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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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).
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.