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

Monday, 01 December 2014 10:38

Deer Gun Season Begins

Deer gun season begins today across Ohio.  John Windau (win-doww) with the division of wildlife says the number of deer that can be "harvested" varies by county with a higher number of kills mainly in counties that include more urban areas.

"If it's higher than what we want the farther it is away from our goal, the more aggressive we're going to be as far as allowing people to take more deer," said John Windau with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.  "The closer it gets to goal, the more restrictive we're going to be."

He says there too many deer in many of the state's more densely populated counties, including Summit, Portage and Stark.  Hunters are allowed to take four deer from each of those counties - areas that aren't as attractive to a lot of hunters as more rural areas where there are typically more deer to hunt.  Still, Windau says there are plenty of men and women wearing "hunter orange" that spend time looking for deer in the greater Akron area.

"I think anywhere you have deer, it's very popular," said Windau.  "People like to get out and they're always looking for locations to hunt."

Windau says hunters that don't wear hunter orange and complaints about hunters on private property are the two biggest problem for state wildlife officials and local police.

Last year, hunters tagged 140 deer in Summit County, 568 in Portage County, 883 in Stark County, 724 in Wayne County and 555 in Medina County.

Rules and Guidelines for deer hunters

Friday, 28 November 2014 09:44

Black Friday In Akron

There was no shortage of Black Friday shoppers in the Akron area but the trend to start Black Friday shopping before Black Friday continues to push the frenzy further into Thanksgiving Day. 

"Walmart at 6:00 (p.m.) was crazy," said a shopper from Tallmadge, who actually shopped at two different Walmart stores.  "We did wait outside for 45 minutes in line.  It was crazy.  Stupid.  They were handing out hand warmers and that was nice."

A Walmart employee told that he heard there were about 2,000 people inside his store just after it opened last evening. 

Gene is a truck driver, who finished his run and wound up it Walmart. 

"I have been in traffic all night, from here to Sidney and back," said Gene. 

He did notice that the outlet stores in Lodi appeared to be a popular destination - at least it looked that way at 1:00 a.m.

"Literally, this parking lot (Walmart) would not hold half the vehicles that were there," said Gene.  It was so full.  It was unbelievable."

Sherry and Michael of the Manchester area had been out about three hours when they talked with at around 2:00 a.m. 

"It was disappointing," said Michael, when asked about the crowds.  "It wasn't what I expected." 

And his shopping companion, Sherry, says the so-called bargains she noticed hardly seemed worth it.

"I could have just gone to sleep and then went shopping next week," said Sherry.

Employees and shoppers say there was a line across the front of Kohl's on Arlington Road before the store opened.  Employees at several stores in southern Summit County and at Summit Mall used words like "crazy" and "madness" to describe what it was like before midnight.  After that, many stores were all but empty but employees anticipated another wave of shoppers during more traditional shopping hours.

Friday, 28 November 2014 07:54

Road Crews Called In

Black Friday shoppers were greeted last night and early this morning with a blast of winter weather, courtesy of Lake Erie.  Lake Effect snow dumped at least a couple of inches in the area and also left untreated areas slippery.

"You're going to find some slushy spots, slick spots, so take it easy," said Joe Toth with Akron Snow and Ice Control.

Toth told at around 6:45 this morning that he expected road conditions to be much better within a few hours.

A lot of the people who plow the snow and spread the salt were called in on Thanksgiving night, shortening what otherwise would have been a four-day weekend.

"Yes, it's a scheduled day off," said Toth.

Nonetheless, road crews were on duty last night and this morning.


Friday, 28 November 2014 05:22

Akron Cop Shoots Suspect

One man is inujred and an Akron cop is on administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting last night. 

Police were called around 10pm to the 200-block of East North Street on word that a man was hitting a woman and threatening to kill her - and also saying that he would shoot police.  An older woman and two small children were also inside the house. 

Police say the man, Earion Feaster, 31, was holding two knives to the woman's throat when they got there and ignored orders several times to drop the knives.  It was then that a 7-and-a-half year veteran officer fired several shots, hitting Feaster in a leg. 

Police have not yet said how many bullets actually hit him. 

Officers applied first aid and Feaster went to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.  He's also charged with felonious assault, felony domestic violence and abduction.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 08:04

Holiday Travel Up This Year

Prepare for busy roads and busy airports.

AAA predicts that 46.3 million Americans are traveling at least 50 miles away from home during this holiday weekend.  That's 4% more than last year and Akron AAA President Brian Thomas says the lowest Thanksgiving weekend gasoline prices since 2009 account for some of the increase.

"In fact, the prices we're seeing - of course, they bounce up and down from day to day - have been at their lowest in almost 1,500 days," said Thomas.

Thomas says increased consumer confidence is another variable that convinces people it's okay to spend the extra money.

While the vast majority of holiday travelers will be on the road, 3.55 million will travel by air.  Akron-Canton Regional Airport Senior Vice President Kristie VanAuken suggests an online check-in before you leave the house and arriving at the airport about two hours before your flight.

"Don't expect to have lots of open seats no matter where it is you're going," said VanAuken.  "All of our flights to Florida, New York, Boston, Atlanta, everythingis chuck full and that makes me really happy but it might make it a little cozy for you on the airplane."

In terms of congestion, road trips are a little more difficult to predict.  Thomas says that while most people all come home Saturday or Sunday, they embark on their trips one, two or more days before the holiday.

VanAuken says it's too early predict whether an anticipated storm along the Atlantic Coast will cause many delays.

"Bring a little extra patience in case there is that storm," said VanAuken.  "It may cause some travel delays."

Thomas is also asking people to conduct a safety check on their vehicles before leaving the house.

Monday, 24 November 2014 11:34

AUDIO Black Friday Already Started

Holiday shoppers will crowd stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday but a marketing professor at The University of Akron doesn't expect to see as many crowds as usual.  It's not that Dr. Deborah Owens predicts fewer shoppers overall or less spending.  Owens says holiday shopping trends are continuing to evolve. 

"Consumers have recognized that Black Friday deals really weren't the deals that they said they were," said Owen.  "Research has showns that many of those deals were available the week before and the week after and maybe it was more hype than reality."

Owens says the growth of online shopping and social media have placed more power into the hands of shoppers and away from retailers.

Owens says the Monday of Thanksgiving week - today - is actually one of the best days to snag bargains online or in person.


Friday, 21 November 2014 12:07

Mom Charged With Murdering Son

A Canton mother has been charged with the murder of her 2-year-old son.

Bond was set at $1 million cash at an initial hearing this morning. 

Katia Williams will enter a plea when the case is transferred to Stark County Common Pleas Court.  Williams is charged with murder and child endangering after her toddler was found unresponsive at a 7th Street NW home on Tuesday afternoon.  Police say Dalil Smith was not breathing when authorities arrived on scene. 

Friday, 21 November 2014 11:57

AUDIO Grieving For Winebrenner

The shooting death of Akron Police Officer Justin Winebrenner has prompted a grieving process that goes beyond Winebrenner's family and close friends.  Rev. Dr. Bob Denton, the executive director of Summit County Safety Forces Chaplaincy Center, says there is a social contract between police and the public that works both ways.

"This is going to be a walk for the community, too," said Denton.  "Our community has some unrest and this happens against that background and that's unfortunate."

Denton was referring to the recent fatal shooting of Raupheal Thomas of Akron by police.

He says friends in the Twinsburg Police Department predicted after the 2008 murder of Officer Josh Miktarian that it would take 5 -10 years for the department to fully bounce back.  Denton has been working with officers who need to talk it through.

"The first thing we started doing was to get the information and start making a story," said Denton.  "The mind is a narrative organ.  It wants to know what happened and it's going to try to explain why."

Denton says it's normal for all of us to have feelings of disbelief, anger, confusion and other emotions that span the stages of grief. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:52

Winebrenner: Flags, Funds and Funeral

All flags flown on public property in the city of Akron should be flown at half-staff on Saturday, the day of Officer Justin Winebrenner's funeral.  That's an order from the Governor Kasich.  The rest of us can follow suit as well.  The city of Akron already has - its flags have been at half-staff and will remain that way until Monday.

The Akron Police Department has set up a benevolent fund to benefit the Winebrenner family.  Donations can be made at aty US Bank location.  Other funds, including one at FIrstMerit Bank, have been set up by friends of Winebrenner to benefit his young daughter.

Listed below is the route for the funeral procession for Officer Winebrenner.  Please encourage those willing to show support to line-up. Also, as an avoidance to those who wish to avoid the affected area. Time frame should be from 11:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. on Saturday November 22, 2014.

Upon conclusion of the funeral services, we will go in procession to Holy Cross Cemetery. The route is as follows:

From the James A. Rhodes Arena, east on Carroll St. to Spicer

North on Spicer St. to E. Buchtel Ave.

West on Buchtel Ave. to S. Union St.

North on Union St. to E. Market St.

West on Market St. to S. High St.

South on High St. - pause in front of the station

Continue south on High St. to S. Main St.

South on S. Main St. to E. Waterloo Rd.

East on Waterloo Rd. to the SECOND gate of Holy Cross

Enter cemetery and proceed to grave site

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:39

Barberton Water Improves

The water in Barberton is getting better. 

The latest test results suggest that levels of a byproduct from a disinfectant are at acceptable levels for the first time in about a year.

"We've always under in the past and it's just been in the last five quarters we've had a problem," said Terry Palmer, the manager at Barberton's water treatment plant. 

He credits use of a different coagulant.  Palmer says the city is also about to start injecting oxygen into a reservoir to help reduce the level of manganese.

"It really doesn't have a health effect but in upper levels it can discolor the water and discolor laundry so we're working to get that level down so we don't have those issues," said Palmer.

Palmer says everything was okay at the treatment plant until they had to start using a different coagulant.  That's when the chemical byproduct emerged as a problem, requiring the use of yet another coagulant.