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.

The father of a two year-old boy is being sought, after Akron police say he broke into the apartment of his babysitter and threatened her and another person at the West Akron home.

Police say it happened at about 10 AM Sunday, when the father, armed with a handgun, demanded and then took off with his son...and the cell phones of the babysitter and her 17 year-old friend.

He left, though the two year-old was dropped off unharmed later Sunday at a relative's house.

Police are looking for 23 year-old Hashim Latfie Ali Spaudling, who has a last known address of Hattiesburg, Mississippi...on charges including kidnapping, aggravated robbery and burglary and aggravated menacing.

Police say Spauldling should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on Hashim Spaulding's whereabouts is asked to call the Akron Police Department's Detective Bureau at (330) 375-2490; the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-866-4-WANTED; or the Summit County Crimestoppers Inc. at 330-434-COPS.

Texts can also be sent to "TIPSCO" at the number 274637 (Crimes). Callers can remain anonymous.

We already know that LeBron James took the cast and director of the movie "Trainwreck" to Swenson's, Friday before the world premiere of the movie at the Regal Cinemas complex next door in the Montrose area.

The Bleacher Report site has put out a "behind the scenes" video of the meal and discussion, including what they call a "special sequel idea" by LeBron.

The video can be watched at the Bleacher Report "Uninterrupted" site.

Co-star Bill Hader already told reporters what he ate at Swenson's - a Galley Boy and a banana milkshake. The gang also had a California burger and potato teasers, according to the video.

You've heard it the past day or so, now it's official.

The Cavaliers have announced the return of LeBron James, according to a team news release this afternoon.

The deal has been widely reported to be a two year deal, one year with a player option for an additional year, at a reported amount of $46.9 million dollars for both years. LeBron has the option of opting out in the second year, where it's believed he will opt for a maximum contract after the league's new TV deals go into effect. 

The team won't disclose details per team and NBA policy.

Mo Williams is also officially a Cavalier - again - the team announced this afternoon that they've signed the former Cavs player to return to the team.


(Cleveland Cavaliers, news release) The Cleveland Cavaliers have re-signed forward LeBron James, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per league and team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

"LeBron's re-signing today is a reflection and continuation of his strong, personal commitment to help deliver championships to Northeast Ohio and Cavs fans everywhere," said Griffin. "We share this deep level of commitment with him. His impact upon this team, his community and the game are impossible to overstate and we look forward to continuing on our mission together."

James, a four-time MVP and 11-time NBA All-Star, appeared in 69 regular season games (all starts) for the Cavaliers in 2014-15 with averages of 25.3 points (3rd in NBA) on .488 shooting from the field, 6.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists (7th in NBA) and 1.6 steals in 36.1 minutes. It was James' 11th consecutive season averaging at least 25.0 points per game, which is tied with Karl Malone (1987-88 to 1997-98) and Jerry West (1961-62 to 1971-72) for the most consecutive seasons averaging at least 25.0 points in NBA history (min. 30 games). James earned All-NBA First Team honors and was also the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month twice in 2014-15 (February and March), as well as the Player of the Week three times (week ending Nov. 16, Nov. 30 & Jan. 25).

James was one of only three players in the NBA to tally 1,700 points, 500 assists, 400 rebounds and 100 steals (James Harden, Russell Westbrook). The 6-8 forward scored in double figures in all 69 games, increasing his consecutive double-digit scoring streak to 641 (third-longest streak in NBA history). In addition to scoring in double figures every game he appeared in, James had 52 games of at least 20 points, 18 games of at least 30 points and three 40-point outings. He also registered 22 double-doubles and two triple-doubles.

The Akron, Ohio native remains the franchise's leader in points scored (16,994), scoring average (27.5), field goals made (6,039), three-pointers made (891), free throws made (4,025), assists (4,321), steals (1,064) and minutes played (24,601). Over his 12-year NBA career, James has appeared in 911 regular season games (910 starts) with averages of 27.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 39.3 minutes, while shooting .496 from the floor, .342 from three-point range and .745 from the foul line.

For his postseason career, James has appeared in 178 playoff contests (all starts) with averages of 28.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.7 steals in 42.5 minutes per game. He started in all 20 games during the Cavs' NBA Finals run in the 2015 Playoffs, recording an NBA-high 14 double-doubles (three triple-doubles) and averaging 30.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks in 42.2 minutes per game. He joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in league playoff history to average at least 30.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists in a single postseason.


(Cleveland Cavaliers, news release) The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agent guard Mo Williams, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per league policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

“We’re very excited to welcome Mo back to Cleveland and we feel he will be a great fit with our team,” said Griffin. “Mo is a proven, high-caliber playmaker and his ability to space the floor at either guard position will be essential for us.”

Williams, a 12-year veteran, spent parts of three seasons with Cleveland from 2008-2011, where he averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 33.6 minutes and was selected a 2009 NBA All-Star. Over his career, he has played in 777 games (511 starts), averaging 13.4 points, including a .870 clip from the foul line, a .379 mark from the three-point line, 2.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 29.8 minutes for Utah, Milwaukee, Cleveland, the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland, Minnesota and Charlotte. He has also shot at least .850 from the charity stripe in each of the past 11 seasons.

During the 2014-15 regular season, Williams played in 68 games (33 starts) with Minnesota and Charlotte and averaged 14.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 29.1 minutes per game. He also shot .872 from the foul line, which ranked 13th in NBA. The 6-1 guard became one of just six players to surpass the 50-point mark in a game last season when he scored 52 points for the Timberwolves against the Indiana Pacers on January 13.

Williams, who reached the playoffs twice with the Cavaliers in 2009 and 2010, has played in 49 career playoff games (25 starts), holding averages of 12.0 points and 2.1 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game.


Friday, 10 July 2015 07:43

Free Fare Friday

Akron Metro Transit has "dumped the pump" twice so far this year, offering free fare days that are designed to thank regular riders...and bring new riders aboard.

The trend is continuing this summer, as the local bus operator will offer "Free Fare Fridays". Fares will be free on Metro every Friday during July and August. The program started last Friday, July 3rd.

Metro's Claire Merrick says one goal of offering days without taking fares, is getting more cars off the roads.

The transit system offered free fares last during "Dump the Pump Day" last month.

"Free Fare Fridays" are only valid for local Metro line service.

You'll still have to pay for SCAT, Call-a-Bus and the Northcoast Express to Cleveland.

Thursday, 09 July 2015 17:34

Man Arrested In Fake Underage Girl Sting

Richfield police say a Medina man came to Richfield to meet an underage girl...but he ended up meeting them instead.

Police say Paul Thomas DeLucia of Medina was arrested on felony attempted sex conduct charges after a week long undercover investigation online.

They say DeLucia came to a Richfield location thinking he was meeting an underage girl.

Police say DeLucia works as a security officer at Medina Community Hospital through a third-party company, and is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

DeLucia was booked into the Summit County Jail.


(Richfield Police Department, news release) July 9th, 2015 - At 12:17 p.m. this afternoon members of the Richfield Police Department arrested Paul Thomas DeLucia of Medina for Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor- A felony of the 5th degree.

The arrest was the result of a weeklong Undercover Online Investigation. Mr. DeLucia was arrested at a predetermined meet location in Richfield where he thought he was meeting an underage female.

Mr. DeLucia is employed by United Protective Services as a contract security officer assigned to Medina Community Hospital and is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.

He was booked into the Summit County Jail pending arraignment.

Thursday, 09 July 2015 16:38

Canal Fulton Commercial Fire Ruled Arson

A commercial building fire early Thursday morning in Canal Fulton has been ruled an arson.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal's office is asking for help finding who set the fire on South Locust Street in Canal Fulton at about 1 AM Thursday.

The Blue Ribbon Arson Committee is offering a 5-thousand dollar reward for any information that leads to the identication of the person or persons responsible.

They're asking for those with tips to call the State Fire Marshal (at 800-589-2728) or the Canal Fulton Police Department (at 330-854-2211).


(Ohio State Fire Marshal, news release) The Division of State Fire Marshal's Fire & Explosion Investigation Bureau needs the public's help with a fire they have ruled as arson. Investigators are looking for tips pertaining to a commercial fire at 2223 South Locust Street in Canal Fulton.

The fire occurred on Thursday, July 9, 2015 around 1:00 a.m. The Canal Fulton Fire Department responded to the scene. The investigation is being conducted in conjunction with the Canal Fulton Police Department.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee for information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for the fire.

"Information from the public could be the missing piece to the puzzle for our investigators," said State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers. "Everything in a case could come together from just one tip, so it's important that if you heard or saw something out of the ordinary, you let investigators know."

Anyone with information is asked to call the State Fire Marshal's Fire & Explosion Investigation Bureau at 1-800-589-2728 or the Canal Fulton Police Department at (330) 854-2211.

A Trumbull County man with ties to Ravenna - who got away before he could be sentenced - is back in custody.

The Portage County Sheriff's Office was looking for 46 year-old Keith A. McCarty, who was about to be sentenced on rape, sexual battery and other sex charges.

He left the courthouse before his sentencing hearing on June 29th. When they were looking for McCarty, the sheriff's department said he "frequently" visits the Ravenna area.

McCarty was found in a vehicle Thursday afternoon in Lordstown in Trumbull County. He was taken into custody, and will be held without bond in the Portage County Jail pending a future court hearing.


(Portage County Sheriff's Office, news release) Sheriff David W. Doak announced today that Keith A. McCarty has been apprehended and is currently in custody with the Portage County Sheriffs Office. The Portage County Sheriffs Office has been working closely with the Lordstown Police Department and the United States Marshall Service in attempting to locate and apprehend McCarty. On this date at approximately 3 PM, McCarty was found in a vehicle in the Lordstown area. McCarty was taken into custody without incident. McCarty will be transported to the Portage Jail where he will be held without bond until his next court hearing which is yet to be scheduled.

Sheriff David W. Doak would like to express his appreciation to the public for their assistance, locate law enforcement agencies, and a special thanks to the Lordstown Police Department and the United States Marshall Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force, who were instrumental in the tracking, locating and the successful apprehension of McCarty.

(Earlier release) Portage County Sheriff David W. Doak is requesting the public's assistance in locating a fugitive felon. The subject is one Keith A. McCarty, age 46. McCarty is a white male, 5' 06", 160 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. McCarty is known to be driving a 2004 Ford Ranger / 4 door extended cab / silver in color / with Ohio Registration GIW9658.

McCarty had a last known address of 933 Martha Street in Warren City, Ohio. McCarty is known to frequently be in the Ravenna City area of Portage County.

In May, 2015 McCarty was indicted by the Portage County Grand Jury. His indictment was for Rape (1st degree felony / 6 counts), Gross Sexual Imposition (3rd degree felony / 6 counts), Sexual Battery (3rd degree felony / 6 counts), and Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor ( 3rd degree felony / 6 counts). On May 8, 2015 McCarty was arrested on this indictment. McCarty was released on a $50,000 10% bond with GPS monitoring.

On June 29, 2015 McCarty was scheduled to be sentenced. Prior to his sentencing, McCarty left from the courthouse. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. The warrant is for Failure to Appear for all of the above listed charges.

Thursday, 09 July 2015 13:33

VIDEO Cavaliers Are Coming Back

It looks like LeBron James is about to sign a new deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and two key players have already signed their own deals.

ESPN's Chris Broussard and Brian Windhorst report that sources that say that LeBron will sign a two year deal worth the league maximum of $46.9 million.

The second year would be a player option.

Today is the first day players can sign deals with NBA clubs after the free agency period.

It's been a busy, productive day for the Cavaliers.

Kevin Love released a video on the Players' Tribune website to say he has inked the deal. He'll be a Cavalier once again.


The deal has now officially been announced by the Cavaliers.

The Cavs also announced today that Iman Shumpert will return as well.

Both Shumpert and Love put pictures of their signings on Instagram (Iman Shumpert, Kevin Love) with the word "official".


(Cleveland Cavaliers, news release) The Cleveland Cavaliers have re-signed forward Kevin Love, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

"From the moment Kevin arrived, he has shared our plan for winning in Cleveland. Today confirms our mutual belief in that vision," said Griffin. "As one of the truly elite players in the NBA, Kevin's value and impact was critical to our success this past season and we are thrilled that he will be part of our core group for many years to come."

In his first season with the Cavs, Love played in 75 games (all starts) with averages of 16.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 33.8 minutes per game. Love was the only player in the league to average at least nine rebounds and make at least 50 three-pointers this past season. He also shot .367 from the three-point line and .804 from the foul line on the season. His 144 three-pointers were the second-most on the team in 2014-15, as well as the seventh-most in a single season in franchise history. Love registered a team-high 38 double-doubles, which was tied for 10th in the NBA and was the most by a Cavalier since 2003-04 (Carlos Boozer, 41).

Love played in four games during the 2015 Playoffs before suffering a dislocated left shoulder in the First Round series against Boston. He averaged 14.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.8 minutes, while also shooting .429 from the three-point line for Cleveland. Love was originally acquired by the Cavs in a three-team trade on August 23, 2014.

A three-time NBA All-Star, Love owns career averages of 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 32.9 minutes over 439 games (357 starts) in seven seasons with Minnesota and Cleveland. The 6-10 forward holds career shooting percentages of .363 from the three-point line and .814 from the free throw line. Love is one of only three players in league history to average 10.0 rebounds and make over 500 three-pointers, joining Larry Bird and Charles Barkley.

(Cleveland Cavaliers, news release) The Cleveland Cavaliers have re-signed guard Iman Shumpert, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

"Iman is a versatile, two-way player who embodies much of the grit, determination and defense-first mentality our group became identified by," said Griffin. "He is evolving as a playmaker on both ends and his impact on our group was enormous throughout our Finals run."

Shumpert appeared in 62 games (25 starts) for the Cavs and New York Knicks in the 2014-15 regular season. He averaged 8.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 24.9 minutes per game. In 38 regular season games (one start) with the Cavs, the 6-5 guard averaged 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 24.2 minutes per game.

During Cleveland's NBA Finals run in the 2015 playoffs, Shumpert appeared in all 20 games (16 starts), averaging 9.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 34.8 minutes per game. Shumpert was originally acquired by the Cavs in a three-team trade on January 5, 2015.

A short distance from the Sheraton Suites, the city of Cuyahoga Falls hopes a different kind of hotel along the Cuyahoga River sparks growth.

An investment group wants to build a "boutique" hotel at the corner of Portage Trail and Front Street, and the city would sell them a parking lot there to build it.

Mayor Don Walters says though it wouldn't be a "convention center" hotel, the 80 room, eight story hotel would offer amenities to those coming for conventions.

"The boutique hotel, they do not lean towards the conventions, and the weddings, and things like that," Mayor Walters tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "It's just more of a posh, overnight stay...and then again, that would attract a lot of the events and the conventions we have around the area."

Mayor Walters says he expects the proposed hotel will be a catalyst for future development along the river and the nearby Route 8 freeway.

He says the city also is looking into some limited vehicle access at the Front Street Mall, which is currently a pedestrian mall. Walters says that'll help for access to businesses along the mall.

Wednesday, 08 July 2015 14:44

Medical Examiner: Cause Of Brandi's Death

The cause of death of a North Canton Hoover High School senior, found in a pond in April, is now official.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office says 18 year-old Brandi Morgan drowned, and says both hypothermia and ethyl alcohol intoxication contribued to the death, which has been ruled accidental.

Morgan's body was recovered by a dive team from a pond on Greensburg Road on April 20th.

Previous Coverage: 

4/22/15: UPDATE Drowning Victim In Green Identified



(Summit County Medical Examiner's Office, news release) The death certificate on Brandi Morgan, the 18 year old female who's body was recovered on 4/20/2015 from a pond located at 3448 Greensburg Road, in Green, has been completed.

The Cause of death was : Drowning in Fresh Water
Contributing to the Cause of death was: Hypothermia and Ethyl Alcohol Intoxication.

Manner of Death: Accident