Chris Keppler

Chris Keppler

Chris is the regular news anchor on WQMX's Wynn and Wilson in the Morning and WONE's Tim and Christi in the Morning programs. He first opened a microphone at WZIP-FM at The University of Akron in 1990 but got his first paid radio job delivering weekend news on WZKL-FM & WDPN-AM in Alliance. Chris then moved to WJER AM & FM in Dover where he reported on Tuscarawas County, including stories that made national headlines. Chris has been honored by his peers with first place awards from the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters including Best Reporter, Best Feature Story, and Best Broadcast Writing among others. In addition to his work as a broadcast journalist Chris has also worked in public relations and as an instructor at the University of Akron teaching Broadcast News Writing. Chris enjoys volunteer work, and has served on the boards of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters, Public Relations Society of America (Akron Area Chapter), American Cancer Society Hope Gala Committee and currently serves on the Green Baseball/Softball Federation Board. Contact Chris through the newsroom 330-864-6397 or email at ckeppler@rcrg.net

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 10:27

AUDIO APS Budget: Looks Good

The latest five year budget forecast for Akron Public Schools looks good - no foreseeable problems for the next couple of years.

"Compared to the five-year forecast I was looking at when I first came on the board, this is a dream five-year forecast," said Akron Board of Education President Lisa Mansfield.  "We were looking at almost a $130 million deficit.  We're looking at no deficit in the next five years."

Mansfield says the number is based mainly on projected revenues and the picture will become more clear in January, when expenses can be better analyzed. 

  
There could be problems starting in 2017.  Mansfield says enrollment continues to decline.  Mansfield says the district loses too many students - and the state funding that goes with them - to charter schools and she thinks that's a poor choice for parents to make.

"The unfortunate part is that in the past, they've always had stronger marketing and we've really been working the last couple of years to tell our own good stories," said Mansfield.

Mansfield says she's hoping property values and enrollment both increase between now and 2017.

 

 

Saturday, 25 October 2014 07:18

High School Football: Week 9

Barberton 19, Kenmore 0

East 38, Garfield 32

Ellet 42, Firestone 22

St. Vincent-St. Mary 28, Massillon 20

CVCA 28, Tusky Valley 20

Chardon NDCL 28, Hoban 24

Cleveland Benedictine 26, Walsh Jesuit 7

Nordonia 34, Revere 13

Highland 35, Green 14

Wadsworth 34, Copley 27

Tallmadge 41, Cloverleaf 7

Springfield 20, Norton 14

Triway 54, Manchester 10

Cuyahoga Falls 17, Brush 7

Elyria 22, Stow 21

Field 38, Coventry 21

Woodridge 55, Rootstown 6

Mogadore 63, Waterloo 0

Solon 28, Twinsburg 7

Thursday, 16 October 2014 09:48

AUDIO Ebola: Could It Become Airborne?

The threat of Ebola is unlikely to last long, according to microbiologist Dr. Hazel Barton unless the organism finds new life.  Barton says that, theoretically, Ebola could become an airborne virus.

"We can never predict how organisms evolve and how they're gong to respond to different situations," said Barton. 

Barton says they often adapt for survival.  She says microrganisms essentially regroup because if they kill people, in this case, too quickly, there's no spreading and the organism itself risks dying as well.

"The worry is that if it goes from human to human to human to human, which is what we've seen, it makes those adaptions every time it jumps and the worry is that maybe it gains the ability to jump through the air," said Barton, an associate professor of biology at The University of Akron.  "That changes something that was generally contained and generally doesn't go very far and creates something more like an influenza, where somebody sneezes on a plane and everybody could be infected but that's definitely not the case but we can't predict where it's going to go."

 
Barton says it really is not appropriate to panic over Ebola.  She predicts more people will contract Ebola but not too many.

"I don't think we've seen all the cases," said Barton.  "I think that realistically there's going to be some more but that number may never exceed ten or just even a handful."

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 12:18

AUDIO News Photo Archives Going Online

Akron-Summit County Public Library is working with the Akron Beacon Journal to make it easier to access local history.

Library Special Collections Manager Judy James says the newspaper is making available at least 500,000 archived photographs that will be digitized and uploaded to a website, www.summitmemory.org,  that's already loaded with numerous collections of historical artifacts.

"It's amazing," said James.  "It's a treasure and it's a huge chunk of Akron's history right there in those filing cabinets."

James says it's going to be a lengthy process.

"Our goal is to do 5,000 in the next few months," said James.  "We've already selected somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 but we're still only in the "A" folder so we have a long way to go."

She hopes to have some of the photographs available on the website in the next few weeks.  

James says they'll start with images that tell part of the story of the Akron Beacon Journal, including pictures of the newspaper's building and employees that date back to the 1920's.

 

Monday, 06 October 2014 10:52

AUDIO Tuesday Sale Features Mall

There is something other than the usual run-of-the mill properties listed in Tuesday's Summit County sheriff's sale:  A property that was once one of the busiest places in Akron, Rolling Acres Mall.

The county foreclosed on the property because of unpaid taxes which now total nearly $900,000.  Summit County Executive Russ Pry says he hopes that whoever buys the property will launch a rejuvenation of that part of Akron.

"I think that getting it to sale and getting the property back into some productive use is critical for that whole area and it is a great area there on Romig Road," said Pry.

Romig Road used to be a retail mecca but Pry says he's not looking for it to be like that again.

"Between Wadsworth, Montrose and Belden VIllage areas, there is a saturation of retail, so I think most of the conventional wisdom is that that is not going to come back as a retail use," said Pry.

 
Pry says the county and, based on conversations he had with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, the city of Akron are both ready to work with a new property owner to help create jobs. 

Pry says he thinks that the actual mall will have to be torn down.

Thursday, 02 October 2014 12:41

Council Member's Residency Questioned

An Akron City Council member is defending herself against what she calls a politically-motivated witch hunt. 

City Council President Garry Moneypenny requested on his own an investigation to find out if Tara Mosley-Samples lives in Ward 5, which is the area that she represents.

"This just involves an issue that's been dragging on, dragging along and I'm  just hoping we can get a quick and positive result and get an end to this," said Moneypenny.

It's been brought before the Summit County Board of Elections twice with no negative outcome for Samples. She says the only reason it's "dragging on" is because political opponents keep it going.

"I've been investigated over and over again and the (Summit County) board of elections has said and decided that I am a resident of Ward 5 - have been and am right now," said Mosley-Samples.

Moneypenny says he made the request on his own so other council members weren't involved.  Samples says other council members have been supportive of her. 

Samples says the residency issue was raised by an opponent in last year's primary election after Samples moved in with her aging parents.  She says political opponents from her own party are trying to set her up to lose the next primary.

"One thing I will not be for them is a punching bag and I will not be bullied," said Samples.  "That's clearly what's going on right now.  You have people who are using their position of power to grind an axe with me for their own self benefit."

Moneypenny did not say that be believes the suggestion that Samples lives outside her ward. 

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 12:29

Country Club Toilet Cam

Akron police are looking investigating a complaint from a woman who says someone used a cell phone to secretly record her using a restroom at Portage Country Club. 

The woman reported that she spotted the phone placed on the back of a toilet.  She was able to get a partial description of the guy who did it because the video includes some shots of him setting it up.  Police say the video was about seven minutes long but there are no other videos on the phone. 

The man appeared to be 25 - 30 years old and was wearing a wedding ring and a red shirt with a name tag.  The woman gave the phone to a manager, then called police when she got home.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 12:28

Guns On Bus - Sort Of

It was a little scary for some students on a school bus this morning in Springfield Township when it looked like a 6-year old was carrying not one, but two guns. 

The bus driver, following procedure, called police.  It turns out that the first grader decided to bring a couple of toy cap guns to school.  Police let the child go home with parents and told the parents to handle it there - no charges will be filed, partially due to the child's age, according to Police Captain Ken Ray. 

The school district notified the parents of the other children, some of whom were upset.

Monday, 29 September 2014 12:27

Murder Admission

An Akron man has admitted to killing a woman last year.  Jacob Umana, 38, will be sentenced next month, following a pre-sentence investigation ordered by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Christine Croce.

Stephanie Junius, 44, died of stab wounds from a screwdriver. Her body was found in a shed in the 600-block of Buchtel Avenue just two days before Christmas.  

Umana also pleaded guilty to a repeat violent offender scpecification. 

 

Friday, 26 September 2014 13:04

Barberton Flower Power

Flower Power is the 1960's-related theme for this year's mum festival in Barberton.

Thousands and thousands of the colorful fall plants are on hand around Lake Anna.  Even Festival Chair Lisa McLean doesn't know exactly how many chrysanthemums are on display.

"I quit counting," said McLean.  "I think there are about 20,000 mums, which we say create over a million mum blooms.  We have 21 varieties."

There may even be one variety of chrysanthemum with a familiar name:  Akron.

There is a patented mum named Akron.  It was invented by Cornelius P. VandenBerg of California, who actually invented many others that include the Bronze Comet, Golden Kent, Yellow Fina and the White Coricia.  The Akron is described in a 1995 patent document as one that has daisy-like flowers that are red-purple in color. 

McLean says they're selling Igloo mums for the first time this year.  There is also an expanded children's area added to all of the regular events and attractions at the festival.

The festival runs 10:00 A.M. through 6:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is free.