The flu is making its march through Ohio, and hospital visits are going up as well.
The Ohio Department of Health says last week alone, there were 529 new hospitalizations linked to the flu. That's up from just 216 at this time during last year's flu season. There have been 985 flu-related hospital cases since this flu season started.
Ohio has had two young people who've died from the flu, the latest a 16 year-old boy in Licking County.
The 2014-2015 flu season is expected to continue into spring, and the U.S. CDC says it may be severe.
A Stark County school was locked down for a while Friday afternoon after a report of a possible student with a gun.
The Stark County Sheriff's Office says a school resource officer at Marlington High School learned about a text message reportedly with a photo of a gun was sent from the high school to Marlington Middle School.
That student told a teacher, and a school administrator locked down Marlington High School shortly thereafter at about 12:30 p.m.
Sheriff's units located a 16 year-old student and charged him with felony inducing panic charges. Marlington High School's lockdown was lifted at 1:43 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
It's not too late to mail packages that need to be delivered by Christmas.
Still, time is not exactly on your side.
David Van Allen, a regional spokesperson for the United States Postal Service, says it's best to get things in the mail by Sunday.
"If you do wait past then, we highly recommend you use Priority Mail Express and you have until December 23 to get it there on time," said Van Allen.
Post offices on West Market Street in Fairlawn and on Dressler Road in Canton will be open this Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Sunday hours were established to meet demand. USPS expects to deliver 470 million packages during the holiday season.
"That's a 12% increase over last year and last year we had a 12% increase over the year before," said Van Allen.
He says the spikes point toward one of the very things that is blamed for much of the severe financial issues that the postal service is trying to deal with - the internet. Van Allen says people are doing more online shopping, especially this time of year, and those packages need to somehow be shipped.
Van Allen says that while there is no regular mail deliver on Sundays, packages are being delivered every day, including December 25th.
Akron police say they found a car full of packages last night on Seminola Avenue, its front windows down, and say they arrested a man who came back to that car.
Officers say 26 year-old David James Gonzales of Pioneer Street admitted to stealing the packages.
Police noted that the packages had destinations on them, in Goodyear Heights and Tallmadge.
That helped police return the packages to their rightful owners.
Police say Gonzales admitted to stealing the packages, and says he told officers that he was a heroin user and needed rent money.
Police found syringes and a spoon in the car.
Prosecutors are trying to keep a man who kidnapped and raped six women in Summit County in 1983 behind bars.
Willie Lagway has a parole hearing in February.
Summit County prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says it doesn't matter that Lagway committed his crimes decades ago at the age of 27.
"Even though that was 31 years ago," Bevan Walsh tells WAKR.net, "we feel very strongly that if he gets out, he will commit rapes again, and our community will still be in danger."
Bevan Walsh says Lagway is an extremely violent man, whose victims still suffer from the physical and emotional torture he inflicted on them.
He was sentenced to a minimum sentence of 109 years, and a maximum sentence of 375 years.
(Summit County prosecutor's office, news release) Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh is asking for your help to keep Willie Lagway (Criminal Case No. 83-02-0232) in prison. The Ohio Parole Board is considering Lagway's release at a parole board hearing in February.
From February 10 -14, 1983, Lagway, 27, went on a five-day crime spree victimizing six women in Summit County. Willie Lagway kidnapped two friends walking to a car in the Akron Children's Hospital parking deck, one from Akron Children's Hospital parking lot, one from Gold Circle in Barberton and one woman from TransOhio Savings Bank in downtown Akron. All the victims were robbed and two were raped. Lagway was armed with a knife and threatened the victims with their lives if they did not comply with his demands. Lagway didn't just commit these crimes and leave. He terrorized these women for hours and before leaving each victim, he copied the information on their driver's licenses, including their addresses. For his crimes, Lagway was sentenced to a minimum sentence of 109 years and a maximum sentence of 375 years.
After his arrest, while being questioned about the abductions and robberies near Children's Hospital, Lagway stated, "I'm an ex-con and a sinner and a heathen. Do your job. The more I suffer on earth the better it will be for me."
Prosecutor Walsh stated, "Wille Lagway should never be released from prison. His lengthy criminal record began as a juvenile with violence escalating with each crime. He is an extremely violent man and we believe he will victimize again if released. He forever changed the lives of his victims and the physical and emotional torture he inflicted on each of them still torments them today."
We are asking for the public's help in keeping this dangerous man in prison.
Please send letters to:
Ohio Parole Board
770 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43222
Please include Lagway's name and Inmate Number A173689
on each page of the correspondence
This has truly been a "rockin'" year for the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park, celebrating it's first anniversary with state-leading numbers showing the investment in a Hard Rock property in northern Summit County was a winner.
Hard Rock Rocksino President Jon Lucas, visting WONE's Jeff Kinzbach, said the company would invest another $50 to $60 million dollars developing a hotel and create hundreds of more jobs if table games were added to the lineup, but the numbers alone the past year have been impressive. An estimated 2.7 million visitors with monthly revenues of $15 million dollars, over $3 million more than the closest Racino competitor in Ohio and even topping the slots revenue from Ohio's four major all-game casino operations.
The Rocksino next to the Northfield Park race track employs more than 700 people and is a major revenue source for local communities and schools in addition to the state of Ohio.
Ten people have been indicted in connection with a dog-fighting event at an Akron home.
All those indicted were charged in federal court for attending an animal-fighting venture.
56-year-old Alvin Banks of Cordova Avenue and 29 year-old Mark Terrell McCraw of California face additional charges, including sponsoring and exhibiting a dog in animal fighting, and charges related to buying, selling, training and transporting the dogs.
Days after the Cordova Avenue bust, Humane Society officers found and rescued six more dogs, and two dogs were found dead, at a vacant home on Fern Avenue. Those dogs had injuries consistent with dog fighting.
(U.S. Attorney's Office Northern Ohio, news release) Ten people were indicted in federal court for attending an animal-fighting venture, law enforcement officials said.
Indicted are: Alvin Banks, 56, of Akron; Carlton Davis and Anthony L. Harris, both 41 and both of Gary, Ind.; Donell Higginbotham, 35, of Pittsburgh; Mark Terrell McCraw, 29, of Hersporia, Calif.; Samuel G. Mobley, 38, of Gastonia, N.C.; Corey B. Moorefield, 45, of Pittsburgh; Darius D. Muse, 24, of Victorville, Calif.; Ryan A. Sadler, 32, of Gastonia, N.C. and Tommy L. Walker, 60, of East Chicago, Ind.
The indictment was announced by Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland Office, Akron Police Chief James Nice, Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry and Summit County Prosecutor Sherry Bevan Walsh.
Banks and McCraw face additional counts of sponsoring and exhibiting a canine in an animal fighting venture, as well as buying, selling, delivering, possessing, training and transporting canines for participation in an animal fighting venture.
Banks has also been charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, possession with intent to manufacture and distribute less than 50 marijuana plants or less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, and for possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Federal and local authorities raided a home on Cordova Avenue in Akron on Nov. 15, 2014 as part of an investigation into dog fighting. In addition to firearms, narcotics and more than $52,000 in cash, investigators discovered a blood-stained 16x16 foot ring used as part of an animal fighting venture, as well as two "break sticks" used to pry a dog's mouth and teeth off another dog when the fight is finished. They also found eight pit bull or pit bull mixes, two of which were covered in blood and had fresh wounds from a fight that occurred just prior to the execution of the search warrant, according to court documents.
If convicted, a defendant's sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant's prior criminal records, if any, a defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Akron Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Summit County Sheriff's Office, with assistance from the Summit County Prosecutor's Office and the Humane Society of Greater Akron. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Akron Urban League wants to take a proactive approach to building a better relationship between police and the black community. President & CEO Fred Wright says advocating for dashboard and body cams along with more community police programs are only part of a 10-point plan.
"We would also like review and revision of police use of deadly force policies along with comprehensive retraining of all police officers and comprehensive review and strengthening of police hiring practices," said Wright.
Wright says he's working with Akron Police Chief James Nice to add more diversity to the police department.
19% of the Akron Police Department is non-white. Both Wright and Nice want to see it increase to more than 35% to better reflect the city's racial composition.
Wright says it's not just about retraining police - he says people who deal with police need some education as well.
"Especially with our young black males," said Wright. "If they are unfortunate enough to have to interact with law enforcement, how you interact with law enforcement and some of the things that you do to make sure that any situation is diffused."
Wright says the Akron Urban League supports peaceful protests but contends the events don't mean much if there is no attainable, definable result.
Kenan Ivery, the man accused of shooting and killing Akron police officer Justin Winebrenner, pleaded not guilty to all counts against him at his arraignment this Wednesday morning.
NewsChannel 5 reports Ivery is being held without bond. He appeared before Judge Alison McCarty in Summit County Common Pleas Court. His next court appearance is set for January 21 at 8:30 a.m.
35 year-old Ivery is facing a number of charges including aggravated murder with a death specification, two counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
Officer Winebrenner was off-duty at Papa Don's Pub on East Market Street when he attempted to break up a fight. Five others faced gunfire on the evening of November 16th.
On the web: www.newsnet5.com
Dozens of firefighters were spreading some holiday cheer this (Wednesday) morning by giving out hundreds of coats to Akron students.
"It was brought to our attention that we had a lot of kids missing school due to weather issues and not having the proper attire. We that in mind, we took it upon ourselves to do something about that," said Akron Firefighter Matthew Coleman.
Coleman has been organizing Operation Warm for the past three years.
"They look it as they're getting presents and it's a huge, big deal for them, but it's a big deal for us too."
Firefighters and volunteers helped around 300 students at Smith and Pfeiffer CLC pick out their new coats.
Students were also given an opportunity to get an up-close look at a fire truck and were treated to ice cream -- along with some time playing on inflatables.