Mike Ward

Mike Ward

Mike Ward has been a radio news reporter and anchor for over 20 years, for a variety of stations in Ohio, Virginia, and California. For seven years, he was a news reporter and anchor for Sacramento's top-rated news/talk station, KFBK, and was also news director for WFIR in Roanoke, Virginia.  He's also been heard on Cleveland stations. Mike has a special interest in technology, and was a regular on the nationally syndicated radio show "On Computers with Gina Smith". Despite his out-of-area experience, Mike is an Akron native. He was born at Akron City Hospital, and grew up in Cuyahoga Falls. He's been with AkronNewsNow since 2009. You can  reach Mike through the newsroom at 330-864-6397, or by email mward@rcrg.net.

There's a lot more competition this year to get money to help with neighborhood projects in Akron.

Akron City Council member at large Jeff Fusco says there's a lot of interest among community groups.

But he says the money applied for is more than the program's budget can handle.

"For this year, we received 83 applications for funding equaling $467,000, almost a half-million dollars," Fusco tells AkronNewsNow.com. "Unfortunately, we only have $225,000 budgeted."

Fusco says the competitive nature of the applications shows the need for such services in Akron.

The city program funds such projects as neighborhood beautification, after school mentoring programs for children, and community festivals.

Fusco says since the program started in 1997, over 500 projects have been funded with about $2.6 million.

Monday, 21 April 2014 00:00

Kenmore Brawlers To Face The Music

Those students arrested in the Kenmore High School brawl a week ago this past Friday will have a lot more than classes to deal with this week.But Akron Public Schools spokesman Mark Williamson says there will be much more than lesson plans on their plate.

"When these kids come back to school, they will face at some point in time - most likely this week, and probably sooner in the week rather than later," Williamson tells AkronNewsNow.com, "a meeting with the principal, and eventually, a disciplinary hearing."A dozen students were arrested as dozens of police officers quelled a fight on the Kenmore campus on April 11th.Williamson says five students weren't arrested, but could be disciplined as well.

"There were other students who were involved in that incident in some way," Williamson says. "Not enough to be put in the paddy wagon, but enough to face some sort of discipline."

Williamson says the due process of student discipline takes time.

"And you can't just go in and just start dismissing people without cause," Williamson says. "You've got to investigate, and they have to have their time to speak their side, and what's what the hearing is for."Students are coming back this week after a week of spring break.

Sunday, 20 April 2014 00:00

UPDATE Missing Falls Woman Found Safe

A missing Cuyahoga Falls woman has been found safe.

Akron police found 20 year-old Karen Lloyd Monday at an address in the city, after receiving information that she might be there.

Cuyahoga Falls police say Lloyd was brought back to the group home where she was last seen Thursday morning.

----

(Original ANN story) Cuyahoga Falls police are asking for your help finding a woman who's been missing since Thursday.

20 year-old Karen Lloyd has been missing from a group home on 2nd Street in the Falls since Thursday morning.

Police say Lloyd suffers from schizophrenic disorder and is prone to seizures.

Anyone with information is being asked to call Cuyahoga Falls police.

-------

(Cuyahoga Falls Police - news release) The Cuyahoga Falls Police Department is requesting the help from the public in locating 20 year old KAREN A. LLOYD. KAREN LLOYD has been missing from the Maggie Smith Group Home located at 1770 2nd St in Cuyahoga Falls since approximately 10:00am on Thursday 4/17/2014. KAREN LLOYD suffers from schizoaffective disorder and is prone to seizures. KAREN LLOYD is described as a 20 year old white female 5'3" 180 lbs. Anyone with knowledge of KAREN LLOYD'S whereabouts are urged to contact the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department at 330-928-2181.

Sunday, 20 April 2014 00:00

Crash Kills Akron Man

A traffic crash Saturday evening in Akron has claimed the life of an Akron man.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's office says 36 year-old Tyraye Varner of Fess Avenue in Akron died after he drove into another vehicle.

The office says Varner was traveling west on West Exchange Street at about 6 PM Saturday, when he struck another vehicle at Dart.

Varner was taken to Akron General Medical Center, not far from the crash scene, where he was pronounced dead at 6:27 PM on Saturday.

The Medical Examiner's Office and Akron police are investigating the crash. There's no word of other injuries at this time.

The former coach of the St. Vincent-St. Mary girls basketball team is returning home.

The Mansfield News-Journal reports that Joe Jakubick, who led the Fighting Irish girls team to the state Final Four this past season, will take over as coach of the St. Peter's boys basketball program in Mansfield.

Jakubick played on that school's junior varsity championship team in 1978, and then transferred to another area team.

He stepped down at St. Vincent-St. Mary on Thursday after 10 seasons.

-----

On the Web: Mansfield News-Journal, www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com

Saturday, 19 April 2014 00:00

Canton Apartment Fire Sends Two To Hospital

Firefighters in Canton are looking into the cause of an apartment fire on Saturday morning that forced at least three people .

NewsChannel 5 reports that at least two people had to be transported to the hospital from the fire at a three-story brick apartment building on 25th Street Northwest near Market, and one person was rescued.

Firefighters made quick work of knocking down the blaze. Most of it was out in about 20 minutes.

The American Red Cross stepped in to help those displaced from the fire.

-----

On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com

Friday, 18 April 2014 00:00

Watch Out For Fake Utility Employees

Akron police say be on the lookout for fake water department employees. They could be after your cash and valuables.

-----

(Akron Police Department - news release) The Akron Police Department is warning residents to watch for scam artists posing as fake water department employees.

The Akron Police Department is investigating a theft from a resident that occurred in the 1000 block of Hampton Ridge Road in which an imposter was allowed into the residence.

The victim reported an individual knocked on her door and identified himself as a water department employee. The victim was advised by the alleged utility worker of possible problems with her underground water pipes. Once invited in, the alleged utility worker escorted the resident around the condo checking various utility faucets and appliances. While preoccupying the victim, another suspect entered the residence and removed cash and valuables.

The Akron Police Department advises, the Akron Water Department are not responsible for fixing problems or testing inside the residence and rarely have a reason to ask for entry.

Legitimate utility workers will have proper identification, be willing to show it and provide a supervisor's phone number of the agency for verification.

Akron residents are advised that if anyone claiming to be a water department employee comes to their residence without an appointment, they should refuse entry and immediately call the Akron Police Department at (330) 375-2181.

Friday, 18 April 2014 00:00

Woman: Bird Bone Found In Spinach Bag

Bird bones are not supposed to be in bagged spinach, but a local woman says that's just what she found.

The Beacon Journal reports that Rose Carducci bought the spinach bag from Buehler's in Wadsworth, took it home and found what she says appears to be a bird's foot.

Carducci says Buehler's handled the situation right, offering a refund and an apology. But she's not happy with the response from Dole. She made her story public Friday when she says she didn't get her questions answered by the company.

A Dole spokesman tells the Beacon that the company apologized to Carducci. Dole says it will investigate the finding, and says no other problems have been found in that batch.

In the meantime, Carducci tells the paper that she's swearing off bagged spinach...opting for loose spinach sold in the store instead.

---

On the Web: Akron Beacon Journal, www.ohio.com

 

You might see an occasional panhandler at the corner of West Market and Hawkins in the Wallhaven area of Akron.

But have you seen "Disco Jesus"?

Dax Police - yes, he says that's his birth name - has been dressing up as "Disco Jesus" for over 8 years...wearing a sequined white gown, a "crown of thorns" made up of some cable and small disco lights, and holding a big wooden cross.

He danced around to the delight of onlookers at Wallhaven's main intersection on Friday afternoon.

Dax says he usually dresses the part at parties. But, why dance at a busy Akron intersection on Good Friday?

"To raise awareness, and bring people to the remembrance that they don't have to take Jesus serious," Dax tells AkronNewsNow.com between dances. "Jesus didn't take everybody serious. He loved everybody."

Dax says his turn as "Disco Jesus" got all positive responses on Good Friday, with heavier than normal traffic earlier due to people getting off work early.

"I've had not one person out here say something bad to me about what I'm doing, calling me blasphemous, or things like that," Dax says, "which is always a concern when you're dressed like Jesus."

Instead, Dax in costume as "Disco Jesus" prompted a lot of picture taking, along with a lot of honking, when we visited him about a half hour after he started.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:00

Spring Break Blizzard Bags

You'd think that making up school lessons would be the last thing on a high school student's mind the first day of Spring Break.
 
That assumption might be wrong.
 
Monday, Akron Public Schools high school students began the so-called "blizzard lessons". That's where they go online to make up lessons missed due to the APS' extra days off due to winter weather this year.
 
Assistant Superintendent Ellen McWilliams says the actual first day numbers aren't available yet. But she says that the district saw more student activity Monday than expected...and saw it early.
 
"We know a lot of students were logging on and completing the lessons," McWilliams tells AkronNewsNow.com. "We were surprised at how many were accessing it on the first day of spring break...in the morning!"
 
McWilliams says students accessing the lessons so far haven't needed a lot of help. They had a week getting used to the online system before the lesson plan begun.
 
"We're excited that the directions were working, and the students were able to go in and be successful in completing, at least starting the completion of the lessons," McWilliams says.
 
After high school students complete the lessons, middle school and elementary students will have their own windows.
 
The "blizzard bag" option is as a result of a new state law this year, prompted by extra days of classes being cancelled due to winter weather.