Amani Abraham

Amani Abraham

Amani Abraham is the morning web editor and also tracks morning drive traffic for 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX during weekday mornings and is a reporter/anchor. She's no stranger to AkronNewsNow.com, having worked as an intern with Rubber City Radio Group as a producer for the Daily Vodcast and other video projects.. Amani is a 2011 graduate with a Communications degree from the University of Akron, where she excelled in her work on the student radio station WZIP-FM and Z-TV, the University's television program. You can reach Amani through the newsroom 330-864-6397 or by email aabraham@rcrg.net

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 10:33

Tallmadge: Team Effort To Free Owl From Soccer Net

It was a team effort by the Tallmadge Police Department and staff members at Tallmadge High School when they helped free an owl -- found entangled in a soccer net.

Tallmadge police posted a photo of the owl on their Facebook page.

Police said they covered the owl while teachers helped to cut the owl loose.

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 12:42

Spondike Writes Book About Race

You may remember the name David Spondike. He was the Firestone High School teacher who was fired after a racist post showed up on his Facebook page last year. Now, he's in the spotlight again. This time it's because he's written a book about race.

In the more than 500 page book titled "Accidental Racist: What Akron Public Schools and the NAACP taught me", Spondike defends his use of racial slurs.

The Beacon Journal reports that the 52-year-old eventually admits to writing the posts and discusses what he calls "the elephant in the room" when referencing how others view race in America.

He said in the book that the posts were not racist, but he did admit that when he used the N-word it "was meant to be mean and hurtful."

Last year, Spondike went on YouTube claiming that a teen he had invited to his house in Copley Township on Halloween actually used the N-word and posted the rant on Spondike's Facebook account.

The newspaper reports that Spondike writes in the book that he only when through with the YouTube videos at his friend's request and belief that it was the only way to save his job. The teen in the video was the 19-year-old son of Spondike's friend.

Spondike still defends his right to make the slurs, says it wasn't a racist post and points out that students commonly use the N-word.

On the web: www.ohio.com

Previous Coverage:

Akron Teacher Sues School Board Over Firing

APS Board Votes To Fire Spondike

Referee Recommends Akron Teacher Be Fired

APS Board Votes To Fire Spondike

Firestone Teacher Spondike Takes Responsibility For Racist Posts

Letter Contradicts Spondike's Claims

VIDEO Spondike Takes To YouTube Defense

Akron Teacher Says He Didn't Write Offensive Facebook Post

AUDIO NAACP Reacts To Teacher Rant

UPDATE Firestone Teacher Getting A Lesson In Facebook

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 11:31

Police: Women Robbed By Man They Met Online

A 19-year-old man has been arrested in connection with two robberies reported by women who say they were robbed by a man they had met online.

Summit County Sheriff's deputies report the first robbery happened on Aug. 20 at the Value Place Hotel in Green. The woman told deputies that she was robbed by a man she met online. The suspect arrived at the hotel and demanded money, but the woman told the man she didn't have any cash. That's when she says the suspect took her cell phone and tablet after he threatened to kill her with a gun.

On Sept.4, deputies say a similar robbery happened in Barberton where a woman told police she was robbed by two men. One of the suspects was also a man she had met online. That suspect matched the description of the first suspect named in the hotel robbery in Green.

Deputies say a joint investigation with the Barberton Police Department helped them arrest Nigel Purefoy, 19, of Akron. He was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and booked into the Summit County Jail.

Monday, 08 September 2014 11:47

Textbook Scam Targeting Schools

The Akron Better Business Bureau is warning local schools about a new scam that's beginning to pop up around the country. Amanda Warner with the Akron BBB says schools are getting invoices for textbooks that they've never requested or received.

"Schools across the country, including schools in Ohio, have received invoices for over $600 for purchases of textbooks that they've either never ordered or never received ," Warner said.

The only contact information available on the invoices is an email address and a phone number which routes to a series of voice mail boxes, and mail drop addresses in either New Jersey or Nevada.

There's an address on the invoice, but it doesn't link to a physical location.

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(BBB Serving Southern Nevada) Perfectly timed for the back to school frenzy, on August 20th, 2014 Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Nevada received its first complaint against Scholastic School Supply, soon after noticing a severe influx in complaints regarding the business. The tactics employed by the company are similar to the well-known "Yellow Pages Scam", a business to business operation that surfaced in 2013, and bilked more than $14 million from small businesses and churches before being halted at the request of the Federal Trade Commission.

Consumers reaching out to the BBB allege that the operation is sending false invoices to schools and school districts throughout the country in the amount of $647.50 for a bulk purchase of text books that were never requested or received. The only contact information available on the invoices is an email address which consumers report does not respond to messages, a phone number which routes to a series of voice mail boxes, and mail drop addresses in either Sewell, New Jersey
or Las Vegas, Nevada. Although the entity lists addresses in New Jersey and Nevada on its invoicing, the BBB has been unable to locate any corporation filings, business licensing, or otherwise required business entity documentation for it in either state to substantiate a physical location.

As of September 5, 2014 BBB Serving Southern Nevada has received a total of 51 complaints from consumers located in 22 states throughout the country, as well as 2,303 inquiries regarding this scam operation. With numbers continuing to rise in increments of as many as 15 complaints a day, schools are urged to not pay the invoice, but instead to contact the Federal Trade Commission at (877) 382-4357 www.ftc.gov, the local Postal Inspectors, or Nevada State Bureau of Consumer Protection at (702) 486-3132 www.ag.nv.gov

Volunteers at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank will be spending the next 24 hours working on Operation Orange. More than 14,000 volunteers will be sorting and inspecting food donations in the foodbank's warehouse through Saturday at noon.

"We've been able to say 'yes' to additional food donations in preparation for this. We've got a lot of products that we need people to put their hands on and sort," said Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank President and CEO Dan Flowers.

Flowers said events like Operation Orange are important, especially when they have received big shipments of donations that need to be repackaged.

"We get products sometimes from manufacturers donated to us because they're mislabeled ," said Flowers.

Flowers said they recently received a large shipment of fresh carrots and apples as a donation. That's where the volunteers come in -- they help with repackaging the food items to distribute to the community.

There are several overnight volunteer positions still available. Click here to learn how you can help.

Thursday, 04 September 2014 11:54

Police Say Former Navy SEAL Lied About Shooting

The former Navy SEAL who claimed he was shot during an argument outside of West Market Plaza on Medina Road in late March is now facing two misdemeanor charges after police say he lied about the story. 
 
Bath Police Chief Mike McNeely told NewsChannel 5 that Chris Heben, 44, has been charged with one count of falsification and one count of obstructing official business.
 
In late March, Heben told police he was nearly hit by a car backing up in the parking lot and that's when three men in the car started shouting profanities at him. He then went inside the grocery store, realized he had forgotten his wallet, and then went back to get it -- but when he returned, he was shot. 
 
McNeely said they conducted a number of interviews and went through surveillance video. Police believe that the shooting story Heben told authorities about earlier this year didn't happen outside of the West Market Plaza. 
 
Heben was applauded for his heroic efforts after he told police that he plugged the hole in his abdomen to stop the bleeding as he was chasing the three men in his car.
 
On the web: www.newsnet5.com
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 11:47

Man Charged In Stabbing Death of C. Falls Woman

The same man who was named as a person of interest in the murder of a Cuyahoga Falls woman has been arrested and charged in connection with her death.

The Beacon Journal reports authorities arrested and charged Jeffery Conrad, 43, with aggravated murder. Amanda Russell had a protection order issued against him in December of 2012. Her teenage daughter found her stabbed to death outside her 8th Street home last week.

Conrad was already in police custody after he was arrested on charges of assaulting a park ranger in Cleveland.

The Cuyahoga Falls Police Department will hold a press conference this afternoon at 2 p.m.

On the web: www.ohio.com

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 12:19

VIDEO Cedar Point Says Goodbye To Mantis

"Mantis gets squashed October 19."

That's what you see near the end of a YouTube video released by Cedar Point this afternoon.

Cedar Point is saying goodbye to the roller coaster. The last day you can get a ride on the Mantis will be October 19. The Mantis was named as the tallest, fastest and steepest stand-up roller coasters in the world when it opened in 1996. No word yet on what will replace the roller coaster.

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(Cedar Point - Press Release) It's the "last stand" for one of Cedar Point's steel scream machines. Earlier today, the park announced that the Mantis roller coaster will soon give its final rides.

Mantis was billed as the tallest, fastest and steepest stand-up roller coaster in the world when it opened on May 11, 1996. Featuring trains that secure guests in a standing position, Mantis provides its passengers with a unique ride experience. Mantis was built by the same legendary manufacturers that brought guests the Raptor and GateKeeper roller coasters – Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M), Monthey, Switzerland. In its 18-year history, Mantis has given more than 22 million thrilling rides.

"It's time to say goodbye to one of the park's coasters, and it's certainly been a different kind of ride for our guests," said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. "But we're extremely excited about what the future holds here at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World™."

Guests still have time to give Mantis a "standing ovation" before it shuts down permanently on Sunday, October 19 at 8 p.m. Additional plans for the 2015 season will be announced at a later date.

Canton police are looking for a pair of men who they say were involved in an aggravated robbery at a Safeway Mart on Tuscarawas Street.

Police say the men entered the store and fired a shot at a skill game, took the money and fired several more shots at customers inside the store before fleeing.

Click here to watch surveillance video.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Canton Police Department at 330-438-4425.

A 42-year-old Wooster man has been charged with OVI following a fatal crash involving a golf car early this (Saturday) morning.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports it happened in Chester Township on Lehr Road shortly after 1 a.m. Troopers said Craig L. Franks was driving the E-Z Go Golf Car and went left of center, off the road and over an embankment. Robert M. Moore, 49, and Vicky L. White, 47, both of Jeromesville, were passengers in the golf car. Troopers said Moore was pronounced dead on the scene and both Franks and White were taken to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash. Franks was charged with OVI, unsafe speed conditions and failure to maintain reasonable control.

Troopers said Franks could face additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation.