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, 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.

A pair of park rangers say they discovered a body in the Cuyahoga River yesterday evening. They were part of a week-long search that was happening in and around the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a missing Eastlake woman. 
 
30-year-old Hillary Sharma's car was found late Thursday night at the park's Boston Store Visitor Center, after she was reported missing earlier that day. 
 
The identity of the body that was found in the river, north of Highland Road Bridge in Brecksville, has yet to be released. 
 
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(CVNP) At approximately 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 28, 2014, the National Park Service and several agencies recovered a body in the Cuyahoga River north of Highland Road Bridge in Brecksville. The body was discovered by two National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers hiking off-trail near the Cuyahoga River. The park rangers were searching for missing person Hillary K. Sharma as a part of the daily search efforts. The National Park Service has led a search operation for Sharma since her vehicle was found at Boston Store Visitor Center around midnight on Thursday, August 21.
 
The body identification and cause of death is pending determination by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.
 
The body recovery was coordinated by the following agencies: National Park Service, Cleveland Metroparks, Brecksville Fire Department, Southwest Emergency Response Team, Brecksville Police Department, and Sagamore Hills Police Department.
 
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:07

VIDEO: UA Tells Students To "Think About It"

University of Akron students are already starting off the new school year with a homework assignment. All new, incoming students are required to take an interactive, on-line learning program called "Think About It." It's a program that give students tools to help them make informed decisions about sex, drugs, alcohol, and other issues they may face during their first months in college.

Brittany Rhodes is one of the students who was able to take the course early.

"Every experienced described in there, I've been in it at some point in my college career. And looking back, I realize that would've been incredibly helpful to know exactly what to look for," Rhodes said.

The University of Akron has been looking at ways to improve communication surrounding sexual respect on campus.

Earlier this year, the federal government named colleges and universities that are facing investigations into their handling of sexual assault on campus. Dozens of schools listed including the University of Akron -- part of a Title IX investigation announced by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

UA recently formed a Sexual Assault Response Team (also known as SART) to better coordinate the University's existing response services to victims of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. 

Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Denine Rocco said students are required to take the "Think About It" program by the end of this week. The on-line program, which takes about two hours to complete and can be paced individually, prepares students for some of the difficult situations they may find themselves in or around on campus.

"[Students] have agreed to become members of our University of Akron community and, as such, they have some rights but they also have some responsibilities for the community," said Rocco. "And this is one of those responsibilities; to be educated and to 'think about it.'"

 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 10:05

Massillon Man Among 4 Killed In Plane Crash

State troopers say a 20-year-old Massillon man is among the four victims who died in a single-engine plane crash last night. The Ohio State Highway Patrol's Chardon Post reports the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Cuyahoga County Regional Airport around 10 last night.

The pilot has been identified as William Michael Felten, 20, of Saginaw, Michigan. The passengers have been identified as Lucas Vincent Marcelli, 20, of Massillon; Abraham Pishevar, 18, of Maryland;  John Hill, 18, of Georgia.

At least three of the men were students at Case Western Reserve, according to troopers. The four men rented the plane for four hours, but did not file a flight plan. Sgt. Andy Janu said he doesn't believe they were required to submit a flight plan.

Troopers said the plane was engulfed in flames after struck the ground just outside the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

Further details have not been released.

Monday, 25 August 2014 09:36

Search Continues For Missing Woman

Officials with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park say they're looking for experienced river paddlers to assist in the search for Hillary Sharma , 30, of Eastlake. Sharma's car was found late Thursday night at the park's Boston Store Visitor Center, after she was reported missing earlier that day.

Anyone who may come across any out-of-the ordinary items along the river between the Village of Boston and Station Road in Brecksville is asked to contact officals. 

Park officials said a three-day intensive search has covered areas where she is likely to be located without success. The search on Sunday focused on a remote area north of Boston along the Cuyahoga River where some of her personal items were located.
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CVNP - Assistance from experienced river paddlers is being sought in the search for Hillary K. Sharma. Paddlers on the Cuyahoga River are asked to report any out-of-the-ordinary items that they might see along the river between the Village of Boston and Station Road in Brecksville.

Sharma, age 30, is a resident of Eastlake, Ohio. She is 5'3" tall, weighs 120 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. Her car was found in the Boston Store Visitor Center parking lot in Cuyahoga Valley National Park shortly after midnight on Friday, August 22. A three-day intensive search has covered areas where she is likely to be located without success. Sunday focused on a remote area north of Boston along the Cuyahoga River where some of her personal items were located.

The National Park Service will continue to search on Monday with support from additional emergency response agencies. The National Park Service is also expanding the investigation to determine why Sharma is missing.

People who may have information about Sharma are asked to call the National Park dispatch office at (440) 546-5945.

Paddlers need to be aware of hazards on the Cuyahoga River, including the impassable low-head dam just north of Station Road and potential poor water quality. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cuva/naturescience/waterquality.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron. Managed by the National Park Service, CVNP combines cultural, historical, recreational, and natural activities in one setting. For more information visit www.nps.gov/cuva or call 330-657-2752.

Goodyear's newest blimp was the main focus at the Wingfoot Lake Hangar Saturday morning. Good Morning America's Robin Roberts christened the newest airship, Wingfoot One. 
 
"I usually say 'Good morning America' but 'Good morning Akron," Roberts said. 
 
Roberts has a family legacy with Goodyear and Akron. Her great grandfather relocated to Akron to work at Goodyear in 1918. Her grandfather also worked for the tiremaker and Roberts' mother is a graduate of East High School. 
Robin roberts
 
" I can remember many, many summers being here in Akron, on Lucy Street, visiting my grandma Sally; playing with my cousins. Many of them are here with me this morning."
 
If a career in journalism didn't work out, Roberts said she would have loved to be a pilot.
 
"If this journalism thing didn't work out, aviation was my plan B. I wanted to be a pilot." 
 
Roberts began her broadcasting career in 1983 as a sports anchor and reporter in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Roberts joined ESPN in 1990 as an anchor of the cable sports network's “SportsCenter” program.
 
Roberts said the technology in covering sporting events has improved -- and the Goodyear blimp proves that statement.
 
"It's been very good about advancing the technology and it has really raised the bar in making us in television try to keep up."
 
The first event that Wingfoot One will cover will be at the beginning of the college football season, but no word yet on which game will be picked. 
 
Wingfoot One is just one of three new airships that Goodyear will release. The next two will be released in 2016 and 2018.

A Summit County official has been suspended without pay for two weeks after he pleaded no contest to OVI and speeding charges Thursday.

According to Barberton Municipal Court records, Jason Dodson, the chief of staff for Summit County Executive Russ Pry, has also been sentenced to a three-day driving program, fined $375 and his driver's license has been suspended for 180 days (six months). He'll be granted limited driving privileges after 15 days.

Dodson's two-week work suspension begins August 25.

"Jason Dodson has been an outstanding employee and has diligently worked to improve Summit County government," said Summit COunty Executive Russ Pry in a written statement. "Jason has made a mistake and has accepted responsibility for that mistake. The driving incident occurred after work hours, did not involve a work assignment and did not involve a county vehicle."

Dodson also released a statement:

"I made a mistake in judgment, and for that I apologize to my family, friends, co-workers and the citizens of Summit County. It was important to me to take responsibility and handle the judicial process in an expedient manner in order to avoid any further embarrassment to the County of Summit and Summit County Executive, " said Dodson.