Mike Ward

Mike Ward

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 mward@rcrg.net.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced a working group that'll review peace officer training in Ohio.

DeWine says "improving trust between police and communities" is vital to community safety in Ohio.

Among the 16 members of the working group are two people from the Akron area: Bishop Joey Johnson of Akron's House of the Lord Church, and Copley police officer Sarah Shendy.

The group will present its findings to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.


(Ohio Attorney General's office, news release) Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today the formation of a special working group to conduct a thorough review of the quality, availability, and practical application of peace officer training.

Attorney General DeWine made the announcement during a special meeting this morning of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

"Over the past several months, officer-involved shootings and use-of-force situations across Ohio and our nation have ended in tragedy. Improving the trust between police and the communities they serve is vital to the functioning of our state and the safety of our communities," said Attorney General DeWine. "Equally important is ensuring that officers who encounter dangerous, life-threatening situations have the knowledge, skills, and judgment necessary to react in an appropriate manner. As we examine all aspects of this issue, it is only appropriate that we look at police training."

Attorney General DeWine's full statement can be found here.

Members of the working group will present the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission with their recommendations once the review is complete.

Members of the commission include:

• Rev. Dr. David Cobb, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Cleveland
• Sergeant Ramon Diaz, Delaware Police Department
• Detective Regina Dudley, Columbus Police Department
• Bishop Joey Johnson, The House of the Lord, Akron
• Chief Joe Morbitzer, Westerville Police Department
• Tony Ortiz, Vice President of Latino Affairs, Wright State University
• Vince Peterson, Trumbull County Adult Probation Department
• Terry Russell, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness for Ohio
• Officer Sarah Shendy, Copley Police Department
• Chris Smitherman, Cincinnati City Council
• Dr. Reggie Wilkinson, Former Director of Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction
• Lieutenant Colonel George Williams, Ohio State Highway Patrol
• Rev. Dr. Daryl Ward, Omega Baptist Church, Dayton
• Prosecutor Andy Wilson, Clark County Prosecutor's Office
• Major Daryl Wilson, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
• Sheriff Keith Wood, Meigs County Sheriff's Office

Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:39

Johnny Football's Big TV Debut

Johnny Manziel will have a big TV audience for his debut as the Browns starting quarterback.

The independent website "506Sports.com", which tracks TV coverage of NFL games, reports that Fox affiliates in "many cities nationwide" are picking up the Browns contest on Sunday against the Bengals.

The website's map shows Fox stations from Ohio to California and beyond will air the game.

It'll be on "Fox 8" locally. The game was moved from CBS earlier.


On the Web: 506Sports, www.506sports.com


Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:25

Jackson Township Police Track Car Break-Ins

Jackson Township police have made an arrest after a number of car break-ins in store parking lots during the holiday season.

Police say they were called to Kohl's Department Store after a report of two shoplifters. They arrested 24 year-old Richard Hollenbaugh of Alliance.

They say the investigation also found meth-making items in Hollenbaugh's car along with merchandise.

Hollenbaugh was charged with theft and drug tampering charges. Police say the items recovered from his car may match up with other thefts in Stark County and three other nearby counties.

Thursday, 11 December 2014 16:37

APD On Home Invasion: He Knew About The Money

Akron police say there's a twist in a home invasion robbery that took place Wednesday afternoon.

A 22 year-old woman says men broke into the home on Arnold Street, and one man with a shotgun demanded money from her and two others in the home.

The victim gave him a large amount of money that was in the house earmarked for home repairs, and fled on foot.

Police investigated, and detectives say a boyfriend of one of the victims knew about the home repair money earlier in the day.

That boyfriend, 23 year-old Arron Elkins of Brighton Drive in Akron, faces aggravated robbery charges.

The man with the shotgun hasn't yet been found.

A charitable trust linked to a Northeast Ohio company is pouring money into the University of Akron's College of Engineering.

The Fred A. Lennon Charitable Trust, named for the founder of Solon's Swagelok, will provide a half-million dollars in scholarships, and three-quarters-of-a-million dollars to renovate space at the Auburn Science Center into a new "front door" called the Swagelok Career Center.

For UA's College of Engineering, it means much needed space for interviewing and companies to recruit new talent.

"For us to have this new facility, and to have the rooms, and the Skyping capability and the conference rooms," Deanna Dunn, director of engineering co-op and placement tells WAKR.net, "this is going to be a blessing for us."

The new interview rooms will end a scramble to find space for companies to interview prospective employees. The Skyping facilities will allow companies to interview without having to come to Akron, or the students having to go there.

The Lennon Trust has been providing scholarships of up to $3,000 a year since 2011, to help attract and retain high-quality engineering students.

Tuesday, 09 December 2014 16:36

It's Johnny For Browns On Sunday

It's now official: Johnny Football gets the start.

The Cleveland Browns have confirmed any number of media reports, and coach Mike Pettine says Johnny Manziel will start against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Pettine earlier declined to name a starter for Sunday, after having picked Brian Hoyer to start last Sunday's game against the Colts.


(Cleveland Browns, press release) Cleveland Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine has announced that Johnny Manziel will start at quarterback.

Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine:

"We've made the decision to start Johnny this week against the Bengals. This decision is really not about Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel, it is about the Cleveland Browns. We are always going to make decisions that we feel are in the best interest of the team. Brian has done everything that has been asked of him and he has done so as a true professional. It's never just any one position when a unit is not functioning at the level you'd like. We are trying to get the offense to perform at a higher level. Johnny has worked very hard to earn this opportunity and it will be very important for every member of the offense to elevate their play for us to obtain our desired result."

Browns QB Johnny Manziel:

"I'm very appreciative of the opportunity that Coach Pettine and the coaching staff have given me to be the starter on Sunday. I've tried to spend my entire season learning what it takes to become a pro and it's been great to watch Brian because he knows what it takes. I've prepared every week to be ready to help the team however possible and my focus has been on improving every day. I'm very excited to get out on the field with my teammates on Sunday and to have the opportunity to make the Dawg Pound proud."

Browns QB Brian Hoyer:

"Although I am disappointed by coach's decision, I respect him and his choice and will be there to support Johnny. As always, I will do whatever I can to help this team win."

lp this team win."

Two people were forced into the attic of their North Hill home early this/Tuesday morning in a home invasion robbery.

Akron police say that they were awakened by the sound of their back door being forced open at the home on Collinwood Avenue.

The robbers then demanded money, medications and how to get into the garage.

The men then ransacked the home, taking a handgun, a laptop computer, a TV, debit cards and $450 in cash.

The robbers weren't done yet. They got into that garage and took both cars, which were later recovered.

Tuesday, 09 December 2014 14:56

Man Jumps Into Woman's Car, Demands Cash

Akron police are looking for a man they say robbed a woman of $40 in North Hill early this morning.

Police say the victim says she was turning at Schiller Avenue and East Tallmadge Avenue when someone demanded money from her, then jumped into the back seat of her car.

The suspect then threatened the woman, saying he had a gun. She drove to a business on North Howard Street and West Tallmadge Avenue, then gave him $40 in cash - he then fled on foot.

A warrant has been issued for 35 year-old Jeremy Lamar Proctor of Akron for aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

Anyone with information is being asked to call the Akron police Detective Bureau, at 330-375-2490.

A Springfield Township man gets nearly 22 years in prison in an attempted child luring case.

31 year-old Nicholas Bowers was sentenced after being found guilty of enticement and receiving sexually explicit material involving minors.

Parents of a 12 year-old Toronto girl reported an Akron area man was sending sexually oriented text and chats to their daughter. Toronto police stepped in and portrayed the girl online, and contacted the FBI and Springfield Township police to continue the investigation.

A search warrant was executed at Bowers' residence in January, and found USB storage devices labeled with the words "child porn pics".

During the execution of this search warrant, USB storage devices and CDs were among the items seized. These specific items were labeled with file names suggesting minor ages and the words "child porn pics."


(U.S. Attorney's Office Northern Office, news release) An Akron man was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for attempting to lure a 12-year-old into having sex with him, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Cleveland Office.

Nicholas B. Bowers, 31, was previously found guilty of one count each of enticement and receipt or distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

"This defendant sent obscene images of himself to a pre-teen girl in an effort to get her to meet with him," Dettelbach said. "We will continue to do all we can to protect our children from online predators."

"Attentive parents and swift law enforcement action has ensured that Mr. Bowers will not be trolling for minors on the Internet," Anthony said. "This international collaborative law enforcement effort demonstrates that preying on our most precious commodity, our children, will not be tolerated."

"The Springfield Township Police Department is confident that countless children have been saved from the predatory behavior exhibited by Mr. Bowers. This would have never been possible without the collaborative efforts of the FBI, the Toronto Police Department, and our Detective Bureau," said Sgt. Eric East, Springfield Township Police Spokesperson.

From 2011 through 2014, Bowers knowingly received and distributed in interstate and foreign commerce, by computer, numerous computer files, which files contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He also knowingly used a device connected to the Internet, to attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce a 12-year-old girl to engage in illegal sexual activity with him.

The investigation began in Toronto, Canada, on January 9, 2014. The parent of a minor female contacted the Toronto Police Service regarding sexually explicit chats and e-mail messages his daughter was receiving. It was determined that the individual resided near Akron. Chats and e-mail exchanges continued with the Toronto Police Service portraying themselves as the minor female. Toronto Police Service contacted the local authorities in Ohio, more specifically, the Springfield Township Police Department, which has jurisdiction over the area where Bowers resided.

The Springfield Township Police Department and the FBI continued the investigation, resulting in a local search warrant being obtained and executed on January 14, 2014, at the location where Bowers resided. During the execution of this search warrant, USB storage devices and CDs were among the items seized. These specific items were labeled with file names suggesting minor ages and the words "child porn pics."

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Sullivan. The case was investigated by the Akron Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Springfield Township Police Department, and the Toronto Police Service.

The family of a 12 year-old Cleveland boy shot and killed by Cleveland police has filed a wrongful death suit.

NewsChannel 5 reports that the family of Tamir Rice filed the suit in federal court, naming the City of Cleveland and the two officers - Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback - as defendants.

Loehmann and Garmback were the responding officers November 22nd when a 9-1-1 call said a child was playing with a gun at the Cudell Recreation Center on Cleveland's west side.

Garmback was driving the cruiser, and Loehmann shot Tamir Rice.


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