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

UPDATE: Akron Ward 8 city council member Marilyn Keith confirms the future occupant of the current West Point Market space on WAKR's Jasen Sokol Show.

"I will confirm that it's going to be a Whole Foods."

Keith describes the upcoming process at the site, starting early next year.

"West Point will be razed, and the two homes that are to the west of West Point will be part of the development. In the development there will be about 5 acres involved with three buildings, and it will be about 40,000 square feet."

She says the branding of the West Market area as a food hub will continue once Whole Foods opens.

"They might not like the location per se, but West Point I don't believe would have been with us in a couple of years...because they have other ventures that they want to do."

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1:00 p.m. Updated with additional comments and confirmation from the West Point Market.  

After nearly 80 years in business, West Point Market in Akron is closing its doors at the end of this year.

The Beacon Journal reports the gourmet grocery store has accepted an offer from a developer who plans to add a new and expanded shopping center -- possibly a Whole Foods store.

Store officials tell the newspaper that increasing competition forced them to make their decision. The West Point brand isn't fading away. They're planning to launch small shops that would sell popular food items like West Point's Killer Brownies.

UPDATE 1:00 p.m.

In a news release from the West Point Market's owners, CEO Rick Vernon confirmed plans for a new retail complex that would include a specialty foods market as well as additional retail space. Vernon said they would pursue a new approach to carry forward the West Point Market concept. 

(News release) A new retail development will begin to take shape on our property at 1711 W. Market St. in early 2016. A developer is now working directly with West Point Market and the City of Akron to bring to the Wallhaven Business District a new 40,000 sq. ft. organic/specialty foods market. Plans for this new retail complex also include an additional 10,000 sq. ft. of space for various retail and service oriented businesses that will complement that new food market.

This is the most exciting new development in years at Wallhaven. To help make it happen, we'll be stepping aside in 2016; away from the neighborhood where we pioneered a new store on the edge of town 75 years ago. But these are exciting times for West Point Market as well. 

As for West Point Market, we are pursuing a long­held vision for a "NEW" West Point Market concept at a different location. This new concept store will be designed for a smaller space with potential for multiple locations to serve our customers better. We will be featuring "The Best of West Point Market" products including our house made signature items from our Bakery, Deli, Wine, Cheese, Chocolate and Specialty Departments. Our customers will still be able to visit us for their favorites like Killer Brownies, Scoopers, Bar Cheese, The Other Spread, guacamole, soups, all the made from scratch delights from our deli, along with the best in wines and specialty foods. 

In the meantime, we're going to have one big finale at our home in Wallhaven through New Year's. Watch our What's in Store newsletter for event announcements as they unfold. 

Thank you to all our employees and customers for your continued support and we will keep everyone updated as we transition into the future. 

The 100,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop that's moving into Summit County will soon have a new neighbor.

Costco is expected to open a wholesale retail store in the new development area at the Turnpike and Route 8 in Boston Heights, according to Summit County Executive Russ Pry.

"We're working with them at our building department and I know they have plans and an aggressive schedule to try and be open by Black Friday of this year," said Pry.

Further details on the building plans for the wholesale retailer haven't been released.

Pry said both big name retailers, Costco and the Bass Pro Shop, will bring outside visitors and money to the county.

"The sites and the stores that are coming in there are those that bring outside tax dollars into the county."

The Bass Pro Shop will be the third Ohio store for the outdoors mecca, and developers said it'll anchor a million square feet of shopping and other buildings. The projected opening date is set for the summer of next year.

Thursday, 14 May 2015 07:20

Recycling Building Fire Under Control

An early morning blaze at a recycling center in Akron is under control.

Firefighters responded to the blaze reported at the Recycling Coordinators building on East Exchange Street just after 4 a.m.

Investigators are still trying to confirm what caused the fire, but they said it could have been caused by a large pile of metal shavings that apparently spontaneously ignited -- causing a small part of the roof to catch fire.

Magnesium reported inside the building was a concern, making it hard for firefighters to extinguish.

Fire crews still on scene and a portion of the roadways remains closed.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 09:44

Hudson Among Top Ohio High Schools

The U.S. News and World Report has released this year's top schools in the nation -- and one local school is near the top of the list in the state.

Hudson High School is ranked No. 6 in the list of best schools in Ohio. Solon, Aurora and Chagrin high schools were in the top 20 class. But the two top schools in Ohio were Walnut Hills and Indian Hills -- both in Cincinnati.

The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas earned the top spot nationally for the fourth straight year. Hudson was nationally ranked at No. 221.

There's not a lot of time left for candidates to decide if they would like to run in the upcoming election for mayor of Akron.

It's clear that Mayor Don Plusquellic is putting his support behind Council President Garry Moneypenny who will take over the position on June 1st. Plusquellic announced his resignation and retirment Friday afternoon. 

It's a fast transition that doesn't leave a lot of time for fundraising, but Moneypenney or others could get some help from Plusquellic. There's still more than $37,000 leftover in Plusquellic's campaign funds, according to the most recent campaign finance report filed in January 2015.

"He can do any of the same things he's done with it as a candidate," said Summit County Board of Elections Director Joe Masich. "There's no requirement that a candidate close his campaign committee or dissolve any of the funds."

Masich said the rules stay the same. Plusquellic would still have to file yearly campaign finance reports if he doesn't use the money and he can't spend the leftover cash for personal use.

There's a number of things that Plusquellic can do with those funds including giving the money to local charities, political committees and candidates, and pay outstanding loans.

Or -- he could do nothing at all.

"Pete Kostoff, former mayor of Fairlawn, hasn't been mayor since the mid-90s and still maintains an open campaign committee."

Masich said if Plusquellic plans to pass on some of the funds to mayoral candidates, he would still have to follow the state's campaign contribution limits.

"Any of the campaign limits that are set by either the Ohio Supreme Court or other jurisdictions, that's up to them to follow those rules."

The filing date for potential candidates is June 10th -- ahead of the primary on September 8th.

 

Friday, 01 May 2015 12:29

Akron Robbery Suspect Caught

A bank security guard was able track down a man who police say robbed the First Merit Bank on South Main Street yesterday afternoon.

Akron police said a man walked into the bank and demanded money. A teller handed the suspect some cash, but reportedly didn't get far after leaving.

The bank security guard caught up to William Jason Wasley, 37, of Akron, before police arrived, according to Lt. Rick Edwards.

He was charged with robbery and booked into the Summit County Jail.

University of Akron President Scott Scarborough appears to be mulling over the idea of changing the name of the school.

The Beacon Journal reports that he'll address the issue at a speech at the City Club of Cleveland on May 15.

No one would confirm the details of the speech, but there's been talk of plans to change the name to reflect the university's strengths in the "polytechnical and professional fields."

There's a petition on Change.org to stop the name change from moving forward. More than 4,100 people have signed the petition as of 8:45 a.m.

The petition states that the president's plan is to change the name to "Ohio Polytech Institute" -- although that has not been confirmed.

More on the web: www.ohio.com

 

 

More than 55,000 drivers were forced to find a new route to work this week after construction crews closed the westbound lanes of the Kenmore Leg.

On Monday morning, the Ohio Department of Transportation closed I-76 WB for a resurfacing project that expected to last about 35 days.

ODOT District 4 Spokesman Justin Chesnic said it's no surprise that drivers had to deal with a few issues on their detour route.

"We've obviously had some back ups around the morning rush hour and afternoon rush hour, but for it being the first couple days of the closure, we would say things have gone pretty smooth," said Chesnic.

Chesnic said they haven't received any complaints -- despite some slowdowns reported during rush hour.

"A lot of folks see the inconvenience of the closure, but what they also see is that we're getting the work done out there," said Chesnic.

Once crews complete the construction work on the westbound lanes, ODOT will move over to the other direction and close the eastbound lanes for the same amount of time. Crews hope to reopen the eastbound lanes of I-76 by the end of July, but the entire $9.6 million project to make pavement repairs and resurface the Kenmore Leg is expected to be completed by October.

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Previous Coverage: 

VIDEO Construction Closes Westbound Lanes Of Kenmore Leg

Kenmore Leg To Close April 27

Thursday, 23 April 2015 11:50

Bomb Threats Reported At Jennings CLC

Akron school officials say they had to place Jennings CLC under what they call a "Safe School Watch" Thursday around 11 a.m.

APS Spokesman Mark Williamson tells WAKR News that the school received two bomb threat calls. That's when officials decided to lock of the doors from the outside of the building for about a half hour as the Akron Police Department and APS security investigated the "security concern."

Not many details released, but officials will be sending a letter home with students and will make robocalls to families.

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(Akron Public Schools) At 11 o'clock this morning, Akron Public Schools placed Jennings on Safe School Watch for a brief time.

Entry through all exterior doors was prohibited due to a security concern being investigated by Akron police and APS security staff.

Safe School Watch lasted until about 11:30 a.m.

During Safe School Watch, we lock all points of entry to ensure the safety of students and staff.There was no interruption of the learning process and all students were safe and secure.

Our thanks to the Akron Police Department for their hard work every day. We work closely with law enforcement on procedures and plans to maintain safety in our schools for students and staff.

A 30-year-old Coventry Township man has been charged with attempted murder in a stabbing that left a person in critical condition late Tuesday afternoon.

James Kury, 30, is accused of a stabbing a 26-year-old in the neck with a long blade knife.

The victim was taken to a hospital and is listed in critical condition.

Summit County Sheriff's deputies said Kury could be facing additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation.