Mike Ward is the afternoon anchor/reporter for 1590 WAKR. He 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 WAKR since 2009. You can reach Mike through the newsroom at 330-864-6397, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A former Canton mayor and Stark County Commissioner has passed away.
The Canton Repository reports that Richard D. Watkins died at the age of 84.
Watkins spent 32 years in local government in Stark County, first as a Canton City councilman from 1970 to 1981. He became a Stark County commissioner in 1988 and Canton's mayor in 1992.
He is survived by his wife and four children.
On the Web: Canton Repository, http://www.cantonrep.com/
Superman could stop a speeding locomotive, and apparently, so could an 11 year-old boy in Canton, though not with his strength.
Canton police say the boy was on the Norfolk Southern train tracks at Maryland Avenue Southwest last month.
The train's conductor saw the kid putting rocks on the track and stopped, but the 11 year-old started throwing rocks at the train when it got close.
The boy then threw rocks at the conductor when he got off the train, striking him in the face.
Canton PD officers were nearby, and recognized the 11 year-old...they arrested him for the assault and interference with a train.
It's no small feat stopping that speeding locomotive...it could weigh as much as 240 tons.
On the Web: Canton Police Department (Facebook), https://www.facebook.com/CantonPD
LeBron James is back home with the Cavaliers, and at his Bath Township mansion.
It turns out he doesn't need the plush palace he lived in while playing for the Miami Heat.
South Florida Business Journal reports that LeBron's selling his waterfront estate in the Coconut Grove section of Miami...and if you want to live there in South Beach, the asking price is $17 million.
That nearly 17,000 square foot house has six bedrooms, eight and a half bathrooms and also has two places to dock 60-foot yachts.
There's a chef's kitchen, a wine cellar, custom theater, a generator, a guest home and a rooftop sun deck.
LeBron bought the place in 2010 for $9 million.
On the Web: South Florida Business Journal, bizjournals.com/southflorida
Here are scores from area high school football action, October 3:
Kenmore 26, Firestone 20
St. Vincent-St. Mary 28, Glenoak 20
Walsh Jesuit 35, Hoban 14
Nordonia 52, Green 0
Wadsworth 35, Cloverleaf 0
Hudson 38, Stow 7
Mogadore 35, Streetsboro 7
Barberton 42, North 36
Highland 28, Copley 7
Canton McKinley 36, Jackson 24
Manchester 42, Canton Timken 18
Crestwood 34, Coventry 32
Ravenna 27, Norton 12
Lake 10, North Canton Hoover 6
Indian Valley 28, CVCA 6
The city of Akron is being sued by 11 homeless residents over how the city handled homeless encampments.
Northeast Ohio Media Group reports that current and former law school students of Case Western Reserve University filed the federal class-action suit on behalf of the homeless residents.
It charges Akron police seized their property without notice, or without a chance to contend the seizures. The lawsuit claims the city took and destroyed property, including tents, food, clothing, military discharge papers and other documents.
The suit names Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Akron police chief James Nice, service director John Moore, police Sgt. Douglas Candor and Customer Service director John Eaton.
City officials say Akron hasn't been served with the lawsuit and haven't yet reviewed it.
On the Web: Northeast Ohio Media Group, www.cleveland.com
A young Tallmadge man has been arrested, charged with selling drugs to underage youth.
Tallmadge police say they arrested 18 year-old Adam Kuhar after complaints that he was selling drugs to juveniles. Police they got a search warrant after they were told by the U.S. Postal Service of a suspicious package sent to his home on Vandalia drive.
Police say a search warrant uncovered not only those two pounds of marijuana, but also a baggie with psilocybin mushrooms and some cash at the home.
(Picture courtesy: Tallmadge Police Department)
Kuhar faces felony charges of marijuana trafficking and marijuana possession. He's in the Summit County Jail.
An Akron middle school was secured for about 45 minutes Friday afternoon as Akron police looked for a suspect nearby.
Roswell Kent Middle School was closed to outside entry at just before 2 this afternoon. The all-clear was sounded at 2:40 PM.
While police were looking for a suspect, no one was allowed inside the locked doors at Roswell Kent.
It's the latest incident of police activity near an Akron school.
Stark County narcotics officers say they found a marijuana grow operation in the North Lawrence area.
Thursday afternoon, the Stark County Sheriff's Office Metro Narcotics Unit found 13 and a half pounds of marijuana packaged for sale and distribution inside a home on Hillman Northwest in Tuscarawas Township.
Agents then went behind the home, and found 54 pot plants ready to be harvested.
The total street value of the marijuana is estimated at 67-thousand-500-dollars.
The case is still under investigation.
Ashes found in a vial on a local park trail have been returned to the woman who had them.
Someone on the Towpath Trail found the vial with ashes and a picture of an elderly man, and returned it to Summit Metro Parks.
After the park system posted a picture of it on social media, then distributed that picture to the media, Sandy Brown recognized it as the vial with her own father's ashes.
"She said, 'oh, my gosh, that's Dad!," Metro Parks spokesperson Nate Eppink tells WAKR. "She misplaced the container after a brief visit to the Towpath Trail last week. And she thought it was in still in her car, she didn't even know that it was missing."
Eppink says ranger Kelly Brown - who is no relation to Sandy Brown - wanted to do something about it when the ashes were returned to Metro Parks.
"We knew this meant something to somebody," Eppink says, "and ranger Brown didn't want this to just sit in lost and found and go unclaimed."
And now, Sandy Brown has been reunited with the ashes of her father, Thomas.
A natural gas leak that had forced the evacuation of a Stark County campground has been shut off.
Dominion East Ohio gas crews got to the line and fixed it at 4:09 PM Thursday afternoon, spokesperson Neil Durbin tells WAKR.
The leak was found Wednesday night at Springwood Lake Campgrounds south of Canton, and over 100 people at the campgrounds and trailer park were evacuated the next morning.
Firefighters from a number of area departments were on hand as crews had to dig 10 to 15 feet down to get to the leak.
(Previous coverage) Crews trying to fix a natural gas and oil leak in Stark County have firefighters at the ready - just in case.
NewsChannel 5 reports that the leak is at Springwood Lake Campgrounds south of Canton, and about 100 people at the campgrounds and trailer park were evacuated this morning.
Cerws are digging at the site working to repair the leak, which has bubbled oil to the ground - oil that Dominion East Ohio says is small and a byproduct of gas transportation.
The natural gas pipeline there is the primary gas supply to the Dover/New Philadelphia area.
The leak has affected nearby drinking wells on the campground site.
On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com