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

Monday, 04 August 2014 07:48

Two Killed In Medina County Crashes

One teenager is dead and two others were seriously injured, along the driver of another vehicle, following a head-on crash in Montville Township.  It happened Sunday night on River Styx Road and police are still trying to determine which driver was at fault, according to NewsChannel 5.  

The three teenage occupants of one vehicle and the driver of an SUV were all taken to trauma units.  Three people survived.  Identities have not been released.  

The other crash involved only a motorcycle.  State troopers at the Medina Patrol Post say Michael Chuss, Jr., 44, of Medina was pronounced dead at the scene after he lost control of his motorcycle on State Route 3.  The bike hit a guardrail and threw off Chuss, who was not wearing a helmet.

Both crashes remain under investigation.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 12:44

AUDIO OSU Band Scandal Is Good Reminder

Disputed revelations about sexual harassment in the Ohio State University Marching Band make it a good time to review codes of conduct for students, faculty and staff at all universities.  That's according to University of Akron Dean of Students Denine Rocco.  She says most universities, including The University of Akron, do their best to make sure everybody understands all the rules and meet routinely to make sure.

"We meet with athletic coaches, with advisors of student organizations," said Rocco.  "We talk about our code of student conduct and we talk about their responsibilities not only under the code of conduct but the law."

Band members at Ohio State University seem divided over whether the director did anything wrong or should have been fired.  Rocco says it can be a tough call for people who have to make such a decision when a small number of students has a complaint.

"When students have differing opinions you have to focus on what is happening and how it impacts the campus culture or perhaps the organization's culture, specifically, and sometimes that's really hard to meter out and differentiate," said Rocco.

Rocco says illegal or immoral conduct often goes unnoticed to administrators unless someone bothers to tell them since most organizations are operated mainly by students but she says that universities typically take even one complaint seriously.

 

Monday, 28 July 2014 11:59

New Jobs In Twinsburg

Twinsburg officials are working out the details of a plan that is expected to bring new jobs to the city. 

Mayor Katherine Procop says FedEx wants to build a large warehouse that would employee about 50 full time people, plus 200 part time positions and drivers.  Some details are still being worked out in the city's planning commission but Procop is confident it's going to happen.

"We have some traffic issues that we're working on for ingress and egress of the site but I certainly believe that those will be solve and we should be ready to go by the end of the summer, hopefully," said Procop.

If everything goes as planned, FedEx would take a 40-acre section of the land once occupied by Chrysler.  The automaker's stamping plant employed about 4,000 people at one time, and the remaining 1,200 jobs vanished a few years ago.  The site is now known as Cornerstone Business Park. 

It's been challenging to attract jobs, let alone 1,200 to replace the ones lost in Twinsburg but Procop says the business park will eventually be home to that many jobs again.

"I think it's very realistic," said Procop.

Procop says there have been numerous inquiries about Cornerstone Business Park.  

Friday, 25 July 2014 11:49

Cemetery Thieves Are Sentenced

The men responsible for stealing headstone vases at an area cemetery will have some time to think about what they did. 

Gregory Wade, 47, of Mogadore will spend 18 months in prison.  He'll really be behind bars for two years because Wade first has to serve a six month sentence for an related drug charge before this one begins. Daniel Parr, 30, of Springfield Township was sentenced to 90 days house arrest and two years probation.

Both entered guilty pleas to a count of receiving stolen property for stealing up to 60 vases from grave markers at Hillside Memorial Park in Springfield Township.

Friday, 25 July 2014 11:24

Counterfeit Money Hits North Canton

North Canton police say a couple of guys are passing phony $50 bills at several businesses. 

Police say the two men break the fake money to pay for small amounts of merchandise, then walk away with real money in their pockets.  The scheme has worked over the last few days at Marc's, Walgreen's, Disount Drug Mart, Lucky Star Restaurant and Smokers Outlet, all in North Canton. 

Police are working the Secret Service to catch the counterfeiters. The suspect descriptions below were provided by the North Canton Police Department:

 

#1 – White male / late 30’s early 40’s / medium build / with tattoos on both arms / right forearm has a
flaming skull tattoo.
#2 – White male / wearing a ball cap, blue t-shirt, dark colored shorts, white socks and sandals w/a small
child, 5 – 6 years old accompanying him.

Marcs 2editmarcs 4edit

Thursday, 24 July 2014 12:05

GMA Anchor To Christen Wingfoot One

Goodyear is planning a high profile christening for its newest airship.

Good Morning America's Robin Roberts will do the honors next month at Wingfoot Lake in Suffield.  

It's not just random star power the company was looking for - Roberts comes with a little Goodyear history.  Her  great grandfather moved his family to Akron in 1918 so he could work at Goodyear.  Her grandfather also worked for the tiremaker and Roberts' mom is a graduate of East High School.  

Roberts is not the first accomplished woman to christen a Goodyear blimp.  Amelia Earhart and astronaut Sally Ride were each given the honor.

The ceremony will be held August 23.  Goodyear says some free tickets will be available to the public through Facebook (Goodyear Blimp) and Twitter (@goodyearblimp).

Thursday, 24 July 2014 11:51

Poll Worker Training Mandated

Every poll worker in the state has to be trained before the general election this fall.  That's an order from Secretary of State Jon Husted.  Training is usually mandtory only for new poll workers and once every three years for returning ones.  Summit County Board of Elections Director Joe Masich says there is a lot to learn, especially since some of the procedures change more frequently than the training.

"We do have a comprehensive training progr4am that we use with a very comprehensive manual that incorporates the secretary of state's manual as well as the one that we prepare," said Masich.  "We do our best but these people only work once or twice or maybe three times per year."

Masich says it's not uncommon for a mandatory training directive to be issued prior to gubernatorial and presidential elections but that does not mean that other elections are less important.

"They're all very important but voter turnout is always much higher in both the presidential and gubernatorial elections, so if there's going to be chaos it's going to be when there are lines at the polls."

Summit County uses about 1,600 poll workers for general elections.  Husted's office is setting aside $760,000 to help local boards of elections pay for the training.

The Summit County Board of Elections is looking for more people to work on election day.  By the way, they're now called "precinct election officials" rather than "poll workers."

Thursday, 24 July 2014 11:44

Wayne County Man Charged In 1995 Murder

A Dalton man is being held without bond in the Wayne County Jail after being charged with the 1995 murder of his wife in Massachusetts. 

According to Fox 25 News, investigators believe that in 70 year old Robert Honsch killed his wife, Marcia, 53, and daughter, Elizabeth, 16, then started a new life in Ohio.  He goes by Robert Tyree and has a new wife and children. 

It was a tough case for police to solve because the bodies, found a month apart in separate locations were never identified until last month.  Honsch - or Tyree - has not been charged with the death of his daughter. 

A Wayne County judge will hold an extradition hearing to determine if Honsch should be sent to Massachusetts to face murder and possible additional charges.

Police are also trying to determine if there is a link between Honsch and the remains of three other women found in New Britain, Connecticut, where 16-year old Elizabeth Honsch's body was found.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:51

UPDATE Supreme Court Says No To Prade

Updated at 12:45 P.M.  

Former Akron Police Captain Doug Prade could once again find himself behind bars.  The latest entry in a lengthy and complex case that stems from the 1998 murder of Prade's estranged wife, Dr. Margo Prade, comes from the Ohio Supreme Court.  The court has declined to hear Prade's latest appeal request and overruled his request for a stay of execution.  Those issues are directly tied to his immediate freedom.  The results of updated DNA testing prompted now-retired Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Judy Hunter to declare Prade innocent and order that he be released from prison.  

An opinion from the 9th District Court of Appeals stated that Prade should not be considered innocent and accused Hunter of abusing her discretion.  Hunter's opinion also stated that Prade should be awarded a new trial if her exoneration does not stand.  The state appealed the idea of Prade being tried again and wants him back in prison until it's decided.  Prade took that portion of the case to the Ohio Supreme Court, which ordered a temporary stay until the justices could decide any further action.  The stay allowed Prade to remain free but that stay has now been lifted.

The issue of freedom vs. incarceration now bounces to the courtroom of Hunter's successor, Judge Christine Croce, who has called for Prade and his lawyer to show up in person for a hearing Friday afternoon.

"The state will request that he be incarcerated," said Summit County Assistant Prosecutor Brad Gessner.

Gessner says everyone is still waiting for an opinion from the 9th District Court of Appeals that will provide guidance on whether Prade gets a new trial.

"So, we're saying to the court of appeals, 'was Judge Hunter right,' which we don't believe she was and/or was her ruling even something valid at that point," said Gessner.

A retested bite mark on Dr. Prade's lab coat when she was murdered produced DNA results that ruled out Doug Prade.  Prosecutors contend that the retested material only represents a portion of the evidence used to convict Prade.  Prade has declared innocence from the start.

Mark Godsey of the Ohio Innocence Project issued the following statement on the Ohio Supreme Court decision. 

" We are disappointed in today's ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court, but will continue to fight with vigilance to clear Mr. Prade from a crime he did not commit. He is now entitled to a new trial, and we are confident he will be vindicated."

--------------

10:51 A.M. Editor's note:  The information below was derived from a document issued by the Summit County Prosecutor's Office earlier this year; however, further explanation from the prosecutor's office (above) brings more clarity.

The Ohio Supreme Court says it will not hear an appeal requested by former Akron Police Captain Doug Prade, convicted and exonerated for murdering his estranged wife, Dr. Margo Prade. 

According to the Summit County Prosecutor's Office, the refusal means that Prade is now considered convicted, once again.  However, jurisdiction returns to Summit County Common Pleas Court.   Judge Christine Croce will decide if Prade gets a new trial. Croce has scheduled a hearing Friday afternoon and expects Prade to be there with his attorney.

The case has gone through other appeals.  In fact, that's how Prade got to his present status.  Court rulings allows that certain items known to contain DNA be retested under more advanced methods than those that were available when Prade was on trial in 1999.  One piece of evidence - a bite mark found on the lab coat worn by Dr. Margo Prade when she was murdred - was found to belong to male but Doug Prade was excluded.  That was enough for now-retired Judge Judy Hunter to dismiss the case against Prade and set him free after spending about 15 years in prison.  He was back behind bars for a brief period then set free again as he waiting for a ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court.  

 

Monday, 21 July 2014 12:02

Menard's Deal On Agenda Tonight

A Cuyahoga Falls City Council committee is expected to discuss a deal tonight that could result in Menard's home improvement stores setting up shop in the city. 

This is the third attempt for Menard's and the city to work out a deal but Mayor Don Walters says he thinks this one will stick.  If everything goes through, Menard's will essentially replace Giant Eagle on Graham Road.

"It's kind of a strange deal but it seems that all of the parties are happy with it," said Walters.

Giant Eagle is leaving its current location to become an anchor in the Portage Crossing development.  Walters says city council is being asked to subsidize the purchase of 10 acres of land behind the grocery store, including a pond that would be used for recreation. 

The land costs $2 million.  Menard's would pay $1.4 million, leaving the city to pay the difference.  Walters says $275,000 of the remaining $600,000 would come from a grant.