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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 email@example.com.
A Summit County fire department had a bit of Hollywood flair over the weekend.
The Twinsburg Fire Department got a visit Saturday from actor Denis Leary, who's in Northeast Ohio filming the Cleveland Browns-themed movie "Draft Day".
On its Facebook page, the department says Leary shared dinner with firefighters.
"Denis Leary took time out of his busy schedule to hang out and enjoy dinner with TFD members and their guests on Saturday, June 8th. He chatted with each individual on a personal level, was witty, humurous and very inquisitive about TFD operations."
Leary starred as a New York City firefighter in the FX Network series "Rescue Me".
On the Web: Twinsburg Fire Department (Facebook), www.facebook.com/pages/Twinsburg-Fire-Department/45218773603
A man struck and killed by a train early Saturday in Orrville has been identified.
NewsChannel 5 reports that 31 year-old Nathan A. Sears was hit by an eastbound train at the Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing near South Main Street in Orville.
After police responded to the scene at about 1:30 AM Saturday, the Wayne County Coroner also responded, and pronounced Sears dead at the scene.
The crash is still under investigation.
On the Web: WEWS NewsChannel 5, www.newsnet5.com
Ohio State Highway Patrol is still investigating a Medina County crash that sent all three involved to the hospital, one with serious injuries.
The Patrol says it happened on State Route 94 in Sharon Township on Saturday afternoon at about 3:30 PM.
Troopers say 24 year-old Rory Anderson of Olmsted Falls failed to yield the right of way to State Route 94 traffic, and say his car was struck on the passenger side by a car driven by 18 year-old Shannon Quinn of Medina.
Anderson had to be extricated from his car and was life flighted to Akron General Medical Center with serious injuries.
Quinn and her passenger, 22 year-old Frank Sano of Uniontown, had minor injuries and were sent to Medina Hospital.
The Highway Patrol says drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the crash, and that all three people were wearing safety belts.
(Previous ANN cpverage) A crash on State Route 94 in Medina County sent one person by life flight helicopter to a hospital, and two were taken to the hospital by ambulance.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol's Medina Post tells AkronNewsNow that the crash on 94 near State Route 18 happened at just after 3:30 PM Saturday.
It closed Route 94 for nearly two hours, but both routes reopened later Saturday afternoon.
No further details were available. The crash is still under investigation.
A traffic stop in Brimfield late Friday ended up in the arrest of two men charged with running a meth lab.
Brimfield police chief David Oliver says it started on Tallmadge Road near I-76 when a Brimfield officer stopped a car.
The Brimfield department's K-9 officers were off for the day, so the officer called for four legged assistance from Tallmadge.
That dog smelled a "hit" and officers recovered meth and meth-making chemicals from the car.
Police then went to a duplex on Tallmadge Road and seized two "shake and bake" meth labs, meth, needles, marijuana and other illegal items.
The men face drug offenses including charges of giving meth to two teenaged females who were found in the car.
On the Web: Brimfield Police Department Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BrimfieldPolice
Fire crews in Medina County are looking into the cause of a barn fire that ended up killing 14 animals.
Three donkeys and 11 goats died in the fire that broke out Thursday morning at the barn on Guilford Road in Guilford Township.
Seville-Guilford Fire Captain Gary Henry says that the building was fully involved when crews arrived at about 8:30 Thursday morning.
But Captain Henry says a nearby building, including a dog kennel, was kept away from the fire...and other animals were also safe.
"There was a goat and one horse that did escape," Captain Henry tells AkronNewsNow.com. "The (nearby) barn we were able to protect is saved. The other building that was adjacent to it had 20 dogs in it. It was like a kennel, and they were all in there."
The fire is still under investigation.
Akron police are looking for a man who shot two people early Thursday morning, and then fled on a motorcycle.
Police say it happened at about 2 AM on South Hawkins Avenue.
Akron police Lt. Rick Edwards says the shooting victims, 47 year-old Alicia Shepard of Seward Avenue and 29 year-old Rayshawn Moore of Edmire Court, were involved in a verbal fight with the suspect at a bar on Vernon Odom Boulevard.
Lt. Edwards says the suspect followed the victims to the intersection of Thurston Street and South Hawkins Avenue, pulled up next to the victim's car and fired several shots into the car...then fled on a motorcycle in an unknown direction.
Lt. Edwards says Shepard was struck on the right hip and Moore was struck on the right shoulder, and were taken to the hospital. He says neither injury appears to be life threatening.
Police describe the suspect as a black male, 25-35 years old, 5' 8" to 5' 10", weighing between 170 and 180 pounds, and say he was driving a motorcycle.
The two Akron men charged in a quadruple murder near Chapel Hill Mall last month now face a 46 count indictment.
Summit County prosecutors announced the indictments Thursday against 21 year-old Derrick Anthony Brantley and 21 year-old Deshanon Jammal Haywood.
Each faces 13 aggravated murder counts in the death of four people - Kem Delaney, Ronald Roberts, Maria Nash and Kiana Welch - found shot execution style at a townhouse on Kimlyn Circle on April 18th.
Brantley and Haywood also face charges including aggravated robbery, kidnapping and aggravated burglary.
In a statement, Summit County prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says prosecutors will seek the death penalty if the two are convicted of death specifications.
Autumn Johnson never got a chance to attend her high school graduation this past weekend at Copley High School.
She was gunned down at 16, one of seven victims of a deadly shooting spree in a quiet Copley Township neighborhood in 2011.
Her classmates never forgot.
A number of them asked school officials what they could do to remember Autumn Johnson at graduation.
"Class officers decided to have a plaque made, that would be presented to the family in honor of Autumn," Copley High School assistant principal Matt Young tells AkronNewsNow, "and they also wore purple ribbons...I believe that was one of her favorite colors...they wore purple ribbons on their graduation gowns."
Young says three of Autumn's family members were present on Sunday to receive the plaque.
Young says that Autumn Johnson was still remembered fondly by her classmates.
He says he's impressed by what the Copley High Class of 2013 student officers did.
"The class officers did a wonderful job of honoring Autumn, as well as respecting the wishes of the family," Young says, "as well as keeping graduation a time of celebration."
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