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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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."