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

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."

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 18:27

Prosecutor Walsh: Cut Wise A Break

The same Office of the Prosecutor that argued to a jury to find John Wise guilty of murdering his wife while she lay in Akron General's ICU is now asking the sentencing judge to bump the jail time down to a manslaughter charge.
 
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh will file motions in the case Thursday asking for the lower sentence for the 68-year old Wise, who was convicted of Aggravated Murder and other charges in the shooting of his wife Barbara. Friends, family and defense argued the couple had a pact to avoid a lingering illness and Wise was convinced his wife was suffering from an aneurysm. Doctors testified she was responding to treatment.
 
"The minimum punishment for Aggravated Murder with a firearm specification is life in prison with the earliest parole possibility after 23 years," Walsh said in a news release. "It is our duty to seek justice...a shorter prison sentence is just."
 
If Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands accepts Walsh's motion Wise would be sentenced to a six-year term. The sentencing is scheduled for next Monday.  A .pdf file is attached to the bottom of this story.
 
 
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(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh today announced that her office is filing a motion tomorrow morning asking Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands to sentence John Edward Wise on Manslaughter, a lesser-included charge of his conviction, and one firearm specification instead of on Aggravated Murder, his highest conviction, and one firearm specification.
 
“What Mr. Wise did was illegal and very dangerous. He killed someone, and he endangered the lives of everyone in that hospital,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “However, the minimum punishment for Aggravated Murder with a firearm specification is life in prison with the earliest parole possibility after 23 years. As prosecutors, it is our duty to seek justice. In light of the unique facts of this case, a shorter prison sentence is just.”
 
A jury found Wise, 68, guilty of Aggravated Murder, Murder and Felonious Assault, all with firearm specifications, on November 8. Wise shot his wife in the head, killing her, as she recovered from an aneurysm at Akron General Medical Center in August 2012.
 
When charges merge for sentencing purposes, as they do in this case, Ohio law dictates that the State elect the charge for which the defendant is sentenced. The State typically requests that the judge sentence on the highest conviction. If sentenced on Aggravated Murder, Wise faces life in prison with parole eligibility after 23 years. If sentenced on Manslaughter, Wise would be sentenced to six years in prison.
 
Judge Rowlands will sentence Wise on Monday, November 18 at 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, 09 November 2013 18:40

Zips Mens Soccer Clinches MAC Title

(University of Akron Athletics) The No. 9 University of Akron men's soccer team claimed its ninth-consecutive regular-season Mid-American Conference championship on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Western Michigan at WMU Soccer Complex.

Akron (14-3-1, 5-1-0 MAC) senior Robbie Derschang knocked in a corner kick taken by freshman Adam Najem in the 105th minute to extended the Zips' win streak to four matches and unbeaten stretch to eight (7-0-1). It was Derschang's fourth goal of the season and third gamewinner.

 
Najem tallied his fourth and fifth assists of the year as he also helped out on UA's other goal, which came from senior Reinaldo Brenes in the 36th minute. Western Michigan (8-8-1, 4-1-1 MAC) tied it in the 80th minute thanks to a header from Oliver Mayer.
 
Akron dominated the shots category, 20-7, and led in shots on goal as well, 9-2. Six of the Zips' shots came during overtime (five in the first extra period), while the Broncos managed zero.
 
UA goalkeeper Fernando Pina earned the victory and had one save, while Chase Rau defended the WMU net and made seven stops.
 
The Broncos played down a man from the 60th minute after Kyle Farris was issued a red card.
 
The top-seeded Zips will play host to the MAC Tournament next Friday and Sunday (Nov. 15 and 17) at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. Following a 4 p.m. ET match on Friday between second-seeded Western Michigan and third-seeded Hartwick, Akron will face fourth-seeded West Virginia at 7 p.m. The winners of those two contests will meet in the title match on Sunday at 1 p.m., with the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
 
Tickets are available by calling 1-888-99-AKRON (25766).
 
Zips Notebook: Akron won its second-straight double-overtime match after topping 11th-ranked Penn State 2-1 in the 106th minute on Wednesday ... Robbie Derschang's gamewinner was the seventh for UA this season that came after the 75th minute of play ... this was Akron's sixth overtime match of the season and the team improved its record to 4-1-1 in that situation ... in order to clinch the regular-season title Akron needed a victory over Western Michigan ... a draw would have given the Broncos their first-ever MAC championship.
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 18:16

Fugitive Force Nabs Worst Sex Offender

He could run but he couldn't hide; one of the "Agonizing 8" most wanted sex offenders on a list compiled by the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force was collared by police hiding in a bedroom closet underneath a pile of clothes.
 
Now Cameron Thompson is spending his time in a cell at the Stark County Jail after he was arrested without incident. He was one of eight most-wanted on charges he skipped out on mandatory registration as a sex offender after a conviction for sexual assault of a 16-year old girl.
 
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(U.S. Marshals Service) Earlier today the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF) received information regarding the whereabouts of wanted sex offender Cameron Thompson.  
 
Thompson had been a featured fugitive on the US Marshals “Agonizing 8” most wanted sex offender list.  The list was released on November 4, 2013 and just two days later the tip regarding Thompson was received by the US Marshals.
 
Immediately after receiving the tip NOVFTF members responded to a residence located on Marsden Avenue SW in Canton.  After knocking on the door to the residence a female occupant of the home answered the front door. She was asked if Thompson was present at the home and responded that he was in a bedroom at the back of the house.
 
NOVFTF members began a search of the home and Thompson was located hiding in a bedroom closet underneath a pile of clothing. Thompson was transported to the Stark County Jail without further incident.
 
Thompson was wanted for failure to register as a sex offender. Thompson is required to register as a sex offender due to a sexual assault conviction of a 16 year old female.  
 
U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott stated, “This is another great example of the success we have when the community and the media work with us to get these dangerous individuals into custody.  The publicity of our new Agonizing 8 paid off well here and we hope the trend continues.”
 
Monday, 04 November 2013 08:06

VIDEO Spondike Takes To YouTube Defense

Dr. David Spondike -- the Firestone High teacher suspended over a racist post on his Facebook page -- is speaking out, but only on another social media site. It's on YouTube, where he's with an unidentified man who claims Spondike is the victim of a media witch-hunt and a young man who claims he, not Spondike, posted the racist Halloween rant appear in at least five video posts.
 
Spondike claims he was never contacted prior to publication of the story and learned only it was a media firestorm when the principal summoned him to the office after the second period a week ago and informed him he should turn in his security badge and leave for his own safety.
 
In the latest videos posted over the weekend on YouTube, Spondike is clearly seen and identified as Dr. Spondike by the interviewer. The on-camera interviewer and young man claiming to have been the one posting the rant were not identified on the videos. In one video, Akron Beacon Journal reporter Phil Trexler's voicemail left with Spondike on his home answering machine is played back from a handheld digital recorder Spondike holds in his hand. WKYC reporter Kim Wheeler is also singled out, as is a "light-skinned" African-American news anchor. AkronNewsNow contacted WKYC anchor Russ Mitchell, who acknowledged the reference was aimed at him.
 
AkronNewsNow, in fact, reached out to Spondike the morning via the Facebook account he used to issue an apology to those offended by the post. We tried to reach him before we posted our coverage, asking him for comment. He did not respond.
 
School officials say the unidentified on-camera interviewer with Spondike reached out to them using a New Hampshire phone number; the background of the YouTube video is a non-descript stone wall. Spondike is on paid leave while under investigation.
Saturday, 02 November 2013 21:21

Zips Reclaim Football Wagon Wheel

More than 20,000 people ignored chilly and rainy weather to watch the University of Akron do something it hasn't been able to muster for nearly four years -- win a game against Kent State at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field.
 
The Zips did it thanks to turnovers, marked by fumbles and interceptions from the Golden Flashes to take advantage of the opportunity and give seniors something they haven't seen since they were freshmen.
 
The Akron 16-7 win also provides Akron with a stronger season record to date than Kent State, something fans have also been eagerly awaiting. Akron improved to a 3-7 record overall with two Mid-American Conference wins while Kent State fell to a 2-8 overall record with a single MAC victory.
 
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(GoZips.com) The Akron defense held Kent State to 300 total yards and forced five turnovers as the Zips defeated the Golden Flashes 16-7 in the 56th Annual Battle for the Wagon Wheel on Saturday afternoon in a Mid-American Conference East Division contest at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field.
 
With the victory, the Zips regained the Wagon Wheel for the first time since Nov. 7, 2009. The win also gave Akron a 3.0-1.5 lead in the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge.
 
Johnny Robinson recorded two turnovers for the Zips (3-7, 2-4 Mid-American Conference), recovering a fumble in the first half and intercepting a Colin Reardon pass to snuff out a Kent State drive midway through the fourth quarter. Jatavis Brown led the Zips with 16 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.
 
Jawon Chisholm led the Akron offense with 151 yards rushing on 27 carries.
 
Robert Stein kicked three field goals to help propel Akron to its third win in a season for the first time since 2009.
 
The running game and a key personal foul penalty against Kent State (2-8, 1-5 MAC) combined to put Akron within field goal range late in the game as it attempted to protect a 13-7 lead. Following Robinson's interception, the Zips marched 60 yards in 12 plays and Stein converted his third field goal of the game – this one from 29 yards – to cap the drive and extend the lead to two scores.
 
Interceptions by Malachi Freeman and Martel Durant on the ensuing Kent State drives helped secure the win for Akron.
 
Early on, it appeared the Zips could be in for a big day offensively after they went to the air successfully on their first drive.
 
Kyle Pohl completed a 45-yard pass to Fransohn Bickley on the second play from scrimmage. On the next snap, Pohl lateraled to Zach D'Orazio, who lofted a 33-yard TD pass to a wide-open L.T. Smith for the game's first touchdown.
 
In the first quarter, the defense forced a turnover when KSU's Dri Archer put the ball on the ground at the end of a short run and Robinson recovered. Archer's carry was the only time in the opening quarter that the Flashes reached Akron territory.
 
The second miscue by the Flashes came less than one minute into the second quarter, when Jatavis Brown stripped the ball from Trayion Durham and Albert Presley dove on it for the Zips.
 
Two plays later, the Golden Flashes returned the favor as Roosevelt Nix sacked Pohl and Mark Fackler recovered at the Akron 42. The turnover proved costly for the Zips as the Flashes methodically drove down the field in 11 plays and reached the end zone for the only time on a 3-yard TD run by Durham, tying the game at 7-all.
 
Akron retook the lead with 29 seconds left in the opening half as Stein capped a 15-play, 57-yard drive with a 28-yard field goal to stake the Zips to a 10-7 edge heading to the locker room. The drive also consumed 7:59 from the clock, leaving the Flashes just 29 seconds to work with before intermission.
 
Stein's 27-yard field goal with 14:03 to go in the fourth quarter gave the Zips a 13-7 cushion.
 
After a week off, Akron travels to Massachusetts on Nov. 16 for a 1 p.m. ET contest at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
 
Zips Notebook: In the last two weeks, RB Jawon Chisholm has rushed for 317 yards on 53 carries ... WR Zach D'Orazio, who originally came to Akron as a QB, threw his first-career touchdown pass ... Akron leads the all-time series with Kent State, 30-23-2, and closed the gap in the Wagon Wheel era to 22-20-1 (played since 1946) .. today also was Jim Dennison Day, during which UA's winningest head coach (80-62-2) was honored in a variety of ways ... more than 200 former players and assistant coaches returned to campus to help recognize him.