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
Internet Cafes have slowly fallen off the radar after a state law went into effect in October which limited prizes to items valued at no more than $10. Locally, it appears a few skill-based gaming centers are still thriving in several cities. The same state 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. But we found at least one skill-based gaming business that is not playing by the rules.
On January 23, I walked into Silver Pyramid on Cleveland-Massillon Road in Norton. In just about 20 minutes, I won $15 in cash after playing Triple Sevens, a slot-like video game. That's more than the $10 limit and -- it was in cash.
Prizes can not be given in cash. Both skilled and sweepstakes games follow the same rules. The only exception is skilled gaming parlors can hand out gas cards --- but still no greater than $10.
I was also told to use the term "transfer" when I wanted to redeem my prize (or winnings), but I could only "transfer" in $5 increments. Even when I was up to more than $39, I could only "transfer" when I would fall to $35 or win an even $40.
A week later, I visited Treasure Island Cyber Cafe on Wooster Road in Barberton. As soon as I sat down to play another round of a similar slot-like video game, I was told by the employee on duty not to use the "C-O words", which I later found out meant "Cash Out".
It was a little confusing since the outdoor sign (picture to the left) featured the words "Cash Pay Out".
Several attempts were made to talk to the owner about my experience, but no one returned my call.
Both skiled gaming parlors were listed with the Ohio Attorney General's Office as Sweepstakes/Internet Cafe establishments. Barberton and Norton officials said they have since transitioned into skilled gaming parlors.
Follow our full series this week on AkronNewsNow.com. Tomorrow we'll hear how the cities are handling the skill-based gaming centers.
Several tips and hours of surveillance led to the arrest of a fugitive wanted in connection with an Akron murder.
The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Ronald Bishop Jr., 27, of Atlanta, Georgia, last night in Akron. He was booked into the Summit County Jail.
Akron police said Marshall Jones, 26, of Akron, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds on Noble Avenue on January 20.
Devante Scurry, 19, and Charles Forston, 37, both of Brighton Drive, were arrested earlier in connection with the shooting death of Jones.
Despite the winter weather challenge on the roads this morning, Meals on Wheels of Stark and Wayne Counties is still moving forward with their delivery plans.
"We, unfortunately, have had to close twice within the past due to weather-related issues so were very hesitant to have to cancel meal delivery again today," said Interim Executive Director Ted Watko. "We've been monitoring the weather and we think hopefully it'll clear up in time that we can get the meals out."
Watko said they have a couple of delivery trucks, but they're looking for more volunteers that have vehicles with 4-wheel drive to help get around the snow covered roadways.
"Although we're concerned with the snow and ice, again, we're going to give it a try," said Watko.
Watko said they'll keep an eye on the weather and will make changes if needed but at this point, they'll be on the roads with their delivery schedule.
"We're going to try and push through it, no matter what."
On the web: www.mow-starkwayne.org
It's election season for the Cleveland Indians. They're searching for the next Governor of Brohio. In case you're not sure where Brohio is located - it's the section (117) of blue-clad fans inspired by Tribe first baseman Nick Swisher.
Adam Gockowski, a graduate of Twinsburg High School and Kent State University, is one of four finalists in the running for the full-time position.
"Whoever ends up winning gets to be the hype-man in section 117, every Friday and Saturday during all home games this upcoming season," said Gockowski.
Gockowski submitted a video to be chosen as one of four finalists in the contest which featured former Ohio State Football Coach Jim Tressel.
"He was beyond awesome. Him and Nick Swisher are very close to begin with, so to be able to get an icon like that to work with me so far was just beyond awesome."
Responsibilities held by the Governor of Brohio include "welcoming bros, and leading cheers".
According to Tribe Vibe, other duties include:
- Proactively engage and interact with bros in Brohio and throughout the ballpark
- Have full knowledge of all Brohio happenings; stay in contact with Indians representatives
- Lead Brohio cheers, encourage fans to rock their Brohio tee, create unique Brohio signage, etc.
- Project a positive, Swishalicious attitude at all times
- Additional related duties as determined by Brohio team
The three other finalists include Ben Henceroth of Elyria, Greg Niemojewski of Parma Heights and Eric Pratt of Brunswick.
The final day to vote is Friday, February 7.
On the web: www.tribevibe.mlblog.com
He's officially a free man. After serving 20 years in prison, murder charges against 51-year-old Dewey Jones have been dropped.
Dewey Jones was convicted of killing 71-year-old Neil Rankin in 1993 at his Independence Avenue home near Chapel Hill mall. He previously won a new trial after tests revealed that the DNA taken from a rope used to tie Rankin's wrists, and a knife found at the scene did not match Jones. The Ohio Innocence Project pushed for the new DNA testing.
Jones walked out of the Summit County Common Pleas courtroom Thursday a free man. He has always maintained his innocence.
"I don't give too much thought on how other people see me," said Jones. "I think more about how the lord sees me and he knows that I'm innocent."
Even though the charges have been dropped, it's still unclear if they'll be dropped with or without prejudice . That means the talk of a possible retrial is still up in the air.
Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands has asked for more information from the state by February 10 to determine whether there's a possibility for a retrial.
Carrie Woods, an attorney with the Ohio Innocence Project, doesn't believe there's enough evidence for a possible retrial. Woods said the case for Dewey Jones was part of a project to help prove the need for post-conviction DNA testing in the state of Ohio.
"Dewey's case is one of many examples of how the system is flawed and how we can use DNA and a number of other things to correct wrongs that have happened," said Woods.
Jones said he still wants to know who killed Rankin.
"I would definitely like to know who did it," said Jones. "I did 20 years for somebody. I would sure like to know who it was for. Neil didn't deserve what he got, what happened to him, at all."
What's the first thing Dewey Jones wants to do as a free man -- without his ankle bracelet?
"I'm ready to go take a bath," Jones said with a smile. " I've had 20 years taking showers and I want to slide into a bathtub and soak."
It's been a bitter cold month. One of the coldest winters we've experienced in years, according to a severe weather expert from Ball State University. David Call said this has been the coldest January since the 1970s.
"But since then, we generally had a string of mild winters and not a lot of snow either," said David Call. "The only winter that was particularly snowy, of recent memory, was 2009 and that mostly fell in January. This one [is] one of the coldest and snowiest Januarys on record."
In the Akron area, temperatures have hit below zero with the wind chill pushing that number between 20 to 30 below zero.
"Boy, we've gotten cold. I mean we're talking temperatures down 10 below zero. That's not something we see very often. And you really have to go back to some of the bigger arctic outbreaks of the early 90s, or as they say the 1970s, to get that."
Some good news is headed our way. The National Weather Service reports temperatures are expected to reach around 26 degrees tomorrow --- lows could still hover around the 20s. By Friday, we could be in the 30s.
At Haven of Rest Ministries, they're not only preparing for the freezing weather, but they're also trying to clear up a rumor.
"We've heard some rumors, and we're not sure where they came from, that the mission is turning people away which is not true," said Jeff Kaiser, executive director of Haven of Rest Ministries. " We have plenty of space for individuals that need a place to stay for shelter and we aren't turning anybody away."
Kaiser said they have yet to run into a problem where they didn't have enough space.
"We have never maxed out here at the mission. Even though we've gone all the way up to 300, we have never maxed out of the facility."
Kaiser said about 240 people used the shelter for warmth during the deep freeze earlier this month.
On the web: www.havenofrest.org
The family of an Akron native who served in WWII and in the Korean War was presented with the Silver Star and the Purple Heart by Rep. Jim Renacci during a ceremony in Wadsworth late Friday morning.
Sergeant Dominic "Dom" Eritano served during the Second World War in the South Pacific for three years and later reenlisted and was ordered to Korea in February of 1951.
"Today, the hero we are celebrating come from Akron, Ohio. Northeast Ohio produces folks like Sergeant Eritano and it's our responsibility to share his story with others," said Renacci.
On June 24th, 1951, he was listed as Missing in Action while fighting in North Korea and was presumed dead on December 31st, 1953.
"He was a man who reenlisted in the military after fighting in WWII. A man who was away from his family for years so that they and the people who come after him can live in peace," said Renacci.
In addition to the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, Sergeant Eritano earned the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, CIB, Philippine Liberation Medal, Honorable Service Lapel Button, and Sharpshooter Badge with Carbine Bar for his brave service.
Authorities say speed appears to be a factor in a crash that seriously injured a 22-year-old woman Wednesday.
Summit County Sheriff's Deputies said a 22-year-old woman lost control of her Dodge Avenger and struck a tree while she was traveling on Koons Road in Green shortly before 1 a.m.
Deputies say the woman was ejected from the vehicle and was not wearing a seatbelt.
Speed appears to be a factor. It's unknown if alcohol played a role in the crash.
The condition of the victim is unknown at this time. The accident is still under investigation.
Another cold week ahead, but it's not as cold as the first deep freeze that swept through the area earlier this month.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory which remains in effect until 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. Temperatures are expected to only reach a high in the low teens with the wind chill pushing those numbers below zero.
"It looks like this air mass, at least in the below normal temperatures, will be sticking around right on through early next week and possibly longer," said Meteorologist Ray Stagich with the Weather Channel.
Visit AkronNewsNow.com for the latest updates.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CLEVELAND OH
346 AM EST TUE JAN 21 2014
...ARCTIC AIR BRINGS COLD WIND CHILLS...
.THE COMBINATION OF HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING EAST TOWARD THE AREA
AND LOW PRESSURE ACROSS THE OHIO VALLEY TODAY WILL CAUSE WINDS TO
INCREASE. THE SOMEWHAT GUSTY WINDS WILL COMBINE WITH COLD
TEMPERATURES TO PRODUCE COLD WIND CHILLS TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY
MARION-MORROW-HOLMES-KNOX-ASHTABULA LAKESHORE-NORTHERN ERIE-
SOUTHERN ERIE-CRAWFORD PA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...TOLEDO...BOWLING GREEN...PORT CLINTON...
346 AM EST TUE JAN 21 2014
...WIND CHILL ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 AM
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CLEVELAND HAS ISSUED A WIND CHILL
ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 AM
* WIND CHILL READINGS...THE WIND CHILL READINGS WILL DROP TO
BETWEEN -10 AND -15 DEGREES TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
* WINDS...WINDS WILL BE BETWEEN 10 AND 20 MPH LATER THIS MORNING
AND CONTINUE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON HOURS. WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO
DROP TO BETWEEN 6 AND 10 MPH TONIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.
* TEMPERATURES...TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO HOVER AROUND 10
DEGREES TODAY BUT DIP TO BETWEEN 0 AND -5 DEGREES TONIGHT ACROSS
THE AREA. THE COLD TEMPERATURES WILL GRADUALLY RECOVER WEDNESDAY
* IMPACTS...THE COLD WIND CHILLS WILL POSE A THREAT TO THOSE THAT
ARE OUTSIDE WITH EXPOSED SKIN. ANIMALS SHOULD ALSO BE PROTECTED
FROM THE COLD WIND CHILLS.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN STRONG WIND WILL COMBINE
WITH COLD TEMPERATURES TO CREATE DANGEROUSLY COLD CONDITIONS FOR
EXPOSED SKIN. THE WIND WILL MAKE IT FEEL LIKE IT IS 10 DEGREES
BELOW ZERO OR COLDER FOR A PERIOD OF SEVERAL HOURS. IF YOU WILL
BE OUTDOORS USE COMMON SENSE AND DRESS WARMLY...MAKING SURE THAT
ALL EXPOSED SKIN IS COVERED. IF POSSIBLE...AVOID PROLONGED
EXPOSURE TO THE COLD TO PREVENT FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA. STAY
TUNED TO WEATHER RADIO FOR FURTHER DETAILS OR UPDATES.