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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Barberton Police Department has joined national efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse by a launching a new community initiative called "Housecalls for Healthcare".
In the new program, residents can call the police department and request a pick-up for their unused prescription drugs.
"We have a dump box in our police lobby that people use, but we're taking it one step further and say 'hey, we'll come out'," said Barberton Police Chief Vince Morber.
Once a call is made to the police department, an officer will come by the house and safely dispose of all old or unused prescription drugs.
Morber talked about the importance of launching the new initiative to help combat drug abuse in the community.
"This issue affects all ages, all races and all income levels," said Morber. "It doesn't discriminate, at all."
Residents can call the Barberton Police Department at 330-745-2181.
You won't have to wait long for a break from the winter weather. Mild temperatures and sunshine will be making its way to the Akron area today with temperatures expected to climb as the week moves along.
"The sun will start to peak out and the temperatures are going to sneak up into the 30s, so the pavement should just be wet, at least where it's been plowed," said Meteorologist Jim Kosarik with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. "So it should be a much better drive home."
The National Weather Service is also tracking another storm system that could bring rain Thursday night into Friday morning.
"Temperatures actually will probably sneak up to around 50 or even into the 50s by Thursday evening for at least a short period time," said Kosarik.
As the snow melts along with the expected rainfall, flooding could become a problem is some areas.
"Folks are going to have to be aware of rising water levels, so that will be a problem come by Thursday night and Friday morning."
Kosarik said the average snowfall across the area was around 3 to 5 inches, but he also reports some areas, north of Akron, received between 7 and 8 inches of snow.
Many students enjoy the perks of getting a snow day, but it can be hard for parents who can't afford to stay home. It's a challenge the Salvation Army of Summit County understands which is why they are opening up their Learning Zone facility on snow days.
"A snow day for an after-school child or school-ager will be like a summer camp day," said Catherine Brauning, director of Educational Programming. " ...educational activities, recreational time, breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack."
The cost is $10 a day, but Brauning says they will not turn any students away.
"As parents are finding out that we're open, our numbers are growing. They definitely have a need. Just because schools are closed, doesn't mean that they don't have work off."
Brauning said the program helps parents and keep students on track.
"They get reading time, math time, play time, they're socially with other kids instead of just staying home for the day."
Visit www.use.salvationarmy.org for more information.
Another round of winter weather is on its way to Northeast Ohio. A Winter Weather Advisor is in effect beginning Monday at 7 p.m until Tuesday at 7 a.m .
Brian Mitchell of the National Weather Service in Cleveland says we could see four to five inches of snow. Sleet and freezing rain is also in the forecast between Canton and Youngstown. After the snowfall, temperatures are expected to climb above freezing on Tuesday.
The National Weather Service is also tracking another storm system that could bring rain Thursday night into Friday morning.
"We would like people to remain aware of any potential flooding problems that may develop with the rain and the snow melt and the ice on the river," said Mitchell.
Check AkronNewsNow.com for the latest updates and closings.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH 912 AM EST MON FEB 17 2014 .AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS TODAY AND THEN MOVE NORTHEAST ACROSS WESTERN OHIO AND OVER LAKE ERIE TONIGHT. SNOW ASSOCIATED WITH THIS LOW WILL SPREAD RAPIDLY EAST ACROSS THE AREA THIS EVENING AND THEN TAPER OFF FROM WEST TO EAST LATE TONIGHT. SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN MAY MIX WITH THE SNOW THIS EVENING SOUTH OF THE U.S. 30 CORRIDOR. OHZ010>014-020>023-032-033-089-PAZ001>003-172215- /O.CON.KCLE.WW.Y.0010.140218T0000Z-140218T1200Z/ LORAIN-CUYAHOGA-LAKE-GEAUGA-ASHTABULA INLAND-MEDINA-SUMMIT- PORTAGE-TRUMBULL-STARK-MAHONING-ASHTABULA LAKESHORE-NORTHERN ERIE- SOUTHERN ERIE-CRAWFORD PA- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LORAIN...CLEVELAND...MENTOR...CHARDON... JEFFERSON...MEDINA...AKRON...RAVENNA...WARREN...CANTON... YOUNGSTOWN...ASHTABULA...ERIE...EDINBORO...MEADVILLE 912 AM EST MON FEB 17 2014 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST TUESDAY... * ACCUMULATIONS...4 TO 5 INCHES. A PERIOD OF SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN COULD OCCUR SOUTH OF THE LAKESHORE COUNTIES. * TIMING...THE SNOW WILL SPREAD FROM WEST TO EAST ACROSS THE AREA THIS EVENING. * WINDS...SOUTHEAST WINDS INCREASING TO 15 TO 30 MPH THIS AFTERNOON AND THEN BECOMING SOUTHWEST TONIGHT. GUSTS TO 40 MPH ARE LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT WITH LOCALLY HIGHER GUSTS CLOSER TO LAKE ERIE. * IMPACTS...SNOW ACCUMULATION CAN MAKE ROADS SLICK...REQUIRING LOWER SPEEDS AND GREATER DISTANCES BETWEEN VEHICLES WHILE DRIVING. * TEMPERATURES...UPPER 20S FALLING INTO THE LOWER 20S. * VISIBILITIES...LESS THAN ONE HALF MILE AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NORMALLY ISSUED FOR A VARIETY OF WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS SUCH AS LIGHT SNOW... BLOWING SNOW... SLEET... FREEZING RAIN AND WIND CHILLS. WHILE THE WEATHER WILL BE SIGNIFICANT... THE WORD ADVISORY IMPLIES THAT SEVERE WINTER WEATHER IS NOT ANTICIPATED. STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO FOR FURTHER DETAILS OR UPDATES. && $$
Akron police say they've identified a robbery suspect from late last month, but they still need to find him.
Akron say that surveillance video from the Circle K on South Arlington Street led to the ID, after it was released to the media and on social media.
Police say that suspect in the strong-arm robbery at Kipling and Hammel Street is identified as 37 year-old Marcus Blue. But he's still on the loose, and is considered armed and dangerous.
The second suspect is also out there. He hasn't been IDed by police, and may go by the nickname "Tone".
Anyone with information on either suspect can call the Akron police detective bureau at 330-375-2490, or CrimeStoppers at 330-434-COPS.
This week's reports on skill-based gaming centers in Norton and Barberton revealed at least one establishment has given out cash prizes. Under state law, both Internet Cafes and skilled gaming parlors -- which feature slot-like video games -- are not allowed to give cash pay outs.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission is not surprised.
"I know that they certainly are trying to incentivize a lot more business by doing things like paying out in cash, paying out more than what the law would allow, trying in every way to simulate what happens in a casino," said Executive Director Mathew Schuler.
Schuler said the Casino Control Commission holds the responsibility to regulate skill games, but he he did note that skilled gaming centers don't have to contact or register with the Commission when they open. The skill-based gaming parlors still have to follow the rules.
"The Casino Commission is a law enforcement agency and our gaming agents have been and continue to investigate a number of places where we have had complaints that they may be running slot machines."
Under state law in Ohio, Internet Cafes -- also known as sweepstakes parlors --must follow state restrictions which limit prizes to items valued at no more than $10. The same restrictions are attached to skill-based gaming centers, but the only difference is they're allowed to give gas cards worth no more than $10.
"One that's engaging in illegal gaming could be subject to a number of penalties including a felony of the fifth degree," said Schuler.
The Commission conducts their own investigations and works with local enforcement to find out if a business is operating illegally.
Highland High School was placed on lockdown yesterday after authorities say a 24-year-old man tried to walk into the school without a pass to look for a girl he befriended over the internet.
The Medina County Sheriff's Office reports Justin M. Dixon, 24, of Medina attempted to get a hold of a visitor's pass through the school's main office -- then he was found trying to re-enter the school at the lower level entrance. That's when school officials issued a lockdown.
Deputies say they were unable to confirm his story and placed him under arrest for criminal trespassing. He was taken to the Medina County Jail where he is being held on a $25,000 cash bond. The incident is still under investigation.
The Cleveland Browns announced today that Joe Banner will be stepping down as CEO and General Manager Michael Lombardi will be leaving the team.
Ray Farmer will be promoted to General Manager and will immediately take the over the team’s football operations.
Team Owner Jimmy Haslam made the announcement earlier this morning. A press conference is scheduled at 11:30 a.m.
Haslam released the following statement:
“First of all, we wanted to capitalize on the knowledge, experience and character we’re fortunate to have in Ray Farmer. Ray has a tremendous football IQ, he’s compelling, and he understands the types of players we need to acquire and develop in order to win in Cleveland. He embraces his partnership with Mike Pettine, which is critical in helping build the right team. Ray will provide excellent leadership in our front office.
“We appreciate Joe’s contributions to the Cleveland Browns, especially in helping us as new owners. He was committed to creating a successful organization and bringing in talented individuals. We thank him for his work and dedication. We wish him and his family the best.
“Alec will continue in his role as President of this team. I think he’s one of the most intelligent and innovative young executives in the NFL.
“We’re also grateful for Mike Lombardi’s efforts and commitment since rejoining our organization. He is an experienced and creative NFL executive with a unique ability to see the big picture. He has tremendous instincts and I know he’ll be a valuable addition to any NFL organization. We simply wanted to give Ray this opportunity that he’s earned. We wanted to move forward under his leadership and capabilities.
“The purpose of these moves is to unify our team with one, unequivocal goal: Provide our fans with the winning organization they have long deserved.”
Statement from Joe Banner:
"It is bittersweet leaving the Browns organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jimmy Haslam and helping him set the infrastructure for this franchise. I am proud of the talented individuals we brought in to help lead this team and feel that the Cleveland Browns are in good hands moving forward.”
Several skill-based gaming centers are currently operating in Norton and Barberton. In Monday's report, AkronNewsNow found that at least one establishment has given out cash prizes. That's not allowed under state restrictions that limit the prize value to $10 or less in merchandise or gas cards.
In Norton, Superintendent of Building and Zoning Russell Arters said if an investigation revealed that a business was handing out cash prizes, immediate action would take place.
"But basically, if it was proven to the fact that they are doing that, I have the authority to revoke their license and shut them down," said Arters.
Besides AkronNewsNow's report stating that a cash prize was given out at Silver Pyramid on Cleveland-Massillon Road in late January, Arters said he hasn't received any complaints targeting skilled gaming parlors.
Both Barberton and Norton are on the same page. Both have said that they will exercise their right to investigate a business when a complaint or problem comes up.
"Just like any business in the city of Barberton, there is some bit of trust that goes into it to assume that the business is giving us the proper information that they say they're giving us," said Joe Stephen, Barberton Interim Planning Director.
So far, no complaints have been submitted to either city.
It does appear that both cities are benefiting financially from the businesses that are currently open. In Norton, each skill-based gaming center pays an annual license fee of $1,000 and then $500 per machine --- twice a year. If a business has 20 gaming machines, they would have to pay the city $21,000 a year. Norton currently has four skill-based gaming businesses operating in the city.
The same thing happens in the city of Barberton -- although the numbers are a little different.
"There's an annual fee, an application fee of $1,000 and then it's $200 per machine, biannually," said Stephen.
There are currently two skill-based gaming centers operating in the city of Barberton, according to Stephen.
Visit AkronNewsNow.com for our series on the skill-based gaming centers around the area. Tomorrow we'll hear from the Ohio Casino Control Commission.