had been taken in by the May household.

Robert Thomas Pitts, Jr., 19, formerly of South Rose Boulevard faces four counts of aggravated murder, two murder counts, two counts of aggravated robbery and an additional charge of injuring animals. The aggravated murder indictments include a possible death sentence if convicted.

Pitts allegedly stole May's vehicle, which was later found in Ashtabula County, and fled to Chicago where he was arrested. He is being extradited from Illinois back to Ohio.

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(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh today announced that Robert Thomas Pitts, 19, of South Rose Boulevard in Akron, has been indicted in the murders of Jeremy Putra and Bryan May.

Pitts is charged with:

  • Four counts of Aggravated Murder, each with two death specifications
  • Two counts of Murder
  • Two counts of Aggravated Robbery, both felonies of the first degree
  • Injuring Animals, a misdemeanor of the second degree

If convicted of any count of Aggravated Murder with at least one death specification, Pitts can be sentenced to death.

“Bryan May and Jeremy Putra generously opened their home to Robert Thomas Pitts, who was a longtime friend of Jeremy’s since childhood,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “This is truly a senseless tragedy, and my office will do everything in its power to seek justice for Bryan May and Jeremy Putra.”

Pitts is being extradited from the Cook County Jail in Illinois. Arraignment is set for August 7.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 08:20

Goodyear: Record Q2

Akron-based Goodyear reporting record performance for the second quarter of 2013, led by operating income of $428 million and it was a record-setter in North America and Asia Pacific markets. Overall income is forecast to hit $1.5 billion for the year. CEO Richard Kramer says European markets are now "stabilizing." Company-wide sales for the quarter were down from a year ago, at $4.9 billion compared to $5.2 billion.

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(Goodyear Tire and Rubber) The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today reported record earnings for the second quarter of 2013.
“Our outstanding second quarter earnings demonstrate the disciplined execution of our strategies by Goodyear associates around the globe as our operations become more efficient, reliable and integrated,” said Richard J. Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are leveraging this increased integration along with our product innovation to deliver sustainable earnings improvement through the cycle.

“We achieved significantly higher earnings, with record operating income in North America and Asia Pacific,” he said. “Our objective remains to focus on profitable targeted market segments where we can capture the value of our brands and prepare ourselves to take advantage of the market recovery when it comes.”
All four of Goodyear’s regional businesses achieved higher operating income in the second quarter compared to the year-ago period. Three businesses posted higher tire unit volumes than last year.

Commenting on Goodyear’s performance in Europe, Kramer said the company is seeing signs of volumes stabilizing and is achieving success in the summer tire market with industry-leading label-graded tires that have won numerous magazine tests versus competitors.

“Our strong first-half performance gives us confidence in our full-year outlook for global segment operating income, which we now expect to be about $1.5 billion, at the high end of our previously announced range of $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion, and the highest ever achieved by the company,” Kramer said. “Additionally, we continue to target positive cash flow in 2013, excluding pension pre-funding.”

Goodyear’s second quarter 2013 sales were $4.9 billion, compared to $5.2 billion a year ago. Second quarter 2013 sales reflect $35 million in higher tire unit volumes, more than offset by $131 million in lower sales in other tire-related businesses, most notably third party chemical sales in North America; $75 million in lower price/mix, despite continued favorable mix; and $60 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. Tire unit volumes totaled 39.5 million, up 1 percent from 2012.

The company reported record segment operating income of $428 million in the second quarter of 2013. This was up 27 percent from the year-ago quarter, reflecting favorable price/mix net of raw materials of $92 million, cost savings net of inflation of $38 million (including raw material cost savings of $53 million) and $11 million in higher tire unit volumes, partially offset by unabsorbed overhead of $47 million resulting from lower production and $12 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. See the note at the end of this release for further explanation and a segment operating income reconciliation table.

Goodyear’s second quarter 2013 net income available to common shareholders was $181 million (67 cents per share), a second quarter record and up $96 million from $85 million (33 cents per share) in the 2012 quarter. All per share amounts are diluted.

The 2013 second quarter included total charges of $13 million (5 cents per share) due to rationalizations, asset write-offs and accelerated depreciation; $7 million (3 cents per share) due to discrete tax charges; and $5 million (2 cents per share) in charges relating to labor claims with respect to a previously closed facility in Europe; and a gain of $4 million (1 cent per share) on asset sales. All amounts are after taxes and minority interest.

Monday, 29 July 2013 19:22

Mahan: Daughter Tops WGC This Year

The winner of the 2010 World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational is grateful for the invite, but thinks being home with his wife and newborn daughter will be more rewarding than the chance of a $1.5 million dollar purse.

Hunter Mahan was on the welcome list of the 49 world's best golfers set to tee off at the WGC event starting Thursday at Firestone Country Club, but is opting instead to stay home for Zoe's first week at home.

Mahan made headlines when, leading the Canadian Open last weekend, he got word his wife was going into labor early with their first-born child. He withdrew from the tournament and jetted back home in time to witness Zoe's birth.

Mahan says he'll be back on the PGA Tour for the PGA Championship.

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(World Golf Championship) "I have elected to officially withdraw myself from the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational so that I can take the opportunity to spend this precious first week at home with Zoe. I intend to resume my playing schedule at the 2013 PGA Championship at Oak Hill. I would like to thank the PGA TOUR for supporting my decision not to play this week."

-Hunter Mahan

The food trucks are coming -- to the Akron Radio Center. "Food Truck Friday: Radio Roundup" features five operators from the growing growing list of Akron-area based food trucks, providing residents and visitors to the Wallhaven area of West Akron an opportunity see these trucks in operation, sample their wares and get a better understanding of what might be one of the summer's hottest political topics as well.

"We think the food vendors are a terrific benefit to the community," said Thom Mandel, president of Rubber City Radio Group. RCRG is the parent company of 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE, 94.9 WQMX and AkronNewsNow.com. "These guys aren't the 'roach coaches' some of us remember from the past. They're modern clean compact and mobile commercial kitchens. I'm looking forward to hosting these food artists at the Akron Radio Center."

Jeff Winer, owner of The Orange Truk and seen at left with business partner Steve Sabo, is a leading force behind the Greater Akron Food Truck Coalition. Winer said Mobile Sushi Bar, Stone Pelican, Wholly Frijoles, Zydeco Bistro and Orange Truk are lined up to bring their food to the Akron Radio Center on Friday, August 9 starting at 11:00 a.m. until supplies run out. 

"We're really excited; we're all professionals in the food industry. We've been in it (the business) for years and food trucks are the way to test our concept and see if they work," Winer said, noting many operators either have "brick and mortar" existing locations or are considering expansion to a more traditional, permanent restaurant location. Winer points out that, unlike traditional restaurants, food trucks can't just run to the store and get more stock when business is booming. They're restricted to what they prepare and make and can carry with them at any given venue.

The City of Akron currently restricts food truck operators using laws banning the sale of certain goods from vehicles. The growing demand for food trucks, coupled with the early public advocacy of Akron Beacon Journal reporter Lisa Abraham, put the issue on the front burner. The Akron Downtown Partnership has been a vocal critic of the concept, claiming it would pose undue and unfair competition on existing restaurants in the downtown area. Food truck operators such as Winer contend the food trucks build more foot traffic and interest in the food culture, and can benefit both brick and mortar and mobile restaurant offerings.

City Council representative Jeff Fusco heads a special committee charged with reviewing the City's restrictive laws, but while the Downtown Akron Partnership is represented on the panel there are no food truck representatives on the committee. Fusco has said they will solicit and listen to the operators.

A non-profit legal group, The Institute for Justice, has taken up legal challenges to food trucks across the nation and has agreed to help the local coalition. The Institute maintains a U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in an unrelated case targets use of city power to restrict open competition as unfair, but so far no legal challenges specifically taking Akron into the courts has been filed.

About the food trucks - all can also be found on Facebook:

The Orange Truk - The Orange Trük is N.E.Ohio's newest chef run gourmet food truck. The Orange Trük is run by two classically trained chefs and specializes in fresh farm to table cuisine. They bring the practice of creating high quality artisan food to the streets of Akron, as is shown in their gastropub menu including Arancini, an Italian rice ball! His are filled with cheesy risotto, provolone & pork tenderloin. Or try the fish tacos with blackened tuna, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, queso fresco cheese & his always amazing avocado creme fraiche! Cooking is their passion and their life. www.RoamingHunger.com (website under construction)

The Stone Pelican - Stone Pelican Rolling Cafe is bringing lunch classics to the streets of Akron Ohio. Serving up gourmet Sandwiches, Paninis, Wraps and more, some of their signature items include the Portobello Mushroom wrap, Fresh Fish tacos, and warm hand crafted Apple Cider. New delights are always being developed for the menu, so stay tuned for specials such as pulled pork, shrimp, chicken tenders, and breakfast burritos. www.RoamingHunger.com and www.stonepelicanroamingcafe.com

Sushi on the Roll - Established in 2007, Sushi on the Roll evolved from a vision to bring sushi to the masses. Specifically, to bring a fresh sushi product to corporate America cafeterias as another healthy option for lunch. We immediately began setting up new infrastructure to facilitate the processing of sushi at our state-of-the-art kitchen to produce a high volume of sushi. We also secured a high profile retail outlet right in the heart of a large corporate parkway in Akron, Ohio. Our quality product is recognized as the pinnacle of excellence for taste, freshness, consistency and value for money. This has assured continuing company growth as the popularity of the sushi product has and continues to escalate beyond all expectations. www.sushiontherollonline.com

Wholly Frijoles - Wholly Frijoles Mexican Street Foods Truck Brings the Cleveland & Akron area Mexican street food with an innovative twist. We sell tacos, burritos, gorditas, quesadillas and other Mexican and Latino cuisine made with the freshest ingredients and spiced up. www.whollyfrijolesfoodtruck.com
Zydeco Bistro - unique Cajun and Creole inspired restaurant owned and operated by chef Johnny Schulze form Baton Rouge Louisiana who trained in New Orleans. His restaurant experience is in high-end restaurants; Atlanta GA, Hartford CT, Nantucket MA and Wadsworth OH. Chef Johnny was the former executive chef at the Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth, Ohio for the past ten years. He is now the owner and chef of Zydeco Bistro, a mobile restaurant. www.zydecobistrollc.com



Thursday, 25 July 2013 17:48

KSU Scores Second Ford Victory

Consider the first half score KSU 2, former head basketball coach Geno Ford and his new bosses 0.
The second of two rulings in a legal battle sparked when Ford blew out of Kent State to take a job at Bradley University while still under contract with the Golden Flashes found Bradley "intentionally interfered" with Ford's contract agreement with KSU.
Ford has already been ordered to shell out $1.2 million dollars in damages by Portage County Judge John Enlow. A jury will now determine just how much money Bradley University should pay for their role in the coach-snatching episode.
Bradley, based in Peoria, Illinois, has maintained it did nothing wrong.
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(Ohio Attorney General) A Portage County judge has ruled that Bradley University intentionally interfered with Kent State University’s contract with Geno Ford, its former men’s head basketball coach, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Kent State announced today.  
“We have a duty to protect our public colleges and universities from third-parties that try to undermine or interfere with their contracts,” Attorney General DeWine said. “When a university disregards those contracts and knowingly poaches another school’s coach, that university must be held accountable.”
The court upheld Kent State’s motion for summary judgment against Bradley University and ruled that Bradley University intentionally interfered with the contractual relationship between Ford and Kent State and that it brought about the breach of contract without justification.
In April 2008, Kent State hired Ford as its head men’s basketball coach for a five (5) year term at an annual salary of $200,000. In April 2010, Kent State and Ford agreed to a new contract extending his employment through the end of the 2014-2015 season and increasing Ford’s annual salary to $300,000, making Ford the highest-paid basketball coach in the Mid-American Conference. In March 2011, Ford agreed to become the head basketball coach for Bradley University, located in Peoria, Illinois, in breach of the terms of his employment contract with Kent State.  
Kent State filed suit against Ford and Bradley University on April 26, 2011. In an earlier ruling, the court issued a $1.2 million judgment against Ford. A Portage County jury will determine the amount of damages Bradley University caused to Kent State.
The Akron law firm Roderick Linton Belfance, LLP was appointed by the Ohio Attorney General as special counsel to represent Kent State in the cases against Coach Ford and Bradley University. 
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 15:07

Official: Lefty's Coming

Not that there was really that much of a question but Phil Mickelson makes it official: the British Open champion will be on the South Course of Firestone Country Club for the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational.

Play begins next week at the fabled course August 1. Mickelson is no stranger to Akron; he's played in the WGC event the past 14 years.

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(World Golf Championship) On the heels of his dramatic victory at the British Open, five-time major championship winner Phil Mickelson committed to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, where he will be joined by the best players from across the globe at Firestone Country Club in Akron, July 31-August 4. Additionally, as of July 22, 11 players in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking who weren’t already qualified have officially earned a spot in the field for the third World Golf Championships event of the year.

Mickelson entered the final round of the 2013 Open Championship trailing Lee Westwood by five shots, but a 5-under 66 led to a three-stroke win over Henrik Stenson. The win was Mickelson’s 42nd career PGA TOUR victory, which puts him at No. 9 in all-time victories, three behind Walter Hagen’s 45 career wins. The victory moved Mickelson to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking and No. 2 in the FedExCup standings. He becomes the first player to win the European Tour’s Scottish Open and then the Open Championship the following week. With wins in each of the last 10 seasons on the PGA TOUR, Mickelson owns the longest active streak. Mickelson has won at least one tournament in 20 different TOUR seasons, trailing only Sam Snead (24) and Jack Nicklaus (21).

Mickelson has played in the Bridgestone Invitational in each of the 14 years it has been held. His best finish came in the inaugural event (1999) when he finished runner-up. In his last 10 attempts at the Bridgestone Invitational, he has one top-20 finish, a T4 in 2008.

A total of 11 players officially qualified for the Bridgestone Invitational as of Monday, July 22, due to their position in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking. That list includes Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who finished T6 at the Open Championship. Matsuyama started 2013 at No. 127 in the rankings, but a T10 at the U.S. Open to go along with his strong finish at the Open Championship and nine top-10 finishes on the Japan Golf Tour this year, which include victories at the Tsuruya Open and the Diamond Cup Golf, have moved him well inside the top 50 in the world and into the Bridgestone Invitational field.

That list includes:

Rank Player Country
19 Jason Day Australia
20 Henrik Stenson Sweden
22 Hunter Mahan USA
31 Bo Van Pelt USA
33 Richard Sterne South Africa
34 Hideki Matsuyama Japan
35 Rickie Fowler USA
41 Thorbjorn Olesen Denmark
43 Angel Cabrera Argentina
46 Scott Piercy USA
47 Carl Pettersson Sweden

Players not otherwise qualified can now only qualify by winning the RBC Canadian Open this week or moving into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of Monday, July 29.

Friday, 19 July 2013 21:10

Mary Plusquellic Found Dead At Home

The former wife of Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic was found dead in her home this morning, according to a report in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Mary Plusquellic was 63; she was found by her brother around 10:00 Friday morning at her apartment on Fifth Street Lane in Barberton. The newspaper reports the death was from "apparent heart related causes" but an autopsy is pending.

The Plusquellic's divorced in 2007 after nearly 35 years of marriage. They were the parents of two children and six grandchildren.