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 email@example.com
Copley-Fairlawn High School had to close early today. District Business Manager Steve Robinson says a water main break on Cleveland-Massillon Road prompted the closing this morning at 9:30.
Robinson says only about half the students were there at the time ... juniors and seniors were to report late due to Ohio Graduation Tests being administered to 9th and 10th graders.
The University of Akron men's basketball team is standing behind Alex Abreu as the point guard fights drug charges, including trafficking.
"You know, he didn't kill anybody and he didn't rape anybody," said Head Coach Keith Dambrot. "He made a very poor decision and, hopefully, he can come back from that. That's something we're going to work very hard on."
Abreu, 21, and Austin Durgala, 18, were arrested Thursday on drug charges, after police found both men at Durgala's residence along with more than five pounds of marijuana. Dambrot suggests that fans and others not rush to judgment.
"He's a guy that's never been arrested," said Dambrot. "Obviously, young people make mistakes and make some bad decisions and wrong place, wrong time."
Dambrot was a guest on the 1590 WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show Monday morning:
Abreu, who is to referred by Dambrot as "a son," entered not guilty pleas Friday in Akron Municipal Court and was released from the Summit County Jail after posting $5,000 bond.
"It's our absolute obligation to stand by guys in good and in bad - that's a family member, so we're going to do everything we can to make sure we take care of him and his family."
Two people are in custody and an 8-year old is with Summit County Children's Services following a meth lab bust in Stow.
Police say they stopped by the Burton Drive residence based on a tip that people there might be using drugs.
Police smelled the chemicals and found two people hiding in the basement, where there was a one-pot meth lab. Sarah Bimshas, 26, and Joseph Papp, 34, both face several drug-related charges.
A recent press release from the city of Akron that discusses the possible future of the Mayflower Manor hotel suggests to some that the building is unsafe.
Check out the headline: "Mayor to Secure Safe Housing for Akron's Most Vulnerable"
And the subheadline: "Building Needs Total Renovation; Unsafe for Residents"
In fact, some form of the word "safe" is used 7 times in the release ( "...provide new, safe and secure housing ... ", " ... found enough safe and secure units ..."). In all fairness, some of the references were directly linked to the renovations, with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic saying that residents would have to move out before major renovations could begin - for their own health and safety.
The building is safe, according the current owner and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"For the people that live there currently, the building is safe," said Howard Chapman, attorney for the company that manages the building. "It received an extremely high, the highest, rating from its most recent federal inspection."
The building was given a 96 out of 100 in its most recent HUD inspection, which took place in October. Problems were pointed out in the report, but none that suggest the building, overall, isn't safe. However, issues of safety are not the same as issues that could indicate a need to renovate. There are some missing ceiling tiles and a broken refrigerator in a common area and several units have damaged appliances, some water stains or broken locks.
The city's press release and a subsequent interview with Communications Director Stephanie York make it sound more necessary that what Chapman seems to indicate.
As for needing "total renovation," that depends on the building's use. Right now, according Chapman, the renovations sounds less immediate. He says the heating, venting and air conditioning are all in working order, but he fully expects major systems to need replaced, but the 200+ unit low-income housing that includes many disabled or elderly people, seems fine right now.
"It is in very poor condition, so the city is applying for a HUD 108 loan and they would like to purchase and help a private developer rehabilitate the building," said York. "It really needs to be gutted and rehabilitated from the ground up."
York says it's all about prevention, suggesting the building would be non-functional in the next decade or two if something isn't done now to save it. York says the current owner has only put temporary fixes on some of the major problems and wants to get rid of it. She says if there were an extensive power outage, the age of the electrical system could prevent prompt service restoration in a building full of people who can't afford to rent hotel rooms. Many may not have families to take them in.
"The residents at the building are extremely happy with living there and with the management," said Chapman.
If the building is safe, possibly not in immediate need of total renovation and the people who live there happy, why is the city involved? AkronNewsNow asked Chapman: Who came to the table first? Was there a desire to sell or whether that desire only derived from a possible offer from the city of Akron?
"Currently, there is no contact to sell the building," said Chapman. "The city of Akron and the mayor are looking at proposals for helping the downtown in Akron and the city is not the one that would be putting up money to buy the building. The city is looking for developers and for federal money to come in and to rehab the building and make its use fit into the city of Akron's downtown."
How could the building fit into the city of Akron's downtown? City officials say "the market will dictate" the Mayflower Manor's future.
"If it comes to be that the person that renovates this and wants to make it a low income housing unit or for the elderly or for the disabled or for market rate apartments or for student housing - whatever they want to make it, if they're going to renovate it and they think it's going to work, we will be supportive," said York.
Both sides emphasize that any deal with Akron is contingent on a federal loan approval.
The possible relocation of dozens of disadvantaged people who live at Mayflower Manor in downtown Akron could cause more problems than just adapting to a new residence. That's according to Rose Juriga, executive director of the Tri-County Independent Living center, who was reacting to an announcement that the Mayflower residents might be forced to move.
"The farther away that they are removed from the nucleus of the city, the farther away that puts them from vital transportation and social services as well as their support systems," said Juriga.
There's no guarantee that a move will be necessary, but city of Akron officials did disclose that they would like to find someone who would be willing to take over the old building and renovate it. If that happens, the people who live there now, many of whom were placed by Juriga's agency, would be fanned out to at least three public housing developments. The whole thing is dependent on several factors, including the city's ability to obtain a federal loan.
Juriga says the other thing that's bothersome to her staff and the people who utilize their services is that the deal would not result in a net gain of low income housing. There has been a supply-demand problem on that front for years.
"I can only conclude that this is going to just further add to the overall housing units that the city has lost over the last ten-plus years," said Juriga.
Mayor Don Plusquellic says the "market will determine" how the building is used in the future and if it even changes hands at all.
There's an opening on the Akron Board of Education with the resignation of Ginger Baylor. The 3-year school board member is leaving the position as she accepts a job with U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (D-11).
"It has been my pleasure and privilege being elected to serve as an Akron School Board member. I am grateful for having the opportunity to serve with such insightful and caring board members and administrators," said Baylor in a press release.
Other board members and Superintendent David James say Baylor was an asset who will be missed.
The remaining board members will waste no time finding a replacement. People who are interested have to apply by March 14. Interviews will take place four days later and the new board member is expected to be introduced at the board's meeting March 25.
Police in Stow are investigating a double-shooting that occurred around 6:30 P.M. inside a house on Osage Street.
Detectives say Jason Hoy, 20, suffered a non life threatening gunshot wound in the lower part of his body. He was taken to the hospital, where he was interviewed by police. At about the same time, police got word that another person, Andrew Brown, 21, arrived at the hospital by private vehicle after being shot in the leg. The victims say they were inside the house when three other men came inside and one of them stated shooting.
Police say they found shell casings, some marijuana, scales and other drug paraphernalia.
The economic impact of fracking is being felt in the jewelry industry.
Yes, fracking - or hydraulic fracturing. We're seeing more of the controversial practice in Ohio, but it's old news in Pennsylvania, where a jewelry store owner says sales jumped 20% when drillers started coming to town for temporary work.
"Drillers came in and they wanted everything from the drill bits, frack pumps, frack trucks, everything to do with the gas industry," said Gary Wilcox, owner of C&G Wilcox in Towanda, PA.
He says fracking memorabilia can cost thousands of dollars.
Listen to the full report by Rachel Lundberg with The News Outlet:
The NewsOutlet is a partnership among Youngstown State University, The University of Akron, Kent State University, Rubber City Radio Group, WYSU, Akron Beacon Journal and the Vindicator.
The Ohio Education Association is weighing in on school violence prevention.
"We strongly believe that there must be a comprehensive approach for communities and for educators and all the stakeholders to come together for expanding and improving the safety of their communities and the safety of their schools," said OEA President Pat Frost-Brooks.
Frost-Brooks admits that most plans are contingent on funding, but recommends that funding should not be limited to training for teachers and administrators. She says bus drivers, secretaries and cafeteria workers are often the first ones who might notice problems, such as bullying, that could lead to violence in a school.
"They, too, need to have the training for bullying prevention for our students so they can reach out in a confidential way," said Frost-Brooks.
The statewide teachers' union is urging Congress to take action, but Frost-Brooks says they're looking beyond gun control, lobbying federal lawmakers to find money for anti-bullying programs as well as access to mental health facilities.
The emotions associated with the deadly domestic violence attack in Twinsburg are beyond anything most of us can imagine. A dispatcher heard a 10-year old girl frantically begging for help as she said, " ... my dad is murdering my mom." Cops and paramedics walked into the bloody scene and tried unsuccessfully to save Tami Wong, 46, who had been stabbed multiple times. And then there are the kids, themselves.
Twinsburg Police Chief Chris Noga says he heard indirectly from the relatives currently caring for the 10-year old girl and 8-year old boy.
"They're still trying to come to grips, in terms of being without parents and I think it's going to take them a long, long time to do that," said Noga.
While everyone has the innocent children in mind, it is not unreasonable to consider some of the adults in the mix that also had to deal with a sad situation.
It goes across the board to the officers who respond to a call like that," said Noga. "Fortunately, this is not an everyday occurence in Twinsburg and we have dealt with calls like this before, but that doesn't mean it's any easier on safety forces personnel."
Noga says counseling services are available to first responders, including dispatchers, through Safety Forces Chaplaincy in Akron.
"There are certain segments of society that believes, 'Well, that's part of your job, just deal with it,' but we're human beings at our core," said Noga.
Glenn Wong, 50, is being held at the Summit County Jail.
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